Mousavi forms grass-roots front
Iranian opposition movement is faltering
TEHRAN, Iran – A defiant Mir Hossein Mousavi declared the creation of a grass-roots political movement Saturday, but the Iranian opposition leader failed to spell out a strategy that could invigorate a protest movement that has stalled in recent weeks.
Mousavi, whose loss in disputed June elections to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad set off the largest challenge to the country’s rulers since the Islamic Revolution 30 years ago, said he wanted the Green Path of Hope to be a rallying point for the opposition.
“Numerous volunteer and independent social networks throughout the society form the body of this movement,” Mousavi told a group of doctors, according to the semi-official Iranian Labor News Agency. “The Green Path of Hope is in fact aimed at regaining people’s denied rights.”
Although the move was an attempt to cement the political movement built on his presidential campaign and the outrage that followed the election, Mousavi’s announcement lacked a political agenda.
One analyst said the Green Path could help Mousavi fend off calls for his arrest by hard-liners close to Ahmadinejad and continue his political activities without getting the ministry approval necessary to create a party.
“Forming a political front gives him a shield to survive and defy the arrest,” said Ahmad Bakhshayesh, a political analyst in Tehran, the capital. “If he manages to form a loosely organized front, he can defy the government and recruit like-minded people and … put pressure on the government.”