Iranian Leaders Kill the Democratic Messenger
By Andrew L. Jaffee, October 28, 2003
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The last thing Iran's terrorist, Islamist leadership wants is to see a democratic Iraq next door. Iran's terror-masters don't want to see democracy for their own people. They believe in a fantasy-land of "pure" Islamic law, but live in a quite different reality.

While Iran's Islamists -- most notably the founder of the current regime, the Ayatollah Khomeini -- have claimed to reject all ways western, they haven't done a very good job. Iran has ended up pursuing advanced technologies (e.g., nuclear weapons) and has established western constructs like republic, a constitution, nation, a parliament, and popular elections. But while allowing such western-style reforms, the mullahs (Iran's Islamist elite) have fought the reforms at every step.

Current Iranian President Khatami was elected President six years ago. He promised reform, but many Iranians have become fed up with the slow/nonexistent implementation of political changes. Iranians have since held many public demonstrations demanding reform. Most often, the mullahs have responded with violence.

The mullahs are not interested in hearing what their own people want. In 2002, Iran's state news agency Irna and the National Institute for Research Studies and Opinion Polls (NIRSOP) conducted a poll of 1,500 Iranian citizens. According to the BBC, the poll, commissioned by Iran's parliament, or Majlis, showed that:

  • 74% of respondents over the age of 15 support dialogue with the US
  • 45.8% believe Washington's policy on Iran is "to some extent correct".

When the king doesn't like the message, he usually has the messenger killed. After learning of the poll results, the mullahs charged

NIRSOP director Behrouz Geranpayeh and Irna's Abdollah Nasseri of "publishing lies to excite public opinion." (for more detail, click here)

One of the pollsters, Abbas Abdi, has been jailed for more than 10 months.

So much for reforms in Iran. But those of us in the free world cannot sit contently on our hands while our brothers and sisters in Iran live under repression. Here are some ways you can support brave Iranians' struggle for freedom:

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