Amir Al-Moussawi, Iran's Cultural Attaché to Algeria, has evoked anger by making unflattering comments about the wife of deceased President Houari Boumédiène.
Moussawi apparently accused Anissa Boumédiène – wife of the second president of independent Algeria – slandering Iran government. These remarks have been described as a violation of diplomatic norms and a sign of disrespect of the wife who is considered one of the symbols of the nation. Activists on social media demanded to expel him.
The origin of the story
On Saturday, January 27, 2018, Mrs. Boumédiène, participated in a meeting of the Iranian opposition in Paris, and stated in a short intervention that "We wish from God that the current Iranian regime would be ousted and replaced by a woman, Maryam Rajavi."
"This is because you have proven your abilities for years and we have all witnessed how you have overcome the difficulties you have faced and are still facing till now," said Anissa Boumédiène to Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the opposition's National Council of Resistance of Iran.
Boumédiène's widow voiced her appreciation for the courage of the members of the "People's Mujahedin of Iran".
It is the first time that Anissa Boumédiène has publicly revealed her position towards the current Iranian regime, although she has been attending Iranian opposition conferences abroad. She is known for her scarce appearance in the media, and her statements are often limited to recounting memories and facts about her and her husband, the deceased president.
Who is Anissa Boumédiène?
Anissa is considered as one of Algeria's most prominent first ladies because she was married to a president who is known for his strong charisma and who left a great impact in Algeria's modern history.
Boumédiène (nee El-Mansali) is descendent from a revolutionary family in the capital of the country. Her father Ahmed used to own a cinema which he used to hide the Algerian mujahidin during the revolution.
According to testimonies from historians of to the Algerian newspaper Echorouk El Yawmi, Boumédiène has been a human rights activist who practiced law and has been active in the National Union of Algerian Women and the National Liberation Front party.
The Cultural Attaché at the Embassy of Iran in Algeria, Amir Al-Moussawi, took an entire day to respond to Anissa Boumédiène's media appearance and published a post on his official Facebook page entitled "files of the enemies of the Islamic Republic".
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Al-Moussawi said that:"The widow of the deceased Algerian President Houari Boumédiène, Anissa Ahmed El-Mansali, said, in Paris that she wished bring down the regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran (of mullahs, as she described it), and hopes to see the terrorist Maryam Rajavi ruling Iran. She is being supported by Israel, the United States, and some Zionist Bedouins. She is also embraced and backed by France."
He continued: "I wonder if the deceased President Boumédiène was still alive, what would he say to his wife who been supporting slanderers, terrorists and enemies of humanity whose voices and positions have been united in calling to overthrow the choice of the Iranian resistant people and replace it with the option of the Zionist-American takfiri axis".
A campaign to hold Al-Moussawi accountable
Amir Al-Moussawi's post has resulted in angry reactions which considered that he violated the diplomatic norms, and showed disrespect of the first lady of the country in the seventies of the last century.
Algerian writer and human rights activist, Anouar Malek, known for his strong opposition to Iran, called on the Algerian authorities to hold Al-Moussawi accountable.