Georgetown Professor Discusses Iran

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GEORGETOWN PROFESSOR DISCUSSES IRAN

Dan Brumberg, professor of government at Georgetown University and author of Reinventing Khomeini: The Struggle for Reform in Iran, discussed Iranian politics at the San Francisco World Affairs Council on Oct. 11. The lecture was co-sponsored by the Alexander Book Company.

Brumberg reviewed the rise to power of Ayatollah Khomeini, Iran's Supreme Leader who toppled the shah in the 1979 Islamic revolution. He also explored Khomeini's legacy and the reasons leading to reformist Mohammad Khatami's election as president on May 23, 1997.

One of Khomeini's major legacies, Brumberg noted, is the Council of Guardians, a powerful judiciary which is controlled by conservative right-wing religious clerics. Although the reformists who support President Khatami now control two-thirds of the seats in Iran's majlis (parliament), the religious clerics still wield more power than the elected president. Brumberg believes that Khatami's "democratic agenda" will endure, however, in spite of opposition from the clerical right, in part because Khatami is popular with young people and students, who represent more than 65 percent of Iran's population of 68 million. …

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