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Senior Mousavi aide: Protests after 12 June will not be ‘silent’

06/06/2011

GVF — A top advisor to Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, has said that after the 12th of June protests, anti-government demonstrations will not be held in silence.

In a statement published on Tuesday, the Coordination Council of the Green Path of Hope, the Green Movement’s highest decision-making body, called for “silent” protests on 12 June to mark the second anniversary of the 2009 presidential election. The race was overshadowed by widespread vote rigging and unprecedented crackdown on protesters questioning the election outcome.

In a recent interview with the Persian service of Germany’s international broadcaster Deutsche Welle,Ardeshir Amir-Arjomand, a senior advisor to 2009 presidential candidate and Green Movement leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, said the Iranian month of Khordad (22 May – 22 June) “will mark the beginning of a series of actions. The march on 12 June is one of them, and it will not be the last. The [different] social networks must express their viewpoints until a decision is made for 13 and 14 June and perhaps later days in Khordad too.”

 

Amir-Arjomand said that the planned demonstrations for 12 June would be “an opportunity to change the shape of future protests based on the capacities created. We have always placed an emphasis on demonstrations as an expression of citizen rights.”

Mousavi’s top aide, currently in exile, also stressed that staging street protests was not the only way forward for the pro-democracy struggle in Iran, and even street protests could take different shapes and forms. “Based on the conditions and circumstances, we must try to choose the most suitable method for attracting the highest level of participation. In recent months we have tried out different methods for holding protests. It seems that this [silent] method can lead to a good turnout, provided all the suppoerts and activists of the Green Movement cooperate.”

“We must not be afraid of trying out different methods … we’ve seen how they [the authorities] can occupy a whole city and thwart protests by enforcing a state of emergency and an undeclared curfew in the city. This form of [silent] protest is a new tactic which can open the way and it must be tested.”

When asked about Green Movement’s position on the widening rift between Ahmadinejad and the country’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Amir-Arjomand replied: “[During the 2009 presidential race], two groups or a group of people joined forces to commit fraud, to engineer an election and to steal the people’s votes. They then joined hands in suppressing the people and preventing their rights from being realised. In the same way, the have instrumentalised religion. At the moment, their conflict is over the monopolisation of power.”

He went on to add, “The men’s fight is about total control over power. Our dispute with them is over the quality of governance. We have a democratic approach in mind, and for this reason we believe their dispute is not in the interests of the people.”

“Our position has not changed with respect to the past,” he continued. “Whether we hold protests or not will not bring any change to their dispute.”

Amir-Arjomand said the current power struggle within the Iranian regime would “continue to persist,” despite efforts from inside the conservative camp pushing for reconciliation.

“We believe that holding demonstrations preserves movement’s passion, enthusiasm and vigour. The 12th of June is an important day; the month of Khordad is an important month and must be honoured.”

In the end, Amir-Arjomand called on Green Movement activists and social networks to participate in developing new strategies to better help the movement in achieving its goals.

The Coordination Council of the Green Path of Hope had announced that 12 June protests would be held “in absolute silence” on the pavements of Tehran’s Vali-Asr Avenue and would stretch from Vanak Square to the important Vali-Asr Square. The Council also promised to release further statements outlining its plans for the coming weeks.

“Protesters will shout these demands with their sealed lips,” the statement had said. “The release of movement’s leaders and political prisoners; holding free elections; immediate and effective action for resolving the problem of high prices and unemployment.”

110 days ago, the leaders of the opposition movement Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mahdi Karroubi were placed under house arrest after calling on Iranians to demonstrate in solidarity with protesters in the Arab world. The leaders and their spouses have been held under house arrest without any official charge or trial, resulting in the outpouring of worldwide condemnation against their continued captivity.

 

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