Iranian Reform Leader Mousavi: ‘I am not Afraid to Die’
January 1, 2010
(ChattahBox)— In the wake of a crackdown on anti-government leaders, with the Iranian parliament ordering the arrest of Mehdi Karoubi, Mir Hossein Moussavi and Fa’ezeh Hashemi, Moussavi struck back, writing on his website that he was not afraid to die for his opposition and that his country was in “serious crisis.” The violent clashes on Sunday between reform protesters and security forces resulted in dozens of deaths and arrests, with at least 20 reform activists arrested, including three senior advisers to Mousavi, his brother-in-law and a sister of Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi. Mousavi’s nephew was killed during the bloody protests on Sunday, during the holy Muslim day of Ashura.
Mousavi’s strong remarks posted on his Kaleme website took direct aim at the Islamic regime:
“[A]rresting or killing Mousavi, (or fellow opposition leader Mehdi) Karoubi … will not calm the situation.” … “I am not afraid to die for people’s demands … Harsh remarks … will create internal uprising,” said Mousavi. … “The election law should be changed … political prisoners should immediately be freed … press freedom should be preserved.”
Mousavi also wrote that the Islamic Republic was in “serious crisis.” … “The country’s current situation is like a wild river and a hasty solution cannot calm down the situation,” Mousavi said.
The reformers claim that more than 70 people have been killed by security forces since violence broke out after the June presidential election, which protesters claim was rigged to ensure the reelection of hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Thousands of protesters have been arrested since the June election, with more than 80 people sentenced to jail terms of up to 15 years and five people have been sentenced to death.
And the arrests and deaths continue, as anti-government protesters continue to take to the streets. According to Jaras, over 180 students were arrested during a silent gathering at Azad university on Thursday.
And the clerics and government officials are calling for the arrests and even deaths of reform leaders. Ahmad Jannati said on Friday that the leaders of the “sedition” should be punished. “I call on the judiciary to accelerate the legal procedure of those behind the recent unrest,” said the cleric.
And a representative of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on Tuesday that opposition leaders were “enemies of God” who should be executed under the country’s sharia, Islamic law.