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IRAN: Opposition leaders Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi urge supporters to stay tuned

February 19, 2010 |  6:20 am


Opposition leaders Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi said they will soon address the Iranian people about the country's ongoing domestic political crisis in the wake of last week's failed attempt by protesters to hijack an annual pro-government rally, according to Karroubi's website, Saham News.

According to the report, "the two men promised to speak to the Iranian people on [the country's domestic political situation] and inform them about the different means of peacefully reclaiming their rights."

Many worry that the green-themed opposition movement born out of their failed presidential campaigns in last June's disputed elections is losing steam.

The pair held a two-hour confab at Mousavi's house Wednesday night, only their second in recent months. 

That in itself should hearten Iran's opposition. Disgruntled activists had sharply criticized the two for not coordinating efforts enough after opposition failures during the Feb. 11 anniversary of  Iran's Islamic revolution. Government security forces and supporters routed the opposition on the streets.

According to Saham News, the two thanked their supporters for taking part in the mostly peaceful protests on Feb. 11 and "criticized attempts by certain groups to exploit the people's presence last Thursday in favor of certain political ends."

They also countered the official government line that 50 million out of Iran's 75 million people took part in the rallies, criticizing "the radical and violent groups that brutally prevented many people in Tehran and most of the country to join the rallies," according to the report.

They also seemed to agree with the analysis of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that Iran was increasingly becoming a military dictatorship.

"The two reformists said that for the first time in the past 31 years a complete militarization had occurred and the dominance of an atmosphere of terror and fear in different parts of the country," the report said. 

Still Karroubi and Mousavi emphasized that they weren't out to overthrow the system. They stressed that they remained firmly committed to the Constitution of the Islamic Republic, "especially those parts of the Constitution on the people's rights, which have been undermined."

-- Los Angeles Times

Photo: Mir-Hossein Mousavi, left, and Mehdi Karroubi speak during a Wednesday night meeting in Tehran. Credit: Saham News