Iran

Elizabeth Teach

Iranian Political Briefing Paper

Government Head
•    Chief of State = Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei1 since 19892
•    Head of State = President Mahmoud Ahmadi-nejad1 since 20053

Government Type
•    Islamic Republic: Consists of a constitution and three primary branches as follows4:
o    Executive:
•    Supreme Leader (Head of state)
•    President (head of government)
•    Council of ministers
•    Assembly of experts
•    Expediency council
•    Council of guardians
o    Legislative:
•    290-member Miles (National Assembly or Islamic Consultative Assembly)
o    Judicial
•    Supreme judiciary
   
Major allies
Middle East
o    Syria
o    Lebanon/Lebanese Hezbollah1
International
o    Russia and China5
o    India6
o    Venezuala7
o    North Korea8

Major International Organizations9
•    United Nations
•    Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)
•    SETSCO – Shanghai Cooperation Organisation
•    IAEA – International atomic Energy Agency
•    Economic Cooperation Organization
•    World Federation of Trade Unions
•    Colombo plan
•    “observer status” in the World Trade Organization

Three Major Current Political Issues
•    On October 26, Iran loaded their Bushehr nuclear reactor10 in opposition to the UN and respective countries.
o    Though Iran claims that the reactor is merely a source of energy supply for the country, there is no evidence that the country will not use it as a weapon in the future, especially since it has evaded necessary talks with the UN and has refused to answer questions from the International Atomic Energy Agency11.
•    UN and EU Sanctioning of Iran through prohibiting Iran from buying heavy weapons and banning any mutual energy investments12,13,14.
•    The US is realizing the ineffectiveness of this and is instead offering a stricter nuclear deal to Iran15
•    Conflict between Israel and Iran that could result in war.
o    Iran is pro-Palestine and anti-Israel
o    Israel feels threatened with Iran having control over nuclear warfare.16
o    War is a possibility, though not likely anytime soon.

Political Parties9
    * The Communist Party of Iran
    * Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan
    * Freedom Movement of Iran
    * Green Party of Iran
    * Iran National-Socialist Workers Party
    * Iranian People's Fadaee Guerrillas
    * Iranian Renaissance Movement
    * Jebhe Melli
    * Komala, Iranian Kurdistan
    * Labour Party
    * National Council of Resistance
    * National Council of Resistance, Foreign Affairs Committee
    * National Democratic Front
    * National Movement of Iranian Resistance
    * Organisation of Iranian People's Fedaian (Minority)
    * The Organisation of Iranian People's Fedaian (Majority)
    * Organisation of Iranian People's Fedaian Guerillas
    * Organisation of Revolutionary Workers of Iran
    * The Organization of Iranian People's Fedayee Guerrillas
    * PDK: Democratic party of Iranian Kurdistan
    * People's Mojahedin of Iran
    * Sarbedaran Union of Communists
    * Social Democratic Party of Iran
    * Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran (SMCCDI)
    * Supporters of National Council of Resistance of Iran
    * Tudeh Party of Iran
    * Worker-Communist Party of Iran
    * Worker-Communist Party of Iran - Hekmatist

Suffrage
•    Anyone above the age of 18 can vote14.
Military
•    1613 total main battle tanks in inventory17
•    312 combat aircraft
•    257 gulf naval ships
•    523,000 active military manpower
o    Navy = 18,000
o    Air defense = 12,000
o    Air = 30,000
o    Guard = 125,000
o    Army = 350,000
•    Manpower fit for military service:
o    Males age 16-49 = 17,844,536
o    Female: age 16-49 = 17,312,808

Recent Wars
•    No wars have been fought over the past 10 years14.

Time of Independence
•    In 1979 as a result of the Islamic Revolution, the removal of the Shah, and the formation of a constitution14.

Latest Constitution Revision
•    19894

Enemies/Conflicting Countries
•    Israel18
•    United States4
•    Saudi Arabia19

Relationship between religion and the government/public sector
•    Known as an Islamic Republic, Iran is governed by a mix of religious and political leaders who’s duties tend to overlap. The 1979 constitution established Shi’a Islam as Iran’s official religion.
•    There is no separation between church and state as seen in the US4.

Country’s State of Freedom in the Press, Assembly, and Speech.
•    Lack freedom of speech. The Iranian government warns, antagonizes, and arrests those they disagree with20.
•    The telecommunications are state-controlled and consequently, tv,  internet, and news is censored21



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