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Dec 08, 2004
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Iranian President Khatami Clashes with Reformist Students at Tehran University (Part II)

#408 | 04:00
Source: Channel 1 (Iran)

The following are excerpts from a report by Channel 1 of the Iranian TV of an address by Iranian President Mohammad Khatami to Tehran University students on Iranian Student Day. This is part II of Clip #401

Female student: Mr. Khatami, we have gathered here today to listen to what you have to say in your last year in office, but unfortunately none of the calls we made outside were heard inside. Not everyone could enter this hall. Outside there was a commotion. We were told that women would fill half the hall. Take a look! I consider you an honest man. Do women fill half the hall?

Just a minute. I didn't say this so you would clap or whistle. You've been sitting here comfortably since the morning. You didn't see what was going on outside. But something you should know about happened outside, Mr. Khatami. They closed the door and didn't let anyone in, until the door broke. With my own eyes I saw someone whose hand was cut by the glass. With all kinds of excuses they prevented us from entering by any of the doors. There was a man there - whom I don't see here - who insulted me in a way that I will not forget for the rest of my life, and I will pay him in kind, him and everyone else.

Moderator: Thank you. I am grateful.

Student:Look, Mr. Khatami

Moderator: One moment. One moment. I'd appreciate it if you would... the program must continue as planned.

Female student: This plan left everyone behind these doors. Your plan prevented us from entering. This was your plan... I don't know your last name, I think it's Mr. Qobadi...According to your plan, dear sir, whatever your name is - many people were crushed out there…

Crowd: Khatami, you turned your back on us!

Crowd: Khatami, you turned your back on us!

Crowd: Khatami, you turned your back on us!

Khatami: What are they saying?

Moderator: Some of the friends in the hall are expressing their opinion.

Crowd: Khatami, you turned your back on us!

Khatami: I don't understand what they are saying. Say it clearly so I can understand what you're saying.

Moderator: They are saying: "Khatami, you turned your back on us."

Khatami: No, no, no. Now my face is turned towards you.

I strongly believe that there is no other way to save the country except to establish democracy. We can preserve Islam only by preserving democracy. This is true only if our view of Islam is compatible with the principles of democracy. In the Islam I know, the vote of the people is not just a formality.

Crowd: Yes it is! Yes it is!

Khatami: The regime… The regime... Allow me… The regime with all its institutions relies upon the vote of the people.

Crowd: No it doesn't! No it doesn't!

Khatami: The main point of our friends' criticism is that Khatami used slogans that were then retracted. What slogan did I use and then retract? Allow me… Allow me…. There is room for debate.

Crowd: Free elections!

Khatami: And if…

Crowd: Free elections! Free elections! Free elections! - Free elections!

Khatami: OK, allow me... We can't discuss each issue separately. Wait till the end. Even if there was a retraction - I didn't give up to anyone or anything, except the regime in which I believe. As for those who claim that our problem lies in our being religious - first, they're saying nothing new. Second, they are very superficial. Others have said better things. Third, with this view, they are leading the country down a dangerous path.

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