1989-2003 History of Iran






Islamic Republic, since 2003


Administration . From 1997 to 2005, Mohammad Khatami was president. In 2005, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected as his successor. While elections in Iran are free and open, candidates are screened by the Council of Guardians.

Foreign Policy . Relations between Saddam Hussein's Iraq and the Islamic Republic of Iran had been characterized by the Iraqi invasion of 1980, the Gulf War between Iraq and Iran 1980-1988 and by Saddam Hussein's brutal suppression of the Iraqi Shiite uprising of 1991. When the US-led Coalition of the Willing invaded Iraq in March 2003, Iran officially adopted a neutral position.
Relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the U.S.A. were strained since the establishment of the former in 1979. Both nations do not have diplomatic relations since the Teheran hostage crisis of 1979-1981; U.S. President Bush included Iran in the "axis of evil" (2002), a list of countries suspected of developing the nuclear bomb. Iran mistrusts the U.S. for the demonstrations which led to the ousture of Iranian PM Mossadegh in 1953, which were CIA-orchestrated, for the strong U.S. support for the hated Pahlevi regime 1953-1979, for an attempt to liberate the hostages held in the U.S. embassy in 1980, for the downing of an Iranian passenger airplane in 1988, not to mention the U.S.' long-standing support of Israel.
Contrary to expectations, the Coalition of the Willing, occupying Iraq since 2003, found it extremely difficult to establish a functioning democratic administration in the country, which drifted toward partition into ethnic (Kurds) and religious (Shia, Sunni) factions. Recently, Iran has been accused of supporting the Shia factions with arms and training. Early in 2007 the Iranian navy captured the crew of a British vessel accused of illegally entering Iranian waters, a matter which ld to a heated exchange between the governments of both nations.
Iran recently did not fully cooperate with IAEA inspectors, and thus was referred to the UN Security Council, which again is hesitant in implementing sanctions.
The Islamic Republic of Iran, since its creation in 1979, has been hostile to the State of Israel, and is, together with Syria, accused of supporting the Hezbollah (Lebanon) and Hamas ( Palestine) with money and arms.

Domestic Policy . Iran is one of the best functioning democracies in the region, a constitutionally governed state. Democratic liberties are limited by institutions safeguarding the Islamic character of the republic. In consequence, western media emphasize the conflict between reformers and conservatives within the system, which seems to oscillate between opening up and emphasizing restrictive regulations. In 2003 female Iranian lawyer Shirin Ebadi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, for her effort in fighting for the cause of women in Iranian courts. Her story can be regarded proof both for discrimination of the system against women, and for Iran to be a functioning, constitutionally governed state.

The Economy . The rise in oil prices following the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 was favourable for Iran, an oil-exporting nation. Aware of the fact that oil supplies will run out ome time in the future, Iran presses hard to develop nuclear power stations.

Social History . In 2000, the population of Iran was estimated at 65.6 million. In December 2003, an earthquake destroyed the city of Bam, killing 26,171.






EXTERNAL
FILES
Timeline Iran, from BBC News
Articles Axis of Evil, History of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Shirin Ebadi, Nuclear Program of Iran, Bam 2003 earthquake, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, from Wikipedia
Iran Profile. Nuclear Chronology 1957-1985, from NTI
DOCUMENTS Iranian Statesmen, from World Statesmen (B. Cahoon)
Historical Population Statistics : Iran, from Population Statistics (J. Lahmeyer)
REFERENCE Article : Iran, in : Statesman's Yearbook 2004 pp.901-908, 2005 pp.904-911, 2006 pp.899-907 [G]
Article : Iran, in : Americana Annual 2006 pp.210-211 [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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