Iran protests: Ex-president Khatami says rulers must heed protesters' demands
Khatami, 79, said the "beautiful slogan" of "woman, life, freedom" showed Iranian society was moving towards a better future. He also criticised arrests of students in the security forces' crackdown.
The comments came in a statement to mark Student Day on Wednesday.
Students have been at the forefront of the unrest that began in mid-September following the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who was detained by morality police for allegedly wearing her hijab, or headscarf, "improperly".
The women-led protests have spread to more than 150 cities and 140 universities in all 31 of the country's provinces and are seen as one of the most serious challenges to the Islamic Republic since the 1979 revolution.
Iran's leadership, including hard-line President Ebrahim Raisi, has portrayed them as "riots" instigated by the country's foreign enemies and ordered security forces to "deal decisively" with them. (BBC)