Iran: Khameini’s Khutbah

TEHRAN — Taking an unequivocal stand against days of mass protests, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, sternly warned opposition supporters on Friday to stay off the streets and raised the prospect of violence if their defiant, vast demonstrations continued.

See the NYT article here.

Aziz Poonawalla of the excellent City of Brass has a transcript of the speech here.


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One thought on “Iran: Khameini’s Khutbah

  1. Much is said about bringing democracy to the developing world. What we fail to recognize is that although democracy may work for us (in a relative sense), it may not be the ideal regime for other countries. Democracy supposes that the people have the competence and the inherent intellectual discretion to chose their leaders. It assumes that voters are capable of organizing themselves effectively, to select a leader with due diligence and with a structured election process, complete with all of the procedural safeguards that we have become so reliant on.

    With this logic, does it make any sense that we would impose such a regime, with such a structural prerequisite, on countries where the majority of peoples are uneducated? Is a proper election even possible in a country that lacks the valid judicial and procedural protections to ensure an honest and fair election?

    I am not disparaging the Iranian people. The educated Iranians are some of the most classy, eloquent and beautiful people in the world. Indeed, if they ran the Iran, I imagine that the world would be a safer and better place. But instead of looking at the idealistic possibilities of what could be a wonderful democracy, we need not ignore reality. This reality is that a large part of Mahmoud Ahmedineijad’s voter base was from an uneducated, rural population. A majority of that voter base did not understand the issues at a global level, or even at a domestic level, for that matter.

    Furthermore, absent any protections to the election process, such as independant and unbaised judicial review, a proper and fair democratic election can never be the guaranteed result.

    So how can we impose our system on other nations, when the fundamentals of their political system are not analaguous to ours in any way, shape or form?

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