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IRAN. Azeri Talysh Kurd Guilak Mazandarani Turkmen Kurd Lur Iranian Arab Qashqai Persian Balooch Uninhabited Area Iranian Arab Estimate: PersiansPersians.

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Presentation on theme: "IRAN. Azeri Talysh Kurd Guilak Mazandarani Turkmen Kurd Lur Iranian Arab Qashqai Persian Balooch Uninhabited Area Iranian Arab Estimate: PersiansPersians."— Presentation transcript:





5 Azeri Talysh Kurd Guilak Mazandarani Turkmen Kurd Lur Iranian Arab Qashqai Persian Balooch Uninhabited Area Iranian Arab Estimate: PersiansPersians (65%), AzerisAzeris (16 %), KurdsKurds (7%), LursLurs (6%), Arabs (2%),Arabs BaluchiBaluchi (2%), TurkmensTurkmens (1%), Turkic tribal groups such as the Qashqai (1%),Qashqai Non-Iranian, non-Turkic groups such as Armenians, Assyrians, and Georgians Laks, Qashqai, Armenians, Persian Jews, Georgians, Assyrians, Circassians, Tats, Mandaeans, Gypsies, Brahuis, Hazara, Kazakhs and others (less than 1%).LaksQashqaiArmeniansPersian JewsGeorgians AssyriansCircassiansTatsMandaeansGypsiesBrahuisHazara Kazakhs Persian (Farsi) is spoken as a mother tongue by at least 65% of the population and as a second language by a large proportion of the remaining 35%.

6 Territory of Iran is inhospitable to agriculture – Great Salt Desert and two mountain ranges – Rain-fed agriculture confined mostly to northwest – Pastoral nomads – Major obstacle to economic development Overcome recently by oil revenues Population centers located mostly on oasis, rivers, and constructed irrigation networks Iran on strategic crossroads areas, making it vulnerable to invasion – Central Asia and Turkey – Indian subcontinent and Middle East – Arabian Peninsula and Caucasus Mountains Considered boundary between Europe and Asia Population reflects invasions – Majority speaks Farsi


8  Modern Iran traces roots to sixth century B.C.E.  Islamic religion traced to Arab invasions of seventh century  Four critical junctures shaped Iran’s current national identity, geographic boundaries, interpretation of Islam (Shi’ism), and political system  Safavid Dynasty 1501-1722  Qajar Dynasty 1794-1925  Pahlavi Dynasty 1925-1979  Revolution of 1979  Led to establishment of current Islamic Republic



11  Means sign of God,  Given to Shi‘is clerics who have amassed many followers and become experts in religious, ethical, philosophical, and jurisprudence matters.jurisprudence  It is the highest rank of Shi‘is theologians.  Ayatollahs do not exist in the Sunni Islamic sect;  Sunni Islam does not have such a formal religious hierarchy as the Shi'aIslam  In the absence of the Madhi (12 th Imam), Shi’is believe the authority to interpret Shari’a should be in the hands of the senior clerical scholars- Ayatollahs


13  Islamic constitution drawn up by Assembly of Religious Experts after 1979 revolution  Amended 1989 by Council for the Revision of the Constitution  Mixture of theocracy and democracy  Preamble affirms: belief in God, Qur’an, Prophet Muhammad, Twelve Imams, return of Hidden Imam, faith in Khomeini’s doctrine  Declares that laws, institutions, state organizations must conform to “divine principles”


15 Iranian Government Power Structure


17 The Supreme Leader

18 Incumbent Ali Khamenei since 4 June 1989 Ali Khamenei The Islamic Republic has had two Supreme Leaders in its history: Ruhollah Khomeini who held the position from 1979 until his death in 1989 Ali Khamenei, who has held the position since succeeding Khomeini in 1989.Ali Khamenei

19  The Supreme Leader of Iran رهبر انقلاب,  Is the highest ranking political and religious authority in the Islamic Republic of Iran.  The post was established by the constitution in accordance with the concept of Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists*constitution  The title "Supreme" Leader  is often used as a sign of respect; however, this terminology is not found in the constitution of Iran,  which simply referred to the "Leader" *Guardianship of the Jurist is a post-Age-of-Occultation theory in Shi'a Islam which holds that Islam gives a faqih (Islamic jurist) or fuqaha (jurists) custodianship or guardianship over those in need of it.Shi'a IslamfaqihIslamic jurist

20  Responsible for delineation and supervision of the general policies of the Republic  Sets policy guidelines  Link between branches of government  Commander-In-Chief of the armed forces  Controls the military intelligence and security operations  Has sole power to declare war and peace  Appoints the:  Heads of the Judiciary  Heads of State Radio and Television Network  Military Foces  Six of the Twelve members of the Council of Guardians  Preachers  Can eliminate and dismiss presidential candidates and President himselg  Grant Amnesty

21  Many clerics have criticized both Khomeini and his succesor Khamenei for two reasons. 1) Criticized for its active participation in daily political affairs. 2) The powers held by the Supreme Leader and participation in all aspects of life by a scholar should have been a position solely for the Twelfth Imam.  Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had to make clear after his election that the country needs to work to hasten the return of the real leader of Iran – the Twelfth Imam

22  Islamic Republic is often described as a regime of the ayatollahs  More run by Mid-Ranking Clerics today  High-Ranking do not want to be associated with Khamenei  Did not want to be with Khomeini either  Disagreed with notion of Jurist’s Guardianship

23  The Expediency Discernment Council of the System  is an administrative assembly appointed by the Supreme Leader  Set up to resolve differences or conflicts between the Majlis and the Council of Guardians, but,  “Its true power lies more in its advisory role to the Supreme Leader."  The Leader "delegated some of his own authority to the council — granting it supervisory powers over all branches of the government" — following President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's election in 2005.Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

24 The President

25  Elected by universal suffrage for 4 year terms  Can only be re- elected for one term  Must be approved by the Council of Guardians Presidents of Iran since ‘79 Revolution NameTerm Abolhassan Banisadr 1980–1981 Impeached Abolhassan Banisadr August 2, 1981- August 30,1981 Assassinated Ali Khamenei1981–1989 Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani 1989–1997 Mohammad Khatami 1997–2005 Mahmoud Ahmadinejad 2005- Current(Term expires 5 August 2013)

26  Responsible for implementation of Const.  Appoints & supervises the Council of Ministers  Coordinates government decisions  Selects government policies to be placed before legislature  Has 8 Vice Presidents, Cabinet of 22 ministers  Appoints:  ministers of intelligence and defense, but does not control armed forces  Provincial Governors  Town Mayors  Ambassadors  Directors of organizations: Oil, Electricity, Bank

27  The main political leader of the Alliance of Builders of Islamic Iran  A coalition of conservative political groups in the country.  An engineer and teacher from a poor background,  Appointed a provincial governor, after Revolutuion.  He was removed after the election of President Mohammad Khatami and returned to teaching.  Tehran's council appointed him mayor in 2003.  He took a religious hard-line, reversing reforms of previous moderate mayors.  His 2005 presidential campaign, supported by the Alliance of Builders of Islamic Iran, garnered 62% of the runoff election votes, and he became President on August 3 2005.

28  Controversial figure both within Iran and internationally.Iran  Domestic Policies:  Has been criticized domestically for his economic lapses and disregard for human rights  He launched a gas rationing plan in 2007 to reduce the country's fuel consumption,  Cut the interest rates private and public banking facilities could charge.  He supports Iran's nuclear energy program.Iran's nuclear energy program  His election to a second term in 2009 was widely disputed and caused widespread protests domestically and drew significant international criticism regarding its legitimacy  Foreign Policies:  Ahmadinejad is an outspoken critic of the United States, Israel, and United Kingdom.United Kingdom  Refuses to recognize Israel as a legitimate nation  He advocates "free elections" for the region, and believes Palestinians need a stronger voice in the region's future. [23]Palestinians [23]

29  President heads huge bureaucracy  Expanded to provide jobs for many college and high school graduates  1979: 300,000 civil servants, 1 million employees  1990’s: 600,000 civil servants, 1.5 million employees  Important ministries:  Culture and Islamic Guidance- controls media, proper conduct in life  Intelligence  Clergy dominate bureaucracy

30  Supposedly autonomous  Directed by clerics appointed personally by the leader  Annual income may be half of that of the government  Exempt from taxes  Paid in foreign currency


32  A deliberative body of 86 Mujtahids (Islamic scholars) that is charged with electing and removing the Supreme Leader of Iran and supervising his activities.  Elects and dismisses the Supreme Leader on the basis of qualification and popular esteem  Members of the assembly are elected from a government-screened list of candidates by direct public vote to eight-year terms.  Current laws require the assembly to meet for at least two days, twice annually.  Responsible for supervising the Supreme Leader in the performance of legal duties

33  The Experts are to review and consult among themselves concerning Islamic jurists possessing the qualifications of leadership.  Constitutionally these criteria include "Islamic scholarship, justice, piety, right political and social perspicacity, prudence, courage, administrative facilities and adequate capability for leadership.“  In the event they find one of the jurists better versed in Islamic regulations, the subjects shall elect him as Supreme Leader.  Otherwise, in the absence of such a candidate, the Experts shall elect and declare one of themselves as Supreme Leader. [6] [6]

34  The assembly for instance has never invited the leader to its meetings.  Iran's leader has never been asked to offer a report of his performance over the last few decades.  Instead the members of the assembly met with the leader on several occasions to have his advice.  The assembly has very few meetings annually and the members mainly discuss subjects not related to their duties, as commenting on the president and government's policies and Iran's foreign policy.  As all of their meetings and notes are strictly confidential, the Assembly has never been known to challenge any of the Supreme Leader's decisions.

35  An appointed and constitutionally-mandated 12-member council that wields considerable power and influence  Membership is for phased six-year terms: half the membership changes every three years.  Iranian constitution calls for the council to be 1) Six Islamic jurists,  "conscious of the present needs and the issues of the day"  selected by the Supreme Leader of Iran,Supreme Leader of Iran 2) Six Muslim jurists,  specializing in different areas of law  to be elected by the Majlis (the Iranian Parliament)Majlis  from jurists nominated by the Head of the Judicial Power,“  (who, in turn, is also appointed by the supreme leader).

36  Ensure the compatibility of the legislation passed by the Majlis with the criteria of Islam and the Constitution  (as the watchdog of the constitution it can veto any law passed by the Majlis)  The Guardian Council does not introduce bills, but…  Any bill passed by the Majlis must be reviewed and approved by the Guardian Council  According to Article 96 of the constitution, the Guardian Council holds veto power over all legislation approved by the Majlis.  It can nullify a law based on two accounts: 1) being against Islamic laws, 2) being against the constitution.constitution  If any law is rejected, it will be passed back to the Majlis for correction.  If the Majlis and the Council of Guardians cannot decide on a case, it is passed up to the Expediency Council for a decision.

37  Judicial Authority:  The Council of Guardians also functions similar to a constitutional court  The authority to interpret the constitution is vested in the Council  interpretative decisions require a three-quarters majority of the Council.  However, it does not conduct a court hearing where opposing sides are argued.  Electoral Authority:  All candidates of parliamentary or presidential elections, as well as candidates for the Assembly of Experts, have to be qualified by the Guardian Council  Council is accorded "supervision of elections"

38  The Council has played a central role in interpretation of Islamic values  consistently disqualifies reform-minded candidates  has also increased the influence the Islamic Revolutionary Guard  (an ideological fighting force separate from the Iranian army)

39  Clergy control Iran’s armed forces  Includes regular army, para-military Revolutionary Guard, volunteers of Basej-e Mostazafin  Leader is commander-in-chief and makes all key military appointments  Also picks Minister of Intelligence, who reports directly to him  Top ranks of military purged immediately after revolution  Built Revolutionary Guards as parallel force to regular armed forces  Given budget, munitions factories, navy, air force  Per constitution, protects against internal enemies while army protects against external enemies  Loyalty ensured by placing Muslim chaplains in regular division  Keep theological and political eye on officers

40  Islamic Republic “Islamized” judiciary  Enacted penal code, Retribution Law, based on narrow reading of shari’a  Modern educated lawyers resigned  contradiction of United Nations Charter on Human Rights  Division and unequal treatment of male/female and Muslim/non-Muslim  Also passed law to implement shari’a ban on interest  Practical experience broadened interpretation of shari’a  Modern, centralized judiciary not dismantled  Khomeini argued that central authorities would not intervene with local shari’a judge  Discovered need for central state to retain ultimate control over justice system  State retained appeals system, hierarchy of state courts, power to appoint and dismiss judges  By 1990’s Shari’a had little influence, and rarely followed

41  Supreme Leader appoints the head of Iran’s Judiciary  Chief Justice appoints the head of the Supreme Court and Chief Public Prosecutor  Several Courts:  Public Courts- deal with civil and criminal cases  “Revolutionary Court”- deal with categories of offenses  Crimes against national security  Decisions final and cannot be appealed  Special Clerical Court- handles crimes committed by clerics  Function independently of regular judicial framework

42  Iran divided into provinces, districts, subdistricts, townships, villages:  Provinces headed by: Governors-General  Districts headed by: Governors  Sub-districts headed by:Lieutenant- Governors  Towns headed by: Mayors  Villages headed by: Headman

43  Per constitution, management of affairs at each level under supervision of directly elected councils (popularly elected),which must be consulted by executive  Incorporated because of 1980 demonstrations  Conservative opposition prevented elections until 1999  Although liberals did well in first election, conservatives dominated 2003  Reformers boycotted elections to protest Guardian Council’s disqualification of liberal candidates


45 Per constitution, Majles “represents the nation”  Drafts legislation  Ratifies international treaties  Approves the national budget.  Authority to enact or change laws (with approval of Guardian Council)  Investigating and supervising all affairs of state  Approve or oust cabinet via vote of no confidence  (Exception is the President)  Chooses six of twelve Guardian Council members  Plays important role in Iranian national politics  Has opposed action of executive, judiciary, Leader

46  Majles laws known as qanun (statutes)  avoids question of whether laws come from God or people  Guardian Council must agree qanun compatible with shari’a (diving law) and constitution  Majles members elected by citizens for 4 year terms

47  The Parliament currently has 290 representatives,  changed from the previous 270 seats since the February 2000 election. Summary of 14 March/25 April 2008 Parliament of Iran election results Orientation of candidatesSeats (1st rd.)Seats (2nd rd.)Seats (Total) Conservatives15346199 Reformists291847 Independents231639 Armenian (recognized minority religion) 22 Assyrian and Chaldean (Catholic) (recognized minority religion) 11 Jewish (recognized minority religion) 11 Zoroastrian (recognized minority religion) 11 Total (Turnout: 60%)20882290

48  Citizens guaranteed right to organize by constitution  Interior Ministry allowed to issue licenses to political parties per 1980 law  Political parties not encouraged until 1997  Most licenses to non-political professional organizations trusted by ruling elite  Three important parties emerged  Islamic Iran Participation Front – Khatami supporters  Servants of Reconstruction  Osulgarayan – headed by Ahmadinejad  Association of Militant Clergy and Society of Militant Clergy continue to function

49  Free elections promised by constitution  In practice elections range from relatively free to controlled  Currently free of voter intimidation but choice highly constrained  Main source of information from government controlled media  Interior Ministry can ban organizations and newspapers on grounds that they don’t subscribe to velayat-e faqeh  Guardian Council approves candidates  Some reformer victories in 2008 Most supported by Islamic Iran Participation Front and Servants of Reconstruction Conservatives openly critical of Ahmadinejad thus may not maintain unity  Not voting used to protest barring of reformers by Guardian Council


51  Iranian policy-making is complex because of the constitution and factionalism within ruling clergy  Laws can originate in diverse places, modified by numerous pressures, blocked by variety of state institutions  Clerics believed they alone had divine mandate to govern  With constitution in place, clerics divided into blocs  Society of the Militant Clergy – statist reformers or populists  Hoped to consolidate lower-class support through comprehensive welfare state  Recently began to emphasize democratic over theocratic resembling social democrats  Association of the Militant Clergy – laissez-faire conservatives  Wanted to retain middle-class support through free-market practices  Similar to social democrats

52  Polarization of clerics created gridlock  Majles dominated by reformers  Guardian Council controlled by conservatives  Ultra-conservatives encouraged boycott of taxes and direct contributions to grand ayatollah of choice  Both conservatives and reformers referred to the constitution to support their positions  Khomeini broke gridlock by referring to Sunni concept of maslahat  Claimed Islamic state could safeguard public interest by suspending religious rulings  Public interest was primary ruling and others secondary  State could overrule clerics because Islamic state had absolute authority Prophet Muhammad exercised absolute power, which he passed down to Islamic Republic Khomeini established Expediency Council for determining the public interest of the Islamic Order


54  Iran began integrating into world system in latter half of nineteenth century  Opening of Suez Canal, Batum-Baku railway, telegraph lines, European capital outflow, Industrial Revolution  Contact with West had repercussions  Economy dependent on world market fluctuations  Some argue that the unequal exchange lies at root of present-day problems  Created strong desire for tariff protection, self-sufficiency, industry development, economic diversification  Imports hurt traditional handicrafts  Exports reduced acreage available for domestic food  British encouraged opium cultivation  Increased class awareness

55 Greater integration into world system began early twentieth century driven by oil – Nationalization of oil industry increased revenues – Oil revenue far surpassed tax revenues, allowed development programs State could disregard internal tax base, making it independent of society – Meant little representation of society State dependent on international market – Created rentier state Shah tried unsuccessfully to lessen dependency by encouraging exports and attracting foreign investment – Foreign investments primarily banking, trade, insurance – Foreign investors not confident in Iran’s stability

56  Early in his presidency:  Increased subsidies for consumers, especially for gas, food and housing  Caused lack of supply and corruption  New policies focus on prices based on free market  Citizens have protested high inflation and lack of safety net

57  “Axis of Evil”  Denied membership to World Trade Organization (but is an observer)  Member of OPEC: controls price of oil exported from member nations  2006 economic sanctions imposed by United Nations Security Counsel as a result of Nuclear program

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