Iran has already executed more than 50 people this year

Iran: Two ex-leaders call for political changes

Two former leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mohammad Khatami and Mir Hossein Moussavi, on Sunday called for political reforms to address protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini.

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As the 44th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution approaches in February 1979, one of the country’s main opponents, former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Moussavi, has called for a “fundamental change” in the political system, which is facing a “crisis of legitimacy”.

“What is evident today is widespread discontent,” the reformist leader, former President Mohammad Khatami, said in a statement released Sunday.

He hopes that the use of “nonviolent civilian methods” can “force the state to change its approach and initiate reforms”.

“Iran and Iranians need and are ready for a fundamental change, the main lines of which will be pursued by the pure Women-Life-Freedom movement,” stresses Mr. Moussavi for his part in a press release published on his website and reproduced by local media on Sunday .

It thus refers to the main slogan of the demonstrations organized following the death on September 16 of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman who was arrested by morality police, who accused her of violating the republic’s strict dress code to have.

For the opponent, this protest movement took place in the context of “interdependent crises” that were “economic, ecological, social, legitimizing, cultural and media”.

Mir Hossein Moussavi suggests organizing a “free and fair referendum on whether or not to draft a new constitution” as the current “structure” of the system is “unsustainable”.

Mr Moussavi, an unsuccessful presidential candidate in 2009, had taken the lead in protesting the re-election of outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, denouncing massive fraud.

The now 80-year-old former prime minister from 1981 to 1989 has been under house arrest in Tehran with his wife Zahra Rahnavard for 12 years without being charged.

As with the “1979 People’s Revolution” “the people have the right to fundamental revisions in order to […] to pave the way for freedom, justice, democracy and development,” he added in his press release.

For his part, Mohammad Khatami, 79, laments that “there is no sign of the will of power to reform and avoid mistakes”.

President from 1997 to 2005 before being forced to remain silent, he regrets that the population is “desperate for the existing system”.