After the Guardian Council blocked Khatami’s legislative agenda and intervened to ensure hardliner domination in the 2003 and 2004 municipal and parliamentary elections, it appeared the government and populace were on a more conservative trajectory. However, the reality was somewhat more nuanced when it came to the public. Prosperity and living standards rose in general during the Khatami Administration, although the poor and working classes were largely left behind. The temporary expansion of press freedoms and greater access to the internet and higher education ensured that a broad swath of the population desired greater liberties even though they grew disillusioned with reformist politicians’ inability or willingness to deliver.
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