Can Mousavi Bring 'Change' to Iran?

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"Change" has been the main platform for one of the candidates in Iran's presidential election.

His name is Mir Hossein Mousavi and he says he's likely to be the winner.

But a closer look at Mousavi's record suggests that if he does win, there will be little change in the philosophy of the Iranian regime.

Prior to this election season, Mousavi was seen as an uninspiring figure and a member of the Iranian regime's old guard.

Mousavi performed poorly in a recent televised debate against Mahmoud Ahmadenijad and is not a rousing speaker. But his rhetoric of change--and his wife's prominence and visibility during his campaign--has inspired thousands of young Iranians to take to the streets and hail him as a democratic reformer.

Moussavi has condemned Ahmadenijad for denying the Holocaust and has called for a better relationship with the west.  But a review of his last tenure in government as Iran's prime minister during the 1980s reveals a record of radical statements that are very similar to Ahmadenijad's.

In 1988, Mousavi called Israel "a cancerous tumor."  In 1987, he attacked America as "the great satan."  He's also called for author Salman Rushdie to be killed, branding him "a tool of zionists against Islam."

He was identified by UPI in 1981 as an "untiring ideologue, a relentless propagandist for Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's Islamic republic."

According to the Washington Post, Mousavi "pledged subservience" to Iran's current supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khameini, in 1989.  He reportedly helped found the terrorist group Hezbollah and had close ties to Iran's intelligence services.

According to a 2007 IAEA report, Mousavi also played a lead role in establishing Iran's controversial nuclear program.  He continues to support that nuke program today, and has yet to retract any of his past statements about America or Israel.

This means that until Mousavi gives a full account of his record, talk of him as a voice of moderation may be seriously premature.

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CBN News
Erick Stakelbeck

Erick Stakelbeck

CBN News Correspondent

Erick Stakelbeck is a sought after authority on terrorism and national security issues with extensive experience in television, radio, and print media. Stakelbeck is a correspondent and terrorism analyst for CBN News.  Follow Erick on Twitter @Staks33.