Presenter: The presenter gives his greetings and condolences for the anniversary of Imam Khomeini’s death and announces that this is a televised debate between presidential hopefuls Mahmood Ahmadinejad and Mir-Hossein Mousavi.
He then welcomes and greets both. He asks them to have a few words with viewers. Mr. Ahamdinejad …
Ahmadinejad: Does it mean it’s my turn to talk or…
Presenter: This is for any greeting.
Ahmadinejad: Greetings to the great nation of
Presenter: Thank you very much. Mr. Mousavi…
Mousavi: I too greet you Iranians and I’m happy to be with you again via this media. I extend my condolences to you all for the anniversary of Imam’s death; to whom we owe our dignity and honour.
Presenter: Before I introduce the questions I need to explain something. As the outset, you will each have 10 minutes to present your comments and then we continue with the rest of the debate. There are 40 minutes dedicated for each person. We drew lots prior to the debate, Mr. Ahmadinejad initiates the debate and Mr. Mousavi ends it.
Mr. Ahmadinejad, everyone may have certain individual or social concerns. What are your main concerns for running for presidency?
Ahmadinejad: In the name of God [here he quotes some verses of the Koran]. Initially, I thank God for giving me the opportunity to serve the nation of
The election is very important. The election in our country is not about electing a single person but it is the nation being energized in order to make leaps towards conquering peaks of glory and progress. The election climate needs to be one of zeal and excitement. The election environment needs to be full of logic, friendship, and brotherhood.
At the beginning, I want to complain about the unjustified and cruel sabotaging and lies propagated against the government. In the history of the Islamic revolution we have never had such heavy attacks against the government. I think the reason is that the friends who have stepped in to the stage thought they could not compete with the government constructively, especially in the area of extensive services provided by this government that have been unprecedented – in any sector we have entered, This has been the case in comparison to preceding ones, although they have also provided valuable services. But the performance of this government has been tantamount to several governments. On the international level, unfortunately, the great success of the people has been ignored. They ignored the government’s services completely. I wish that instead of so much negative propaganda, they would put forward a plan. Unfortunately, in the electoral campaign, the great people of
When I meet with people in different cities and from different walks of life, they ask me to defend them. I must tell people the root cause of these deceptions. I had promised to tell them. My belief is that it is not only Mr. Mousavi who is opposing me; it is 3 consecutive governments. They are Mr. Mousavi, Mr. Hashami and Mr. Khatami. In the past Mr. Mousavi supported Khatami and he supported Rafsanjani. Also, Mr. Khatami supported Mr. Rafsanjani. In principle, they are all together. Since the first day that this government formed there were attacks on the government. People know this very well. But youth need to know this as well. I am not opposing one candidate. I’m facing a group, coordinated by Mr. Hashami, and with the cooperation of Mr. Mousavi and Mr. Khatami. The reason for the pressure on me during the past 4 years and ever more pressures during the election comes down to one thing. In the [previous] 3 governments the administrative structure, managerial chains were established that distanced themselves from the values of the Islamic revolution. This is not to say that no services were rendered. But gradually a trend was formed that saw itself as the owner of the nation, owner of the revolution, and people’s commander. It saw itself as having an open hand to manipulate things. They lined up in the last election but the nation defeated them. In the past four years they tried to render the government unsuccessful and to break it. But with the blessing of God and people’s support we managed to come forward this far. In the last election, my rival was supported and helped from inside and outside [the country]. At the beginning of my government Mr. Hashami sent a message to one of the countries in the
I like Mr. Mousavi and have always respected him but what has been happening in these three months is not justifiable. Mr. Mousavi, we don’t need to have an actor on a bus in order to realise there are problems. There is addiction. In the course of a few trips you made you have realized that the country faces certain problems. Did these problems appear in the last 4 years? How about [the past] 24 years? Are you suggesting that you have handed me a utopia and I ruined it and nothing positive has been done! It is just now that we know that companies have problems; it is just now that is obvious that there is unemployment. You have been in 4 cities, 4 provinces. I have seen all of
Presenter: Time’s up Mr. Ahmadinejad.
Ahmadinejad: Just one more sentence. I was saying this as a joke somewhere that it’s good that I’m a candidate too or else what would these 3 other candidates have to say? And let me say this, in this competition, it is not a competition between four candidates but there are 3 against one. Even last night’s debate wasn’t a debate. It was against one person. In my opinion, it is illogical; we must work based on justice and logic.
Presenter: Thank you. Mr. Mir-Hussein Mousavi, please go ahead.
Mousavi: In the name of God, the compassionate and merciful. I thank all viewers and the good points made, which I will discuss in a methodical way. First, I wish Mr. Ahmadinejad had been successful in his endeavors and that I didn’t need to enter this race. I’ll make a couple of remarks and then speak of some main points. Mr. Rafsanjani and Mr. Khatami are great figures and they can have their own debate with Mr. Ahmadinejad and respond to him. I have some difficulties with the government I entered this scene because of a danger that I will talk about later. I will not touch on Mr. Rafsanjani or Mr. Khatami’s terms. 4 years out of the 24 years he talked about relates to me and that was during the Imam’s [Khomeini’s] era. If necessary I will explain it. I always loved
Now, there are discussions and programs and I believe I have 3 debates that people are interested in and I look at them as complimentary. As opposed to Mr. Ahmadinejad I believe these are opportunities that I can gradually present my programs and my point of view. The main point I want to say in this meeting is my motivation for coming to fore. Frankly, I felt a danger for the future of the country with the current administration. And since the discussion started off with the foreign policy, I’ll directly address it and later on about the economical, cultural, and social issues. I will present my discussion on a case by case basis so that our people can follow. I won’t talk in general. I’ll mention examples. One of our issues is the disproportional rhetoric with our practices. Our rhetoric is mythological and dream-like about the future of the world. Things like ‘that country is on the verge of collapse’, ‘this civilization is vanishing’ or that we are managing the world and likewise. In my opinion, there is nothing practical to back these up. There are a few examples. The British navy violated our territory. Our forces arrested them; it was a great job and they must be acknowledged. But immediately on the framework I mentioned, we first said they must be executed. Why did they come to our land? We created a international crisis. But then we decided to dress them up in suits and our president, whose position does not belong to him, it belongs to you people, went to see them off via a ceremony that we hardly arrange for the heads of other countries. Did it preserve the dignity of our nation? I think not. It was damaging. It also put our foreign policy in a difficult position for which we will have to pay dearly.
The other example is when he went to
Then, we stated many times that the
Presenter: Mr. Mousavi your time is over.
Mousavi: I need another minute. Deduct it from my total minutes like the way you did last night [in the last debate].
Presenter: Right. But the opening was supposed to be 10 minutes only. If you could make it brief.
Mousavi: I will make it brief. The holocaust is another issue. We mentioned about holocaust. And after we caused some damages, UN passed a resolution so that it is now criminal to say anything against the holocaust. And then that
Presenter: Thank you. Mr. Ahmadinejad.
Ahmadinejad: Thank you very much Mr. Mousavi. I think you need to seriously reconsider if all your judgments are based on these evidences. I’m telling you this as a friend. I like you. It’s very bad to judge based on misinformation. The British sailors were arrested. The event escalated. Mr. Blaire apologized in writing and said that we will change our policies with
Regarding the occupied
Mr. Mousavi. What happened in Sadabad,
How about now? The same Mr. Bush, in the final days of his government, declared that they aren’t after regime change in
All these, of course, is done with the struggle of our great nation, the persistence of our great nation, the sacrifices of our great nation and our dear supreme leader and the kindness of the 12th Imam. I am really surprised.
Mr. Mousavi should take a trip outside of
Now, I have to say something. Mr. Mousavi. I actually like you. But you are saying that you are worried. I have some questions for you. In Mr. Rafsanjani’s time inflation rose up to 49.5 percent, we had 49 billion dollars of foreign debt, social crises overwhelmed many of our large cities, and many were killed. How come you weren’t worried back then? When Mr. Clinton declared that any company with an oil contract valued more than 20 million dollars with
Today you are asking me why I talked about the holocaust. I am asking you, why shouldn’t we talk about the holocaust? Should we just wait for Europeans to come and talk about our human rights? Or should we tell them that they don’t have freedom and they are engaging in colonialism and that they are shutting nations up.
The foreign policy of this government comes from people, from the Imam Khomeini’s line and that’s why it is dignifying. Look and see how the world is on
I like you, Mr. Mousavi. But I can’t forgo the unfounded accusations against the nation. I can’t forgo the insults against the nation.
Mousavi: Speaking of Imam Khomeini’s line, I want to tell you a memory of Imam Khomeini. There was a time when Israelis attacked
This is our problem with the current government. Look at what our regime did back then. It decided to take a position that would be in line with international norms but also went after its own aims. On the issue of
For 20 years this has been our slogan and then you went further than this, based on your own authority, your own extremism, your own radicalism. And this is when a catastrophe happens. When you take a position that instead of isolating
This is what we are saying. We are asking you not to daydream about world issues. We should act realistically and with prudence. My problem is not over long-term matters but on ordinary executive methods. Would experts of foreign policy, our important agents, those who have expertise support this method? I am sure that our intellectual forces, whether in universities or in the Foreign Ministry itself, wouldn’t support this method.
And it is not only one or two mistakes.
In my campaign I have said that when we have excess, it is always followed by negligence. You made that extreme speech on
Only talking about them and saying they have no effects wouldn’t solve anything. Our people feel the effect of these policies. In their lack of mental security, in their economy, in the [lack of] items they need for their industry, in their exchanges with world, in loss of validity for their passports internationally, in humiliation for Iranians all over the country. Does the government see itself as responsible on the issue of
Mr. Rafsanjani is a great man and Imam Khomeini has talked a lot about him. You could talk about his points of weakness and strength but… see, I wasn’t born yesterday. I have been in politics before and after the revolution. Our people are also capable of thinking. You, in order to pretend you have been left alone, are linking up three administrations together to claim these are the same line of thought and you are up against it all. Who would accept that? Why say that?
Mr. Khatami is not an ordinary figure. He is known internationally and has been the president for 8 years. Same with Mr. Rafsanjani. You have opportunities to talk with them. You can stage talks in radio and TV. After all, State TV and radio (IRIB) belong to you and your friends day and night. Why don’t you organise a discussion to solve your problems with them? But what does this have to do with me and my ideas?
All I am saying is that your foreign policy has hurt our country and our dignity. It has chained this roaring Iranian lion. Same with your economic policies.
Let me get back to national solidarity. What are we doing here and what is happening to our universities, our youth environments, and our people? Wherever I go, there are complaints. Wherever I go people come to say they have been insulted. Students have been “Star”ed [stars are put against names of activists students so that they don’t pass], people have been arrested and dismissed.
I am an intellectual and cultural person myself. Somebody has published his books, with official permission, 15 times; when he wanted to get permission for the 16th time, he was stopped. Why do we do that? Our government has dignity; our regime has dignity. A government should be responsible for each signature that it makes and whatever it says. How many publications did we have and how many do we have now? What problems are they facing?
Some things are really painful and bother me. We all have an Iranian and Islamic identity. We also have a human identity. Think about the poor and desperate bookseller who has published 20 to 30 titles for a year. If the Ministry (of Islamic Guidance and Culture) stops four or five of them from being republished for a second or third time, he would be bankrupt. And this is actually happening.
Why are so many artists against the government? Let’s count them. I personally believe artists aren’t that political and would rarely enter politics. But they have been fed up. They have problems nationally. And this is because of these policies.
And then there is the issue of clergy. Look at the relation between the government and clergy. How the clergy is against the government.
Look at the insults uttered against the Prophet of Islam in our schools. What reaction did you show?
All these together has created a sort of cynicism toward the government (not toward the regime, nobody is ever cynic about the regime).
My question is has the government thought about its ruined relation with the clergy? Or with intellectuals? Or with youth?
Wherever I go to speak, despite five or six people that come with their slogans to disrupt the meeting and fight with others and provoke people, everybody else cries against these policies. In the matters of domestic policy, I would expand on this. One of the things that the government does and is contradictory to the eight principles of Imam Khomeini is dividing people into insiders and outsiders. Attracting one, and treating one as an outsider.
Ahmadinejad: Thanks, Mr. Mousavi. Let me repeat what I said. Mr. Mousavi, sometimes I just feel bad for you. You provide information that I know is out of your ignorance. Let me expand on one to see where your information comes from.
The question of “Star”ed students. Where did it come from? Mr. Mousavi condemns my administration for this and his reference must be people whom I don’t know. But this question started in Mr. Moein’s reign in the Ministry, 1991. In the administration of Mr. Mousavi’s friend and supporter (Khatami). They started a practice in post-Graduate studies; there were one or two stars next to the name of successful graduates. Only one star meant it had something to do with education and that the file is incomplete. Two stars meant a problem in the disciplinary committee. Meaning you had committed a violation and you had to be careful. This was done in Mr. Moein’s reign. It was annulled in the first year of my administration. I annulled it. I regarded this as an insult to students. My Minister of Science, Research and Technology nullified this. Why does Mr. Mousavi criticize me instead of criticizing his friends? I am really sorry. How could you judge like that?
Some people gather around you when you talk? Good! It happens to me too. Yesterday I was in
Look at these (holds up newspaper clips). I have brought this for you to see. You talked about books and publishing. I actually agree with you and I have written a letter of notice to the Minister of Islamic Guidance and Culture. Our statistics proves that we have had less control than Mr. Rafsanjani and Mr. Khatami’s administrations. Although I don’t agree with this, either. The letter that I wrote to the Minister is in the records.
But Mr. Mousavi, you were Prime Minister for eight years. There was only one critical newspaper back then. It started from around 1994 or 95. It used to write one or two economic critiques of you every week. My numbers and figures support those critiques. What did you do with that paper? How many times did you talk against it? Please go and look back! Our historical memory shouldn’t be forgotten. You told them they are with the enemy, they are counter-revolutionary; they are hurting the country. This despite the fact that the reports of the newspaper came from your own Budget Program. The program had been discussed in the Agricultural Committee of the Majlis and a person involved had written a critique on it. You pressured them so much so as to stop their criticisms.
But look at these (holds up newspaper clips). These are all the headlines against me and my government. These are what I have tolerated. You have accused me of dictatorship in your speeches! Is this dictatorship? Which is dictatorship?
In Mr. Rafsanjani’s time it was the same. You are asking me not to compare you with them. But we should actually do that. In Mr. Rafsanjani’s time, there was one single critical newspaper. I am not talking about their positions. But the head of government positioned himself against the newspaper several times until he succeed to silence them. And in Mr. Khatami’s time. Could anybody criticize him even a little tiny bit? Whenever any of those clergy who you talk about today made a comment, their caricature would end up in papers. After the years of the oil nationalization movement, we didn’t have a precedent for the clergy’s caricatures appearing in papers. Suddenly a wave of headlines would fill the papers: “conspiracy against the government”; “you didn’t get the message of ‘97 Elections”; “Beware, Betrayal!”, “Anti-President forces” and this was a way to silence criticism.
Another example, a Teaching Assistant in one of the universities (He was a researcher with national awards) wrote an article against the research policies. He was insulted by the management of university. Some people were organized to shout “Down With” chants against him and declarations were published. We shouldn’t forget these. When I talk about Mr. Mousavi, Mr. Rafsanjani and Mr. Khatami in one breath, I am right.
Listen to the speech of Mr. Rafsanjani’s daughter in a meeting that your wife and Mr. Khatami were also present. She describes it very well: “The era of reforms follows the era of construction that has been harmed by the current government. We Want Mr. Mousavi because he continues on the same road”. Meaning the aristocracy that Mr. Rafsanjani founded in this country is to be continued. You said yourself that you are proud of Mr. Rafsanjani’s support. What does this mean? Does it mean anything at all?
Our belief is that Mr. Rafsanjani is the main person behind the scenes. We could actually see who heads the campaign for whom. And where these meetings take place and how communications are done. Don’t tell me there is no link. There actually is. How could we close our eyes? How could the nation close its eyes? What has happened to these links? You want me to give you a few examples?
I already gave you an example about tolerating criticisms. What is happening under the current government?
Look at these, these are only headlines (holds up newspaper clips). There have been 3200 insulting headlines against us. We didn’t close a newspaper, we didn’t use threats and pressure and they are still writing all these. They are writing in your support and against us. You talked a lot against this government yourself. Let’s compare! Let’s not forget how it was under the three previous governments and how it has been under mine.
You talked about the relation with clergy. You were Prime Minister for 8 years, how many times did you visit the clergy? Give us the figure for us to know. The relations between this government and clergy are very good actually. Where do you come up with your claim? Good relations don’t mean compromising the principles of clergy freedom. I am surprised that you, who have not declared your view and ideas on the main intellectual questions, are talking about these small issues and are making judgments based on them. You accused this government of breaking the law and dictatorship. Do you remember your own administration, Mr. Mousavi? How you broke the constitution and ruled over the minimum rights of the President with political games? Your cabinet had to be confirmed by the President. But you didn’t do that because of your differences of opinion. Imam Khomeini had to intervene for the confirmation of the cabinet. This meant that the President lost his right to confirm the cabinet. Did any of the members of the Majlis dared to talk against you? Do you remember what your friends did? Once a few Majlis members voted against you. It was a secret ballot. They found out their names, declared them and then started accusing them of “American Islam” so much that many of them left politics. This intolerance continued in the next administration. And the one after that, too. I didn’t want to talk about all these but I have to because of what you brought up.
You are saying: “that was what the regime thought back then”. Well, this is what the regime thinks now. Why do you regard yourself as the regime? I positioned myself against the holocaust. The Supreme Leader agreed and so did the nation. Who is saying that the regime thinks differently? If you are talking about the people, they have declared their positions in different situations. You accused this government of breaking the law. Let me not get into 95 million dollars that your administration took from the Central Bank without a vote in the Majlis. In the summer holidays, the Majlis had to reconvene and fight about this.
Let me talk a bit about these university degrees. You called Mr. Khatami a doctor. Did you know that based on our regulations only people who have definite academic doctorates (or have at least passed the general exam) could be called a Doctor? Mr. Khatami holds a bachelor of philosophy. He is respected. I am not saying that a Doctorate brings honor to anybody. But this is what you said.
Could I talk to you about the case of a lady? Should I say it? [holds up a file with a picture].
Mousavi: Yes, go ahead.
Ahmadinejad: Should I say it? Should I say it?
Mousavi: Yes, go ahead.
Moderator: Let’s leave it for the next round. It is Mr. Mousavi’s turn now.
Mousavi: One of my issues, one of the problems in our country is the very method we see right here. Framing people; using certain terms. This happens while we have cases like that of the Interior Minister. Did the head of government now know that he only has a diploma and claims to be a doctor? Well, that’s a weakness in information. Let me not think about the possibility that he had already known this. God forbid I would think that way.
But then based on this he stood up against the Majlis and against the people. He declared student thesis papers to be “scraps” and the same Minister was so much trusted that with breaking the law, a deal worth a few dozen million dollars was negotiated in his office. It was exposed in newspapers and this is one of our problems, too.
Then there was another Deputy of yours that said: “I was just passing the Ministry, when I saw my friend and they were having discussions with a foreign company and I joined the discussion, too”. Well, all these create a lot of suspicions in society. It is very upsetting and this is one of the reasons that the government has so many problems. When he can’t resist enough, that minister is replaced by another one that has his own problems (a case about
Let me quickly come back to what you also talked about. Breaking the law. Yes this is one of the main reasons I came to scene. I believe that the “Minor Tyranny” happened because of indifference toward the law and it started with the premise that you could break the law. Reza Khan came to power when people gradually got used to Parliament-enacted laws being broken (whatever they were based on: human rights, common law or etc).
We have a lot of important cases that the government has stood against the laws. Not only one or two case but a lot. The government has openly stood against the laws and this has really made me scared. I don’t want to claim that, God forbid, he wants to be a dictator himself. But imagine if a government for eight years treats the laws like this: “I don’t like this one”, “the other one isn’t in the interests of nation”, “this limits my authority” and etc. what would remain in the country? Everybody would be indifferent and get used to the fact that the law wasn’t implemented for eight years. Eight years our behavior would normalize the head of government and government breaking the law? Events could happen and somebody could use this and appear on the scene…
One of the instances is the government’s abstention from executing the Fourth economic, social and cultural development program.
There are some really strange discussions around this, its nature and things like that.
I don’t really understand how the government could approach the law like that? If you don’t agree with a ratification you have to go to the parliament and try to get its replacement ratified. I don’t have time so I wouldn’t get into details.
The other instance is the illegal dissolution of supreme councils and abstaining from executing the ratified decree of parliament and also the Expediency Council’s.
The government refrains from executing this, stubbornly. They have a thousands excuses. I don’t think we have anybody higher than the Expediency Council since it is backed by the Supreme Leader and its decision are so important than could be even beyond religious laws based on expediency. This council has ratified, after a lot of discussion, for 18 of the dissolved councils to be reestablished. One of this is the Money and Credit Council. I want to tell people: if we have a 25 percent inflation, one reason is the absence of the Money and Credit Council. Because the government wants to control the authority of banks and all other institutions. They don’t want anybody to interfere from the prosecution office, from different sectors, from private sector. The result is the current inflation and the economic situation that has made everybody fed-up. Industry is on decline, inflation is 25 percent, everybody is complaining. This is caused by those acts. Liquidity is 2.5 times higher than the ratified amount. This is caused by illegal spending from the public budget. I don’t need to tell you this.
Look at the minutes of the Majlis and
The other instance is breaking the law of direct taxation. I could read its details.
The other one is the prevention of execution of the law for taxation on added value (this one is not even a right of the government to do). There is also abstaining from the execution of the law for National Services management.
I am going to read a list of the rest of them: illegal merge of the Haj and Pilgrimage Organization with the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization which was stopped only by the intervention of the Supreme Leader. It was revealed that this is illegal. An obvious indifference to judicial decrees. I even have an example that the Minister of Science stands bluntly against the
Another instance is an obvious indifference to the fake degree credentials of Mr. Kordan and supporting him nevertheless and obvious violation of the law that bans you to hold more than one position.
I think instead of trying to frame people, they should go and find answers to these questions, for resolutions that would help the country’s problems, to save the country from crises. I am telling you very honestly and without much ado that one of the main and most important motivations of mine to enter the scene was the issue of law breaking. I want to ask people if the government, not only for once but for a few times, gets used to this and wherever it suits its taste stands against the ratifications of the Majlis (a Majlis that is very much in line with the president, too). Is this not dangerous for the nation? Could the country go on like this?
Ahmadinejad: I should repeat my sentence again about the judgments of Mr. Mousavi. Is this the government that has broken the law? All your reference is to a single ratification of the Majlis and that is the law for councils. Guardian Council says it is unconstitutional and Expediency Council ratified it. If you really want this law to be executed and you have complaints why didn’t you write a few lines to the
Moderator: You only have eight minutes left.
Ahmadinejad: Oh, I think we should let this to go for 3 or 4 hours. These people have attacked me for more than 3 months, all of them together. I have only 45 minutes, 3 persons against 1.
Based on our documents from the previous government, they were 303 nullified ratifications in the previous government but this figure is 157 for us. Ratifications nullified in our time were 3.2 percent, it being 6.5 percent for the previous government. Who has followed the law more prudently? And we have executed more amendments of the Majlis. We are actually executing the very law Mr. Mousavi talks about and that was ratified by the Expediency Council. You can go and talk with a couple of legal experts and they would tell you that. If you really think we are breaking the law, write a letter to the
This is a large country and things might happen here and there. But didn’t it happen in your time, too? Is it us who are after framing people?
As with Kordan… it goes back to the 80’s and 90’s, in Mr. Rafsanjani’s administration (who is a supporter of Mr. Mousavi) when a lot of managers suddenly wanted a PhD. Azad University supported this wave and started issuing doctorates one after another. A wave started and Kordan was part of it. What I said in the Majlis was that I don’t value these kinds of degrees. A university professor should be somebody who hasn’t slept for many nights, toiling to get his degree. Many people are going through a lot for their education in this country.
What I said was that I don’t accept any of this. Could I bring a list of many people who went on to get their fake PhDs in Mr. Mousavi and Mr. Rafsanjani’s administrations? Mr. Kordan was one of them. Now he is being singled out. I think we should forget the degree and judge him based on his actions.
About the other person. Mr. Mousavi talks about millions of dollars. Let me tell you about this person. He was a division commander before going into economic activities in Mr. Rafsanjani and Mr. Khatami’s time and he then got rich. He was already rich when I asked him to leave his economic activities to join the government and he did.
But, Mr. Mousavi. Many of your managers and those of Mr. Rafsanjani came with nothing and become billionaires with a privilege of getting dollars for 70 rials or via exports and imports. Mr. Safaei Farahani is a manager of your government who was enriched in your government. There is a long list that I don’t want to repeat. You are talking about billionaires? What do Mr. Rafsanjani’s sons do in this country? Which one of my ministers became a billionaire in his reign or used economic rent or got properties for himself? I have a list of managers who got lands. You want me to read it? 40 hectares, 50 hectares, 80 hectares, 400 hectares. The majority of my government’s land distribution has been these land allowances of the past. Who has got these lands? Those who are now supporting you.
Where the heavy costs for your campaign advertising comes from? Mr. Mousavi, I like you. Tell me where does this come from?
Look at Rasht Electric factory. Without a tender or auction it was given to Mr. Karbaschi friends, Mr. Karbaschi’s wife, Mr. Ghobde’s wife and they destroyed the factory to sell its land. I have dozens of examples like this. They have been given 400 hectares of land in Hormozgan where people are desperate for a couple of hectares where a few youth could work. This is breaking the law, Mr. Mousavi. Breaking the law is the case of a person who was tried in this country and found guilty and then fled from prison to foreign countries and Mr. Rafsanjani’s son was behind all this. Breaking the law is the case with the sons of many people who support you. How did Mr. Nategh’s sons become billionaires? How does Mr. Nategh live himself? These are your supporters! They are the ones who break the law.
Mr. Mousavi you can’t even recount one example that we have said we don’t recognize the law.
Here I have a case of a woman. You know her and she sits next to you in your campaign. In contradiction to the law in our country, while she was a civil servant she continued her post-graduate studies in two majors in
I want to ask you when it was that Imam Khomeini had to intervene and dissolve the University student-picking system? My administration or yours? I will finish with a memory. After this dissolution, Mr. Noghrekar, your own brother-in-law, invited me to join the board for revision of student-picking systems. They gave us some cases. There was one for a girl that had asked her to answer a single question. One answer could lead to her acceptance or refusal… I have seen these with my own eyes. Eight principles of Imam Khomeini came out for your administration, not mine. You have to tell us how much you actually followed it.
Mousavi: How much time do I have?
Moderator: About 12 minutes.
Mousavi: Mr. Ahmadinejad spoke about a lot of things.
Some things I don’t really know how to respond. One of the problems of talking with Mr. Ahmadinejad is this. Like when he asks me to write a letter to the
Ahmadinejad: You are criticizing and telling me I am breaking the law.
Mousavi: You shouldn’t intervene in my time when I am talking. This is the very spirit of yours that is right now present in the media IRIB too. We know who these people are in this and other places like Raja News and we know how they act. This is my time to speak.
You tell me to write a letter to the
This is actually what my problem is. The way that he talks instead of admitting a mistake and trying to fix it will lead to dictatorship. He asks me why I call him a dictator. I never said you are a dictator. But this method will surely lead to dictatorship because you regard your position higher than the Majlis and Expediency Council.
About the name-calling, well this isn’t really how the head of a government should act. You can’t accuse anybody who has not been convicted in the legal system without them having the chance to defend themselves. This is a crime. You attack persons who are not present here and use them against me. It seems that you haven’t found anything from me and you had to link me to two previous governments. I don’t want to defend them but I think they are right to be angry with you and people who are watching this also shouldn’t accept this from their President.
Let’s forget what Mr. Rafsanjani and Mr. Khatami have done in this country. They were Presidents. But only as citizens they have a right not to be accused in front of 50 million people, the minimum people watching this, where they can’t defend themselves. But you keep naming their families and their children and everybody else.
That’s why a legal system exists. I am telling you, Mr. Ahmadinejad. You have to know. This is what a legal system means. When somebody is found guilty, it means that everybody else is innocent. This is an Islamic principle. From day one you have been talking about thousands of corrupt people in this country, saying you will reveal their cases and expose their names. You destroyed the dignity of Persian Bank’s head and then you gave it to your own Deputy and the same with everybody else. These are sins. We are Muslims, we are believers and we believe in God. We can’t just name people and accuse them.
As with the hectares of land allocations, well did they do it? They did a very wrong and bad thing, if they did. What does it have to do with me?
Why do they support me? Well, I have declared every citizen a campaign headquarter. Unlike some people whose banners has filled the world over and have used all the government’s resources (administrations, ministries, TV and Radio), I haven’t used any of these. We have a core and nobody could say a bad word about any of the people in that core. They are pious, believers and God-fearing people. If there was anything you could say about them, you surely would. This is how you are. But there isn’t anything. Because they are very pious people.
We have opened the door to the entire nation for support. We welcome the entire nation to support me to win these elections and make change. This is my intention. I have said that and I will say it again. If you want this atmosphere, where others are easily vilified, to change, vote for me.
He has held the photo of my own wife in front of me and he talks about her. Let me tell you. She is the most important female intellectual in this country, she has toiled more than 10 years for her Political Science PhD and there are documents for it that we will publish. There were websites linked to you that publicize against her. She is a Quran researcher and a writer. She is honored to have Masters in Art and Masters and PhD in Political Science. You can go and see the General Exams of
I know very well that your Deputy instead of trying to solve the people’s problem is going from this case to that case to find something that would be useful for tonight so they could bother somebody.
I have come to change this morale. I am telling people: I will change this morale. The eight principles of Imam Khomeini were against this morale. I will change this way of making cases for people and students and etc. He is saying “Star”ing students started in Mr. Moein’s time. Alright, he did a bad thing. But I don’t think at that time they would behave like this.
Ahmadinejad: O, Mr. Mousavi. Come on.
Mousavi: You shouldn’t intervene in my time. We want to be just. For four years I didn’t talk about you but now I have been fed up. It is my duty to come to the scene though I had no intention. I saw that you are putting the country in a danger. I will bring up economic issues in other programs to show how you are running the country. The same Money and Credit Council has made banks your playing area. We are saying this is a Qajar policy. This is what Qajar rulers did before. They had a treasury and they would just pick money from it to allocate it to different purposes. Money and Credit Council is there is to limit you and me. Organization of Management and Planning is there to not let you spend however you want. To hold you accountable. But now the
I have come out because of empathy. To solve the problem that if continued, if I could talk about its other aspects, you could see that inflation, unemployment, addiction and bad culture are also results of this. As is our failure in foreign policy. That’s why we don’t have a single close friend in the region. This is all because of the things that I will read for you. You judge to see if these matter or not.
I talked about four or five specification of this management that goes to a dead-end. How much time do I have?
Moderator: About 3 or 4 minutes.
Mousavi: It is worth it if I read from this to finish the debate tonight (looks at his pile of documents). Mr. Ahmadinejad, unfortunately, talks about issues that led me to say things here that I didn’t want to.
His is an agitated unstable management that is only for showing off. It is full of daydreaming and superstition. He constantly predicts that the
Selfishness and breaking the law. If one is not selfish, he wouldn’t break the law, he would welcome the law. If he doesn’t like the law, he would go and change it legally.
Other issues: Shallowness. Excess and negligence. These are hurting our country and I believe we have been hurt in these four years.
I have a message for people. I have been from people and I will go back to people. People will judge. People will judge this administration and will see how the policies are and will decide for themselves. I saw a danger for our country and I regarded as my duty to come to fore, the rest of it is with the Almighty. How would he position people’s heart? I have nothing else to say. Do I have any time left?
Moderator: About a minute.
Mousavi: I want to thank all people. I know people are deep and I ask them to be. I call on them to endorse values. Humiliating people and letting them run after your car with a letter and claiming this is a “face-to-face” policy is not the right way.
For people we should generate work and production. We should strengthen the national production. We should strengthen our own industry. Basmathi Rice shouldn’t be all over
Translators: Abbas Gooya and Babak Kasrayi. You can see it with voice over in English here.