Foreign Policy

The FP Interview: Mohsen Makhmalbaf
Foreign Policy

In an exclusive interview from Paris, Mir Hossein Mousavi’s external spokesman describes this week’s protests in Iran as another revolution — and Mousavi as Iran’s Obama.

Foreign Policy: There has been growing criticism here in Washington that U.S. President Barack Obama hasn’t said or done enough to support those demonstrating in the streets of Iran. Do you think Obama is being too careful? Or even that he is helping Ahmadinejad by being cautious?

Mohsen Makhmalbaf: Obama has said that there is no difference between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi. Does he like it himself [when someone is] saying that there is no difference between Obama and [George W.] Bush? Ahmadinejad is the Bush of Iran. And Mousavi is the Obama of Iran.

Foreign Policy: Would Mousavi pursue a different foreign policy than Ahmadinejad?

Mohsen Makhmalbaf: As you may know, former President Mohammad Khatami, who is supporting Mousavi at the moment, was in favor of dialogue between the civilizations, but Ahmadinejad talks about the war of the civilizations. Is there not any difference between the two?

Foreign Policy: Does Mousavi have a message that he’d like to deliver to the international community?

Mohsen Makhmalbaf: [He asks] that the governments [of the world] pay attention to the people in the streets and do not recognize the government of Ahmadinejad as the representative of Iran — [that they] do not recognize the government of Ahmadinejad as a legitimate government.