Mousavi, Mir Hossein

Mousavi, Mir Hossein

(mēr hōsān` mo͞osävē`), 1941–, Iranian political leader and architect. Active in Islamic groups and in the opposition to the Shah's rule, he was (1979) a founder of the Islamic Republican party and served as foreign minister (1981) and prime minister (1981–89) after the Islamic Republic of Iran was established. Close to the Ayatollah KhomeiniKhomeini, Ayatollah Ruhollah
, 1900–1989, Iranian Shiite religious leader. Educated in Islam at home and in theological schools, in the 1950s he was designated ayatollah, a supreme religious leader, in the Iranian Shiite community.
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 and regarded as a hard-liner, he was often at odds over economic issues with Ali KhameneiKhamenei, Ali
(Mohammad Ali Hoseyn Khamenei) , 1939–, Iranian religious and political leader, b. Mashhad. A Shiite Islamic cleric who was the son of an ayatollah, Khamenei began his religious studies at a young age, and was briefly at Najaf, Iraq (1957), before he settled
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, who was then president and later succeeded Khomeini as Iran's supreme leader. Mousavi won regard for his leadership during Iran-Iraq WarIran-Iraq War,
1980–88, protracted military conflict between Iran and Iraq. It officially began on Sept. 22, 1980, with an Iraqi land and air invasion of western Iran, although Iraqi spokespersons maintained that Iran had been engaging in artillery attacks on Iraqi towns
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 but largely retired from politics when the post of prime minister was eliminated in 1989. He lent support to moderate Mohammad KhatamiKhatami, Mohammad
, 1943–, Iranian religious and political leader. From a prominent clerical family, Khatami opposed the regime of Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlevi in the 1960s and 70s, and in 1978 he headed the Islamic Center in Hamburg, Germany.
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 in his successful 1997 run for the presidency. In 2009 he ran for the presidency as a reformist against President Mahmoud AhmadinejadAhmadinejad, Mahmoud
, 1956–, Iranian politician. From a humble background, he supported the Islamic revolution (1979) while working toward his civil engineering doctorate and was a founder of the student union that occupied the U.S. embassy.
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, who had the support of Khamenei and was declared the winner under circumstances that appeared to indicate vote rigging. Mousavi denounced the results as fraudulent, and subsequently called the government illegitimate. Later in the year he was dismissed as president of the Iranian Academy of the Arts, a position he had held since 1998. His continued opposition to the government led in Feb., 2011, to his being placed under house arrest.
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