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BBC News Front page | In Depth | World | Middle East | Iran: Who holds the power?
Iran: The stuggle for changeIran: The struggle for change

Democracy and reform Democracy and reform

President Mohammad Khatami has been trying to wrench politics and society out of the grip of Iran's highly conservative clerics. In his first term of office, he has failed to deliver. Those who voted for Mr Khatami, the 70% of the electorate who want radical reform of government, administration and the economy, are very frustrated.

Mr Khatami also promised, but has been unable to achieve, restrictions on the power of clerical institutions and hardline judiciary. He has faced strong resistance from the conservative clergy associated with the country's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei - the man at the top of Iran's political and religious power structure.

President Khatami, an advocate of gradual institutional reform in line with the Islamic constitution, has clear views on the nature of Islamic government, social justice, liberty, democracy, tolerance and good governance. His aims include curbing corruption and making the security and police forces more accountable. He also wants to improve relations with other countries, especially in the Arab world.

Iran's changing face
Democracy and reform
The role of youth
Women and society
Relations with the West
The media
The economy
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