Pariliamentarism and democracy are two relatively novel concepts in Iran . Although the Parliament is now a century old in Iran, democracy is only three decades old and both institutions still face important challenges today . Even while facing pressures, political parties in opposition to the government are more active on the eve of the tenth Presidential elections we have ahead.
I attended two grand political meetings yesterday. The first was the annual congress of the Islamic Iran Participation Front, a reformist party created more than a decade ago . The second session was also a political gathering of another reformist party; The Iranian Kargozaran Party. Kargozaran or "technocrats" as we consider them were created by the followers of former President Hashemi Rafsanjani. The party leader is now Karbaschi , the renown and successful former Mayor of Tehran. He proposed the formation of a moderate coalition government that would replace the radical and weak government in power today.
The IIPF Congress began with the speech of the Party leader who provided an exegesis on the evolution of the Islamic Republic. Dr. Mirdamadi spoke of the aspirations that people had 3 decades ago, he reviewed the initial objectives that the Revolution pursued , he pointed to the achievements and advances. Specifically, he made point of the fact that the current government does not meet with those standards and objectives and that in some respects the country seriously needs reform to keep on track. The Islamic Republic needs to preserve its democratic identity just as it needs to keep its Islamic values alive, he noted.
Mr. Khatami and many other prominent figures took part in both sessions. We were concerned that this coincidence of the two party sessions would not lead to any dispute or give any message of discord among reformist groups. That would have been a propaganda lead for the government media against the reformists. Both sessions took place successfully with a two hour time lapse and the message emerging from both was one of solidarity and collaboration among reformists.
I had an interview with a local news agency on the occasion of the 16 th of Azar or Student's Day . On this day in 1953 , during the Shah's regime, student demonstrations against the visit of Richard Nixon to Iran in 1953 were confronted with anti riot police who had fired against the students, killing three of them in front of the Tehran University School of Engineering. My late father was an engineering student at that time at Tehran University , he had clear memories of that dark day and the ensuing anger and hatred among Iranian youth.
I will speak on that occasion at two national universities on Saturday and Sunday. I will come back to you on news of those two events .