Former Prime Minister Breaks Silence
While a week ago several political activists speculated that Iran’s last Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi would break his long silence at a seminar titled, “Fourth Decade of the Revolution: Necessity for Compromise and Reform, Model for Muslim Living,” Mousavi waited and in fact broke his twenty-year silence a week later.
Following Mousavi’s remarks, conservative media outlets responded coldly to his return to the political scene. The conservative website Entekhab claimed that, in a recent meeting with prominent reformist and conservative figures, Mousavi has announced that he will run in the upcoming presidential election.
While Entekhab website published news of Mousavi’s candidacy, the website “Kalameh,” which is run by Mousavi’s most serious circle of supporters, has not yet responded to such speculation. Meanwhile, what constitutes the source of the report published by Entekhab and other media outlets close to conservatives is the website’s interview with Mousavi, which has been cited by several other sources. That interview constitutes Mousavi’s first interview after a twenty-year silence.
The interview concerns mostly with the experiences of the war-time Prime Minister when he was in charge, though it contains a message for today: “I believe that our nation embraces a kind of ethical economics and ethical politics, and that we cannot communicate with our own people in any other way. If we want to have independence, if we want to have true growth, if we want to move forward we must embrace ethical economics.”
Although Entekhab’s report regarding Mousavi’s candidacy cannot be considered an official announcement of his candidacy, the two reformist and conservative camps have reacted differently to the news. Isa Saharkhiz, who continues to regard Abdollah Nouri as the most suitable candidate after Khatami, has told Yari News that the choice of “Khatami as President and Mir Hossein as Vice-President” is interesting.
Salamati, the president of the reformist Mojahedin Enghelab Party also suggests that “Khatami and Mir Hossein Mousavi serve side by side in executive matters.” However, reformist lawmaker Mostafa Kavakebian noted, “Mir Hossein Mousavi is the first choice in the upcoming election.”
Among the Principalists (Iranian ideologues), however, the story is different. The news website Raja News affiliated with Ahmadinejad, considers Mousavi’s policies to be close to Ahmadinejad’s and accuses Mousavi of attempting to copy the President’s plans. However, in his recent interview, Mir Hossein Mousavi said, “It is natural for every human being to change. Like any other human being my thoughts from the past have changed. I was very different in the 1980s than today.”
Reacting to the news of Mousavi’s candidacy, the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) attempted to portray Mir Hossein Mousavi as an ineffective candidate yesterday. Quoting Mahmoud Ahmadi Bighash, central committee member of the Principalist faction in the Majlis, IRNA reported, “The public is not too excited about Mousavi’s candidacy.”
Meanwhile, Principalist lawmaker Hamid Rasaei told IRNA, “If Mir Hossein Mousavi wishes to participate in the election, he must clarify why he remained silent during the eight years when all principles and values of the revolution were under attack by the revolution’s enemies.”
Tehran’s representative in the Majlis Asadollah Badamchian noted, “Mir Hossein Mousavi continues to remain in his own particular mindset, and the question is whether his economic views are conducive for today’s conditions or not.”