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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Dictatorship exists in Iran despite revolution: Mousavi

TEHRAN, Iran (AFP) — Opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi said Tuesday the 1979 Islamic revolution had failed to achieve its goals as the "roots of tyranny and dictatorship" that marked the shah's era still exist.

In a strongly worded interview posted on his website, Mousavi said he no longer believed, as he once did, "that the revolution had removed all those structures which could lead to totalitarianism and dictatorship."

"Today, one can identify both elements and foundations which produce dictatorship as well as resistance against returning to this dictatorship," he said.

"Stifling the media, filling the prisons and brutally killing people who peacefully demand their rights in the streets indicate the roots of tyranny and dictatorship remain from the monarchist era... I don't believe that the revolution achieved its goals."

Mousavi, who has spearheaded the anti-government protests since the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last June, made the remarks ahead of the 31st anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution on February 11.

The violent protests against Ahmadinejad have triggered one of the worst crises in the Islamic republic's history, rocked the pillars of the regime and divided the nation's clergy.

Celebrations marking the 1979 return from exile of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini began on Monday and will climax on February 11, the anniversary of the fall of shah who had ruled Iran for nearly four decades.

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