Mohammad Khatami

Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami has called on Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei to assist new president Hassan Rohani to realize the promises made to the people.

Khatami’s office website reports that the former president told a Tehran University student association: “The president can be successful if he works in coordination with the leader.

Hassan Rohani was backed by reformists in the presidential election, and the reformists are traditionally not backed by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. In the last election, however, Iran’s Leader called on the people of all persuasions and beliefs to participate in the election for the sake of the country, and Khatami, a top reformist figure, is now going a step further to urge Ayatollah Khamenei’s support in realizing the reformist agenda.

Khatami went on to add: “We should take care not to hurry matters with unreasonable expectations from the administration. If the people are looking for change in the system, we have to change our approach and proceed step by step.”

Khatami went on to denounce the continued house arrest of MirHosein Mousavi, Zahra Rahnavard and Mehdi Karroubi and called for the release of all political prisoners. He said: “We want an end to this security atmosphere so that everyone can express their opinion.”

Mousavi, Rahnavard and Karroubi have been under house arrest since February 2011.