– The Islamic Republic of Iran will hold its next presidential election in four months time. Former president Mohammad Khatami has withdrawn from the presidential race, leaving a contest between incumbent president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and former prime minister Mir Hossein Moussavi.
– There have recently been protests at Iranian universities over a new government scheme to bury martyrs of the Iran-Iraq War in university campuses. Numerous students have been arrested, and many sent to the notorious Evin prison in Tehran, which is used to detain political prisoner.
– Khatami, Moussavi and other ‘reformist’ politicians have remained silent, and have not given vocal support to Iranian student groups over this issue. This silence has highlighted the reformists’ main weakness: their indecisiveness.
– The Islamic Republic’s hardliners have succeeded in leaving the reformists in an awkward position and exposing their weakness to the Iranian population. The reformist camp will have to become bolder and more willing to speak out if there is to be positive change in Iran. In the meantime, the United States should listen to and engage with the Iranian student movement, which seeks to challenge the Islamic Revolution. Continue reading