• 2009: President Ahmadinejad is re-elected.• Opposition claimed the election was rigged. • = Mass demonstrations in the streets. • Protesters beaten, tear gassed, shot and killed. • Mir Hossein Mousavi supporters clashed with Pro-Ahmadinejad supporters.
“Largest Protests since the 1979 Iranian Revolution”• http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_det ailpage&v=OznZcNb7ZVM• http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=5091194 n• http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2009/06/irans_d isputed_election.html Iran Stepping Up Effort to Quell Election Protest: Article
• Ahmadinejad received 62% of the popular vote, Mousavi received 33%.• Largest turnout every: 85% of eligible voters, 39 million voters.• 500 candidates filed for the election, 4 selected to run.
• Along with middle east uprisings, Iranians felt it was there time to push again for democracy.• Result=Protests, clashes, Iranians killed.• Millions flooded streets all across Iran during 2010 and 2011.• Social Media i.e. twitter; Internet and cellphones limited by government.• http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7350112n• http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/14/iran-protests- 2011-videos_n_823162.html#s240183&title=Iran_14_Feb
• Internal & External• Internal= how to combine theocracy with democracy and clerical authority with mass participation? – Conservatives gained upper hand but limited democracy. – Question: can Iran become a dominant world power without human rights abuses, rigged elections, and unregulated militant entities?
• Ways to take on internal challenge: – Flexibility – Liberalization – Greater scope of civil society – Public Participation= competitive elections *Strengthen the democracy not the theocracy.
• Internal & External• External= the United States – Bush: “Axis of Evil” – Challenge b/c American economic sanctions, lack of diplomatic relations, and ex-member of WTO. U.S. accuses Iran of helping terrorists (Hamas & Hezbollah). Questions over Weapons of Mass Destruction.
• Obama admin. accepted Iran’s right to enrich uranium.• Iran began to enrich uranium using new and faster methods; saying its for energy. – In 2011, IAEA report = Iran testing nuclear technologies. *2012 inspectors schedule to inspect Iran nuclear facility, however never allowed into country.
• U.S. uses economic sanctions: = made Iran more determined to get weapons.• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJsxmvv0zqw• Iran continues to develop (or has developed?) a nuclear weapon.• Israel threatens to attack/bomb Iran facilities with or without U.S.
• Iran was never formally colonized by the European imperial powers and has always been independent.• Iran gov. connects with its society through religion. – Shi’ism= national identity, “social and cultural cement” – Collective identity “strained by other internal fault lines”• Economy is largely undeveloped.• Development of democracy “constricted” by theocracy.
• Politics in Iran divided by question of how to govern an economy.• Economic problems, i.e. sharp rise in oil prices, could crash Iranian economy.• The themes and implications that brought the regime into power in 1979 have eroded and there is growing discontent and push for democracy.
• Iran= theocracy (clerics)/democracy; Islamic Republic of Iran• Executive=president Ahmadinejad, elected 4 yr. terms. Treaties/laws/agreements.• Legislature=Majles, unicameral, elected 4 yr. terms. Draft leg., ratify treaties, budget.• Supreme Leader=true ruler Ayatollah Khamenei. War, nominate off., bridge between branches of government.
• Assembly of Experts= 86, elected 8 yr. terms, oversee Supreme Leader.• Guardian Council=12, interpret const. resolve conflict.• Persian heritage. Farsi off. language.• 1979 Revolution, Hostage Crisis.• Iran=rentier state, economy=oil, mostly gov. controlled.• Protests= 1979, student, election, green movement.
• Cleavages= religion, inequalities, theocracy over democracy, market diversity, “Axis of Evil” and nuclear weapons, international relations, human rights.