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News | Website Says Khamenei's Son Sought Mousavi's Help Out of Crisis

by MUHAMMAD SAHIMI

27 Feb 2012 15:45Comments
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Iran Standard Time (IRST), GMT+3:30

3:45 p.m., 8 Esfand/February 27 Jaras, the pro-Green Movement news site, is reporting that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's son, Mojtaba Khamenei met with Mir Hossein Mousavi and his wife, Dr. Zahra Rahnavard, in an undisclosed location where the couple have been under house arrest since last February 14. The meeting apparently took place about a month ago. Jaras says it delayed the publication of the news for two weeks in order to check its accuracy.

As noted earlier by Tehran Bureau, during a brief conversation the couple had with their three daughters not too long ago, Mousavi emphasized that he stands by his views, that "nothing has changed," and that the authorities may no longer allow the family members occasional brief phone conversations. It now appears that Mousavi and Rahnavard were sending signals about the news that was to come.

According to the Jaras report, Mojtaba Khamenei, who many Iranians believe has been groomed by his father for succession, told Mousavi, "I have come here to consult with you." Mousavi reportedly responded, "I have nothing to offer as advice." At the end of the conversation, the younger Khamenei reportedly told Mousavi, "Give up [your demands]. The country is in a very critical condition."

It's not clear whether Mojtaba Khamenei took the initiative for the meeting himself, or at the behest of his father. It also remains unclear what the younger Khamenei told Mousavi. But according to Jaras, Mousavi had a couple of demands: "First, I will directly respond to the Leader about what I hear [from you], if there is no camera and eavesdropping taking place and if no one else attends our meeting. Second, [the government] should give me the opportunity to speak to the nation through a live television broadcast." It was after this meeting that the phone conversation between Mousavi, Rahnavard, and their daughters took place.

Mousavi has had virtually no contact with the outside world for over a year. His response appears to be a demand to meet with the Supreme Leader face to face, in order to prevent any abuse of the exchange that might take place. Mousavi's demand to speak to the nation in a live broadcast would give him an important platform to explain his views and also represent a public acknowledgment by the ruling hardline factions that he is key to helping pull the country out of its post-2009 crisis.

It is surely significant to the Iranian people that he and his wife are unwilling to negotiate even though they remain in captivity. As he emphasized to his daughters, he remains steadfast in his views, and signaling anything different about his position is false.

Copyright © 2012 Tehran Bureau

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