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Khatami's Legacy: Dashed Hopes

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Muhammad Khatami's presidency of Iran's Islamic Republic started with a deafening roar and ended in an unceremonious whisper. Chances are that his crisis-ridden eight-year tenure will be more favorably viewed in the future than is now the case with his disillusioned early supporters. While his administration was a mixture of some successes and certain setbacks — like all previous ones — the country that he left to his successor was in many respects freer, more prosperous, and more diplomatically respected that the one he inherited from his predecessor. The principal reason for his under-appreciated legacy may lie in the unbridgeable gap between his constituents' ever-rising expectations and his limited capacity to fulfill them. In other words, what was asked of him by the electorate was far more than the maximum he could possibly deliver, and what he did deliver was far less than the minimum his supporters were eager to receive.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2006

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