The post-election crisis is Iran has deepened, with a second senior figure challenging the presidential poll and the legitimacy of the government. Former President Mohammad Khatami followed another former leader, Ali Akhbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, in doubting the fairness of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s victory. Khatami called for a referendum, and said all sides should accept the result.
Within minutes, the defeated presidential candidate Mir Hossein Moussavi joined the argument, saying the arrest of street protestors would not stifle the calls for change. He said the government’s claim of foreign interference in the post-election unrest was an insult to Iran’s voters. Street protests re-ignited last Friday after Rafsanjani spoke at Tehran University and demanded change. The establishment hit back. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei supports President Ahmadinejad, and warned Iran not to be seduced by the country’s enemies who sought to overthrow the establishment. He said anything which helped Iran’s enemies is a threat to the nation, and said Iran’s elite faced a great test.