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OP/ED: ATSNN Fact File: Iran

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posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 02:21 AM
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The simmering conflict orbiting Iran is rightly garnering ever increasing attention here on ATSNN. I believe, in the interest of balanced and informed discussion, that ATSNN could benefit from an ATSNN Fact File on the Islamic Republic of Iran. Here is my efforts, please feel free to add information as you wish.
 


Islamic Republic of Iran



Nestled in between Afghanistan and Iraq and comparable in size to Alaska.


Head of State: Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Hoseini-Khamenei

Term: June 4 1989 -

Rough International Equivalent: Spiritual leader with strong links to executive branch via theocracy.



Factoids:

- Close friend and confidant of the late Ayatollah Khomeini.
- Survived an attempted assassination in June 1981 when a bomb placed inside a tape recorder exploded at a press conference.
- Elected Iran's President in 1981. Re-elected in 1985 for a second term.
- First cleric to serve as Iranian President.
- Originally opposed to clerics taking office as President.
- Temporarily elected Supreme Leader, following the death of Khomeini, until the constitution was amended to allow a cleric of his lower rank to permanently take the office.
- He has two sons, Mojtaba and Mostafa.
- Ayatollah Khamenei issued a fatwa banning the creation and stockpile of nuclear weapons in Iran on August 9, 2005.


President: Mahmud Ahmadinejad

Term: 3 August 2005 -

Rough International Equivalent: Prime Minister (Great Britain), subservient to Head of State/Supreme Leader



Factoids:

- Son of a blacksmith.
- Joined the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps in 1986 during the Iran/Iraq war.
- Sixth President of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
- Previously the Mayor of Tehran, Iran's Capital city.
- Holds a degree in Civil Engineering and was a Professor at the Iran University of Science and Technology before becoming Mayor.
- Support for Ahmadinejad's Presidency was split between the City Council of Tehran who supported him, and the Parliamentary representatives of Tehran who supported Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf.
- Won the Presidency with 61.69% of the vote out of 28 million votes (59.6% turn out).
- Considered a populist politician.
- Was the only Presidential Candidate to speak out against engaging in relations with the United States.
- Upon taking office he instituted the Reza Love Fund, a $1.3 billion fund taken from the countries oil revenue, with the aim of helping young Iranians find jobs, get married and a home.
- Recently raised the ire of the International community over his comments regarding Israel.


Minister of Economy and Finance Affairs: Davoud Danesh-Jafari

Rough International Equivalent: Finance Minister

No picture

Factoids:

- Recently been in negotiations to expand economic and political ties with Sudan and Russia.
- With reference to increasing trade with Russia, Danesh-Jafari said "In the near future many of the formerly reached agreements such as the one on purchase of Russian aircraft by Iran will be reviewed,".
- Advocates increased Iranian assistance in rebuilding Afghanistan.
- Advocates the Iran-India-Pakistan gas pipeline as a means of securing bilateral relations and maintaining regional stability.


Minister for Defence and Logistics: Mostafa Mohammad Najjar

Rough International Equivalent: Defence Secretary



Factoids:

- Was a Commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.
- Was Director of Hadid Industrial Group, a military hardware manufacturing company that supplies the IRGC.
- Chairman of the executive board of Sasad Ammunition Producing Group in Tehran, Parchin, Isfahan, Khorasan and Yazd.
- Suspected of being involved in the 1983 suicide bombing in Beirut that killed 241 US servicemen.
- The suicide bombing was described in a US court as "the largest non-nuclear explosion that had ever been detonated on the face of the Earth”.


Minister of Foreign Affairs: Manouchehr Mottaki

Rough International Equivalent: Foreign secretary, Secretary of State (US)



Factoids:

- Accused the Western governments of trying to institute a "nuclear apartheid" by its efforts at denying Iran nuclear power.
- Undertook a tour of Middle East countries to sure up support for its nuclear programme. Countries included: Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Syria.
- Visited Ankara in December 2005 to reassure the Turks that Iran desires increased cooperation and increased relations with Turkey.
- During a recent visit to Sweden, Mottaki said "European states have provided the terrorists with freedom and facilities which is another example of western double standard".


Supervisor of Ministry of Petroleum: Kazem Vaziri-Hamaneh

Rough International Equivalent: Energy Minister



Factoids:

- Was Ahmadinejad's fourth nominee for the Ministry position.
- A ministry insider, Vaziri was a compromise choice for the President who viewed the ministry as run by "Mafia" who control the states vast oil revenues.
- Controls the industry that accounts for 80% of Iran's export revenue.
- Been apart of the oil industry for 30 years.
- Holds a Masters Degree in Governmental Management.
- Controls 12% of the Worlds Oil Reserves


Minister of Intelligence and Security: Gholamhossein Mohseni Ezhei

Rough International Equivalent: Home Secretary, National Security Advisor

No picture

Factoids:

- Considered a powerful Shiite Cleric
- Responsible for the deaths of thousands of political prisoners in 1988.
- Trusted confidant of Ayatollah Khamenei.
- Heads a ministry that is accused of funding terrorist organisations including Hezbollah.
- His cleric background made him eligible for the position of Minister for Intelligence and Security. The position can only be held by a cleric.
- Holds a Masters in International Law
- Once held the position of Head of the Prosecutor's Office for Economic Affairs.
- Was the prosecutor of the Special Court for Clerics from 1995-97.
- Was Prosecutor General of the Special Court for Clerics since 1996.


Governor of Central Bank: Ebrahim Sheibani

Rough International Equivalent: Governor of Central Bank, Federal Reserve Chairman (US)



Factoids:

- Head of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI)
- Announced that Iran's latest growth figures were five times that of the rest of the Persian Gulf states at 7.5%.
- Raised Iran's foreign currency fund to over $5 billion.
- Considers Iran's oil export revenue over the last 7 months to be "much beyond the expectations".
- Holds a PhD in Economics.
- Was a lecturer at the Faculty of Economics of Tehran University.
- Served as CBI deputy governor and secretary general for over 14 years before leading the Bank.


Composition of Government:


Supreme Leader

The Iranian Supreme Leader is the commander-in-chief of all the armed forces as well as the intelligence agencies. He has the sole authority to declare war. He also has the power to appoint leaders of the judiciary.


Parliament:

Known as the Majlis, the Iranian parliament is unicameral and is composed of one house. It consists of 290 representatives, which was increased from 270 following the 2000 election.


The Assembly of Experts:

An elected body of 86 "virtuous and learned" clerics who meet for one week annually. They are tasked with electing, or reconfirming the Supreme Leader. Candidates for this council are approved by the Council of Guardians.


Council of Guardians:

The Council of Guardians is comprised of 12 people, 6 of which are directly appointed by the Supreme Leader. The other 6 are nominated by the Head of the Judiciary, then are elected by parliament.

The Council of Guardians acts much like the U.S Supreme Court in that it rules whether laws passed by Parliament are in-line with the Islamic Constitution and Shariah Law. From this responsibility, the Council of Guardians can veto parliamentary laws. If the Council deems a law to not be in-line with Shariah it can refer the law back to Parliament for amendment.

The Council of Guardians also has the power to veto Presidential and Parliamentary candidates from running for office in elections.


The Expediency Council:

To mediate between Parliament and the Council of Guardians, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini created an advisory council called the Expediency Council. This council also advises the Supreme Leader, as well as both the Parliament and the Council of Guardians.


The Judiciary:

The head of the Iranian Judiciary is appointed by the Supreme Leader. The head of the Iranian Judiciary then appointed the Head of the Supreme Court and Chief Public Prosecutor.

There are two separate courts that exist in Iran. The first is the Public Court, it is more familiar in that it tries civil and criminal cases. The second is the Special Clerical Court which tries crimes alleged against Clerics. This court is only accountable to the Supreme Leader and its rulings are final.


Prime Minister:

The position of Iranian Prime Minister was abolished in 1989.


Jews In Iranian Government:

There have been a number of Jewish MPs in the Iranian Parliament. The Iranian government makes a clear distinction between Zionists and Jews. According to the late Ayatollah Khomeini:


"We distinguish between the Jewish community and the Zionists; the Jewish community and other communities which live in Iran belong to this nation and Islam treats them in the same manner which it treats others,"

Iranian Parliament Raps State Broadcasting For "insulting Iranian Jews"

Most recently, Jewish Iranian MP Maurice Mo'tamed rebuked the state-run broadcasting entity for portraying Iran's jews in an unfavourable light. MP Mo'tamed was backed in his claim by Iran's Parliament Speaker Gholamali Haddad Adel. He said "I noticed the same thing when the serials were being broadcast and I believe you are right. I will notify the IRIB (Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting) to respect the rights of religious minorities in its programs."


MP Maurice Mo'tamed

Iran is home to the largest Jewish Diaspora in the Middle East outside of Israel with the Jewish population numbering 25,000. Israel's current President, Moshe Katsav, is an Iranian-Jew.


Israeli President Moshe Katsav (Iranian born)


Israeli President Moshe Katsav next to Iranian President Khatami at Pope John Paul II's funeral


Tumultuous Early Presidencies:

Following the Islamic Revolution of Iran in 1979 the first elected President was Abolhassan Banisadr. He was impeached 17 months into his Presidency for not keeping quiet about Khomeini's secret plans to abolish political opposition in Iran and effect a dictatorship.


President Abolhassan Banisadr 1980-1981

After the impeachment of Banisadr, Mohammad Ali Rajai was elected President. Just 28 days after being elected to the Presidency he was assassinated. Whilst Prime Minister he had instituted a Cultural Revolution in Iran which sought to purge Iran's Universities of Western influences.


President Rajai August 2, 1981 - August 30, 1981

Former Iranian Political Figures


Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ruhollah Khomeini



Term: 1979 - 1989

Factoids:

- Arguably the most famous face in Iranian politics.
- Leader of the Islamic Revolution that deposed the ruling King.
- Officially addressed as "Imam" rather than "Ayatollah".
- Was Time magazines "Man of the Year" in 1979.
- A descendant of the Prophet Mohammad.
- After denouncing the Shah he was initially jailed then exiled in Turkey. Then he was moved to Iraq until he was forced to leave in 1978. After leaving Iraq he settled in France.
- Khomeini returned to Iran less than two weeks after the Shah fled.
- The most famous international incident involving Khomeini was the Iranian Embassy Hostage Crisis in which 63 American hostages were seized by Khomeini's followers. The hostages were taken in response to the United States refusal to hand over the Shah to Iran to answer for his crimes.


Former President: Mohammad Khatami



Term: 1997 - 2005

Factoid:

- Considered a moderate reformist
- Holds a Bachelors Degree of Western philosophy
- Was Chair of the Islamic Centre in Hamburg, Germany until the Islamic Revolution in Iran
- Before being President Khatami was representative in parliament from 1980 to 1982. Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance from 1982 to 1986. Was the head of the National Library of Iran up until his election as President.
- His moderate reformist policies often saw him at loggerheads with the conservative Iranian councils.
- Khatami lost most of his clashes with the hard-line conservative councils.
- Khatami's handshake with Israeli President Moshe Katsav at the Funeral of Pope John Paul II represented the first political contact between the two nations since they were severed in 1979.
- Speaks several languages including Persian, Arabic, English and German.


Former President: Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
Currently Chairman of the Expediency Council of Iran



Term: 1989 - 1997

Factoids:

- A Muslim cleric
- Considered one of the most influential political figures inside Iran.
- Lost his bid for a third term as President against Ahmadinejad.
- Has three sons Mohsen, Mehdi, and Yasser (named after Yasser Arafat) and two daughters Fatemeh and Faezeh.
- Was the first speaker of the Iranian Parliament following the Islamic Revolution.
- Was the first Iranian President to step down willingly.

Related News Links:
en.wikipedia.org
en.wikipedia.org
iranatom.ru
news.yahoo.com
payvand.com
wikipedia.org

[edit on 12/12/05 by subz]




posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 03:37 AM
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Good job



Originally posted by subz

Iran is home to the largest Jewish Diaspora in the Middle East outside of Israel with the Jewish population numbering 25,000. Israel's current President, Moshe Katsav, is an Iranian-Jew.


A little correction: in 2003 the Jewish population in Iran has been 11,000 - (1948 - Jewish population: 100,000)

I do not think the Jews have doubled up to 25,000 within the last 2 years in Iran




And one more to add: Israel’s Defense minister Shaul Mofaz is also Iranian-born (and many others flew from Iran during the last decades)



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 09:09 AM
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Originally posted by Riwka
A little correction: in 2003 the Jewish population in Iran has been 11,000 - (1948 - Jewish population: 100,000)

I do not think the Jews have doubled up to 25,000 within the last 2 years in Iran

I stand corrected, thanks



Originally posted by Riwka
And one more to add: Israel’s Defense minister Shaul Mofaz is also Iranian-born (and many others flew from Iran during the last decades)

Thats interesting, it just goes to show that its pretty much only political differences that combine to create the whole Iran/Israel conflict. It has nothing to do with religion, thankfully.

[edit on 12/12/05 by subz]



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 10:00 AM
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Another correction, The Presidents rough international equivalent would be the Prime Minister of France.



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 12:26 PM
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Originally posted by Nerdling
Another correction, The Presidents rough international equivalent would be the Prime Minister of France.

True, although the Queen of England still has great power if she chose to exercise it. Which means the Prime Minister is in charge but not the highest power in the land, so to speak. That's where I drew my parallel from, plus she is there for life like an Ayatollah.

Even so, would you mind editing it to reflect both yours and Riwka's corrections? I dont have the ability to edit it any more.



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 12:50 PM
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minor correction but important to know, there is no such thing as a persian language the toungue you want to refer to is called farsi.



posted on Dec, 13 2005 @ 07:51 AM
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It's still known to the West as Persian, its local name is Farsi. Much like we call Spain, "Spain" and not España.

As a side note Farsi is also known as Parsi, as an obvious derivative of Persia

[edit on 13/12/05 by subz]



posted on Dec, 16 2005 @ 02:46 PM
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actually your are wrong subz about what parsi is. Parsi are people who now live in India that can trace their roots back to the Persian empire. When Islam came into effect and virulently spread in the middle east/persia, some stayed and maintained their beliefs suffering abuse at the islamic leaders others left, huge numbers left for India were they were welcomed with open arms these people are called parsi they are Indians with roots to persia.

The primary religion of the parsi and those who they are traced back to is Zoroastrian.



posted on Dec, 16 2005 @ 02:55 PM
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Nice compilation, subz.
Should make a great addition to your other Fact Files.


Edit: Remember folks, after creating a topic or making a post, 'tag' the topic thread, if you have not already.






seekerof

[edit on 16-12-2005 by Seekerof]



posted on Dec, 16 2005 @ 11:42 PM
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Originally posted by Desolate Cancer
actually your are wrong subz about what parsi is. Parsi are people who now live in India that can trace their roots back to the Persian empire.

Parsi is for all intents and purposes a dialect of Farsi. That the people are known as Parsi should give you an indication that thats what their language would also be called. The English speak...English. The Germans speak....German. The French speak....French.

I know I asked for contributions and corrections but I've researched this to make sure I hadn't made a mistake. I am convinced after further reading that I was correct in what I said. If you want to post a piece on the actual language and its spread, by all means do.


Originally posted by Seekerof
Nice compilation, subz.
Should make a great addition to your other Fact Files.

Thanks Seekerof, im glad you liked it


[edit on 16/12/05 by subz]


Sep

posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 08:05 AM
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Originally posted by Desolate Cancer
actually your are wrong subz about what parsi is. Parsi are people who now live in India that can trace their roots back to the Persian empire. When Islam came into effect and virulently spread in the middle east/persia, some stayed and maintained their beliefs suffering abuse at the islamic leaders others left, huge numbers left for India were they were welcomed with open arms these people are called parsi they are Indians with roots to persia.

The primary religion of the parsi and those who they are traced back to is Zoroastrian.


The language spoken by the people in Iran was called Parsi before the Islamic conquest. The Greeks called it Persian, which was adopted by most western countries. After the Islamic invasions because there was no "P" letter in the Arabic language the "P"s were turned into "F"s. Therefore the name of the language became Farsi. It has been called that locally ever since. In English, both terms are correct, "Persian" being the more historically accepted one.



posted on Jan, 22 2006 @ 11:58 AM
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I think now is a good time to bump this thread. The power structure of Iranian politics is important in understanding how much weight Ahmadinejad's comments actually hold.

Since writing this ATSNN Fact File Ahmadinejad has had an attempt on his life and reports are growing of a major rift between the Rafsanjani-led moderates and the firebrand zealots for whom Ahmadinejad speaks for. The politic dynamics of Iranian politics are fluid and constantly vying for influence over the Majlis.

The conditions are more favourable for regime change through influence than they were following the aborted Kurdish uprising after the First Gulf War. I believe that any sanctions/military strike against Iran will only serve to galvanize public opinion against the pragmatic moderates such as Rafsanjani. He will be cut off at the knees and would have no chance to take office and carry out his reforms i.e engage the US and normalize relations.

We should allow the up swell of Iran's public outrage to topple this hardline government should the news of any Iranian nuclear weapon be announced. Perhaps Ahmadinejad is so hell bent in provoking an armed Western response because he knows he needs a galvanizing force exerted over the Iranian people for him to politically withstand acquiring nukes. Just a thought.



posted on Jan, 22 2006 @ 12:33 PM
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I've wondered a few times on here if that was Ahmadinejad's game.

The pressure for reform in Iran is increasing, driven by an increasingly youthful populace that wants nothing to do with the theocracy. However the threat of an outside attack tends to unify people, to make them overlook their own leadership's faults in favor of unity against an external threat - for example look at the first six months after 9/11, the divisions spurred by the 2000 election controversy were almost forgotten entirely. Ahmadinejad may be attempting to encourage an attack from the West in order to undercut the popular will for change - by unleashing a tide of nationalism in the wake of a US (or even better, Israeli) attack.



posted on Jan, 22 2006 @ 12:50 PM
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by subz
The conditions are more favourable for regime change through influence than they were following the aborted Kurdish uprising after the First Gulf War.

We should allow the up swell of Iran's public outrage to topple this hardline government should the news of any Iranian nuclear weapon be announced.


While this is a nice sentiment, I see little evidence of this up swell of outrage. Ahmadinejad was elected by 62 percent of 28 million votes. Can you help provide clear evidence for this?


A nice start for a fact file. I complement you on taking the time to compile it.



posted on Jan, 22 2006 @ 01:36 PM
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Originally posted by makeitso
While this is a nice sentiment, I see little evidence of this up swell of outrage. Ahmadinejad was elected by 62 percent of 28 million votes. Can you help provide clear evidence for this?


The Iranian Presidential election was a run-off between Rafsanjani and Ahmadinejad.


Presidential Election-Results
Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Tehran's Mayor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took the lead in the presidential race, and will hence head for run-off race on June 24th.

Based on unofficial figures, announced by the Elections Headquarters at Interior Ministry, out of about 26,850,000 votes counted throughout the country thus far on Saturday, Rafsanjani and Ahmadinejad have gained the highest number of votes.

The following table shows the latest vote count announced by the elections headquarters of the Interior Ministry Saturday afternoon:
1. Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani 6,010,829
2. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad 5,555,458
3. Mehdi Karroubi 5,039,431
4. Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf 4,009,620
5. Mostafa Moin 3,949,240
6. Ali Larijani 1,715,190
7. Mohsen Mehralizadeh 1,269,793
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will thus run the run-off race, based on the non-official tally.

Islamic Republic News Agency
As can be seem from the above figures Rafsanjani initially won more votes than Ahmadinejad. I would not be surprised at all if any vote rigging or tampering took place to ensure Ahmadinejad's election. Also please bare in mind that Ahmadinejad was the only candidate to run on a platform of not improving relations with the United States. Therefore it would be safe to assume that those who did not vote for Ahmadinejad in this initial election actually support the idea of improved relations with the United States.


Originally posted by makeitso
A nice start for a fact file. I complement you on taking the time to compile it.

Thank you, add to it as you wish. I am considering starting an ATSNN Fact File for Syria next.



posted on Jan, 22 2006 @ 02:26 PM
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From what I can glean from news reports, international affairs had little to do with the results of the Iranian election. Rafsanjani was seen as an "old guard" politician who had used his power to enrich himself and his allies. Ahmadinejad played at being an economic reformer who would do his best for Iran's poor and the "common man." He didn't run as an extremist but as a "man of the people"...

Despite all the handwringing here in the West, Ahmadinejad won on bread and butter issues, not bombs and bullets...



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