Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi has accused Iran's government of persecuting opponents in the name of Islam.
In comments published on his website late Sunday, Mousavi said Islam does not beat anyone, arrest people or keep them in prison.
He also rejected accusations by Iranian conservatives that the opposition is linked to external forces, saying such allegations do not benefit the country.
Iran's opposition accuses conservative President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of rigging a presidential election last June to give himself a second term. The opposition claims Mousavi was the rightful winner.
Mousavi's website also quotes him as criticizing the government's post-election crackdown on independent media. He urged supporters of his Green Movement to keep raising awareness about their campaign for basic rights through social networking tools on the Internet.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.