Iran's Khatami says vote protests will not die

TEHRAN — Reformist former president Mohammad Khatami has said the protests which followed Iran's disputed presidential election will carry on, his Baran foundation website reported on Sunday.

"If we go along with people's demand, we will reach our goals quicker and in a less costly manner," Khatami was quoted as telling people from his hometown in the central province of Yazd.

"But if not, this (protest) movement will continue but costlier. In any case this movement will not die."

Hundreds of thousands of Iranians poured onto the streets of Tehran in protest to claim fraud in the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June 12 vote.

Khatami, who was president from 1997 to 2005, joined forces with the opposition movement led by moderate former premier Mir Hossein Mousavi and reformist cleric Mehdi Karroubi.

The opposition group called for a re-run of the election charging that the poll was massively rigged to keep the president in power.

Khatami had endorsed Mousavi for the poll, which bitterly divided Iran's political elite and triggered mass street protests in which dozens of people have been killed.

The ex-president said the situation in Iran was not a struggle between conservatives and reformists, but that "a narrow-minded, violent ... and mistrusting current ... wants to get rid of those whom it dislikes."

"This current must know that it can't forcibly... >>>

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