Text of interview with Esma'il Kowsari, principle-ist Majles representative, by Mojtaba Hoseyni: "The People Fundamentally Disagree With the Second Khordad Reforms [referring to former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami's 22 June 1997 presidential election victory]" published by Iranian newspaper E'temad 19 December
Esma'il Kowsari, the principlist Majles deputy, has repeatedly claimed in his remarks that even if the reformists were to repent, people would not forgive their sins. In a telephone conversation with him, we asked him to provide us the basis and the evidence for his claim.
Question: Mr. Kowsari! In your remarks about the reformists you have repeatedly said that even if they were to repent and dissociate themselves [bara'at, a religious term meaning to shun evil] from their sins, people would not forgive their sins. My question is whether you have asked every single individual about their views that now you have reached this conclusion, or whether you have the results of a comprehensive research into the subject on the basis of which you are making this claim.
Kowsari: Look, we do not need to go personally or as a group to the people and ask for their views. People have expressed their views with their actions. There have been a number of elections and we have seen the results of those elections in practice. The reformists who especially brought about that Sedition in the year 88 [the protests and demonstrations after the 2009 presidential election], which ended up with Ashura [the tenth day of Muharram, the anniversary of the martyrdom of Imam Husayn] and those ugly events by some individuals, may now say that they had not been responsible for those events. Even if they had not been responsible they could have at least condemned those acts. The people who staged a revolution want their system to be based on their religion and on their beliefs.
Question: Mr. Kowsari! You did not answer my question. When you say that people will not forgive the sins of the reformists, you should have spoken to every individual to reach such conclusion. Secondly, as regards the issue of dissociating themselves, who should sign that document of dissociation? Who are the people who should accept the reformists? Is there a special organization that should confirm that it accepts the repentance of the reformists?
Kowsari: Those who were involved in the Sedition and who played a role in it. This is not a very vague issue.
Question: Who should repent? Do you mean Mr. [former President Mohammad] …