Iran: Reform Party Appoints Veteran Politician Ali Mazrooei As Spokesperson

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Former Iranian parliamentarian and veteran reformer Rajabali Mazrooei has been appointed as the official spokesperson for one of Iran’s most prominent pro-reform parties, the Mujahidin of the Islamic Revolution Organisation (MIRO).

The senior reformist politician, who is currently in forced exile, has been a member of the organisation since the early 90s.

Following the election of Mohammad Khatami as president in 1997, Mazroeei became a founding member of Iran’s largest reform party the Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF). He is currently a member of the IIPF’s Political Bureau as well as its Planning Committee.

Rajabali Mazrooei

Rajabali Mazrooei

Born in 1957 in the historic city of Isfahan, Mazrooei also happens to be the president of the Association of Iranian Journalists and a former member of the Iranian parliament’s (Majlis) Budget Committee between 2000 and 2004.

Following the disqualification of around 2500 reform-minded applicants from contesting the 2004 parliamentary elections, Mazrooei, who had also been barred from running in the race, played a pivotal role in organising protests and sit-ins among reformist MPs against the screening of candidates. During the strike, a strongly-worded and historical resignation letter, signed by 109 MPs, was read out inside the parliament building by Mazrooei and fellow MP at the time, Mohsen Mirdamadi. [1]

The unprecedented strikes in Iran’s parliament lasted for about a month, culminating in the resignation of around 140 MPs in protest at the Guardian Council’s blatantly biased vetting process.

During the rigged June 2009 presidential election, MIRO and IIPF were both among the reformist factions in support of opposition candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi. Shortly after the announcement of the 2009 election results, Iranian authorities launched a massive campaign of crackdowns against reformist figures, arresting many of MIRO’s leading members who are currently either serving lengthy jail-terms or simply awaiting court verdicts.

In September 2010, an Iranian court illegally banned MIRO and IIPF, and judiciary spokesman Gholam Hossein Mohseni Eje’i claimed the two groups had been “dissolved.”

Following a noticeable surge in the clampdown on political dissent in the country following the 12 June coup and ever-increasing limitations on political activity, on 11 February 2011, MIRO announced the launch of its overseas branch, appointing Mr Mazroeei as the party’s official spokesperson.

Throughout the years, Mazrooei has held many editorial positions in numerous pro-reform publications later to be shut down by authorities, including the biweekly Asrema as well as printed publications such as Norooz, Salam, Sobhe Emrooz,Vaghaye-e Ettefaghieh,Yas-e No, Sarmayeh and Eghbal. He regularly writes on Iran’s economic and political situation.

In the months after the fraudulent presidential elections in 2009, Mazroeei was forced to flee to Europe where he has been an advocate for Iran’s pro-democracy Green Movement.

Endnote:

[1] Mohsen Mirdamadi, the Secretary General of the IIPF is currently serving a lengthy jail-term in Iran’s notorious Evin prison.


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