During the last week, there have been a number of news reports on the Iranian president’s decision to re-impose sanctions on Iraq. This has raised questions on whether a new strategy will be employed to bring down Iraq. Moreover, there is speculation that the Islamic republic of Iran will be able to produce nuclear fuel again.
During the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini played a significant role in overthrowing the Shah. His success galvanized Islamist movements across the Muslim world. He was acclaimed as a great religious leader.
The Islamic Revolution’s ideology viewed Israel as illegitimate and oppressive. It also opposed Western imperialism. Its anti-imperialist vision was highly influenced by the Algerian war of independence and the Cuban Revolution. Its goals included pan-Islamism and justice.
The Iranian state is governed by an elite clerical class that is trained in Islamic jurisprudence. All Iranian leaders claim that they have been given a mandate from God to impose an Islamic order on the nation.
Iran’s constitution is a testament to the country’s commitment to Islamic governance. It states that “God retains exclusive sovereignty over the country,” that “God alone is the source of authority,” and that the government will be based on Islamic principles.
The Iranian state is largely a Shia-majority country. Its leadership consists of two supreme leaders: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Ayatollah Hassan Rouhani.
The Islamic Republic is led by an elite clerical class that has taken over the formulation of governmental policy. They are supported by armed mosque-oriented gangs that have consolidated their hold on the state. They have achieved their objectives through bloodshed and insurgency.
Khomeini’s ideology, however, cannot be detached from the Iranian state. His narrative suggests an irreconcilable clash between civilizations. It divides the population into those who are oppressed and those who are oppressors. It also emphasizes the need for Islamic purity.
Khomeini’s ideology was heavily influenced by anti-imperialist protest movements in the developing nations of the post-Second World War era. It is a form of Marxist post-colonial reading of Iranian history.
Using social media in Iran is a complicated affair. The Iranian government often curtails internet access to prevent people from gaining reliable information. This limits people’s ability to gather support and participate in protests. In turn, the regime benefits from the potential of social media.
Despite these restrictions, Iranians continue to use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Some users also join forums and exchange opinions. The number of new accounts created each month is relatively low, but the number of accounts associated with specific hashtags used in protests is much higher.
In January of this year, a parliamentary committee approved a controversial bill that would restrict access to various apps, websites and platforms. Known as the Siyanat bill, the authors do not want Iranians to have meaningful interactions with one another over the internet.
The most popular social media platform in Iran is Instagram, with over 45 million users. The platform has become a primary outlet for Iranians to document events in their country. It has also become a central e-commerce channel. However, in recent months, the Iranian government has censored the site, restricting bandwidth and limiting access.
Instagram has also become a popular platform for Iranian regime officials and celebrities to interact with fans. This has led to conspiracy theories that the platform has been “infiltrated” by agents of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The Iranian government has also geolocated human rights defenders and protestors. It has also banned certain hashtags associated with human rights campaigns.
It is also worth noting that the Clubhouse app, an invitation-only social network, has quickly gained attention in Iran. It launched in March of 2020, and hosts thousands of users.
Religions in the Islamic Republic
Despite the fact that Iran is a Shia-majority country, there are also significant Sunni populations in the country. These are mostly located in the northeastern part of the country, which is populated by Pashtuns. In the southwest, there are Arab populations that are mostly Sunni Muslims.
The Islamic Republic of Iran has five official religions. The main tenet of the regime’s ideology is pan-Islamism, which aims to create a homogenous Muslim bloc. Iranian leaders believe that Islam should govern all aspects of life. They claim that a state based on Islam is superior to all other ideologies. They also argue that capitalism is exploitative and unjust.
Another tenet of the Iranian regime’s ideology is hostility towards Israel and Zionism. They argue that the Jewish state is an illegitimate entity and that it should be destroyed. They also advocate a “culture of sacrifice and martyrdom” in order to prepare the next generation for national duty.
The Iranian state’s policy is largely derived from the Islamic Revolution’s ideology. The Iranian constitution emphasizes the centrality of Islamic principles. It says that the state will be based on Islamic values and that God will retain exclusive sovereignty. It also states that all institutions will be governed by Islamic laws. These policies are intended to strengthen the Islamic Republic’s clerical guardianship of the state.
The Supreme Leader is the central figure in the Islamic Revolution. All other actors in the regime depend on him. The regime has been criticized for politicizing religion. The Iranian constitution claims that past movements in Iran failed because they abandoned their true Islamic positions. It has also emphasized the role of divine revelation.
Resumption of nuclear fuel processing
Despite the Iran nuclear deal, the Islamic Republic of Iran continues to produce enriched uranium. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, it has amassed 241.6 kilograms of uranium. It has also reportedly completed the installation of centrifuges to enrich uranium at the Fordow facility.
While there are signs that Iran has been implementing the JCPOA, the United States says it will not resume the production of 20 percent enriched uranium until it receives “credible assurances” from Tehran that it will not do so. The P5+1, comprised of the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany, is working on an incentive package for Iran to halt the program.
The P5+1 and Iran have agreed to extend the talks until November 24. They will then hold a joint commission meeting in Vienna. In addition, the parties will continue to cooperate on the framework of the negotiation process.
The IAEA is continuing to verify that Iran has met the conditions of the agreement. The agency has confirmed that Iran has installed centrifuges at the Fordow enrichment plant, and has also reaffirmed that it has not violated the restrictions on its heavy water stockpile.
The IAEA says it has inspected all locations of Iran’s nuclear program. Iranian officials have also said they have started pouring concrete for a new unit at the Bushehr nuclear power plant.
The IAEA also reports that Iran is producing uranium at a rate of 3.5 percent at its pilot enrichment plant in Natanz. The IAEA also reported that Iran has been feeding uranium into its IR-1 centrifuges.
The Iranian ambassador to the IAEA, Reza Najafi, said the opening of the underground processing plant at Fordo is a step toward a possible scenario. But he added that Iran would not suspend its work in a way that would make resumption difficult.
Tensions between reformers and conservatives after Khatami’s reelection
During the last years of President Mohammad Khatami’s presidency, the power struggle between reformists and conservatives became even more pronounced. This battle of ideas centered on two main conceptual lines. One group of reformers argued that the state should not be controlled by religious institutions. The other group of reformers insisted on the use of existing state institutions and constitutional provisions to bring about reform.
Following the election of Khatami to a second term, the conservatives used the judicial system to stymie his policies. They imprisoned reformist figures and used the security services to intimidate and silence opponents. They also resorted to censorship measures against reformist publications.
The political reform movement has gained some victories in the past few years. The 1999 council elections saw reformists make impressive gains in the legislature. But a conservative backlash weakened the reformists. The conservatives disqualified Khatami from running in the 2004 Majles elections. The conservative-dominated Guardian Council disqualified a third of the candidates for the 2004 parliamentary elections.
The conservatives also attacked Khatami’s foreign policy. He proposed a diplomatic engagement with non-Muslim societies, and called for the democratization of the political system. However, he was unable to compromise with the Supreme Leader.
During the years of President Khatami’s rule, Iran continued a secret nuclear program. The nuclear programme was publicly revealed in 2002.
Conservatives have attempted to reverse some of the cultural changes made during Khatami’s administration. Some have argued that the reforms have undermined Islamic values. Others feared the infiltration of Western values.
A key ally of the conservatives was Ayatollah Khamenei. He was a member of the conservative faction of the party, before it split into the MRM.