Mir-Hossein Mousavi’s message for Noruz

19 Mar 2010

In a video message for Noruz, the Persian New Year, Mir-Hossein Mousavi called the new year the year of “patience and perseverance on the rightful and legal demands of the Iranian nation” and emphasised: “The New Year is the year of resistance on these rightful and… legal demands, and we do not have the right to give up and back off from these demands, as that would be a betrayal to the nation, Islam and the blood of the martyrs. We have achieved our Constitution from the waves of blood of many martyrs and we cannot just let this slip away and we should return to its principles.”

Here a summary of Mir Hossein Mousavi’s message:

“In the name of God, the Compassionate and the Merciful, and the unified caravan of martyrs, I wish all of our people a happy New Year. I especially want to mention the families of those who lost their lives while defending our independence during the [Iran-Iraq] war – the veterans, the injured, and all those who suffered. I should also mention the martyrs and those injured in 1388 [the year that is coming to an end], since I see their fate as connected to that of the wartime martyrs; they are all a part of the caravan of martyrs that our country has produced over the course of history. If we have a proud country and a free nation today, it is due to their suffering and sacrifices.

Iranians abroad

I should also pass on good wishes to Iranians from various groups, tribes, ethnicities, cultures and [political] parties; to all of our people. This year, I would particularly like to mention our countrymen living abroad. Today, our people are united, and this is one of the blessings of the Green Movement. It has become so extensive that there are people on the other side of the globe who identify themselves with the rich Iranian and Islamic cultures, strive for the glory and development of Iran and the Revolution, and are concerned about the fate of their country. This is particularly true among our youth, be it inside Iran or abroad, who have sacrificed the most and who have experienced the most damage [in the events of the past year]. (…)

The year that has passed

The passed year has been a special one for us all. Our people witnessed a great deal of energy and excitement in the days leading up to the election, and the beauty of it was the love and unity that you saw between people of different backgrounds and political inclinations. The election could have turned into a great festival for our people and initiated a new movement in the history of our nation. It was this movement that lead to a very high voter turnout, with which you demonstrated your resolve to see [progress], change, independence, [and the authority of] freedom and justice. But, your active presence in the election was met with a reaction that prompted you to go to the streets with the common question: “Where is my vote?” (…) The crimes at Kahrizak prison, the atrocities at the student dormitories, the killings on the 30th of Khordad, even the 25th of Khordad and the events that followed, such as on the day of Ashura, took the people of our country by surprise. If the challenges were political in nature, then they should have been resolved through political channels with convincing explanations to our people. This was however not the case and the responses were unfortunately also not satisfying. (…)

What did our people desire?

Our people while chanting national and Islamic slogans came out to the streets, without creating any tension, to declare their point of view and cast their vote. On the 22nd of Khordad the people of Iran participated in the elections in order to determine their destiny and define the direction of their future. The events that followed the elections, however, turned into an eye-opening experience for our people and our country. Our nation discovered major discrepancies and glitches that lead to the formation of a broad spectrum of new demands. These demands began with a request for a referendum on open and fair elections, and later extended to other areas. The Green Movement resulted in uniting people behind the fact that all matters should be dealt with in the framework of the Constitution, and this became a slogan widely accepted by the majority.

The importance of the Constitution

The Constitution is a national covenant, without which there is no unity and only chaos and darkness. It consists of a set of contiguous articles and as such, ignoring or weakening one section only leads to rendering it meaningless and void in its entirety. (…) Now that our people have witnessed the judiciary, political, electoral, etc. problems, they realize more than ever that the path to a bright future is returning to the foundation defined by our constitution, without any interference by the various political factions.

Withdrawing our demands of unconditional execution of the Constitution is an act of treason to Iran and Islam

If an article in the Constitution is erroneous, the way to fix it is clear. We must amend the Constitution in accordance with public opinion and the recent state of affairs. [As of now], we do not have free media or the freedoms outlined in the constitution. We lack free elections, where candidates are not cherry-picked, and fair competition. We do not have rights that protect people’s privacy; rights that prevent some from searching through personal letters with self-serving ‘justification’. How can we assume to have a working system and solve our problems while the national course of action taken is against the Constitution?

Challenges in the New Year

We are facing many issues and difficulties in this New Year. Some of them relate to the shape that our demands are going to take. And these are rightful demands. They are a way to achieve national greatness and are a salvation for all parties on the path of developing our nation. We will persevere in these demands, and, accordingly, the coming year will be [known as] the year of persistence. We do not have the right to turn away from them. Any distraction would be an act of treason to the nation, to Islam and to the blood of our martyrs. Our Constitution was created in a sea of martyred blood. It is not something that we can lose easily and we must all return to [its principles].

Among all other things, I wish that the executive branch was at least proficient

Besides this problem, there are others too; problems that existed before, but which are going to intensify this year, although I do not wish this. Economic prospects for the future are not good. I am not pleased with this situation. I wish that despite all our issues, we would have seen an outlook to solve these [non-political] troubles. But that was not the case. Forecasts of economic growth for the coming year are poor. (…) Our middle-class is shrinking more and more as we face these problems. Our current [international] standing is not a pleasant one due to ambiguous policies, as well as an adventurous and inept approach [to foreign policy]. Looming upon us is a threatening situation. We have the worst possible international relations and foreign policy, and it seems that with greater sanctions we should expect [more economic pressure].

The Green Movement must expand its reach

Faced with such a situation, the Green Movement must expand its reach to all segments of society. The Green Movement must revive the timeless social and Islamic principle of inclusion. We must lend a hand to neighbors and neighborhoods both near and far, through job creation and other forms of interaction. Let us live more modestly; let us help our fellow men and women; let us reduce the weight of people’s problems. Let us help the families of the martyrs and those who have been injured—the just prophet looks favorably upon spending time with these families. Moreover, doing this will rekindle the nation’s hope.

The path that we cannot avoid

I believe that the path to realizing the greatness of our nation follows this route and, without a doubt, the nation understands that there is no other alternative. Thus, the nation is hopeful in following this path. God-willing, we will reach our distinct goals, since our demands are not extravagant by any standards. We demand a fair and healthy election—an election where being on the ticket does not imply having been vetted and selected by a few in power. That kind of election—the kind that we have been having up until now—does not reflect the appropriate respect towards a nation as dignified as Iran. The Iranian nation is great, progressive, and civilized. It should not be treated like a nation of uncivilized, ignorant people, for whom matters need to be decided because they cannot be trusted to run their own affairs and choose their own government properly. I ask that the government respect freedom of speech and freedom of the press so that the nation’s thoughts and ideas are able to flow freely and publicly. I am certain that the manifestation of these thoughts will be Islamic. Only then will we see a productive and progressive Iran brimming with justice and freedom. We must not be afraid to allow this to happen. In fact, we must truly fear the consequences of not allowing this to happen. We must truly be afraid of turning our backs on the demands of the people. I will finish with a prayer from Imam Khomeini—a prayer that is relevant to our situation today: “O Lord, be watchful of our martyrs and let them rest close to your kindness and compassion. Heal our injured and our dead, and lead those who have been captured by the enemy back to the bleeding hearts of their families. O Lord, in your kindness, grant us patience and success.”

Tehran Review
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