Ex-Iranian president praises ongoing protests as working toward ‘a better future’

Iranian senior cleric Ahmad Khatami delivers his sermon during a Friday prayer ceremony in Tehran, Iran, on January 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
Iranian senior cleric Ahmad Khatami delivers his sermon during a Friday prayer ceremony in Tehran, Iran, on January 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami voices support for the protest movement sparked by Mahsa Amini’s death, describing as “beautiful” its main slogan — “Woman, life, freedom.”

Khatami, a reformist who served as Iran’s president from 1997 to 2005 but has been effectively silenced by the establishment for years, comes out in support of the movement.

The 79-year-old describes the slogan “Woman, life, freedom” — the main chant heard at the protests — as “a beautiful message that shows movement towards a better future.”

“Freedom and security must not be placed against each other,” he says in a statement quoted by the ISNA news agency. “Freedom must not be trampled on in order to maintain security” and “security should not be ignored in the name of freedom.”

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