“A Catastrophe, or Martyrdom?”

Reporting from Tehran and Beirut– During the dark years of the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, the teenage Ali Habibi-Mousavi returned home from the front for weeklong visits. Amid the gloom, the young Iranian militiaman was full of good cheer for his mother, who couldn’t stop showering him with tears of relief and worry.

” ‘Mom, I am healthy and back home!’ he would say,” his mother recalled this week. ” ‘This is my head. This is my leg. This is my hand. All work perfectly! I do not deserve to be a martyr. I am made of metal!’ “

This week Khadijeh Mousavi, the sister of Iranian opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi, couldn’t stop weeping again as she mourned for her 43-year-old son. He was mysteriously shot to death during antigovernment demonstrations Sunday, the Shiite Muslim religious holiday Ashura.


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