TEHRAN, May 10 (UPI) -- Slogans by the elite ruling class aren't enough to resolve the political issues in Tehran, former President Mohammad Khatami said.
Iran descended into chaos following disputed presidential elections in June. The government responded to political unrest with a violent crackdown that led to the execution of several dissenters.
Opposition leader and former President Mahmoud Khatami expressed concern that the ruling class was trying to maintain order with meager slogans, reports Radio Zamaneh, a Persian news service in the Netherlands.
"Exiting the security-laden atmosphere and entering a freer space, ending restrictions on political organizations and devising necessary steps for holding appropriate elections in the future" are what is needed, the former president said.
Opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi through an April message posted on Karroubi's Web site called for June 12 demonstrations to mark the anniversary of the disputed elections.
Khatami said that "ignoring the protests and making false accusations against protesters will not make them disappear."
The Iranian government said as many as 40 people were killed in post-election unrest, though human rights groups say that number is much higher.