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IRAN. Allison Donahue & Ben Vila. Before we begin…. What are your perceptions of Iran? Its leaders? The culture? What are your perceptions of the Islam religion?. Overarching Principles. Theocracy Ancient Persia - political and religious leaders one and the same

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  1. IRAN

    Allison Donahue & Ben Vila
  2. Before we begin… What are your perceptions of Iran? Its leaders? The culture? What are your perceptions of the Islam religion?
  3. Overarching Principles Theocracy Ancient Persia - political and religious leaders one and the same Islam, Sharia law, Supreme Leader, Shiism Styles of Leadership Importance of a charismatic leader Secularization conservatives vs. reformists; modernization vs. tradition Nationalism Strong Persian identity, strong Iranian nationalism, Shiism Isolationism - political, geographic, economic Authoritarianism but not totalitarianism Authoritarian: decisions made by political elites without input from the citizens. Usually has a single leader or a small group of leaders. Control over economy. Restrictions on civil rights and civil liberties Totalitarianism: repressive regime that generally has a strong ideological goal and strives to control all or most aspects of ordinary citizens’ lives Legitimacy Shiism, Iranian nationalism, tradition, history of authoritarianism Civil Unrest Youth movements, unemployment, poverty, education, growing middle class, western influences
  4. Ancient History Prophet Zoroaster created one of the world’s first monotheistic religions, taking root in Iran Cyrus the Great, 550 BC, began to establish the Achaemenian Empire, further expand by Darius and Xerxes after he died 332 BC, Alexander the Great defeats the Persians Parthians established rule after Alexander died tribal fighting  Ardeshir establishes the Sassanian dynasty Last of the Sassanian shahs, Khosrow I, took power in 560 AD
  5. Ancient History Continued New religion, Islam, fans out across Arab Penisula, 632 AD 638 AD, Arabs conquer Persia and introduce Islam 1219 AD Mongols invade 1501 AD SafavidDynasty, followed by the Qajar dynasty 1896 AD- Nasir-ed-Din Shah was assassinated
  6. Religion Sharia- Muslim law Prophet Muhammad died in 632 without a successor, splitting Muslims into 2 groups Sunnis-felt that prominent leaders should choose new leader based on merit Shiites- believed leadership is passed down through Muhammad's ancestors, thought Muhammad had designated his cousin, Ali Muhammad, to be his successor Most Muslims are Sunnis that make up the majority of the population of every Muslim country except Iran
  7. Current Political Structure http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/middle_east/03/iran_power/html/electorate.stm Positions of Power 1. Supreme Leader 2. The Guardian Council 3. Assembly of Religious Experts 4. Expediency Council 5. President 6.Cabinet 7.The Majlis 8. Chief Justice 9. The Military Known as the Jurist’s Guardianship
  8. Early 20th Century Constitutional Revolution: 1905-1911. Economic and political power of Iran diminished in 19th century because not unified, not industrial, not modernized. Never colonized. Business owners, bankers, and industrialists learned about the British system from foreigners. Wanted: Written constitution with bill of rights Codified legal system Economic reforms Stronger and modernized military Constitution of 1906: direct elections, separation of powers, elected legislature (Majlis), popular sovereignty, bill of rights
  9. Early 20th Century Widespread dissatisfaction with the government. Poor economy. Low standard of living. Factionalism within the government - weak. 1921 - Colonel Reza Khan coup d’etat 1925 - Khan crowns himself shah (or king) of Iran. Creates the Pahlavi dynasty. Meaning of name?1935 � changes name of country from Persia to Iran - traditional name. Aryan tribe. Nationalism. 1941 - Reza Khan forced to abdicate during WWII. His son, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, became next shah. White Revolution: WWII to 1979. Centralization and consolidation of power. Land reform - large farms redistributed at low cost to poor farmers. S Social reform - women’s rights expanded (voting, clothing restrictions, work, education, polygamy) Legacy of Pahlavi shahs: Modernization - infrastructure, factories, education secularized, military upgraded Highly centralized state - control over government, economy, media, military Power of Majlis diminished - “rubber-stamp legislature”
  10. Early 20th Century Mid 20th century - Russia carves out parts of North, British carve out South, left Iran with the middle, no cities, no economy Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) had monopoly (…later became BP!) Mohammad Mossadeq- leader of the “National Front” - political coalition that stressed Iranian nationalism, anti-foreigner control (economy/colonialism), nationalization of oil resources. Elected Prime Minister 1951 - kicked British employees of AIOC out of country Power struggles with shah Granted emergency powers, #12 “et cetera” Loses support from clerics, communists, Majlis. Shah asks him to resign - refuses American intervention - Iranian military coup against Mossadeq government with major help from CIA, fighting breaks out, turmoil, unrest (300 killed). Shah flees. CIA pays thugs - overthrows government. Arrests Mossadeq. Shah returns. Shah: constitutional monarch ---> totalitarian dictator??
  11. Late 20th Century Growing unrest (again): Shah perceived as totalitarian Too much secularization too fast - clerics upset Reforms were illusions: disconnected to people, bad economy, poverty Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini: “All of Islam is politics.” Charismatic leader. Conservative, traditional. White Revolution too far. Anti-US, anti-West, anti-shah. Exiled to Paris. Tapes disseminated illegally - underground following. Islamic fundamentalism: literal interpretation of the Koran. Wanted Sharia law - traditional punishments. Restrictions on clothing, diet, morals, sexuality Jurist’s Guardianship:“velayat-e-faqih” clergy have responsibility over “unfortunate peoples” of society. Philosophically expanded by Khomeini - gives clergy authority over entire Shia community
  12. Islamic Revolution of 1979 1978 - anti regime protests put down by shah. Numbers swelled to 2 million. Turmoil, civil unrest February 1979 - shah flees the country, Khomeini returns from exile February 11, 1979 - “This is the voice of Iran, the voice of the true Iran, the voice of the Islamic Revolution” - national radio. Islamic Republic of Iran formally created. Khomeini becomes Supreme Leader: head of all Iranian political institutions - chief of state, head of religion and government New constitution - broad authority/powers to Supreme Leader and senior clergy Cultural Revolution - purify country of Western influence, return to traditional society. Liberal professors replaced with conservatives. Opposition violently suppressed - arrests, beatings, executions. Similar to Mao in China “cult of personality” http://abcnews.go.com/Archives/video/feb-1979-ayatollah-khomeini-returns-12769714
  13. Recent Changes in Leadership 1989 - Khomeini dies, replaced by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: still Supreme Leader today. Lacks charismatic personality and following that Khomeini had. Muhammad Khatami- president from 1997-2005. Moderate pragmatist. Strengthen civil society. “Tehran Spring” - hopes that restrictions on media, economy, international relations would be relaxed Reform efforts hampered by conservatives and clerical leadership MahmoudAhmadinejad- president since 2005. Conservative, anti-west, anti-US, anti-Israel. Renewed crackdowns on opposition. Wave of conservatives being elected into office - Guardian Council must approve all candidates - rejects anyone “too radical” (basically all reformist candidates)
  14. A History of Political Unrest - Revolutions, Protests, Crackdowns, and Human Rights Abuses History of dissent and uprisings - 1905 constitutional revolution, 1921 Pahlavi coup, 1953 CIA overthrows Mossadeq, 1979 Islamic Revolution Recent protests in the name of reform have been violently put down. Government shuts down newspapers, labor unions, private organizations, political parties 1999 - university students and others protest the governments shutting down of a reformist newspaper 2002 - similar student demonstrations after courts gave death sentence to a reformist academic 2003 - student protests when university system privatized. Draws people from working class youth frustrated with unemployment and factory workers fed up with government January 2007 - security forces attacked bus drivers on strike in Tehran March 2007 - police beat hundreds of men and women during a rally commemorating International Women’s Day Half of all Iranians today were born after the Islamic Revolution of 1979 - how will this generation effect the future of Iran?
  15. Current Issues- Nuclear Weapons 1990s- efforts to build start up again 2002- an exile group obtained documents revealing a clandestine program 2003- Gov’t of Mohammad Khatami agrees to suspend enrichment and allow more thorough investigations Aug, 2005- IAEA meets in Vienna with Ayatollah Khameni, issues a fatwa Jan, 2006- under gov’t of Ahmadinejad, Iran announces it would resume the enrichment program Dec2006, UNSC files sanctions Dec 2007, National Intelligence Estimate report concluded that the weapons portion of the Iranian nuclear program remained on hold Sept 2009- Iran sits down with UNSC and agreed to export most of its uranium for enriching, raises tumult in Iran, with conservatives arguing the West could not be trusted to return the Uranium mid 2009- Stuxnet Worm supposedly released and has destroyed 1/5 of Iran's nuclear centrifuges Oct 2009- Iran says it rejects deal 2009- secret enrichment plant discovered in the holy city of Qom Feb 2010- Iran announces it would begin to enrich its stockpile of uranium, angers Israel May 2010- Turkey, Brazil and Iran reach agreements for exporting the Uranium, followed by Sanctions from the US, Russia and China June 2010-UNSC makes 4th rounds of sanctions, US increases theirs Dec 2010- Geneva meeting, no new progress Feb 2011- Iran announces major setbacks at Nuclear Power Plant
  16. Nuclear Weapons Iran, with Russian assistance, has been developing a nuclear program, which Iran insists is for development of nuclear energy, not weapons, which the US Bush Administration has maintained The goal in developing a nuclear program is to generate electricity without dipping into the oil supply it prefers to sell abroad, and to provide fuel for medical reactors Heavy skepticism on both ends due to Bush administration’s false WMD claims, and Iran’s “suspicious” behavior http://video.nytimes.com/video/2009/09/28/world/1247464871808/iran-test-fires-more-missiles.html?ref=iran What do you think will happen in the future with Iran’s Nuclear program? Do you think the government is sincere in saying that the nuclear development is “peaceful”? What is the appropriate action to take as Iran ignores the UNSC? Do you see Iran as a threat?
  17. 2009 Election Chaos June 12, 2009 - presidential elections. Incumbent Ahmadinejad (conservative) and Mir-HosseinMousavi (moderate reformist) Ahmadinejad drew support from urban poor and rural populations Mousavi drew support from middle and upper class, intellectuals Allegations of election fraud Independent public opinion polls showed that Mousavi won. Gave an acceptance speech at 11pm that night. Next morning, state media reports that Ahmadinejad won with 63% of vote against Mousavi’s 34%. “Green Movement” - protestors in support of Mousavi poured into the streets, demonstrations last for several days. Biggest public demonstrations since 1979 Islamic Revolution Government sent in Revolutionary Guard troops and Basij (militia) to stop the protests. Used batons, teargas. Hundreds of opposition leaders arrested. Tough restrictions on media and foreign press coverage. Journalists detained. Cellphone reception disabled so protestors couldn’t communicate and organize.
  18. Timeline of Post-Election Events June 13-15, 2009 - mass protests, clashes with riot police, violence June 16 - Guardian Council supports a partial recount. Opposition refuses concessions calling for another election entirely June 17 - tens of thousands of protestors fill the streets again. Some members of Iranian national soccer team wear green wristbands in support of the protestors. These members were later kicked off the team and banned for life. June 19 - Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei ends all dialogue with opposition, claims that the election was the most fair since the Revolution in 1979. Guardian Council begins an official investigation nevertheless. June 20 - video of a 22-year-old woman named NedaAghaSoltan surfaces on the internet showing her as she dies after being shot in the chest by riot police. This disturbing image shocks protestors and the rest of the world. She becomes an icon that protestors rally around. Numbers of protestors increases. June 29 - Guardian Council certifies election results. Hundreds of journalists have been jailed at this point. July 4 - The Association of Researchers and Teachers of Qom, an important group of clerical leaders call the new government illegitimate. Other clerics say the new government is unfit to rule the country. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/06/25/world/middleeast/20090625-iranelection-timeline.html?ref=iran
  19. Pro-Democracy Demonstrations in Response to Tunisia/Egypt, 2011 Largest uprising since 2009 Information unclear since government restrictions on media coverage but estimated that 20,000-30,000 protestors took to the streets in several cities despite government warnings not to. Demonstrating in support of revolutions in Tunisia that toppled Ben Ali and in Egypt that toppled Hosni Mubarak - pro-democracy in the Arab world. Irony and embarrassment - Iranian government issued statements applauding the same revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt claiming that they were triumphs for the popular support of Islam and continuations of the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Mousavi and MehdiKarroubi, two main opposition leaders in Iran, arrested out fear that they would lead a similar pro-democracy uprising in Iran. Members of Parliament erupt into shouting and call for them both to be executed. No trials yet because don’t want to cause further unrest.
  20. …continued… Iranian youth groups have called for a series of demonstrations every Tuesday leading up to the Iranian new year toward the end of March. March 1 protest expresses support for the two men Anti-government protesters gathered throughout parts of Iran, most concentrated in the capital Tehran, to mark the deaths of two men killed during demonstrations The government had major security presence with the police making arrests and using tear gas The government, however, appeared to restrict the opposition’s online presence, Mr. Karroubi’s Web site was shut down for a time. Reports that the Internet was working very slowly, cellphoneservice was shut down in areas of demonstration and that satellite television, including Persian BBC, was jammed. The clashes erupted at Tehran University during the funeral of SaaneZhaleh, one of two students reported killed during protests
  21. Discussion Questions Is your perception/idea of Iran different now? Given the political transitions we’ve seen Iran and in other countries we’ve studied, what do you predict will happen to Iran’s political structure within 10 years? 20 years? Future? Do you think that the conservative religious elite will be able to maintain power when the next generation of young Iranians grows up? How is Iran and the conflicts it’s faced similar to other countries we’ve studied? How is Iran different that other countries we’ve studied? Is it possible to have a democratic theocracy? Or are they totally contradictory ideas? How do you think the events in Tunisia, Egypt, and now Libya will effect Iran? As an Iranian youth, how would you be able to reconcile progress and development and religion? How important do you think the role of the internet and social media (Facebook, twitter, youtube) was on the 2009 elections? What role will it play in future conflicts?
  22. Bibliography http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/06/25/world/middleeast/20090625-iranelection-timeline.html?ref=iran http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/15/world/middleeast/15iran.html http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/middle_east/03/iran_power/html/electorate.stm http://www.globalissues.org/article/696/iran http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/01/world/middleeast/01iran.html?ref=iran http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/16/world/middleeast/16iran.html http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/17/world/middleeast/17iran.html?pagewanted=2&ref=iran Government and Politics in Iran PACKET AP COMP GOV TEXTBOOK
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