"Things can't go on for long like this," Montazeri was quoted as saying in an interview conducted by mobile phone from his home in Qom. It was unclear when the interview took place.
"I think the future structure of our society is not so important. It could be an Islamic Republic, a secular republic, or as far as I am concerned, even a monarchy. The main thing is that people can live in freedom and in prosperity," he said. Anti-government protests have flared repeatedly since a disputed presidential election last June, throwing Iran into its most serious internal crisis in the Islamic Republic's 30-year history.
In the last week, there have been bloody confrontations, arrests and hardline demands for the strong suppression of opponents of the government.
Asked by Der Spiegel if he expected a bloodbath, Montazeri said: "I hope it won't come to that. I still hope the rulers will come to their senses and make compromises and take the path of national reconciliation. If they don't, my country will be in a much worse state in one year's time than it is today."
Montazeri also insisted that Ahmadinejad should resign.
"The people responsible must apologize for their wrongdoings and repression in the last months. That would be the condition for a continuation of the Islamic Republic. And after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has resigned, the presidential office must be handed to the candidate who won most votes at the election -- Mr (Mirhossein) Mousavi," sa... >>>
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