Messenger of hope
April 4, 2000
Mohammad Khatami, who had been picked as the Iranian of the year
in the previous two years, received the second highest number of votes
in our latest survey. Nearly 20 percent of the readers of The Iranian
who took part in the survey chose the president as the their favorite personality
of the past year. See comments below from readers.
To see comments on Khatami in past surveys, click here.
of the year 1379/1999 main index
* Amoo Mammad
Mohammad Khatami: It is true that his hands are tied, because of his
political and social status, and he can't openly challenge the current
trends in Iran, like Abdollah Nouri, or Saeed Hajjarian, but he is the
pioneer in their path. Everyone (almost everyone) who is a reformist or
a liberal came out of Khatami's crusade. It was his presidency that opened
(just a little bit) the environment for all these liberals and reformists.
Where were are these people during the eight years of Rafsanjani? I'm with
Amoo Mammad all the way :)
* Civil society
Khatami: For his perseverance and steadfast support of the project now
referred to as the Civil Society.
* Sheer courage
President Khatami had the sheer courage to call for better relations
with the U.S., acknowledging the positive facets of the American culture.
He supported the powerful alternative press that's emerging in Iran. He
backs diversity in his cultural outlook and policies, i.e., at least in
his Noruz message he was thoughtful enough to address the Jewish, Zoroastrian,
and Armenian minorities in Iran. He is educated, well-mannered, and emphasizes
the issue of women and youth in the Iranian society. His efforts are owed
to many of the people mentioned in your list; yet, he is decent and realistic
enough to acknowledge that as well.
* Messenger of hope
Khatami: Because he is the messenger of hope. He has and will have the
most positive impact on peoples' lives and their personal, social, and
political freedom. Without his initiative, most of the other candidates
for the Iranian of the year, would not have experienced the same level
of success and popularity, i.e. Nouri, Hajjarian, Nabavi, and Ganji.
* Trust & respect
Khatami has the ability to gain the respect and trust of the majority
of the population. He is a savvy leader with fine political skills handling
both internal and foreign relations, as well as down to earth approach
to implementing democracy, which all in all give the youth, newspapers
and other reform party activists the courage to move forward full force.
* More HOPE
We have had successive numbers of breakthroughs in Iran's international,
cultural and acadamic areas. We have more HOPE to Iran's future with such
an open-minded persident.
* Safety valve
Khatami maintains a good "safety valve" needed for a "pressure
* Reform bridge
This president is the Iranian people's bridge towards reform.
* Good intentions
I pick Mohammad Khatami because of his courage, political programs and
* Democracy without violence
I think the man of the year is Dr khatami. Without him we were not able
to get to know all these wonderful people from Akbar Gangi to Abdollah
Nouri and without him Iran was not able to go through these days and Iranian
people were not able to experience freedom of the press and freedom of
speech without violence, and without the Iranian people and their effort,
there would be no Dr. Khatami.
* Slow but sure
He has managed to deliver on his promise of greater freedom and free
elections, albeit the election was not completley free and the fact that
there are still political assassinations in Iran. But one has to consider
the realities of Iran and the strenght of the hardliners who oppose Khatami
at every step. I think his pace is just about right. We might feel frustration
with the slow pace but any faster and hell might break loose.
* Measure of a leader
Khatami is a man who time and again withstood pressures from the conservatives
and is still standing with considerable popular support. He is the champion
of the people and it is due to him that reform still breads. In the end,
even if he is not the deliverer, President Khatami has already personified
the essence of a grace under fire. And, in the modern age, he'll be the
measure of a leader, long after he is gone.
* Catalyst of change
Khatami is the unlikely catalyst of change in Iran whose actions are
ending Iran's international isolation and showing up the incosistencies
in the theocratic regime.
My choise is Mohammad Khatami the popular president due to his efforts
for political and economic development.
* Deserves support
Three years ago, even in the minds of most optimists, today's Iran was
only a dream. President Khatami has made this dream a reality. Although
we have a long way to go, forunately, we are on the right path with no
way to return. President Khatami deserves our sincere support to achieve
what he has promised, the most important one being the rule of LAW.
* Eye of storm
My choice is President Khatami because he is the "eye of the storm"
and his leadership will determine the future of democracy in Iran. All
freedom-loving Iranians should support him, not only in words but action
* Vision, courage, patience
Over the past three years he has taken a nation through an evolutionary
heeling process with a combination of characteristics so rare in most Iranian
leaders: Vision, courage and most importantly patience.
* Theocracy to democracy
Khatami: For establishing a forum for people to gradually turn a theocracy
into a lively democratic system. There is a long way ahead, but it has
been the best turn around by all counts.
* Democratic ideals
I nominate President Khatami for the democratic ideals he has brought
and the debate he has generated within the Iranian society.
* Non-violent approach
President Khatami: For his leadership and non-violent approach for implementing
change in Iran.
It is the first time in our history after 1953 that our country has
had this chance for democracy. Although Mr. Khatami is by no means the
only impetus for democracy, he is the symbol of the path our country has
* New climate
Though there are a number of worthy candidates, any one of whom is deserving
of this recognition. My choice for the Iranian man of the year is President
Mohammad Khatami who is chiefly responsible for the new climate of optimism
* All because of Khatami
It is not easy to say who was the man of the year, since many people
here contibuted to improve our country. If there wasn't Mr Abdollah Nouri's
commitment to strenghtening the media, his faith on building a democratic
government, his insistance on his beliefs, or the impact of Mr Hajjarian's
thoughts on the president's ideas, or university students' support for
the independent media, or the independent media's support for students,
or Mr Ganji's bravery in publishing revealing information, or Mr Nabavi's
explicit satire in repsresenting the social and political situation, or
Mr Elahian's efforts to strengthen ties between Iranians all over the world
and help to represent a better picture of his homeland, we wouldn't see
these days. All Iranians in Iran, U.S. and all over the world are taking
part on building our country.
But I think that all these situations are following the movement of
2nd Khordad and I think these changes are related to Mr Khatami's thoughts
and ideas. So I choose President Khatami as the Iranian of the year, and
thank all the others for their help and support for Mr Khatami's programs.
Mohamad Mehran Nikou
* Global community
Hojatoleslam Khatami is continuing to bring Iran into the global community.
He is doing this slowly and steadily which is very necessary at this time
because of the hardliners' actions and their trying to stay in power.