Source: Radio Zamaneh
Date: January 26, 2010
On Monday, January 25th  a sentence was quoted from Mehdi Karroubi on almost all foreign and domestic media outlets. In response to the pro-government Fars news agency’s reporter who had asked “Do you recognize the current president as the legally elected president of Iran?”, Karroubi had [allegedly] replied positively. This response was reflected in different outlets with varying accompanying explanations.
We first hear what happened from the perspective of Hossein Karroubi, Karroubi’s son, and then in an interview with AliReza Namvar Haghighi, Canadian-based professor and political analyst, we discuss the effect of Karroubi’s recent position about the government on the ongoing resistance movement that has broken out after last year’s elections in Iran.
Here are Hossein Karroubi’s explanations about the incident:
In the beginning of his response, Mr. Karroubi explained: “I still hold my previous position that this government has come to power through a fraudulent election and amongst many doubts and ambiguities both before and after the elections. I still believe that there was widespread rigging of elections, but since the leader has approved him, I recognize him as the head of the current government.”
What is the effect of this new position on the struggle that he [Karroubi] has previously vowed to pursue to an end?
Mr. Karroubi has brought forth several issues, he has particularly spoke out about the [cases of] injustice that our people have faced. He is still standing up for all of this very strongly. He has documents for all his previous claims and has not backed off from any of them.
Today we are faced with some facts, the reality is that our country is constantly declining up to the point that it is facing complete destruction; the situation is unstable. One of the issues we are facing is that the parliament refuses to perform its supervisory duties based on their claim that our resistance prevents them from carrying them out. Hopefully from now on the parliament can resume its main duty of watching over the government.
Just a few days ago, Mr. Bazrpash head of the government’s “young advisers” announced that the government has allocated ten billion tomans [10 million dollar] to aid American youth who have become disappointed of the Obama government. Nobody is asking them why they are wasting our national budget in such ways.
Maybe this will lead the parliament to take its duties more seriously. Then they may be further assured of the government’s incompetence and get that through to the heads of the establishment on a higher level.
Is this the same view that Mr. Mousavi had expressed in his statement with five articles? There were the same discussions about legitimacy In Mr. Mousavi’s first article there was a mention of legal institutions monitoring the work of executive branch of the government [headed by Ahmadinejad.]
You are absolutely right. This issue was also pointed out in the first paragraph of Mr. Mousavi’s 17th statement. Even Mr. Khatami recognized the [executive branch of] government in the letter that he sent to supreme leader.
Mr. Karroubi too is still insisting on his very words that this election was fraudulent. He maintains his emphasis on this point, but he also says only because the supreme leader has enacted the presidency of Ahmadinejad, he accepts him as the head of the [executive branch of] government.
In regards to the monitory role of the parliament, how did Mr. Karroubi find the report of the parliaments special committee on post election incidents especially those of Kahrizak [prison?] Does he see this as move on the same direction as his exposing such incidents? How hopeful is he that these incidents would be investigated?
I too think that if we move a bit forward, these [investigations] will definitely take place. One side of the story is that the establishment did not want to take people’s votes and opinions seriously during this seven month period. Maybe this [follow up on Kahrizak] would make them put more attention to what people think. It is a fact that many atrocities have happened in these seven months, but they definitely don’t want to follow up on them. Even If the parliament has unveiled things to this degree, it is itself something to be hopeful about.
Hopefully [if God is willing,] people behind these crimes whether in the executive branch or judiciary would be identified and dealt with.
Mr. Haghighi , there was a meaning in Mousavi ‘s [17th] statement that Hossein Karroubi also referred to in our conversation and said this could force legal institutions to carry out their oversight responsibilities toward the government. Do you think this is plausible? What sort of legal actions could be carried out in favour Green Movement’s demands after the government is [officially] recognized ?
Both Mr Karroubi and Mr Mousavi believe that the Islamic Republic regime should stay and solutions to his crisis should be explored within the framework of the constitution.
From this perspective one resolution to solve this crisis is for government to resign. This is possible by means of same options used to approve the election, [for example] in the current situation it could be recommended that it is better for the government to change. Or the it should become a coalition government.
Additionally there is also a possibility that oversight provisions assigned to the Expediency Discernment Council are broadened by the Supreme Leader office and the council has the option of restricting the government when its actions are illegal.
Another resolution within the constitutional framework is that both the Parliament and the Judiciary request to impeach the government according to violations it commits.
These solutions can help solve the crises. Karroubi ’s goal is to show that Ahmadinejad is not the real elected president but it exits now as reality due to the measures used by supreme leader available in the constitution .
So in you opinion , Mr Karroubi has taken this position considering these possibilities ?
In my view Mr. Karroubi had certain parameters in mind in his talk. His first point is that we do not want to topple the regime and the movement he supports is clearly distinct from those who favor regime change.
The second point is that to accept the system and the government does not mean to ignore the illegal actions [ committed by the system or government] . So we should clarify and discuss our position regarding [for example] prisoner rights and other things.
Mr. Karroubi third point is that in a polarized situation consisting of one group aiming to change the whole system and another wanting to suppress the first group, everything will be to the benefit of the group that is capable of more violence; therefore, he doesn’t want such a polarized situation to form.
The fourth point is that Mr. Karroubi wants conditions in which the parties of power and the fundamentalists who have serious disapproval of Mr. Ahmadinejad, do not support Mr. Ahmadinejad due to fear of the forces that intent to topple the regime. In reality, what Mr. Karroubi would want not to happen is for the whole system to stand by Ahmadinejad.
His assessment of the existing political reality is that the two sides can not eliminate one another. One side can’t elimintate the social movement and the other side can’t extend their demands and force the government to resign. Therefore, the parties of power in this game, play the role of a third element. They want to use the third element.
The fifth point is that in a violent atmosphere, the large number of political prisoners and those arrested will put a lot of pressure on Mr. Karroubi emotionally and psychologically. The families of these prisoners refer to Mr. Karroubi though as he has mentioned, his connections for helping out the prisoners have been cut off.
Consequently, this [new] position could lead at the very least to some improvement in the situation of the political prisoners towards whom Mr. Karroubi feels responsible humanely. He pays attention to this issue as well.
The next point is that this stance provides Mr. Karroubi with the opportunity to continue his role as a mediator and seek a peaceful solution to settlement. Since the solution of this situation is nothing but to compromise, and compromise means that the two sides exchange political points (privileges).
But are there any indications suggesting that the regime wants to grant privileges (compromise)?
They will definitely wait and if parties of power refuse to compromise, individuals such as Mr. Mousavi and Mr. Karroubi will be eliminated and a polarized situation will be created. In such polarized circumstances, violence will then determine who shall succeed.