Khatami’s statement of June 21, translated by Naj
Naj writes: (please forgive typos and grammatical errors, in RUSH before running to work, feel free to edit and cross post)
In the name of God, the kind and the merciful,
People’s participation is one of the grand achievements of the Islamic Revolution, which must be guarded and expanded. This magnificent presence, from all sectors and all ages and all professions, has a clear message that the people are the rightful owners of the country and the revolution. This message must be heard today; their silent protest and civil manners during these protests is an evidence of their maturity, vigilance and responsibility and it also reflects this unequivocal fact that the people are entitled to basic and specific rights that any government is obliged to respect. Provocative and insulting propaganda against a people who have always acted independently, and blaming their rightful movement to foreigners is in itself a sign of implementing wrong politics that cause further alienation of the people from the government.
In Iran, an election was held and massive crowds of honorable people who participated in epical proportions dispute these results and are protesting it. Public trust is damaged, and to close the doors of civic protest to them is to open dangerous paths, that only god knows where will lead to.
People’s rights must be protected, and while provisioning measures to prevent chaos and instability (which is far from the intentions of the people), expensive and damaging tactics such as military confrontation and violence must be put aside. We all need to mobilize to repair public trust, which is the principle basis of the government and the state.
Beating and intimidation which was sadly manifested on Saturday, and the wave of arrests of men and women and political and cultural elite of the country, starting from a few hours after announcing the results of the election until now, and prevention of peaceful gatherings which testify to high culture of compatriots adds to the problems.
Opportunities are passing quickly and are turning into threats, while I believe that paths to get out of this chaos are not closed yet, and do not need turning the atmosphere into a military and security one.
To refer people’s complaints to sources who are themselves under public scrutiny is not the solution. In opening this knot, why don’t we look at Imam [khomeini]’s solutions in similar situations [actually Imam did exactly what these fascists are doing now!!! He just killed the young men and women in Evin Prison, in hidden from public’s eye executions!!]
Assigning a just, competent, impartial and brave delegation which is respected by the protesters, and also opening the channels of communication, which are unfortunately all closed, can soften the atmosphere.
On the other hand, we must protect people’s right to civic protest and criticism. Denouncing violence and changing the atmosphere of hatred and animosity based on accusations to a new atmosphere based on truth, friendship and interaction with one another must be prioritized. It is in that case, that in spite of any cost, the regime and all its values will remain safe. People are present and are waiting, we have to respect their presence.
[some verse of koran, I think it means: do as much as you can to improve and your success is but with God.]
Seyed Mohammad Khatami, 21 June 2009