Sunday, February 22, 2004

Success at last on the upload front.....

As expected, the hardliners are heading for a sweeping victory in Iran's general election.

What we're seeing is the end of the Reform Era in Iranian politics and the beginning of the Post-Reform Era. The rogressives will now have to build up a new power base and new alliances outside the established political institutions.

Athough the conservatives insist there'll be no "talibanisation" of Iranian society by the emboldened hardliners, it's clear that those who want to liberalise the country will be pushed increasingly to the margins by the clerical establishment.

There are fears in some quarters of a further crackdown on those pushing for political reform now that the hardliners have taken control of another branch of the state -- the parliament, or majlis.

So where now for the reform movement in Iran?

It's a question I discussed with Dr Sadegh Ziba Kalam, a lecturer in Iranian Politics at Tehran University. He says that, with the parliament now in their hands, the conservatives will now turn their attention to next year's presidential election. They'll be looking to take the presidency from the embattled Mohammed Khatami, who came to power in 1997 on a reformist platform.

Audioblog: Sadegh Ziba Kalam Interview (.wma)


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