Iran’s Giant Question Mark: To Vote or Not?
With just days left in Iran’s short presidential election campaign, the reformist camp finds itself facing a fork in the road: to vote or to boycott the ballot. Iran’s reform movement emerged full-blown after the surprise triumph of President Mohammad Khatami in 1997. After he defeated the chosen candidate of Iran’s mullahs by a wide margin, hopes soared among many Iranians that he could usher in greater political and social freedoms. But hard-line clerics retained control over the powerful police, judiciary and intelligence agencies, reining in demonstrations, shutting down outspoken newspapers and disqualifying reformist candidates for office. Full Story