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Source: AFP News

Feb 5, 2023

One of Iran's main opposition figures, Mir Hossein Mousavi, has called for the "fundamental transformation" of a political system he said was facing a crisis of legitimacy amid protests triggered by Mahsa Amini's death.

"Iran and Iranians need and are ready for a fundamental transformation whose outline is drawn by the pure 'Woman, Life, Freedom' movement," Mousavi said in a statement carried by local media on Sunday.

He was referring to the main slogan of demonstrations sparked by the death on September 16 of Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd. She had been arrested three days earlier by the morality police in Tehran for an alleged breach of the Islamic republic's dress code for women.

Mousavi, 80, said the protest movement began in the context of "interdependent crises including economic, environmental, of legitimacy and management, cultural and media, social and foreign policy".

He proposed holding a "free and healthy referendum on the need to change or draft a new constitution", calling the current system's structure "unsustainable".

An unsuccessful presidential candidate in 2009, Mousavi made allegations of large-scale fraud in favour of populist incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, leading to mass protests.

He has been under house arrest without charge in Tehran for 12 years, along with his wife Zahra Rahnavard.A close confidant of the Islamic republic's founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Mousavi served as prime minister from 1981 to 1989.

"People have the right to make fundamental revisions in order to overcome crises and pave the way for freedom, justice, democracy and development," Mousavi said in the statement, which he published on his website on Saturday.This is "enshrined in the 1979 People's Revolution", he added.

"The refusal to take the smallest step towards realising the rights of citizens as defined in the constitution... has discouraged the community from carrying out reforms," he said.

Agence France-Presse

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