3 Country Bio: Iran National Anthem Population: Territory: 66.3 millionTerritory:636,296 sq. milesYear of Independence:550 B.C.Year of Current Constitution:1979, amended in 1989Head of State:Ali KhameneiHead of Government:Mahmud AhmadinejadLanguage:Persian, regional languagesReligion:Twelver Shiite Muslim 90%, Sunni Muslim 10%, non-Muslims less than 1%National Anthem
5 Background: Islamic Republic of Iran World’s only theocracyA form of government in which ideally all laws are grounded in religion and express the will of God, and the clergy exercises supreme power
6 Background: Islamic Republic of Iran Established in 1979A few months after a popular revolution uniting poor and middle-class, religious and secular people overthrew Mohammad-Reza Shah Pahlavi – the last ruler of the country’s ancient monarchy.Ruholla Khomeini – charismatic clerical leader who had authored a blueprint for theoretic government in the 1970s, led the 1979 revolutionOpposed democracy on religious groundsSovereignty belongs to god aloneDivine law, know as the shari’a, as interpreted and applied by the ulema (religious scholars in the Muslim world) takes precedence over laws made by human legislators.
7 Background: Islamic Republic of Iran Developed a very lively political system after Khomeini’s death in 1989Presidential, parliamentary, and local elections offer Iranian citizens a choice of candidates advocating differing policies.One of many paradoxes found in Iran
8 Current Policy Challenges Iran is the first country in which Islamists have had to deliver on the promises of a society characterized by social justice and moral propriety.During the first decade of the Islamic RepublicSome redistribution of wealthNew leadership came mostly from humble or middle-class backgrounds and adopted populist policies that somewhat bettered the lot of the poorest.Rural developmentHealthWomen’s educationRoadsPoverty, inequality, and underemployment continue to be major public grievances.
9 Current Policy Challenges Job creation has been very inadequate.Need to increase economic output.Population grows by one million a year.Discontent spurred out migration from the countryOne in four Iranians with higher education live abroadSubsequently, Iranians often have family abroad in the U.S., Canada, and EuropeCorruptionDissatisfaction with the status quo among some of Iran’s ethnic minorities
10 Historical Legacy Never formally colonized by Europeans Borders arise from historical balance of power between its shahs and their neighboring rules.Current Iranian state was set up in the early 16th century by the Safavid dynasty.Establishment of Twelver Shiism as the official state religion and the conversion of most Iranians who had been Sunnis to ShiismPolitical center of the Shiite world
11 Historical Legacy Twelver Shiism Split between Sunnis (90% of all Muslims) and the Shiites came about after the death of the founder of Islam, the Prophet MuhammadShiites believed that descendants of the Prophet could be the only rightful successors/leaders-- Imams.Third Imama, Husayn, whose martyrdom in 680 C.E. symbolizes for Shiites for the struggle of the just against the unjust.Most Shiites believe the Twelfth Imam was the last of the Imam, thus their name.Believe he is alive and will come forth and show himself to establish a just rule at the end of timeHe is a messiah-like figure.Role and function of the ulema
12 Historical Legacy: Constitutional in Iran In 1905 widespread dissatisfaction with the way the country was governedLed to a popular movement that would rest the constitution from the shah in December 1905Shiite ulema played major role in the constitutional movementPowers of the monarchy needed to be curtailed
13 Historical Legacy: Constitutional in Iran Believed the citizenry had the right to elect a representative parliamentShah could name a prime minister only in agreement with parliament.Parliament could hold the government accountable.Constitutionalist ulema found ways to justify them in Islamic terms.Ayatollah Muhammad-Husayn Na’inniHis argument implied the novel idea that as long as the Twelfth Imam chose to remain in hiding, the believers themselves were his deputies.Reconciled Shiism’s core beliefs with modern notions of constitutionalism and is a legacy that the revolutionaries of 1979 could not ignore as they set out to create an Islamic state.
14 Historical Legacy: The Pahlavi Monarchy In a 1907 secret agreement Britain and Russia divided Iran into two spheres of influence.During WWI, belligerents repeatedly violated Iran’s neutrality and fought each other on Iranian territory.Created strife in Iran
15 Historical Legacy: The Pahlavi Monarchy 1921 coup d’etat put an end to the rule of the old establishmentBetween 1941 and 1953 Iran’s political system included three main camps:Pro-Western conservative establishment (Shah and landlords)Pro-Soviet communist Tudeh partyNeutralist National Front, which aimed at establishing the full rule of law within the country and consolidating its standing among nations.Mohammad Mossadegh: nationalizing the Iranian oil industryBritish plotted his overthrow; accomplished with the help of the U.S. Central Intelligence (CIA) in August 1953
16 Historical Legacy: The Pahlavi Monarchy Reverted to royal autocracy as the second ruler of the Pahlavi dynasty (1963)White RevolutionLand reform and granting suffrage to womenWesternizing policiesTraditionalists riotedNew opposition: Ruhollah KhomeiniRiots suppressed with violenceKhomeini arrested and exiled: settled in Najaf in Iraq until 1978 when he was expelled by Saddam Hussein until his triumphant return to Iran in 1979
17 Historical Legacy: The Pahlavi Monarchy Demands for free electionsShah’s regime increasingly contested at home but it continued to receive support from the West in general and in the U.S. in particularOpposition to the Shah also became opposition to the U.S.Evidence suggests that Shah was successful at manipulating U.S. policymakers to achieve his ends rather than it being the other way around.
18 Historical Legacy: The Islamic Revolution & the Iran Iraq War 1977 Jimmy Carter – president of the U.S.Focus on human rightsShah had terminal cancer; began liberalizing Iran’s political systemGroups pushed for greater reformsRevolutionary uprisingKhomeini1979 New ConstitutionMaintained a parliament elected by universal suffrageShah replaced by an elected presidentPrinciple of velayat-e faqih “guardianship of the jurisprudence”
19 Historical Legacy: The Islamic Revolution & the Iran Iraq War Competition for power; violenceKhomeini gains the upper hand and began instituting Islamic law in all spheres of public life.Iran-Iraq WarLegacy of Oil Wealth: A Rentier StateSustain themselves independently of social pressures and powerful interest groups
21 Institutions of the Islamic Republic Multiple power centersLeaderHighest authority in the Islamic RepublicCombines religious and temporal authorityAssembly of ExpertsChoose the LeaderPresidentElected by universal suffrage every four yearsMust be a Twelver Shiite and a male; does not have to be a cleric
22 Institutions of the Islamic Republic ParliamentUnicameral, the Majles, comprises about 290 membersMust be Muslims but the Constitution provides for five members of Parliament to represent Christians (3), Jews (one) and Zoroastrians (one)Two features of the political system seriously limit the Majle’s legislative role.Many policies, rules, and regulations are set by unelected specialized bodies.All its bills are subject to the veto of the Council of Guardians.
24 Institutions of the Islamic Republic Council of GuardiansSix members of the ulema and six lay Muslim lawyers.Ulema appointed by the Leader; lawyers nominated by the Judiciary but approved by the Parliament
25 Institutions of the Islamic Republic Expediency Council“A council for determination of what is in the interest of the regime”Collective body for arbitration of conflictAnchored in constitutional revision of 1989Leader appoints over 30 members of this councilHelp the leader formulate overall state policyAn honestly undemocratic ConstitutionMultiple power centers
27 Elections and Parties The Pre-revolutionary legacy Very limited competitive electionsSuffrage for womenMinimum voting age 15Post-revolutionary partiesIslamic Republican PartyFactionalismKhomeini could arbitrateIdeological differences became the basis of factional politics1990sKhatami’s election; more political parties appeared on the scene
28 Elections and Parties Presidential elections 1980 first ever presidential electionVictory of a lay Islamist: BanisadrImpeached by Parliament and deposed by Khomeini in 1981His successor and prime minister killed by a bomb two months laterThe next four elections: Khomeini associatesResult: participation went downKhatami – “outsider”; appealed to those who had been humiliated by the regimePromised greater cultural openness and personal freedom2005 elections: arch conservative mayor of Tehran, Mahud AhmadinejadSome question as to voter fraud allegations
29 Elections and Parties Parliamentary elections Divided into multimember constituenciesLargest is Tehran with 30 MPsEach voter can write down the names of as many candidates as there are seats in a constituency.Top vote-getters in each constituency are elected provided they receive over 50% of the total vote.Second round determines the remaining MPs from among the runner-ups.
31 Elections and Parties Elections of 2004 Elections of 2009 Council of Guardians disallowed about 2,000 reformist candidates, including about 80 sitting MPS (unprecedented)Call for a boycott of the election50% of the population still went to the pollsElections of 2009Council of Guardians, the 12 member council and Iran’s top electoral body declared election results valid.
32 Elections and Parties Local elections Constitution of 1906 provided for elected local government councils but these were never constituted.Similar provision of the 1979 Constitution first put into action in 1999.Iranians for the first time went to the polls to elect city, town, and village councils.Reformists won control over most councils; stymied by conservativesVoters stopped participating.Elections in 2003 – only 15 turnout in Tehran- even though the freest election in Iranian history. Mostly conservatives voted. Result: very conservative councilDecember 2006 new electionsParticipation increased; Ahmadinejad conservatives won only a few seats; rebuke for the President’s handling of the economy.
33 Political Culture System level Iranian nationalism/ancient Persia Vanguard of the Islamic world’s struggle against Western dominationEthic nationalism has become stronger among Iran’s non-Persian populations“right” to develop nuclear energyGovernment used this issue to shore up their legitimacy.
34 Political Culture Process level Islamic revolution increased participation in politicsSome disaffectedExtreme individualism and lack of trust of governmentLong history of despotismPeriodic emergence of charismatic leaders
36 Political Culture Policy level Oil- Iranians have tended to expect the state to provide welfare and material well-being for everybody and alleviate the gap between rich and poor.CorruptionSuspicion of private enterprisePopulism
37 Political Socialization Educational systemThe militaryReligion and religious institutionsMass mediaFamily and social groups
40 Recruiting the Political Elite Who governs Iran?Under the ShahSmall class of educated and secular Iranians who had personal loyalty to the monarchUnder the Islamic RepublicPersonalismRevolutionary pedigreesClergy recruited into the stateNonclerical parliamentarians and ministers tend to emerge from educational and military institutionsMany of the new elite have come from the ranks of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Basij.Kinship ties
41 Interest Articulation and Aggregation Forms of interest articulation and aggregationNoninstitutionalClientelism and patron-client networksInstitutionalVotingWeakness of party organizationsUnable to maintain party organization and formalized links to the citizenryInstitutionalized groupsProfessional organizationsNonassociational social groupsDemonstrations and public protests
42 Policy Formulation State institutions mentioned in the Constitution In theory, no state policy may contradict Islam, so those who determine this have a preponderant voice in setting policy.The LeaderThe Expediency CouncilThe National Security CouncilThe Council of GuardiansExecutive branch and parliament
43 Policy FormulationState institutions not mentioned in the ConstitutionsSupreme council for the Cultural RevolutionPower centers and the difficulty of coordinationMultiple power centers so policies are often not coordinatedJudiciaryRevolutionary Guards
44 Policy Formulation Economic policymaking One of the most contentious topics1980s liberal approach: private sector and market mechanismsMixed resultsLed to hardship and therefore faced oppositionKhatami’s efforts limited due to economic foundations’ and parastatal organizations’ autonomous and privileged access to resources and markets.
46 Policy Outcomes Incoherent policies Spreading progress and prosperity Sometimes paralysisExample of cultural policy: banning of musicSpreading progress and prosperityState educational system astonishingly goodScience and literacyBirth controlHealth careRoads and the provision of basic services
48 Policy Outcomes: Islamicization of Society Alcohol consumption banned except for the non-Muslim minoritiesVeiling enforced in public spacesState committed in theory to the minimizing contact between unrelated men and womenReligious content of education is vastly expandedGruesome physical punishment to chastise adulterers, homosexuals, and other offenders of religious moralityOutwardly a success; but underneath the surface – bootlegging, prostitution (driven by poverty), over 2 million Iranians are drug addicts, corruptionReligious practice has become more privateAnticlericalism
49 Policy Outcomes: Gender Relations Legal restrictions on women’s rightsMany ad hoc discriminations instituted by the Islamic RepublicFields of study closed to womenWomen’s sports restricted; attire incompatible with veilingWomen increasing their participation in public lifeMany are working outside of the home60% of the student body at universities’ restrictions on what they can study having been gradually liftedMore novels- written by womenWomen compete in sports but at locations to which men are not admittedMal-veilingIslamic feminism
50 Policy Outcomes: Foreign Policy Under the ShahU.S. an ally1990s “national interest”Third WorldistDesire to escape the hegemony of Western worldMain issue confronting current Iranian diplomacy is the nuclear program.
51 Iran and Its Challenges Faced many challenges and has survivedReopening of the debate: What is the proper relation between religion and politics in Iran?Consider watching Videos at Mypoliscikit.comIran’s Nuclear AmbitionsThe Iran-Iraq WarYouth in Iran
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