Mohammad Khatami

Former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami expressed grave concern regarding Iran’s current situation and stressed that the reformists should turn to the people rather than the establishment.

The Baran Foundation website, which is linked to the top reformist figure, reported on Tuesday January 22 that in a speech to members of the Youth Organizations of the Forces of Imam’s Path, Khatami said: “I assess the current situation as dismal. I fear that the sanctions and other problems may force Iran to surrender or burn away like a candle and be destroyed; this is a serious threat.”

He added: “We (the reformists) should turn to the people rather than the establishment, and that doesn’t mean that we should turn our backs to the government. It is the government that that has turned its back on us, but we tolerate it graciously.”

The reformist leader expressed concern regarding the possibility of anarchy in the country and stressed that any foreign intervention in Iran will not benefit the country.

The reformists have been heavily sidelined by the Islamic Republic establishment since the 2009 election, when reformist candidates MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi challenged the results of the elections and triggered mass protests.

They are now under house arrest, and numerous protesters have been arrested and given heavy prison terms.

Khatami stressed that the government’s policy of forcing others out of the political arena is not in the interests of the country.

He added that all positions in the government, including the Supreme Leadership, should be open to criticism.