Former heads of European governments visiting central Iran say that democratic reform is the best way for the Persian country to break out of international isolation.
The remarks, made by several foreign dignitaries on a trip Wednesday to central Iran, reflect support for their host - former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami.
Many Ahmadinejad opponents hope that the moderate Khatami will run against Ahmadinejad in presidential elections next June.
Former Italian prime minister Romano Prodi, who is on the trip, has urged Iran "to go toward an open society." He said that when Khatami was president, there was "cooperation" from Iran - an allusion to Tehran's refusal under Ahmadinejad to halt uranium enrichment, despite three rounds of UN sanctions.