By VOA News|
Supporters of former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami have urged him to run
for the office again.
|Iran's former reformist president, Mohammad
The call came during a ceremony Thursday in his hometown of Yazd, in central
Students who attended the tribute for Mr. Khatami chanted his name and called
him "the next president."
But the former leader remained silent on whether he would mount a comeback by
running against his successor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in next June's presidential
Several European politicians also paid tribute to Mr. Khatami at the ceremony,
including former Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi and former Irish President
Mary Robinson. Some of them said the event had the feel of an election campaign.
Mr. Khatami is a prominent reformist who served as Iran's president from 1997 to
2005. His allies say he has the best chance of unseating Mr. Ahmadinejad, a
conservative who has the backing of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Mr. Ahmadinejad's domestic critics accuse him of provoking international
isolation with vitriolic statements against Israel and the United States. They
also blame him for Iran's high inflation, which hovers around 30 percent.
Former Iranian Vice President Mohammad Ali Abtahi says Mr. Khatami cannot avoid
standing for election when, he says, Iran is in need.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP,
AP and Reuters.
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