Those who had spent time at the Iran-Iraq war fronts or those who have military training, are well familiar with the term “night pass.” The term is similar to what computer users experience repeatedly everyday. They simply call it a “password”.
In Iran, “password” is a term that is prevalent not only among computer users, but also in the realm of power and politics. To enter the realm of power one needs to know the “password” of its gates or know from the past the ways of getting into that world.
While the seventh Majlis elections that that took place in 2004, the presidential elections that took place in 2005, and the last Majlis Khobregan (Experts Assembly for the Leadership) elections after it demonstrated some of the aspects of this key phenomena, the forthcoming Majlis elections on March 14th is clarifying to some reformists who had until now remained aloof where the problem lies and who is the principal creator of the password [none other than the supreme leader of the Islamic republic]. They are learning that not only must they know the password to be included in the game of politics in the country and that the code word continuously changes, but that the gates of the world of power are for now shut to them: until further notice. So I think rather than spending time to uncover what the password is, they should concentrate on understanding the codes of the game of politics in a system controlled by the Velayate Faghih (leadership of the clerics).
And for this, they do not have to go very far. For example, they could look at how the reformist and independent candidates for the March elections were eliminated. Aside those that did not sign up as nominees for the elections, about 909 reformist candidates did sign up. From amongst them, a meagre138 have been approved to compete for 31 seats of the 290-seat Majlis! Even if all 31 seats are won by the reformists, they will comprise only 11 percent of the parliament. That speaks of the insignificant power they will have, if any.
This state of affairs has forced the intelligent, but weak group of reformists to criticize the source of the problem, i.e. the Velayate Faghih system. So the upcoming elections and more specifically the disqualification of reformist candidates are in reality making Iranian politics more transparent, and deepening the political criticism carried out by the reformists. These are positive events.
On the other hand, grasping this reality is making reformers conclude that they must stay out of this game of “uncompetitive elections”: which is another event to rejoice.
It is clear that in the Islamic Republic of Iran, reformers of any color are viewed to be outsiders of the system and not trustworthy by the regime to know the password to enter the elections into the power structure of the country. There is no doubt about it.