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Former Iranian President To Defend Decision To Vote


Source: Radio Zamaneh

Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami, a major reformist figure, has announced that he will soon make a public explanation for his decision to cast a vote in Friday's parliamentary elections. The Kaleme opposition website published this news on Saturday without any further details.

Iranian opposition angered by Khatami's voting
(cartoon by Mana Neyestani)

Khatami's presence at a voting station on Friday made headlines in Iranian media because the reformists had widely boycotted the elections. Khatami previously had said that reformists could participate meaningfully in the election only if the government released all political prisoners and established an open space for political activity and transparent elections.

Iranian political activist Hossein Nourinejad, who visited Kahtami on Saturday, quoted him as saying: "I had received some disturbing information in the last two days leading up to the elections, regarding plans and plots by the extremists in the establishment to be carried out after the elections, which had to be defused by some surprising action on my part."

The former president expressed hope that his vote did not disrupt "reformist solidarity." He has reportedly stressed the "complexity" of the internal as well as the international situation and called for "understanding of these complexities by everyone."

Nourinejad reportedly asked the former president what he had written on his ballot, to which Khatami responded: "Islamic Republic."

Ali Shakourirad, another top reformist figure, has written in his weblog: "We have to wait a few months in order to understand the story behind Khatami's unexpected voting."

Polling place in Babol, northern Iran
Photos: Iranian Opposition Says Voter Turnout Was Low

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