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Last Word: No homework FrontPage: What do you know about Iran?

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Presentation on theme: "Last Word: No homework FrontPage: What do you know about Iran?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Last Word: No homework FrontPage: What do you know about Iran?

2 Three Nations on the Road To Modernization Today’s Nation: Iran

3 The Basics  “Freedom” Rankings:  135/150 in democracy  6/7 in political rights  6/7 in civil liberties  Facts:  Slightly larger than Alaska  2 nd largest in ME Population – 68 million  3 rd largest in ME  4 th largest oil reserves in the world  138 billion barrels  Money –rial

4 History  Formerly known as Persia – Persians and Safavids were empires who controlled the region at various times Line of kings (Shahs) control Iran until the last shah is overthrown in 1979. – Begins the theocratic “Islamic Republic of Iran”

5 Tehran  Capital city – Has grown rapidly in recent years – Now home to about 12 million people

6 World’s Major Oil Producers and Reserves

7 The People  Primarily Shiite Muslims (89%), some Sunnis (9%) – Only Shiite nation in the world  Most speak Persian (58%)


9 Iran’s Challenges  Biggest challenge facing Iran, aside from some desire for more democracy – Its youth population is growing rapidly – Need to provide education and jobs for this group




13 Last Word: Ch 27 test Friday A computer model projection for January 6th, depicting differences between expected and average temperatures for the Continental U.S. FrontPage: NNIGN

14 Iran – Modern Politics and Challenges…

15 Modernization  Feelings of nationalism fed the drive to modernize – Iran was first in MidEast to end western control of its oil resources  In the 50’s/60’s, Shah Muhammed Pahlavi began sweeping reforms – Land redistribution, improved health care, education, women’s rights  These reforms angered many religious leaders in Iran – Believed the government was corrupt and greedy; did not want ties to western values and companies

16 The Islamic Revolution  Shah gradually loses support of many Iranians They begin to support a new, religious leader  Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini Cleric who spoke against the reforms of the shah Wanted people to return to their traditional ways

17 The Islamic Revolution  In 1979, Khomeini’s supporters overthrew the US-supported shah and put him in power – Replaced secular courts with religious courts; enforced strict hijab – Banned western movies and music – Took 52 Americans hostage for more than a year Iran hostage crisis of 1979


19 Current leadership in Iran  The President of Iran is the head of government of the Islamic Republic of Iran. – The President is the highest popularly elected official in Iran, although the President answers to the Supreme Leader of Iran, who functions as the country's head of state.  The President of Iran is elected for a four-year term by the direct vote of the people and may not serve for more than two consecutive terms or more than 8 years.  The current President of Iran is Hassan Rouhani, who took office after the ‘13 presidential election. – He succeeded Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who served 8 years in office from 2005 to 2013.

20 The (Supreme) Leader  The Supreme Leader of Iran is the head of state/highest ranking authority in Iran. – More powerful than the President of Iran and appoints the heads of many powerful posts in the military, the civil government, and the judiciary.  The Supreme leader holds his position for life (or until he is removed)  The Supreme Leader is elected by the Assembly of Experts, a deliberative body of Islamic theologians – Members of the assembly are elected from lists of candidates by direct public vote for eight-year terms

21 Recent Developments  Iran and nuclear power/weapons – This has been an ongoing issue between US and Iran for past few years…  The “Green Movement”

22 The “Green Movement” in Iran  A political movement that arose after the June 2009 presidential election, in which protesters demanded the removal of Ahmadinejad from office.  The official results showed Ahmadinejad winning by a landslide, though Hassan Mousavi (his challenger) and others believed the results were fraudulent. – Green was initially used as the symbol of Mousavi's campaign, but after the election it became the symbol of unity and hope for those asking for annulment of what they regarded as a fraudulent election.


24 Iran and Nuclear Power  Iran has tried to develop nuclear power for the past several years. – According to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, signed by most world nations, you cannot have a nuclear program unless you agree to the treaty requirements. Regular inspections, only for peaceful energy purposes, etc. – Iran has faced punishing sanctions by the US and world community that have hurt its economy  Problem is: peaceful nuclear power development looks an awful lot like what it takes to make nuclear weapons; – One often comes with the other

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