A Closer Look at Mousavi

The writer of a Newsweek article profiling Iran's opposition presidential candidate has been detained without charge by Iranian authorities. Maziar Bahari’s article, entitled “Anyone but Ahmadinejad,” was published last month and contains rare personal details about Mir Hossein Mousavi. The leader was the prime minister after the Iranian Revolution, and clashed with current Supreme Leader Khamenei over Mousavi's more leftist views. But Khamenei visited the candidate's ailing father in May, which was seen as a sign he was willing to support a Mousavi victory. When a new regime abolished Mousavi's prime minister position in 1989, he returned to a private life of creating abstract art, his major passion, and completely dropped out of politics. Mousavi refers to himself as a “reformist principalist,” an ambiguous term in both English and Farsi. Bahari argued that at 68, Mousavi may not have the ability to modernize the Iranian government to the liking of voters, dubbed “logical principalists.” “‘I'm sure those young people in Milad Hall who were chanting idealistic slogans know in their heart of hearts that those ideals are not realizable at the moment,’” said Mohammad Khatami, President Ahmadinejad’s predecessor. Khatami was "furious" when Mousavi decided to run, and rescinded his candidacy. Bahari has not been heard from since he was arrested on Sunday.