Iranian opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi characterized the authorities in Tehran as “totalitarian,” as part of his harshest attack on the government in recent memory.
In an interview with an opposition website, Mousavi compared the Ayatollah regime ruling Iran to other tyrannical regimes in history, including the Nazi regime.
“They are resorting to methods [against the opposition] used in totalitarian regimes like Stalin in the Soviet era or [former dictator Nicolae] Ceausescu in Romania,” Mousavi said in a statement posted on his website.
He added that the propaganda statements of Joseph Goebbels in Nazi Germany paled in significance to the lying done by Iran’s rulers.
“They’ve surpassed Goebbels in telling lies. Leveling accusations and telling lies is part of their ossified faith,” he said.
And unlike comparisons of Bush to Hitler or Obama to Stalin, Mousavi’s comparisons have a basis in fact. The coerced confessions of dissidents like blogger Mohammad Ali Abtahi surely have the goons of Stalin’s NKVD smiling in whatever corner of hell they occupy.
Mousavi, who ran against Ahmadinejad for president in 2009 and lost in a fraudulent election, is clearly daring the Iranian regime to arrest him, as they’ve threatened to do many times.
Tehran’s chief prosecutor, Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi, said last month that it was only a matter of time before opposition leaders are put on trial for the unrest following the disputed 2009 presidential election. Iranian officials have slammed opposition figures and characterized them as “traitors.”
So far, however, authorities have stopped short of trying to jail the reform movement’s top leaders, possibly out of concern it could spark a new wave of protests and fuel the opposition.