The leader of Iran’s opposition Green Movement, Mir-Hossein Moussavi, on Tuesday condemned the violent methods used against Iranian protestors.

“This method of provoking people in using violence against others (protestors) recalls the methods used during the monarchy era,” Mr. Moussavi said an interview with opposition website Kalameh.

“As before the 1979 revolution, also today the roots of dictatorship can be witnessed,” the former Iranian premier said on the occasion of the 31st anniversary of the revolution.

He deplored the characterization of protestors exercising their constitutional rights as “weeds and goats,” as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had reportedly said. The opposition has staged large protests against the president and accused him of fraud in last June’s presidential election which gave Mr. Ahmadinejad a second term.

Mr. Ahmadinejad had also compared the demonstrators to football hooligans whose favourite team has lost in an important match.

Together with ex-presidents Mohammad Khatami and Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and former parliament speaker Mehdi Karroubi, Mr. Moussavi forms the opposition leadership quartet against Mr. Ahmadinejad.

According to opposition websites, Mr. Khatami also accused the government of perpetrating what he called “blind violence.” “This kind of blind violence will have unclear consequences,” Mr. Khatami warned in a meeting Monday with reformist officials.

He was referring to two protestors, allegedly from monarchist groups, who were hanged last week and nine others sentenced to death for their involvement in the protests and alleged plans to topple the Islamic establishment.

“The correct reply to protests should not be suppression, jail and executions but allowing the people the legal right to say what they want,” he was quoted as saying.

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