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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


February 28, 2000

Political maturity

In reply to Jafar D.'s letter:

Your point is well taken. I agree full-heartedly that Iranians should always strive for improvement and should never settle for anything but the highest standard of governance. But, the fact is that there is no perfection in democracy. Democracy is an ideal and a philosophy toward which we strive. We all know that there are different forms and different degrees of democracy around the world--all with room for improvement.

That said, my reference to "democracy arriving" was regarding the level of political maturity among Iranians here, which is absolutely astounding ["The ballot box"]. I was not referring here to the system or the current political process, which continues to have deep and fundamental flaws.

What I witnessed on February 18 with my own eyes, the sheer fact that an unprecedented number of eligible voters who took part in the elections, the level of political maturity which I saw and see every day on the streets of Tehran, is the closest and by far on the widest scale that Iranians have ever come to embrace democracy.

The level of political awareness and participation is even incomparable to anything I have seen in the United States or among Iranians in the United States. I have not yet been able to find one person in Iran who does not follow politics on a daily basis.

Lastly, I wish all of you could have been here to witness the latest grass-roots action by Iranians and only then judge my optimism and the excitement among Iranians.

Dokhi Fassihian


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