I almost don't believe it: Khatami: Iran's Democratic Reforms Failed.
I was in Iran in 1997 between Khatami's first presidential election and his inauguration. It was such an exciting time. Everyone was so hopeful of the future. They saw Khatami as a panacea for all their troubles, a chance to retrieve at least a modicum of the freedom and dignity of Iran's past. They were so sure that with Khatami in power everything would be all right. Instead, he was held back by a fundamentally flawed political system. In Iran, the power is not in the hands of the elected parliament or president, but in the appointed mullahs. The people don't have any say in who these religious officials will be or in the policies that they implement. You can see the problem: the system is not designed to represent the people and is a republic in name only (like how England is really a monarchy because the queen has little power, but the PM has lots more control). Khatami was an intellectual who thought he could make a difference in the country that he loves, but he couldn't. He was chained by the regime. What I'm surprised about is that he has the guts to admit it. But I guess he can now that he's out of power. I wouldn't be surprised, though, if he "disappeared" soon after leaving office. The government has little tolerance for the kind of things he said in his farewell address. I really wonder what the next president is going to be like, but unless they change the system it won't matter.