It has been a long and disheartening weekend in Iran. While there is weight being added hourly to the idea of a stolen election, there is also a movement underway in the larger urban areas that makes all proud that the human spirit prevails. Hossein Mousavi is fighting for Iran. The world community needs to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with him.
The complexities of the clerics, and the power they wield within Iran makes the fight a long shot. But the continuous and unrelenting reminder that Iran is not a democratic nation, in spite of the ‘free election’, is a condemnation that needs to be made over and over. While the ‘catch-22’ for the U.S. is obvious, in that how do we condemn a government as not being credible at the same time we need to have contacts with that government on crucial matters facing the world, is a huge problem. In spite of that reality, I think it essential to the principles we hold and espouse that we not fail to stand with those in Iran who voted for a new way forward.
Defeated Iranian presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi has joined a huge rally against the result of last week’s election, defying a government ban.
AFP news agency said Mr Mousavi told a crowd of tens of thousands in Tehran he was ready to take part in a new poll.
Mr Mousavi, who was making his first public appearance since Friday’s vote, believes results were rigged in favour of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Mr Ahmadinejad has dismissed the claims and says the vote was fair.
The demonstrators gathered in Tehran’s Revolution Square, chanting pro-Mousavi slogans as riot police stood by.
Mousavi we support you. We will die, but retrieve our votes,” they shouted, many wearing the green of Mousavi’s election campaign.
And Mr Mousavi eventually appeared, addressing the crowd from the roof of his car.
“The vote of the people is more important than Mousavi or any other person,” he told his supporters.
His wife, Zahra Rahnavard, a high-profile supporter of her husband’s campaign, later said they would keep up their protests. “We will stand until the end,” she told the AFP.