As Reformer Exits, Who Will Lead Iran? ; Iranians Go to the Polls Friday to Choose a Successor to President Mohammad Khatami

By Scott Peterson writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, June 17, 2005 | Go to article overview

As Reformer Exits, Who Will Lead Iran? ; Iranians Go to the Polls Friday to Choose a Successor to President Mohammad Khatami


Scott Peterson writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


The supreme leader of Iran calls it a "religious duty" to vote in Friday's presidential election.

But that declaration, issued by Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, is one of the few nods to Islam in an election that caps a period of extraordinary political change here. Though outgoing President Mohammad Khatami is widely chastised and even despised today by friend and foe alike, his eight-year tenure and its agenda of reconciling Islam with democracy now shapes every aspect of Iranian life.

Mr. Khatami's legacy is often overshadowed by the titanic struggle in Iran between those who demand change and those who won't accept it - loosely, Iran's reformists and its hard-line conservatives.

But today, the words "democracy," "freedom," and "reform" - ridiculed by the establishment when Khatami first stepped onto the political scene - are now on every Iranian tongue.

"For conservatives, the political system was a divine thing, but Khatami brought this divine thing down to earth," says Hamid Reza Jalaiepour, a top reform strategist. "All candidates are emphasizing the secular, not the religious."

The race is so close that pollsters predict a second-round runoff between front-runner and former two-time president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani - a pragmatic conservative - and reform leader Mustafa Moin, who is aiming to capitalize on Khatami's past popularity.

"I am here to continue the path of Khatami and reform, to take another step forward for this movement," Mr. Moin boomed to supporters at a rally this week. "The only way to rescue Iran is through democracy, democracy, democracy!"

The fingerprints of Khatami's legacy are everywhere, from the rhetoric of the candidates to the demand for accountability from an often impenetrable Islamic regime.

"Khatami can take pride [in this election], because everyone is speaking his language," says a European diplomat, who asked not to be named. "After eight years, he can claim to have changed political discourse - about human rights, democracy, and reform. Society has been transformed.

"He gave people a sense that their voice is being heard and it matters, that he was bridging the gap between the rulers and the ruled," says the diplomat. "People felt they could achieve things."

Khatami scored some victories: He cleaned out the intelligence ministry after operatives were linked to a string of serial murders against dissidents in 1999.

There have also been striking defeats: Scores of newspapers have been shut down; reformers have been imprisoned and sometimes physically attacked by shadowy ideological thugs; and hard-line factions still control virtually every lever of power here.

Legislation to curb the absolute power of unelected bodies has been smothered by those very bodies. …

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

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.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

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

As Reformer Exits, Who Will Lead Iran? ; Iranians Go to the Polls Friday to Choose a Successor to President Mohammad Khatami
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.
    Buy instant access 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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.