Khatami's Victory - an Upsurge of Modernism in Iran

By Haque, Mohammad Zahirul | Economic Review, June 1997 | Go to article overview

Khatami's Victory - an Upsurge of Modernism in Iran


Haque, Mohammad Zahirul, Economic Review


Dr. Mohammad Khatami (54), an open-minded leader of Iran, came out successful in the presidential election defeating Ali Akbar Nateq Noori, a conservative who is one of the most faithful followers of Ayatullah Ruhollah Khomeini. Khatami was declared elected on May 23, 1997. There was a great expectation that Nateq Noori would come out victorious hands down. But the popular support did change very fast, shifting the support of the voters from Nateq Noori to Khatami, rising gradually from 13.9 per cent to 52 per cent on the election eve, as was evident from the survey of the popular support. On the election day Khatami won by a landslide victory of 69.7 per cent votes of 29.7 million voters - a great victory indeed winning more than two thirds of the total number of seats. It may be noted that the turnout was not less than 88 per cent, almost double of that in 1993. It was according to Abdul Karim Saroush, one of the most prominent international critics, that the election was a referendum for liberty, democracy etc. A supporter of Khatami very interesting branded him as "Ayatullah Gorbachev", which means that he would undermine the existing system. This was, in fact a tussle between conservatism and modernism, in which tussle the former gave in. The clerics could not stand the wind that stormed against and uprooted it. It was a disgraceful defeat indeed for the rulers getting less than one-third of the total number of votes. This victory actually brought about a grass-root change from fanaticism and short sightedness to tolerance and enlightenment. This victory is not less than a heraldic call towards progressive ideas in attitudes, although, according to the ex-president Ali Akbar Hashmi Rafsanjani, it was not at all "a protest note" against the conservative parliamentary speaker Nateq Noori, but there were a number of issues hovering on the minds of the people, which they wanted to achieve in a very short while. But Rafsanjani did not clarify what were those issues.

The supreme head, of the state Ayatullah Khamenie the successor of Ayatullah Khomeini admitted defeat and congratulated Khatami. Nateq Noori also admitted defeat calling Khatami as "the Chief Executive", and hoped that the participation of a huge number of voters (89%) in the election guarantees the continuance, of the exercise of voting rights in future. On the contrary, Khatami, the elected president, despite the fact that he is an establishment man himself, a senior cleric from the family of clerics, whose father was very close to Ayatullah Khomeini, yet Khatami is an open minded moderate. As a minister in 1980s, he eased censureship allowing more imports of foreign publications, and generously encouraged film making, which flourished and won laurels of international festivals. No less important to him had been women's votes who were almost fed up with the regime and looked for emancipation. But his moderate and tolerant attitude became responsible for his ouster from the government in 1992.

In the election, all the intellectuals, younger generation, secular minded people and those others who are fed up with the conservatism, and those who do not like the society to be unnecessarily shackled with the religious bondage, came out in bulk to vote for Khatami in order to exterminate religious order with a view to have fresh air of non-prejudicious mentality. Generation gap in Iran has taken such a formidable shape that the younger people are not in a mood to listen to the advice of their elders, and expect too much of reforms from the new regime. President Rafsanjani has rightly said that the people have not cast "a vote of protest" against the religion, but against the way the republic was being mishandled in the name of religion". …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Khatami's Victory - an Upsurge of Modernism in Iran
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.