Who is Mir-Hossein Mousavi?

While many people are rightly appalled at the brutality shown by the Iranian regime against those protesting the outcome of the vote, it might be time to step back and ask just who is Mir-Hossein Mousavi, the losing candidate in the Iranian election and the object of the protesters' dissatisfaction?  

Some might say he's not such a nice person, an evil Tweedledum to Ahmadinejad's equally evil Tweedledee.   As Iran's prime minister for about eight years during the 80s not only was he the architect of Iran's nuclear strategy,  Jeff Stein of CQ Politics labels him "The Butcher of Beirut."     

...[T]hree decades ago Mir-Hossein Mousavi was waging a terrorist war on the United States that included bloody attacks on the U.S. embassy and Marine Corps barracks in Beirut.


(He)  personally selected his point man for the Beirut terror campaign, Ali Akbar Mohtashemi-pur, and dispatched him to Damascus as Iran's ambassador, according to former CIA and military officials.


"The Iranian ambassador received instructions from the foreign minister to have various groups target U.S. personnel in Lebanon, but in particular to carry out a 'spectacular action' against the Marines," said Lyons.

"He was prime minister," Lyons said of Mousavi, "so he didn't get down to the details at the lowest levels. "But he was in a principal position and had to be aware of what was going on."

Lyons, sometimes called "the father" of the Navy SEALs' Red Cell counter-terror unit, also fingered Mousavi for the 1988 truck bombing of the U.S. Navy's Fleet Center in Naples, Italy, that killed five persons, including the first Navy woman to die in a terrorist attack.  (snip)   But Baer, a former CIA Middle East field officer whose exploits were dramatized in the George Clooney movie "Syriana,"  places Mousavi even closer to the Beirut bombings.

"He dealt directly with Imad Mughniyah," who ran the Beirut terrorist campaign and was "the man largely held responsible for both attacks," Baer wrote in TIME over the weekend.  

Although superficially seemingly more rational than Ahmadinejad, Mousavi harbors the same hatred for the U.S. as his opponent, the same commitment to fund Iran's terror campaign around the world, whatever the cost.  So the best of luck to both of them; Iranians you're confronted with bad choices.  

Hat tip:  Naomi Reagan