Mehdi Karroubi
Financial Times

FT: Demonstrators first targeted Mr Ahmadi-Nejad in their street protests after the election. But as you know that it’s been quite some time that the whole system and the supreme leader have been targets. People now call for a secular state. What do you think?

MK: I think these slogans are 100 per cent wrong and won’t bear any fruits. I am even suspicious of such slogans and don’t know if it’s truly by the youth who are emotional and immature or by certain [power] centres try to make people over-react and then use it as an excuse for suppression. Our slogans are within this system and this constitution. Our constitution has some weaknesses but has lots of [democratic] capacities.

FT: Why don’t you tell your supporters not to chant the slogans?

MK: I do tell them. A small number of people chanted “Neither Gaza, nor Lebanon, My life is for Iran”. You saw how much it was misused by the other side. Some wise people believed the slogan should have been “Both Gaza and Lebanon, My life is for Iran”.

MK: I accept velayat-e faghih [the rule of supreme jurisprudent envisaged in the constitution]. I accept the Islamic republic and I accept the constitution. I don’t agree with slogans that call for changing power structures.

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