Reports of demonstrations and riots in Tehran tell of the widespread disappoint in President Mohammed Khatami, the man who won 4/5s of the votes in May 1997: those now on the streets once expected him to be their champion but now call for his resignation, along with cries of "Kill all the mullahs!" This indicates, reports The New York Times, "how disillusioned his former supporters have become, how angry that their votes made so little difference."
The anger at Khatami recalls how skeptical I was about him and his powers from the time of his election. I wrote in December 1998, for example: "The plain truth is that neither Foreign Minister Kharrazi nor, by extension, President Mohammed Khatami clearly speaks with authority for the government of Iran. Time and again, it has become apparent that this president, however 'moderate' his own views - and even that is a matter of degree - is not the ultimate power in Teheran. That belongs to the person who now fills Khomeini's position as Iran's spiritual leader - namely, Ali Hoseyni Khamene'i, a politician who has steadily supported the edict and whose hard-line followers retained decisive control of Iran's ultimate decision-making body in elections held in late October." (June 16, 2003)