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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


February 28, 2000

Milking the masses

As an ever cynical Iranian I always wonder how did Mohammad Khatami ever receive the blessing from those who decide who can be a candidate for elections. Same goes for all those 6000 or so candidates who ran for the sixth Majlis. To me they all belong to the same family and the fact they have been vetted by the Council of Guardians clearly indicates that even the so-called reformists are nothing but a farce ["The ballot box"].

I do not claim to understand the politics of it all and don't quite understand what is happening in Iran. Perhaps the Iranians living in Iran know where they are going. Before the revolution I did not know what was going on. I guess I will never know. Perhaps for a simple minded person such as myself the complexities of everyday life are too hard to comprehend and digest.

It is interesting that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei pardoned those who wrote the play about Imam Mahdi ["Time to reappear"]. It is interesting that Abdollah Nouri was given leave from prison two days after the Mjalis elections and within three months of being imprisoned. It is interesting that former Tehran mayor Gholam-Hossein Karbaschi was released from prison as well. And it is interesting that the blood of all those who were murdered by the clerical rulers (including Khatami, Nouri and the so-called reformists) should be forgotten because the current officials are seeking better relations with the rest of the world.

Is it not a fact that these relations, including very friendly relations with Israel, have been going on from the very first days of Khomeini coming to power? Is it not true that a lot goes on behind closed-door meetings of the Iranian rulers (if they can be called Iranian ... As rumor has it you come across a lot of people in government who can not speak Persian as they are from different Arab speaking countries and the clergy have difficulty speaking Persian as their languge of eductation is Arabic and not Persian).

Could someone enlighten me? I am really lost. Are Iranians asking for freedom from having to wear the chador or wearing Nike T-Shirts? Or this is only the front for getting freedom to express oneself. When Saeed Soltanpoor was dragged away from his newly wed wife at his wedding night because who wrote a play that showed where the country was going when lots of young people were arrested and later executed because they did not agree with Khomeini. Now how can his successors be pardoned and forgiven for all the cruelties they committed over the past 21 years? Why are the Iranian people happy with superficial "freedoms"? Who is Mohammad Reza Khatami and who is Ali Reza Nouri [who were elected to the Majlis from Tehran]? Are they of a different fabric than their brothers? Are they really Iranian?

I suppose some may say , Who cares what happened in the past? It seems to me that Iranians as a nation always forget the fact that the past provides guidance for the future. Obviously the clergy want to survive at any cost. Their new ploy gels well with the wishes of the masses. They want freedom they get freedom. They want friendly relations with the "Great Satan" they get friendly relations with the "Great Satan". They have been milking the nation for over 20 years and keep milking it. Rafsanjani's family has become pretty fat and now it's Khatami's family's turn. Is this what the masses of Iran want or it is what the elite of Iran, those who have always been reaping the benefits by milking the masses, want?

J. Entesari


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