Mir Hossein Mousavi issued a statement just a few days ago calling for the implementation of each and every article of the Iranian constitution. According to Mousavi, the full implementation of the law is the only peaceful solution to the existing crisis in Iran, and he commits to this path forward. His English translated statement can be found on his Facebook page. Mousavi’s official site – Kalameh – provides the full text in Persian.
Every single ignored or abandoned article of the constitution should be implemented
Mir Hossein Mousavi stressed that the full implementation of the constitution without any personal interpretations against the clear rulings of the constitution is the only solution for achieving national unity and reinstating the rights of all ethnics groups and said: “Every single ignored or abandoned article of the constitution should be implemented and if there is any issue in this matter that should be put to a referendum.”
Which abandoned articles of the Iranian constitution is Mousavi referring to, and what are the road blocks that he sees in this proposed path forward?
He is most likely challenging the full – unquestioned -authority of the Supreme Leader which even under the existing Iranian constitution is supposed to be monitored by the Khobregan Council; a council that because of the nature of its appointment by the bodies under the control of the Supreme Leader himself is unable to make a sound judgment in questioning the Leader himself.
Mousavi almost never talks about Ayatollah Ali Khamenei directly. The two have a history of a ferocious political fighting in the early days of the Iranian revolution, and it appears that neither of them is ready to move away from that history.
After the death of Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of the revolution, the Iranian constitution was amended and voted on. That was when the Absolute Guardianship of the Islamic Jurisprudence – Velayat e Motlagheye Faghih – was inserted into the Islamic Republic’s constitution. Almost overnight, Khamenei, a Hojatoleslam back then and a man who was a subordinate of Mousavi in government was elevated to a position of an Ayatollah, and became the sole absolute power in the Islamic Republic. Thereafter, Mousavi disappeared from the political arena for twenty years.
Although the principle of Velayat Faghih is enshrined in the constitution, there also exist other chapters and articles that are supposed to monitor its performance. But these articles are never enforced.
Being absent from the political arena in Iran, Mir Hossein Mousavi, “felt a sense of danger” as he called it, and re-entered politics to challenge the existing absolute authority. As opposed to American political culture — which can be much more direct or blunt — the Iranian way of conducting politics is hidden beneath loads of sarcasm, metaphor, poetry, and peculiar Persian literature, which is another reason why it is so difficult for foreign governments to understand the Iranian side of the story.
But now Mousavi is back, and is challenging a twenty year old – undisputed – stronger-than-ever, absolute authority that appears to be more frustrated with its own inability to contain popular resentment.
Mousavi never refers to this personal authority by its name, but his subliminal messages appear more and more transparent as his movement progresses.