Monday's assault of the Israel Defense Forces on the flotilla of humanitarian aid which was heading to the besieged Gaza Strip from Turkey left at least 16 dead and many others wounded. This terrible event which Israel still attempts to downplay and to somehow justify has shocked the world. This tragedy could instigate a positive development, only if it leads to a lifting of the blockade which is suffocating the people of Gaza and if it leads to the awakening of the international community.
Along with members of the Tehran City Council and the Mayor of Tehran we payed a visit to the Shrine of Imam Khomeini on the twenty first anniversary of his demise. The grandson of Imam, Hojj. Hassan Khomeini was also present. There is a general feeling among many from our generation, who remember the charismatic and balanced personality of Imam and recall the roadmap that he drew for the Revolution, that some of what he hoped the Islamic Republic would embody has not actualized. Great strides had been taken for Iran following the Revolution, but while enough had not been done, many now admit that the events of last year have compromised the moral and spiritual integrity of the Islamic Revolution. There has been a surge of warnings among Reformist leaders and politicians and in the few Reformist newspapers concerning a gradual deviation from the objectives of the Revolution and the ethical standards of Imam.
During the past 5 years some pro Ahmadinejad officials have questioned Imam's belief in democracy and have given the impression that he did not believe in the right of the people to determine their destiny. Certain clerical figures , Hojj Mesbah Yazdi the most renown among them, have openly propagated a distorted image of Imam's thoughts and actions. They infer that Imam did not believe in the intrinsic right of people to decide for their future. They insist that the rule of God is in contradiction with the rule of the people. Other decisions in open contradiction with the policies emphasized and decreed by Imam have also surfaced, military forces involved in politics, use of religious beliefs for legitimzing certain actions, seeing women as second class citizens, and many other issues. Even the family of Imam and many of the close friends of Imam have been targeted and isolated for criticizing current trends. They have targeted Imam's grandsons for visiting Green political prisoners released on bail.
The question which lingers in our minds is how much does this country now meet the sublime spiritual , political and economic standards Imam Khomeini set for the Islamic Republic three decades ago? Are we moving towards or away from his dream?