The comeback cleric?
The Economist
18-Oct-2008 (6 comments)

PRESIDENTIAL elections in Iran next June could be more lively than usual. Mohammad Khatami, a leading reformist who has already served two terms as president (he left office in 2005), is dropping ever clearer hints that he is ready to run against the incumbent, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is widely expected seek re-election. At a recent international conference on religion, held in Tehran, Iran’s capital, Mr Khatami spoke of his possible candidacy, suggesting that he is ready to toss his turban into the ring.

He is, rightly, wary of saying now that he will certainly run. He faces great difficulties, not least that the country’s reformists are weak. In elections earlier this year they managed to win just 46 of 290 seats in the majlis (parliament) after many candidates were barred from standing. An assortment of conservatives dominate the legislature, and it is they, not the reformists, who have provided most of the opposition to Mr Ahmadinejad. Two leading conservatives, Ali Larijani and Mohammad Qalibaf, have also been touted as contenders for Mr Ahmadinejad’s job.

News Goffer

Khatami tossing his turban into the ring

by News Goffer on

As compared to the dark era of Sepaah rule under Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Presidency, the Khatami era feels brighter and more hopeful in hindsight.  One thing I never understood and therefore never forgave Mr. Khatami for was how when during the student uprising of July 8, 1998 (18 Tir) he had a chance, he didn't do anything to defend the rights of those students, and to take care of the goons who have been systematically attacking any voice of dissent in Iran over the past 30 years.  I know he had a chance and he blew it, destroying all hope for reforms in Iran.  I cannot imagine Mr. Khatami having much of a following to win this election, so he might as well just keep his turban on his head and sit on the sidelines where he showed us he belongs.



kurdish Warrior

by XerXes (not verified) on

You don't speak the language, you don't live the country, you don't visit Iran and you are pro Israel, the current enemy. What is it that makes you Iranian?
I think you are Israeli and acting like you are Kurdish.

Khatami was too soft. We need a man who stands up against all the bullies, specially now that they have shown to the world that when a society says no, no matter how much power you got, you still nothing!
Islamic Republic Rules, literally.

Red Wine


by Red Wine on

یه هاله ی مقدس رو سر مترسک
یکی بزغاله می بینه همه رو ! یکی هم سگ

شکم سیر و مغر پیر و انقلاب مخملی
چریک کت شلواری و چه گوارای فکلی سیاسیای مست و مستای معتقد
دکتر و پرفسور با پیشوند سید



by kurdish Warrior (not verified) on

You r ab right ab Khamenei having the final word..That is why we all have to agree that there won't be any change or reform till this constitution is changed as whole and all these shia islamic mullahs removed for good.


Lets not forget

by IRANdokht on

Although I agree with you about the feeling of disappointment with Khatami's reaction to a few events during his term, lets not forget that the IRI president has only limited power whereas the so called supreme leader has total power over the armed forces, judiciary system and the final say.

Even during the elections that are held between a few who are already approved by him, it's the one that Khamenei leans towards who ends up getting the votes!  so much for democracy!

The reality is that some aspects of everyday life will be more tolerable for the iranians living in the country when a less radical president is elected. Also the foreign policy will not suffer as much with Khatami.

Any improvement that makes the people breathe easier should be welcomed.


PS: NG jan your turban tossing was priceless!  you always come up with the best super titles :0)


News Goffer, You are right....

by kurdish Warrior (not verified) on

As long the system of Shia republic exist there won't be any reform..You are right, he blew his chance....Democracy can only begin when there has been radical change and that, this system is removed (Constitution with Islamic law) from the roots of our country.