Iranian Reformist Leader Calls for New Constitution

A young man holds a sign that reads, Stand with the women of Iran, in Venice. (Reuters)
A young man holds a sign that reads, Stand with the women of Iran, in Venice. (Reuters)
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Iranian Reformist Leader Calls for New Constitution

A young man holds a sign that reads, Stand with the women of Iran, in Venice. (Reuters)
A young man holds a sign that reads, Stand with the women of Iran, in Venice. (Reuters)

Iranian reformist leader Mir Hossein Moussavi has called for drafting a new constitution and submitting it to a popular referendum, followed by a “free and fair” vote to change the structure of political power in Iran.

Moussavi, who has been under house arrest since February 2011, said in a statement published by his official website, Kalima, that the “bloody” events in recent months and years in Iran showed that the slogan “implementing the constitution without concessions” - which he raised in the 2009 presidential elections – was no longer viable, stressing the need for fundamental change.

Moussavi criticized the “obstinacy” of the authorities and their insistence on repressive methods in the recent protests, instead of dialogue and persuasion. Pointing to Iran’s increasing problems, he said that the biggest crisis was the contradictory structure of the country that was no longer viable.

“Iran and the Iranians need a fundamental change that takes its main features from the pure movement of ‘Woman, Life, Freedom,’ Moussavi said, referring to the main slogan of the Iranian women’s uprising that erupted following the death of the young Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, and became the focus of the latest public protests calling for the overthrow of the regime.

The Iranian reformist leader called for working on three proposals: first, drafting a new constitution, second, holding a referendum on it in a “free and fair” vote, and then forming a Constituent Assembly to finally adopt the new constitution.

He urged all components of the Iranian people to formulate a basic pact, thus proposing a new structure and system to replace the Islamic Republic.

Moussavi stressed that the introduction of such system “will shake the authoritarian power and force it to respond, because the source of strength is in the people, not in weapons and oppression.”



Fire at Hospital in Iran’s North Kills 9 Patients

The Iranian flag. (AFP)
The Iranian flag. (AFP)
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Fire at Hospital in Iran’s North Kills 9 Patients

The Iranian flag. (AFP)
The Iranian flag. (AFP)

A fire broke out at a hospital in Iran's north, killing nine patients, state media reported Tuesday.

The blaze started at 1:30 local time (2200GMT) at Qaem Hospital in the city of Rasht, some 330 kilometers (about 205 miles) northwest of the capital Tehran, state TV said, leaving six women and three men dead.

Chief of the city fire department, Shahram Momeni, said on state TV that an electric short circuit in the basement — which harbors the intensive care unit — malfunctioned, causing the fire.

Momeni said emergency workers rescued more than 140 people, patients and hospital staff, after being trapped because of the smoke, and that 120 of them were hospitalized in other medical facilities. He added that an investigation has been ordered.

A video posted online appeared to show smoke billowing from the hospital in the middle of the night.

Iranian media occasionally report on fires in hospitals and clinics that are mainly blamed on technical issues.

In 2020, an explosion from a gas leak in a medical clinic in northern Tehran killed 19 people.