Iran's Mousavi calls for end to crackdown

TEHRAN, Jan 1, 2010 (AFP) - Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi urged the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to halt its crackdown on his supporters to enable a way out of the "crisis," his website reported on Friday.

In his first statement posted on his website since deadly clashes last week, Mousavi demanded that the government "take responsibility for the problems it has created in the country... release political prisoners... and recognise people's right to lawful assembly."

"I say openly that until there is an acknowledgement of the existence of a serious crisis in the country, there will be no possibility of resolving the problems and issues," he said.

Mousavi rejected demands from hardliners for him to renounce his accusations of fraud in a controversial June presidential election that gave hardline incumbent Ahmadinejad a new term, or face the consequences.

"I clearly and explicitly say that the order to execute, kill or jail (Mehdi) Karroubi, Mousavi and people like us will not solve anything.

"Supposedly you calmed things down through your arrests, violence, threats and closure of newspapers and other media. What appreciation does that show for the change in public opinion about the Islamic republic?"

Source: AFP

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