May 27, 2002


Iran bars debate on US ties : Ayatollah Khamenei has ruled out talks with the US (Jim Muir, 26 May, 2002, BBC)
Iran's Justice Department has issued a ruling making it a criminal offence for any newspaper to carry material advocating negotiations with the United States.

The decision has sparked an angry reaction among Iranian reformists--with one reformist newspaper describing the ruling as "illegal". [...]

If the Tehran Justice Department's ruling is confirmed as official judiciary policy, reformists will clearly be outraged at what they see as blatant suppression of one of the fundamental freedoms enshrined in the constitution.

It will significantly increase the contradictory pressures building up within the Islamic regime.

President Mohammad Khatami - the main symbol of the reformists--said pointedly only last week that the Iranian revolution had happened because people wanted an Islamic Republic, not an Islamic dictatorship.

It is the nature of war to force the contradictions--as we see from Russia, which has been forced to realize it is a Western nation, to Palestine, where continual talk of self-determination has only served to remind people that Arafat's a dictator, to Iran, where long dormant Westernizing influences are bubbling to the surface. Hysterical hawks in the U.S. want to attack Iran even as it is on a difficult and uncertain path towards becoming a genuine republic and quite possibly (given Persian contempt for the Arabs) an ally. Posted by Orrin Judd at May 27, 2002 8:53 AM
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