Iranian reform movement fears U.S. pressure on regime will only be used by regime to mask its failings
Tens of thousands of Iranians will gather in the streets today for what is supposed to be a ringing public endorsement of Iran's 28-year-old Islamic Revolution and its embattled drive for nuclear power. But many Iranians say the international dispute over Iran's nuclear program has become a rallying point for a president who otherwise would be facing substantial public dissatisfaction over soaring inflation, rising unemployment and widespread censorship. This has been a source of frustration to Iran's reformists, who dealt the president's party a blow at the polls in local elections in December but complain that the Bush administration's threatening rhetoric has pulled the rug out from under them. "You are harmful for us. We try to tell politicians in Washington, D.C., please don't do anything in favor of reform or to promote democracy in Iran. Because in 100% of the cases, it benefits the right wing," said Saeed Leylaz, a business consultant and advocate of economic reform and greater dialogue with the West.