After Mehdi Karroubi, a leading cleric, gave the Los Angeles Times an unusual interview Monday the headquarters of his party was raided Tuesday and the editor of its Web site arrested, a spokesman said.
"I feel I am obliged to defend the rights of people," Karroubi told the Times. "I want it to be remembered in the future by coming generations that somebody someday from the clerical establishment stood up for his stances and principles to defend the people."
Karroubi, like Mir Hossein Mousavi, another Khomeini ally, ran against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the recent election. He says he does not want to overthrow the Islamic Republic but to make it more open and democratic.
"Political changes can come in two forms," he said. "The change we are calling for is change within the system and constitution, the observation of citizenship rights."
Those would include an end to press restrictions and the right to freedom of assembly. He said he would also like to strip the Guardian Council of its power to decree the results of elections.
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