The Davom-e Khordad (2nd of Khordad; 23 May) Movement [IRN36021.E]

The 23 May Movement is the reformist political umbrella grouping led by Iranian President Mohammed Khatami that was dedicated to procuring his election in 1997 and those of reformist candidates in 1999 municipal elections and 2000 parliamentary elections (NYT 24 Jan. 2000; International Herald Tribune 25 Feb. 2000; AP 29 Apr. 2000). It is a coalition of several political organizations, including the Islamic Participation Front and the Executives of Construction (International Herald Tribune 25 Feb. 2000; The Economist 5 Aug. 2000; Irish Times 18 Feb. 2000).

In Persian the 23 May Movement is known as the Davom-e Khordad Movement (The Economist 5 Aug. 2000), or the 2nd of Khordad Movement, which is the date on the Iranian calendar that corresponds to 23 May, the date in 1997 when Khatami was first elected (AP 29 Apr. 2000; Irish Times 18 Feb. 2000; Washington Post 3 Nov. 1999).

The movement traces its history to the 1980s, when Mohammed Khatami was the head of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, which gave him the opportunity to implement a more liberal policy regarding the licencing of publications than had previously been in place (The Economist 5 Aug. 2000). According to one source, however, Khatami's supporters only began collectively calling themselves the 2nd of Khordad Movement in Feburary 1999, when they won the local elections that were held in Iran that month (Irish Times 18 Feb. 2000).

Prominent figures in the movement are Abdullah Nouri, who was a minister in Khatami's cabinet (International Herald Tribune 25 Oct. 1999), and Abbas Abdi, a columnist for the newspapers Sobh-e-Emrooz and Salam who was one of the student activists who took over the US Embassy in Tehran in 1979 (NYT 13 Oct. 1999; The Economist 5 Aug. 2000; Washington Post 3 Nov. 1999).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Associated Press (AP). 29 April 2000. Ali Akbar Dareini. "Iran President Says His Reform Movement Is Unstoppable." (NEXIS)

The Economist [New York]. 5 August 2000. "Still Banging on That Door." (NEXIS)

International Herald Tribune. 25 February 2000. K. L. Afrasiabi. "Khatami May Find the Fractious New Parliament Hard to Lead." (NEXIS)

_____. 25 October 1999. John F. Burns. "Iranian Cleric, Set for Trial, Goes on Offensive for Reforms." (NEXIS)

Irish Times [Dublin]. 18 February 2000. Lara Marlowe. "World News: Credibility of Khatami at Stake in Today's Iran Elections." (NEXIS)

The New York Times (NYT). 24 January 2000. John F. Burns. "Many Reformers Ruled Off Iran Ballot." (NEXIS)

_____. 13 October 1999. John F. Burns. "Iranian's Career: From Hostage-Taker to Reformer." (NEXIS)

The Washington Post. 3 November 1999. Afshin Molavi. "Iranian Revolutionaries Preach A New Creed: Democracy." (NEXIS)