Mousavi Advisor: ‘Green Movement wants an end to the economic sanctions’

An exiled top legal aide to former Iranian presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi told an opposition website that the Green movement is against United Nations sanctions because they have an adverse impact on ordinary Iranians.

“The international community must not punish [Iranian] workers, teachers and deprived sectors of the Iranian nation,” Ardeshir Amir-Arjomand told Kaleme, an opposition website. He noted that average Iranians are being punished for the actions of “a president who lacks legitimacy among the people” — a reference to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose disputed June 2009 election victory transformed the Green political movement into a now-repressed protest movement.

The English-language website apparently doing the translation, Green Voice of Freedom, was linked by Enduring America, a reputable website that blogs daily about Iran.

According to a translation of Kaleme on Green Voice:

Arjomand also stressed the negative effects of United Nations imposed sanction on Iran, adding that “contrary to baseless claims, the sanctions will have a clear effect on the day-to-day lives of the people, therefore the Green Movement wants an end to the economic sanctions [against Iran]. The harm resulting from these sanctions have a direct impact on the situation of the people’s livelihoods and will create basic problems for using [the country’s] national resources.”

Mousavi himself spoke out against sanctions on Iran, following very much the same logic as Arjomand, last fall as the U.S. was ramping up efforts to push sanctions through the UN Security Council.

Some hawks and proponents of escalating measures against Iran have noted this stance, but dismiss it, like Benjamin Weinthal and Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies have, as a “tactical” maneuver by the Green Movement.

Dubowitz and Weinthal cite Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the South African anti-apartheid leader who initially opposed sanctions against his own country, then came around. As yet, however, the Green movement has not reversed course. In fact, Greens — most recently Arjomand — often reassert their belief that sanctions hurt ordinary Iranians too much.

Ali Gharib

Ali Gharib is a New York-based journalist on U.S. foreign policy with a focus on the Middle East and Central Asia. His work has appeared at Inter Press Service, where he was the Deputy Washington Bureau Chief; the Buffalo Beast; Huffington Post; Mondoweiss; Right Web; and Alternet. He holds a Master's degree in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science. A proud Iranian-American and fluent Farsi speaker, Ali was born in California and raised in D.C.