He advised the failed candidates to pursue their complaints through “legal venues”, starting that: “the destiny of elections would be determined on the ballots, not on the palm of the streets.”
In an unprecedented action, however, the Supreme Leader blamed President Ahmadinejad for attacking the former high-ranking officials of the country during the pre-election live televised debate with Mousavi. Ahmadinejad had accused the former President Hashemi Rafsanjani and the former Parliament Speaker Nateq Nouri of corruption and financial fraud: “It’s not my procedure to name people on the Friday sermons, but I do it this time because they have been named [on the debates]…. I have known Mr. Hashemi for so long… [O]ur acquaintance dates back to some 50 years ago.… Mr. Hashemi has been one of the most significant and principal people of the movement in the pre-revolution era … and went to the verges of martyrdom several times after the revolution.… [He has] been a companion of Imam Khomeini and after the demise of Imam Khomeini, was perpetually a comrade of the leader.”
The hot presidential elections in Iran and its controversial aftermaths provoked different reactions from all around the world. In a low-profile and conservative approach which could have been pretty forceful and fanatical in the same situation under George W. Bush, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs expressed the happiness of the U.S. with the widespread enthusiasm and vibrancy which the elections have created in Iran and stated that U.S. is “impressed” by the vigorous debate and zealousness which the election caused among the young Iranians. It was the first time since the Iranian revolution of 1979 that a White House high-ranking official makes such friendly and positive remarks on the Iranian elections. However, he told the reporters that U.S. is “monitoring” the situations closely, and particularly, to what he called the reported “irregularities”.
The Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon, however, in line with the frequent condemnations of the last months which he has been throwing at the Iranian state and people, expressed “deep concerns” over the “irregularities” and called for the immediate investigation into the “fraud and discrepancies”.
Lawrence Cannon has been casting doubts and concerns over different Iranian issues over the past months, and the official website of the Canadian Embassy in Tehran is now flooded with his abundant “deep concerns” on Iran’s human rights record, elections, missile test, nuclear issue etc. The only thing which he has never cast doubts or concerns about was the mistreatment of the Canadian Embassy in Tehran with the Iranian applicants and the rejection of 61% of the temporary resident visa applications in 2007.
Brazilian President Luis Inácio Lula da Silva, whose country has developed strong ties with Iran under President Ahmadinejad, was among the first foreign leaders who sent congratulatory messages to Tehran. He denied the fraud possibility and told a press conference that “nobody has so far provided evidences for that, and the Iranian president was elected with a majority of 62%”. He also confirmed the reports of his forthcoming trip to Tehran in order to “pursue the bilateral cooperation and build stronger partnerships.”
The Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Turkish President Abdullah Gul also congratulated Mr. Ahmadinejad on his reelection during a phone call. The presidents of Russia, Belarus, Iraq, Lebanon, Armenia, Yemen and Venezuela also extended their felicitations to Ahmadinejad on his taking office for a second consecutive term.
The reality of Mir-Hossein Mousavi
Although Mir-Hossein Mousavi was implicitly warned by the Supreme Leader, the most powerful political and religious authority of the country, to cease his “street campaign-expedition” and “muscle-flexing” and pursue his demands and protests through “legitimate venues”, and that’s what the western media outlets are trying to distort and portray as a political confrontation between the reform movement and the leader’s political alignment, the reality is thoroughly different.
Mir-Hossein Mousavi was the Prime Minister of Iran from 1981 to 1989 and served both of his two terms when Ayatollah Khamenei was president. He was the popular prime minister of the Late Imam Khomeini, the founder of Islamic Revolution, and had been praised by him frequently and on various occasions.
On the expiration of his first term, Ayatollah Khamenei was reluctant to endorse him as prime minister for a second time, as he believed that there were other competent individuals who could be put in the position. Some of the high-ranking clerics of that time, including the Major General Mohsen Rezaei (the former Commander in Chief of the IRGC) went to Imam Khomeini for meddling. They told Imam Khomeini that Mir-Hossein Mousavi (the prime minister during the war years) was immensely popular among the combatants and those young warriors who were fighting with the forces of Saddam the dictator, and would get hope and energy from him. In order to persuade Ayatollah Khamenei to extend the mission of Mr. Mousavi as the Prime Minister, Imam Khomeini declared this historical sentence which perpetuated Mirhossein Mousavi as a prominent revolutionary figure in the contemporary history of Iran: “As a citizen, I announce that selecting anyone except this gentleman [Mir-Hossein Mousavi] is a treachery to Islam.”
Mousavi has been introduced as a major reformist figure to the world; however, he seeks reform and change within the frameworks of Islamic Republic of Iran and has always endorsed the role of Jurisprudent as the ultimate decision-maker which has “salvaged the country from coups” so far. Those western thinkers and pundits who portray Mousavi as an opposition leader and are trying to associate him with the anti-revolutionary movements inside the U.S. and Israel are apparently making a big mistake.
Over the past days, the Persian section of Radio Israel aired exclusive and “emergency” programs to cover the “Iran crises” by inviting “experts” and “scholars” who would unanimously invite the supporters of Mir-Hossein Mousavi to storm into the streets, call for the transformation of the Islamic government, and destabilize the routine transportation, business, and daily life by burning public facilities, mosques, universities and shops. The peaceful and nonviolent demonstrations of the protesting youths and pro-reform supporters of Mir-Hossein Mousavi who were demanding their votes be officially “respected” by the authorities were soon mixed by the illicit and criminal actions of the U.S. and Israel-backed revolts and mutineers whose ultimate desire was to see a “velvet revolution” going on everywhere in Iran.
One of the most appreciable remarks by the Supreme Leader was that one which differentiated between the rebels with the supporters of Mir-Hossein Mousavi. In a personal meeting with Mir-Hossein, Ayatollah Khamenei clarified that the “account of rebels and violence-seekers is separated from” that of Mousavi’s fans and those who devastate the public assets and private belongings of the people are carrying out the aggressive actions without any political purposes.
Ali Larijani, the moderate conservative Speaker of Parliament who is seen to be one of the most rational and reasonable figureheads in the conservatives’ campaign also told the nation in a live TV speech that “those who under the mask of political fans of a certain movement or candidate impose damages to the public properties or paralyze the daily life of ordinary people are not among the protestors who want their votes to be preserved and virtuously.”
He also added that Islamic Republic of Iran respects the freedom of speech, the freedom of rallies and demonstrations, and vigorously pursues the claims of those candidates who believe that there have been irregularities with their votes: “the liberty of demonstrations should be respected, and those who are in charge of issuing certifications to legitimize the protesting rallies should cooperate and issue them constructively.”
Larijani who was one of the contenders of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the 2005 Presidential Elections also stressed that he had conducted “phone calls” with the authorities of Guardian Council, the highest-ranking electoral body of Iran which vets and oversees the candidates for qualification into the final round of election and examines the ultimate credibility of votes, and made suggestions to them in order to facilitate the investigation of claims made by the failed candidates.