Kofi in Iran, Ahmadinejad not his favorite
Ahmadinejad, Khamenei, Khatami, all names from Iran, that every person should learn.
Khamenei, the "King maker" carries the weight of being the "religious, political leader" who has much control in Iran. Ahmadinejad is the "Elected leader, but his main power is access to media, but in policy matters, he is controlled". Khatami, is the guy who postures as a religious leader, but who is considered to be more moderate than Ahmadinejad or Khamenei.
Even Iran's circumscribed political process can produce surprising results, as the Iranian masses chose to empower the most serious challenge to Khamenei - Muhammad Khatami and the reform movement. Khatami is running against the "puppet" leader of Iran, Ahmadinejad, who has had an ongoing public feud with President George W. Bush of the USA.
In recent days, leaders of the United Nations, as well as former heads of state of several nations have visited Iran, hosted by Khatami. Khatami is considered the best hope for a more moderate leadership of Iran.
Former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami is hosting a high-profile conference uniting former U.N. chief Kofi Annan and other dignitaries this week - a rare visit seen as a reformist effort to position him for a comeback ahead of crucial elections. Ahmadinejad saw the visit by Kofi as a threat to his candidacy, so created a photo opportunity, even though Kofi Annan was there in a program sponsored by Mohammad Khatami.
Long an opponent of hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Khatami has stepped up his criticism in recent months. And he is under increasing pressure from moderates to challenge Ahmadinejad in June's presidential elections.
Khatami's supporters believe a victory by a political moderate would help Iran out of international isolation.
Many around the world, believe that with the removal of Ahmadinejad and George W. Bush, that there is real potential for normalization of relations with the USA and Iran. But Khatami also has a reputation and backgroud as one who helped "oust" the Sha of Iran, and who has aligned himself with Islamic hard liners. But, still, many believe because of his years working in Germany, that some sense of tolerance and a "global view" may be his. At least he does not have a "white hot" verbal feud with the president of the USA.
Most moderates and international observers agree that there would be mutual benefits for the USA and Iran to normalize relationships.
Iran's government has fought a free press, fears freedom for women, and has been ruled by strict fundamentalist religious leaders. But those who have lived in Iran, and known it's history consider the times of open policy, free speech, and progress to be the brightest times of Iran's history. Polls and studies have indicated that over 87% of Iran's population fears or dislikes the present style of government. The people of Iran want progress. The people of the world have long felt sad about the restrictions and burdens that religious zealots have imposed upon the people. For too long, the nation has been ruled under a cloud of fear and intimidation.
Yet the people of Iran are educated, motivated, ambitious, and hard working. When their religious radicalism is put aside they can be a loving and impressive people. "Iranian people, when they go back into their cultural dark teachings, they become radical, stubborn, unyielding, and violent. But when they look to progress, tolerance and love, they can be a warm and wonderful people, full of hospitality and insight." said Ernst Diener, International Consultant.