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Mousavi: The Man Who Shook Tehran - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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After the late Imam Ayatollah Khomeini, Mir Hossein Mousavi is the second man to lead a popular opposition movement and to cause upheaval in the Iranian capital of Tehran. He has stood up against the results of the elections and the vote rigging and now is leading the confrontation against the Supreme Leader’s orders, challenging the regime, its bodies, threats and symbols.

It’s not Mousavi’s mentality that distinguishes him but his leadership and courage. Other opposition leaders have emerged before Mousavi to challenge the ruling body, but would stop in their tracks as soon as the regime would brandish its weapons. Despite that he has been marginalized and vexed, Hashemi Rafsanjani is satisfied with the internal grievances. Despite his popularity, former president Mohamed Khatami remained hidden in fear of revenge; he considered the bomb he found in the airplane’s toilet a threat, and it was successful as it silenced him throughout the elections.

As for Mousavi, he appears to be a tough politician and a charismatic leader surrounded by hundreds of thousands of youths, or even millions, who hate Ahmadinejad and are disappointed with Khatami and other opposition leaders.

Mousavi is becoming more and more charismatic. The man stands in the middle of the masses knowing that he is the regime’s main target. If he were to escape assassination, he would not be safe from defamation of character as he may be accused of treason, spying or of other charges that would see him removed from the political field. Regardless of the pressure to which he was subjected to accept the election results, he strongly rejected them in an unprecedented manner we have not seen before in Iran’s contemporary history.

His excellent performance in debates and the support provided by his wife Zahra are highly admired. He ruthlessly attacked the ideas, attitudes and performance of Ahmadinejad’s government. Mousavi’s wife also took part in the massive campaign, causing Ahmadinejad to openly vilify her.

However, his opposition to Ahmadinejad, and his rejection to follow the Supreme Guide’s orders, does not make him a revolutionary who has some kind of plan to overthrow the regime or someone who does not share the Iranian Islamic ideology. In reality, Mousavi is a product of the Islamic revolution and the regime. In spite of his moderate attitude, he will never sail too far away from the Supreme Leader’s and President Ahmadinejad’s general policy. He openly supports the nuclear program and criticizes Ahmadinejad’s failed administration and describes his internal policy as a failed one and him as a liar. Mousavi can be considered a moderate Islamist liberal with great ideas for the regime, but at the same time he hates the leadership.

Now, Mousavi, dead or alive, has become a great problem for the regime. This is why his opponents want to kill his character before he becomes a martyr. They want to distort his revolution by claiming that it is a British plot backed by Israeli spying cells, citing as evidence the bombings attributed to the revolutionaries. The Iranian regime’s main goal now is to attack Mousavi’s character so that he would not become a leader of the Iranian masses, which would join him and together become a strong wave capable of washing away the authority’s fortresses.

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

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