Referring tacitly to recent unrest and uprisings in different Iranian cities, Khatami displayed his fear of the regime's overthrow and warned: "God forbid, we must not act immaturely and allow the enemies to take advantage of the way we deal with freedom . We must definitely be vigilant so that while we insist on freedom and its institutionalization and are willing to make sacrifices for it, we would not take the direction of our enemies."
Mr. Massoud Rajavi, President of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, said: Khatami's remarks yesterday showed that he has rushed to the defense of the velayat-e faqih out of fears for the spread of popular uprisings and the overthrow of the regime in its entirety. Last week, in his speech at the Friday prayers leaders' seminar, Khatami unequivocally supported Khamenei and the crackdown on the people of Isfahan.
In his speech, Khatami said that his idea of freedom is different from chaos and only applicable within the ruling system and the constitution. He stressed: "Freedom must not undermine the tenets of Islam; it must respect Islam... Limiting freedom does no t mean dictatorship."
Mr. Rajavi added: Khatami's remarks come as the religious, terrorist dictatorship ruling Iran has justified all of its crimes in the past 19 years, including medieval tortures, execution of political prisoners and stoning, in the name of the constitution and "Islam."
Despite previous announcement, the state television did not broadcast Khatami's speech, and the question and answer session scheduled after the end of Khatami's speech was canceled.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
May 24, 1998