Mousavi and the Masses

I find the use of someone’s alleged hard line past to dismiss their significance to a present political movement unpersuasive. Nevertheless, amidst all the hype it is always useful to get a different perspective.

Following the results of a disputed presidential election Iranians poured onto the streets in their tens of thousands to protest the re-election of incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The demonstrations were unprecedented both in their scale and nature and the largest of their kind since the Islamic revolution in 1979.

The figurehead of the protesters, defeated presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, has not been seen in public since the demonstrations began and the authorities violently repressed opposition protests.

Although Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has declared there will be no re-run of the elections and dozens of opposition so-called reformists have been detained, Mousavi has urged his supporters to maintain their protests through peaceful means.

In a special documentary Al Jazeera charts the political trajectory of Mir Hossein Mousavi.

A former prime minister, now billed as a leading reformist, we discover his more hardline roots, and ask whether he is really the desired leader of the reform-hungry masses or merely an accidental hero in the right place at the right time as frustrations of Iranians from diverse camps reach boiling point.

Author: Idrees Ahmad

I am a Lecturer in Digital Journalism at the University of Stirling and a former research fellow at the University of Denver’s Center for Middle East Studies. I am the author of The Road to Iraq: The Making of a Neoconservative War (Edinburgh University Press, 2014). I write for The Observer, The Nation, The Daily Beast, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Al Jazeera, Dissent, The National, VICE News, Huffington Post, In These Times, Le Monde Diplomatique, Die Tageszeitung (TAZ), Adbusters, Guernica, London Review of Books (Blog), The New Arab, Bella Caledonia, Asia Times, IPS News, Medium, Political Insight, The Drouth, Canadian Dimension, Tanqeed, Variant, etc. I have appeared as an on-air analyst on Al Jazeera, the BBC, TRT World, RAI TV, Radio Open Source with Christopher Lydon, Alternative Radio with David Barsamian and several Pacifica Radio channels.

One thought on “Mousavi and the Masses”

  1. Not pointing out that one of the “experts” is doing a nice greenback laden shift for VOA Persian Service is a major lapse on the part of Al-Jazeera.

    Having pointed it out would have put a lot of the input into proper perspective.

    The most important part of the doc is the first 90 secs of part 2 , when the narration readily admits that AH won the urban working class and the agrarian under-priviledged vote by a massive amount.Something which is only disputed by highly suspect sources.

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