Please people, Mousavi is NOT Ahmadinejad-minor…

I’m tired of this meme that Mousavi and Ahmadinejad would really be the same regarding US interest. It’s never backed up by actual strategy that Mousavi has expressed during his campaign or his career, only by the fact that he was one of the revolution’s founders.

I call BS on this. While some of his rhetoric is similar to the things that Ahmadinejad says regarding the nuclear issue, there are nuances one must look for in the individual himself, and how he presents these issues that the US is most interested in, particularly on the nuclear issue.

Mousavi, like all people in Iran, would be unlikely to just shrug off nuclear technology. When talking heads here in DC try to use a complete halt to nuclear technology as the starting point for talks with Iran they are only kidding themselves.

On this issue all the things that I have seen Mousavi say, in Farsi and English, are always very calm and collected. He expressed often that he had no plan to turn the country away from its “legitimate rights” on the NPT, but when talking about foreign policy he chastises “adventurist” and “irresponsible” behavior of instigating the international community.

To give a little background when he was prime minister and he scuffled with then-President Khamenei, the letter he wrote to him revealed that even back then Mousavi believed in a realist foreign policy. Check out this Patrick Tyler article from a Wash Post article from 11/1988 reporting on these letters where Mousavi complains to President Khamenei of activism behind his back:

In one of the most revealing sections, Mousavi complained that “outside-the-borders” operations are being conducted “in the name of the government” with serious negative effects on Iran’s image.

“You know better how disastrous these have been to the country,” he purportedly wrote to Khamenei. “I get to know about a hijacked plane after it happens,” in an apparent reference to last spring’s hijacking of a Kuwait Airways jumbo jet, which landed at Iran’s Mashad Airport.

At the time, Middle Eastern sources, including Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat, suggested that Iran had assisted and was directing the hijackers, and passengers aboard the plane alleged that weapons were loaded onto the aircraft during its stop at Mashad.

“When a machine gun goes off in the streets of Beirut and there is news of it everywhere, then I hear about it,” the letter said, not explaining the reference. Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces are deployed in Lebanon and are reportedly training militiamen of Hezbollah (Party of God), which is believed to be holding western hostages.

In a more identifiable reference, the letter mentions allegations by Saudi Arabia in July 1987 that Iranian pilgrims were smuggling arms into the Moslem holy cities of Mecca and Medina. Saudi Arabia’s King Fahd severed relations with Iran earlier this year in the wake of the discovery and rioting by Iranian pilgrims that led to more than 400 deaths when Saudi security forces clashed with the rioters.

“After explosives are found in the luggage of our pilgrims, I get to know about it,” the purported letter says. “Unfortunately, with all its harmful effects, such operations are being continued every hour and minute in the name of the government.”

Additionally, he was not in the wilderness as much as talking-heads like to claim. In fact, he was an official adviser to president Khatami, the president who tried to tread a path towards US-Iran détente back in the late 90’s before it was derailed by hardliners in Iran and hardliners in Israel and its lobby in the US (see Trita Parsi, Trecherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States, 2008).

What he had signified over and over again during this campaign was a willingness to lay the groundwork for détente, and even beyond. He knows that to do this he would have to give the West some concessions, but in tactful campaign-speak, where you not only have to appease a citizenry, but also a supreme leader, he expressed his willingness in muted tones.

Ahmadinejad on the other hand sticks his middle finger high at any concerned parties. His rhetoric inflames western resolve and creates greater fear. While he makes speeches to the west about ‘mutual respect’ and a willingness to engage, he also makes speeches to basijis berating the US and showing his disbelief in US seriousness to engage with mutual respect. He fires missiles to provoke Israeli reaction, and denies the Holocaust.

He puts the world on edge while trying to claim that Iran has no interest in a nuclear weapon. These things are antithetical, yet he pulls it off.

Of course the supreme leader has the final say on foreign policy. And in fact, when asked Mousavi typically diverted this issue to the leader’s Supreme National Security Council, of which the president is the chairmen of.

But the president is the face of foreign policy. He is the actor out there that we read in the press every day, projecting the Islamic Republic government, and its intentions, to the world.

Yes, most elites in Iran support the regime. Mousavi lauds velayat-e faqih consistently, and always has. He sat at the right hand of Khomeini many times, and was actually rescued from opposition forces by Khomeini when he was the prime minister. The difference though now is where he wants to take the Republic.

As a classic realist he sees strength and regime prosperity in international and economic stability.

So to say that Mousavi really would have been a continuation of the same policies is an intellectually dishonest meme that really only reveals that pundit’s (or president’s) lack of intimate knowledge of Iran and its detailed and complicated history. (So if you don’t know, please shut the hell up.)

Here is a video that is a little dramatic, but it provides Mousavi’s voice with a translation. Also I’ve posted one with Ahmadi. Then you can make your own decision if Mousavi and Ahmadinejad are really that similar:

And here is one of Ahmadinejad:

You tell me…

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~ by The Common Man on June 19, 2009.

4 Responses to “Please people, Mousavi is NOT Ahmadinejad-minor…”

  1. Actually, to see my response to this post, go to the url http://iranmonitor.blogtownhall.com/2009/06/21/response_to_mousavi_apoligist.thtml

  2. […] a long blog post this author attacked my refutation of the meme that Ahmadinejad and Mousavi really did not present anything different, as far as […]

  3. It’s not that long. I’ve seen longer articles than my post. You don’t offer evidence that Mousavi and Ahmadinejad have different policies. You just give Mousavi’s cheap lip service for democracy, freedom and peace. You admit that Mousavi lauds valayet-e-Faqih and that he has the same rhetoric as Ahmadinejad regarding the nuclear weapons program. In fact, Mousavi was one of the guys who started the nuclear program. Any pro-Khomeini fanatic has the same policies as Ahmadinejad. Mousavi was a well-liked by Khomeini [though not by his successor Khamenei]. Mousavi was a radical supporter of Khomeini. Mousavi is an accomplice in Iran’s terrorist activity in Lebanon including the founding of Hezbollah. Mousavi supported Khomeini’s fatwa that called for the killing of Salman Rushdie [in fact Mousavi called Rushdie an “American mercenary” as the Guardian showed in 1989]. Mousavi was an accomplice in Iran’s execution of 30,000 political prisoners. Many Iranian students, during his presidential campaign, asked him about his role in the execution. He dodged the questions. The evidence is on my side. The claim about Mousavi and Ahmadinejad not presenting anything different is confirmed by the evidence and by the history of both of these monsters of Iran’s regime.

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