01/11/2011 – 21:16
GVF — For the first time since the relentless state-sanctioned attacks against the Green Movement in recent weeks, Mir Hossein Mousavi has responded to the increasing pressure on the opposition, arguing once more that the Green Movement’s reach is in fact strengthening across different layers of Iranian society.
In his most latest interview with the Kaleme website, Mousavi explained that in spite of the recent wave of attacks and lies against the opposition leaders, he had chosen not show any initial reaction after the publication of a strongly worded statement by fellow 2009 presidential Mahdi Karroubi.
“The second reason for my silence was that such propaganda belongs to an old era, they [the authorities] still use tactics employed by totalitarian regimes such as the Soviet Union under Stalin or Ceauşescu’s Romania. Those who organise such propaganda are not familiar with their own society, nor do they understand the changing international sphere,” said Mousavi, while adding that the authorities were still living in a bubble trapped in a pre-information age.
He further explained that the Iranian authorities’ propaganda campaign “reverse effect” due its unjust and “unreasonable content.” Referring to relentless attacks and fabrications against the Green Movement during the ten-day mourning period in the holy month of Muharram, Mousavi continued, “these ten days represented a good opportunity for our nation to become familiar with the nature of these men. All these lies and slanders showed what their [version of] ‘Islam’ really looks like.”
“The effects of this unparalleled level of propaganda, coupled with ridiculous obscenities and threats, have demonstrated the righteousness and life of the Green Movement more than harming [it]”, the former prime minister added.
Mousavi said that the Iranian establishment and its elements had surpassed Nazi Minister of Propaganda, Paul Joseph Goebbels in “distortion and deceit.” “They have made slander and falsehood a part of their retrogressive religion combined with superstition.”
The opposition leader noted that the authorities’ campaign of resorting to deceit and falsehoods was a reflection of how Iran’s rulers really saw the Iranian nation. “The belief among a sizeable portion of the establishment, is that millions of people in this country are ‘dirt and dust,  goats and calves’,”  Mousavi maintained. “They still don’t believe in the people’s understanding, and in private, they are even terrified of the very notion of citizen rights and the innate dignity of all peoples.”
When asked if he still held the views he had expressed in his 17th post-election statement released shortly after the Ashura protests in December 2009, Mousavi said that his five-step proposal for resolving the political deadlock in the country “still stands.” “Free the prisoners, and declare that you are committed to all the articles in the constitution, free the media and hold free elections without vetting … otherwise, the repression will increase the demands [of the people],” said Mousavi, maintaining that the smear campaign against the opposition Green Movement would simply cause the people to lose any hope of realising real change in the country within the “framework of the constitution.”
Mousavi also denied claims made by the new Secretary General of the Islamic Coalition Party (Motalefeh) who recently said that following a meeting after the 2009 presidential election, Mousavi had agreed to a partial recount of the votes but was dissuaded from moving forward after conducting meetings with reformist websites Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF) and Mujahidin of the Islamic Revolution Organisation whose key members are now behind prison bars.
“Unfortunately the new Secretary General of the Motalefeh [party] lacks the required maturity and I’d like to deny such claims,” he said, adding that he had only agreed to the formation of a committee that would act as an arbitrator during the election dispute. “If those who took part in that meeting return to their own memories, [they will see that] I even mentioned certain names for such a fact-finding delegation.”
The veteran reformist also spoke about the ongoing pressure on Green Movement activists and the future of the movement in light of the recent suppressions: “The sheer magnitude of the distortions, lies and threats is on the rise. The [recent] bulk executions as well as the strange and unjust sentences are to instil fear. More importantly, the culture of forcing confessions and repentance has found its way from within prison walls and into the political sphere outside [prison walls]. According to this culture, if you want to keep your job or to be chosen [for a position] or to have a share of the great and small deals, or to live in peace and free from the actions of the immoral, you must have the ‘understanding’ and ‘foresight’ to condemn the critics [of the state] and Green Movement protesters. They have not even spared the religious seminaries, and clerics, and we are witnessing pressures and insults aimed at the clergy. [Yet authorities are] ignorant of the fact that within the families of officials, there is an increasing level of awareness with regards to the demands of the Green Movement, because these demands are compatible with the people’s rights and our national covenant [the constitution].”
“The Green Movement is marching forward and God willing, with the participation of all, this process will continue until the achievement of the goals put forth by the Green Movement. We believe [in the Quranic verse], ‘Then, as for the foam, it passeth away as scum upon the banks, while, as for that which is of use to mankind, it remaineth in the earth.’” 
Mousavi went on to add: “In my opinion, the main strategy must be raising awareness and the best way forward is [the slogan] ‘Each citizen, a medium.’  Seemingly simple acts, like proliferating newspapers, letters, statements and CDs with images and footages from post-election events, etc have spread with a great level of profundity today and have reached the most remote areas of the country.”
Mousavi also stressed the importance of capitalising on the technologies of the “information age” in disseminating information and raising awareness among Iranians in the most “effective” and “creative” way.
“In addition to trying to raise awareness and fighting the spread of falsehoods and the distortion of truth, we must not forget the memories of the friendly debates and discussions during the election [race in June 2009]. We mustn’t forget how we experienced and practiced listening to each other during the election debates, before the so-called ‘security forces’ stepped in to turn the civil debates into unrest and silence the sound of discourse. We mustn’t forget the green chain that linked all the differences and styles from south to north of the city [Tehran] and country and taught us how to coexist. These valuable memories can be precious lessons and models for today too. We must do our utmost wherever we can, to practice tolerance towards one another by keeping the atmosphere of dialogue and national discourse alive while listening to each others’ views and opinions to overcome the cracks reinforced by state media. Being green does not mean that we want to make everyone else green and to have one colour, something the authoritarianists and monopolists would like to see. Being green means living side by side and understanding the differences in opinions, views and approaches. While the authoritarianists and their media try to place an emphasis on the cracks within families and society, we must try to accept these differences and to come up with a plan to live side by side and peacefully. Raising awareness while maintaining peace is the most important weapon against violence and the seeds of division and ignorance.”
 Ahmadinejad’s reference to protesters against election fraud in the 2009 presidential election as “dirt and dust” during his “victory” speech.
 During state-sanctioned protests on 30 December 2009, senior’s cleric, Alamolhoda referred to Iranian protesters as a group of “goats and calves”
 Quran, Chapter 13, Verse 17.
 A key slogan chanted by Mousavi supporters during the 2009 presidential campaign.