CNN Correspondent Kasra Naji explains why the reformers lost in Iran’s recent parliamentary election:
They lost a good deal of credibility with the Iranian public because they failed to initiate many of the reforms they had promised. One could argue that in parliament their efforts to legislate reformist bills were blocked at every turn by the hardline Guardian Council. And there is plenty of evidence to back that argument.
But at the end of the day, they failed to deliver on important issues. And in some cases when many people expected them to stand up to the hardliners’ excesses outside parliament, they proved feeble. I met a lot of people in the past few days who said to me that even if thousands of reformists had not been barred from standing in the elections, they still would not have voted for them.
Could it be the reformers lost because the most well-known ones were banned from running?
Could they have failed in their reforms because they’ve been stymied (sometimes jailed or disappeared) by the mullahs?
Could they have “proved feeble” because of Iran’s increasingly thuggish police state?
And how much more firmly could they have stood against the hardliner’s “excesses outside parliament,” when those excesses included the murder and imprisonment of the reformer’s student allies?
If you ever wonder why CNN is accused of bias, look no further than the words of their own correspondents.
UPDATE: Laurence Simon writes to CNN.