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Who Is Mousavi?

June 18, 2009

An unlikely figure to lead a revolt against the theocratic system that grew out of the 1979 revolution that he helped to foment, Mir Hossein Mousavi is now being compared to Ghandi and is being heralded as the man to remake Iran. From a profile at the New York Times,

Although he is deeply religious, Mr. Moussavi (the name is also often rendered in English as Mir Hossein Mousavi) appears to hold relatively liberal social views. His wife is a well-known professor of political science who has campaigned alongside him, often giving speeches and news conferences independently. When they were younger, he was sometimes introduced as “the husband of Zahra Rahnavard.” His wife promised that if he was elected, he would advance women’s rights and appoint “at least two or three women” to the cabinet.
His oldest daughter is a nuclear physicist. The youngest prefers not to wear the Islamic chador, and her parents do not mind, the relative said. “There has never been any compulsion in the family,” the relative added.
In recent years, Mr. Moussavi was deeply dismayed by the excesses of the morality police and by the government’s decisions to shut down newspapers, his relative said.
He decided to run for president earlier this year to save Iran from what he said were Mr. Ahmadinejad’s “destructive” policies. But it was not until a few weeks ago that a popular movement began to build behind him. As the campaign drew to a close, Mr. Moussavi began answering the president’s rhetorical broadsides with some strong language of his own.
“When the president lies, nobody confronts him,” Mr. Moussavi said during his final debate appearance. “I’m a revolutionary and I’m speaking out against the situation he has created. He has filled the country with lies and hypocrisy. I’m not frightened to speak out. Remember that.”

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