Mousavi 'under 24-hour guard'

The Iranian opposition leader Mirhossein Mousavi is under 24-hour guard by secret police and no longer able to speak freely to supporters, according to the film director Mohsen Makhmalbaf.





Mr Makhmalbaf, 52, an informal spokesman abroad for the protest in Iran, said that Mr Mousavi was not under arrest but "he has security agents, secret police with him all the time. He has to be careful what he says."

In a telephone interview, Mr Makhmalbaf, the director of the 2001 film Kandaha, denied suggestions that the protests against the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad were losing steam.

"The regime, arguably, is losing ground, not the protests," he said. "Ordinary Iranians are openly rejecting the legitimacy and power of Ayatollah Khamanei. That is entirely new, unheard of."

Mr Makhmalbaf, a friend of Mr Mousavi for 20 years, said that there were reports from Iran that some of the militia deployed to suppress protest were "speaking Arabic". "That is unconfirmed but it suggests that the regime is unable to trust its own security forces to repress the Iranian people," he said. "It suggests that people are being used from abroad."

Mr Makhmalbaf is touring Europe to try to explain events in Iran to the media. He denied reports that he had been formally appointed as a spokesman for Mr Mousavi outside Iran. "I am simply speaking on behalf of all the people who are protesting and dying on the streets of Iran," he said.

Mr Mousasvi's means of communication had been cut off, or confiscated, just after the disputed election, Mr Makhmalbaf said. He had therefore been asked informally to make sure that a true picture of what was happening in Iran reached the outside world.

Asked to explain where the protests might go from here, he said that Mr Mousavi had urged his supporters not to confront the regime directly but to "adopt the tactics of Gandhi, the tactics of non-violent protest and civil disobedience".

"The problem is that the more people that are killed, the more angry people will be, the more protesters will want to come out onto the streets."

The film director dismissed all hope of some form of negotiated agreement. "Within the last ten days, there has been a meeting between Mousavi and Ayatollah Khamanei," he said. "Nothing came of this meeting. I do not know of any further dialogue which is now going on."

Asked to explain how a Mousavi-run Iran would differ from an Ahmadinejad-run Iran, Mr Makhmalbaf said: "The first thing to say is that it is now clear that Ahmadinejad is irrelevant. He is not the real power."

If Mousavi was to become president, he said, Iran would invest in "improving the economy for ordinary people, not creating nuclear weapons or supporting conflicts abroad". Secondly, he said, there would be an end to the "constant harassment of young people which means that virtually every young person in Iran has been beaten up by the security forces."

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
From Mean Girls to Mamet: Lindsay Lohan
theatre
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne (No 2) drives home his side's second goal past Arsenal’s David Ospina at the Emirates
footballArsenal 1 Southampton 2: Arsène Wenger pays the price for picking reserve side in Capital One Cup
News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
Travel
travelGallery And yes, it is indoors
Arts and Entertainment
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
booksJudith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed'
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
News
people
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Account Executive/Sales Consultant – Permanent – Hertfordshire - £16-£20k

£16500 - £20000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

KS2 PPA Teacher needed (Mat Cover)- Worthing!

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: KS2 PPA Teacher currently nee...

IT Systems Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

Day In a Page

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

My George!

Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world