RealNews

Iranian Reformers Change Course

In the Wednesday night editorial meeting of a newspaper called Yas-e-No, the final hours of Iran’s reform movement played out in characteristic fashion. Men in shirtsleeves shuffled papers and prepared to exercise rights it was not clear they actually had. “If we’re going to publish this letter, let’s publish everything because they’re going to close us anyway,” one editor implored. He tapped a finger on the text of an unusual, almost combustible epistle to Iran’s supreme leader. An hour earlier, it had been read aloud to foreign journalists, but everyone at Yas-e-No knew how dangerous it would be when they printed it in Thursday’s editions. Mohsen Mirdamadi, sitting across a table cluttered with page proofs and sugar cubes, thought for a moment. Twenty-five years earlier, his angry eloquence inspired students to storm the U.S. Embassy, humiliating a superpower. On Feb. 1, he led 124 of his fellow lawmakers in a mass resignation to protest the disqualifications of thousands of reformist candidates from the nationwide parliamentary elections set for Friday. Full Story

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