Saturday, June 20, 2009

Posted for Naj at Neo Resistance

Saturday, June 20, 2009

My translation of Mousavi's latest statement (persian text posted before)

In the name of God, the kind and the merciful

Indeed god demands you to safe keep what people entrust in you, and to rule them with justice. [this a verse of Koran]

Respectable and intelligent people of Iran,

These nights and days, a pivotal moment in our history is taking place. People ask each other: “what should we do?, which way should we go?”. It is my duty to share with you what I believe, and to learn from you, may we never forget our historical task and not give up on the duty we are given by the destiny of times and generations.

30 years ago, in this country a revolution became victorious in the name of Islam, a revolution for freedom, a revolution for reviving the dignity of men, a revolution for truth and justice. In those times, especially when our enlightened Imam [Khomeini] was alive, large amount of lives and matters were invested to legitimize this foundation and many valuable achievements were attained. An unprecedented enlightenment captured our society, and our people reached a new life where they endured the hardest of hardships with a sweet taste. What this people gained was dignity and freedom and a gift of the life of the pure ones [i.e. 12 Imams of Shiites]. I am certain that those who have seen those days will not be satisfied with anything less.

Had we as a people lost certain talents that we were unable to experience that early spirituality? I had come to say that that was not the case. It is not late yet, we are not far from that enlightened space yet. I had come to show that it was possible to live spiritually while living in a modern world. I had come to repeat Imam’s warnings about fundamentalism. I had come to say that evading the law leads to dictatorship; and to remind that paying attention to people’s dignity does not diminish the foundations of the regime, but strengthens it. I had come to say that people wish honesty and integrity from their servants, and that many of our perils have arisen from lies. I had come to say that poverty and backwardness, corruption and injustice were not our destiny. I had come to re-invite to the Islamic revolution, as it had to be, and Islamic republic as it has to be.

In this invitation, I was not charismatic [articulate], but the core message of revolution was so appealing that it surpassed my articulation and excited the young generation who had not seen those days to recreate scenes which we had not seen since the days of revolution[1979] and the sacred defense. The people’s movement chose green as its symbol. I confess that in this, I followed them. And a generation that was accused of being removed from religion, has now reached “God is Great”, “Victory’s of God and victory’s near”, “Ya hossein” in their chants to prove that when this tree fruits, they all resemble. No one taught hem these slogans, they reached them by the teachings of instinct. How unfair are those whose petty advantages make them call this a “velvet revolution” staged by foreigners! [refering to state TV and Khameneni, perhaps!]

But as you know, all of us were faced with deception and cheatings when we claimed to revitalize our nation and realize dreams that root in the hearts of young and old. And that which we had predicted will stem from evading law [dictatorship], realized soon in the worst manifestation.

The large voter turnout in recent election was the result of hard work to create hope and confidence in people, to create a deserving response to those whose broad dissatisfaction with the existing management crisis could have targeted the foundations of the regime. If this good will and trust of the poeple is not addressed via protecting their votes, or if they cannot react in a civil manner to claim their rights, the responsibility of the dangerous routs ahead will be on the shoulders of those who do not tolerate civil protests.

If the large volume of cheating and vote rigging, which has set fire to the hays of people’s anger, is expressed as the evidence of fairness, the republican nature of the state will be killed and in practice, the ideology that Islam and Republicanism are incompatible will be proven.

This outcome will make two groups happy: One, those who since the beginning of revolution stood against Imam and called the Islamic state a dictatorship of the elite who want to take people to heaven by force; and the other, those who in defending the human rights, consider religion and Islam against republicanism. Imam’s fantastic art was to neutralize these dichotomies. I had come to focus on Imam’s approach to neutralize the burgeoning magic of these. Now, by confirming the results of election, by limiting the extent of investigation in a manner that the outcome will not be changed, even though in more than 170 branches the number of cast votes was more than 100% of eligible voters of the riding, the heads of the state have accepted the responsibility of what has happened during the election.

In these conditions, we are asked to follow our complaints via the Guardian council, while this council has proven its bias, not only before and during, but also after the election. The first principle of judgment is to be impartial.

I, continue to strongly believe that the request for annulling the vote and repeating the election is a definite right that has to be considered by impartial and nationally trusted delegation. Not to dismiss the results of this investigation a priori, or to prevent people from demonstration by threatening them to bloodshed. Nor to unleash the Intelligence ministry’s plain clothes forces on people’s lives to disperse crowds by intimidation and inflammation, instead of responding to people’s legitimate questions, and then blaming the bloodshed on others.

As I am looking at the scene, I see it set for advancing a new political agenda that spreads beyond the objective of installing an unwanted government. As a companion who has seen the beauties of your green wave, I will never allow any one’s life endangered because of my actions. At the same time, I remain undeterred on my demand for annulling the election and demanding people’s rights. Despite my limited abilities, I believe that your motivation and creativity can pursue your legitimate demands in new civil manners. Be sure that I will always stand with you. What this brother of yours recommends, especially to the dear youth, in terms of finding new solutions is to not allow liars and cheater steal your flag of defense of Islamic state, and foreigners rip the treasures of the Islamic republic which are your inheritance of the blood of your decent fathers. By trust in God, and hope for the future, and leaning on the strength of social movements, claim your rights in the frameworks of the existing constitution, based on principle of non-violence.

In this, we are not confronting the Basij. Basiji is our brother. In this we are not confronting the revolutionary guard. The guard is the keeper of our revolution. We are not confronting the army, the army is the keeper of our borders. These organs are the keepers of our independence, freedom and our Islamic republic. We are confronting deception and lies, we want to reform them, a reform by return to the pure principles of revolution.

We advise the authorities, to calm down the streets. Based on article 27 of the constitution, not only provide space for peaceful protest, but also encourage such gatherings. The state TV should stop badmouthing and taking sides. Before voices turn into shouting, let them be heard in reasonable debates. Let the press criticize, and write the news as they happen. In one word, create a free space for people to express their agreements and disagreements. Let those who want, say “takbeer” and don’t consider it opposition. It is clear that in this case, there won’t be a need for security forces on the streets, and we won’t have to face pictures and hear news that break the heart of anyone who loves the country and the revolution.

Your brother and companion

Mir Hossein Mousavi


Gene said...

Thanks, Naj! I'm linking to it. Peace!

jexter said...

Powerful words. Thanks for the translation!

Anonymous said...

This makes me lose all hope. There is no list of specific reforms. No broader calls for justice, freedom, or liberty. All Mousavi calls for is a return to a past, the the age of the pure revolution. It is backward looking, not forward looking. A return to a fabled golden era. If this is Iran's leader, there are decades more of tragedy.

nunya said...

Thank you for translating, :)

Paul Steven said...


just linked through to your site from Andrew Sullivan's repost of your Mousavi translation.

Can you take a look at these two conflicting links regarding the Assembly of Experts, and whether or not they have taken a position?

Can you tell which is correct and/or provide guidance?


PENolan said...

I want to add my thanks as well. For me, your work makes the events real and human.

Naj said...

Paul, I am not sure what you mean? Hashemi is trying hard to remove Khamenei, it is in his position of power, if he gets enough votes to kick Khamenei out.

The assembly's vote's not clear yet!

Anonymous said...

The translation is wrong where it is talking about proponents of Islamic state (he is referring to mesbaah and his follower ahmadinejaad). Islamic state is different from Islamic Republic and he is saying that khomeini stood against the idea of islamic state.

thanks, overall a nice translation.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for doing this. There is another translation that tries to be as accurate as possible available here:

David said...

Thank you for translating Mr. Mousavi's speech Naj.

I was just watching CNN a little while ago. They made no mention of this speech. So, I assume they haven't gotten the word about it yet.

It is obvious that Mr. Mousavi does not wish to overthrow the IRI, but merely to return justice to the system. I think for the short term, this is a very wise approach. It has taken many years for the IRI to decline into its current totalitarian and fascist condition. Perhaps there has never really been a time during the existence of the IRI that it has not governed Iran with totalitarianism and fascism. But, regardless of Mr. Mousavi's perceptions of the past governance of the IRI, of which he was once an integral part, it will take years to either reform the system or to evolve it into something else. The alternative to gradual evolution of the system is civil war and violence leading to the complete overthrow of the regime. Well, looking at the complete overthrow of the former regime in Iraq, I would not wish that degree of chaos and death onto Iran. I hope that Khamenei can be forced to step down as Supreme Leader and someone more moderate, or perhaps a council of more moderate leaders, can replace him.

nazi said...

It's come to my realization that what the people are fighting for and what Mr Mousavi is asking for in this letter do not agree. I feel like Mr Mousavi is both opposing and praising the Islamic Republic. I think all Iranians know that these protesters have come to realize that they no longer desire an Islamic Republic, that the "dictator" they are wishing death upon is actually Khamenei, the not-so-dear Supreme Leader. This movement was coming for a long time now, Mousavi was only the spark.

Naj said...

Nazi, (people this is a persian name, pronounced like naazee)

we need a middle ground in this situation, and his offering is the BEST middle ground.

Not everyone who is fighting is AGAINST islamic republic!

The Ads Are Gone But the Rain Is Back

Maybe there's a nice liberal advertiser out there that might be selling the work of Paul Krugman or Rajiv Chandrasekaran. I'd advertise for The Nation. But then I read Rajiv at the Washington Post, I follow Krugman's blog and I follow The Nation on twitter.

The only good thing about the wildly inappropriate google ads was the extreme cognitive dissonance. They were fun to make fun of. But I know for a fact that they drove readers away. I may be a whore, but I do have standards.

Susan's right. I said my goal for this year was to publish. I've been distracted from that goal.

Today my friend Z got some very good news relatively speaking. I do not feel so fragile and peevish today. I feel rather hopeful today.

The clouds are back and it's very rainy and cold here. So I'll either read and nap or sit here calmly working on those first three chapters. I'll publish the novel here again. But I won't stop looking for a place to really publish it. I think my poetry is a bit raw and hard. I have written quite a few poems lately. The short stories languish unfinished. I think they hold the best possibility for publication in a magazine or literary journal.

My third husband was one hell of a short story writer and I think all the stories he published were in quarterlies or literary journals at one university or another. Some of my stories are regional. I should start there. There was a time I swore I'd start at the top and work my way backwards, but now I see the effort it takes to put myself out there. I think I'll try to start small and work my way up. I know there's a flaw in my thinking, but I'll keep trying to reach the goal of publication this year. Time seems to be standing still and going at a horrifying gallop.