Mir-Hossein Mousavi

Mir-Hossein Mousavi

Overview
Mir-Hossein Mousavi Khameneh is an Iranian
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 reformist politician, artist and architect who served as the seventy-ninth and last Prime Minister of Iran
Prime Minister of Iran
Prime Minister of Iran was a political post in Iran that had existed during several different periods of time starting with the Qajar era until its most recent revival from 1979 to 1989 following the Iranian Revolution.-Prime Ministers of Qajar era:In the Qajar era, prime ministers were known by...

 from 1981 to 1989. He was a Reformist candidate for the 2009 presidential election
Iranian presidential election, 2009
Iran's tenth presidential election was held on 12 June 2009, with incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad running against three challengers. The next morning the Islamic Republic News Agency, Iran's official news agency, announced that with two-thirds of the votes counted, Ahmadinejad had won the election...

 and eventually the leader of the opposition in the post-election unrest. Mousavi served as the president of the Iranian Academy of Arts
Iranian Academy of the Arts
The Iranian Academy of Arts was established in March 2000. It is one of the four academies of the Islamic Republic of Iran; the other three are: The Iranian Academy of Medical Sciences, The Iranian Academy of Sciences and The Iranian Academy of Persian Language and Literature...

 until 2009, when Conservative authorities removed him.

In the early years of the revolution, Mousavi was the editor-in-chief of the official newspaper of the Islamic Republican Party
Islamic Republican party
The Islamic Republican Party was a political party in Iran, formed in mid-1979 to assist the Iranian Revolution and Ayatollah Khomeini establish theocracy in Iran...

, the Islamic Republic newspaper
Jomhouri-e Eslami
Jomhouri-e Eslami is an official Iranian newspaper, which started its work on May 30, 1979, as the newspaper of Islamic Republic Party. In the beginning it was under the grantee of Islamic Republic Party and its managing director was Ali Khamenei...

, before being elevated to Minister of Foreign Affairs
Minister of Foreign Affairs (Iran)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is an Iranian government ministry. The Minister for Foreign Affairs is the Cabinet member in charge....

 and eventually the post of Prime Minister.
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Encyclopedia
Mir-Hossein Mousavi Khameneh is an Iranian
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 reformist politician, artist and architect who served as the seventy-ninth and last Prime Minister of Iran
Prime Minister of Iran
Prime Minister of Iran was a political post in Iran that had existed during several different periods of time starting with the Qajar era until its most recent revival from 1979 to 1989 following the Iranian Revolution.-Prime Ministers of Qajar era:In the Qajar era, prime ministers were known by...

 from 1981 to 1989. He was a Reformist candidate for the 2009 presidential election
Iranian presidential election, 2009
Iran's tenth presidential election was held on 12 June 2009, with incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad running against three challengers. The next morning the Islamic Republic News Agency, Iran's official news agency, announced that with two-thirds of the votes counted, Ahmadinejad had won the election...

 and eventually the leader of the opposition in the post-election unrest. Mousavi served as the president of the Iranian Academy of Arts
Iranian Academy of the Arts
The Iranian Academy of Arts was established in March 2000. It is one of the four academies of the Islamic Republic of Iran; the other three are: The Iranian Academy of Medical Sciences, The Iranian Academy of Sciences and The Iranian Academy of Persian Language and Literature...

 until 2009, when Conservative authorities removed him.

In the early years of the revolution, Mousavi was the editor-in-chief of the official newspaper of the Islamic Republican Party
Islamic Republican party
The Islamic Republican Party was a political party in Iran, formed in mid-1979 to assist the Iranian Revolution and Ayatollah Khomeini establish theocracy in Iran...

, the Islamic Republic newspaper
Jomhouri-e Eslami
Jomhouri-e Eslami is an official Iranian newspaper, which started its work on May 30, 1979, as the newspaper of Islamic Republic Party. In the beginning it was under the grantee of Islamic Republic Party and its managing director was Ali Khamenei...

, before being elevated to Minister of Foreign Affairs
Minister of Foreign Affairs (Iran)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is an Iranian government ministry. The Minister for Foreign Affairs is the Cabinet member in charge....

 and eventually the post of Prime Minister. He was the last Prime Minister in Iran before the 1989 constitutional changes
Iranian constitutional referendum, 1989
A constitutional referendum was held in Iran on 28 July 1989, alongside presidential elections. Approved by 97.6% of voters, It was the first and so far the only time the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran has been amended. It made several changes to articles 5, 107, 109, 111, and added...

 which removed the post of prime minister, and went into semi-retirement for the next 20 years. He remains a member of the Expediency Discernment Council
Expediency Discernment Council
The Expediency Discernment Council of the System is an administrative assembly appointed by the Supreme Leader and was created upon the revision to the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran on 6 February 1988...

 and the High Council of Cultural Revolution. However, he has not participated in their meetings for years, which is interpreted by political analysts and commentators as a sign of his disapproval.

In 2009 Iranian Presidential election, Mousavi came out of semi-retirement and ran as one of two Reformist candidates against the Administration of incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. However he failed to win the election, and following alleged vote rigging and manipulation, his campaign sparked a long protest that eventually turned into a national movement against the Government and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei
Ali Khamenei
Ayatollah Seyed Ali Hoseyni Khāmene’i is the Supreme Leader of Iran and the figurative head of the Muslim conservative establishment in Iran and Twelver Shi'a marja...

. Despite the violent crackdown, he remains the leader of the opposition but his movements have remained severely restricted. He chose green as his campaign color, a color which has since become pervasive in Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

. He is the Leader of the Green Movement and announced the Green Path of Hope
The Green Path of Hope
The Green Path of Hope is an Iranian association established by Iranian presidential campaign candidate, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, on August 15, 2009, as the organizational body of Green Movement....

 as its social network. In 2010, Time Magazine named Mousavi one of the most influential leaders of the world.

According to Amnesty International, he was still under house arrest by the end of September 2011.

Early life and career


Mir-Hossein Mousavi was born on 2 March 1942 in Khameneh, East Azarbaijan, Iran. He is an ethnic Azeri
Azerbaijani people
The Azerbaijanis are a Turkic-speaking people living mainly in northwestern Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan, as well as in the neighbourhood states, Georgia, Russia and formerly Armenia. Commonly referred to as Azeris or Azerbaijani Turks , they also live in a wider area from the Caucasus to...

, whose family originated from Tabriz
Tabriz
Tabriz is the fourth largest city and one of the historical capitals of Iran and the capital of East Azerbaijan Province. Situated at an altitude of 1,350 meters at the junction of the Quri River and Aji River, it was the second largest city in Iran until the late 1960s, one of its former...

. His father, Mir-Ismail, was a tea merchant from Tabriz
Tabriz
Tabriz is the fourth largest city and one of the historical capitals of Iran and the capital of East Azerbaijan Province. Situated at an altitude of 1,350 meters at the junction of the Quri River and Aji River, it was the second largest city in Iran until the late 1960s, one of its former...

. Mousavi grew up in Khameneh, and moved to Tehran
Tehran
Tehran , sometimes spelled Teheran, is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With an estimated population of 8,429,807; it is also Iran's largest urban area and city, one of the largest cities in Western Asia, and is the world's 19th largest city.In the 20th century, Tehran was subject to...

 following his graduation from high school in 1958. Mousavi is a relative of fellow Khameneh native Ali Khamenei
Ali Khamenei
Ayatollah Seyed Ali Hoseyni Khāmene’i is the Supreme Leader of Iran and the figurative head of the Muslim conservative establishment in Iran and Twelver Shi'a marja...

: Mousavi's grandmother is Khamenei's paternal aunt.

He earned his undergraduate degree in architecture from the National University of Tehran (now Shahid Beheshti University), and in 1969 his master's degree in architecture from the National University of Tehran, focusing primarily on traditional Iranian architecture
Iranian architecture
Iranian architecture or Persian architecture is the architecture of Iran . It has a continuous history from at least 5000 BCE to the present, with characteristic examples distributed over a vast area from Turkey to North India and the borders of China and from the Caucasus to Zanzibar...

. While a student, he was an active member of the leftist Islamic association of students
Anjoman-e-Eslami
Anjoman-e Eslami is an Islamic student association in Iran that has backed Iranian reformers such as former President Mohammad Khatami and sponsored lectures by Abdol Karim Soroush and other prominent reformists.The association was founded in 1941 in the medical college of Tehran university...

. During his college years, Mousavi had a close relationship with the Freedom Movement of Iran
Freedom Movement of Iran
The Freedom Movement of Iran is an Iranian political organization which was founded in 1961 by Mehdi Bazargan, Mahmoud Taleghani, Yadollah Sahabi, Mostafa Chamran, Ali Shariati, Sadegh Ghotbzadeh and some other political or religious figures...

., a religious-nationalist political party founded by Ali Shariati
Ali Shariati
Ali Shariati was an Iranian revolutionary and sociologist, who focused on the sociology of religion. He is held as one of the most influential Iranian intellectuals of the 20th century and has been called the 'ideologue of the Iranian Revolution'.-Biography:Ali....

, whom Mousavi admired for many years. Although the party would not be invited to the post-revolution government, many future political leaders of Iran who were affiliated with the party at the time, among them Mehdi Bazargan
Mehdi Bazargan
Mehdi Bazargan was a prominent Iranian scholar, academic, long-time pro-democracy activist and head of Iran's interim government, making him Iran's first prime minister after the Iranian Revolution of 1979. He was the head of the first engineering department of Tehran University...

, Yadolah Sahabi, Mahmoud Taleghani
Mahmoud Taleghani
Ayatollah Mahmoud Taleghani was an Iranian theologian, humanist, Muslim reformer, democracy advocate and a senior Shi'a cleric of Iran. Taleghani was a contemporary of the Iranian Revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and a leader in his own right of Iran's Shi'a resistance movement...

, and Mostafa Chamran
Mostafa Chamran
Mostafa Chamran Savei was an Iranian scientist who served as first Defence Minister of post-revolutionary Iran and as member of parliament, as well as commander of paramilitary volunteers in Iran–Iraq War. He was killed during the war...

 would become Mousavi's closest allies. Mousavi was among the student activists who regularly attended Ali Shariati's lectures at Hosseiniyeh Ershad of Tehran, where Mousavi also exhibited his artwork under the pseudonym Hossein Rah'jo.

In 1969, Mousavi married Zahra Rahnavard
Zahra Rahnavard
Zahra Rahnavard is an Iranian artist and politician.-Early life:Rahnavard was born in Borujerd, Iran. Her father Haj-Fathali was a Fundamentalist Sh'ia and anti-Communist. After hearing of a gathering of Sh'ia clerics in Iran, Haj-Fathali emigrated to Khomein, Markazi Province where Zahra was born...

, a fellow university student who specialized in sculpture, and was among the well-known students of Ali Shariati. Rahnavard later became the Chancellor
Chancellor
Chancellor is the title of various official positions in the governments of many nations. The original chancellors were the Cancellarii of Roman courts of justice—ushers who sat at the cancelli or lattice work screens of a basilica or law court, which separated the judge and counsel from the...

 of Alzahra University
Alzahra University
Alzahra University is a female-only state-run university in Vanak, Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran.Founded in 1964 as a private institution under title of The Higher Educational Institute For Girls , it was renamed Farah Pahlavi University after empress Farah Pahlavi, the wife of Muhammad Reza Pahlavi...

 as well as political adviser to Iran's former President Mohammad Khatami
Mohammad Khatami
Sayyid Mohammad Khātamī is an Iranian scholar, philosopher, Shiite theologian and Reformist politician. He served as the fifth President of Iran from August 2, 1997 to August 3, 2005. He also served as Iran's Minister of Culture in both the 1980s and 1990s...

. The couple have three daughters and both of them can speak Azari
Azerbaijani language
Azerbaijani or Azeri or Torki is a language belonging to the Turkic language family, spoken in southwestern Asia by the Azerbaijani people, primarily in Azerbaijan and northwestern Iran...

, Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

, English, and Arabic.

Iranian Revolution


In 1976, Mousavi participated in the establishment of the Jonbesh-e Mosalmanan-e Mobarez (Movement of Militant Muslims) along with Habibollah Peyman
Habibollah Peyman
Dr. Habibollah Peyman is an Iranian politician. He is the founder and the leader of an Islamist Socialist political party, named Jonbesh Moslamanan Mobarez, which is banned by the religious government of Iran. He is also one of the leaders of the influential Iranian opposition political alliance,...

 and others, a group aimed at overthrowing the Shah.

Mousavi and his wife had an active role in the success of the Iranian revolution
Iranian Revolution
The Iranian Revolution refers to events involving the overthrow of Iran's monarchy under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and its replacement with an Islamic republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the...

. He was imprisoned for organizing street protests against the monarchy
Constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

 of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
Mohammad Rezā Shāh Pahlavi, Shah of Iran, Shah of Persia , ruled Iran from 16 September 1941 until his overthrow by the Iranian Revolution on 11 February 1979...

. As the Iranian revolution
Iranian Revolution
The Iranian Revolution refers to events involving the overthrow of Iran's monarchy under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and its replacement with an Islamic republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the...

 neared, Mousavi, whose earliest political hero was Che Guevara
Che Guevara
Ernesto "Che" Guevara , commonly known as el Che or simply Che, was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, intellectual, guerrilla leader, diplomat and military theorist...

, became more actively involved in the struggle. Soon he joined ranks with Mohammad Beheshti, who was a close associate of the revolution leader, Ruholah Khomeini and abandoned his previous connections with Ali Shariati.

Following the collapse of the Shah's regime in 1979, Mousavi helped Mohammad Beheshti found the Islamic Republican Party in 1979, in order to assist the establishment of the Islamic Republic
Islamic republic
Islamic republic is the name given to several states in the Muslim world including the Islamic Republics of Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, and Mauritania. Pakistan adopted the title under the constitution of 1956. Mauritania adopted it on 28 November 1958. Iran adopted it after the 1979 Iranian...

 in Iran and hasten the overthrow of Iran's monarchy. He became the political secretary of the party, and chief editor of Jomhouri-e Eslami
Jomhouri-e Eslami
Jomhouri-e Eslami is an official Iranian newspaper, which started its work on May 30, 1979, as the newspaper of Islamic Republic Party. In the beginning it was under the grantee of Islamic Republic Party and its managing director was Ali Khamenei...

, the party's official newspaper. For this, he is widely Viewed as "The Architect" of the Islamic Republic both in Iran and abroad.

In mid-1979, he was appointed by Khomeini to the Iranian Council of Islamic revolution. As the chief editor of Jomhouri-e Eslami, he was a loud critic and opponent of Abolhassan Banisadr
Abolhassan Banisadr
Abulhassan Banisadr is an Iranian politician, economist and human rights activist who served as the first President of Iran from 4 February 1980 after the 1979 Iranian Revolution and the abolition of the monarchy until his impeachment on 21 June 1981 by the Parliament of Iran...

, the first president of the Islamic Republic, until the latter's 1981 flight to France, following a successful impeachment by parliament. During Banisadr's presidency, the prime minister Mohammad Ali Rajai
Mohammad Ali Rajai
Mohammad Ali Rajai was the second elected President of Iran from 2 to 30 August 1981, after serving as Prime Minister under Abolhassan Banisadr. He was also Minister of Foreign Affairs from 11 March 1981 to 15 August 1981, while he was Prime Minister...

 nominated Mousavi as his foreign minister, however Banisadr opposed the nomination and Mousavi was not appointed. On 15 August 1981, as part of the restructuring of the government in Rajai's cabinet, Mousavi was appointed foreign minister
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Iran)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is an Iranian government ministry. The Minister for Foreign Affairs is the Cabinet member in charge....

. He held the post until 15 December 1981, when he received the higher appointment of prime minister.

Prime ministership



In August 1981, President Mohammad-Ali Rajai and Prime Minister Mohammad-Javad Bahonar were assassinated in an explosion. Ali Khamenei
Ali Khamenei
Ayatollah Seyed Ali Hoseyni Khāmene’i is the Supreme Leader of Iran and the figurative head of the Muslim conservative establishment in Iran and Twelver Shi'a marja...

 was then elected as the third president of Iran
President of Iran
The President of Iran is the highest popularly elected official in, and the head of government of the Islamic Republic of Iran; although subordinate to the Supreme Leader of Iran, who functions as the country's head of state...

 in the Iranian presidential election, October 1981
Iranian presidential election, October 1981
The Iranian presidential election of October 1981, took place on October 2, 1981, after the assassination of Mohammad Ali Rajai, the previous President of Iran, during the interim prime ministership of Mohammad Reza Mahdavi-Kani...

. He put forward Ali Akbar Velayati
Ali Akbar Velayati
Ali Akbar Velayati is an Iranian politician, academic and diplomat. He was the Foreign Minister of Iran from 1981 to 1997...

 as his prime minister, but the Iranian parliament did not give him the vote of confidence, and he was defeated with a vote of 80 to 74. Although Khamenei had strong reservations with Mousavi, as a compromise with the left-leaning parliament, agreed to offer Mousavi for the post of premier. On 28 October, with the approval of Khomeini, the parliament approved Mousavi with a vote of 115 to 39 to become the 79th prime minister of Iran
Prime Minister of Iran
Prime Minister of Iran was a political post in Iran that had existed during several different periods of time starting with the Qajar era until its most recent revival from 1979 to 1989 following the Iranian Revolution.-Prime Ministers of Qajar era:In the Qajar era, prime ministers were known by...

 on 31 October 1981.

The conflicts between Mousavi, who belonged to the left wing of the Islamic Republic, with Ali Khamenei (the current leader of Iran
Supreme Leader of Iran
The Supreme Leader of Iran is the highest ranking political and religious authority in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The post was established by the constitution in accordance with the concept of Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists...

), who belonged to the right wing of the Islamic Republic, continued during their eight years of shared governance. However, an escalation in conflicts between the two led to Mousavi's resignation shortly after the end of the Iran-Iraq war
Iran-Iraq War
The Iran–Iraq War was an armed conflict between the armed forces of Iraq and Iran, lasting from September 1980 to August 1988, making it the longest conventional war of the twentieth century...

 in 1988. As the prime minister, Mousavi had the full backing of Ruhollah Khomeini
Ruhollah Khomeini
Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini was an Iranian religious leader and politician, and leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution which saw the overthrow of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran...

, the supreme leader, and he refused to accept his resignation. Mousavi is remembered as leading a government that did not tolerate dissent.

Mousavi strongly condemned Ali Akbar Velayati's attempts to restore full diplomatic relations with the British, arguing that "all British diplomats are spies."

Mousavi's premiership coincided with the Iran-Iraq war
Iran-Iraq War
The Iran–Iraq War was an armed conflict between the armed forces of Iraq and Iran, lasting from September 1980 to August 1988, making it the longest conventional war of the twentieth century...

. He guided the country through its war with Iraq, and earned popular acclaim for his stewardship of the national economy. He pioneered a bond
Voucher
A voucher is a bond which is worth a certain monetary value and which may be spent only for specific reasons or on specific goods. Examples include housing, travel, and food vouchers...

-based economy, which many believe was responsible for a fair distribution of goods among the people throughout the Iran-Iraq war. Many analysts praise his handling of Iran's economy
Economy of Iran
The economy of Iran is the eighteenth largest in the world by purchasing power parity and according to Iranian officials' claims is going to become the 12th largest by 2015. The economy of Iran is a mixed and transition economy with a large public sector and some 50% of the economy centrally planned...

, his civil and economic leadership during the Iran-Iraq War
Iran-Iraq War
The Iran–Iraq War was an armed conflict between the armed forces of Iraq and Iran, lasting from September 1980 to August 1988, making it the longest conventional war of the twentieth century...

, and his efforts to end Iran's international isolation. Others remember him as being "unpredictable" and less able to navigate Iran's labyrinthine political system than were his rivals. In 1986, Mousavi played a great role in the Iran-Contra affair
Iran-Contra Affair
The Iran–Contra affair , also referred to as Irangate, Contragate or Iran-Contra-Gate, was a political scandal in the United States that came to light in November 1986. During the Reagan administration, senior Reagan administration officials and President Reagan secretly facilitated the sale of...

 and secret negotiations and dealing with USA on helping them free the American hostages in Lebanon, in return for sale of the American weapons and spare-parts that Iran's army badly needed for Iran-Iraq War
Iran-Iraq War
The Iran–Iraq War was an armed conflict between the armed forces of Iraq and Iran, lasting from September 1980 to August 1988, making it the longest conventional war of the twentieth century...

.

Shortly after the end of Iran-Iraq war
Iran-Iraq War
The Iran–Iraq War was an armed conflict between the armed forces of Iraq and Iran, lasting from September 1980 to August 1988, making it the longest conventional war of the twentieth century...

 on 20 August 1988, Ruhollah Khomeini died, and Ali Khamenei was elected as the new Supreme Leader
Supreme leader
A supreme leader typically refers to a figure in the highest leadership position of an entity, group, organization, or state, who exercises strong or all-powerful authority over it. In religion, the supreme leader or supreme leaders is God or Gods...

 by the Assembly of Experts
Assembly of Experts
The Assembly of Experts of Iran , also translated as Council of Experts, is a deliberative body of 86 Mujtahids that is charged with electing and removing the Supreme Leader of Iran and supervising his activities.Members of the assembly are elected from a government-screened list of candidates by...

. Following his death, Mousavi and his fellow left-wingers lost their main source of support within the establishment. During the parliament hearing on post-war reconstruction plans, Mousavi had heated arguments with Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the speaker of Iran's parliament at the time, over Rafsanjani's suggestion that Iran accept the offer of western countries to help with post-war reconstruction.

On 28 July 1989, the constitution
Constitution of Islamic Republic of Iran
The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran was adopted by referendum on October 24, 1979, and went into force on December 3 of that year, replacing the Constitution of 1906. It was amended on July 28, 1989. The constitution has been called a "hybrid" of "authoritarian, theocratic and...

 was amended and approved by Iranian voters in a national referendum
Iranian constitutional referendum, 1989
A constitutional referendum was held in Iran on 28 July 1989, alongside presidential elections. Approved by 97.6% of voters, It was the first and so far the only time the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran has been amended. It made several changes to articles 5, 107, 109, 111, and added...

 with a 97% yes vote. At this time, Mehdi Karrubi had been elected as the new speaker of the parliament, to whom the amended constitution was declared. One of these amendments abolished the position of Prime Minister. Rafsanjani was elected
Iranian presidential election, 1989
The Iranian presidential election of 1989 took place on July 28, 1989, after the death of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and the selection of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the previous President of Iran, as the new Supreme Leader of Iran...

 as the fourth president of Iran on 28 July 1989 and became the president on 3 August 1989. Mousavi's premiership, ended on the same date. Mousavi was not invited to be a participant in the new government headed by Rafsanjani, and disappeared from the public sphere.

Retirement from politics


When Khomeini, the founder of Islamic Republic died in 1989, Mousavi was no longer welcome in the regime. It was the start of 20 years of an almost total absence from public life for Mousavi, though he did sit on two high-level regime councils. He was almost totally absent from public life, which many consider as a sign of his disapproval of the established regime.

In 1989, Ali Khamenei named him as a member of the Expediency Discernment Council
Expediency Discernment Council
The Expediency Discernment Council of the System is an administrative assembly appointed by the Supreme Leader and was created upon the revision to the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran on 6 February 1988...

, his membership of which still continues. Mousavi has been a member of the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution since 1996. He also was the political adviser of president Hashemi Rafsanjani (1989–1997) and senior adviser of president Khatami (1997–2005).

During these years, he partly retired from politics and returned to architecture and teaching, becoming President of the Iranian Academy of Arts, one of the four academies of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The main building of the Academy is designed by him. At the same time he developeed his passion for painting and writing poetry. He was a professor at Shahid Beheshti University
Shahid Beheshti University
Shahid Beheshti University was formerly The National University of Iran . The university's name was changed during the cultural revolution in Iranian universities, 1980-82. It is located in Evin District and extends into Velenjak District in northwestern Tehran, Iran, on a main campus of...

 and later joined the Academic staff of Tarbiat Modares University
Tarbiat Modares University
Tarbiat Modares University is located in Tehran, Iran, and was founded in 1982. Tarbiat Modares University is the only exclusively graduate university in Iran, and is a highly reputed university, which was actually funded to train university professors.-Faculties and academics:TMU includes seven...

. His main field is architecture, and buildings such as Kanoon-e Tohid in Tehran, Beynolharamein Bazaar in Shiraz
Shiraz
Shiraz may refer to:* Shiraz, Iran, a city in Iran* Shiraz County, an administrative subdivision of Iran* Vosketap, Armenia, formerly called ShirazPeople:* Hovhannes Shiraz, Armenian poet* Ara Shiraz, Armenian sculptor...

, Haft-e-tir Martyr's tomb in Tehran's Behesht-e Zahra
Behesht-e Zahra
Behesht-e Zahra , is the largest cemetery in Iran. Located in the southern part of metropolitan Tehran, it is connected to the city by a metro line. The cemetery has been one of the inspirations for the popular webcomic, Zahra's Paradise.-History:...

, and Salman mosque in the presidential residence are examples of his work. In recent years he has been more active in painting and has participated in many exhibitions.

Pre-2009


Mousavi refused to run for President
President of Iran
The President of Iran is the highest popularly elected official in, and the head of government of the Islamic Republic of Iran; although subordinate to the Supreme Leader of Iran, who functions as the country's head of state...

 in the 1997 elections, which caused the reformists to turn to his former Cabinet Minister, then a little-known cleric, Mohammad Khatami, who was elected by a landslide. During Khatami's administration, Mousavi served as the Senior Adviser to the President.

Mousavi was considered the leading candidate from the reformist alliance to run in the Iranian presidential election, 2005
Iranian presidential election, 2005
Iran's ninth presidential election took place in two rounds, the first on June 17, 2005, the run-off on June 24. Mohammad Khatami, the previous President of Iran, stepped down on August 2, 2005, after serving his maximum two consecutive four-year terms according to the Islamic Republic's constitution...

. However, on 12 October 2004 he officially declined the proposal after a meeting with President Mohammad Khatami and the two other top members of one of Iran's main Reformist parties, the Association of Combatant Clerics, Mehdi Karroubi
Mehdi Karroubi
Mehdi Karroubi is an influential Iranian reformist politician, democracy activist, mojtahed, and chairman of the National Trust Party. He was Chairman of the parliament from 1989 to 1992 and 2000 to 2004, and a presidential candidate in the 2005 and 2009 presidential elections.He is a founding...

 and Mohammad Mousavi-Khoiniha.

2009 Presidential Candidacy


After 20 years of political silence, on 9 March 2009, Mousavi announced his intention to run in the 2009 Iranian presidential election
Iranian presidential election, 2009
Iran's tenth presidential election was held on 12 June 2009, with incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad running against three challengers. The next morning the Islamic Republic News Agency, Iran's official news agency, announced that with two-thirds of the votes counted, Ahmadinejad had won the election...

. He stated that his main goals were: to institutionalize social justice, equality and fairness, freedom of expression, to root out corruption and to speed up Iran's stagnant process of privatization and thus move Iran away from what he calls "an alms-based economy". Mousavi criticized the current conservative President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for his alleged economic mismanagement, asking, when Iran "was making profits from the high prices of oil, did he (Ahmadinejad) envisage a situation when the prices would fall?" On 16 March 2009, the former Iranian President Khatami withdrew from the election in support of Mir-Hossein Mousavi.

Platform


Mousavi ran as an independent Principled Reformist candidate. Although he is one of the original founders of the Iranian reformist camp, he shares many principles of the conservatives. Many reformist parties, among them reformist Islamic Iranian Participation Front, whose main candidate was Khatami, have supported his candidacy after the latter withdrew from the race. Many supporters of the reformist movement have however objected to Mousavi's candidacy on the grounds that he is not committed to the principles of the reformist parties. Although Mousavi stated that he was not running as a reformist, he indicated that he welcomed the support of different parties, both reformist and conservative. He started his campaign from the center of Iranian politics, however over time he shifted more towards the left by declaring his support for reforms. Although some active members of the conservative camp, such as Emad Afroogh
Emad Afroogh
Emad Afroogh is an Iranian politician and sociologist.He studied at Shiraz University and Tarbiat Modares University. He is currently a member of Iranian parliament.-Positions:...

, as well as the conservative newspaper Islamic Republic newspaper
Jomhouri-e Eslami
Jomhouri-e Eslami is an official Iranian newspaper, which started its work on May 30, 1979, as the newspaper of Islamic Republic Party. In the beginning it was under the grantee of Islamic Republic Party and its managing director was Ali Khamenei...

, supported Mousavi's candidacy, he did not receive the official backing of any major conservative party. His candidacy made it harder for the conservatives to support Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and large conservative parties, such as the Combatant Clergy Association, did not back the current President for a second term of office.

Domestic policies



Mousavi has on numerous occasions indicated his wish to change the constitution in order to remove the existing ban on the private ownership of television stations (currently all Iranian television stations are state-owned), as well as transfer the control of the law-enforcement forces to the President (so that they represent the people, since the people directly elect the President through popular vote) from the Supreme Leader. He has said that "the issue of non-compliance with the Iranian rules and regulations is the biggest problem that the country is currently faced with" and that he wishes to put in place ways to enforce the laws further, and that it is also important to bring an end to keeping people in the dark about government matters .Among his policies are creation of a free environment for the flow of information and corrections to the national budget. He wants to promote the creation of private, non-governmental TV networks and stop the operation of the "Moral Police".
He has spoken about his opposition to massive changes in ministries which he claims is what Ahmadinejad has done.

The BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 reported that Mousavi "called for greater personal freedoms in Iran and criticized the ban on private television channels", but "refused to back down from the country's disputed nuclear programme, saying it is "for peaceful purposes". Regarding the Iranian nuclear program, his plan includes a reduction of the cost by opposing radical approaches while maintaining what he sees as "Iran's right to civilian nuclear technology". Mousavi has stated that giving up the country's nuclear program would be "irreparable" and that the Iranian people support the nuclear program. "No one in Iran will accept suspension," Mousavi has said, adding that if elected, his policy would be to work to provide "guarantees" that Tehran's nuclear activities would never divert to non-peaceful aims.

On 30 May, Mousavi pledged that if elected he would amend "discriminatory and unjust regulations" against women, and take other measures in favour of women's rights and equality. He has said that he would seek to disband the so-called morality police force and ensure that Iranian women are treated equally, with the ability to attain financial empowerment and to serve at the highest levels of decision making bodies.

Foreign policies


Mousavi has directly addressed activating foreign policy to boost national interest by reducing tensions with other nations. This includes negotiating with U.S. President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 if "his actions are in keeping with his words". He has condemned Ahmadinejad's attitude toward The Holocaust
The Holocaust
The Holocaust , also known as the Shoah , was the genocide of approximately six million European Jews and millions of others during World War II, a programme of systematic state-sponsored murder by Nazi...

 (namely, that it was "a myth
Holocaust denial
Holocaust denial is the act of denying the genocide of Jews in World War II, usually referred to as the Holocaust. The key claims of Holocaust denial are: the German Nazi government had no official policy or intention of exterminating Jews, Nazi authorities did not use extermination camps and gas...

"), and condemned the killing of Jews in the Holocaust.

2009 Iranian Election Protests




The election was held on 12 June 2009. The official results show Ahmadinejad winning by a landslide, though Mousavi and many others believe the results to be fraudulent, suggesting that the Interior Minister, Sadegh Mahsouli
Sadegh Mahsouli
Sadegh Mahsouli is an Iranian politician who was Minister of Interior from 2008 to 2009 and Minister of Welfare and Social Security from 2009 to 2011. He was appointed to this post in 19 November 2009, as part of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's second cabinet after received vote of from Parliament...

, an ally of Ahmadinejad, interfered with the election and distorted the votes to keep Ahmadinejad in power. Mousavi has claimed victory, and called for his supporters to celebrate it, sparking large protests
2009 Iranian election protests
Protests following the 2009 Iranian presidential election against the disputed victory of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and in support of opposition candidates Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi occurred in major cities in Iran and around the world starting June 13, 2009...

 as a result.
Due to protests, from the opposition, the Supreme Leader ordered partial recount of the results. The recount was random counting of 10% of the ballots. In order to create transparency, a 12 member council, showed the recount on television, and concluded that President Ahmadinejad still led Mousavi after the recount. After the recount, the Guardian council certified the election, and concluded no evidence of irregularities, and closed the dossier on the election.

Beginning of the Green Movement



Green Movement refers to a series of actions after the Iranian presidential election, 2009, in which protesters demanded the removal of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from office. Green was originally the symbol of Mir Hossein Mousavi's campaign, but after the election it became a symbol of unity and hope for the protesters.

Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi
Mehdi Karroubi
Mehdi Karroubi is an influential Iranian reformist politician, democracy activist, mojtahed, and chairman of the National Trust Party. He was Chairman of the parliament from 1989 to 1992 and 2000 to 2004, and a presidential candidate in the 2005 and 2009 presidential elections.He is a founding...

, Hossein-Ali Montazeri and Mohammad Khatami are recognized as leaders of the Green Movement. Where is my vote? was a motto used during the protests. Anti-Ahmadinejad protesters chanted the English-language phrase in numbers not seen since the 1979 Iranian Revolution
Iranian Revolution
The Iranian Revolution refers to events involving the overthrow of Iran's monarchy under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and its replacement with an Islamic republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the...

, in an attempt to receive international attention. The Iranian Government had released results claiming a two-thirds majority for Ahmadinejad, but supporters of Mousavi and Karroubi, the moderate opposition leaders, accused the government of rigging the votes.

In the aftermath of the election and ensuing comments by Ahmadinejad and other conservative leaders, calling the opposition "a pile of dust" (خس و خاشاک), protests were widened and massive peaceful protests were held around the country. Although the Iranian government prohibited any gatherings of protesters in Tehran and across the country, significantly slowed down internet access and censored any form of media supporting the opposition, hundreds of thousands of Iranians marched in defiance. Large numbers of protesters were arrested, and several were killed by the police and militia forces Basij
Basij
The Basij is a paramilitary volunteer militia established in 1979 by order of the Islamic Revolution's leader Ayatollah Khomeini. The force consists of young Iranians who have volunteered, often in exchange for official benefits...

. Neda Agha-soltan
Death of Neda Agha-Soltan
Footage of the death of Neda Agha-Soltan drew international attention after she was killed during the 2009 Iranian election protests. Her death was captured on video by bystanders and broadcast over the Internet and the video became a rallying point for the opposition...

 and Sohrab Aarabi
Sohrab Aarabi
Sohrab Aarabi was an Iranian pro-democracy student whose death became a symbol of protests during 2009 post election unrests in Iran.-Family and background:Sohrab was raised in a middle class Iranian family...

 were among the victims, and alleged cases of rape in prison (Taraneh Mousavi
Taraneh Mousavi
Taraneh Mousavi is said to be a young Iranian woman who reportedly died after being sexually abused while in custody after being arrested for protesting the 2009 election results....

) were also brought to attention.

Since the election, the government has severely restricted the access of foreign and Iranian media to footage and information relating to opposition activities. As a result, scenes of the massive street protests and more frequent student protests have been filmed by participants, and are widely available on Youtube.

Death of Mousavi's nephew


Seyed Ali Mousavi was the nephew of Mousavi. Ali Mousavi died on 27 December 2009 during the 2009 Iranian election protests
2009 Iranian election protests
Protests following the 2009 Iranian presidential election against the disputed victory of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and in support of opposition candidates Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi occurred in major cities in Iran and around the world starting June 13, 2009...

 when he was reportedly shot in either the back or the chest by security forces during demonstrations against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's contested election win.

Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf
Mohsen Makhmalbaf
Mohsen Makhmalbaf is an Iranian film director, writer, editor, and producer. During 2007 he was the president of Asian Film Academy.Makhmalbaf's films have been widely presented in international film festivals in the past ten years. The multi-award-winning director, belongs to the new wave...

, the official spokesman of Mir-Hossein Moussavi's campaign abroad, told BBC in an interview that Iranian secret police had called Seyed Ali Mousavi several times days before he was shot saying: "We will kill you."

After he died, his body was taken to Ebn-e Sina hospital, where protesters demonstrated outside. The protesters were broken up with tear gas by the Iranian security forces. It was later revealed that the government had removed his body and taken it to an undisclosed location in an attempt to crack down on the protests.

The Green Path of Hope


Mousavi and other reformist leaders are now working in peaceful and legal methods to widen the influence of their reforms. They have set up a new coalition, named The Green Path of Hope. Iranian political parties and movements need to be authorized by the Interior Ministry
Ministry of Interior (Iran)
The Ministry of Interior of the Islamic Republic of Iran is in charge of performing, supervising and reporting elections, and policing, among other responsibilities related to the interior....

. Mousavi neither recognizes the current government as legitimate nor is likely to receive permission; so, the movement was named a "path" in order bypass this law.

The Green Path of Hope seeks to continue protests against Ahmadinejad's presidency following lawful and peaceful methods, and the full execution of the constitution, as Mousavi says:
Mousavi is quoted in describing the movement:
According to organization officials, the movement functions encompasses numerous political parties, NGO's and social networks. Mousavi emphasized that existent, autonomous social networks in the community are part of this movement:
The "Green Path" has six main members of the central council, who are connected to reformist parties, NGOs, and social networks. The main body will be ordinary protesters. The strategy is to connect existent pressures and issues in society in a social network, and to therefore lead protests in a lawful manner.

2010–2011 Middle East and North Africa Protests



In the wake of the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions, Green movement leaders in Iran called for demonstrations on 14 February 2011. The government responded by placing leaders of the movement under house arrest and on 14 February Iranian state TV broadcast images of "some 50 conservative MPs marching through parliament's main hall" chanting "Death to Mousavi, death to Karroubi".

According to Amnesty International, he was still under house arrest by the end of September 2011.

Political and academic posts

  • Member of Central Campaign of Islamic Republican Party (1979–1981)
  • Head of Political Office of Islamic Republican Party (1980–1981)
  • Editor-in-Chief of Islamic Republican Newspaper (1981)
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs
    Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Iran)
    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is an Iranian government ministry. The Minister for Foreign Affairs is the Cabinet member in charge....

     (1981)
  • President of Council of Cultural Revolution (1981)
  • Prime Minister of Iran
    Prime Minister of Iran
    Prime Minister of Iran was a political post in Iran that had existed during several different periods of time starting with the Qajar era until its most recent revival from 1979 to 1989 following the Iranian Revolution.-Prime Ministers of Qajar era:In the Qajar era, prime ministers were known by...

     (1981–1989)
  • President of Mostazafen Foundation of Islamic Revolution (1981–1989)
  • President of Economy Council (1982–1989)
  • Political adviser of president Hashemi Rafsanjani (1989–1997)
  • Senior adviser of president Khatami (1997–2005)
  • Member of Expediency Discernment Council
    Expediency Discernment Council
    The Expediency Discernment Council of the System is an administrative assembly appointed by the Supreme Leader and was created upon the revision to the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran on 6 February 1988...

     (1989– )
  • Member of Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution (1996– )
  • President of Iranian Academy of Arts (2000–2009)
  • Leader of Green Movement and The Green Path of Hope
    The Green Path of Hope
    The Green Path of Hope is an Iranian association established by Iranian presidential campaign candidate, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, on August 15, 2009, as the organizational body of Green Movement....

     (2009– )

Quotes

  • There are two ways of confronting the country's problems. One is through a management style based on adventurism, instability, play-acting, exaggerations, wrongdoing, being secretive, self-importance, superficiality and ignoring the law. The second way is based on realism, respect, openness, collective wisdom and avoiding extremism.

  • Ahmadinejad's dictatorial ways have hurt Iran's image across the globe and could be a prelude to dictatorship.

  • I'm warning that I won't surrender to this manipulation." Mousavi lodged an official appeal against the result to the Guardian Council
    Guardian Council
    The Guardian Council of the Constitution , also known as the Guardian Council or Council of Guardians, is an appointed and constitutionally-mandated 12-member council that wields considerable power and influence in the Islamic Republic of Iran....

     on 14 June. He is not optimistic about his appeal, saying that many of the group's members "during the election were not impartial".

  • I'm worried about living in a country which in that reaching is right of people who don't run and running is for people who never will reach.

  • My blood is no different from that of other martyrs.

External links


  • Official site
  • Profile: Mir Hossein Mousavi at BBC News
    BBC News
    BBC News is the department of the British Broadcasting Corporation responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs. The department is the world's largest broadcast news organisation and generates about 120 hours of radio and television output each day, as well as online...

    , 16 June 2009
  • The Political Evolution of Mousavi, Tehran Bureau
    Tehran Bureau
    Tehran Bureau is an online news magazine covering politics, foreign affairs, culture and society in Iran and the Iranian Diaspora. It was founded by Iranian-born journalist Kelly Golnoush Niknejad in February 2008, initially as a blog...

    on PBS Frontline, 16 February 2010

Video
  • Speech of Mir-Hossein Mousavi in Azerbaijani language
    Azerbaijani language
    Azerbaijani or Azeri or Torki is a language belonging to the Turkic language family, spoken in southwestern Asia by the Azerbaijani people, primarily in Azerbaijan and northwestern Iran...

     among the people of Tabriz
    Tabriz
    Tabriz is the fourth largest city and one of the historical capitals of Iran and the capital of East Azerbaijan Province. Situated at an altitude of 1,350 meters at the junction of the Quri River and Aji River, it was the second largest city in Iran until the late 1960s, one of its former...

    .
  • Azerbaijan song in honor of Mir-Hossein Mousavi.





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