Sunday August 29th, 2010 – Translation by Negar Irani

A number of young reformists met with Mehdi Karroubi on the anniversary of the birth of Imam Hossein. In this meeting Karroubi stated: “During these gatherings, our discussions often revolve around the families of those imprisoned, those who were harmed, injured and martyred after the elections last year. It is lamentable and disheartening to speak of all the faceless and nameless individuals who have paid such a heavy price during this past year. Individuals about whom most of us still remain in the dark and even if any information has been provided, though inadvertently, little attention has been given to their plight and the difficulties they have had to endure.”

As per reports by IranGreenVoice, Karroubi pointed to the fact that no one expected the aftermath of the elections to filled with such overwhelmingly bitter incidents, adding: “The elections that took place last June with unprecedented joy and excitement by the public were turned into unimaginable events. Even now, one and a half years later, in August of 2010, no matter where you are you only hear discussion of those who have been imprisoned and those who have been martyred. It is a pity that an election in which the people were demanding the results of their vote turned into this. We witnessed what they [the ruling government] did to our citizens, whether they were well known individuals or ordinary citizens.”

Karroubi expressed regret regarding the extreme restrictions on the freedom of press and expression. While emphasizing the unfair and unjust election fraud that took place last year Karroubi continued: “Some claim that there has been fraud, while others insist the contrary. We however, continue to state that not only was there election fraud, but more importantly this fraud was massive and widespread. In other words, it was not just around one or two million votes, it was extensive and the results of the elections were pre-determined before the vote took place. The results were rigged in order to show that one individual had received 25 million votes, while another a few million and a third only three hundred thousand votes. They wanted the opposition to be defeated. We have sufficient evidence regarding this matter and given the opportunity we will discuss and clarify all the facts.”

Karroubi reiterated: “These gentlemen claim that the Guardian Council oversees this issue and will look into any claims of fraud and that we must pursue our complaints through legal channels. The problem however, lies in the fact this body [The Guardian Council] is unfortunately not impartial. It is clear to everyone that they have rejected all objectivity and as such are implicated in the betrayal of the people’s votes. If the Guardian Council is indeed impartial, then why do they not allow for a face to face meeting? I request that they set up a meeting at the location of their choice, a university, a mosque, at the IRIB, in which representatives of the current ruling government are also present, so that we can prove that not only has there been fraud, but that the results were rigged and pre-determined. It goes without saying that independent journalists would have to be present in order to publish the outcome of such a debate so that the discussion that takes place would be reflected in an honest and forthright manner.”

Karroubi added: “We will also prove that the oversight committee behaves in a defensive and vindictive manner while the executive branch is busy giving speeches and spending exorbitant amounts of money promoting their personal agenda and for their own personal gain; neither of which have remained impartial and fair when reformist groups have tried to voice their complaints.”

Karroubi continued:” Some of these gentlemen behave as though they are in daily contact with Gabriel, receiving divine revelations. I am perplexed at the extent to which individuals are affected by power and the level to which they can be selfish. I am bewildered at the extent to which religious individuals lie and deceive, turning their back on the truth and reality. I have been committed to religion, the clergy and the Islamic Republic for many years, always seeking to protect and defend the right of the people and unlike claims by some, I have no regrets and am proud of my behavior and my past.”

When asked if it is the people who attack and confiscate the cars and businesses of individuals, Karroubi responded: “The people of our nation are those who are dissatisfied across our land, in our streets and neighborhoods in our bazaars and places of business. They express their dissatisfaction in a peaceful manner.”

While pointing to the tragic and bitter incident at Kahrizak prison, Karroubi said: “The incidents at Kahrizak were a disgrace for the ruling government. We have spoken at length about the atrocities that took place at Kahrizak. Instead of looking into these grave incidents in a just and correct manner, they chose to attack those of us who spoke out against them. They eventually admitted that crimes were committed and even named three of those who had lost their lives as martyrs. What then of all the others that lost their lives on that day and the days that followed, were they not martyrs too?”

While expressing strong support for the seven reformists who recently filed charges against some of the high ranking members of the Revolutionary Guards, regarding election fraud, Karroubi stated: “A high ranking member in charge of security has made certain claims and allegations. These honorable gentlemen have in return written a letter officially announcing their complaint regarding these unproven claims. Do we resolve anything by arresting them and sending them back to jail? Isn’t sending them back to jail just a reaction? ”

While pointing to the restrictions imposed upon him Karroubi stated:”They won’t even allow for a few people to gather in one place. They forbid funeral services and fasting ceremonies. All comings and goings and visitations are controlled. If they would provide a permit and allow for us to organize a march, everything would become apparent. They [the ruling government] don’t even dare to allow for us to organize a gathering in a mosque as it will only further demonstrate the support and opinion of the people regarding the movement. They fear our presence amongst the people. They are fearful of our discussions with the public. They are fearful of the fact that we tell the truth. Despite this fear, due to today’s technological advances and social media outlets, they are no longer able to censure the news and prevent the truth from being told.”

While analyzing the statistics regarding the elections in the past 20 years Karroubi said: “I have witnessed several elections after the Imam’s death, including 5 parliamentary elections (4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th parliaments), six presidential elections (2 during the formative years, 2 during the reform period, and 2 during the current government’s rule, whose supposed ideals and service to Iran speaks for itself!). I have also witnessed, analyzed and been active in 3 election cycles in relation to the Assembly of Experts. It is my intent to demonstrate how 20 years after the death of Imam Khomeini, events were put in motion with the intent to suppress, leading us to our current unfortunate predicament.”