Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami spoke out against the continued detainment of opposition figures and protesters, and criticized the government for failing to resolve the “extraordinary situation” of the past two years.
“The year has passed, and while political prisoners have not been released, those who were free have been summoned and put under arrest.” Khatami told a meeting in Yazd according to his website. “Pressure on those who are in prisons and their families has grown, and house arrests and further restrictions have also been added on top of them.”
The two Iranian opposition leaders, MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, have been put under house arrest since they called for a rally on February 14 in solidarity with the recent Arab uprisings in the region.
Khatami urged the government to grant freedom to all political prisoners, media and organizations and to end the house arrests.
Khatami also called for “free and healthy” elections so that “everyone can safely participate in the elections as voters and candidates.”
In view of the upcoming parliamentary elections, he expressed hope that the new parliament will be inclusive of all attitudes and trends in society and trust the people as it carries out its duties in “lawmaking and supervising government affairs and demanding accountability.”
The Islamic Republic hardliners have repeatedly said that that more attention must be paid to the eligibility criteria for candidates, an indication that reformists will be hard pressed to run in the coming elections.