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Hossein Mousavi was the one-time prime minister of Iran who, as a candidate opposing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, contested the 2009 presidential elections.
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Congress had forbidden the Reagan administration from supporting the Contras, and negotiating with hostage-takers, terrorists or Iran. As a result of the dealings, Regan was nearly impeached.
Mousavi is also known for severing ties with Great Britain after their refusal to disavow Salman Rushdie, the British author whose book,
The Satanic Verses told the fictional story of a group of Qur'an verses allowing for prayers of intercession to be made to three Pagan Meccan goddesses. The story angered the Ayatollah Khomeini, who declared a fatwa calling for Rushdie's death in 1989.
In 1989, Ali Rafsanjani was elected president of Iran. At this time, Mousavi held a prominent role in the Iranian government as not only the prime minister but as a presidential adviser and member of several councils, including the High Council of Cultural Revolution and the Expediency Discernment Council. Rafsanjani decided to oust several members from government during this time, and the prime minister's position was removed by a constitutional amendment. Mousavi was not invited to be a participant in the new regime, and disappeared from the public sphere.
That same year, Mousavi returned to architecture and teaching, becoming the president of the Iranian Academy of Arts, one of the four academies of the Islamic Republic of Iran. He further receded from public life, which many took as a sign of his disapproval of the regime of the time.
In 1997, former cabinet minister Mohammed Khatami was elected to the presidency after Mousavi refused to run for president. Instead, the architect served as the Senior Adviser to the President. In 2005, Mousavi was considered as the leading candidate in the Iranian presidential election, but he officially declined the proposal in 2004 after a meeting with President Mohammad Khatami.
In March 2009, Mousavi announced his bid to run in the 2009 Iranian presidential election. Running on the issues of social justice, equality, and freedom of expression Mousavi criticized the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. That same month, Khatami withdrew from the race in support of Mousavi. Many predicted a landslide victory for Mousavi, but on June 12, 2009, votes showed Ahmadinejad winning by a landslide—62.63 percent of the vote to Mousavi's 33.75.
Despite the loss Mousavi, who believe the vote was fixed by Ahmadinejad ally and interior minister Sadegh Mahsouli, called for his supporters to rally in his favor. At least seven people were killed at the mass rally held by tens of thousands of Mousavi supporters, many of whom were slain after they tried to attack a military post near Tehran's Azadi Square. Still others were wounded when protesters tried to destroy public property.
Mousavi appealed to the Guardian Council for a cancellation of the election results. The council agreed on a re-count of disputed ballot boxes in the presidential election, and acknowledged that there were voting irregularities in 50 electoral districts. The council, however, insisted the problems do not affect the outcome of the vote. Protests continue.
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