Levels of Government Local 31 provinces (ostanha) – Subdivided National Supranational
Levels of Government Highly centralized unitary state Little devolution Real power is given to supreme leader
Executives Dual executive system composed of both the president and the Supreme Leader of Iran Head of state: Supreme Leader Head of government: President
President Current: Hassan Rouhani Elected by a direct vote Limit of two consecutive terms Powers
I, as the President, upon the Holy Qur'an and in the presence of the Iranian nation, do hereby swear in the name of Almighty God to safeguard the official Faith, the system of the Islamic republic and the Constitution of the country; to use all my talents and abilities in the discharge of responsibilities undertaken by me; to devote myself to the service of the people, glory of the country, promotion of religion and morality, support of right and propagation of justice; to refrain from being autocratic; to protect the freedom and dignity of individuals and the rights of the Nation recognized by the Constitution; to spare no efforts in safeguarding the frontiers and the political, economic and cultural freedoms of the country; to guard the power entrusted to me by the Nation as a sacred trust like an honest and faithful trustee, by seeking help from God and following the example of the Prophet of Islam and the sacred Imams, peace be upon them, and to entrust it to the one elected by the Nation after me.Holy Qur'anIranian nationAlmighty Godofficial FaithIslamic republicConstitutionautocraticProphet of IslamImamspeace be upon them
Supreme Leader Current: Ayatollah Khamenei Iran’s most powerful political figure Cleric Powers Ensure conformity with Islamic law.
Recent Elections - Majles Conservatives (182) United Front of Conservatives (98) Front of Islamic Revolution Stability (43) People's Voice (19) Monotheism and Justice Party (17) Insight and Islamic Awakening Front (5) Reformists (75) Democratic Coalition of Reformists (60) Labor Coalition (11) Moderate Reformists (4) Independents (19) Religious minorities (14)
Recent Elections – The Assembly of Religious Experts 2007 election – The Assembly of Religious Experts 2012 election- Majles
Political Culture Theocracy: - Basically a state dominated by the clergy. Islam, Shiism Chief Cleric/Supreme Leader - Is the head of State - Sayyed Ali (Ayatollah) Khamenei is the current Supreme Leader. Legitimacy?
Political Culture Government policy is determined by Islamic Ideology. Guardian Council
Political Socialization Agents of Socialization – Government – Educational system
Political Socialization – Mass media - Propaganda - Censorship – Religion - Q’uran – Family -Older generation -Younger generation
Role of the Media Unifying and divisive role in the live of Iranians. Agenda setting and a watchdog. Newspapers and journals Anti-regime sentiment on the internet such as twitter and blogs where the government has less control.
Political Participation Voting age is 18, raised from 16 in 2007. (universal) Citizens also get to vote in municipal elections. University Students
Political Violence 1906-Constitutional revolution. 1921-1925 Coup. The Pahlavi dynasty begins. 1953- Joint CIA and British Special forces supported coup. 1963-White Revolution
Political Violence 1979-Islamic Revolution Movie Argo The Cultural Revolution (1980–1987) Iran Iraq War
Political Violence 1999: Pro-democracy student rallies 2002, similar student demonstrations 2003- Unemployment and tuition protests 2009 Election- believed to be fraudulent. Protests throughout the summer of 2009.
Islamic Revolution of 1979 “Last of the great modern social revolutions” Led by college students (Why who else could it be?!) Ayatollah Khomeini returns from exile and establishes Islamic State Overtake American Embassy
Islamic Revolution Overthrew long standing dictatorship Follow up “Cultural Revolution”
Characterization of Revolutionaries Urban poor, especially recent immigrants suspicious of westernization Middle classes who wanted political freedom Leftist oppositions Bazaar merchants with broad networks Clergy
Positive and Negative Effects of the Revolution Positive: Increase literacy rate Increased GDP Increased GDP per capita Negative: Higher censorship Larger gender division
Influences Two major influences: Internal: how to combine a theocracy with a democracy External: Other democratic countries calling for a regime change, economic sanctions, and lack of relations
Economic change Merchants in bazaars form a middle Under shah Iran becomes second most important member in OPEC. High military spending Controlled oil “lifeline” in the Strait of Hormuz
Oil Discovered in 1908 Some 50% of the economy Extremely unstable
Nationalization of oil Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) Britain, when news of attempted nationalization came up, withdrew from Iran and boycotted their oil National Iranian Oil Company- failed miserably due to lack of educated technicians
Nationalization of Oil After oil embargo ended, Iranian economy exploded from 1960-1977 making it one of the fastest growing economies in the world Still, due to the unstable nature of oil, the economy fluctuates heavily
Economy Subsidization of agriculture and other essential goods and services Oil revenues allow for more money put into infrastructure and public services
Policy Making Process Laws can originate in many places, not just in the legislature 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
Policy Making Factions Conservative vs. Reformist Conservatives uphold the principles of the regime as set up in 1979 They also believe that political and religious decisions should be one and the same Reformists believe that the political system needs significant reform
Policy Making Factions Statists vs. Free-Marketers Statists believe that the government should take an active role in controlling the economy Free-Marketers want to remove price controls, lower business taxes, encourage private enterprise, and balance the budget. (similar to the U.S.)
Qom Legitimacy of the modern Iranian Theocracy has its roots in Qom.
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
Economic Issues: Oil Oil has created a vertical divide in the society between the elites 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
Economic Issues: Social Welfare Traditionally, social welfare was a matter of private charity and funding from waqf endowments After the Revolution, the Republic made it a high priority In 2010, the government ended many economic subsidies, especially those encouraging people to waste precious resources
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
Population Policy 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
Environmental Concerns The country suffers from deforestation, desertification, water contamination, and urban air pollution Air Pollution around the city of Tehran drives people to wear masks
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
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
Current Issues: Nuclear Debate Much debate has circled Iran’s emergence of a nuclear program Previous visits of the international nuclear inspectors failed in Iran
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, urged Revolutionary Guards to ensure that the Conservatives win a majority of the seats in the parliamentary seats in elections
Ahmadinejad Versus Mousavi in the Controversial Elections of 2009
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