Supporters of former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami have urged him to run for the office again.
The call came during a ceremony Thursday in his hometown of Yazd, in central Iran.
Students who attended the tribute for Mr. Khatami chanted his name and called him "the next president."
the former leader remained silent on whether he would mount a comeback
by running against his successor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in next June's
Several European politicians also paid
tribute to Mr. Khatami at the ceremony, including former Italian Prime
Minister Romano Prodi and former Irish President Mary Robinson. Some of
them said the event had the feel of an election campaign.
Khatami is a prominent reformist who served as Iran's president from
1997 to 2005. His allies say he has the best chance of unseating Mr.
Ahmadinejad, a conservative who has the backing of Iran's Supreme
Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Mr. Ahmadinejad's domestic
critics accuse him of provoking international isolation with vitriolic
statements against Israel and the United States. They also blame him
for Iran's high inflation, which hovers around 30 percent.
Iranian Vice President Mohammad Ali Abtahi says Mr. Khatami cannot
avoid standing for election when, he says, Iran is in need.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.