Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi vowed not to let the blood of protesters killed in post-election crackdown be shed in vain as he met with the family of a young man shot to death during the turmoil, a reformist Web site reported yesterday.
Several hundred supporters gathered, some chanting “death to the dictator,” as Mousavi and his wife visited the family of Sohrab Aarabi, 19, who disappeared during a June 15 protest, said mowjcamp.com, a site close to Mousavi. Footage from the visit posted on the Web showed Mousavi moving through a crowd of wellwishers inside Aarabi’s family home to his parents to express condolences.
Aarabi disappeared during a June 15 protest, and his family searched for weeks for news of his fate. They were finally notified on Saturday that he had been shot in the chest and died during the crackdown on the protests. Aarabi was buried on Monday in the Behesht-e-Zahra cemetery on the outskirts of Tehran.
Mousavi and his popular wife Zahra Rahnavard made the visit as a top aide announced that Mousavi will create a new front grouping pro-reform political parties — the first concrete sign of what the opposition’s next step will be to carry on its campaign against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s government.
Mousavi claims to have won the June 12 election and that Ahmadinejad’s victory in official results was fraudulent. But Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has backed Ahmadinejad, and security forces crushed street protests by hundreds of thousands of Iranians in support of Mousavi.
“We won’t let the blood of these youth go in vain,” Mousavi told Aarabi’s family during the visit, the Web site norooznews.org said.
Aarabi’s mother, Parvin Fahimi, said she would take the case of her slain son to domestic and, if necessary, international courts, the site reported.
Hundreds of candles were lit in the streets of the Tehran neighborhood where the family lives, mowjcamp reported. Inside the home, the walls were hung with pictures of Aarabi wearing a green scarf over his shoulders — the color of Mousavi’s opposition movement.
Ahmadinejad is due to be sworn into office for a second term sometime between Aug. 2 and Aug. 6, vice speaker of parliament Mohammad Reza Bahonar said on Tuesday, state news agency IRNA reported. The inauguration would take place a day after a ceremony in which Khamenei officially approves him as president.
The site mowjcamp said Mousavi and other prominent reformist leaders will hold street protests after attending a Friday prayer to be led by their main supporter, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.