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16 prominent Iranian Reformists urge support of protesters

While Reformists have been on the sidelines of recent protests in Iran, a number of prominent Reformist leaders recently expressed their support for the right to protest, yet condemned the violence.
Iranian students run for cover from tear gas at the University of Tehran during a demonstration driven by anger over economic problems, in the capital Tehran on December 30, 2017. 
Students protested in a third day of demonstrations, videos on social media showed, but were outnumbered by counter-demonstrators.  / AFP PHOTO / STR        (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
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One notable absence in Iran’s current protests has been the lack of Reformist support. Iran’s last two major protests, the student protests of 1999 and the election protests of 2009, were both supported by Reformist figures. Having lost a great deal of political ground in each street protest, Reformists are naturally wary of the effectiveness of such demonstrations and of how the protests could spill over into violence. 

In a statement signed by 16 Reformist figures, it seems that at least some within the Reformist camp are attempting to get ahead of the protests that have so far not included them. The letter was signed by some of the more outspoken and influential Reformist figures, including Saeed Hajjarian, often referred to as the main Reformist theoretician, Mostafa Tajzadeh, Feizollah Arabsorkhi, and Mohammad Reza Khatami, a brother of former President Mohammad Khatami and former secretary-general of the Islamic Iran Participation Front, a one-time powerful Reformist group.

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