As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


The return of a unified reform movement to the Republic of Iran would be encouraging news for those who would like the hardliners to lose their grip on total control of the state. The fact that Mohammed Khatami is putting the movement ahead of hiimself is a very good sign.

Former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami has officially announced his withdrawal from the country's presidential election in June.

In a statement, he said he would pull out in order not to split the reformist vote. Two other pro-reform candidates are also in the running.

Mr Khatami was president of Iran from 1997-2005 and was succeeded by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a hard-line conservative.

The article analyzes this as a boost for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but I don't think so. Khatami would rather rally reformers behind a single candidate than split the vote. Hopefully another pro-reform candidate will drop out as well, leaving one, most likely former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi, to challenge the hardliners. Movements falter when factionalism turns a politics of ideology and policy into a politics of personality. Reformers in Iran need one candidate to rally behind at this point.

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