GLOBAL CONNECTIONS: the Near/Middle East
May 26, 1997: Iranian voters elect Mohammed Khatami president.

Mohammed Khatami campaigns for president for just two weeks on a platform emphasizing return to the rule of law and restoration of civil society. Almost immediately, police stop hassling women for improper dress, and bolder women start wearing their head scarves further back on the head, showing more of their hair. Newspapers report freely about the government.

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The new president of Iran, Mohammed Khatami, who is starting his term, has named several women to his Cabinet, but is facing an uphill battle to get them approved by the Iranian legislature. (August 1997)

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President Khatami once served as Iran's culture minister before he was fired for being too liberal. Since he took office, artists of all types say culture in Iran has flourished.