Mousavi's Iran Might Not Be Much Different

Ex-PM has conservative record; change likely tough under ayatollah
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 17, 2009 9:44 AM CDT
Supporters of Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossien Mousavi demonstrate in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday June 16, 2009. Thousands of protesters rallied in Tehran in support of Mousavi.   (AP Photo/APTN, Amateur Video)
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(Newser) – Observers have heralded the candidacy of Mir Hossein Mousavi as a step toward a more moderate Iran—but in fact, Mousavi’s record shows support for some "controversial policies" in Iran, the Wall Street Journal reports. As prime minister in the 1980s, Mousavi was a social conservative, and he backs the ideals of the 1979 Islamic revolution.

“The difference between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi in terms of their actual policies may not be as great as advertised,” President Obama said. Mousavi would likely have a hard time making major changes under Iran’s conservative supreme leader. And if he does gain the presidency, that could make it more difficult for Obama to win international support for stronger sanctions against Iran. That’s “much easier to do if the Iranian president is a Holocaust-denying radical,” said an expert.