…The crimes of the first decade of the revolution were ignored by many because of 1) the Iran-Iraq War, 2) Khomeini's popularity allowing him to garner mass support for any stance he approved of and 3) a desire to give the new regime a chance to establish itself.
The second decade witnessed the proliferation of dissent and led to the election of Khatami and the reformers. As riddled with obstacles as the reform era was, there was an active effort by the elected government to limit the power of the extra-judicial players in the country. Secret prison cells were revealed by a parliamentary committee headed by Mousavi Khoeini. The chain killings of intellectuals led to actual arrests of high-level people in the judiciary (though the "suicide" of Saeed Emami prevented the full story from getting out). And the press experienced an opening up that led to the publication of countless new newspapers. Now, most of the most impactful of the reformist's efforts were successfully defeated by the hardliners, but those who were concerned about the state of affairs could at the least point to an administration that was committed to changing things.
…The reformists had been thoroughly defeated, both by the Guardian Council, and most recently by a highly controversial presidential election. The administration in power not only refuses to facilitate oversight, but gets its strongest support from precisely those extra-judicial actors who reformists had tried to suppress. These are the likes of Mesbah Yazdi and Ruhollah Hosseinian --figures associated with the chain killings; the Revolutionary Guard, whose control Khatami tried to transfer to the office of the Presidency; Saeed Mortazavi, who was famous for shutting down newspapers; and, of course, the Guardian Council, who wiped away thousands of reformist candidates from running for election, including 80-some odd who had been serving as elected members of parliament.
This being the case, those like Ali Mottahari, who are culturally very conservative, but who nonetheless respect the constitution of the country, have been left at a crossroad,,,
I remember reading earlier today an article posted about Ali Karroubi's torture at the hand of security forces. Apparently, Karroubi related how Rafsanjani and his wife stood and watched him in tears as he told about how he was bloodied so bad that he only wished that he could die so as to avoid more pain. Rafsanjani has rightfully been criticized a lot throughout the years, but if not he himself, there are countless others like him who have sacrificed a lot for the revolution, who must be wistfully thinking in old age about how there are no excuses not to see how badly it has betrayed even its own ideals (as they are framed in the constitution).
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