You are on page 1of 3

Sarah Lee Iran Section 4 Notes Representation and Participation - General electorate chooses the president as well as the

Assembly of Religious Experts who choose the leader. - Majles, the elected legislature, exercises considerable power. o “centerpiece of the Islamic Constitution” – Republic’s founding father - Khomeini declared: “this constitution, which the people will ratify, in no way contradicts democracy. Since people love the clergy… it is only right that supreme religious authority oversee the work of the [government] ministers to ensure that they don’t make mistake or go against the Qur’an.” The Legislature - Majles: represents the nation according the Constitution. o Enact or change laws (with approval of the GC) o Investigate and supervise all affairs of state o Approve or oust the cabinet ministers (except the president) through vote of no confidence. o Investigate cabinet members, affairs of state, public complaints against the executive and judiciary. o Withhold approval for government budgets, foreign loans, international treaties, and cabinet appointments. o Hold closed debates o Provide members with immunity from arrest o Regulate its own internal workings, especially the committee system. - Constitution uses qanun (statutes) instead of shari’a (divine law) o Accepts the rationale that God formulates the divine law but elected representatives can draw up statutes. o Qanun can be passed as long as the GC believes it is compatible with shari’a and the constitution. - Majles has 290 members and is elected by citizens of both gender >18 years old. - It can choose, six of the 12 man GC from a list made by the chief judge. Political Parties and the Party System - Law passed in 1980 permits Interior Ministry to issue licenses to political parties, but were not encouraged until Khatami (1997 administration) o Three important parties emerged  Islamic Iran Participation Front (Khatami’s supporters)  Servants of Reconstruction (Honjas al-Islam Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, former president and now chairman of Expediency Council)  Osulgarayan (Principalists) by Ahmadinejad o Two main clerical clusters  Conservative Association of Militant Clergy  Liberal Society of Militant Clergy

supported by Khatami’s Islamic Iran Participation Front and Rafsanjani’s Servants of Reconstruction. the main source of information for vast majority of the citizens.Constitution extends additional rights to recognized religious minorities o Jews. .  This purge was facilitated by Bush’s labeling of Iran as an “Axis of Evil” o Conservatives won a hollow victory  Voters turnout was less than 51%  Tehran: 28% o Worst showing since 1970. . .7 Majles (2004) o GC excluded 3. between men and women  Raised the marriage age for girls  Granted women scholarships to study aboard  Stipulated divorce courts could divide property equally  Colorful clothing  Ratified UN Convention on the Eliminate of Discrimination against Women.6th Majles o 100 reforms bills passed but vetoed by the GC.30 years after the revolution: 9 presidential elections. and Identity . Zoroastrians form just 1% but allocated 5 Majles seats. Political Culture.500 candidates (nearly 1/2. sat in 7th Majles) o 40 reformers managed to get elected. led b Ahmadinejad’s Principalists took 190 seats.Electoral freedom is restricted less heavy-handedly by the government-controlled radiotelevision network. Elections . the reform movement hopes that some time in the future a more flexible leader or GC will accept them.  Some contradicted shari’a  Eliminated legal distinction between Muslims and non-Muslims. many reformers) from running.- 700 organizations have received license to function but are nonpolitical profession associations.Shi’ism is the religion of both the state and vast majority of the population o Can also be described as the central component of Iranian’s popular culture. Citizenship.8th Majles (2008) o GC. o Other 60 seats went to the independents. but openly critical of the president’s highly populist rhetoric.000 potential candidates (leading reformers. . Christians. helped by the Interior Ministry. o Conservatives.  Even tried passed a bill stripping the GC of the authority to vet parliamentary and presidential candidates.  Almost all bills were overruled by the GC. 8 separate parliamentary elections. . 2 local council elections. removed 3. o The Interior Ministry can ban organizations and their newspapers if they don’t fully subscribe to the concept of velayat-efaqeh th .

the government of the Islamic Republic was extremely repressive. profession associations. .  Job security. no Sunni mosques in Tehran. o Closed down newspapers. . labor unions. Interests.  1979: Worker’s house  1999: Islamic Labor Party  1999: May Day rally o Factory workers – concerns deal with high unemployment. These generous promises are more in theory than in reality.  2002: thousands of student protested death sentences  2004: GC barred thousands of reformists from the elections but campus remained quiet. and political parties o Banned demonstrations and public meetings o Incarcerated tens and thousands without due process/tortured prisoners/executed 25. 13% general labor force. maternity leave.00 political prisoners. Social Movements. promotions. Vast majority of those executed in the 1980s were intellectuals. o 1/3 of Baha’is have left Iran o Sunni forms 9%.President Khatami’s reform movement drew much of its core support from these three social groups.  1999: 18 different campuses erupted into demonstrations against chief judge who closed down reformist newspapers.Arouse special resentment among three social groups o Modern middle – was secular and anticlerical ever since 1905 revolution. Form 54% of college students. lack of decent housing. and Protests . access to prestigious jobs. pay scales.The first two decades after its founding. o Forms 24% of population and not a big problem in Iran o Khamenei is an Azeris. Regime’s base among the Azeris is Shi’i but do not speak Persian. declining incomes. 45% doctors.- - 83% of the population understands Persian 50% continue to speak non-Persian languages at home. 25% government employees. o Educated women – harbor numerous grievances against the conservative clerics in the regime. Baha’is and Sunni population have gone through religious persecution. low wages. . and an unsatisfactory labor law.