Former Iranian president and leading reformist Mohammad Khatami says the outcome of Iran's disputed presidential election is a "coup" against democracy.
Khatami's statement Wednesday comes two days after Iran's powerful Guardian Council upheld the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Defeated presidential candidates Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi also criticized the election outcome Wednesday, calling the government led by Mr. Ahmadinejad "illegitimate."
In a statement on his Web site, Mousavi urged his supporters to keep fighting for the rights of the people. He also called for press freedom, election reforms and the release of those detained during post-election protests. Mousavi and Karroubi say the June 12 vote was rigged.
Iran stopped publication Wednesday of a reformist newspaper allied with Karroubi after he vowed to continue his fight against the election outcome.
Iran's police chief says 20 people were killed and more than 1,000 arrested during the large protests following the election. Human rights groups have put the death toll from post-election unrest much higher.