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Is Mousavi a ‘Reformer’?

L.A. Iranian Jewish leader says no

June 18, 2009
Mousavi at a rally Monday.(Getty Images)
Mousavi at a rally Monday.(Getty Images)

Frank Nikbakhat is an Iranian Jew living in Southern California, and he’s the director of the Committee for Minority Rights in Iran, which makes him an expert on the regime’s treatment of Jews, Christians and Bahais. He doesn’t find altogether that much to like about Mir Hossein Mousavi, the opposition presidential candidate who is the hero of the current anti-regime protests in Iran. In an interview with L.A.’s Jewish Journal, Nikbakhat points out that Mousavi is the one who initiated Iran’s nuclear program when he was prime minister in the 1980s. He also founded Hezbollah as Iran’s proxy terrorist group in Lebanon, and was responsible for deploying the elite Revolutionary Guard, now behind the shooting and clubbing people on the streets of Tehran, into southern Lebanon. Nikbakhat also dismisses one idea currently being peddled in the Western media, notoriously by New York Times columnist Roger Cohen: that life is all right for minorities in the Islamic Republic. “The ‘reformers’ were the ones who initiated the using of minorities for major foreign propaganda,” Nikbakhat says. “Ahmadinejad took this to a higher level and was behind the continuous efforts for bringing sympathetic or bought off journalists to Iran to report on the ‘ideal’ conditions of the religious minorities in Iran.” Ahmadinejad, Nikbakhat adds, replaced the Jewish leadership in Iran when it wouldn’t go along with his Holocaust denial; Mousavi, the alleged reformer, would do the same.