Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Rouhani is a Reformer

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

President Rouhani of Iran spoke about reforming Iranian society while at the International Book Fair in Teheran.

Rouhani said that people who criticize the government should not be arrested. He said "critics should not be detained, critics should not be sent to jail."

This has been Rouhani's platform since his election in 2013. Rouhani leads and represents the reformists in Iran. He believes that Iranian law has gone too far in limiting the freedoms of expression.

The February elections and the run-off elections for the parliament showed that Iran's reformists have a powerful groundswell and have a serious plurality that cannot be ignored. The fact that their leader is also the president adds credibility to their cause and their numbers will continue to grow.

And yet, it is essential to understand that change in Iran can only happen with the blessing of the Grand Ayatollah also known as the Supreme Leader.

The Grand Ayatollah has been touched by this reform movement. That is the reason he tapped Rouhani in the first place. But the Ayatollah is uncertain about what this all means and he has not implemented any significant changes in Iran.

Iran's parliamentary election is the most important vehicle the country has with which to inform The Supreme Leader of the true voice of the people. 

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