MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi

Iran’s opposition leaders today warned of dangerous political trends, saying the Islamic Republic shows signs of "a return to Monarchical relations, this time in the name of religion."

In a joint statement marking the 32nd anniversary of the 1979 Revolution, which toppled Iran’s 2,500-year-old system of monarchical rule and led to the founding of the Islamic Republic, MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi said Iran’s current political situation is creating the same problems that people faced under the monarchical regime.

They say current rulers have violated the ideals of the Revolution and all of the individual rights that were incorporated into the constitution.

The opposition leaders say the establishment voices constant concern about the demise of religion and religious values in society, yet "their oppressive actions against the people have caused the greatest damage to religion."

The opposition leaders maintain that a "new discourse" has come to the foreground over the past two years, aiming for "justice and freedom while avoiding violence and lies."

They say the discourse was spawned by the protests that disputed the 2009 presidential election and the government’s oppressive reaction. Mousavi and Karroubi, who were both presidential candidates, challenged the victory of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, accusing the government of vote fraud. Millions of people took to the streets in support of the opposition asking for their votes back.

The government crushed the peaceful protests with violence, followed by widespread arrests.

Mousavi and Karroubi have now applied for a permit to rally their supporters next Monday in solidarity with the people of Egypt and Tunisia, but so far the government has ignored their request.