Trita Parsi on 22 Bahman

Excerpt: “What’s at stake now is not just the survival of the reformists, but the very possibility of Iran’s eventual transition toward a democratic system. By reneging on its promise of justice and political liberties—and by refusing to take part in a national debate about what the ideals and goal of the republic should be—the radical conservatives have in effect negated the very notion of a republic, and of a nation of citizens with minds of their own and the political autonomy to express themselves. To get away with this backward march of folly, the hardliners seem to believe that they must kill the very children of the revolution—the ones who led the revolution and still feel obliged to honor its promises. By coercing the Iranian people to acquiesce to the absolute rule of an unelected guardian, the government is accomplishing a revolution in a literal sense, by creating a circular movement that ends where it started. In order to maintain their grip on power, acting in the name of religion, the radical conservatives in government are imprisoning the very leaders who helped bring an end to secular monarchical despotism 31 years ago.”

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