Mohammad Khatami

Mohammad Khatami former Iranian president spoke out today against the house arrest of opposition leaders MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, and condemned the “destructive measures” taken against them.

“Why should someone such as Mr. Mousavi and Mr. Karroubi with their stellar background in the Revolution and the Islamic Republic and complete faith in the substance of the regime and the Revolution be under house arrest and subjected to such restrictions?” Khatami said in a meeting with a group of academics and members of the clergy.

Iranian opposition leaders have been forced into a strict house arrest since they called for a rally on February 14 in solidarity with the recent Arab uprisings. After the ministry of interior refused to issue a permit for the demonstrations, the people took to the streets although their leaders were under house arrest and could not join them.

While there has been no official order issued against the two opposition leaders, the head of the judiciary and hardliner Ahmad Jannati head of the Guardian Council announced that Mousavi and Karroubi must be prevented from issuing any further announcements.

Iranian former president went on to say: ‘If all the senior officials that have enjoyed the approval of the Imam (Khomeini), the people and the leadership, are now to be regarded as corrupt, deviant and anti-Revolutionaries, would not the people of the world be right to wonder if the outcome of the Revolution is merely corruption and deviance?”

Mohammad Khatami repeated his earlier recommendations in dealing with the current situation saying that at the threshold of the Iranian New Year, he hoped that the authorities would cease the restrictions imposed on the leaders, release all political prisoners and create a safe and free atmosphere for the people to participate in elections.

Khatami emphasized that the county needs all its pure forces, be they critical of the government or not.

Khatami summed up his view of the past two years of protests to the alleged fraud in the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his plan of action for resolving the crisis, saying: “It has been and still is our hope that after two years of unnecessary tension which could have been resolved and prevented with dialogue, communication and respect for national and citizen rights, the country opens up with wisdom and foresight toward cooperation and multilateral progress.” .