Democracy in Iran is Still the Way to Peace in the Middle East

by Gedalyah Reback

Democracy is blossoming again in a country that has seen so many external and internal interference in that process. After decades of oppression under the Shah, an Iranian Revolution became a fruitless endeavor, as a country’s revolutionary hopes were dashed by a megalomanic leadership. Following a brief period of liberalization, the Iranian regime is now consolidating power and keeping its citizens deadlocked in a cycle of disappointment.

The parliament in Iran has no power – its decisions can be vetoed by a group of 12 elitist clerics. The president has no power – he can set economic policy but all power is vested in the “Supreme Leader. Even those candidates Iranians can choose are limited to who the regime lets run – a filtered democracy, a limited democracy.

Iranian elections are more expensive public opinion polls than efforts by the citizenry to determine their own fate. Recent elections for the Assembly of Experts – the body that gets to select a new supreme leader when the position is vacant – did not fare well for Ahmadinejad’s supporters. The public does not support this regime, nor its policies. It is only holding Iranians back from taking the helm and creating a powerful Iranian democracy that would economically prosper and contribute to stabilizing the region.

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