Trying To Build A Democracy In Iran

With his country on the Bush Administration's "Axis Of Evil" list and under international scrutiny for its suspected nuclear-weapons program, the last thing Iran's supreme leader, Ayatullah Ali Khamenei, needs right now is another diplomatic and political contretemps. So when he met with the hard-line clerics of the powerful Guardian Council last week, he first thanked his "dear brothers" for their hard work--and then asked his underlings to reconsider their Jan. 11 decision to bar hundreds of candidates, including 80 incumbent M.P.s, from parliamentary elections next month. Otherwise, he warned, Iran might dissolve in a "chaos of disagreement." With the barring,...

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