Cartoon 71: “Dialogue Among Civilizati—!”
Former Iranian President Seyed Mohammad Khatami’s foreign travel ban has received fresh attention since Nelson Mandela’s funeral. Mohammad Khatami, president of Iran from 1997 to 2005, introduced the idea of a Dialogue Among Civilizations as a response to Samuel P. Huntington’s theory of a Clash of Civilizations.
Mohammad Khatami’s friendship with the late Mandela and his own interest in attending the funeral could have made the two-term former president a good representative for the Islamic Republic of Iran at the event largely attended by world leaders and dignitaries. According to Entekhab website, however, the Rouhani government’s push to get clearance for Khatami’s travel to South Africa did not receive approval and for the first time after four years of an unofficial travel ban, he was officially told of his travel ban right before his scheduled departure.
Earlier this year, during a regular press conference on October 14, when a reporter asked Iran’s Prosecutor General and Spokesperson for the Judiciary Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejehi about the reason for Khatami’s travel ban, he had said, “Some people committed wrongdoings during the 2009 Sedition [the Iranian government’s way of referring to the disputed 2009 post-election protests], including the individual you named.”