Mousavi adviser calls on non-aligned movement to highlight plight of political prisoners in Iran

Ardeshir Amir-Arjomand

Ahead of Tehran summit

The release of Green Movement leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi is the only way out of the country’s current crisis, said the spokesperson for the Coordination Council of the Green Path of Hope.

In an interview with opposition site Kaleme, Ardeshir Amir-Arjomandsaid that the release of the opposition leaders was the most “honourable” solution to the political and economic quagmire Iran was tangled in.

“Without national reconciliation, there will be no way out of the current international and domestic deadlock,” Amir-Arjomand warned, adding that schisms had become “plainly evident” within the ruling elite and throughout the ranks of the Revolutionary Guards.

“The hardliners have shut their eyes and ears and think that by resorting to deceit and the blame game they can somehow find a way out.”

Amir-Arjomand, who acts as the spokesperson for the Coordination Council of the Green Path of Hope, the Green Movement’s highest decision-making body, described Iran’s alliance with Syrian dictator Bashar Assad as a “grave strategic mistake,” which had harmed both Iran’s national interests and the regional struggle against Israeli aggression.

The former legal advisor to Mir Hossein Mousavi called on countries participating in the forthcoming summit meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Tehran to highlight the plight of political prisoners in Iran and to send low-level delegations to the conference in protest to the ongoing human rights violations in the country.

The 16th summit of the NAM member states will be held between 26-31 August, during which Iran will assume the rotating presidency for the next three years. 

The organisation is made up of close to 120 developing countries and aims to represent the political, economic and cultural interests of the developing world.

Amir-Arjomand described recent remarks by Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Eje’i about the condition of Karroubi and Mousavi as “shameful.”

“Mr Eje’i is the country’s so-called Chief Prosecutor but claims to have no information about anything. He has no say in the important issues. There’s no doubt that higher-ranking [regime] officials are behind the decisions made regarding the [Green] Movement’s leaders and not the judiciary and Mr Eje’i.”

He went on to add, “On the one hand, they say that no one has the right to negotiate the release of Ms Ranhavard and Mr Karroubi and Mousavi … and on the on the other hand he [Eje’i] claims they are in their own homes and not in prison … They’ve made a prison out of the home of Ms Rahnavard and Mr Mousavi. Mr Karroubi is in solitary confinement.”

“The authorities are in fact afraid of the people,” Amir-Arjomand continued. “Rahnavard, Karroubi and Mousavi mirror the demands of a large segment of the Iranian people.”

2009 presidential candidates Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi spearheaded the Green Movement until mid-February 2011 when they were placed under house arrest after they had called for protests in solidarity with the Arab Spring. The demonstrations were marred by the security forces’ violent crackdowns which left at least two dead.

Commenting on next year’s presidential election, Amir-Arjomand told Kaleme that it was still too early to reach a final decision about the 2013 race. “The people must be convinced that they have a right to choose and that their votes will be safeguarded. How can people be convinced when candidates from the previous elections as well as political activists are still in prison and there’s no freedom for dialogue or assembly.”

“Until the Revolutionary Guard and Jannati [Chairman of the Guardians Council] are the ones who decide the fate of elections, nothing will change,” he argued.

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