July 5, 2007


Iran's leader hints at rights for women (Nasser Karimi, 06 July 2007, Independent)

Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has signalled a willingness to reinterpret Islamic law in favour of women's rights, but not following Western convention, his official website and state-run television reported yesterday.

The Ayatollah's comments come amid criticism of Iran by international human rights groups for persecuting women's rights activists.

"Some issues about women, which exist in religious jurisprudence, are not the final say. It is possible to interpret new points through research by a skillful jurist," the website quoted Ayatollah Khamenei as saying during a speech to commemorate national women's day. The Supreme Leader has final say over all state matters.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 5, 2007 7:54 PM

Reformations start with challenges to reform, not obtuse sayings meant to enthrall NGOs and Europeans.

Now if he walked into that giant mosque and nailed a paper to the minaret......

Posted by: jim hamlen at July 5, 2007 11:44 PM

Seems to me this is not about rights for women at all, it is about wolves trying to buy time from the sheep...

Posted by: darryl at July 6, 2007 2:21 AM

He sounds like a Zero I read a few years ago, we won't do it as the Americans, we'll do it in the more humane, Europeans way.

Posted by: Sandy P at July 6, 2007 2:34 AM

Islamo-Boxerists may pretend that they are not tumbimg into that old ash-heap. Nor shall the so-called "reinterpretation" of Islamic "law" be the last word.

Posted by: Lou Gots at July 6, 2007 3:44 AM

Sometimes you've got to take "OK" for an answer. This is how the reformation begins, which is different from saying that this is the beginning of the reformation.

Maybe he doesn't mean it, maybe he has only a few cosmetic changes in mind, maybe he thinks he just needs to get over a rough patch before Islam's inevitable destiny to rule the world really gets going. That would make him the Gorbachev of his generation.

Posted by: Ibid at July 6, 2007 7:07 AM

Fanatics can't take OK for an answer.

Posted by: oj at July 6, 2007 7:16 AM

OJ: exactly - which is why all the current leading Iranian gangsters (from Madmood to the Grand Poobah himself) don't listen to anyone except their cultish whispering versions of Suslov.

When they start shooting people in the streets of Tehran, then it will be their Tienanmen moment. Will they reform, or keep shooting.

Posted by: jim hamlen at July 6, 2007 8:52 AM

Yes, Mahmoud is just as fanatic as you guys.

Posted by: oj at July 6, 2007 9:47 AM

Dang, Darryl, where did you get your history education? Freedom has always been advanced by wolves trying to buy time from the sheep. It's very rare for people to do stuff before they have to, why would governments be any different?

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at July 6, 2007 10:17 AM

Forget Mahmoud - he's the loudmouth of the month.

Khameini has had 18 years to do some "reform". He hasn't. QED.

Posted by: jim hamlen at July 6, 2007 4:49 PM

He has, which is why a Mahmoud has to try to crack down, though he'll fail because of the Ayatollah.

Posted by: oj at July 6, 2007 7:03 PM

From what I read and hear directly from Iranians, things improved a bit after 1989, and then the crackdowns started again just before Khatami was elected.

Certainly the economy is worse today (due to Mahmoud), but the overall political condition is also very bad, not all of which can be blamed on Ahmadinejad. Khameini has puppeteered the nation into a pretzel, and he is nearing his end.

He has reformed nothing. The national spirit is enervated.

Posted by: jim hamlen at July 6, 2007 9:29 PM

The failure to enact serious reforms under Khatami disillusioned many. Khamenei underestimated that, which is how Mahmoud beat Moin and Rafsanjani. But the worsening economy means Khamenei has become the one pushing economic reforms himself. The next president will be his ally in reforming and be given more leeway. He wants to save the Republic and knows they have to use Western methods on the economy.

Posted by: oj at July 6, 2007 10:22 PM