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Iran

AP Comparative Government PresentationReva Ranka, Jingyi Ye, Soomin Cho, Alex Song
by

Alex Song

on 17 September 2013

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Transcript of Iran

IRAN
Ever since the 1970s, Iran has been the 2nd most influential member of OPEC (#1: Saudi Arabia). The current Islamic Republic has tried to curb this dependence on oil, but Iran is still highly vulnerable to the world oil market.
In the 1980s, Iran encouraged large families. This combined with the Iran-Iraq war, which caused the emigration of 3 million citizens (many of which were among the educated), caused a catastrophic plummet in GDP and climbing inflation rates.
However, the Reconstruction Ministry had a few successes. Land, electricity, running water, libraries, schools, and other facilities were now available to the public. Also, the government began encouraging population control and reduced the growth rate from 4% (the highest in the world) to 1.2% by 2003. This sort of effective policymaking demonstrates Iran's relative legitimacy as a government.
IRAN: STATISTICS
Official Name: Islamic Republic of Iran
Capital: Tehran
Area: ~1,648,000 km (slightly larger than Alaska)
Population: 65.8 Million
Per Captia GDP: $10,864
IRAN'S CRITICAL JUNCTURES
The Safavids (1501-1722)
The Safavid family, with the help of other Turkish-speaking tribes, conquered the Iranian territory in the 16th century.
They forcibly converted their subjects to Shi'ism (the majority were originally Sunni) - to this day, the official religion is Shi'a Islam.
Religious minorities including the Sunni Muslims, Christians, and Jews ("People of the Book") were tolerated as long as they paid their taxes and respected authority.
Financial constraints prevented the Safavids from governing the land with a strong bureaucracy - instead, they merely "hovered over" the many ethnicities residing in the land.
The Qajars (1794-1925)
The Qajars, another Turkic tribe, conquered the land and moved the capital to Tehran.
Qajar Rule happened around the same time as European Imperialism. As a result, European nations (primarily Britain and Russia) that invaded forced Iran to make concessions (called "capitulations") for their benefit.

Resentments grew among Iranians who believed the government was acting primarily in European interest. In 1906, a group of 14,000 protesters in Tehran demanded a written constitution. The shah conceded.
After a terrible post-WWI famine that killed over a million people, internal conflicts arose between factions in the Majles (the assembly). The Iranian government also lacked any real power, and Russia and Britain were already dividing up the land for themselves.
By 1921, Iran was in total disarray!
(cc) image by jantik on Flickr
Political Institutions
Iran's political system has a mixture of democracy and theocracy headed by a cleric with the title of a leader
A theocracy is a state dominated by the clergy, who rule on the grounds that they are the only interpreter of God's will and law
Organization of State
The Iranian state follows the Islamic Constitution, which was made after the 1979 revolution by the Assembly of Religious Experts. It was amended in 1989
The final documents has 175 clauses and at least 40 amendments and is a highly complex mixture of theocracy and democracy
Its preamble affirms full belief in God, Divine Justice, the Qur'an, Day of Judgement, the Prophet Muhammad, the Twelve Imams, and the return of the Hideeb Imam (Mahdi)
It declared full fiath is Khomeini's doctrine of velayat-e faqeh ("Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists") which means the senoir religious clerics have ultimate authority in guiding the whole nation
It also declares that all laws, institutions, and state organizations have to conform these "Divine principles" (above)
Theocracy?
Supreme
Leader
Expediency
Council
Assembly of Religious Experts
Guardian Council
Islamic Majles
President
Chief Judge
Electorate
Cabinet
Judiciary
Executive
Legislative
Public Policy
Democratically elected legislature
Clerical overseers
"Second stratum"
Tension between moderate reformers and conservative clergy
Creating gridlock
Social Welfare
Private charity and funcding from waqf endowments
Lost medical personnel however managed to train many women doctors
Educational opportunites increases, especially for women
High priority (precondition for spiritual wellbeing)
Drugs and AIDS
Policymaking
Birth Rate
Surged in early 1980s; war w/ Iraq
Caused demographic pressure => high unemployment and fast-growing workforce
Mandatory sex education classes for newly-wed couples
Rise in marriage age
More opportunities for women
Environmental Protection
Deforestation, desertification, water contamination, urban air pollution
During Pahlavi regime, focused on conservation
Little incentive to increase energy efficiency due to abundant resources
Received international aid from World Bank for environmental purposes
Green Party, 1990s
Human Rights
Human right violation
1980s: war with Iraq
1997 President Khatami: expanded personal freedoms
Regulations on women's rights
Internet filtered
Media: allow limited pluralism
Persecution of religious minorities
The Policy-Making Process
Extremely difficult due to cumbersome constitution and factionalism
Fluid and diffuse
Clerics destroyed Iran's old order built the new one.
Often shared the same socioeconomic background and interest.
Society
(Majmu'eh)
of the Militant Clergy--statist reformers or populists
Social democrats; democracy > theocracy
Dominated Majles
Afghan tribesmen invade Iran in 1722, causing a half-century of civil war.
Association
(Jam'eh)
of the Militant Clergy--laissez-faire
Traditionalist
Controlled Guardian Council
Depdence on Oil
Second most important member of OPEC
Closely tied to the industrial countries
Oil-addicted, highly dependent on oil prices
economic dependency on oil and the West
Political Organization: Main Facts
Iran has a centalized administartion with thirty provinces. Its interior minister appoints the provincial governor-generals
Its Executive has a president and his cabinet. The president is elected by the general electorate every four years. The president chooses his cabinet members, but they need to have the approval of the Majles (parliament)
Its Legislature is unicameral which means it only has one chamber or house called the Majles.
The Judiciary, A Chief Judge and a Supreme Court, is independent of the executive and legislature, but appointed by the Leader
The ruling clergy restricts most party and organized activities
The constitution name Khomeini to be the Leader for life. Amazingly, the public recognized him as the "most just. pious, informed, brave, and enterprising" of the senior jurists, called the grand ayatollahs, He was described as the Leader of the Revolution, the Founder of the Islamic Republic. and the Imam of the whole community. The Imam is the prayer leader of a mosque
After his death his followers elected Ali Chamenei to be the Leader. All the titles were given to him except him being the Imam.
Powers of the Leader
The constitution give the Leader a wide-range of powers including:
Ability to mediate between the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary.
Determine "interests of Islam", "supervise implementation of general policy, and "set political guidelines".
Grant amnesty, or give a general pardon for offenses.
Mobolize the armed forces, declare war and peace, and convene the Supreme Military Council as commander in chief
Appoint and dismiss the commader of the regular army, navy, and air force as well as the Revolutionary Guards, which is intended to protect the country's Islamic system
Nominate the cheif judge, the chief prosecutor, and the revolutionary tribunals (lowest level if judicial system)
Dismiss lower court judges, nominate six clerics to th epowerful twelve-man Guardian Council, which can beto parliamentary bills and approve all canditates for presidency and the Majles.
Appoints the Expediency Council, which has the aithority to resolve differences between the Guardian Council and the Majles
Initiate Laws
Fill importants posts such as: The Imam Jum'ehs (Friday Mosqye Preachers), director or national radio-television network, and the heads of main religious endowments.
The Assembly of Religious Experts was elevated by the amendments in 1989 and is essentially the senate, or upper house, of the legislature. The legislature is composed only of clerics.
There are 86 clerics who have ten-year terms
They are elected through universal adult suffrage and have to have seminary degrees and pass specila theology exams drafted by the Guardian Council
They have the power to dismiss the Leader, if hes "mentally and physically incapable of fulfilling his arduous duties"
The Assembly of Religious Clerics
The President and Cabinet
The president is know to be the chief executive and the highest official after the Leader
The president can run for two-terms max, each four-years
The president must be a pious Shi'i faithfull to the Islamic Repulic, of Iranian origin, and be bewteen the ages of fifteen and seventy-five
There is dispute whether the president can be female or not
The president has no vice-president but can appoint as many "deputies as he wishes. Currently there are ten deputy presidents who specialize in fileds such as atomic energy and veteran's affairs. One is a women : )
Three out of the six men who have filled the office have been clerics
Powers of the President
The president has the power to conduct the country's internal and external policies including:
Signing international treaties, laws, and agreements
Chair the National Security Coucil, reposible for defense matters
Draw up the annual budget supervise economic matters and chair the plan and budget organization
Propose legislation to the Majles
Appoint cabinet ministers
Appoint most other senoir officials, including provincial governors, ambassadors, and the directors of the Natioanl Oil Company, the National Bank. amd The National Electricity Board
The Leader
The Bureaucracy
The president, as chief of the executive branch, heads a huge bureaucracy
The Iranian Rebolution ended up creating a bugger bureacracy continued to proliferate after the revolution. By the early 1990s, they had more than 600,000 civil servants and 1.5 million employees
The largest bureaucracies in the Iranian governments include: the Ministries of Culture and Islamic Guidance, which controls the media and enforces "proper public conduct"; Intelligence, which replaced the dreaded SAVAK: Heavy Industries, which manages the nationalized factories: and Rural Reconstruction, which expands social services, buildings, as well as school and mosques
The clergy dominate the bureaucracy as they do the president. The ministers appear to be highly trained technocrats, but in fact are powerless individuals chosen by, trusted, and related to the ruling clergy
Semipublic Institutions
The Islamic Republic has many semipublic institutions called "Foundations" that play an important role in the state
Some examples are: the Foundation of the Opressed, the Alavi Foundation, the Martyrs Foundation, the Pilgramage Foundation, the Housing Foundation, and the Foundation for the Publication of Imam Khomeini's Works
They are supposed to be autonomous of the government, however these foundations are directed by clerics appointed personally by the Leader
Their annual incomes may be as much as half of that of the governemnt. They are also exempt from paying state taxes
The Military
The Clergy have taken measures to conrol Iran's armed forces
The Leader makes all the key military appointments and picks the minister of intellgence, bypassing the president and cabinet
Immediately after the revolution, the new regime pruged the top ranks of the military, promoted yound officers, and built up the Revolutionary Guards to be a parallel force to the regular armed forces Tehy were given their own uniforms, budgets, munitions factories, recruitment centers, and even a navy and air force
The Revolutionary Guard protects the republic from internal enemies, while the regular army defends the borders from external ones
The Islamic Republic has placed Muslim chaplains- handpicked by the Leader's office- in many of the regular divisions to ensure loyalty, and keep a keen theological and political eye on the professional officers

The Islamic Republic regime Islamized the judiciary by enacting a penal code, the Retribution Law, based on a reading of the shari'a that was so narrow that many modern-educated lawyers resigned, saying it contradicted the United Nations Charter on Human Rights
It incorporated the principle "an eye for an eye. a tooth for a tooth, a life for a life". In mandated the death penalty for a longs list of "moral transgressions", including adultery, homosexualty, apostasy, drug trafficking, and habitual drinking. It sanctioned stoning, live burials, and finger amputations
It divided the population into male and femal and Muslims and non-Muslims, and treated them unequally
The regime gradually broadened the narrow interpretation of the shari'a
They allow banks to offer attractive rates as long as they avoided the taboo term usary
The courts now rarely implement the harsh punishments stipulated by the shari'a. Instead they adopted the modern methods of punishments such as imprisonment or fining.
Subnational Government
Although Iran is a highly centralized state, it is divided administratively into provinces, districts, subdistricts, townships, and villages
Provinces are headed by governors-general, districts by governors, subdistricticts by lieutenant governors, towns by mayors, and villages by headmen
The constitution declares that the management of local affairs of each will be be under the supervision of councils elected directly by the local population
The governors-general, governors, mayors, and other regional officials have to consult their local councils
The Assembly of Religious Experst had not contemplated for such forms of grassroot democracy, so no steps were taken to hold a council election until 1999
The unicameral legislature is the 290 member Islamic Consultative Assembly, known simply as the Majles
Members can be male of female, but have to be over the age of eighteen
It can pass qanun (statutes) as long as the Guaardian Council deems them compatibles with shari'a and constitution
The Majles plays an important role in Iran's national politics. On occasion, it has changed government budgets, criticized cabinet policies, modified developemnt plans, and forced the president to replace his minsters
The Majles can do all of the following:
They can enact or change laws
Investigate and supervise all affairs of state
Approve or oust the cabinet members
Choose six of the twelve-man Guardian Council
Withhold approval for government budgets, foreign loans, international treaties, and cabinetappointments
Hold closed debates, provide members with immunity from arrest, and regulate its own internal workings
The Legislature
The Powers of the Legislature
The Judiciary
Politcal Parties and the Party System
Iran;s constitution guarantees citizens the right to organize and issue license to political parties
But only candidates and parties that do not oppose the religious system of the governance (Velayate faqih) can participate in elections in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Since the Khatami administration in 1997, three parties have emerged: the Islamic Iran Participation Front (formed by Katami's supporters), the Servants of Reconstruction (created by the chairman of the Expediency Council), and the Osulgarayan, Principlalist, (headed by Ahmadinejad)
There are also the two main clerical clusters: the conservative Association of Militant Clergy annd the more liberal Society of Militant Clergy, whch continue to function, especially during elections
According to the Interior Ministry. some seven hundred organizations have received licenses to function, but most are nonpolitical professional associations trusted by member of the ruling elite, such as the Islmaic Engineers Association and the Islamic Doctors Association
Key Questions
How does the isolation it has experienced since the 1979 revolution affect the way its government is structured and limit the prospects for democracy?
Why is Iran having a hard time developing its economy despite the fact that it has so much oil and other natural resources?
Why is Iran one of the few countries left in the world that is run by its religious leaders?
Social Class
Ethnic
Political
(cc) photo by medhead on Flickr
Cleavages
Lower-middle class--poor economic performance
Middle class--culturally westernized, hostile to clergy (strongest source of opposition)
"Persian" alienated Azeri Turks, Kurds, and other minorities
Uprisings by Arabs, Balochic, Kurds, and Turkmen were put down
Not a serious threat
Some high-ranking clerics disagree w/ religious control of govt
Upper Class
Middle Class
Lower Class
Pahlavi family
Senior civil servants
Military Officers
Court-connected individuals
Traditional: clerics, Bazaaris, small factory owners, commercial farmers
Modern: professionals, civil servants, white collar workers, college students
Rural: Peasants and unemployed
Urban: blue collar workers, peddlers, unemployed
Political Violence
Media Roles
Highly restricted, regulated by the government
Internet restricted--block out western influence
Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting--TV and radio broadcasting
Judiciary crackdown
Citizenship & Social Representation
Elections
The constitution of the Islamic Republic promises free elections
In its thirty years since the revolutions its had seven presidential, two local council, and eught seperate parliamentary elections
The elections were relatively free but disorderly in the early day of the Islamic Republic, contolled in the middle years, back again to relatively free, but orderly in the late 1990s. Presently the viting is genrally free of intimidation , but the electoral choice is highly constrained. The elections in some way are really selections
Now electoral freedom is restricted less heavy-handley by the government-controlled radio=television network, the main source of information for most. The Interior Ministry can ban organizations and their newpapers on grounds if they don't fully suscirbe to the concept velayat-e faqeh
The main obstacle to fair elections in the Guardian Council, with its power to approve candidates. In 2004 they excluded 3,00 candidates from running for the seventh Majles.
The reformers hope to revive some of the 1000 reform bills passed in Sixth Majles but vetoed by the Guardian Council. Some vontradicted the conventional reading of the shari'a. They eliminated legal distriction between Muslims and non-Muslims. between men and women; raised marriage age for girls; granted women scholarships to study abroad; stipulated that divorce courts should divide property equally; allowed women deputies to wear the hejab (headscarf) instead of the chadour (full covering); premitted schoolgirls to dress in colorful clothing; and ratified the UN Convention of the Elimination of Discrimination against Women- a declaration too radical even for the U.S. Congress
They usd their parliamentary power to purge the Intelligence Ministry who had carried political assassinations; set up committees to invesigate prison conditions; andhosted visit from the European Human Rights Commssion
They tried to seperate the function of prosecutors from judges and introduce trial by juries as well as mandatory defense councils. They required judges in serious court trials to have at least ten years experience. They reiterated the constitutional ban on torture, decreeing that prisoners under no circumstances were to be blindfolded, hooded, dprives of sleep, etc. They tried to press from the conservative judiciary by instituting a special court to handle all livel and censorship. They even passed a bill stripping the Guardian Council of the authority to vet parliamentary and presidential candidates
Most of these bills were OVERRULED by the Guardian Council, but the reform movement hopes it will be more flexible in the future.
It also know that the constitution contains clauses permitting amendments- amendments that cou;ld in theory shift the balance of power away from theocracy toward democracy
The Guardian Council
The Guardian Council is composed of 12 jurists, including six clerics appointed by the Supreme Leader, and six jurists elected by the Majles from among the Muslim jurists nominated by the Head of the Judicial System.
The Council interprets the constitution and may reject bills from parliament deemed incompatible with the constitution or Sharia (Islamic law). These are referred back to parliament for revision.
In a controversial exercise of its authority, the Council has drawn upon a narrow interpretation of Iran's constitution to veto parliamentary candidates.
Expediency Council
The Expediency Council has the authority to mediate disputes between the Majles and the Council of Guardians, and serves as an advisory body to the Supreme Leader, making it one of the most powerful governing bodies in the country.
Its members include heads of the three government branches, the clerical members of the Guardian Council and various other members appointed by the supreme leader for three-year terms. Cabinet members and parliamentary leaders also serve as temporary members when issues under their jurisdictions are under review
Iran Supreme Leader
Ali Khamenei
Iranian President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Citizens, Society, and the State
Educational system
The military
Religious institutions
Mass media
Family and social groups
Upper and middle class embraced western values
Many studied aborad in 1970s
Secular, democratic, liberal, orderly modernizations
Student uprisings
Women demand more professional and educational opportunities
The Pahlavis (1925-1979)
The Pahlavis created the first highly centralized state in Iran during its 54 year rule. Three pillars (the armed forces, the bureaucracy, and the royal patronage system) supported the state. By 1979, Iran had the fifth largest army in the world (more than 410,000 strong).

In the 1960s, a controversial Family Protection Law was implemented that contradicted traditions of the shari'a.

The Pahlavi state was unpopular especially among the clergy, intelligentsia, and the urban working class.

In 1975, the shah declare creation of the Resurgence Party, the only and mandatory party to exist in Iran. . He switched the Muslim calendar (at that time on year 1355) to a new royalist calendar (at year 2535). The shah gave himself the title of Rahbahr (Leader) and Arya Mehr (Light of the Aryan Race). The Resurgence Party created an organization link with bazaars (traditional marketplaces).
General Reza Khan
Muhammad Reza Shah
The Islamic Revolution (1977-1979)
Political and Economic Change
Processes of Democratization
Ever since the enactment of the Iranian constitution, Iran has used a unique mix of theocracy and democracy - however, it remains a theocracy first and a democracy second.
While its constitution recognizes the importance of popular sovereignty - the president and Majles are elected by the citizens - other members of the government, such as the Expediency Council and Supreme Leader, supervise these leaders and aren't accountable to anything other than their religious conscience.
On the eve of the Islamic Revolution, an Iranian newspaper criticized the Pahlavis dynasty with the title: "Fifty Indictments of Treason during Fifty Years of Treason."

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini: A leading anti-shah cleric, his vision is known as Islamic fundamentalis (political Islam). He criticized the monarchy, citing the Qur'anic term mostazafin (dipossessed).

Khomenei changed the Shi'i term velayat-e faqih (jurist's guardianship) with a radical new meaning, announcing more power for the leading clergy.

In 1977, after meeting the International Comission of Jurists, the shah allowed the Red Cross to visit prisons and defense attorneys to attend political trials. Then, on September 8, 1978, people crowded in a square in Tehran. Armed troops killed unarmed citizens.
As a result, this complex mix of theocratic and democratic elements has created many tensions in the society.
Iranian elections are very competitive - the candidate-to-seat ratio is 10:1. High voter turnouts are also very common.
However, the element of theocracy is still apparent - voters can only choose from candidates approved by the Guardian Council, a committee whose members are not directly elected by the people. If the Guardian Council disqulifies a candidate, it is not obliged to explain why.
As a result, under the current constitution, no member of another religion may ever become president.
("Recognized Religions", including Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism, have a total of 5 seats reserved in the Parliament.)
GLOBALIZATION
In the course of the 19th century, Iran's trade with other countries increased tenfold. (Vast majority with Russia and Britain)
As a result, Iran became heavily dependent on foreign trades, making it susceptible to fluctuations in trade and global prices.
As a result, traditional crafts and crops were abandoned in favor of more profitable imports or cash crops. As a result, when prices dropped, Iran, now dependent on the export of goods such as opium, tobacco, and cotton, suffered from massive famines.
1908: British prospectors strike oil in Khuzistan. 1912: British government decides to fuel its navy with petroleum instead of coal.
These two events were the beginning of the exponential growth of Iran's oil economy. Iran's oil revenues in the 1910s were less than $500,000, but by 1976, the cumulative oil income between 1953-1976 was over $100,000,000,000.
Though Muhammad Reza Shah tried to lessen dependency on oil exports, it was of little use. In 1979 (on the eve of the Revolution), oil accounted for 97% of the country's foreign exchange.
Iran didn't have to worry about feeding its population anymore, and became a
rentier state
(country that obtains a lucrative income by exporting its natural resources),
19th Century
20th Century
Results of the Oil Trade
Muhammad Reza Shah squandered a lot of the money on overindulgent projects and displays of wealth, but channeled a significant amount into socioeconomic developement.
Enrollment in schools grew at a staggering rate - (university admissions grew from 14,000 to 154,000), and the number of doctors, nurses, and clinics grew nearly as quickly, causing a massive drop in infant mortality and a subsequent population explosion.
However, this massive increase in population came back to haunt Iran - clinics and schools could not accomodate the significant increase in people, which ended up in some of the worst doctor-patient ratios and illiteracy rates in the country.
Also, the "trickle-down" approach to economics failed; the regional income disparity in Iran was second only to Brazil's in size.
A
dual society
was created - on one side, the modern oil sector headed by elites, and on the other, a traditional sector composed of the lower and middle-class masses.
At the eve of the Iranian Revolution, this economic disparity was expressed by two highly influential writers: Jalal Al-e-Ahmad and Ali Shariati, both of whom argued that the Iranian people were to rebel against their oppressors (the imperialists) and return to traditional roots.
In urban areas, police were supplanted with militias known as pasdaran (Revolutionary Guards). Shar'ia rule became more evident.

Anti-regime rallies were occuring with groups as strong as 2 million protestors. The largest one was in Tehran on December 1978; protestors demanded that Khomenei be brought back from exile, the establishment of a republic, decent wages, and an improved standard of living. Simply, they wanted the shah to go away.

February 11, 1979, armed groups assaulted police station, jails, and the national radio-television station. The radio stateion made the announcement: "This is the voice of Iran... the voice of the Islamic Revolution." This was the offical end of the last dynasty.
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeinei
The Islamic Republic
Jalal al-e Ahmad + Ali Shariati
Khomeini instituted
maslahat,
"public interest"
States can overturn high-ranking clerics
Islamic state exercises absolute power
Creation of Expediency Council
After Khomeini's death, constitutional amendments
Secretive body for the Leader
Increase participation in politics
Extreme individualism and distrust in govt
Periodic emergence of charismatic leadership
(cc) photo by theaucitron on Flickr
(cc) photo by theaucitron on Flickr
Political Culture
Iranian nationalism/Ancient Persia
Islamic vs. Western influence
Ethnic nationalism among non-Persian populations
"Right" to develop nuclear energy
The Islamic Republic (1979-2001)
Seven weeks after the February revolution, a nationwide referendum replaces the monarchy with an Islamic Republic, and more than 97% endorsed the change
Khomeini was now hailed Leadr of the Revolution, Founder of the Islamic Republic, Guide of the Opressed Masses, Commander of the Armed Forces, and Imam of the Muslim World
The new Constitution was drawn up by the Assembly of Religious Experts in 1979. Almost all secular organizations as well as clerics opposed to Khomeini boycotted the elections on the grounds that the state media were contolled, independent paper had been banned. and voters were being intimidated by club-wielding vigilantes known as the Hezbollahis ("partisians of god")
The vast majority of those elected, were know as hojjay al-Islams ("Proofs of Islam') were pro-Khomeini clergymen. They drafted a highly theocratic constitution
Bazargan wanted a French-style presidential republic, and when he threatened to submit his own secular constitution to the public, he was showed saking hand with the U.S. policy-makers. Meanwhile Komeini declared the U.s. embassy had been a "den of spies" plottig to repeat the 1953 coup
Iran after September 11 (2001 - Present)
Of all the countries not directly involved with the "war on terror", Iran was affected the most dramatically.
At first, the U.S. and Iran were allies - Iran already despised the Iraqi government and the primarily Sunni Taliban, because the former invaded Iran in 1980 and the latter had massacred Shi'ite believers in Afghanistan.
To further improve these relations, Iran proposed a "grand bargain" in 2003, which would resolve all major disagreements between the U.S. and Iran (nuclear weapons, Israel, etc.). However, all of these efforts were tanked by:
Khomeini submitted the theocratic constitution to public declaring all citizens had the divine duty to vote. But voter participation was down to 75%
The first decade after the revelution clerics consolidated power due to Khomeini's charisma, Iraqi invasion in 1980, and increase in oil prices
The second decade, however brought a number of challenges. Khomeini died in 1989, the 1988 UN- brokered cease fire in the Iran-Irag War. the drastic dall of oil prices, and Khomeini's desciples divided into conservative and liberal
President George W. Bush
In 2003, President Bush delivered his famous "Axis of Evil" speech in which he accused Iran of secretly planning to arm terrorist groups and build nuclear weapons int he Middle East.
This "inflammatory language" helped undermine the relatively moderate president Khatami and resulted in the election of the far more agressive and conservative Ahmadinejad. Politicians could no longer associate themselves with a country that seemed poised to pull off another coup.
As a result, the U.S. and Iran are now in a standoff - The U.S. has a stronger military and greater influence in the UN, but could not occupy the entirety of Iran. Also, the U.S. needs Iran's oil - without it, oil prices would spike dramatically.
Iranian expect state to decrease the gap b/t rich and poor
Corruption
Suspicion of private enterprise
Populism
Political Socialization
Economic Crisis
Oil <-> rice, wheat, industrial tools, construction equipment, pharmaceuticals, tractors, pumps, and spare parts
Highly dependent on oil prices and imported products
Vulnerbale to world market
Diminish ability to buy Essential goods
Emigration
Oil revenue jumped from <$10 billion to >$30 billion
Foreign debt free; stabilize currency
Voting: suffrage age @ 15
Protesting: Revolutionary demonstrations, workers and women active in protest
Cultural Revolution--encourage to educate students (human rights)
Political Participation and Voting Behavior
Hey my name is reva
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