Reformers at Bay in Iran. (Comment)

By Thrupkaew, Noy | The Nation, February 10, 2003 | Go to article overview

Reformers at Bay in Iran. (Comment)


Thrupkaew, Noy, The Nation


In Iran, the name Abbas Abdi is inextricably linked with the word "reform." Although he's now a key ally of President Mohammad Khatami and an advocate of opening a dialogue with the United States, Abdi first made his name as a revolutionary student leader in the 1979 US embassy siege. Twenty years later, student protests and massive civil unrest broke out around Abdi again, when hard-liners shuttered the prominent reformist paper he edited. So it is in keeping with Abdi's symbolic stature that he is under fire in the latest conservative assault on the reformist opposition. On November 4, 2002--the twenty-third anniversary of the embassy takeover, no less--Abdi was taken from his home and charged with espionage.

At the heart of his case is a poll that he and fellow detainees Behrouz Geranpayeh and Hossein Ghazian conducted for the reformist-dominated Parliament late last year. In a country that calls the United States the Great Satan and finds itself on the receiving end of that "axis of evil" barb, the findings were explosive. Nearly 75 percent of those polled favored dialogue with the United States, and 46 percent felt that American policy toward Iran was "to some extent correct."

The conservative judiciary struck back with a vengeance, accusing the pollsters of funneling information to foreign intelligence agencies and tampering with the poll data. But the three men may be guilty of nothing more than their reformist associations--ties that make them enticing targets for conservatives hungry to demoralize a weakened opposition and consolidate power.

The trouble began this past fall, after Iran's state news agency, IRNA, published the poll findings. By the first week of November, the judiciary had closed down both of the polling institutes that had spearheaded the study. The pollsters soon found themselves in solitary detention, while the judiciary targeted the head of the IRNA for publishing the findings and even accused a parliamentarian of illegally diverting state funds to the researchers.

Much to the dismay of members of Khatami's party, the Islamic Iran Participation Front, notoriously conservative judge Said Mortazavi is presiding over the hearings of the pollsters' cases. Khatami commissioned a panel to investigate; his brother, Mohammad Reza Khatami--Participation Front leader and deputy speaker of the Parliament--condemned the arrests as "obviously politically motivated."

The timing of the trials would seem to bear out that accusation. Iran was wracked by student protests in November and December over the death sentence of Hashem Aghajari, a professor who delivered a scathing indictment of Iran's hard-line clerical rulers. Adding to the tension, President Khatami made a desperate effort to salvage his reformist agenda by presenting two controversial bills to Parliament last fall. …

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
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • 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

Reformers at Bay in Iran. (Comment)
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?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    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

    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.