EIGHTY PER CENT OF IRANIANS SAY "NO" TO THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC

PARIS 11 Feb. (IPS) More than eighty per cent of Iranians rejected the present Islamic regime of Iran against near 19 per cent who voted for, according to a poll carried among Iranians worldwide.

The unprecedented survey, carried jointly by several Iranian internet websites on 10 and 11 February, coinciding with the anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution of 1979, said 81.1 per cent of the 12.718 voters expressed their opposition to the Islamic Republic while 18.9 per cent accepted it.Events

The final results about the referendum, initiated by the "Gozaar Polling Institution", which asked the participant to say "yes" or "no" to the single question" Islamic Republic" was published Tuesday, the end for the vote taking, by the popular internet site "Gooya".

The survey confirmed other polls, carried in Iran and outside, showing that the majority of the Iranians, mostly the young and women who make more than70 per cent of the 69 million population were not happy with the present Islamic system and wanted a radical change, replacing the theocracy by a secular and democratic system.

The massive negative vote of the Iranians, both at home and abroad, to the clerical ruled theocracy came as officials in Tehran claimed that "millions" of Iranians took part in the celebrations, during which President Mohammad Khatami "assured" that the population remained "faithful" to the ideals of the Islamic revolution.

Confirming, albeit indirectly, the growing unpopularity of the regime, the powerless and embattled Khatami warned Tuesday the United States against supporting Iranians opposed to the Islamic Republic.

In a speech some months ago, President George W. Bush had declared that he no longer would back the government of Mr. Khatami whom he described as weak and inefficient -- and would shift his support for the Iranian people instead. ENDS REFERENDUM RESULT 11203