Iran's presidential elections: ' Much ado about nothing! '

The mainstream press presents Iran’s President Khatami as the great hope of the Iranian people in the face of theocratic repression. Not everyone sees things this way. The Co-ordinating Committee of Workers Left Unity- Iran is using the opportunity provided by these sham elections to expose what is really going on in the country and launch an international campaign in defence of the basic human rights and dignity of its people.

On Friday the 4th of May , Iran's current president Khatami announced hat he was standing for a second term . His apparent 'hesitation' had guaranteed much publicity and media attention, yet as far as the Iranian people are concerned his re-election will mean very little. If in 1997, as the underdog in a direct contest against the clergy's preferred candidate Nategh Nouri, he represented dissidence - be it within the limited confines of the Islamic regime - four years into his presidency , Khatami is undoubtedly the regime's favourite and only candidate. Indeed, its only hope of survival. In fact he is so much the candidate of the 'conservative' faction that the more fundamentalist faction of the regime is not even putting up a serious challenger against him.

In the last few years, Khatami, who claims to be powerless, has presided over a government that has turned a blind eye on 'serial political murders', on the closure of over 40 papers and journals, arrest of hundreds of students, workers, journalists, the religiously-motivated 'serial murder of prostitutes', and the most degrading medieval punishments against women including stoning to death for adultery and flogging for wearing 'poor veil'. During his rule Iran's economic situation has deteriorated . Tens of thousands of workers have received no salaries for between two and four years, hundreds of thousands of workers have been made unemployed, the economic crisis has brought production to a standstill, the gap between the rich and the poor is widening and a few families, most of them related to senior clerics, have accumulated astronomical fortunes by means of the impoverishment of the masses.

What does the Iranian president promise for the next four years? More of the same! Having listed Khatami's failure one should give him credit for one achievement: he has proved to the majority of the Iranian people, especially the young, that the Islamic regime, with its unelected 'supreme' leader, who can always overrule 'elected' MPs and the president, cannot be reformed. That the only solution to Iran's economic and political crisis is the overthrow of the current regime in its entirety.

The 'candidacy ' of Khatami and the elections of 8th of June will be covered extensively by the Western media, yet for most Iranians - especially for large sections of the population who are victims of the worsening political and economic situation  this election, where only candidates approved by the arch-conservative Guardian Council will be allowed to stand, will mean little. In the next few weeks Workers Left Unity of Iran will do its utmost to expose the sham elections, expose the limits of the Islamic constitution and its inherent contradictions and call for 'mass civil disobedience' against this medieval regime and its reactionary leaders.We also take this opportunity to launch the International campaign Against repression in Iran , a campaign that will try and unit all the major campaigns we have been involved with in the last few years : in defence of journalists, students, workers and women.


Go to for more information about the Co-ordinating Committee of Workers Left Unity- Iran and its campaign, or email