Iran: Clerics Denounce Presidential Vote and Mousavi Forms Political Party

by on July 5, 2009 · 4 comments

in Civil Disobedience, Civil Rights, World News

Women were very prominent in the mass street protests that arose after the June 12th presidential election results were challenged.

Things in Iran are still very tense. A stalemate has developed between the government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the reformist opposition movement, led by Mir Hossein Mousavi.  A top editor of a government-aligned newspaper called Mousavi a foreign agent, ratcheting up the rhetoric in the stand-off that has enveloped this country ever since the disputed presidential election on June 12.

However, one of the more positive developments favoring Mousavi is that a pro-reform Iranian clerical group said on July 5 the outcome of last month’s presidential vote was “invalid,” even though Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has upheld the result.  This is a direct challenge to Khamenei’s reign as supreme ruler.

An influential group of Iranian clerics have called the June 12 presidential election "invalid".

This is a significant signal that there is a deepening schism among Shi’ite clerics.  The Assembly of Qom Seminary Scholars and Researchers also called for the release of Iranians arrested in protests after the hardline president was declared winner of the  vote.

Police reported last week that 1,032 people had been detained during the protests in Tehran but most had been freed. Human Rights activists say as many as 2,000 people, including opposition leaders, professors, journalists and students, may be still be held across the country.  Go here for the remainder of the Reuters report.

Mir Hossein Mousavi - British agent or former Prime Minister and current reformist?

Also, in new developments today, Mousavi is forming a new political party aimed at reining in the power of the Islamic Republic’s leadership, a leading reformist newspaper reported. Moussavi told supporters the party will be focused on upholding “the remaining principles of the constitution,” according to Etemad-e Melli, a newspaper aligned with fellow opposition candidate Mehdi Karrubi.

Papers are expected to be filed with Iran’s Interior Ministry to establish the party before hard-line incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is sworn in for a new term, the newspaper reported.  For the remainder of this article. go here.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar PSD July 5, 2009 at 8:21 pm

Frank, Lane, others who have contributed to bring this story to the Rag – thanks. You’ve provided an excellent primer on an issue that should interest and concern all of us, including those like me that haven’t expended the energy that you have to compile an array of stories that give a fairly broad view of the issue.


avatar lane tobias July 6, 2009 at 10:01 pm

is Mousavi really Austin Powers in disguise? That would be kind of cool… and kind of close to the truth.

There;s no doubt that some foreign influence has cast its head, but I can’t imagine getting that many people behind a rebel politician unless hes got their back and they believe in him.

This will continue for a while I think.


avatar Frank Gormlie July 7, 2009 at 8:41 am

Mousavi was a former prime minister, a leftist, who retired from politics for 20 years, and just recently, re-emerged as the most popular reform politician. And he’s not backing down.

Put all that in your conservative pipes and smoke it – you GOP zealots who just months ago were chanting “bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” along with John McCain and who now say they support the Iranians in the street.


avatar Daniel July 8, 2009 at 9:29 am

Last I heard they were accusing him of being a US agent. Now a British agent? Yeah, they’ve got nothing.

Interestingly, the protesting clerics are invoking Shi’ite tradition. According to The Daily Star, “…the authority of the rahbar goes against the traditional system through which Shiite society chooses its leader.” (

Is this really an issue about voter fraud as some claim, or is it something very different? Or it could be both, I suppose.


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