CAIRO: The former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami has posted a strong declaration on his website that the protest movement in Iran will not die despite violent crackdowns by the military and police.”Be sure that people will never back down,” said Mr Khatami, who was president from 1997 to 2005 and has become a leading reformist voice.”Today we are living in a world in which no dictator could be imposed on people to force them to be absolutely obedient to him. An acceptable government is a government born out of people.”The statement, posted on Sunday, was a rebuke to the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, and the President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose re-election in June was marred by accusations of fraud that triggered nationwide protests.The police and Revolutionary Guard have backed Mr Ahmadinejad, and demonstrations have dwindled under tight security.”Why are we presenting Islam in a way to encourage segments of the society to turn their back on religion and the regime?” said Mr Khatami, who, with the opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, has challenged the Government for months.He said the crushing of anti-government the protests ”constituted an affront to the nation. The million-strong civil protesters, who were moving in conformity with the principles of the Islamic Republic, were dubbed as rioters. In reaction to these protests, non-Islamic, inhumane and unconstitutional behaviours were observed. Senior figures were arrested and forced to confess under duress.”He concluded: ”The creation of the ongoing atmosphere is a hackneyed method that would backfire.”The majority of Iranians are unhappy with the ongoing conditions in which famous individuals and ordinary citizens are being maltreated.”Meanwhile, Mr Ahmadinejad said talks in Geneva on his country’s nuclear program had been positive and he saw no obstacle to continuing discussions with world powers.”We have a positive opinion of the meeting in Geneva,” he told state television on Sunday.”I don’t think there will be problems in the coming negotiations. If some people want to create problems, they will not succeed, and if they succeed, they will hurt only themselves,” he said when asked about comments made earlier by the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.Mrs Clinton warned Tehran that the world ”will not wait indefinitely” for the Islamic Republic to meet its obligations on its disputed nuclear program.”The international community will not wait indefinitely for evidence that Iran is prepared to live up to its international obligations,” she said after talks in London with the British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband.Los Angeles Times, Agence France-Presse
Nanjing Night Net

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