Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Another forgotten country heard from

Beaten up but not down, reformers in Iran are trying to carry on - and perhaps becoming more militant. This is from the Toronto Star.
Tehran - Scuffles broke out in Iran's parliament yesterday when a reformist called on Islamic clerics to question the supreme leader's performance.

Hardliners consider Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters, to be above the constitution and answerable only to God.

Legally, the Experts Assembly, a clerical body that elects the supreme leader, supervises Khamenei's performance but it has never issued a report.

"Was the performance of the supreme leader and bodies under his control compatible with honesty, prudence and fairness in the recent sham legislative elections?" outspoken reformist Ali Akbar Mousavi Khoeini asked. ...

"This question should be put to the Experts Assembly, whose most important responsibility is to supervise the leader's performance," Khoeini said in a session aired live on state radio. ...

"Shut up!" Mousa Qorbani shouted, as fellow hardliners ran to the podium, to shove and kick Khoeini. Other lawmakers intervened to calm the fray.
Apparently, "beaten up" should be taken literally.

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