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Iranian Opposition Leader Encourages Followers to Continue Struggle

By Edward Yeranian
19 October 2009

Iranian opposition leader, Mir Hossein Moussavi, is encouraging his supporters to continue their struggle, despite the government's control of the media.

Iran's top opposition leader and erstwhile presidential candidate, Mir Hossein Mousavi, encouraged his supporters to remain steadfast in a message broadcast via the Internet.

Mr. Mousavi remains under a virtual house-arrest and has been prevented from using either government TV or the local press to speak to the Iranian people.

The one-time Iranian prime minister, who claims to have won Iran's disputed June 12th presidential election, has been the victim of a government media blackout, despite sporadic news in the international press about his activities.

Mr. Mousavi told his followers in the video, which appeared on his Facebook website, to continue their "struggle," despite the insurmountable odds, and to use alternative media, such as the internet, to broadcast their message

He says "struggle has become our way of life, and that our movement cannot be stopped. " Making use of the media, he insists, is key to our movement. The incredible thing, he notes, is that we have no media (at our disposal), so we use other tools (such as the internet) to create a vast movement with international outreach."

Mousavi also said his movement would not be defeated by government attempts to asphyxiate it. He said the movement is "a current, made up of the dreams, ideals, and way of life of our people."

He also discussed recent talk of forming a broad coalition of opposition parties, as a solution to the wave of unrest following the disputed June 12th election, which the government claims was won in a landslide by incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad in a landslide.

Mr. Mousavi warned that the only real solution to the current crisis in Iran is for those in power to start listening to the will of the people:

He says that there can be no global solution to the present crisis in Iran until (those in power) realize that there is a crisis and stop pointing to the majority of people as agitators. They must count everyone in the equation of power, he stressed, and allow the people to determine their own destiny.

Reza Moini, of Reporters Without Borders in Paris, says the Iranian media continues to ignore Mr. Mousavi upon order of the government:

He says Mr. Mousavi is still deprived of most means of communication and Internet sites inside Iran are censored, so this was the first time he was able to address supporters directly to spread his message. Reporters Without Borders, he says, insists he be allowed to speak freely with the Iranian media.

Moini also complained the Iranian judiciary "continues to hold over 30 journalists in jail, arbitrarily" despite the recent release of several, including Newsweek correspondent Maziar Bihari and veteran journalist Said Hajjarian. "One blogger," he notes, "has been held without charges for over a year."

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