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Islamic Republic of Iran By: Victoria Brock, Daniella Khoury, Tristan Kaisharis, Roy Macharia, and Matt Kelvington.

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Presentation on theme: "Islamic Republic of Iran By: Victoria Brock, Daniella Khoury, Tristan Kaisharis, Roy Macharia, and Matt Kelvington."— Presentation transcript:

1 Islamic Republic of Iran By: Victoria Brock, Daniella Khoury, Tristan Kaisharis, Roy Macharia, and Matt Kelvington

2 Day 1

3 Introduction/ Pertinent Geography Capital: Tehran Population: 80,840,713 Vast central desert plain Ethnically Persian Farsi: Persian language


5 Levels of Government Local 31 provinces (ostanha) – Subdivided National Supranational

6 Levels of Government Highly centralized unitary state Little devolution Real power is given to supreme leader

7 Executives Dual executive system composed of both the president and the Supreme Leader of Iran Head of state: Supreme Leader Head of government: President

8 President Current: Hassan Rouhani Elected by a direct vote Limit of two consecutive terms Powers

9 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

10 Supreme Leader Current: Ayatollah Khamenei Iran’s most powerful political figure Cleric Powers Ensure conformity with Islamic law.


12 Electoral System 2 rounds of elections President: absolute majority Supreme leader: The Assembly of Religious Experts Runoffs Competitive?

13 Recent Elections- 2005 Mahmoud Ahmadinejad became president

14 Recent elections- 2009 Ahmadinejad won Protests Censorship of social networking sites


16 Recent Elections-2013 Hassan Rouhani won election by a landslide

17 Referendums Before: Prime minister The office of Prime Minister was removed Supreme Leader

18 The Cabinet Day- to- day work of governance Appointed by president

19 Legislature Bicameral (sort of ); Asymmetric. Majles- Islamic Consultative Assembly - Lower house The Guardian Council - Upper house. The Assembly of Religious Experts

20 Legislature - Majles 290 seats All directly elected through single member districts Duties

21 Outside the Majles - Iran

22 Inside the Majles - Iran

23 Legislature – The Guardian Council 12 male clerics- 6 year terms Appointment by Supreme leader and Majles Elections Duties

24 The Guardian Council

25 Legislature – The Assembly of Religious Experts 86 members Directly elected every 8 years Duties

26 The Assembly of Religious Experts

27 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)

28 Recent Elections – The Assembly of Religious Experts 2007 election – The Assembly of Religious Experts 2012 election- Majles



31 2N3SIcY

32 Theocracy Follow the rules of Shia Islam Sharia Law Koran (Qur’an) Shia Sunni

33 Institutions Relationships Blend of theocracy and democracy – Theocracy – Democratic elections Jurist’s guardianship



36 Semipublic Institutions “Autonomous” Directed by clerics Foundation of the Oppressed

37 Policy Highly complex Expediency Council

38 Political Parties Very weak Illegal until 1997 Iran Participation Front, Islamic Labor Party, and Servants of Reconstruction Factionalism

39 Leadership/ Elite Clerics Ayatollah President and Assembly of Religious Experts


41 Interest Groups Islamic Association of Women and a Green Coalition Workers House Few interest groups formed for business Little to no corporatism Government control

42 Bureaucracy President heads bureaucracy Dependent on clergy Partisan Control of the media

43 Military Regular Military and Revolutionary Guard Supreme Leader is the commander in chief Basij – “Mass Mobilization” Former Guards holds seats in the Majles 2004 Tehran Airport Incident

44 Revolutionary Guard

45 Iranian Army

46 Don’t Get Nightmares…

47 Referred to as “The Iranian Wookie Army” by journalists during the Army Day Parade

48 Anniversary of Iran-Iraq War March

49 Judiciary Judicial Review Sharia Law and the Quran Code law and Religious law Constitutionally more powerful than other branches

50 Judicial Building of Iran

51 Day 2

52 Citizens, Society, and The state

53 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?

54 Political Culture Government policy is determined by Islamic Ideology. Guardian Council

55 Political Socialization Agents of Socialization – Government – Educational system

56 Political Socialization – Mass media - Propaganda - Censorship – Religion - Q’uran – Family -Older generation -Younger generation

57 Cleavages Class -Lower class v. middle class

58 Ethnicity is closely tied to religion, other cultural differences between ethnic groups distinguish minorities in Iran.

59 Cleavages Gender - “ Equality with Difference” - Treatment of Women Religion

60 Cleavages

61 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.

62 Political Participation Voting age is 18, raised from 16 in 2007. (universal) Citizens also get to vote in municipal elections. University Students

63 Political Participation

64 Political Violence 1906-Constitutional revolution. 1921-1925 Coup. The Pahlavi dynasty begins. 1953- Joint CIA and British Special forces supported coup. 1963-White Revolution

65 Political Violence 1979-Islamic Revolution Movie Argo The Cultural Revolution (1980–1987) Iran Iraq War

66 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.

67 Political Violence

68 Roles of Women/Minorities Women now are in schools at the same rate as men. Women in the Majiles Elham Aminzadeh Ethnic minorities. Jews and Azeris

69 Political and Economic Change

70 Brief History Constitutional Revolution 1905-1909 Oil discovered in 1908 Nationalization of Oil 1953 White Revolution of 1963 Islamic revolution of 1979

71 White Revolution 1963 Started by Shah Steps toward Westernization Bloodless Many different reforms


73 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

74 Islamic Revolution Overthrew long standing dictatorship Follow up “Cultural Revolution”



77 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

78 Positive and Negative Effects of the Revolution Positive: Increase literacy rate Increased GDP Increased GDP per capita Negative: Higher censorship Larger gender division

79 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

80 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

81 Oil Discovered in 1908 Some 50% of the economy Extremely unstable

82 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

83 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

84 Economy Subsidization of agriculture and other essential goods and services Oil revenues allow for more money put into infrastructure and public services




88 Attempt to become more privatized Privatization of banking Re-launching of a stock market selling government shares to private investors “justice shares” of state owned industries

89 Equality Inequality amongst urban and rural populations Very few Oil men become billionaires while most of the country only makes about $7,000 per year

90 Day 3

91 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

92 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

93 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.)

94 Qom Legitimacy of the modern Iranian Theocracy has its roots in Qom.

95 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

96 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

97 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

98 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

99 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

100 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

101 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

102 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

103 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

104 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

105 Ahmadinejad Versus Mousavi in the Controversial Elections of 2009

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