With the upcoming elections in Iran, reformists are taking full advantage of the candidates and demanding reform. This is a critical time for the reformists to act, specifically for more press freedoms, rights for women and minorities and more government transparency. Iran is currently in an economic and political crisis and this upcoming election could make or break the future of this tattered country. Reformists are simply asking for a transformation, NOT a revolution.
Iran is currently in a crisis due to their inability to sell millions of barrels of oil, their talk of shutting down the Strait of Hormuz, and constant threats from Israel to shut down their nuclear program. With so many roadblocks in Iran, reformists have found this to be an opportune time to insist more from the government.
Iranian Reformists had a similar movement in 2009 called the Green Movement. The Green Movement took place after the 2009 elections and was a “symbol of unity and hope for those asking for annulment of what they regarded as a fraudulent election.” (Aljazeera). Many think that it is possible for the Green Movement to rise again during the 2013 elections and the government is prepared for this, keeping a close eye on the reformists in order to prevent an uprising, one Iranian government official stated; “Currently, the leaders of the Green Movement are either in prison, under house arrest or in exile, meaning they are unable to communicate with their followers, especially given that social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter are filtered in Iran.” The government is insistent in restraining the reformists from publicizes any type of political opinion.
So what’s next? Will the reformists be able to place a candidate on the upcoming ballot? Will another Green Movement occur? Or will reformist simply chose to not show up on Election Day?
The government feels that there are more important issues to deal with other than social issues, which leaves little room for alternative views that the reformists have. The government of Iran wants to first repair their economy, mend relations with Israel and fix the Strait of Hormuz. The government is weary of reformist and fear an uprising. The misconception is that all reformists are extremist who want to overthrow the government, but in reality the reformists solely want to create a strategy for peaceful change. As one Iranian reformist, Al Mazrooei, said; “The Iranian people have experienced a revolution and they don’t want to do that again. They have patience and they have a voice,” he said.
“They are waiting.”
Sources: Aljazeera.com & Wikipedia.com