In reaction to the face-to-face criticism of the president during his speech at the university, he said, "This is the fruit of the reform program. This is democracy. This is the first time in Iranian history the president is hearing face-to-face protest."
The students were protesting why the reformist government did not follow the public demand not to hold parliamentary election in protest at the process of the seventh parliament election.
President Khatami said that he did his best to convince the Guardian Council to revise its stand.
"We held a meeting with members of the Guardian Council in presence of the Supreme Leader. The Supreme Leader called on them to shift their attitude. They accepted it in the meeting, but, they reneged on their promise later," President Khatami said.
He said that he believes in the democratic nature of the Islamic Republic adding that the current system of government is the best model for developing democracy in the country.
"Do not believe those who say they will bring democracy from abroad as a gift. The road to democracy is passing through the Islamic Republic.
"Those who have a record of administration in the past proved that to what extent they believe in democracy. Those who came to the (political) stage recently, please go ahead to establish democracy. Here you are, the administrative power is going to be handed over to you," President Khatami said in reference to the anti-reform camp.
"Democracy in Iran should develop in parallel with the Islamic values. Those who see our religious values non-compatible with democracy they are following a dangerous thesis which proved useless in the past and could not work in Iran," President Khatami said.
... Payvand News - 12/6/04 ... --