IRAN: Mousavi slams government, outlines opposition objectives [Updated]
Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi offered the clearest outline yet of his movement's platform Tuesday, publishing a charter that calls for sweeping reform while affirming the so-called "Green Movement's" commitment to the principles of the Islamic Revolution.
The statement began by listing the abuses of the present government and condemning the "hypocrisy" of "sanctimonious hardliners.” It then went on to lay out the principles and objectives of the movement, which, taken together, present a vision for a nationalist, reformist Islamic Iran with free elections, and an independent judiciary and press.
However, the PDF version of the statement includes a vital paragraph not published in the version that went up on Mousavi's website in which the former pillar of the regime calls for the separation of religion and state. [Updated, June 17, 8:15 a.m. PDT: Here's the Persian-language PDF version of the manifesto.]
"Maintaining the independence of religious and clerical bodies from the regime is the only option to preserve the exalted status of religion in the Iranian society and it will be one of the main principles hitting high on the agenda of the Green Movement," it read.
The rest of the statement, while leveling harsh accusations of corruption and brutality at the government, leaves the impression that Mousavi merely wants to reform the Islamic political system, not undermine its premise.
“The Green Movement reaffirms its commitment to human, moral, religious and Iranian principles and values and feels obliged to refine and reform the behaviors of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” it said.
"The Green Movement is in continuation of Iranian people's efforts to attain freedom and social justice and national sovereignty," it continued. "These objectives had already been pursued in the Constitutional Revolution, Oil Nationalization Movement and the Islamic Revolution.”
It went on to say that the movement strives for a “developed, free and advanced Iran” based on “monotheistic collective wisdom.”
Mousavi released the statement to coincide with the first anniversary of the massive protests that shook Iran in the wake of the disputed presidential elections in June 2009. Hundreds of protesters were imprisoned, wounded or killed in the first several months after the elections, but since then the opposition appears to be reevaluating its tactics, taking a step back for what Mousavi has called "the year of patience and endurance."
The statement asserted the group's independence from foreign groups but added that it considers its values universal and does not seek "isolation and chauvinism," signaling that the movement favors a softer approach to foreign policy than that of the current government, which was recently slapped with another round of sanctions.
The statement also called for greater freedom of information and privacy and the implementation of international human rights standards, especially regarding women and minorities, adding that "perpetrators of vote-rigging, torturers and killers of election protesters" should be put on trial.
"The independence of the judiciary, non-interference of military forces with political and economic affairs and dealing with the organizers and members of the so-called plainclothesmen are seriously demanded by the Green Movement," the statement said.
The statement was released amid reports of minor clashes in Tehran between protesters and security forces.
–Meris Lutz in Beirut
Photo: Opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi released a charter for his 'Green Movement'. Credit: AFP