Archive for the ‘Iranian Politics’ Category

Iranian Political Hierarchy

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

This BBC article outlines the power hierarchy in Iran and the responsibilities attributed to each role.

The most powerful leader in Iran is the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei. He appoints the head of the judiciary and half of the Guardian Council, the commanders of the armed forces and confirms the president’s election. The power of the Supreme Leader is checked by the Assembly of Experts. The Assembly of Experts monitors the Supreme Leader’s actions and can remove him if they feel he is not performing his duties. There are 86 members in the Assembly of Experts and their elections are held every 8 years.

The president is listed as the second-highest ranking official in Iran and is elected every four years. The authority held by the president is secondary to that of the Supreme Leader and it is the Supreme Leader who controls the armed forces and makes decisions on foreign policy and security issues.

This article also looks at the Guardian Council, which is headed by Ayatollah Jannati, the armed forces, the parliament, and Ayatollah Shahrudi, who is the Iranian Head of Judiciary.


The Iranian-American Relationship from 1923 until Today

Sunday, April 15th, 2012

This New York Times article traces the evolution of the relationship between Iran and the United States from 1923 until today. This article emphasizes the nuclear program in Iran and the United States’ involvement with this program. Here is a summary of the article, beginning in 1923.

 In 1923, a man named Arthur Millspaugh went to Iran from the United States. He was an economic advisor who was sent to help Iran, a country that was seen as “hampered by administrative inefficiency.” He left Iran in 1928. Flash forward 30 years to 1953 and the United States becomes involved with the coup d’etat of Mohammad Mossadegh. This leads to the first real intervention of the United States in Iranian affairs and is often cited as the root to many of the areas of contention between the two nations today. This coup got ride of Prime Minister Mossadegh and placed the Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, into power. In 1957, Iran and the United States join in on a deal, titled, Iran-United States Agreement for Cooperation Concerning Civil Uses of Atomic Energy as part of President Eisenhower’s Atoms for Peace program. Under this plan the United States gave Iran uranium. Later, in 1968, Iran signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Throughout the Shah’s rule, he receives praise from different American presidents, from Kennedy to Carter, who view him in a positive light for upholding Iran in an unstable neighborhood.

 After the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran undergoes many changes, and naturally, so to does its nuclear program and its relationship with the United States. In February 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini returns from exile and immediately calls for an end to all foreign invasion in Iran. This leads to the removal of 1,350 Americans from Iran. In November of that same year, militants also known as “students” occupy the American Embassy in Tehran and hold the hostages captive for 444 days. The students held these Americans captive in demanding for the Shah to return from the United States to Iran to face trial. On July 27, 1980, the Shah passes away in Egypt.

 September 21, 1980 is the beginning of the Iran-Iraq War, which begins with Iraq’s invading of Iran. A major area of Iran that experiences a large amount of conflict is the Shatt al-Arab waterway. This war occupies much of the mindset of Iran for the next eight years. The war ends on July 18, 1988 after both Iran and Iraq agree to a cease-fire (United Nations Security Council Resolution 598). An estimated 1 million people are dead as a result of the war.

 In 1987, Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program, is reported to have shared his research with Iran and other countries such as North Korea and Libya. Iran and Russia go on to sign a nuclear contract in 1995 calling for the development of a nuclear power plant in Bushehr. As a result of Iran’s nuclear aspirations, President Clinton issues sanctions against all companies with investments in Iran in 1996 as part of his initiative to stop the spread of terrorism. In August 2002, the Muhajeddin (M.E.K.) release pictures of a uranium enrichment plant and a heavy water plant. After accusations from the United States, Iran agrees to an inspection from the Atomic Energy Authority.

 In 2004, Iran agreed to halt its nuclear program. However, in 2006, the United Nations Security Council issued sanctions to curb the nuclear program. And in 2009, President Obama calls for international inspections in Iran. In 2010, the United States agreed to more sanctions issued against Iran’s nuclear program. The sanctions are intended to hinder military purchases and financial transactions carried out by the Revolutionary Guards Corp. The bombing on January 11, 2012, that killed Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, a supervisor at the Natanz nuclear plant, leads to more friction between the United States and Iran as the United States and Israel are blamed for this attack.

Iran Military News

Friday, April 13th, 2012

Here are two articles posted by the BBC about the Iranian Military. The first article entitled Iran

Man Charged with Terror for Norway Massacre

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Anders Breivik was indicted this week on terror charges for massacring 77 people. However due to his mental state he will not be spending time in a prison and will be attending psychiatric care instead. Link

Diplomacy, not war: New Iran nuclear talks seen

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Efforts to talk with Iran over nuclear issues are increasing. With fears of war starting over the nuclear issue in Iran, U.S and other “power houses” are looking to sit down with Iranian leaders to dicuss ways to prevent any fighting. Link.


Hamas would stay out of any Israel-Iran fighting

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Here is an interesting article posted about Hamas’ relation with Iran. Hamas a known rival of Israel says they would not help Iran if a war started. Link.