In less than an hour the presidential election day begins in Iran. Iran has witnessed a few weeks full of tension, hope and fear. I have been amazed by the courage of many Iranian men, women and youth who have, one way or another, raised their objections to the government's policies and regulations.
I have tried to find some substance to this "hope" in the agendas of the less conservative candidates. Unfortunately, I have not found much hope for any kind of effective change in their words and agendas. I am also well aware of the limitations of elections in the political system of Iran. I know that not all of us could have our true candidates in the race; as the Guardian Council has the power to refrain candidates whose background does not show consistent faithfulness to the Islamic Republic from making it to the final stage of nomination. I know that sometimes voting in an imperfect so-called democracy could only strengthen the faulty principles of that political system. I know that the Constitution of the Islamic Republic does not allow any kind of fundamental reform.
I still vividly remember the sweet taste of the hope of Khatami's Reform Movement that soon turned into despair and hopelessness. In fact, I am still living the storm of lost hopes that came our way during Khatami's presidency. We believed Khatami's promises for reform. I think, even President Khatami believed his own words. I know he is a good person. He just maybe one day forgot that his ideals of civil society and reform cannot take place in today's Iran. Mousavi and Karoubi, too, seem to have forgotten their limited power of the president in Iran. They have made too many promises and I am fearful that they,too, could not implement those promises.
You got it right. I am not all that optimistic. I am tired of promises and the excitement that follows hollow slogans of reform. I am terrified that once again all those beautiful and young faces who risk their freedom by going to the streets and chanting out their objections and their hopes will lose hope. I am worried...
Despite all these worries, I think I will vote tomorrow morning. Why? I will vote because I feel I should not decide for those who live in Iran. I have been following the news in the past few weeks and have come to the following conclusion: Most of those young women who live in Iran, who remind me of the kind of life that I lived in that country and whose struggles are well familiar for me have become united to vote. They are determined to try their chances once again and to vote for reform and change in solidarity. I do not give myself the right to doubt their decision as it determines their future.
I salute them and their efforts. I have tremendous respect for all those who have swallowed their bitter memories of the final days of Khatami's reform and have decided to stand up with hope once again. I respect all those who are still able to have hopes in the country where having hopes is considered a crime. All I could do from miles and miles away is to follow them in their attempts and to vote with the hope that their lives will become slightly easier and less restricted in the near future. I salute those young, beautiful and hopeful faces in the streets of Iran and hope that their wishes turn into reality...Let us hope for an Iran whose youth are content, free and proud to be Iranian...I vote only for them.