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Presentation on theme: "JASON BLANCO JAMES HAIGH MOLLY BOYCE Public Policy in Iran."— Presentation transcript:


2 Policy Making Process Laws can originate in many places, not just in the legislature Policies can be blocked by other state institutions Policies are subjected to change depending on factional control The two most powerful policy making institutions:  1. The Majles  2. The Guardian Council The main tension in the political system is between moderate reformers and the conservative clergy

3 Policy Making Factions Conservative vs. Reformist Conservatives uphold the principles of the regime as set up in 1979 They are against modernization because they see it as a threat to the tenets of Shiism that provide the moral basis of society They also believe that political and religious decisions should be one and the same

4 Policy Making Factions (Cont.) Conservative vs. Reformist Reformists believe that the political system needs significant reform They advocate international involvement with countries in the west They support the idea of separation of church and state

5 Policy Making Factions (Cont.) Statists vs. Free-Marketers Statists believe that the government should take an active role in controlling the economy  Ex. Redistributing the land and wealth, eliminating unemployment, financing social welfare programs, and price control on consumer goods Free-Marketers want to remove price controls, lower business taxes, encourage private enterprise, and balance the budget. (similar to the U.S.)

6 Ahmadinejad Versus Mousavi in the Controversial Elections of 2009

7 Qom Legitimacy of the modern Iranian Theocracy has its roots in Qom.  What is Qom you may ask?  It is a desert city about 60 miles south of Tehran. It was in Tehran that Ayatollah Khomeini set up his government that denounced the shah.  It is a city of seminaries and scholars that define the foundation of Iranian society  It was here where the controversial doctrine of velayat-e-faqih was written, framing the factionalist debate in politics

8 The City of Qom o It’s a religious center which holds great importance to the Islamic Shi’ites o The city is home to the The Holy Shrine of Hazrat-é Ma'sumeh is the burial place of Fatima, the daughter of the 7th Imam and sister of the Reza, the 8th Imam

9 Economic Issues Factional disagreements are apparent in Iran’s struggles with economic policy Most Iranians want improved standards of living for the people, but conservatives are cautious about the influence of secular prosperity of devout Shiism

10 Economic Issues: Oil Oil has created a vertical divide in the society, between the elites  One side are elites with close ties to the oil state, but on the other is the traditional sector of the clergy No one denies the benefits that oil has brought to Iran, but Iran has become a “rentier state,” dependent on the natural resource Fluctuations in the price of oil has caused periods of economic recession as well as economic prosperity  In the early 1980s, the prices plunged, rebounded, and then dropped again in the 1990s

11 Economic Issues: Social Welfare Traditionally, social welfare was a matter of private charity and funding from waqf endowments  Waqf literally means “detention”; legally, it is the seizure of land of objects and devoting of the profit or products for charity After the Revolution, the Republic made it a high priority  Educational opportunities for women expanded  Losses of medical personnel (who joined the mass emigration of upper- and middle- class professionals during the Revolution) were replaced

12 Economic Issues: Social Welfare (Cont) In 2010, the government ended many economic subsidies, especially those encouraging people to waste precious resources  Allowed prices of oil, gas, and electricity reach market levels  The price of gas went up 75%; the price of diesel went up over 2000%  President Armadinejad argued that the old system favored the rich (heating large houses and fueling multiple cars); therefore, the more you consume, the more it costs  The government offers monthly cash transfers to families to keep people from resisting the changes

13 Population Policy One major incentive of the government in recent years has been to reduce the overall birth rate in Iran The Revolution of 1979 encouraged Iranians to have large families due to certain interpretations of Islam and to replace heavy losses in the war with Iraq This led to many economic problems  Unemployment rates increased  Increased pressure on schools and (eventually) the workforce

14 Population Policy (Cont.) Because of these economic issues, the government reversed it’s policy and began discouraging large families This new population policy, along with greater emphasis on great educational and professional opportunities, decreased the fertility rate, especially in urban areas

15 Environmental Concerns The country suffers from deforestation, desertification, water contamination, and urban air pollution Air Pollution: Around the city of Tehran (made worse due to the mountainous terrain) drives people to wear masks  Due to the large number of old, diesel-fueled vehicles There is little incentive to increase efficiency or develop renewable energy sources due to their abundance of oil and gas resources

16 Foreign Affairs Recently, Iran has become more globalized and increased its international presence Although Iran has become more involved in international activities, the stance that the Iranian government takes is to defend Iran against the rest of the world  This reinforces the historical view of Iran being an isolated country  Iran has tried to join international organizations but has been denied membership because of the difficulties of making foreign investments within the country's border  Iran’s most important international membership is probably in OPEC

17 Nuclear Energy Iran’s nuclear program goes back many decades, but this program has been under serious scrutiny by western nations since the attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001 In August of 2002, two secret nuclear sites were revealed  These sites demonstrated that Iran was building nuclear arms in violation of international treaties  The international Atomic Energy Agency, The UN’s nuclear watch dog, has become increasingly frustrated with Iran for not abiding by specific guidelines in many cases

18 Current Issues: Nuclear Debate Much debate has circled Iran’s emergence of a nuclear program As of mid-February, the visit of the international nuclear inspectors failed in Iran  Tehran blocked access to suspected testing site and refused to answer questions about the military use of their nuclear program  Increased tensions on the world stage  Though they claim that the program is for peaceful purposes only, the West remains skeptical that it may be inching toward weaponry purposes  Putin claims that Russia was alarmed by the growing threat of an attack on Iran for it’s nuclear program, believing it would disturb world peace and the U.S. and NATO should be wary to meddle

19 Current Issues: Rigged Elections After vote-rigging resulted in the election of Ahmadinejad in 2009 (which resulted in huge political protests), Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, is urging Revolutionary Guards to ensure that the Conservatives win a majority of the seats in the parliamentary seats in the upcoming election  Ayatollah and Ahmadinejad has a following out due to conflicting views of the future of the presidency  Ayatollah referred to Ahmainejad’s following as a “deviant movement”

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