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Iran Smoke and mirrors May 29th 2008 From The Economist print edition Iran makes it hard even for benevolent outsiders to understand it THROUGHOUT its 29 years, the Islamic Republic has puzzled, even baffled, observers. Its leaders proclaim peace and war in the same breath, and pretend to practise both democracy and theocracy. But lately the symptoms of schizophrenia have grown more pronounced. We have a long history with Iran Iran took an American embassy hostage. It may have had a hand in the bombing of the American The Axis of Evil in a marine barracks in Lebanon in 1983 and it succinct package (Kim stands accused now of helping to kill American Jong Il, Khamenei, Saddam and George W.). soldiers in Iraq. It is not surprising that many Americans consider Iran a bitter foe. Nor is it surprising that Iranians return the favour. America organised the coup against Mossadegh, supported the shah, helped Saddam in the Iran-Iraq war, invaded two of Iran's neighbours and imposes sanctions on Iran. The Iranian regime considers America an implacable foe and routinely denounces it, in political speeches and organised rituals such as those fiery Friday prayers, as the Great Satan or “the Global Arrogance”. Geography Most is mountain or desert so uneven demographic distribution (70% of Iranians live in 30% of land in north and nw and in major cities); Climate: scarce precipitation and extreme temperature differences 10% of world total oil reserves; 2nd largest exporter of oil in OPEC and 4th largest producer in the world; oil reserves concentrated along Persian gulf in south and Caspian Sea in north Nov 15 2006 News Conference in Tehran Shi’a Sunni Split Split soon after Islam begins over question of who should be caliph—Shiites think only heirs of prophet. messianic belief that a “hidden Imam” will return at the end of time and restore a just order (makes world politics in some ways irrelevant or even . . . anathema. . . To the faith) Means they extend only provisional legitimacy to rulers who will let Islamic institutions flourish RELIGIOUS FERVOR: An Iranian Shiite prays for the return of the Mahdi in Jamkaran Mosque. •Clergy paly a more central role in Shiism •Clergy stand in collectively for the hidden Imam •Over centuries play a role like that of the Christian priesthood in pre- modern Europe or the Confucian mandarins in China; sut, compared to Confucian mandarins, Shiite clerics are much more hostile to power holders and held more independence Shiite tradition shapes Iranian state Central principle is: velayat-e faqih, or rule by Islamic jurists developed by __________ Justified revolution: Whereas a monarchy was a usurpation of God’s rule on earth, a system of government by cle______ trained in Islamic jurisprudence would be a continuation of the political system first established by the Prophet Mohammed. Since such a form of government was the only regime consistent with the will of god, s_________forms, such as that of the Shah, should be overthrown. As such, the Iranian constitution and political institutions are an attempt to express God’s will rather than instruments of human will –the point of the republic in to guide the people toward Allah, not to serve the individual or mediate between diverse interests The idea: Shiite Clergy have a divine right to rule since they interpret god’s will FYI because inquiring minds always want to know Shiite Muslims make up about 60 percent of Iraq's population. They were brutally repressed by Saddam Hussein's Sunni- dominated government. Their leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, is rarely seen in public. Historical traditions •Authoritarianism •Persian HEAR OUR PRAYER: Iranian Shiites •Shiite pray outside the Jamkaran Mosque near Iran's holy city of Qom, where the •No direct colonization Mahdi - the Shiite equivalent of the Christian Messiah - is supposed to answer prayers until his return. Ayatollahs Aside, Iranians Jump for Joy at Spring NYT 3/20/06 Ayatollahs Aside, Iranians Jump for Joy at Spring NYT 3/20/06 After the Islamic Revolution in 1979, the ruling ayatollahs sought to stamp out many traditions, like Nowruz, a celebration with some Zoroastrian links that stretches back thousands of years to the pre-Islamic era, to mark the arrival of spring. The celebration is considered by many here the most Iranian of holidays.The ayatollahs tried, and failed. Now, nearly three decades later, some people say the increasingly enthusiastic embrace of Nowruz and other ancient traditions represents a resistance against the country's more conservative religious rulers. Like most conflicts in a society as complex and layered as this one, the contemporary story of Nowruz is not one-sided or exclusively about resistance. It is also about accommodation. While Iran's religious leaders have followed a policy of confrontation with the West over their nation's nuclear program, they have, however grudgingly, ceded to the public's insistence on retaining, even bolstering, traditions not founded in Shiism. While it was the reformist government of former President Mohammad Khatami that decided to establish parks to hold the fire-jumping festivities, for example, the practice was continued this year after the election of the ideologically conservative President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. That Iran's religious leaders have accepted Nowruz, and other prerevolution traditions like Chahar Shanbeh Suri, also demonstrates a growing degree of stability, as the Revelers in Tehran gathering around a small country's leadership has tried to reconcile the bookends bonfire in a holiday ritual that leads up to of Iranian national identity — faith and culture, the Iranian New Year experts here said Mar 20, 2004 Persian New Year •Jump over a bonfire for “Chahr-Shanbeh Souri” on Tuesday, March 15, 2011, at Persian Center, 2029 Durant Avenue in Berkeley from 6-10pm to shake off the darkness of winter and welcome the lightness of spring. This is a free, family-friendly, non-alcoholic event held •A Persian ritual passed down since outdoors on Durant Avenue. ancient Zoroastrian times, the •Inside the Persian Center, a traditional altar Persian New Year Festival, called holds green grass, live goldfish, food and other Chahar-Shanbeh Souri, literally items representative of spring called the means ‘Eve of Wednesday” because “haftseen” or seven ‘s’s as each item on the the festival is always held on the last table begins with the letter ‘s’ Tuesday of winter, just before the Vernal Equinox or first moment of spring CULTURE BLEND Islamic strictures met Persian love of pleasure in a Tehran shop in 2005 when a head scarf was pulled back to show some hair 1979 Revolution Background Coalition forms: Urban Poor early 1970's, as the price of oil continued its upward climb, a rising gap forms between the rich and the poor. Urban poor (esp recent rural urban migrants) wanted the basic Shi'a Islamic lifestyle to return, and oppose Shah's efforts for modernism and progress, which they believed to be western dominated, imperialism. They see the Shah's reforms as self-serving and his promise of providing "progress" to be false 1979 Revolution Background Coalition forms: Middle Class moderate middle class (want political freedoms) Even many of the pro-western middle class became increasingly angered by the regime's cronyism, internal corruption, and repressive nature and use of the secret police. 1979 Revolution Background Coalition forms: leftist opposition Includes communists Many in West thought would win 1979 Revolution Background Coalition forms: Bazaar merchants bazaar merchants had established networks and could bring economy to a stop The bazaar (Persian; Arabic, suq; Turkish, çarşi), traditional marketplace located in the old quarters in a Middle Eastern city, has long been the central marketplace and crafts center, the primary arena, together with the mosque, of extrafamilial sociability, and the embodiment of the traditional Islamic urban lifestyle. Merchants and commercial trade are esteemed in Islamic civilization 1979 Revolution Background Coalition forms: Clergy They were the moral focus point— They had solid centralized organization, communication networks, good orators, financial independence, mobilizing networks (mosques, Islamic foundations etc), popular slogans, legit from years of opposition to Shah the “vanguard party” Massive Street Demonstrations in 1978 and 1979 Ayatollah Khomeni returns from exile and urges mass demonstration Many cities were placed under martial law. It was too late. People poured to the streets to defy the Shah. Soldiers were ordered to shoot. They did, and according to the opposition, more than 600 people were killed in Zhaleh Square alone. This day (September 8 1978) became known as the Black Friday and that square's name was changed to the Square of Martyrs. Only incites more to rebel. Shah turns to the US Iran occupied a strategic place in U.S. foreign policy toward the Middle East, acting as an island of stability, and a buffer against Soviet penetration into the region Offends many in Iran The Iranian Shah meeting with Alfred Atherton, William Sullivan, Cyrus Vance, President Carter, and Zbigniew Brzezinski, 1977 Ahmadindjad? Iran victor 'kidnap role' probe http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4636955.stm The US Embassy Hostage Crisis February 14 1979 : Marxist students temporarily seized control of the US Embassy in Tehran. Khomeini denounced the takeover, and forced their retreat November 4 the embassy stormed a second time, taking _____-six hostages—these students were followers of __________and inspired by the belief that the US was preparing a counter-revolution that would restore the monarchy, akin to Operation _______in 1953. The hostage crisis continue s for 444 days, generating frustration and a deep animosity in the US toward Iran, while serving as a source of revolutionary pride for many Iranians. In April 1980 President ___________approved a military operation to rescue the hostages, —disaster after an air crash en route to Tehran killed eight servicemen. Only after Carter had been defeated by _________in the 1980 elections did Khomeini agree to allow the hostages to leave. To this day, the US does not have formal diplomatic relations with Iran. REGIME CHANGE Soon the army refuses to support the shah and he falls The Iranian Revolution transformed Iran from a pro- western constitutional monarchy, under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, to an Islamic, populist theocratic republic under the rule of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini But . . . The regime change was a process Importance of the 1979 Revolution First revolution in which the dominate ideology was r__________and the leadership cadres were cl_____ instead of secular, lay individuals (a revolution led by religion, financed by the bazaar merchants and fought by the urban poor) Importance of the 1979 Revolution it is the most popular since China, in terms of the masses But in contrast, it is the only modern one in which peasants and guerrilla warfare were marginal—by and large it was an urban event Importance of the 1979 Revolution first to create a th______—and combine it with de______ most revolutions are directed against church and state-the Iranian rev was directed only against the state Importance of the Revolution/ Anti-Western sentiment continues Rather than focusing so much attention on the president, the West needs to learn that in Iran, what matters is ideology — Islamic revolutionary ideology, according to politicians and political analysts here. Nearly 30 years after the shah fell in a popular revolt, Iran’s supreme leader also holds title of guardian of the revolution. Mr. Ahmadinejad’s power stems not from his office per se, but from the refusal of his patron, Ayatollah Khamenei, and some hard-line leaders, to move beyond Iran’s revolutionary identity, which makes full relations NYT Dec 20, 2005: Iranian's Oratory Reflects with the West impossible Devotion to '79 Revolution Effect: “Brain Drain” In the heart of "Tehrangeles," as Iranians everywhere call their largest exile community. In Comparison to other Revolutions Khomeini/Mao/Lenin similar all revolutionary organizers, personality cult Iran after 79 had the same foreign policy issues as the soviets—“socialism in one country” or permanent rev. Clerics play a similar role to the vanguard party Similar to cult rev to purge enemies from the university –red vs. expert Like the French rev –a moderate coalition gives way to more ideological factions The Cultural Revolution (1980-1987) (in Persian: )انقالب فرهنگی a period following the 1979 Rev where the academia of Iran was purged of Western and non- Islamic influences to bring it in line with Shia Islam Directed by the Cultural Revolutionary Headquarters and later by the Supreme Cultural Revolution Council, the revolution initially closed universities for three years (1980-1983) after reopening banned many books and purged thousands of students and lecturers from the schools. The cultural revolution involved a certain amount of violence in taking over the university campuses since higher education in Iran at the time was dominated by leftists forces opposed to Ayatollah Khomeini's vision of theocracy and they resisted Khomeiniist control at many universities. Marjane’s parents to smuggle in an Iron Maiden poster from Turkey into Iran in the early 1980s, when the Iranian “cultural revolution” was in its most virulent stage. Everything Western was banned, including rock music. Iranian Leader Wants Purge of Liberals From Universities September 6, 2006 TEHRAN, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called Tuesday for a purge of liberal and secular professors from Iranian universities, the IRNA news agency reported. “Today, students have the right to strongly criticize their president for the continued presence of liberal and secular professors in the country’s universities, he told a group of young conservatives on National Youth Day, according to the news agency. Mr. Ahmadinejad said the work to replace secular professors had started, but “bringing change is very difficult.” “Our educational system has been affected by 150 years of secular thought and has raised thousands of people who hold Ph.D.’s,” he said. “Changing this system is not easy and we have to do it together.”Mr. Ahmadinejad’s comments appeared to be part of a continuing crackdown on social and political freedoms that began with his election last year. As part of the crackdown, about 110,000 illegal satellite dishes have been confiscated in the past five months, one senior official, Ahmad Roozbehani, was quoted in the news media as saying. Opposition channels that broadcast mostly out of the United States have a large audience in Iran. Mr. Ahmadinejad’s call to rid the universities of secular professors is reminiscent of the Cultural Revolution of 1980 to 1987, the period after the 1979 Islamic Revolution when many liberal or Western professors were fired or forced to conform to the revolutionary Remember China’s Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution a socio-political movement that took place in the People's Republic of China from 1966 through 1976 Set into motion by _______ _____________ its stated goal was to enforce socialism in the country by removing capitalist, traditional and cultural elements from Chinese society, and to impose ______ist orthodoxy within the Party. The revolution marked the return of _____ ___________to a position of absolute power after the failed Great Leap Forward. The movement politically paralyzed the country and significantly affected the country economically and socially. Chinese propaganda poster: "Destroy the old world; Forge the new world." A worker (or possibly Red Guard) crushes the crucifix, Buddha, and classical Chinese texts with his hammer; 1967. Conservative policies cracking down on civil liberties Nikahang, a leading cartoonist and blogger, published an interesting cartoon in his blog and in Rooz online about what many call the second Cultural Revolution 2007 Comp question: Explain two similarities in the goals of the Great Proletarian Revolution in China and the Cultural Revolution in Iran The focus of the question is on goals and not on process or outcomes. The Cultural Revolution in Iran is not the Islamic Revolution; it is the revolution that follows. Acceptable similarities may include: Cleansing of Western values/anti-capitalism Revising education Purging political enemies Reinforcing political legitimacy Purging educational institutions Affirming revolutionary ideals/values promoting ideological conformity Repressing dissent Attacking intelligentsia/middle class Discrediting the past/old order elevating the status of the leader/cult of personality Unacceptable answer include: •Equivalence between Red Guards and student mobilization in Iran; student radicalization; closing the universities; making countries stronger; taking of U.S. hostages. •Economics; regime change; describing what a revolution does (change government). The Ayatollah Khomeini Effect on Women Contradictory because the revolution has both --Opened up new possibilities for women & --instituted repressive controls over women Unintended because a different kind of woman has emerged in Iran than was anticipated by the revolution Women in the revolution •Khomeni cultivated the "Ideal Revolutionary Woman" who was supposed to be pious and trained in tradition to pass that on to children, deferent to fathers, husbands or brothers, pious •He also called the chador the "flag of the revolution“ •urged women to participate in the masses: to fight and to vote in elections in the new regime So the effect of the Rev on women . . . On the one hand •. To ensure they wouldn't tempt men, the regime ordered women to cover all but face & hands and to segregate themselves from men in public places (eg no football games) •Hezbollah (party of god) harass women for their attire (vigilante groups who serve as unofficial watch dogs and storm troopers of the clerics and are hardly ever prosecuted) •Sharia law means can stone for adultery, restrictions on women leaving country without consent of male relatives. . •women barred from running for president (about 90 applied to in 2005 but were denied) •Women are 27% of the work force As mayor of Tehran, Ahmadinejad,(current president) , instituted policies of gender segregation, calling for women and men to take separate elevators in government buildings. Women in Politics Country Rank Lower or Single House Upper House or Senate * Elections Seats Women %W Elections Seats Women %W United States 69 11 2004 436 66 15.2% 11 2004 100 14 14% United Kingdom 50 05 2005 646 127 19.7% N/A 721 126 17.5% Russia 100 12 2003 447 44 9.8% N/A 178 6 3.4% China 47 02 2003 2980 604 20.3% --- --- --- --- Iran 128 02 2004 290 12 4.1% --- --- --- --- Mexico 30 07 2003 500 121 24.2% 07 2000 128 28 21.9% Nigeria 119 04 2003 360 23 6.4% 04 2003 109 4 3.7% On the other hand • Women can vote •A narrowing education gap between women & men means equal numbers of boys and girls in school •women now outnumber men at universities Shirin Ebadi •Decreasing family size leads to more demand of education and employment—”democratization of family” •A worsening economy has forced women into the labor market to help support their families •The regime has opened up job opportunities in government, professions, & universities for women: higher percent work than other Muslim Countries •Globalization brought information & images of women's gains elsewhere •Dress codes relaxed, esp. under Pres. Khatami Women vote in 2005 election After President Mohammad _________came to power in 1997, Islamic dress started shrinking and finally became a simple head scarf and tunic. (The tighter or more slit the better, and preferably pink this year.) Iran was looking for ways to take part in international women's events without abandoning Islamic dress. The past few weeks have helped widen the gulf. After years in which they felt downcast and helpless, opposition partisans saw the sudden birth of a popular movement in support of Mr. Moussavi that exceeded their hopes. Rallies began drawing tens of thousands of cheering people. The streets of Tehran and other major cities began exploding after dark with carnivalesque street celebrations, in which young people danced and dressed in the signature bright-green color of the Moussavi campaign. Word of the events spread by Facebook, which — like other new Internet technologies — proved a challenge for the authorities to control. Women became a driving force, emboldened by Mr. Moussavi’s ground-breaking decision to campaign alongside his wife, the distinguished political scientist Zahra Rahnavard. Women Cyclists Face Jail, Warns Iranian Police Chief oct 28 2010 Nobel Peace Prize to Iranian Woman On October 11, 2003, the Nobel Committee announced that it was awarding the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize to Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian activist who has worked for women's rights and children's rights. This is the tenth year in Nobel history that the prize has been awarded to women, and Shirin Ebadi is the 11th woman, the first Muslim woman, and first Iranian to be so honored. Iran has sent 52 athletes for Olympics that three of them are women. Iranian women will compete with headscarf as Hijab. Among the competitions the Iranian Olympians will participate in are freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling, taekwondo, judo, weightlifting, archery, track and field, discus, rowing, boating, cycling, table tennis, boxing and shot-put Olympic dream a reality for Iran's female skier As the first Iranian woman in Winter Olympics history, the 21-year-old will head a four-member Iranian team that will be the only one from the Middle East Najme Habtin, Iranian Archer. Foto of her during archery training ahead of the Beijing 2008 Olympics at Olympic Green Archery Field on August 6, 2008 in Beijing, China. Restrictions on Presidential Candidates GC vets Only Shiite can run for President Only “well known political personality” can run for President (interrupted by GC as no women) Iran unveils plan for women's car Iranian women can drive cars but are not allowed to ride motorbikes Iran has announced plans for a new car designed specially for women. Its features will include automatic transmission, parking and navigation aids and a jack for changing tyres without getting grease on your chador. Iran's biggest car producer, Iran Khodro, says it will come in a range of feminine colours and interior designs. Other features are proposed to make it easier for women when they are doing the family shopping or taking their children to school. If that suggests a degree of sexist stereotyping in Iranian society, it is, just possibly, true. Other features are proposed to make it easier for women when they are doing the family shopping or taking their children to school. If that suggests a degree of sexist stereotyping in Iranian society, it is, just possibly, true. Despite the fact that Iranian women now make up around 60% of university students, Iranian men have yet to absorb fully the message of equality. A recent study by an academic from Allameh Tabatabaii University in Tehran found that working Iranian women believed that the domestic chores should be shared more equally. However, according to the report "their husbands think and act traditionally". Indeed, the idea of married men cooking for their wives is viewed in Iran as highly eccentric. As a result, the report concludes, Iran's new generation of working women "are obliged to play the role of a superwoman to resolve their contradictions in handling all tasks." It says such women "have become increasingly frustrated with their life". Modesty bikes' Officially, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad insists that Iranian women are the most equal in the world. And the authorities proudly boast of the achievements and opportunities open to Iranian women. But the official Iranian concept of equality is very different from that understood by Western feminists. Among the more eccentric policies here, Iran recently announced plans for a special bicycle for women. None of the machines has been spotted yet, but apparently the idea is to provide special covers, to help preserve female modesty as they pedal. Women, however, are still banned from riding motorcycles. However, they can often be seen perched on the back, sometimes with one or two small children in their arms, as their husband weaves through the Iranian traffic. Iran Bans Women from Attending Men's Soccer Games •May 2006 Iran's hard-line president surprised many of his country's soccer fans last month when he announced that women would be allowed to attend men's soccer matches - something that had previously been forbidden. Some observers think he was trying to gain the support of moderates in order to build national unity amid increasing international pressure •Iranian female soccer fans stand behind over Iran's nuclear program. But then, Iran's fencing to watch a training session in Tehran. supreme leader forced the president the The country has banned females from watching reconsider his decision. soccer inside stadiums •The president's spokesman said Mahmoud Ahmadinejad decided to reverse his decision after the Supreme Leader called on him to consider the views of Iran's religious leaders. Some of the country's top clerics and lawmakers had criticized the president's announcement. They said that a woman looking at the body of a male stranger at games like this one earlier this year would violate Islamic law. From an NPR interview: •Regime post 1979 has done 4 things well •Education for women (more than men in university), birth rate, health care and disparity b/w urban and rural •About birth rate: at first wanted high, b/c of war with Iraq (wanted soldiers) but then realized economic implications, so pushed to get it down –b/c it is a theocracy, it did not have to use authoritarian means like China, it came out as “Allah’s will,” taught in mosques, control edc etc. Institutions GO here to click on the links and find out about each institution http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/middle_east/03/iran_power/html/default.stm What are the points that come up most in articles about Iranian gov? In the multiple layers of power that obscure the governance of Iran, no one knows for certain where the ultimate decisions are being made. The Constitution gives the ________ __________near total control of the state, though officials like to emphasize that he is selected by the ___________of Experts, which is elected by the public. The leader appoints all military and security commanders, he has the power to declare war and must confirm the election of the president. He appoints the head of the judiciary, more than half the members of the Guardian Council and the head of state television. Still, Iran is not a country ruled by decree. There are multiple power centers and competing agendas, requiring that major decisions be made after consultation and compromise http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0DEFD71E3EF93BA15756C0A9 609C8B63 Plainly, Iran’s leadership is not at one. The reformers, once led by Muhammad_________, who was president from 1997 to 2005, seem demoralised and weak. But the conservatives look increasingly divided between the radicals, led by Mr Ahmadinejad, and more pragmatic figures, such as Mr Larijani. The president is becoming unpopular, largely because he has failed to improve the material lot of the poor who elected him and because his belligerence over the nuclear issue has isolated Iran in the world and made Iranians frightened of the prospect of being bombed. According to one poll, half of those who voted for him in 2005 would not do so again http://www.economist.com/displayStory.cfm?story_id=100131 38 oct 24 2007 U.S. Focus on Ahmadinejad Puzzles Iranians Unlike in the United States, in Iran the president is not the head of ________nor the commander in _______That status is held by Ayatollah Ali______________, the supreme leader, whose role combines civil and religious authority. At the moment, this president’s power comes from two sources, they say: the unqualified support of the supreme leader, and the international condemnation he manages to generate when he speaks up. “The United States pays too much attention to Ahmadinejad,” said an Iranian political scientist who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal. “He is not that consequential.” That is not to say that Mr. Ahmadinejad is insignificant. He controls the mechanics of civil government, much the way a ________ ______does in a state like Egypt , where the real power rests with the president. He manages the budget and has put like-minded people in positions around the country, from provincial governors to prosecutors. His base of support is the Basiji militia and elements of the ________________Guards http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/24/world/middleeast/24iran.html A candy shop in Qum featured a poster of Ayatollah and his ________predecessor, Ayatollah Ruhollah__________, the father of the revolution. Supreme Leader Iran has had two "Supreme Leaders" Ayatollah Ruhollah ____________, 1979–1989, and Ayatollah Ali _______________, 1989–present. Iran’s __________lead er taking a salute from Iranian Air Force NYT Feb 9 2007 The image of Ayatollah Ali ____________i, the supreme leader of Iran, looking down on a street in Tehran Present and Past Presidents Iranian President Mohammad __________right, smiles as Iran's president- elect Mahmoud, _____________ looks on during a meeting in Tehran on Wednesday June 29, 2005. Iran's non-elected constitutional watchdog Wednesday approved the result of the presidential runoff election that gave ultraconservative Ahmadinjead a landslide victory. (AP Photo/Hasan Sarbakhshian In the multiple layers of power that obscure the governance of Iran, no one knows for certain where the ultimate decisions are being made. The Constitution gives the supreme leader near total control of the state, though officials like to emphasize that he is selected by the Assembly of______________, which is elected by the public. The leader appoints all military and security commanders, he has the power to declare ______and must confirm the election of the __________He appoints the head of the judiciary, more than half the members of the Guardian Council and the head of state television. Still, Iran is not a country ruled by decree. There are multiple power centers and competing agendas, requiring that major decisions be made after consultation and compromise. Many Try to Run for President in Iran, but Few Will Be Allowed May 11, 2009 Clockwise from top left: Iranians carry posters of Mir Hussein Moussavi, a reform candidate, with former President Mohammad Khatami; men wait to register; President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shows his identification; a woman registers to run for president. The President of the Islamic Republic of Iran takes his oath of office inside a mosque in Tehran, the nation's capital. The outgoing president hands the presidential seal of office to Iran's Supreme Leader and Head of State. The Supreme Leader then hands the seal to the new president, and administers the oath of office. On the wall is a portrait of the Ayatollah Khomeni, the founder and first leader of the Islamic Republic. Parliament Mahjiles Not a total rubber stamp unlike in most Arab countries and pre-rev debate—even fist fights legislation must be passed by them and govt has to work to get it thru can impeach pres Refused to confirm 5 of Amadinajad’s nominees for cabinet Members of Parliament listened on Tuesday as the interior minister, Ali Kordan, made his case. They voted 188 to 45 to dismiss him over faked academic degrees. November 19, 2008 Iran Replaces Interior Minister After a Scandal By NAZILA FATHI TEHRAN — Two weeks after Parliament dismissed the interior minister in a scandal over his credentials, deputies voted on Tuesday to confirm President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s nominee to replace him. The vote was 138 in favor of the new minister, Sadeq Mahsouli, a Revolutionary Guard commander, and 112 opposed. About 20 lawmakers abstained. The vote took place two weeks after Parliament fired Ali Kordan after it became clear that he did not hold a doctorate from Oxford University, as he had claimed. Mr. Mahsouli was confirmed as lawmakers sought more details about the source of his wealth. Mr. Mahsouli, who is a close ally of Mr. Ahmadinejad, withdrew his nomination as oil minister in 2005 after members of Parliament raised questions about his income. On Tuesday, Mr. Ahmadinejad defended Mr. Mahsouli, saying he had not accumulated his wealth while in government. “There is nothing wrong if a person engages in economic activities when he does not hold government positions,” he said during a speech broadcast live from Parliament on state radio in support of Mr. Mahsouli. “If you want to put an end to such concerns, you should come up with a bill that would investigate the wealth of all senior officials from the beginning of the revolution,” Mr. Ahmadinejad said, referring to the wealth of his opponents among former senior leaders One-Third of Iranian Parliament Quits in Protest Feb 2 2004 By NAZILA FATHI T EHRAN, Feb. 1 — More than one-third of Iran's Parliament resigned Sunday to protest a sweeping ban on candidates running in the parliamentary election later this month. The defiant move threatened to plunge Iran's political system into chaos. One by one, angry lawmakers who have held a three-week sit-in at the huge Parliament building, marched up to the podium and handed their resignations to the speaker. In an emotional statement read aloud during the session of Parliament on Sunday and broadcast live across the nation on Iranian radio, the members who resigned accused powerful conservatives of seeking to impose a religious dictatorship like that of the Taliban, who were overthrown by American-led forces in Afghanistan. A ban by hard-liners on election candidates prompted mass resignations by reformers in Parliament. President Ahmadinejad hands parliament his budget NYT Jan 22 2007 Members of Iran's parliament called for Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi to be executed Electoral System for Mahjiles: TRS “Two Round System After the first round of the election the votes are calculated and the candidates who have received the highest number of votes and at least a required minimum percentage of votes get a seat in the Majlis.. An absolute majority is not required – as it is in many other TRS – to acquire a seat in this first round, but a plurality of 25% is sufficient. (This was changed just before the 2000 election from a one-third minimum as a compromise between the previous 33% and a suggested simple plurality). If there are still seats to be filled after the first round there will be a second round, a runoff. In this round only a simple plurality of the votes is required to be elected. http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2012/03 /01/world/middleeast/20120301TEHRAN- 11.html Electoral system for president What other country that we study has this electoral system for president? Summary of the 17 and 24 June 2005 Iranian Presidential election results Candidates Votes 1st % Votes 2nd % Rafsanjani round 6,159,453 21. round 10,046,701 35. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad 01 5,710,354 19. 93 17,284,782 61. Mehdi Karroubi 48 5,066,316 17. - 69- Mohammad Bagher 28 4,075,189 13. - - GhalibafMoeen Mostafa 90 4,054,304 13. - - Ali Larijani 83 1,740,163 5.9 - - Mohsen Mehralizadeh 4 1,289,323 4.4 - - Blank or invalid votes 0 1,221,940 4.1 663,770 2.3 Total (turnout 62.66% 7 29,317,042 100 7 27,959,253 100 and 59.6%) President He arrives amid a hurricane of swirling brown dust Think Bill and Al's "excellent adventure" and deafening noise. A dense, rolling cloud of during the 1992 US presidential campaign; straw and dirt sweeps across the parched field, think Saladin on a soap box; then add a enveloping turbaned dignitaries, battering the straggly beard, wrinkly, unexpectedly twinkly hoisted green, white and red flags of Iran, and eyes, a gentle, open-handed style, and a forcing thousands of enthralled onlookers to shield genuine ability to connect - and you have Mr their eyes. Ahmadinejad, a local hero (he was formerly As the rotors of the venerable American-made governor of Ardabil), a would-be champion Huey 214 chopper spin slowly to a halt, and the of Muslims everywhere, and an unlikely murk clears, a great, human noise replaces the grassroots superstar. sound of engines. It is not cheering; more like a The political confidence of a man giant, murmuring sigh, punctuated by shouts of condemned in the US and Europe for his joy and the screams of women. . . . threats against Israel and his Holocaust Mr Ahmadinejad's extraordinary comings and denial is plainly growing. It is the first time goings are a cross between American-style town the Tehran government has allowed a meetings, itinerant Islamic evangelism, and pure western reporter to witness one of his political theatre. barnstorming tours. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, at a speech in Iran last week, again called the Holocaust a "myth" that was promoted by Europeans. NYT DEC 20, 2005 October 27, 2005 Iran's New President Says Israel 'Must Be Wiped Off the Map' TEHRAN, Oct. 26 - Iran's new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, told a group of students at an anti-Israel event on Wednesday that Israel "must be wiped off the map" and that attacks by Palestinians would destroy it, the ISNA news agency reported. He was speaking to about 4,000 students at a program called "The World Without Zionism," in preparation for an annual anti-Israel demonstration held on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan. After casting his ballot, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad greeted supporters. The election has seemingly thrown Mr. Ahmadinejad onto the defensive Mir Hossein Mousavi, the opposition candidate, held his inked finger aloft after casting his vote. Opposition leaders said they expected a huge turnout, with many reformists who sat out the last vote in 2005 saying they will take part this time. Hundreds of voters waited outside one of the biggest polling stations in uptown Tehran, an indication of a high voter turnout in the early hours of the presidential election. Women voting at a Tehran mosque. Iranians went to the polls Friday after an unusually intense presidential campaign. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivered a speech after casting his vote. •Iran's tenth presidential election was held on 12 June 2009,with incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad running against three challengers. The next morning the Islamic Republic News Agency, Iran's official news agency, announced that with two-thirds of the votes counted, Ahmadinejad had won the election with 62% of the votes cast, and that Mir- Hossein Mousavi had received 34% of the votes cast. The European Union,the United Kingdom, the United States, and several western countries expressed concern over alleged irregularities during the vote, and many analysts and journalists from the United States, Europe and other western based media voiced doubts about the authenticity of the results.Meanwhile many OIC member states, as well as Russia, China, India, and Brazil, have congratulated Ahmadinejad on his victory. Mahmoud Mir-Hossein Nominee Ahmadinejad Mousavi Independent Party Abadgaran Reformist Popular vote 24,592,793 13,338,121 Percentage 64.22% 33.86% In a fourth day of mass protests, hundreds of thousands of Iranians flooded Imam Khomeini Square in Tehran. Many wore black to honor those protesters killed in the unrest since the Iranian authorities announced a landslide victory for the incumbent just hours after the polls closed on Friday. When the main opposition candidate, Mir Hussein Moussavi, appeared, cheers tore through the crowds. He stood on top of his car to be seen by the throngs. As the political tumult in the streets grew, the Iranian government imposed tough restrictions on foreign journalists, formally shutting down their ability to report on the unrest on the streets. Press credentials of journalists temporarily in the country to cover the election were revoked; journalists stationed in Iran were required to get explicit permission to report beyond the confines of their offices. Shadowy Iranian Vigilantes Vow Bolder Action Iranian vigilantes known as Basijis entered Tehran University on Sunday where students were protesting the election The scale of the protests have forced a few concessions, including Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's call for an inquiry into accusations of vote-tampering and the Guardian Council's offer to meet with opposition candidates. But many in Iran viewed the moves as the government's effort to buy time in the hopes of dampening the momentum of the opposition. In Iran, an Iron Cleric, Now Blinking June 17, 2009 Iran Agrees to Partial Recount of Disputed Ballots By NAZILA FATHI and Alan Cowell Iran’s TEHRAN — Less than 24 hours after the largest demonstrations here since the 1979 revolution and the reported deaths of seven protesters, Guardian Council said Tuesday it was prepared to order a recount of disputed ballots in Friday’s deeply divisive elections, but ruled out an annulment of the vote, according to state television and news reports. The announcement seemed to represent a further reluctant concession from the authorities following Monday’s decision by the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to conduct a formal review of the electoral process, which the opposition says was rigged. But it fell short of demands by the main opposition candidate, Mir Hussein Moussavi, and other opponents of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for the vote to be annulled so that a new election can be held. Mr. Moussavi has also said he does not trust the Guardian Council. The election results, announced Saturday, showed an overwhelming victory for Mr. Ahmadinejad, who was visiting Russia on Tuesday as the drama in Iran continued to unfold. Authorities Rule Iran Election ‘Healthy’ TEHRAN — As Iran’s leaders push back threats to their authority after the disputed presidential election, crushing street protests and pressing challengers to withdraw or to limit their objections, the country’s main electoral oversight group ruled Friday that the ballot had been the “healthiest” since the Islamic revolution in 1979. The statement by the 12-member Guardian Council, which is charged with overseeing and vetting elections, fell short of formal certification of the ballot. But it offered further evidence that, despite mass demonstrations and violent confrontation with those who call the election a fraud, the authorities are intent on enforcing their writ and denying their adversaries a voice. Recount Offer Fails to Quell Political Tumult in Iran Recount Offer Fails to Quell Supporters of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad held a rally in Valiasr Square in Tehran on Tuesday Political Tumult in Iran Photo: Getty Images The pledge from Iran's Guardian Council to recount some of the votes in Friday's election failed to calm protests. Thousands of Mr. Moussavi's supporters marched in Tehran. Iran’s Supreme Leader Warns Protesters Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivering his address Friday http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/20/world/middleeast/20iran.html?_r=1&ref=world Khamenei Vows Iran Will Not Yield ‘at Any Cost’ 6/25 The government announced on Tuesday its intention to certify the election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, center •December 28, 2009 •Police Are Said to Have Killed 10 in Iran Protests •By ROBERT F. WORTH and NAZILA FATHI •BEIRUT, Lebanon — Police officers in Iran opened fire into crowds of protesters on Sunday, killing at least 10 people, witnesses and opposition Web sites said, in a day of chaotic street battles that threatened to deepen the country’s civil unrest. •The protests, during the holiday commemorating the death of Imam Hussein, Shiite Islam’s holiest martyr, were the bloodiest and among the largest since the uprisings that followed the disputed presidential election last June, witnesses said. Hundreds of people were reported wounded in cities across the country, and the Tehran police said they had made 300 arrests. Iran MPs want death penalty for opposition leaders •Members of the Iranian parliament shout slogans calling for the execution of opposition leaders before the start of their session in Tehran February 15, 2011. — Reuters pic Relationship b/w President and Supreme Leader President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, left, and chief cleric Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Ahmadinejad, at Columbia, Parries and Puzzles Students and protesters gathering at Columbia University, where President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran spoke yesterday. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, right, at Columbia University Monday with John H. Coatsworth, discussion moderator and dean of the School of International and Public Affairs .
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