Iran’s Former President Khatami: I Do Not Want to Return to Power

Iran’s former reformist president, Mohammad Khatami stated that he has no intention of returning to power and politicians from his generation should follow suit.

“I do not have the intention of returning to power…our generation should not return to power again, but we would like to protect [our] values and standards. We will try to promote individuals to power who are most concerned with regime’s aspirations and goals,” Khatami stated.

Khatami spoke during a meeting with the Association of Iranian Political Prisoners Before the Revolution on June 16. Reformist Sharqh newspaper originally published the statements under the headline “Khatami’s Farewell with Power.”

According to Sharqh, Khatami views himself and other reformists as government critics, but emphasizes that they believe in the “foundations of the regime.”

“We have complaints and criticisms, but we believe in the bases of the regime. We do not want our critiques to harm the foundations of the regime. Unfortunately, there are shortsighted views that summarize the regime with a narrow definition. If anyone speaks against [that narrow definition] they say that the regime was weakened. However, a limited view of the regime is what causes the greatest harm,” Khatami stated.

“We all want for [Rouhani’s] government to succeed. This government has a lot of big problems, but it has also done many good things. There are shortcomings, but a big portion of the problems were inherited from the previous administration. So, instead of creating a new arena, the government’s resources have to be spent on fixing old problems,” Khatami elaborated.

Khatami stated that the Revolution belongs to the entire nation and it is the Iranian people who have paid the price thus far. “A single individual or group cannot suggest that they have monopoly over the Revolution, especially groups that neither in theory or practice were affiliated with the Revolution,” Khatami added.

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