Mohammad Kahtami

Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami is urging the Islamic Republic leadership and the people to forgive each other and reach out to each other for the sake of the country’s future.

On his personal website, Khatami writes about his meeting with some of the veterans of the eight-year Iran-Iraq War, where he said: "If there has been any wrongdoing, let us all forgive each other and look toward the future."

In the presidential elections of 2009, MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, the two reformist candidates, accused the government of vote-rigging to secure Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election.

The allegations led to widespread protests across the country, which were violently quashed by government forces. Dozens were killed, thousands were arrested and numerous activists, journalists , lawyers and reformist figures were handed harsh prison sentences.

The two opposition leaders are currently under house arrest, reformists are being pushed out of the political scene, while all sorts of social activists are being persecuted for any media or public activity.

Khatami expresses his grave concern over the "toxic atmosphere" of Iran’s political arena and proposes a series of solutions to lead the country out of this situation.

Khatami urges the government not to regard every criticism as sedition and to allow political parties and groups to function and participate in elections.

The former president reminds the establishment of the ideals of the Revolution as preached by the founder of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Khomeini. He urges the authorities to recognize people’s right to those ideals.

Khatami also refers to the dire national economy. Citing a lack of economic growth, he calls into question the government’s claim that it has created 2.5 million jobs.