Iranian Political Briefing Paper
• Chief of State = Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei1 since 19892
• Head of State = President Mahmoud Ahmadi-nejad1 since 20053
• Islamic Republic: Consists of a constitution and three primary branches as follows4:
• Supreme Leader (Head of state)
• President (head of government)
• Council of ministers
• Assembly of experts
• Expediency council
• Council of guardians
• 290-member Miles (National Assembly or Islamic Consultative Assembly)
• Supreme judiciary
o Lebanon/Lebanese Hezbollah1
o Russia and China5
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.
* 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
• Anyone above the age of 18 can vote14.
• 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
• 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
• 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