Iran: Mousavi’s Latest Statement, Clinton, Hactivism, US Dollars, Mesbah Yazdi as Faqi? & more

1. Mousavi’s Latest Statement: Mir Hussein Mousavi issued a statement today in response to Guardian Council certifying the election results. Mousavi said the majority of the people including him do not recognize the legitimacy of the current government. He expressed his fears about a grave danger facing the country because people no longer trust the government. According to Mousavi, it is not too late to regain people’s trust and reinstate the rule of the law. Denying the fact that people have lost their trust in the government is not beneficial, he said. He requested an end to the militarization of the society, revising the election laws, honoring the article 27 of the constitution (freedom of assembly), freedom of media, reactivating news websites, and a ban of illegal government intervention in restricting communication and monitoring people’s activities among other things.

2. Khatami Weighs in: “In boldly worded statements posted on their Web sites, Khatami accused Iran’s leadership of a ‘velvet coup against the people and democracy,’ and Mousavi said the government’s crackdown on demonstrators was ‘tantamount to a coup.'”

3. My Friend in Iran on the Election Results: “My theory is that pro-Mousavi and anti-Ahmadinejad analysts are generalizing based on anecdotes from areas where Mousavi was indeed in the lead, including, most prominently, in the city of Tehran (Mousavi was 51% in central and south Tehran, and 62% in northern Tehran, according to official results), to conclude that the same must have been the case everywhere else, and since it didn’t pan out that way, the result must be a fake. Frankly, i find that unconvincing. It seems more a case of Tehranis and the intelligentsia refusing to accept that they’ve been upstaged by the provinces. And if indeed the provinces were won by Mousavi, how come we see nowhere near the intensity of the Tehran protests anywhere else in the country?”

4. Secretary of State: Hilary Clinton on Iran: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton refrained from comment Monday on the reelection of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but pointed to a “credibility” gap for Iran’s leadership. “I’m not going to speculate on, you know, what happens with their internal regime,” the top US diplomat said. “Obviously, they have a huge credibility gap with their own people as to the election process, and I don’t think that’s going to disappear by any finding of a limited review of a relatively small number of ballots,” Clinton added.

5. Basij militia calls for Mousavi to be prosecuted over post-election unrest: Iran’s opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi today became the target of the notorious Basij militia as it called for him to be prosecuted for his role in the greatest political unrest in Iran since the Islamic revolution. In a letter to the country’s chief prosecutor, the Basij accuse Mousavi of involvement in nine offences against the state, including “disturbing the nation’s security”. That charge carries a maximum 10-year prison sentence.

6. ‘Hacktivists’ target Iran’s leadership online: A sharp clampdown by Iranian authorities may have quelled street protests, but the fight goes on in cyberspace. Groups of “hacktivists”- Web hackers demanding Internet freedom – say they are targeting Web pages of Iran’s leadership in response to the regime’s muzzling of blogs, news outlets and other sites. It’s not clear how much the wired warriors have disrupted official Iranian sites. Recent attempts by the Associated Press to access sites for state news organizations, including the Islamic Republic News Agency and Fars, were unsuccessful – with a message saying the links were “broken.”

7. Battle for Iran shifts from the streets to the heart of power: In a move with even greater potential significance, according to several reports Rafsanjani has been lobbying fellow members of the powerful 86-strong Assembly of Experts, which he chairs, to replace Khamenei as the supreme leader with a small committee of senior ayatollahs, of which Khamenei would be a member. If Rafsanjani were successful, the constitutional change would mean a profound shift in the balance of power within Iran’s theocratic regime. “Although Hashemi Rafsanjani is not a popular politician in Iran any more, he is the only hope that Iranians have … for the annulment of the election,” said an Iranian political analyst who asked not be named. “He is the only one who people think is able to stand against the supreme leader.” The membership of the Assembly of Experts, which has the power to appoint the supreme leader, is split between those supporting Rafsanjani and those who have gravitated around the highly influential ultra-hardline cleric Mohammad-Taqi Mesbah Yazdi, who is widely seen as both a supporter of Ahmadinejad and the president’s religious mentor. Yazdi is also believed to have his own ambitions to succeed Khamenei as supreme leader. Like Ahmadinejad, he is fiercely opposed to the push by reformists for more democratic representation in Iran.

8. Professor Hamid Dabashi: U.S. dollars could kill Iran’s protest movement: Obama can help this budding seed of hope for civil liberties even more emphatically by altogether cutting the budget “to promote democracy in Iran,” evidently channeled through the U.S. Agency for International Development. Ken Dilanian of USA Today reports, “the Obama administration is moving forward with plans to fund groups that support Iranian dissidents.” This financial aid is not only a waste of taxpayer money under these severe economic circumstances, but is in fact the surest way to kill that inborn and grassroots movement. It mostly will be abused by expatriate and entirely discredited opposition groups ranging from the monarchist supporters of Reza Pahlavi to the members of the Mojahedin Khalq Organization, and it will in turn strengthen the hand of the regime to denounce the Green Movement as funded by Americans.

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