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1 Iran Modified from Mr. Caroddo’s Education Website at

Declaration of Faith (“There is no God but God [Allah] and Muhammad is his messenger”) Prayer (5 times a day) Alms to the poor Pilgrimage to Mecca (once in one’s lifetime) Fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. ISLAM IN A NUTSHELL According to Muslims, in A.D. 570 a prophet named Muhammad was born in the city of Mecca in present-day Saudi Arabia. For the first 35 years of his life, Muhammad lived a quiet existence with his wife, Khadija, their children (including a daughter Fatima) and his young cousin Ali and spent his days tending to the family’s caravan trade. One evening while he was meditating in a cave, he was visited by the angel Gabriel who brought the first of several messages from God (Allah) that would later be compiled into the Quran, Islam’s holy book. The Muslims believe that Muhammad was the last in a long string of Prophets that included Abraham, Moses and Jesus. According to Muslims, the Jewish and Christian books (the Torah and Bible) had been corrupted through centuries of translations and political meddling. Muhammad was charged with delivering the final, unadulterated message of God. For that reason, Muslims believe the true word of God can only be taken from a Quran written in the original language of their Prophet, Arabic. In his lifetime, the Prophet attracted many followers throughout Arabia as he recounted Allah’s messages to those who would listen. CALIPHS After Muhammad’s death in 632, the Muslim elders elected his companion, Abu Bakr, to succeed him as leader or Caliph of the Muslim community. The election of Abu Bakr over Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law Ali ibn Talib (who had since married Muhammad’s daughter Fatima), was protested by a small group of people who believed that Prophet Muhammad’s successor should be a blood relative. Abu Bakr was succeeded in 634 by Umar ibn al Khattab under whose leadership Islam spread to Palestine, Syria, Egypt and present-day Iraq. When Umar was killed, an election committee selected Uthman ibn Affan to succeed him -- to the dismay of Ali’s supporters. Uthman was murdered in A.D. 656 and the election committee finally chose Ali to succeed him. Ali’s election was celebrated by his supporters who came to be known as the Shi’at Ali, the partisans of Ali or Shi’as, but he was challenged by rival Muawiyah I from the Umayyad clan.

3 1953 Coup In 1953, the Shah, with the support of the CIA, overthrew the democratically elected prime minister, Mossadegh

4 Pahlavi – “White Revolution”
“White” to counter influence of “red” communists Land reform – government bought land from large absentee owners and sold it to farmers at affordable prices Encourage agricultural entrepreneurship with irrigation canals, dams, & tractors Women’s rights (secularization) Suffrage Restricting Polygamy Women allowed to work outside the home

5 Pahlavi - OIL & the Rent-seeking state
Iran transformed into rent-seeking state under Pahlavi’s because of increasing income from oil Rentier Economy: heavily supported by state expenditure, while the state receives “rents” from other countries Iran received increasing revenue from exporting oil and leasing oil fields to foreign countries Although shah promoted import substitution policies by 1979 oil & associated industries provided 97% of foreign exchange and majority of Iran’s GNP Oil revenue became so great government did not have to rely on internal taxes to generate income, paid expenses from oil profits The people become unnecessary to the government in a rentier state


7 OIL Abandoned gas pumps in a U.S. city 1973
POLITICS OF OIL Yom Kippur/Ramadan/October War On October 6, 1973 (Yom Kippur), Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack on Israel. The next day, the Arab state imposed an embargo on oil sales to the United States because of America’s support of Israel. Iran, which was on good terms with the US. At the time, didn’t join the embargo but used the opportunity to increase its own production and raise oil prices. As a result, Iran was awash with money while Americans waited in lines to buy gas a much-inflated prices. To balance things out, the Shah spent billions of dollars buying top-of-the line American military equipment and vehicles to supply Iran’s newly expanded armed forces. He also bought eight nuclear power plants to ease Iran’s growing power needs. The new oil money helped fund a number of government projects but also led to inflation, corruption and a widening gap between the wealthy and the poor who couldn’t buy the luxurious consumer goods that had flooded the market. Popular discontent came to a fever pitch in 1979 when Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Iran vowing to rid the country of foreigners and oust their puppet, Mohammed Reza Shah. 1979 Revolution In the midst of the chaos of the Islamic Revolution, Iranian oil exports came to a stop. Causing international panic, price controls, rationing and, again, long lines at the gas pumps in the U.S. Iranian oil exports resumed again in March 1979 but the upheaval already caused spikes in gasoline prices and stirred political tensions. When 52 Americans were taken hostage by Iranian students in November 1979, American President Carter retaliated by freezing Iranian assets and imposing an embargo on the import of Iranian oil to the U.s. The oil embargo didn’t harm Iran, which simply sold the commodity to other buyers, but it did result in the redistribution of supplies around the world (see slide #65). Abandoned gas pumps in a U.S. city 1973 Line at gas station in the U.S. 1979

8 OIL Highway in Tehran Oil Refinery in Tehran Iran Today
By 1993, Abadan’s oil refinery had been rebuilt and production levels reached pre-war levels a few years later. Today, Iran produces almost four million barrels of oil a day, which is still a far cry from the 6-8 million barrels a day it produced in The lower output is due both to damage caused during the Iran-Iraq War and the fact that it acts in compliance with its quota set by OPEC. In order to increase or even maintain its output capacity, Iran needs to invest billions of dollars to repair the damaged oil fields and petrochemical facilities and modernize functioning facilities. Since Iran was one of the first countries to extract oil, most of ht oil near the surface has already been drilled and what is left requires sophisticated machinery to extract. Iran’s oil industry has also suffered from mismanagement and corruption since foreign managers left Iran in Article 81 of Iran’s 1980 constitution expressly forbids the “granting of concessions to foreigners” or the “formation of companies or institutions dealing with commerce, industry, agriculture, service, or mineral extraction,” which restricts the participation of foreign companies in Iran’s reconstruction. Externally, American sanctions have also taken their toll by threatening penalties against any nation that invests more than $20 million per year in Iran’s oil industry. The aim was to target Iran’s greatest source of foreign currency thereby hindering Iran’s ability to fund terrorist activity or develop weapons of mass destruction. Gasoline Iran is the fourth largest exporter of oil but it is also one of the world’s greatest importers of gasoline. Because it lacks the refining capacity to fully serve its population, Iran is forced to buy 40% of its refined gasoline from outside sources. Since Iranians became used to paying highly subsidized prices for its gasoline (gas priced at around 35 cents a gallon) the demand rapidly grew. In June 2007, the government was forced to begin rationing gasoline and raise prices. Nuclear Energy Since oil exports account for more than 80% of Iran’s income earned by exports and provides a steady stream of hard currency( which Iran needs to buy international products), the government has been trying to lessen Iranian consumption of the valuable commodity by employing nuclear power for Iran’s energy needs. Iran is also trying to develop other export products to less reliance on oil for export income. Highway in Tehran Oil Refinery in Tehran

Oil Production 2004 Million Barrels per Day Former Soviet Union 9.1 Saudi Arabia 8.8 United States 5.4 Iran 3.9 Mexico 3.8 China Norway 2.9 Venezuela 2.7 Iraq 1.5 Importance of Iranian oil Most of America’s supply of crude oil comes from U.S. production (35%) and the rest is imported from Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and other countries. But even though the U.S. isn’t directly dependent on Iran for its oil supply, any drastic changes in that country’s supply or production could greatly affect the United States and the rest of the world. Japan, which has no oil of its own, relies on Iran for 17% of its oil imports.141 Iran also supplied about 13% of China’s oil in 2003 and the demand for oil in China has continued to rise. Any disruption in the flow of Iran’s oil could destabilize countries that provide the United States with almost a quarter of its total imports (China, 14%, Japan 9%). A decrease in Iran’s oil production could also affect worldwide prices by disturbing the balance of supply-and-demand. Petrodollars vs. Petroeuros Since World War II, the price of oil has been denominated in U.S. dollars (“petrodollars”) giving the United States a great advantage: first because fluctuations in the value of the dollar have had no direct effect on the price of oil for Americans and secondly because oil-importing countries need to have a supply of dollars in order to purchase oil143 ensuring that the dollar remains the strongest currency in the world. If the situation changed and oil was suddenly priced in euros instead of dollars, the effect on the United States would be devastating. Countries would immediately try to dump their supply of U.S. dollars causing the value of the dollar to plummet and the price of foreign imports into America to go up. A devalued dollar would significantly increase America’s foreign debt and the United States would have much less influence on OPEC and other international institutions. When Saddam Hussein declared that Iraq was no longer going to accept U.S. dollars for Iraq’s oil in 2000, the threat that other OPEC countries would follow suit became a considerable concern to the United States – undoubtedly influencing the government’s decision to go to war with Iraq in Just months after U.S. troops secured control over Iraq, the price for Iraqi oil on the international market was converted back from the euro to the dollar. In 2005, Iran decided that it was going to start accepting euros for its oil and create an Iranian Oil Bourse (IOB) (an oil stock exchange) that could compete with the London and New York dollar-denominated oil exchanges. The move would greatly benefit Iran’s biggest trading partners in the European Union and deal a major blow to Iran’s rival, America. The IOB could make Iran a major hub for oil deals in the region undercutting the two leading oil exchanges, New York’s NYMEX and London’s International Petroleum Exchange (IPE).

10 Khomeini, Fundamentalism, & Revolution
Islamic Fundamentalism Literal interpretation of Islamic texts Social conservatism Political traditionalism Resentment towards elites, US, and the Western world US was the “Great Satan” Velayat-e faqih (jurist’s guardianship) Senior clergy given authority over entire Shi’ia community


12 Khomeini & the Islamic Republic
Clerics consolidate power Popular support for regime high World oil prices rise again, allowing for social programs, improvements in medicine & housing Iraq invades Iran, people rally around the government Charisma of Khomeini inspired faith in the government Khomeini dies in 1989, constitution amended Ali Khamenei succeeds Khomeini, does not have the same political charisma as the Ayatollah Iran/Iraq war ends in 1988, country war-torn Oil prices drop in 1990’s Population begins to question authoritarian rule of the clerics

13 IRAN-IRAQ WAR (1980-1988) Iraqi President Saddam Hussein
IRAN-IRAQ WAR (“Iraq-Imposed War”) The rivalry between ethnically Persian Iran and Arab Iraq (once Babylonia, and the eastern edge of the Ottoman Empire) dates back to ancient times. From the 14th century until World War I, the three Ottoman vilayets or “districts” that eventually made up Iraq served as a bulwark between the Ottoman and Persian Empires and, when the Safavids declared Shi’a Islam the state religion in the 16th century, the regions were roughly divided along spiritual lines as well. The rivalry deepened politically in 1978 when the Iraqis under Saddam Hussein (then Iraq’s powerful Vice-President) complied with the Shah’s request to expel the Ayatollah Khomeini from the holy city of Najaf in Iraq (where he had been living in exile for the past 15 years). The slight wasn’t forgotten by Khomeini when he became Iran’s Supreme Leader a year later in the course of the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Iran’s Islamic Revolution posed a great threat to the regime of Saddam Hussein who had become President of Iraq in July Its religious overtones contrasted with Hussein’s secular government and, he feared, the revolutionary spirit could provoke ethnic Kurds in the north or Iraq’s majority Shi’ite population in the south to rise up against his Sunni Baathist regime. To thwart such an uprising, Hussein exiled thousands of Iraqi Shi’ites to Iran and quickly and brutally suppressed any dissension among the Kurds. Saddam also saw the revolution as a great opportunity. Iran’s military was weak after the new Islamic regime had purged the ranks of military officers once loyal to the Shah, and Iran was reeling from instability after the political transition. Iraq’s President exploited the situation by invading Iran’s oil-rich, heavily Arab-populated Khuzestan province -- expecting, wrongly, that the Iranian Arabs living in the region would join forces with their Iraqi Arab brothers to bring a quick victory. Hussein’s official justification for declaring war on Iran originated from a long-standing dispute over access through the Shatt-al-Arab waterway, Iraq’s main shipping route to the Persian Gulf. Under the terms of the 1975 Algiers Treaty, Iraq had agreed to place the border between Iran and Iraq in the middle of the Shatt-al Arab waterway in exchange for a promise by the Shah to withhold support from Iraq’s rebellious Kurds. Hussein rejected the treaty in September 1980, claiming that the arrangement had only been temporary and was valid only as long as the Shah was in power. A few days later, Iraqi troops embarked on a massive invasion of Iran.

14 OIL Khuzestan Province – Iran-Iraq War
Iran-Iraq War and Oil On September 22, 1980, Saddam Hussein declared war on Iran for a number of reasons: the fear that the Shi’ite Islamic revolution would spread to Iraq’s own Shi’tie majority; rivalry between Saddam Hussein and Ayatollah Khomeini (who had been expelled from Iraq a few years earlier); Iran’s support for the Kurds and oil. The official declaration of war center on control of the Shatt-al Arab waterway, the main shipping route that connects the Iraqi city of Basra to the Persian Gulf and through which most of Iraq’s oil is transported. The Iraqis also hoped to capture the Iranian province of Khuzestan, home to the main oil-producing cities of Abadan and Masjid-i-Suleiman. Although it was never capture, the city of Abadan was overrun by Iraqis in the first days of the war and sustained great damage to its oil refinery. Production at the oil refinery didn’t resume for another 13 years and only reached its pre-war level of production in The Iranians counterattacked against Iraqi facilities reducing Iraqi oil exports to only 1.8 million barrels per day (BPD) from 3.2 million barrels before the war. Altogether, the war removed almost 4 million daily barrels of oil from the world market. In the mid 1980s, the conflict moved to the Persian Gulf – one of the most strategic waterways in the world due to its importance in world oil transportation. Iran and Iraq began attacking neutral oil tankers that had been carrying oil from the enemy country. By 1986, more than 100 ships had been sunk or damaged compelling Western nations to intervene. Gulf War and Oil In 1988, Iran and Iraq declared a cease-fire but the oil producing facilities in both countries had been badly damaged. The drop in oil prices made it even more difficult to earn income from oil export sales. Iraq hoped to raise oil prices to help pay back their war debt (including $14 million owed to Kuwait) by convincing the OPEC countries to reduce production. Instead, Kuwait, Iraq’s neighbor raised production causing prices to fall even lower. Iraq further accused Kuwait of stealing its oil by “slant-drilling” to extract oil from Iraqi oil wells. In order to help stimulate Iraq’s economy, draw attention away from internal problems, seize Kuwaiti oil, intimidate other countries into forgiving Iraqi debts and settle an age-old border dispute, Saddam Hussein decided to invade Kuwait setting off the Gulf War. The Iraqis were forced to withdraw from Kuwait in early 1991 by a coalition of forces led by the United Nations. As the Iraqi troops left Kuwait, though, they made a last-ditch effort to reduce oil output by setting fire to 500 Kuwaiti oil wells. The fires took more than an year to quell and caused a great deal of environmental damage. Khuzestan Province – Iran-Iraq War Iraq’s Invasion of Kuwait – Gulf War 1991

15 Constitution of 1979 Document & 40 Amendments (Some added in 1989)
Mixture of theocracy and democracy Preamble reflects importance of religion Velayat-e faqih (Jurist’s guardianship) Gave broad authority to Khomeini and the clerics

16 Constitutional Amendments of 1989
On April 24, 1989, while on his death bed, Khomeini appointed a 25-member Reform Council (first Assembly of Religious Experts) to appoint his successor and amend the constitution Khomeini died in June 1989 The council named Ali Khamenei as Khomeini’s successor and made several amendments to the constitution

17 Amendments of 1989 They eliminated the need for the Supreme Leader to be a marja, or senior cleric, Khamenei was not a marja Eliminated the post of Prime Minister Created the Supreme National Security Council Increased the size of the Assembly of Religious Experts to 86 members Gave Assembly of Religious Experts authority to meet once a year & determine if Supreme Leader was “mentally & physically” capable of carrying out their duties Made the Expediency Council a permanent institution Constitution amendments approved by Iranian voters in national referendum with 97% yes vote on July 28, 1989

18 Religion 89% of Iranians are Shi’a Muslims 10% are Sunni Muslim
The constitution does not mention Sunnis and their legal status is therefore unknown 1% are combination of Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, and Baha’i Constitution recognizes rights of religious minorities, many religious minorities have left country since Islamic Revolution Baha’i considered unholy offshoot of Islam and they have been persecuted by Shi’ite governments. Baha’i leaders have been executed, imprisoned, tortured, their schools closed and property confiscated


20 Political Culture Authoritarianism (not totalitarianism) – leaders claim to be all powerful, but do not interfere with every aspect of the citizens lives Union of political & religious authority Shi’ism & Sharia – key components of everyday life Escape from European Colonialism and Western influence Influence of Ancient Persia


22 Women & the Political System
“Equality-with-difference” policy – instituted by the Islamic Republic slants law favorably towards men on issues such as divorce and custody Women must wear scarves and long coats in public Women can not leave country without consent of male relatives Women can be stoned for committing adultery Women allowed to get education in Iran and entrance into some occupations Expectations for better jobs and increased political rights among educated women Half of college students in Iran are women Women make up 27% of the labor force


24 WOMEN IN IRAN Pictures Top row: girls singing in car (Shiraz), girls in Isfahan, sign for WC (notice woman with headcovering) Bottom row: segregated bus (Tehran), women wearing chadors (Tehran), Iran Air stewardess in uniform. Thirty-one female activists were arrested in Tehran in March 2007 after gathering outside Tehran's Revolutionary Court. The women were there in support of five fellow activists who had demanded changes in laws discriminating against women. Among the grievances: 1) Iran has laws on the books that permit death by stoning for women accused of adultery. 2) In accordance with Islamic law, women are entitled to receive only half the inheritance that men receive. 3) Family laws deny women full custody of their children after a divorce. 4) Iranian men are permitted to marry up to four wives in accordance with Islamic custom. 5) Employment laws in Iran discriminate against women. 6) Women are required to dress modestly by covering their hair with headscarves and donning loose- fitting coats called manteaus. (Some women choose to wear the more modest head-to-toe black or gray chador, as do those women who work in government jobs). 7) Women must sit in separate sections on local buses and may only eat in “family sections” in some restaurants. 8) Women cannot become judges. 9) A woman’s testimony is worth only half that of a man’s. 10) Women are required to have a male guardian’s permission to work or travel. 11) Unmarried, unrelated men and women are not permitted to congregate without chaperones. 12) Women are not allowed to sing in public. Dress codes had loosened considerably since they were imposed after the 1979 Islamic Revolution – especially as a result of the liberalization of Iran during the term of reformist President Mohammed Khatami from Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad tried to reverse the trend by cracking down on “improperly” attired men and women. He has used threats by the U.S. as a pretext to curb dissent by claiming that Iran's enemies are using women's and students' movements to foment discontent and discredit the government. Aside from the discriminatory restrictions stated above, women in Iran enjoy many rights not exercised by women in other Muslim countries. More than ½ of all Iranian university students are women. Women are represented in the parliament and may run for high offices (including the presidency). Women are allowed to work, drive and participate in public events.

25 Worn in the West and Iran
ISLAMIC DRESS CODES ISLAMIC DRESS CODES AND THE QURAN The custom of covering women in Islamic countries stems from a number of verses in the Quran (considered the word of God in Islam) and Hadith  (collections of accounts of Prophet Muhammad life, words and deeds).  In ayah (verse) 24:30-31, the Quran says that "Women should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; they should not display their ornaments except as is normal, they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their close male relatives.” The intention, according to Muslims, is to minimize the image of women as sex objects and emphasize their piety, purity and chastity. Women who observe the hijab (literally "curtain," generally, the custom of dressing modestly) also follow the sunnah, or "custom" of the Prophet's wives who had been instructed to stay secluded and cover themselves if they had to venture outside the home. The directive was originally enacted to spare Muhammad's wives from harassment by eager members of the fledgling Islamic community. Hijab (Head Scarf) Worn in the West and Iran Chador Iran Abaya Saudi Arabia Burqa Afghanistan Jilbab Indonesia

26 Political Parties Islamic Coalition Party- conservative
Alliance of Builders of Islamic Iran – member of the conservative alliance, party of current president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who secured office in presidential election of 2005 Islamic Society of Engineers-conservative Executives of Construction Party-centrist/reformist

27 Elections Citizens over 15 allowed to vote until 2007
In 2007, eligibility age for voting changed to 18 National elections held for the following: Assembly of Religious Experts Representatives to the Majlis President Elections to Majlis and President are by plurality, winner-take all Elections are done over two rounds First round narrows field down to 2 candidates

28 Iranian Presidential Election - 2009
Only 4 candidates out of 476 men & women who applied were approved by Guardian Council Election held on June 12, 2009 with incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad running against three challengers: Mir-Hossein Mousavi Mohsen Rezaee Mehdi Karroubi Turnout was unexpectedly high, well over 50% and polls had to be kept open until midnight Ahmadinejad announced as winner the next morning with 62% of vote to Mousavi’s 34% Protest immediately erupted (the Green Revolution) in favor of Mousavi and claiming election fraud

29 Election of 2009


31 Iranian Presidential Election
June 14, Mousavi files formal appeal of results with Guardian Council June 15, Supreme Leader Khamenei announces investigation of electoral results June 16, Guardian Council announces it will recount votes, however, Mousavi states that 14 million ballots were missing, allowing for a chance to manipulate the results June 29, Iran’s electoral board completes partial recount, and concludes that Ahmadinejad won the election – this leads to more protests

32 Interest Groups Islamic Association of Women Green Coalition
Workers’ House Interest group for factory workers, have a political party as well, Islamic Labor Party Hold a May Day rally every year, turned into protest in 1999 against conservative policies to water-down labor laws

33 Velayat-e faqih (Jurist’s guardianship)
The principle instituted by Khomeini of overarching authority for different government institutions: Supreme Leader Guardian Council Assembly of Religious Experts Expediency Council This authority is all-encompassing and is over whole community based on their ability to understand shari’a and their commitment to champion the rights of the people

34 Supreme Leader Position created for Khomeini, currently held by Ali Khamenei Powers of Supreme Leader: Elimination of presidential candidates Dismissal of the president Command armed forces Declares war & peace Appointment and removal of major administrators and judges Nominates six members of Guardian Council Appoints many non-governmental directors, such as radio/TV and semi-public foundations Responsibilities of Supreme Leader: faqih – he is the leading Islamic jurist to interpret shari’a and religious documents Links three branches of government together “Determining the interests of Islam”

Mohammed Khatami (r ) SUPREME LEADER (Faqih) The Supreme Leader is the most important representative of Islamic authority and the Head of State. The position was filled by Ayatollah Khomeini until his death in In order to accommodate Khomeini’s successor, Ali Khamenei (who had only reached the rank of Hojat al Islam by the time of Khomeini’s death), the constitution was amended to allow the post to be held by a lower-ranking theologian. The powers of the Supreme Leader were also expanded. The Supreme Leader controls the armed forces and the internal security forces and has the sole power to declare war. He also has the power to appoint and dismiss the leaders of the judiciary, half the members of the Council of Guardians and the head of the state radio and television networks. He can also dismiss the president of the Republic if he is found guilty of violating his constitutional duties by the Supreme Court or if he is found incompetent by the Majlis (the legislature). The Supreme Leader must be a member of the Shi’a clergy and exhibit extensive Islamic scholarship. He serves for life. PRESIDENT Although the president is second in command after the Supreme Leader, his power is limited (as was exhibited under the rule of reformist President Khatami). All candidates for the presidency must be approved by the Council of Guardians before they can run for office and must believe in the official madhhab (Islamic school of thought) of the country — that is, they must be Twelver Shi’a Muslims. They also must be of Iranian origin and nationality. The president is elected directly by the people for a 4-year term and can serve a maximum of two terms. His primary job is to make sure that the constitution is faithfully observed and executed. He signs and supervises the implementation of laws passed by the Majlis, signs treaties, receives foreign ambassadors and endorses Iranian ambassadors. The president also administers the country’s budget. MAJLIS or ISLAMIC CONSULTATIVE ASSEMBLY (Parliament) In 1906, the Shah bowed to popular pressure and agreed to draft a constitution and establish a representative legislative body, the Majlis. Today, the Majlis consists of 290 members who are elected directly by the people in a secret ballot for 4-year terms. Like the president, all candidates must first be approved by the Council of Guardians. The Majlis is responsible for drafting legislation, ratifying international treaties, and approving the country’s budget. All actions are reviewed by the Council of Guardians. COUNCIL OF GUARDIANS (Guardian Council of the Constitution) The Council of Guardians is the highest and most powerful institution in the government and is currently dominated by conservatives. The office is made up of six religious men chosen by the Supreme Leader and six lawyers (also Islamic scholars) specializing in different areas of law elected by the judiciary and approved by the Majlis. All serve six-year terms. Members of the Council review all laws to determine whether they are in line with the constitution and sharia (Islamic law). If they are found to be against Islam or Iran’s constitution, the laws are vetoed. Council members also examine presidential and parliamentary candidates before they can run for a seat. Ayatollah Khamenei (r present) Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (r present)

(Supreme Leader 1989-present) KHAMENEI ASCENDS By 1988 Khomeini was 88 years old and his health was declining. He knew that it was time to prepare the country for his successor and was aware that no candidates could match his charisma and authority and religious credentials. To preemptively strengthen his successor’s position, therefore, Khomeini proclaimed that the authority of the Supreme Leader (Vali-ye faqih) was absolute. Khomeini had first designated Grand Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri to be his successor. Montazeri’s criticism of Khomeini and the hardliners in the Islamic government and his denouncement of the institution of Velayat-e faqih, though, made him an unsuitable candidate. Instead, Seyyed Ali Hosseini Khamenei, Iran’s president since 1981 and a close confidante of Khomeini, was chosen. Khamenei was a high-ranking cleric but, unlike Montazeri, he hadn’t yet reached the rank of Grand Ayatollah which, at the time, was a constitutional requirement to fill the post of Supreme Leader. To accommodate Khamenei, Iran’s constitution was changed to allow someone of a lower clerical rank to be elected leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran. He was later promoted to the appropriate rank though some Shi’ite clerics refused to acknowledge Khamenei’s new clerical position contending that the rank of Grand Ayatollah must be earned. Two days after Khomenei’s death on June 3, 1989, the Assembly of Experts announced that Khamenei would be Iran’s new Supreme Leader. To counter any questions about his legitimacy serving as Iran’s highest leader, Khamenei radically adhered to Khomeini’s ideological principles. By assuming a conservative stance on issues pertaining to the Islamic Republic, Khamenei also earned the support of conservative clerics who controlled most of Iran’s governmental institutions.

37 Guardian Council Responsibilities 12 members All Male
6 members appointed by Supreme Leader 6 members nominated by chief judge, approved by Majlis Serve 6-year terms Responsibilities They represent theocratic principles within the government Review bills passed by Majlis to ensure they conform with shari’a Guardian Council and Supreme Leader together exercise principle of jurist’s guardianship (Make sure all democratic bodies adhere to Islamic laws & beliefs) Power to decide who can compete in elections


39 Assembly of Religious Experts
Expanded in 1989 to an 86 man house Directly elected by the people 8 year terms Members originally required to have seminary degree equivalent to a master’s, 1998 revision now allows non-clerics to stand for Assembly – candidates still subject to approval by Council of Guardians Responsibilities Broad constitutional interpretation Elected Khomeini’s successor (Khamenei) Reserve right to remove supreme leader

40 Expediency Council Currently consists of 40 permanent members
Created by Khomeini Main purpose to “referee” disputes between the Guardian Council and the Majlis Exerts authority over executive, legislative, & judicial branches of gov’t 1989, Expediency Council passes some bills, and is institutionalized by constitutional amendments Currently consists of 40 permanent members It may originate its own legislation Not all members are clerics Appointed by Supreme Leader for five-year terms Collectively most powerful men in Iran

41 President & the Cabinet
Iran is not a presidential system, therefore the executive branch does not have the same authority as presidents in presidential systems such as U.S., Mexico, and Nigeria President does represent highest official representing democratic principles in Iran Chief executive, highest state official after Supreme Leader Directly elected every 4 years for a maximum of two terms Constitution still requires the president to be a Shi’ite and uphold Islamic principles There have been six presidents of the Islamic Republic since the Revolution, three have been clerics.

Before becoming president, Ahmadinejad was a resolute supporter of the Islamic Revolution and headed a hard-line student group while obtaining his degree in engineering. Several of the 52 hostages held at the American Embassy in 1979 claimed that he was one of their captors though the charges were fervently denied by Iranians who participated in the hostage crisis. In 2003, though a relative unknown, Ahmadinejad became the mayor of Tehran. As mayor, he reversed many of the reforms enacted by previous moderate mayors. In August 2005, Ahmadinejad won the presidential election based on his platform to combat corruption and distribute oil revenues to the people among other populist reforms. He also supported a religiously conservative agenda. As president, Ahmadinejad banned many imported films and barred all Western music from state radio and TV stations. In 2007, his administration cracked down on un-Islamic behavior by fining and/or detaining Iranians deemed to be “improperly” attired. And much to the dismay of international civil rights groups, Iran’s President also closed liberal newspapers, blocked web sites and came down on independent journalists and bloggers. Ahmadinejad made international headlines when he claimed that accounts of the Holocaust were fabricated in order to provide the pretext for the creation Jewish state and called for Israel to be “wiped off the map.” Most disturbing to the West was Ahmadinejad’s defiant stance on Iran’s right to complete the “nuclear cycle” to create nuclear energy on Iranian soil – although he consistently claimed that the program was for peaceful purposes only. He was won praise from Muslims worldwide for his bold stand against the West, his support for Palestinians and his dogged pursuit of nuclear energy. Internally, Iranians have feared that his focus on international issues and Iran’s nuclear program have diverted attention away from domestic problems: Iran’s high inflation rate, unemployment and housing shortages. Others worried that his defiance of the U.N. would lead ever more stringent sanctions or war.

43 President’s Power Devising the Budget Supervising economic matters
Proposing legislation to the Majlis Executing policies Signing of treaties, laws, and agreements Chairing the National Security Council Selecting deputies and cabinet ministers Appointing provincial governors, town mayors, and ambassadors

44 Semipublic Institutions
Usually called “foundations” (bonyads), an Islamic charity organization Foundation of the Oppressed Martyrs Foundation Foundation for the Publication of Imam Khomeini’s Works Foundations are tax exempt Reputed to have a great deal of wealth Most property they supervise was confiscated from pre-1979 elite

45 Legislature: MAJLIS Unicameral legislature
Created by Constitution of 1906, however Constitution of 1979 and 1989 amendments weakened the Majlis power 290 seats All directly elected through single member districts by citizens over 18 years old


47 Majlis Authority Powers of the Majlis
Enacting or Changing Laws, qanun (with approval of Guardian Council) The constitution uses the term qanun (statutes) rather than shar’ia (divine law) to avoid the question of whether laws come from God or the people It accepts the rationale that God formulates divine law (shar’ia), but elected representatives can draw up statutes (qanun) Interpretation of legislation (as long as it does not contradict judicial authorities) Appointment of 6 of 12 Guardian Council members from list made by chief judge Investigation of the cabinet ministers and public complaints against the executive and judiciary Removal of cabinet ministers, but not the president Approval of budget, cabinet appointments, treaties, & loans

48 Majlis elections Election of 2000 (6th Majlis)
Reformists fill seats through coalition of reformist parties (Khordad Front) Reformists win 80% of the vote, most secular voters whose parties were banned supported the reformists. Participation was over 70% of the electorate Election of 2004 (7th Majlis) Guardian Council bans thousands of reformist candidates Overwhelming victory for conservatives Control of the Majlis flips from the reformists to the conservative faction Many Iranians were disappointed in failure of Khordad Front to initiate reforms Participation of the electorate dropped to around 50%

49 2008 Majlis Elections The 2008 elections for the 8th Majlis turned into a repeat performance of 2004 The Guardian Council, assisted by the Interior Ministry, disqualified more than 3,000 potential candidates, including some of the leading reformers who held seats in the 7th Majlis The conservatives, led by Ahmadinejad’s Principalist’s Party, took 190 seats, although many were critical of Ahmadinejad’s populist rhetoric The reformers, mostly supported by Khatami’s Islamic Iran Participation Front and Rafsanjani’s Servants of Reconstruction, took 40 seats

50 Judiciary Distinction between two types of law: sharia & qanun
Judicial review does not exist in Iran Principle of jurist’s guardianship means that the Supreme Leader, the Guardian Council, and the Assembly of Religious Experts have final say regarding interpretation of law Ultimate legal authority does not rest in the constitution, but in sharia law itself Because interpreting shari’a is difficult it has been applied in different ways at various times Because of Ayatollah Khomeini’s approach, interpretation of shari’a came to be the standard that would influence all succeeding Iranian leaders


52 Judiciary Islamic Republic
Islamicized the judiciary code to interpret shari’a strictly Retribution Law Permitted families to demand “blood money” – compensation to the victim’s family from those responsible for someone’s death Mandated the death penalty for actions such as adultery, homosexuality, drug dealing and alcoholism Set up unequal treatment between men & women, and Muslims & non-Muslims Banned interest rates on loans, viewed as usury, which means lenders take advantage of people seeking loans

53 Law & Justice Khomeini realized that despite the influence of sharia judges, the regime did need a centralized judicial system to tend to matters of justice in an orderly manner The interpretation of sharia was broadened so that the harsh penalties of the Retribution Law are rarely carried out Modern methods of punishment are more common than harsh public retribution Regime retained the shah’s court structure Appeals system Hierarchy of state courts Central government’s right to appoint and dismiss judges

54 Military Revolutionary Guard – established by Khomeini after the revolution, a parallel military force to the shah’s traditional armed forces that were the 5th largest at the time Commanders of the Revolutionary Guard are appointed by the Supreme Leader According to the constitution, the regular army defends the borders, the Revolutionary Guard protects the republic Both were greatly strained during the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980’s Basij – volunteer militia of those to young to serve created during Iran-Iraq War. Martyred by Khomeini against the invading Iraqi troops After the war they became the Supreme Leader’s private militia Currently serve as the Islamic Republic’s “morality police” (Comparable to Hitler Nazi Youth) Iran’s armed forces currently have over 500,000 active troops making it the 8th largest military in the world


56 Theocratic & Democratic Elements of Iran’s Government Structure
Supreme Leader Theocratic Characteristics Jurist guardianship; ultimate interpreter of shari’a; appointed for life Democratic Characteristics Guardian Council Jurist guardianship; interpreter of shari’a; six members selected by the Supreme Leader Six members selected by the Majlis; which is popularly elected, indirect democratic tie Assembly of Religious Experts Jurist guardianship; interpreter of shari’a Directly elected by the people

57 Theocratic & Democratic Elements of Iran’s Government Structure
Expediency Council Theocratic Characteristics Appointed by the Supreme Leader; most members are clerics Democratic Characteristics Some members are not clerics Majlis Responsibility to uphold shari’a Directly elected by the people; pass non religious laws Judiciary Courts held to shari’a law; subject to the judicial judgments of the Supreme Leader, Guardian Council Court structure similar to those in democracies; “modern” penalties, such as fines and imprisonment

58 Public Policy: Policy-Making Factions
Conservatives Created by often contradictory influences of theocracy & democracy Conservatives uphold principles of regime established in 1979 Against modernization because it threatens Shi’ism Wary of western influence Political & religious decisions should be one in the same Support right of clerics to run the political system Reformists Believe political system needs reform (but disagree on what reforms) Advocate some degree of international involvement with western countries Believe Shi’ism is important basis of Iranian society Support idea that political leaders do not have to be clerics


60 Public Policy: Policy-Making Factions
Statists Government should take active role in the economy Not necessarily communists Policy goals include: Redistribute land Redistribute wealth Eliminate unemployment Finance Social Welfare Programs Price restrictions on Consumer goods Free-marketers Similar market principles to the US, but in a theocratic/democratic state Liberal Economic Policies Remove price controls Lower business taxes Encourage private enterprise Balance the budget

When atoms split into two roughly equal pieces – or undergo “fission” – they release a great deal of energy (called “nuclear energy”) in the form of heat. In some cases, the atom fragments hit other atoms which then split themselves creating more heat. Under the right conditions, they will continue to split causing a self-sustaining fission chain reaction that will continue indefinitely releasing greater and greater amounts of energy and heat. When the fission chain is controlled in a nuclear reactor, the energy can be converted into electricity (nuclear power). In a nuclear weapon, the chain reaction isn’t controlled, causing horrible destruction. In order to create nuclear fission, one must start with fissionable materials – specifically, highly enriched uranium or plutonium. Both can be used to create nuclear energy and nuclear weapons. Uranium (Named after the planet “Uranus”) Uranium is a natural element found in a large variety of minerals and in seawater. But only a small percentage (7 of 1000 atoms) of naturally occurring uranium contains uranium-235 – the ingredient needed to generate a fission chain reaction (the other 993 atoms are composed of uranium-238).. Once mined, the uranium ore is crushed and mixed with water and other particles until it becomes a compound called yellow cake. The yellow cake is then converted into uranium hexafluoride and then enriched to separate the uranium-235 from the uranium-238. The extent of the enrichment is determined by the purpose of the uranium – greater enrichment produces a higher concentration of uranium-235 (up to 90%, called “weapons-grade uranium”) which can be used to create nuclear weapons. Less enrichment is needed for peaceful, civilian, energy-producing purposes (called “low-enriched uranium” or LEU). Plutonium (Named after the planet “Pluto”) Unlike uranium, plutonium doesn’t occur naturally but is made from spent fuel from a nuclear reactor (uranium-238 converted into plutonium). Although far smaller quantities of plutonium are needed to create power and build a bomb, it is much harder to work with and extremely dangerous to handle. In order to dissolve and then separate the unused uranium from plutonium, a process called reprocessing is applied. The separated plutonium is then fabricated into nuclear fuel or nuclear weapons. Like uranium, different degrees of pure plutonium are used for different purposes. “Reactor-grade” plutonium contains less than 80% plutonium-239 while “weapons-grade plutonium” will contain 80-93% pure plutonium Although both can be used to make nuclear weapons, “weapons-grade plutonium” is preferred since it is easier to handle.

62 NUCLEAR POWER: Peaceful or Aggressive Intentions?
Energy Demand for energy outpacing supply Reserve of oil for export Technical developments Permitted according to terms of the NPT Weapons Iran has enough natural gas Aggressive rhetoric of Iran’s President, Ahmadinejad Secret construction of nuclear power plants Relations with terrorist organizations NUCLEAR POWER: PEACEFUL OR AGGRESSIVE AIMS? Ayatollah Khomeini’s successors continue to maintain that Iran is only interested in developing nuclear power with no intention of building weapons. In 2005, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei even issued a fatwa (a legal ruling by an Islamic cleric) forbidding the production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons. Critics abroad doubt this claim and contend that Iran has more than enough natural gas to make hundreds of megawatts of electricity each year. They claim that Iran’s government is using the need for nuclear energy as a cover to develop nuclear weapons and point to Iran’s secret development of nuclear power plants as evidence that Iran has had nefarious intentions. Iranian officials point out that under the terms of the Non-Proliferation Treaty or NPT (Article IV in particular), which Iran joined in 1974, Iran has the legal right to develop its nuclear power program and is even entitled to receive help from other nuclear-powered nations. But because of sanctions, they contend, Iran was forced to acquire parts and expertise from underground sources. Iranians have asserted that the rate of Iran’s growing demand for energy is rapidly outpacing the country’s ability to produce it. Without exploring alternative sources of energy, officials have predicted the country will have to import oil by the year 2021– a disastrous fate for a country that obtains 80% of its export earnings from oil. Already, Iran is forced to import refined oil products from regional countries since domestic refineries can only produce about 60% of the gasoline Iranians consume daily. Relying on nuclear energy for Iran’s power needs would also allow the country to sell the surplus oil that it currently burns to generate electricity.

63 FUTURE Iran’s government may be losing legitimacy
Iranians are Muslim, support religious rule. Tension with the West continue. FUTURE Representatives of the European Union have optimistically said that the door is still open for negotiation with Iran. Many members of the U.S. Administration, on the other hand, think aggressive action is needed against the country. Many American politicians, including President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and even leading 2008 Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have said that "all options are on the table" if Iran continues to defy international pressure and becomes hostile. The greatest fear among Americans, Israelis and other nations, is that Iran will acquire nuclear weapons and dramatically alter the geopolitical balance in the region. A nuclear-armed Iran would be a great military threat to Israel and could threaten Europe and the U.S. if the Islamic Republic acquired missiles with long-range capabilities. A nuclear-armed Iran could also trigger an arms race throughout the Middle East as Sunni-Muslim countries (Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt) developed their own nuclear-weapons programs in defense and to offset Iran's new military power. Conversely, a nuclear-armed Iran could be an asset to Muslim countries if they joined together against the West. Since Iran is one of the biggest supporters of militant Islamic organizations (including Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, Hamas and possibly insurgents in Iraq and the Taliban), there is also real fear that these groups or other terrorists would get their hands on nuclear weapons and wield terrible destruction. Even without possessing nuclear weapons, Iran has used its nuclear program and the implied threat of nuclear war as a bargaining chip to gain concessions from the West. If the leaders changed course and proclaimed intent to develop nuclear weapons, the United States and Europe would be forced to engage diplomatically with Iran. This danger is so significant that Israelis and many Americans have urged the U.S. government to preemptively strike Iran's nuclear facilities, as Israel did in 1981 when they destroyed Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor, setting back Iraq's nuclear weapons program for years. Alternatively, the U.S. has covertly supported resistance groups within Iran, in the United States and abroad. A more passive approach towards Iran has been suggested by the Iraq Study Group headed by former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker and former Congressman Lee Hamilton. The group suggested engaging Iran constructively in order to help end the violent impasse in Iraq. An even bolder and controversial suggestion came from IAEA chief Mohammed ElBaradei. In his estimation, since Iran has already attained the know-how to enrich uranium, the world should simply get used to dealing with a nuclear Iran.

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