On The Virtues Of The West

Iranian President Mohammed Khatami, in an essay submitted to TIME, articulates his case for a freer Iranian society and analyzes the reasons why his country has always been ruled by autocrats. Excerpts:

We can say with great assurance that a society intending to reach development cannot succeed without understanding Western civilization and the spirit of Western civilization. Societies unfamiliar with this spirit shall never succeed in introducing a positive change in their lives. Many Islamic societies, such as ours, are still regretfully deprived of such knowledge. We are not yet aware of the various facets of Western civilization, and our encounter...

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