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Opposition leader Khatami declares people's protests will persist

Report by Radio Zamaneh

Mohammad Khatami, former president of Iran spoke today concerning the "Green Movement" which has become the symbolic name of the people's recent protests and demands for reform, saying: "Be certain that there is no going back in this movement. We are still standing by our main statements."

Khatami during Qods Day protests in Tehran

Speaking during a visit in Yazd, Mr. Khatami emphasized: "Today a dogmatic, violent and deluded movement is trying to exclude from the scene whomever it does not approve of. It is a pity that those who believe in the Islamic Republic find it hard to speak openly."

The reformist politician once more announced his support for the "millions" who staged a "civil" protest following the disputed re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He added that referring to people's legitimate protests as riots is "the greatest slander to people."

In response to hardliners such as Ahmad Khatami and Major-General Firouzabadi, chief of armed forces, who have maintained that the reform movement is trying to omit the Islamic aspect of the system, Mohammad Khatami declared: "The dominant sprit of our people is Islamic; therefore, no movement will triumph in our country unless it remains faithful to the principles of our culture and these principles are completely Islamic."

Regarding the confrontation of the armed forces with protesters, Mr. Khatami claimed: "It is not possible to protect the system for a long period through the use of the armed forces. If we align ourselves with the demands of the people, we will reach our objectives with greater speed and at a lesser cost. Either way the people's protests will never cease."

Following the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the remaining candidates disputed his victory and nationwide demonstrations were staged to protest vote fraud. The protests were confronted with the violent treatment of the armed forces during which tens were killed and thousands were arrested.

The protests have been condemned by the establishment and portrayed as a conspiracy to topple the system. Opposition leaders, including Mohammad Khatami, have repeatedly maintained that their demands are constitutional and fully in line with the provisions of the Islamic Republic system.

... Payvand News - 10/11/09 ... --

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