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Iran: Reformist Calls On Government To Listen To Protesters

Tehran, 10 December 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Mohammad Reza Khatami, a top Iranian reformist and brother of President Mohammad Khatami, today called on Iran's powerful conservative leaders to listen to the demands of student protesters. In an interview published by the official IRNA news agency, Mohammad Reza Khatami said the ongoing wave of demonstrations by students and other reformists shows that Iran's government no longer responds to the needs of the people.

Khatami said that efforts to repress the protests would be futile, and warned that student resistance was largely responsible for the fall of the regime of Iran's Shah.

Khatami, who heads Iran's main reformist party, also said that reformists as well as conservatives should listen to demands from protesters, many of whom accuse the reformist president of being too weak.