Iran is a despotic republic, opposition leader says
Reuters / Andrew Hammond, editing by Paul Taylor

Iranian opposition leader Mehdi Karoubi, defying government warnings, said the Islamic republic was "plagued with despotism," in remarks published ahead of a national celebration that could trigger more protests.

"Unfortunately the current republic is plagued with despotism and elections have become meaningless," Karoubi, a moderate cleric and former parliament speaker, said in comments to a group of students carried on his website on Tuesday.

"This government has not been formed upon the people's votes, and the result has been social unrest."

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