December 06, 2004

Captive Audience


Reuters reports: Iranian Students Vent Frustration at Khatami. (Via Little Green Footballs)

Students, once the backbone of Iran's reformist movement, heckled and harangued President Mohammad Khatami Monday, accusing him of lacking the courage to deliver promised democratic reforms in the Islamic state.

"Khatami, what happened to your promised freedoms?," "Khatami, shame on you," "Students are wise, they detest Khatami," groups shouted as the moderate cleric attempted to address some 1,500 students at Tehran University.

The speech, held to mark Iran's annual Students Day, marked a nadir for Khatami's relations with students who were a major force in his stunning electoral victories of 1997 and 2001. ...

He said he still believed the path of reform would succeed.

"I really believe in this system and the (1979 Islamic) revolution and that this system can be developed from within."

But for most present, Khatami's words merely underlined the impotence of a man whom they now view as part of a system unwilling to accept real change. ...

Student leaders, many of whom have been jailed for taking part in pro-democracy protests in recent years, said Khatami had failed to stand by them.

"There is no difference between him and the authoritarians," prominent student leader Abdollah Momeni said. "Students are very disappointed because they paid a heavy price for supporting Khatami, but in return they got nothing."

Posted by Forkum at December 6, 2004 08:03 PM