Iran’s opposition leader Mousavi in defiant pledge to die for the cause
The first sign of life from opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi Friday, Jan. 1 came 48 hours after he went missing in the form of a pledge of willingness to sacrifice his life in defense of the people’s rights. In a strong message to the Kaleme Web site, he said Iran was in a serious crisis, starting from the disputed June presidential election. He condemned the bloody crackdown waged by the authorities against protesters and said the thousands of political prisoners must be released. Mousavi quoted the revolution’s founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini who said: “Kill us, we will become stronger.”
Thursday, the Islamic regime marked the last day of the year by sending tanks, armored cars and Revolutionary Guards special units to take up positions in central Tehran, ready to crack down further on protesters after a week of demonstrations.
The anti-government reformists go in fear of their lives since Mousavi’s nephew was shot dead Monday.
Hardline supreme ruler Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s spokesmen called this week for the execution of this and other opposition figures. Iran’s state prosecutor warned them Thursday they would be put on trial if they failed to denounce anti-government protests.
Wednesday, as pro-government demonstrators shouted anti-opposition slogans in Tehran, Mousavi and a second prominent protest leader, Ayatollah Mehid Karroubi, were reported by government sources to have fled the city. Their families denied they were missing. Opposition sources said they had been picked by Revolutionary Guards and Intelligence Ministry agents.
Since then they have not been seen in public, prompting grave concerns about their fate. Mousavi’s Internet statement does not prove he is free or alive, or offer a clue to the mystery of his whereabouts.
This mystery, coupled with the brutal suppression of unarmed demonstrators in Tehran, has not so far galvanized the United States, Britain, France or Germany into an all-out drive to find out what has happened to Iran’s missing opposition leaders or take up the cause of the thousands of political prisoners facing savage abuse and death in Iran’s jails.
It is business as usual in relations between the West and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
A US official explained this indifference to a US daily by saying that Obama was engaged in a difficult balancing act: “The aim of any sanctions is to force the Tehran government to the negotiating table, rather than to punish it for either its apparent push to develop a nuclear weapon or its treatment of its people.”
In Tehran, this attitude is taken as a free hand to carry on as before, our Iranian sources report.