Makhmalbaf’s Interview on Radio Farda
June 13, 2009, 12:00 AM
Translated for The Real News Network
Yesterday, twenty agents in civilian clothing attacked press offices of Mousavi‘s campaign at Gheitarieh. They broke all communication devices and attacked the campaign staff, including Mr. Kharazi and Mr Amirzadeh. They beat up the staff and when the people confronted them, they fired tear gas at the crowd. These were agents in civilian clothing! Then the agents attempted to runaway. About seven of them were captured by the people and were kept at the campaign headquarters. Next the police arrived at the headquarters and demanded to have custody of the seven captives and said “We would punish these lawbreakers ourselves.” . “No, we need this to be court documented; we know that after the election, you will lose them”, said Mr. Amirzadeh.
[I think here he is referring back to before this recording begins. This has to do with the reports from the early counts at the polls indicating that Mousavi is the winner]
The Ministry of Internal Affairs contacts press offices of Mousavi’s campaign to prepare a message for declaring victory on Sunday [which is Hazrate Zahra’s birthday http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatimah]. Mr Mousavi said that “within the next couple of hours I will declare victory and the celebrations would be on Sunday, which is Hazrate Zahra’s birthday and Mother’s Day [in Iran]”. Afterwards Mr. Khamenei is notified that Mr Mousavi has won the election. At first he says fine, you can communicate this to the people, but the message propagation and broadcasting should be well managed [and controlled].
Behind the scenes the news changed! All the mobile phones belonging to Mousavi’s campaign got disconnected. Also from couple of days ago the SMS messaging were disabled for all the mobile phones. It was communicated to the Reformist [Eslah Talab] newspapers [the papers of Mousavi’s political party] that they were the winners but were told that they must refrain from announcing the victory. The campaign’s communications headquarters was shutdown and the responsibility for campaign’s communications was given to me [Makhmalbaf]. This is as much as I know personally.
Until this point, I have personally received the information directly from campaign communications headquarters. From this point on, the only information I have, are through intermidatery sources.
For example Mrs. Nooshabeh Amiri informed me that Mr. Majidi has abandoned Mousavi. Majidi has said that I lost hope, and has gone home. He has announced that tomorrow there will be a coupe in Tehran.
Mr. Makhmalbaf, this news that you are reporting is very serious. Based on which facts are you making such a claim?
The second portion of the story [the plans for a coupe on Saturday] was conveyed to me through an intermedietary source. It would be better if you talk with Mrs Nooshabeh Amiri, who is the direct source of this news. The portion of story, before the coupe, should be accepted as the truth under my responsibility. I was assigned by Mousavi’s campaign, since the headquarters were closed, the responsibility of communications for the campaign was transferred to me. Because of this, I announced that the victor of the election is Mr Mousavi and even Mr. Khatami had announced that the victor is Mr Mousavi and any other vote that comes out of the ballot boxes is clear fraud. I think that there are two possible theories here, first it could be that they wanted to announce the news slowly, so that the society is not shocked. Secondly it is possible that the minorities and even Ahmadinejad and Sepah have even performed a coupe against Hashemi and Khamenei. This is a very critical situation, and critical times for Iran.
Regarding the Mousavi victory you mentioned, based on what documents and trust in which ballets, are you making such a claim?
My source is Mr Mousavi’s campaign that received notification from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, that they should even prepare the victory announcement and messaging. They [Ministry of Internal Affairs] had contacted the Reformist newspapers [Eslah Talab] that they can announce victory, but the announcement should not mention the word “Victory” [so that the supporters of the other party would not get provoked].
You, as the speaker for Mousavi’s campaign, are officially confirming this claim?
Also I wanted to ask, if it is announced tomorrow that all the votes are counted and Ahmadinejad has been elected as the next President. In your opinion, given the support and presence of people in Tehran and other cities, what would be the reaction of supporters for Mousavi and other Reformists?
My information about the Reformist is that they are currently in complete shock. Mr. Mousavi was at the Ministry of Internal Affairs until an hour ago, after that I have no knowledge of his where abouts. There is a crowd that has gathered in front of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. There were clashes in front of the ministry. The power has been cut in Tehran, I don’t have the exact timing of the cut. The SMS messaging was cut from before the election day and the mobile phones barely work. In the next couple of days the country is in the heighten state of alert.
My perception is that, the power that was mobilizing by this campaign would not be easily defused. But the campaign feels that they could be losing power. In the messaging that they communicated from the campaign, it was encouraged to remain calm, and a reminder that we are entering a democratic phase.
It’s just that, I became responsible from before lies are feed to the people, the information was to be communicated through me to the people, because the campaign wanted to communicate this information to the people themselves.
Given the fact that, last night I spoke on Voice of America and people were sending me the latest news and also the fact that I am right now in Paris. This role was assigned to me.
Right now the mobilized forces and even Sepah are so baffled and shocked, that they don’t even know what are the suitable and necessary next steps that people should take.
Mr Makhmalbaf, it has been said that the votes counted so far are only from the villages and small cities. It is likely that with counting of the votes in bigger cities, the numbers would change. Do you think that this a correct prediction?
It is the Iranian culture that news of death is given softly and slowly. So it could be possible that they brought up the results for now and are going for a soft landing for [Ahmadinejad’s] supporters.
But I smell a coupe, and I think that if any other vote [than Mousavi] come out of this election, the country will go in another direction.
This was Mohsen Makhmalbaf, the official speaker for the Mir-Hossein Mousavi campaign.