In an email interview with Roozonline, Hossein Karroubi, Mehdi Karroubi’s son states that he has become a fugitive and although he describes the current situation as difficult and dark, reiterates that his father always believed that this approach to governance is unsustainable and the regime will sooner or later have to give in to the will of the people, for there is no opponent more formidable than the people of Iran, a nation that now more than ever, has serious doubts about the legitimacy of its own government.
It has been more than a few weeks without any news regarding Mr. and Mrs. Karroubi. Have you been provided with an update on their condition? Except for the visitations that took place under tight security, have they [the ruling government] indicated how long this situation will last? Have they defined any conditions under which the current situation might change?
The truth is that we have not been informed of any so called conditions. My mother and father are apparently under the control of the Intelligence Ministry and defining conditions is outside the jurisdiction of the Intelligence Ministry. Of course we must not forget that the head of the Judiciary himself has claimed that dealing with the reformists and the so called “heads of the sedition” is outside the realm of his responsibility. In other words, no one, not even the head of the Judiciary is willing to accept responsibility for any incident occurring after the house arrest and if restrictions are imposed or continued, it is higher ranking officials that must therefore provide guidance, make decisions and define conditions. The question that remains unanswered is whether discussing any so called “conditions” is of relevance when the individuals in question are under “detention” and an illegal and inhumane act has been committed. In my opinion the issue of so called conditions becomes mute when the reality is so dark and dire. As we Iranians say, “Is there any color darker than black?”
Some are of the opinion that in order to defeat the Green movement, the authorities of the Islamic Republic have resorted to eliminating all communication between Mr. Mousavi, Mr. Karroubi and the people of Iran and given the current situation they will no longer allow these gentlemen to have direct contact with the people. What is your opinion regarding this hypothesis? Will the Green movement fail as a result of these latest developments?
On the contrary, in my opinion, rendering Mr. Karroubi and Mr. Mousavi incommunicado presents both an opportunity and a threat; an opportunity for the nation of Iran and a threat to the existing regime. Both Mr. Karroubi and Mr. Mousavi have repeatedly stated that the people of Iran have found their path. They are vibrant and dynamic, insisting upon their demands and becoming more determined with the passing of each day. In contrast, the regime has only been able to control the country through pressure and oppression. Those in power are so incapable and helpless that they were not only fearful of what might happened at the funeral services for Mir Hossein Mousavi’s late father, but they also feared allowing events such as a funeral services for a member of the parliament and a burial ceremony for a mother of one of the supporters of the Green movement. I recall my father telling us about the glorious ceremony that was held during the time of the Shah’s regime when Ayatollah Saeedi was martyred in prison. At the time the Shah’s regime did not take any action to prevent the ceremony from taking place. This demonstrates that unlike the Shah who at the time was confident of the stability of his regime, these gentlemen are not. The Green movement benefited from certain boundaries and a specific framework and set of demands as a result of the presence of Mr. Karroubi and Mr. Mousavi. However the current actions taken by the regime have led to a variety of demands and conditions within the Green movement. These demands will change and become even more varying with the passing of time.
How do you think the Green movement should proceed, given your understanding of Mr. Karroubi’s viewpoints?
The people’s demands are clear and the more the regime resorts to violence, the higher the demands of the people will be in response to that violence. Knowing how to govern and dealing with such issues is an art form. In practice, I witnessed the significant change between the spirit and positions of Mr. Karroubi and Mr. Mousavi in June pf 1999 [after the presidential elections] as apposed to January and February of 2011. In other words, they remaining the companions of our people, a nation that consists of a variety of factions and individuals with differing intellectual viewpoints and at the same time sought to further the cause of the Green movement in a logical and reasonable manner. Those who now play the role of spokesperson for these two honorable men, must neither fall short, nor resort to extremes, for any weakness in communicating the situation at hand will only lead to the frustration of our people. At the same time, these friends [referring to those who are representing Mousavi and Karroubi in their absence] should take advantage of all of our country’s sympathetic and well intentioned forces for this movement does not belong to any particular group or political party. It belongs to all segments of our society. Ignoring these principles will have a negative impact on the movement, while the correct understanding and handling of them will have positive impact.
How did Mr. Karroubi feel about the future of the Green movement? Was he optimistic about the future and the goals of the movement?
One day prior to his house arrest, in a video message that made it out to the Green media outlets, Mr. Karroubi spoke explicitly of the promise of victory. Even prior to recording his last video message, my father always believed that this approach to governance was unsustainable. He believed that the regime will sooner or later have to give in to the will of the people, for there is no opponent more formidable than the people of Iran, a nation that now more than ever, has serious doubts about the legitimacy of its own government. It is not surprising that these gentlemen are engaging in concocting new stories every day in order to regain their lost legitimacy. One day they attribute the government subsidies to Mahdi [the last Imam] and the next day they engage in vulgar behavior such as producing a CD entitled “Judgment Day is Near”. In reality these gentlemen only seek to compensate for their lack of acceptance, with the goal to rebuild their tarnished image. In my opinion however, this type of behavior and playing with the values and religious beliefs of our people, will only result in a large setback for the ruling government.
Did Mr. Karroubi predict the current conditions prior to his house arrest? If so what was his opinion regarding the leadership of the Green movement and how it should proceed moving forward?
First and foremost these four honorable individuals are not under house arrest, as house arrest has a specific definition. These beloved individuals have been incarcerated. As for your question, Mr. Karroubi and Mr. Mousavi awaited the arrival of such a day long ago and were always ready for any type of confrontation. From the very beginning, Mr. Karroubi believed that we have a very difficult road ahead of us. He believed that the leadership of the movement should be in the hands of individuals who are steadfast and willing to pay any price. He believed that the leadership should be in the hands of individuals who in addition to being assertive, would make decisions that were logical and reasonable and in the best interest of the people. For if God forbid the movement would fall in the hands of individuals who were weak or opportunistic, as the Green movement could end up with the same fate as that of the Reform Movement.
In conclusion, please tell us about the condition of Mr. Karroubi’s children. How are you all doing?
Unfortunately when they were unable to get a hold of me and I was able to escape, they went after my brother Ali. He was accused of ridiculous crimes such as spying for other Persian Gulf countries and after a few weeks in prison was finally released on bail. Except for the fact that my two brothers have been banned from leaving the country, the ruling government has not created any other problems for them. As for me, I have become a fugitive. I have to wait and see what the future holds and what God has in store for me.
Translation by Banooye Sabz