21 July, 2009

It ain't over till it's over

From our friends at the Times:

Iran’s reformist former president Mohammad Khatami called Sunday for a referendum on the legitimacy of the government in the wake of last month’s disputed presidential election, Iranian Web sites reported.

Mr. Khatami’s comments amounted to a bold challenge to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has dismissed the opposition’s claims that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s landslide victory on June 12 was rigged, and has ordered protesters to accept it.

It is unlikely that Iran’s hard-line leaders will accept the referendum proposal. But the fact that Mr. Khatami proposed it at all suggests a renewed confidence within the opposition movement.

Don't get your hopes up.  The apparatus of oppression seems quite comfortable supporting the present regime.  Besides, we're not talking about liberal democracy here.  A "reformist" in Iran is not what most people think it is.  The real debate is among members of the elite to determine the inner workings of the Islamic Republic, its relation to the corruption that is endemic to the elite, and how far it will go to maintain the strictest interpretation of the law. 

On the other hand, some Islamic Republics are better than others.  This situation deserves monitoring.

Ex-President in Iran Seeks Referendum - NYTimes.com

No comments: