Wednesday, December 08, 2004

"Khatami, what happened to your promised freedom?"

Students at the Tehran University, once the backbone of Iran's reformist movement, heckled and harangued President Mohammad Khatami on Monday, accusing him of lacking the courage to deliver promised democratic reforms in the Islamic state. The speech was held to mark Iran's annual Students Day and marked a new low for Khatami's relations with students who were behind his electoral victories of 1997 and 2001.

Desperate, Khatami blurted out three attention-grabbing statements:

"My period is going to be over soon but I do not owe anyone," he said. "Those power-seeking fanatics who ignored the people's demands and resisted reforms, they owe me. The ones who destroyed Iran's image in the world, they owe me."

"Just stop it. I will tell them to throw you out," he said. "You are unable to tolerate anything, even words," he said.

"There is no Third World country where the students can talk to their president and criticize the government as you do now."

I wonder if, now that he has a cool head, he would stand by his remarks? See pictures from the event and read more here. Gosh, he sure looks heckled!


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