1979-1989 History of Iran since 2003

Islamic Republic, 1989-2003

Administration . Following the death of Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989, the hitherto rather ceremonial position of president developed into that of the head of state. Presidents are elected by popular vote; candidates are screened by the Council of Guards. The presidency was held by Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani from 1989 to 1997, by Mohammad Khatami from 1997 to 2005. In 1992 general elections for the Majlis were held, presidential elections in 1993.

Foreign Policy . Relations between the U.S. and Iran were strained; both countries to not have diplomatic relations with each other. Iran was similarily suspicious of the USSR, which had invaded Afghanistan in 1979, causing the influx of 3 million Afghan refugees.
The Gulf War with Iraq had ended in 1988; in 1989 Soviet forces were withdrawn from Afghanistan. In 1990 Iraqi forces suddenly occupied Kuwait, from where they were expelled by a U.S.-led international coalition (Operation Desert Storm) in 1991; Iran criticized the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait, but took a neutral position during the conflict. During Operation Desert Storm, the remnant of Iraq's air force, to avoid complete destruction, flew into Iranian territory. In 1991 Iran and the Gulf Cooperation Council agreed to improve relations (BBoY 1992).
In Afghanistan the civil war continued, after the Soviets withdrew in 1989 and after the Communist regime fell in 1992. Iran has supported certain belligerents. In the conflict in Lebanon, settled in 1991, Iran supported Hezbollah.
In 1995 the US imposed sanctions on Iran because of the country's alleged policy to support terrorism.
Diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom, suspended in 1989 over the Salman Rushdie affair, were resumed in 1990 (BBoY 1991).

The Economy . Low oil prices (the first oil crisis ended in 1981) meant a significant reduction of Iran's oil revenue. The Gulf War of 1980 to 1988 had caused severe damage; in 1990 Iran suffered from 30 % inflation, a chronic shortage of foreign exchange, a depreciating currency, lack of sustained investment, a decline in real standard of living (BBoY 1991). A new Five Year Development Plan was launched in 1990, but faltered. Economic growth picked up temporarily; Iran continued to experience inflation and currency depreciation. In 1994 another attempt to launch a Five Year Development Plan was made (BBoY 1995).
In 1989, Iran produced 140.4 million metric tons of crude petroleum, in 1998 184.7 million (IHS p.364).
In 1989, Iran produced 6.0 million metric tons of wheat, in 1998 11.9 million (IHS p.199).

Social History . The census of 1986 established a population of 49.4 million; the poulation in 2000 was estimated at 65.6 million.
An earthquake in 1990 affected the provinces of Gilan and Zanjan, causing an estimated 45,000 deaths (BBoY 1991).

Timeline Iran, from BBC News The Iran Embassy Assault 1980, from Britain's Small Wars
DOCUMENTS Estimates of Victims of Iran State Suppression since 1979, posted by Matthew White, scroll down for Iran
Iranian Statesmen, from World Statesmen (B. Cahoon)
Historical Population Statistics : Iran, from Population Statistics (J. Lahmeyer)
REFERENCE IHS : International Historical Statistics : Africa, Asia & Oceania 1750-2000, edited by B.R. Mitchell, Basingstoke : Palgrave MacMillan 4th ed. 2003
Article : Iran, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1989 pp.409-410, 623, 1990 pp.427-428, 638, 1991 pp.407, 623, 1992 pp.380-381, 622, 1993 pp.383-384, 630, 1994 pp.382-383, 631, 1995 pp.421-422, 631, 1996 pp.419-420, 631, 1997 pp.432-433, 629, 2002 pp.442, 633 [G]
Article : Iran, in : Statesman's Yearbook 1989-1990 pp.706-711, 1990-1991 pp.708-713, 1991-1992 pp.706-711, 1992-1993 pp.780-786, 1993-1994 pp.778-783, 1994-1995 pp.771-776, 1995-1996 pp.767-772, 1996-1997 pp.709-714, 1997-1998 pp.716-721, 1998-1999 pp.767-773, 2000 pp.882-889, 2001 pp.859-866, 2002 pp.895-902, 2003 pp.896-903 [G]
Entry : Travel Warnings - Iran, pp.510-513 in : Countries of the World and their Leaders Yearbook, 2000, Supplement [G]
Entry : Islamic Republic of Iran, Cabinet, pp.49-50; Background Notes, pp.702-707, in : Countries of the World and their Leaders Yearbook, 2003 [G]
Entry : Iran, I.R. of, pp.568-571 in : IMF, International Financial Statistics Yearbook 2001 [G]
Article : Iran, in : Americana Annual 1989 pp.288-291, 1990 pp.282-284, 1992 pp.290-291, 1993 pp.290-292, 1994 pp.288-289, 1998 pp.282-284 [G]
Article : Iran, in : Yearbook on International Communist Affairs 1980 pp.409-412 (James A. Bill) [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on May 28th 2002, last revised on May 22nd 2007

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