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Former Iranian President Calls For Opposition Leaders' Release


Former reformist President Mohammad Khatami (right) has called for opposition leaders Mir Hossein Musavi (left) and Mehdi Karrubi to be freed.

Former reformist President Mohammad Khatami (right) has called for opposition leaders Mir Hossein Musavi (left) and Mehdi Karrubi to be freed.

Reports say former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami has called on the government to release two prominent opposition leaders who have been kept under house arrest since calling for a February 14 opposition protest.

The demonstration called for by Mir Hossein Musavi and Mehdi Karrubi was the largest seen in Iran since the government's brutal crackdown on unrest in the summer of 2009.

Khatami, a reformist leader, was president of Iran from 1997 to 2005 and announced on his khatami.ir website today that he hoped "with the start of the Iranian New Year [March 20], we will see the end of the house arrest, the end of restrictions, the release of the prisoners and the creation of a safe and free climate...in which the people's vote will be decisive."

Pro-government supporters, meanwhile, have been demanding that Musavi and Karrubi be tried and even executed.

The opposition has announced that they will hold more demonstrations if the opposition leaders are held past March 1.

compiled from agency reports
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