|Picture Credit: Iranian.com|
Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Musavi, who was President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's main challenger in last year's elections, has spoken out against Ahmadinejad's policies. Musavi believes that Iranians have the right to know how new UN sanctions will affect them. Therefore, the regime must convey to Iranians the true implications of Security Council Resolutions rather than pretending that these documents do not matter. Iranians should use their commitment to democracy to demonstrate to the international community that their government's illegitimacy should neither deprive them of their independence nor legitimize unjust sanctions. See GPF's blog for analysis on this story.
Analysis on this story available on the GPF blog, Global Policy in Brief.
By Golnaz Esfandiari
In a statement posted on the "Kalame" website, Musavi says UN Resolution 1929 and previous UN resolutions against the Islamic republic could have been prevented through "reason and prudence."
Iranian officials have downplayed the impact of sanctions and President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has said that the UN sanction resolution is worth no more than "a used handkerchief."
In his statement, Musavi condemns those claims and says calling the resolution "a used handkerchief" does not alleviate the difficulties and problems caused by what he describes as "populist and controversial policies."
Musavi says to him it is "clear as day" that the UN resolution will affect the "security and economy" of Iran.
He says that the UN resolution will lead to a number of problems, including a decrease in domestic production, more unemployment, and it will make it harder for Iranians to make ends meet and distance Iran further from developing countries, particularly rival neighboring countries.
"Which reasonable mind wouldn't know that after the adoption of the UN resolution our country is more vulnerable and isolated than before?" Musavi asks.
The former prime minister offers several solutions to "diminish" as much as possible the threat against Iran's "independence, sovereignty, and legitimate rights." The first and most urgent one, he says, is to "sincerely" inform people about the nature of the resolution and sanctions that are being adopted against Iran. He says the Iranian people have the right to know how the sanctions will affect their daily lives.
"If people are to resist a crisis that they are entering against their will, their trust should be gained and the establishment's transparency and truthfulness is the only way that will lead to trust."
He also says that there is a need to increase the number of advisers on the sensitive nuclear issue and also involve the parliament in decisions regarding the country's nuclear policies.
"As far as I know, unlike the time of [the former reformist President Mohammad Khatami] fewer and less experienced individuals are involved" in the nuclear issue.
He also suggests that the Iranian people should have a say on the nuclear issue.
"Why should a few secretly decide about issues that are linked to the destiny of our entire nation? Weren't the people supposed to rule their own destiny? Why do we think people should agree with all the decisions we make?" Musavi asks.
Musavi adds that the Revolutionary Guard, which he says is now involved in the crackdown against the people and also in the economy, should return to its main responsibilities of defending Iran's security.
Musavi says he believes that the aim of the UN resolution is not only to make the Iranian government surrender.
"The experience of the 1953 [coup d'etat] and the sad fate of Iraq and Afghanistan is in front of our eyes. We also have to be aware that some in the government might see their survival in the continuation of the crisis and animosity and even encouraging the enemies to attack Iran."
He says the Green Movement should use all its international power and strength to demonstrate to "foreign powers" that it won't allow them to use the "weakness and lack of legitimacy" of Iran's current government to harm Iran's independence and national interests.
He also says the opposition movement will also not allow the "suppressors" to increase the crackdown on opposition members through the creation of an "emergency state" and by "welcoming military conflict." Musavi also says that the Green Movement will not allow some officials to make secret deals over the Iranian nation's higher interests to push forward their short-term interests.
Musavi is likely to come under increased attack by hard-liners over his latest statement, which is a strong condemnation of the foreign and nuclear policies of the Iranian establishment.