The streets of Tehran are clear of demonstrators this morning, as opponents of president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad absorb Wednesday’s shocking news: opposition presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi has been disqualified after publication of semi-nude photos.
Iran’s ruling Guardian Council announced Mousavi’s disqualification mere hours after the photographs were published in the hard-line newspaper Iran. “Due to this troubling moral lapse, the Guardian Council has no choice but to rule Mir Hossein Mousavi ineligible and issues surrounding the legitimacy of last week’s election are moot,” read a statement issued by the office of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
A source in the Guardian Council said the provocative photographs were taken in the 1980s when Mousavi was prime minister, and modeled for a series of posters promoting import sales of TOW missiles. “The shirt was undone at the collar a morally borderline two buttons. In the offending series of photos, a third unfastened button can be seen clearly, revealing skin that is an abomination before God,” the source said.
Mousavi continues to be in seclusion and was unavailable for comment. However, Prof. Reza Frandle, a George Washington University historian familiar with Mousavi’s 1981-89 term as prime minister, speculated that Mousavi’s shirt may have been blown open by a breeze.
President Ahmadinejad took a break from measuring his office for new drapes to assure his country that the electoral crisis has passed.
“The people of Iran can put the election and its aftermath behind them and move forward. Move forward, now. Moving forward, confident that their president’s collar is fastened around his neck as tightly as a tourniqet,” Ahmadinejad said.