PDA

View Full Version : Fmr. Pres. Khatami to run again, has 'good chance' of usurping Ahmadinejad



AHeneen
02-09-2009, 01:44 AM
Some of the best news I've heard for quite some time. While the man is critical of current US policies towards Iran, he's much less hostile, not anti-Semitic, much more open-minded, committed to "break[ing] down barriers between the great religions and civilisations of East and West", and a strong denouncer of extremism.


Iran's Khatami to run for office
From the BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7877740.stm)

http://i42.tinypic.com/20a7ups.jpg

Iran's former president Mohammad Khatami has ended months of speculation by announcing that he will run in June's presidential election.
Mr Khatami was president of Iran from 1997-2005 and was succeeded by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a conservative.
"I will seriously take part as a candidate for the election," he told a meeting of a pro-reform group.
In January, a close aide to Mr Ahmadinejad said the incumbent would, as expected, stand for re-election.
Mr Khatami, the most liberal president since the revolution, should have a good chance of unseating Mr Ahmadinejad, arguably the most conservative leader in that time, says the BBC's Jon Leyne, in Tehran.
However, he will face tough opposition from hardliners in the clergy and military, our correspondent adds.
Mr Khatami urged a free election, saying the fate of the Islamic Revolution was at stake.
"Is it possible to remain indifferent toward the revolution's fate and shy away from running in the elections?" he asked at a news conference in Tehran.
"I consider this as a right to run in this stage. This candidacy doesn't deprive others and the path is open. What should be stressed is that the elections must be held freely."

'Desire for change'

It should prove an intriguing contest in June, our correspondent says.
In this 30th anniversary year of the revolution, it will give Iranians a stark choice over the future of the Islamic Republic.
One other obstacle for Mr Khatami, Jon Leyne adds, is that his old supporters were disillusioned by his failure to push through more changes when he was in power.
Therefore, the challenge will be persuading them to go out and vote.
Mohammad Ali Abtahi, a close aide of Mr Khatami, warned that the results of elections in Iran were always of "serious concern" - an apparent reference to vote-rigging.
"But if the voter participation is high, we can easily win the election," he told AFP news agency.

Read his profile here. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3027382.stm)

Constitutionally Speaking
02-09-2009, 05:57 AM
Khatami good??

Compared to Ahmadinajhad, perhaps, but he still favored tons of aid to terrorist groups and continued nuclear research. Khatami being good is merely a relative point.

We can encourage the better tone, but we still need to be aware that he is not really a good man.

Odysseus
02-09-2009, 10:59 AM
Khatami good??

Compared to Ahmadinajhad, perhaps, but he still favored tons of aid to terrorist groups and continued nuclear research. Khatami being good is merely a relative point.

We can encourage the better tone, but we still need to be aware that he is not really a good man.

The BBC profile is a whitewash. He cannot run unless he is approved as a candidate by the Council of Guardians, so his reform credentials are already suspect (see below for the whole story on the Council of Guardians). He's more moderate in tone than Ahmedinejad, but that's the only difference. He never pushed for the reforms that he campaigned for, and on his watch, Iran's nuclear program and repression of dissidents continued unabated.

The doctrine of Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists (Velayat-e Faqih) used to be interpreted as a limited supervision which applied to non-litigious matters including religious endowments, judicial matters and public property, but Khomeini expanded the definition to include all issues that are touched on by the Koran, Sharia law, the Sunnah and the Hadith. In a nutshell, what had been a policy of assuming responsibility for widows, orphans or the mentally ill, has become a policy of assuming that the entire state is incapable of governing itself and must be run by Imams who have the power to overrule the democratic impulses of the people or their representatives. If Khatami is elected, he will still be subject to the dictates of the Council of Guardians, just as Ahmedinejad and every other Iranian elected official, and they aren't about to allow their power to be reduced by reforms.

Lars1701a
02-09-2009, 11:04 AM
I am sorry anyone that wares a turban like that guy cant be good for American interests :(:D

Odysseus
02-09-2009, 12:10 PM
I am sorry anyone that wares a turban like that guy cant be good for American interests :(:D

Unless they're Sihks. Good people.

Goldwater
02-09-2009, 01:54 PM
When 9/11 happened, this man provided support to the US in providing intelligence and condolences. A while later Bush made the axis of evil speech, and demanded elections all over the middle east. Ahmadinejad rose to power in Iran, the Muslim Broterhood in Egypt and Hamas in Palestine. Khatami on his US tours of colleges has condemned US actions but has praised democracy in general. If not for Thatcher and Reagan deciding they could work with Gorbachev, we could still be going down that never ending cold path.

Hes obviously looking out for the interests of Iran and keeping the council happy, but hes a heck of a lot better then whats there now, increased spot light on the supreme councils power in regard to democractically elected officials in Iran can't be a bad thing.

Lars1701a
02-09-2009, 04:07 PM
Unless they're Sihks. Good people.


Not really they are taking over all our gas stations and dunkin donuts stores :( :D


joking aside thats a different type of turban (if its one at all).

Odysseus
02-09-2009, 07:12 PM
When 9/11 happened, this man provided support to the US in providing intelligence and condolences. A while later Bush made the axis of evil speech, and demanded elections all over the middle east. Ahmadinejad rose to power in Iran, the Muslim Broterhood in Egypt and Hamas in Palestine. Khatami on his US tours of colleges has condemned US actions but has praised democracy in general. If not for Thatcher and Reagan deciding they could work with Gorbachev, we could still be going down that never ending cold path.
First, he can say what he likes about democracy, but his actions show that his reform talk is just that. Second, Reagan and Thatcher didn't work with Gorbachev, they beat him like a pinata by forcing the Soviets to try to keep up with SDI, guaranteeing the security of the Saudis in return for increased oil production (our economy boomed, the Soviets' collapsed as their one hard currency export dropped like a stone) and stood firm in supporting the Soviet dissidents.

Hes obviously looking out for the interests of Iran and keeping the council happy, but hes a heck of a lot better then whats there now, increased spot light on the supreme councils power in regard to democractically elected officials in Iran can't be a bad thing.
He's the revolution's moderate face, but it's only a facade. Those who would really reform the system, by subjecting the Council of Guardians to a vote, are never allowed on the ballot. Don't be fooled by Potemkin democracy.

Goldwater
02-09-2009, 07:48 PM
First, he can say what he likes about democracy, but his actions show that his reform talk is just that. Second, Reagan and Thatcher didn't work with Gorbachev, they beat him like a pinata by forcing the Soviets to try to keep up with SDI, guaranteeing the security of the Saudis in return for increased oil production (our economy boomed, the Soviets' collapsed as their one hard currency export dropped like a stone) and stood firm in supporting the Soviet dissidents.

I believe Thatcher called Reagan and called Gorbachev "a man we could work with" after a speech on opening markets up. Thatcher and Reagan didn't talk all mean and blow your house down to any degree above normality during the cold war, angry "stances" don't tend to do much to persuade Russian leaders to do much. Gorbachev saw that his country needed to change and he put the ball in motion. I believe the case is the same with Iran.


He's the revolution's moderate face, but it's only a facade. Those who would really reform the system, by subjecting the Council of Guardians to a vote, are never allowed on the ballot. Don't be fooled by Potemkin democracy.

I prefer the moderate face to the Ahmadinejad "holocaust never happened" face. Hes someone who'll actually get on the ballot rather than in the other direction of another Ahmadinejad term or depending on if more pressure is piled on the country - an even crazier face.

Bleda
02-09-2009, 09:31 PM
The Soviets were sane but evil. The Iranians are insane religious fanatics.

'Nuff said.

Goldwater
02-10-2009, 07:02 AM
The Soviets were sane but evil. The Iranians are insane religious fanatics.

'Nuff said.

You would've thought the Soviets were insane men hell bent on turning the world into a communist paradise at the time too. Which to start with, they were.

Rhetoric changes, and hindsight allows us to look back and see faults in our view.

Odysseus
02-10-2009, 01:33 PM
I believe Thatcher called Reagan and called Gorbachev "a man we could work with" after a speech on opening markets up. Thatcher and Reagan didn't talk all mean and blow your house down to any degree above normality during the cold war, angry "stances" don't tend to do much to persuade Russian leaders to do much. Gorbachev saw that his country needed to change and he put the ball in motion. I believe the case is the same with Iran.
Every administration says the same thing about the latest thug in the Kremlin, and it never happens. In fact, Gorbachev differed very little from his predecessors, Brezhnev, Kruschev and Stalin, and he was not put in power to oversee the dismantling of the Soviet state, he just lacked the ability to prevent it. At best, that makes him Mussolini to Stalin's Hitler. Hardly a glowing endorsement.

I prefer the moderate face to the Ahmadinejad "holocaust never happened" face. Hes someone who'll actually get on the ballot rather than in the other direction of another Ahmadinejad term or depending on if more pressure is piled on the country - an even crazier face.
A "moderate" totalitarian dictator is no improvement. In fact, he's more dangerous because he gets you to let down your guard. Khatami will continue Iraq's nuclear program, which has no peaceful applications (Iran has more oil than it can refine), while making soothing noises. That means that he's smarter than Ahmedinejad, which makes him more of a threat, not less.

You would've thought the Soviets were insane men hell bent on turning the world into a communist paradise at the time too. Which to start with, they were.
While at the end, they were simply cynical thugs who were perpetuating a corrupt system that they no longer believed in so that they could maintain power over captive populations and continue to expand their empire.

You Rhetoric changes, and hindsight allows us to look back and see faults in our view.
Or, they mask intent.

AlmostThere
02-10-2009, 03:10 PM
....... Don't be fooled by Potemkin democracy.
No need to worry. We are too busy being fooled by a Potemkin Presidency.

Goldwater
02-10-2009, 04:08 PM
Every administration says the same thing about the latest thug in the Kremlin, and it never happens. In fact, Gorbachev differed very little from his predecessors, Brezhnev, Kruschev and Stalin, and he was not put in power to oversee the dismantling of the Soviet state, he just lacked the ability to prevent it. At best, that makes him Mussolini to Stalin's Hitler. Hardly a glowing endorsement.

So what? Gorbachev's Perestroika had nothing to do with Gorbachev? History credits most of Russia's economic liberalization to this man, if not for him there would've been no Yeltsin, Yeltsin would've been dead years earlier. He was a man who understood the benefits of capitalism and applied it to Russia by discrediting those who were before him not by being a figurehead who watched his country change before his eyes, that only happened once he allowed it to - hence allowing for the collapse of the USSR.

Odysseus
02-10-2009, 08:43 PM
No need to worry. We are too busy being fooled by a Potemkin Presidency.


So what? Gorbachev's Perestroika had nothing to do with Gorbachev? History credits most of Russia's economic liberalization to this man, if not for him there would've been no Yeltsin, Yeltsin would've been dead years earlier. He was a man who understood the benefits of capitalism and applied it to Russia by discrediting those who were before him not by being a figurehead who watched his country change before his eyes, that only happened once he allowed it to - hence allowing for the collapse of the USSR.

But perestroika and glasnost failed, unless you consider the collapse of the Soviet Union to have been an intended result of Gorbachev's policies. Glasnost produced a freer press, which rapidly spun out of control as decades of repression suddenly exploded in a riot of information. Severe social and economic problems which the Soviet government had long denied and covered up, were brought out, much to the regime's embarassment. People could now learn about the true state of Soviet housing, food shortages, alcoholism, pollution, not to mention previously suppressed information about the scope of Stalin's crimes (and those of his successors). The failures of the Soviet military in Afghanistan also came to light, which was particularly damaging, as the Red Army had been one of the few Soviet institutions considered effective by the public. Meanwhile, Gorbachev's economic changes failed to restart the Soviet economy. The price controls remained in place, the ruble was still not a convertable currency and the government kept control over the means of production, so it wasn't much of a change, but the political openness, combined with the lack of economic reform, meant that things were no better, but you could now talk about it, and that talk spiraled into a massive dissatisfaction with the regime, and that was just within the USSR. In the Eastern European satellite states, it was open revulsion, which manifested itself as a popular, non-violent uprising in which tens of thousands crossed the borders within the Eastern bloc without official permission, eventually gathering in East Berlin, where they began taking the wall down. That wasn't Gorbachev's intent. In fact, when faced with a popular revolt by Yeltsin, Gorbachev's first impulse was to send in troops to depose him, but the crowd outside of the Politburo wouldn't allow it. The Soviet Union collapsed in spite of Gorbachev, not because of him.

wiegenlied
02-11-2009, 03:00 AM
Gorbachev is a Soviet’s “new thinker,” who has keen interests in economics, freedom, democracy, and private businesses instead of focusing on his nation’s military and totalitarianism, so Reagan, Thatcher, and Kohl (except Mitterrand) could do businesses together with him.

Gorbachev’s change of glasnost and perestroika economically did not work, because his nation had gotten used to surpressions and controls for decades - it did not have strong foundations to make capitalism worked. His nation finally arrived on the deficits and external debts. Adding political incoherence into this (as long surpressed states wanted a greater independence from Moscow - they had been annexed to the Soviets mostly by Stalin's military forces - and Gorbachev either didn’t prepare for or forget this), so eventually his nation collapsed.

Gorbachev 2 years ago said in New Orleans that he would return in 2011 to lead a local revolution if the Army Corps of Engineers doesn’t keep its promise to improve leeves by 2011 and added that “most Americans have forgotten that their country is the result of a revolution.” This is interesting – if not funny- remarks in my humble opinion. Yet it is constructive.

Odysseus
02-11-2009, 12:36 PM
Gorbachev’s change of glasnost and perestroika economically did not work, because his nation had gotten used to surpressions and controls for decades - it did not have strong foundations to make capitalism worked. His nation finally arrived on the deficits and external debts. Adding political incoherence into this (as long surpressed states wanted a greater independence from Moscow - they had been annexed to the Soviets mostly by Stalin's military forces - and Gorbachev either didn’t prepare for or forget this), so eventually his nation collapsed.
Perestroika and Glasnost were bandaids on a metastasized cancer. They couldn't work because the problems were completely beyond simple reforms within the system, since the system itself was the problem.

BTW, this is a common theme throughout Russian history. Every czar came in with grandiose plans to restructure Russia to catch up with the west, whether it was Ivan the Terrible's wars, Peter the Great's movement of his capitol, Catherine's equestrian activities or Stalin's crash industrialization program. In every case, the results were carnage and economic privation (except for Catherine's horse, who apparently had a great ride. :D

Gorbachev 2 years ago said in New Orleans that he would return in 2011 to lead a local revolution if the Army Corps of Engineers doesn’t keep its promise to improve leeves by 2011 and added that “most Americans have forgotten that their country is the result of a revolution.” This is interesting – if not funny- remarks in my humble opinion. Yet it is constructive.

ROFLOL!!! Just what New Orleans needs, more centralized planning, bureaucracy and socialism. A few years under him and they won't need another hurricane to make the city unliveable.

Odysseus
02-12-2009, 10:19 AM
An Opening to Iran?
They've sold us this rug before.
by Michael Rubin
02/16/2009, Volume 014, Issue 21




During the Democratic primaries, Barack Obama promised to meet the leaders of Iran "without preconditions." He appears a man of his word. Within days of his election, the State Department began drafting a letter to Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad intended to pave the way for face-to-face talks. Then, less than a week after taking office, Obama told al-Arabiya's satellite network, "If countries like Iran are willing to unclench their fist, they will find an extended hand from us." The president dispatched former Defense Secretary William Perry to engage a high-level Iranian delegation led by a senior Ahmadinejad adviser.

The pundits and journalists may applaud, but their adulation for Obama's new approach is based more on myth than reality. "Not since before the 1979 Iranian revolution are U.S. officials believed to have conducted wide-ranging direct diplomacy with Iranian officials," the Associated Press reported. But Washington and Tehran have never stopped talking; indeed, many of Obama's supposedly bold initiatives have been tried before, often with disastrous results.

In 1979 Ayatollah Khomeini's return gave an urgency to U.S.-Iran diplomacy. Many in Washington had been happy to see the shah go, and sought a new beginning with the "moderate, progressive individuals"--according to then Princeton professor (now a U.N. official) Richard Falk--surrounding Khomeini. The State Department announced that it would maintain relations with the new government. Diplomats at the U.S. embassy in Tehran worked overtime to decipher the Islamic Republic's volatile political scene.

On November 1, 1979, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Carter's national security adviser and now, ironically, an Obama adviser on Iranian affairs, met in Algiers with Iranian prime minister Mehdi Bazargan and foreign minister Ibrahim Yazdi to discuss normalization amidst continued uncertainty about the future of bilateral relations. Iranian students, outraged at the possibility, stormed the American embassy in Tehran, taking 52 diplomats hostage for 444 days.

But the hostage seizure did not end the dialogue. For five months, even as captors paraded blindfolded hostages on television, Carter kept Iran's embassy in Washington open, hoping for talks.

Should Obama send a letter to Iran's leaders, he would follow a path worn by Carter. Just days after the hostage seizure, Carter dispatched Ramsey Clark, a Kennedy-era attorney general who had championed Khomeini after meeting him in exile in France, and William Miller, a retired Foreign Service officer critical of U.S. policy under the shah, to deliver a letter to Khomeini. After word of their mission leaked, the Iranian leadership refused to receive them. After cooling their heels in Istanbul for a week, the two returned in failure. Shining a spotlight on private correspondence may score points in Washington, but it kills rather than creates opportunities.

Obama's inattention to timing and target replicates Carter's failure. His outreach to Ahmadinejad comes amidst Iran's most contentious election campaign since the revolution. Allowing Ahmadinejad to slap a U.S. president's outstretched hand is an Iranian populists' dream come true. Alas, this too was a lesson Obama might have learned from Carter. Three decades ago, desperate to engage, Carter grasped at any straw, believing, according to his secretary of state, that even a tenuous partner beat no partner at all. Each partner--first foreign minister Abolhassan Bani-Sadr and then his successor Sadeq Qotbzadeh--added demands to bolster his own revolutionary credentials, pushing diplomacy backward rather than forward. Thirty years later, the same pattern is back. Ahmadinejad's aides respond to every feeler Obama and his proxies at Track II talks send with new and more intrusive demands.

Once out of office, Carter aides sought to secure history's first draft with a flood of memoirs praising their own efforts. Kissinger aide Peter Rodman noted wryly in a 1981 essay, however, that pressure brought to bear by Iraq's invasion of Iran did more to break the negotiations impasse than Carter's pleading with a revolving door of Iranian officials.

Carter is not alone in his failed efforts to talk to Tehran. While the Iran-Contra affair is remembered today largely for the Reagan administration's desire to bypass a congressional prohibition on funding Nicaragua's anti-Communist insurgents, the scheme began as an attempt to engage Iran. On August 31, 1984, national security adviser Robert McFarlane ordered a review to determine what influence Washington might have in Tehran when the aging Khomeini passed away. Both the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency responded that they lacked influential contacts in Iran. Because weapons were the only incentive in which the war-weary ayatollahs had interest, McFarlane decided to ship arms both to cultivate contacts and win the goodwill necessary to free U.S. hostages held by Iranian proxies in Lebanon. He failed. Not only did the Iranian leadership stand McFarlane up during his trip to Tehran, but the incentive package also backfired: Hezbollah seized more hostages for Tehran to trade.

The stars seemed to align for George H.W. Bush, however. Khomeini died on June 3, 1989, and, two months later, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, whose pragmatism realists like Secretary of State James Baker applauded, assumed Iran's presidency. In his first address, Rafsanjani suggested an end to the Lebanon hostage crisis might be possible. Like Obama, Bush spoke of a new era of "hope." State Department spokeswoman Margaret Tutwiler described Iran as "genuinely engaged." Alas, as Rafsanjani spoke publicly of pragmatism, he privately ordered both the revival of Iran's covert nuclear program and the murder of dissidents in Europe.

In his first term, Clinton signed three executive orders limiting trade with Iran and approved the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act. He and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright changed tack in their second term. Both apologized for past U.S. policies. The State Department encouraged U.S. businessmen to visit Iran, until Iranian vigilantes attacked a busload of American visitors in 1998. Not discouraged, and lest U.S. rhetoric offend, Albright even ordered U.S. officials to cease referring to Iran as a rogue regime, and instead as a "state of concern." Rather than spark rapprochement, however, it was during this time that, according to the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate, Tehran sought to develop a nuclear warhead.

While the press paints George W. Bush as hostile to diplomacy and applauds the return of Bill Clinton's diplomatic team under his wife's leadership, it is ironic that the outgoing administration engaged Iran more than any U.S. presidency since Carter--directing senior diplomats to hold more than two dozen meetings with their Iranian counterparts. Yet, after 30 years, Iran remains as intractable a problem as ever. Every new U.S. president has sought a new beginning with Iran, but whenever a president assumes the fault for our poor relationship lies with his predecessor more than with authorities in Tehran, the United States gets burned.

Michael Rubin, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, was an Iran country director at the Pentagon between September 2002 and April 2004.