Evin Prison

A group of Iranian political prisoners has written to former president Mohammad Khatami, urging him to run in the presidential election should the right conditions present themselves. The letter, dated April 17 and published on the Kaleme website, does not set out the release of political prisoners as a precondition.

In fact, the political prisoners are urging the former president to drop the precondition of freedom for all political prisoners and have called on him to run in the election “with utmost selflessness.”

They insist that they will endure their ordeal to “defend the rights of the people, the fate of the country, free elections and the guarantee of personal and civil rights for citizens.” They add that the fate of the country and the people is far more important than the fate of political prisoners.

The letter adds that they hope widespread participation in the coming election will “overcome all obstacles against democratic reforms and move the country toward peace, growth and development.”

The letter is signed by prominent reformist figures such as Alireza Beheshti Shirazi, Abolfazl Ghadiyani, and Mostafa Tajzadej, as well as Abdollah Moemeni and Abdolfattah Soltani.

The letter states that most Iranians are now concerned about Iran’s security and interests and are looking to the coming election for solutions.

While many reformists have called on Khatami to run, the former president has so far refrained from nominating himself. Some conservative figures have said that Kahtami will not be considered eligible to run, and in the event that he does put his name forward, it remains to be seen if the Guardian Council would In fact approve his candidacy.