May 13, 2009

Mir-Hossein Mousavi Biography and Campaign News


Name: Mir-Hossein Mousavi (Khameneh)

Birthyear: 1941[1]

Birthplace: Khameneh, East Azerbaijan Province[2]

Education: Master’s degree in architecture and urban development from National University (Martyr Beheshti) in 1969[3]

Biography: Pre-revolution: Founder of the Islamic Society of Students at National University in Tehran, interned in 1973, founding member of the Cultural Association of the Islamic Movement, employment at private companies, assistant professor. Post-revolution: Associate of the late Ayatollah Beheshti, Mohammad Behshti, Islamic Republican Party Central Committee member and the party mouthpiece Jomhouri-ye Eslami’s Editor in Chief,  Member of the Council of the Revolution, Foreign Minister 1981, Prime Minister (1981-1989), Grand Ayatollah Khomeini’s representative to the Foundation of the Oppressed (1981-1989), Grand Ayatollah Khomeini’s appointee to the Constitution Review Panel 1989,  member of the Expediency Council, Co-worker of the political advisor of the president and senior presidential advisor, member of the Supreme Council for Cultural Revolution in Iran since 1996.[4]


Campaign News

June 9-10 News Roundup

  • Mousavi criticizes alleged nepotism in the Ahmadinejad government.
  • Mousavi travels to Hormozgan.
  • Second campaign video of the Mousavi campaign. 
  • Ahmadinejad supporters accuse Mousavi of living in an "aristocratic estate." 
  • Ansar News releases a document which allegedly is proof of transfer of ownership of an expensive estate to Mousavi during the Rafsanjani presidency.
  • An unnamed source at the Ministry of Higher Education questions educational degrees of Zahra Rahnavard, wife of Mousavi.
  • The Mousavi campaign starts a "God is great" manifesto where supporters of Mousavi are called upon to climb to the roofs and shout Allaho-Akbar.
  • Mousavi's latest campaign video
  • Mousavi speaks on Channel 2.
  • Ansar News prints Mousavi's letter in which he as Prime Minister formally introduces Islamic dress code for women and men in the 1980's. 
  • Mousavi arrives in Lorestan
  • (E) Mousavi pledged to investigate the case of the missing $1 billion in oil revenue, stating: “The people have a right to know how the $1 billion that was not returned to the treasury was spent. They have a right to know who has benefited from the rise and fall in tariffs.”
  • (E) Mousavi defended his comments calling Ahmadinejad a dictator, stating: “I say so because he does not abide by the laws, so why should we not call him a dictator?” and adding “We see no justice observed in our society today.”

June 7-8 News Roundup

June 5 News Roundup

June 4 News Roundup

  • (E) On Tuesday, Mousavi stated that Iran’s development depended on freedom of the press and urged the nation to “move towards a state in which the government is obligated to provide citizens with information.”
  • (E) Mousavi’s wife Zahra Rahnavard defended her educational degrees, stating “I urge those who are doubtful about my degrees to gather factual information” and that “character assassination is in contrast with Islamic ethics.”

June 3 News Roundup

June 2 News Roundup

May 29-June 1 News Roundup

  • Khatami, campaigning for Mousavi in Abadan, says "should popular presence become a wave, no one can change their vote," a reference to election rigging
  • Combatant Clergy Association member Hojjat al-Eslam Moghaddam, speaking at Mousavi's Election Coordination Office, warns against spread of irrationality and superstition in society and in a veiled criticism against Ahmadinejad says one can’t administer the country by the means of revelations.
  • Mousavi's election video, parts 1, 2, and 3.
  • Iranian rappers in support of Mousavi's candidacy.
  • According to Rahavar, Faezeh Hashemi Rafsanjani, daughter of the former president, plans to distribute green manteaus for women as an act of support for Mousavi's candidacy.
  • Rahavar accuses members of the Rafsanjani clan of collecting money from corrupt individuals in support of the Mousavi campaign.
  • (E) Mousavi remarked that he is open to negotiations with the UN Security Council but will not give up Iran’s right to develop its nuclear program.
  • 59 former Revolutionary Guards commanders [from the early 1980's] declare their support for Mousavi.
  • Speaking in Eslamshahr, Mousavi criticizes Ahmadinejad's foreign policy: "It is the nation which pays the price of such policies...I know that you people of Eslamshahr are worried about your dignity and [dignity of] the nation...but today our country has the fewest number of friends in the international arena."

May 28 News Roundup

May 27 News Roundup

May 23-26 News Roundup

  • Mousavi explains his economic policy in very general terms such as lesser reliance on the oil revenue, poverty eradication, and the like.
  • Former President Khatami urges the Iranians to vote for Mousavi as "a religious and revolutionary duty and a way of choosing your own destiny."
  • Mousavi to answer questions from Iranians living Europe on Jam-e Jam Television.
  • Mehdi Hashemi Rafsanjani, brother of the former president and the former president's daughter Faezeh Hashemi Rafsanjani increase their activity in support of Mousavi.
    • Ethnic groups’ committee of the Mousavi campaign on the other hand is dissolved. 
  •  (E) In his first televised campaign address, Mousavi criticized the Ahmadinejad administration for its economic and diplomatic failures, noting in particular high inflation rates and an isolationist foreign policy.
  • Parliamentarian Mohammad-Hossein Moghimi, praising Mousavi's managerial skills and economic policies, says the people "did not taste poverty during eight years of war."
  • Mousavi's first televised address (transcript): "I would like to use this opportunity to thank all those people welcoming me [at rallies]...I did not transport them with cars to the rallies, had neither the means to do so nor cash and I also firmly believe that it is not in expectation of opportunities that people welcomed us. It is because they feel responsible towards the revolution and the country..."
    •  Mousavi also thanks the family members of the martyrs from the Iran/Iraq war, criticizes the government for importing rice rather than purchasing rice produced by Iranian farmers, claims while 6000 tons of sugar is piled up around Iran, the government imports sugar, and says economic mismanagement harms both workers and capitalists. The rest of the televised address is used for criticizing economic policies of the Ahmadinejad government, rising inflation, and chaos in the banking sector. 
  • Youth supporters of Mousavi rally at Mellat Park in Tehran
  • Zahra Rahnavard, Mousavi's wife, says the Islamic Republic is badly in need of NGO's and other civil society institutions capable of keeping the president of the republic in check. 
  • (E) In his election speech at Tabriz University, Mousavi called for an opening of society based on political freedom and civil liberties, warned against the dangerous consequences of a police state.

May 22 News Roundup

  • Mousavi promises to establish a foundation for preservation of the languages of Iranian minorities.
  • Amir Moghaddam, former Head of Office of Mohammad-Reza Bahonar, joins Mousavi's campaign
  • (E) Mousavi’s wife, Zahra Rahnavard, has called for women’s social freedoms while campaigning on his behalf, stating that, “The democracy we seek is a religious democracy, which would allow young women of our time to thrive and flourish by providing them with security, freedom, and employment.

May 21 News Roundup  

  • Mir-Hossein Mousavi to dispatch 50,000 representatives at polling stations across Iran. 
  • Mousavi's campaign distributes free green T-shirts.
  • Karrubi promises to appoint female cabinet ministers, says Iran/U.S. relations should not become an election issue, complains about the Shahram Jazayeri embezzlement issue plaguing him.
  • Karrubi talking with AFP: "The golden opportunity for reforms was lost during the Khatami presidency... Repeating mistakes of the past radicalizes the reform movement... Dealing with the economic hardships are my reform priorities...In case I win the election, I'll get together a team of experienced economists to solve the economic problems...attracting foreign investments is another priority...the method of money distribution, withdrawals from the foreign exchange reserve and isolating many good economic experts are deeds of the past which I will not continue...In case I should get reelected I'll totally disband the moral police patrols from the streets...the nuclear issue will not stop. The nuclear portfolio is not within my sphere of competence but is within the sphere of competence of the Supreme Leader."

May 20 News Roundup

  • The Mousavi campaign launches its website.
  • IRNA publishes a document in which Mousavi, as prime minister, announced that insufficiently covered women would be denied drivers licenses and asks why Mousavi today promises to lessen the dress code for women.
  • Emruz warns of a new CD-Rom attacking Mousavi which slated to enter the market in a few days.
  • Religious scholar Hojjat al-Eslam Mohsen Kadivar endorses Mousavi.
  • Mousavi, in Yazd, stresses the necessity of preserving the Islamic character of the Iranian nation.
  • Mousavi cancels his trip to Bandar-Abbas, and delays visit to Qom.
  • In an open letter to the heads of the Legislative and Judiciary along with the Prosecutor General, Mousavi complains about the partisanship of the state-controlled television.
  • Mousavi says he was not Prime Minister during the cultural revolution which led to closure of the universities and the purge of pre-revolutionary academics.
  • Former IRGC commander Mohsen Rashid who heads the Basij office of the Mousavi campaign, answers criticism from the Revolutionary Guards leadership and says one can't only allow the Basij to support a certain candidate and not other candidates. 
  • Mousavi supporters use SMS campaigns to mobilize the voters.
  • Mousavi's wife Zahara Rahnavard speaking at Shahid Beheshti University:
    • “My husband and I are firm believers in integrity and independence of universities, and consider free university students as one of parameters of freedom in society."
    • Answering a question about takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran: "In reality seizure of the Den of Espionage was a chapter in political behavior of our nation. In the beginning of the revolution, the United States had frozen our assets which led our youth to take-over the Den of Espionage. That was the policy of the day back then. In reality, our foreign and international policy will not be an adventurist one, but will engage with the entire world in case our security and our national interests are respected and countries of the region respect our interests... The matter that 'America ca not do a damn thing' has nothing to do with our relations and America should never do a damn thing against us and we will also stop any injustice and wrongdoing. In reality we must arrange our relations and engagements in such a way that our national interests are preserved... Our main and eternal enemy is Israel, but we will negotiate with other governments in case they recognize our interests. Those who chant [the slogan of] 'neither collaboration nor submission', why did you wrote letters to the U.S.? Why do you have overt and covert policies and exchange ambassadors?"  

May 19 News Roundup

May 17-18 News Roundup

  • Mostafa Kavakebian is appointed Mousavi's campaign headquarters chief in Khorasan Razavi province.
  • Fazlollah Salavati is appointed Mousavi's campaign headquarters chief in Isfahan. 
  • Mousavi speaks at a rally in Ghiam-Dasht in Tehran province. 
  • Mousavi speaks in Damavand, stresses the importance of creating employment, criticizes the government's inability to fight inflation, promises to reestablish the Budget and Planning Organization and to fight corruption, and respect civil rights. 
  • Mousavi travels to Zanjan on Tuesday. 
  • Khatami travels to Khouzestan province to campaign for Mousavi. 
  • Spontaneous Student Headquarters for Support to Ahmadinejad condemn what they claim to be "discourteous statements with regard to the clergy" during Mousavi's speech at the Tehran branch of the Azad University. The student headquarters particularly condemns the Mousavi campaign's use of the color green which is the symbol of the household of the prophet Muhammad. 
  • Mousavi releases his Bill of Human and Civil Rights.     
  • Iranian film maker Mohsen Makhmalbaf declares his support for Mousavi

May 16 News Roundup

May 15 News Roundup

  • Soheila Jelodarzadeh, campaigning on behalf of Mousavi in Zahedan, says if Mousavi does not win "they will force all men to have long beards and the women to wear chador." 
  • Mir-Hossein Mousavi speaking in Yasouj (Kohkilouyeh va Boyer-Ahmad province) attacks Ahmadinejad’s economic policies: "Distribution of money and opportunities as alms is hardly an instrument of growth and development. This is exactly the kind of attitude which lead to expenditure of billions of dollars without knowing what has become of such fabulous revenues... If there is any money, the money belongs to the people and it should be used as the people have decided. The people, through their representatives, the parliament, laws and various councils have decided that the decisions should take place in a rational way... Does the government not speak of fighting corruption? The first instance of corruption is neglecting the law. If we want both republicanism and Islam, we must abide by the rules of both..."
  • According to Abrar, major sources of emulation such as Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi and Ayatollah Nouri Hamadani had initially denied Mousavi an audience during his trip to Qom, and it was only through the intercession of Ali Larijani, who himself was elected from Qom, that the ayatollahs granted Mousavi a visit.
  • Ham-Mihan News discloses that the real name of presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi's wife Zahra Rahnavard is  Zohreh Kazemi, and that Mir-Hossein Mousavi in the pre-revolutionary era used the pseudonym Hossein Rahjou. 
  • Abol-Fazl Fateh, embedded journalist to the Mousavi campaign headquarters, publishes his daily notes: "From Shiraz there is news of an enthusiastic welcome for Mousavi... [Abdollah] Ramezanzadeh [Khatami government Spokesman] says representatives of Ahmadinejad and Hojjat al-Eslam Karrubi have renewed their contacts with heads of the Sunni community... The campaign is going well and there is increasing offer of cooperation. After politicians, the time has come to influential people in business... These days the...Karrubi...campaign is attacking Mousavi continuously and sometimes it develops into insult and injustice... E'temad-e Melli is following its partisan coverage... Hambastegi in an unbelievable poll claims Mr. Karrubi comes second and Mousavi comes third...Assaults against Mousavi from several fronts are the sign of their concern about Mousavi's growth. Today I was speaking with an executive from a polling institution in Iran. He knows the truth behind the opinion polls and reported excellent polls for Mr. Mousavi in the polls during registration of candidates... Dr. Arab-Mazar...who is the head of the Planning Committee...has just delivered the Mousavi government's plans for committees, councils and elites of the country...Late at night news came from Qom that the Association of the Scholars and Lecturers at the Theological Seminary of Qom have supported Mousavi with a decisive majority..." 
  • Mousavi demands closure of political prisons

May 14 News Roundup

  • The literati convene in support of Mousavi.
  • Mousavi holds a press conference near the tomb of Sa'adi, praises the role of his wife as a close advisor but stresses that in his government "one would not see the nepotism which has become so common during this [Ahmadinejad's] government."
    • Commenting on clashes between his followers and Ahmadinejad supporters at Masjed-e Ghaba, Mousavi prayed for a calmer campaigning atmosphere in Iran. 
  • Mousavi is greeted with the song Yar-e Dabestani-ye Man [My schoolmate], signature song of the 1999 student uprisings at Bushehr University. 
  • Mousavi campaign activist and reformist theoretician Tajzadeh in Ahwaz: "Ahmadinejad claims he is neither going to establish a campaign headquarters nor will he use any money for campaigning. But such statements are opposed to distribution of billions of tomans worth of economic assistance and food distribution among villagers close to elections and raise a question: Does he intend to deceive the public?" 

May 13 News Roundup

  • As Mir-Hossein Mousavi and his wife appear at San'at Square of Shahrak-e Gharb in Tehran to speak at the Tehran branch of the Azad University, they are greeted by a young crowd singing Yar-e Dabestani-ye Man [My Schoolmate] which has become the signature of 1999 student uprisings in Iran, green bandanas and wrist bands - a reference to Mousavi being a descendant of the Prophet Mohammad. Mousavi's wife Zahra Rahnavard expressed hope that "one day - God willing - the political prisons will be closed."
  • Former President Mohammad Khatami criticizes the management style prevalent in Iran over the past four years and says "defeat of the candidate of the reformists is defeat for the people." Khatami also makes it clear that he considers Mousavi to be the best candidate.
  • Mohsen Rashid, former IRCG commander and former head of the Revolutionary Guard's War Research Institute, says "many war veterans from the Sacred Defense [the Iran/Iraq war] are inclined towards Mr. Mousavi." 


[1] “A’za-ye Showra-ye Ali-ye Enghelab-e Farhangi.” [Members of the Supreme Council for Cultural Revolution] Dabir-khaneh-ye Showra-ye Ali-ye Enghelab-e Farhangi [Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Cultural Revolution] (Tehran) No date available. Available in Persian at: (Accessed May 5, 2009).
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Ibid.
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