Mohsen Makhmalbaf (BBC Radio 4, Monday June 15 2009, 5:18pm)



Eddie Mair (BBC host). I’ve been hearing from a prominent supporter of Mir Hussein Mousavi, the Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf, who acts as his spokesman, in Paris.

He says, Mr. Mousavi was told, he’d won the election.

Mohsen Makhmalbaf. Friday, at midnight, I inform by Mr. Mousavi, that they are winner of the election, and the ministry of election inform him, that you should write your letter to the people. This is the one of the reason.

Eddie Mair. Mr. Mousavi–  Just be clear. You’re saying he phoned you on Friday night, to say the election commission had told him he’d won. {Friday night midnight, Saturday June 13 2009, 00:00am}.

Mohsen Makhmalbaf. Yeah, and he informed that someday he will celebrate with all the people but– And not only me, to a lot of Iranian artist people. But suddenly, the leader of army arrived to his office, and inform him, that we don’t accept green revolution, and you should stop. Around afternoon, people with not uniform dress attacked to the Mousavi’s headquarter, and broke all machine, that Mousavi could not inform Iranian people and international audience. So–

Eddie Mair. And who was, who was it, you think did that.

Mohsen Makhmalbaf. It is the Ahmadinejad side, and also the secret police of Iran. Ahmadinejad system control Mr. Mousavi, control his office, there is no any media for Mr. Mousavi. They cancel SMS. Eh–

Eddie Mair. Ah, just, just, can you just explain that, “cancel SMS”. You’re saying, they, they stopped people sending text messages by telephone.

Yes, because it has very special role in this kind of revolution that we have. They inform each other what they are going to do in the street. They cancel SMS, they cancel internet, they make noise on BBC broadcast.

Eddie Mair. In those circumstances, that you’ve described — websites being closed, very difficult for people like you to have their voices heard, inside Iran — what are the chances of any kind of organized opposition changing events.

Mohsen Makhmalbaf. You know, they arrested a lot of small leader around Mousavi, and we have around 100 special people in the prison, nowadays.

And Mousavi asked me to ask all Iranian people, that are living out of Iran, that you are ambassador of these people that they are in the street.

I can see around the world, even the people out of Iran, that they were fighting with each other, in past 30 years, they become with each other, and they have one goal now.

Ahmadinejad should go out.

This is our wish.

Eddie Mair. Mohsen Makhmalbaf, who’s off to the European Parliament tomorrow, on behalf of Mr Mousavi. Five twenty-three {5:23}.

Source: bbc.r4pm-20090615T1618z (BBC Radio 4, PM, London, Monday June 15 2009, 1600.gmt) (broadcasting to a U.K. audience), (30-second headlines, Jon Leyne in Iran, “until maybe even just 2 days ago, this was a country ruled by fear”), at 17:20-17:23pm (Makhmalbaf), {text in braces} added.

The next day, Mohsen Makhmalbaf spoke to a political caucus in the European Parliament in Brussels (June 16 2009). He spoke in Persian, reading his prepared text. At intervals, his words were repeated in English by Marjane Satrapi, reading a prepared text. Sitting next to them, summarizing when they were done, was his host, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, caucus co-president (Greens-EFA: European Free Alliance), a student leader in the May 1968 Paris protests.

– Charles Judson Harwood Jr.
July 14 2009


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