Karroubi: “Ahmadinejad serves Israel’s best interest”

10 Jun 2010

A year after the birth of the Iranian Green Movement and the pouring of millions of Iranians onto the streets, an interview with opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi has been published by the Al-Arabiya news network. You can read the full interview here: http://en.irangreenvoice.com/article/2010/jun/09/2026

Green Movement

Mr Karroubi, less than a month from now, the Green Movement will be a year old. You and Mr Mousavi announced in February that you would determine the strategy of the Green Movement and inform the people about it. Could you please explain this strategy?

The fraud in this election was so monumental that no amount of reasoning could explain it. Therefore at the heart of our Movement was the election fraud and the fact that we must try to hold fair and free elections. Unfortunately, because of the special events, the pressures and the imprisonments, up until now we have not dealt with the question of strategies in order to prevent an increase in the number of arrests. But at the very minimum, our demands are [an implementation] of the constitution which states that we can have free press and newspapers as well as the freedom to assemble without arms. We have made a request for holding free elections. This is the essence of our protest movement.

More demonstrations urged

You referred to assembly. In your interviews and messages, you have invited people to take part in protests marking the first anniversary of the election. Do you intend to participate in these demonstrations? And do you think that the regime will grant your supporters authorisation to protest?

Our responsibility is to submit our request. We have made requests for holding demonstrations but the regime claimed that we hadn’t done so, when in fact we had. So this time, in order to avoid any ambiguities, we announced through the media that we would submit a formal request to the Ministry of Interior for holding demonstrations on the anniversary of the election. We are insisting on this demand. We promise and give assurances that no incident will occur. I am certain that if a march is held, paramilitary forces will attempt to turn it violent, but our people are wise, and politically mature enough that even if certain individuals come chanting radical slogans, the people have the ability to control the scenario and confront them. However, if authorisation is not granted for demonstrations, we will then decide what to do; but it is currently not possible to say much.

“Identifying the illness”

Mr Karroubi, you have been one of the combatants against the Shah’s regime and after the revolution, you have held different positions such as parliament spokesperson. A great number of people currently in prison also held high positions in the Islamic Republic. You and Mr Mousavi to have claimed that the Islamic Republic has derailed from the goals of the 1979 Revolution, what mistakes do you think you and others—who were involved in the Islamic Revolution—have committed?

One must always listen to the opposition. A doctor also asks the patient different questions for treating him and tries to find the illness. The most important success for a doctor is to identify the illness so as to be able to prescribe medicine. The first thing that needed to happen was to listen to what the protesters were saying and the security forces should not have had control over the judges. We say that the Guardians Council is to monitor but it should not have tutelage. When the constitution is not properly implemented, it is natural for people to protest. Instead of answering to the protests, they are oppressed. When I held a position, I was one of those who protested and lobbied at the same time.
They [the authorities] emphasise a few articles of the constitution and forget the rest. They only implement those parts of it which is in their own interest and the result is that a few protesters remain standing and the rest are isolated. A great number of former deputies and governors were thrown in jail and many were summoned and countless numbers were also isolated. And a great potion of them are still opposing [the situation]. They suppress the press which is faced with great pressure. The Culture Ministry, which is to defend the press, actually puts pressure on them to such an extent. The Islamic state relies on the vote of the people and any group must try to obtain the people’s votes and if the people do not vote for them, they must not stay in power. But some want to stay in power by any means necessary and I am saying that this practice is a distancing from the [ideals of the] 1979 Revolution. This has caused conflict between the different forces inside the regime and this is against the instructions of Imam [Khomeini] and the people.


You have stated many times that you do not consider Ahmadinejad as the legitimate government, but recognise his government as the one currently in power.

Yes, I recognise his government as it is in power. In any case, the government is in charge of security. When there is an attack on me or my house, I must contact the police which is a part of the government. When I want a passport, I must ask the government. But I do not in any way consider Ahmadinejad as a person whose rise to power has the result of the people’s vote.

“High price” for Iran

Regarding foreign policy, does Ahmadinejad express the interests of the Islamic Republic and is he the legitimate representative of the people, or does he present his own views as the views of a head of state, especially when it comes to his controversial foreign policy?

Agreements, deals and understandings are signed between governments and in the case of Mr Ahmadinejad, he does so as the head of a recognised government. We believe that Ahmadinejad’s comments on the international stage have placed Iran in a passive position. His behaviour has come at a high price for Islamic Republic. It is unfortunate when the head of Mossad admits that Ahmadinejad has served them in such a way that no one has served them before. And in practical terms, we see the sensitivities he has caused in the world and how they have served Israel’s best interest.

source: The Green Voice of Freedom

Tehran Review
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    تهران‌ریویو مجله‌ای اینترنتی، چند رسانه‌ای و غیر انتفاعی است. هدف ما به سادگی، افزایش سطح گفتمان عمومی در مورد ایده‌ها، آرمان‌ها و وقایع جهان امروز است. این مشارکت و نوشته‌های شما مخاطبان است که کار چند رسانه‌ای ما را گسترش داده و به آن غنا و طراوت می‌بخشد. رایگان بودن این مجله اینترنتی به ما اجازه می‌دهد تا در گستره بیشتری اهداف خود را پیگیری کرده و تاثیرگذار باشیم. مهم‌تر از همه اینکه سردبیران و دست‌اندرکاران تهران‌ریویو به دور از حب و بغض‌های رایج و با نگاهی بی‌طرفانه سعی دارند به مسایل روز جهان نگاه کرده و بر روی ایده‌های ارزشمند انگشت بگذارند. تهران ریویو برای ادامه فعالیت و نشر مقالات نیازمند یاری و کمک مالی شماست.