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Eternal Iran pp 115-138 | Cite as

The Second Islamic Republic, 1989–2005

  • Patrick Clawson
  • Michael Rubin
Part of the The Middle East in Focus book series (MEF)

Abstract

The decade-long reign of supreme religious leader Ayatollah Khomeini and the eight-year Iraq war in many ways defined the “first Islamic Republic.” With the end of the war in 1988 and Khomeini’s death the next year, Iran entered into a “second Islamic Republic” whose leaders have fine-tuned the system in one way after another in a vain effort to restore popular support for the Islamic Revolution. Khomeini’s successors have lacked his charisma and authority. Leading politicians often depict themselves next to Khomeini on the huge, building-size murals that dot Iranian cities, but his legitimacy has not rubbed off on them. Iranians increasingly resented the sociocultural restrictions imposed by the Islamic Revolution, and they are not prepared to sacrifice for a revolutionary foreign policy.

Keywords

Foreign Policy Foreign Debt Islamic Republic Terror Attack Iranian Government 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Politics during the Third Majlis period are described in great detail in Bahman Baktiari, Parliamentary Politics in Revolutionary Iran: The Institutionalization of Factional Politics (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1996), pp. 145–216.Google Scholar
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    David Menashri, Post-Revolutionary Politics in Iran: Religion, Society, and Power (London: Frank Cass, 2001), pp. 15–21.Google Scholar
  6. 5.
    In an influential series of articles in 1994/1995, ex-industry minister Behzad Nabavi laid out the factional scene that had been solidifying since Khomeini’s death; see Moslem, Factional Politics, pp. 92–95. Buchta, Who Rules Iran? pp. 11–21, nicely spells out almost exactly the same scheme as Nabavi. A more detailed first-rate exposition of the factional scene, carrying the story through 1997, which is quite consistent with Nabavi is in Hejat Mortaji, Jenahha ye Siyasi dar Iran-e Emruz (Tehran: Entesharat Naqsh va Negar, 1378 [1999/2000]).Google Scholar
  7. 6.
    The most important change was in television; cf. Ali Mohammadi, “Iran and Modern Media in the Age of Globalization,” in Ali Mohammadi, ed., Iran Encountering Globalization: Problems and Prospects (London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003), pp. 24–46 which despite the title is almost entirely about television. On sociocultural policy in general, cf Moslem, Factional Politics, pp. 166–175.Google Scholar
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  10. 8.
    Cf. Reza Afshari, Human Rights in Iran: The Abuse of Cultural Relativism (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001), pp. 24–27 and 163–184, on the attempts to persuade the international community that the human rights situation had improved and the limited character of the changes, which had in fact occurred.Google Scholar
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  33. 36.
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  34. 38.
    On the July 1999 protests, the definitive work is the collection of articles from every major political camp in Iran in Mahmud Ali Zekriayi, Hejdehom-e Tir Mah 78 be Revayat-e Jenahha-ye Siyasi (Tehran: Entesharat Kavir, 1378 [1999/ 2000]).The best accounts in English are: Buchta, Who Rules Iran?, pp. 187–192 (the Khatami quote is from p. 191); Menashri, Post-Revolutionary Politics, pp. 142–159; Rubin, Radical Vigilantes, pp. 64–75; and Ansari, Iran, Islam, and Democracy, pp. 186–196.Google Scholar
  35. 40.
    International Monetary Fund, Islamic Republic of Iran: Recent Economic Developments (September 2001), p. 56. The economic data cited here come from that report; Islamic Republic of Iran: Staff Report for the 2003 Article IV Consultation, August, 2003; and Islamic Republic of Iran: 2004 Article IV Consultation—Staff Report and its statistical appendix. The evaluation of the Second Five Year Plan is from p. 51 of the 2001 report.Google Scholar
  36. 45.
    On the serial killings Amadaldin Baqi, Tragedi-yeh Democracy dar Iran: Bazikhoani-ye Qatelha-ye Zanjiri (Tehran: Nashrani, 1378 [1999/2000]).Google Scholar
  37. On the parallel prisons, see Human Rights Watch, “Like the Dead in Their Coffins:” Torture, Detention, and the Crushing of Dissent in Iran, June 2004. See also Maurice Copithorne, “Report on the Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” UN Commission on Human Rights Report E/CN.4/2001/ 39, January 16, 2001, especially pp. 7–8 on students and pp. 19–20 on the Berlin Conference aftermath; Rubin, Radical Vigilantes pp. 96–107; and, on Ganji, Afshari, Human Rights pp. 212–215.Google Scholar
  38. 46.
    Some of these stirring tracts that boldly criticize the Islamic Republic and defend Enlightenment values are: Mohsen Kadivar, Beha-ye Azadi (“The Price of Freedom,” being his defense before the special clerical court) (Tehran: Nahshrani, 1378 [1999/2000])Google Scholar
  39. Abdullah Nuri (Akbar Ganji, interviewer), Nagdi Berayhe Tamam-e Fazul (Tehran: Entesharat Tarh-e Now, 1378 [1999/2000])Google Scholar
  40. and Akbar Ganji, Kimiahi-yeAzadi (The Chemistry of Freedom, being his defense before the court trying him for participating in the Berlin conference) (Tehran: Entesharat Tarh-e Now, 1380 [2001/2002]).Google Scholar
  41. 47.
    For an account of 2000–2002, see International Crisis Group, Iran: The Struggle for the Revolution’s Soul (Brussels, August 2002) especially pp. 22–23. The account is extended into 2003 by the subsequent International Crisis Group report, Iran: Discontent and Disarray, October 2003. See also Ambeyi Ligabo, “Civil and Political Rights, Including the Question of Freedom of Expression: Mission to the Islamic Republic of Iran,” UN Commission on Human Rights, Report E/CN.4/2004/62/Add.2, January 12, 2004, including p. 14 on the Aghajari caseGoogle Scholar
  42. Human Rights watch, “Like the Dead in Their Coffins”: Torture, Detection, and the Crushing of Dissent in Iran, June 7, 2004, http://hrw.org/reports/2004/iran0604Google Scholar
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  45. 48.
    The “twin bills” issue is discussed in A. William Samii, “Dissent in Iranian Elections: Reasons and Implications,” Middle East Journal, 58: 3 (Summer 2004), pp. 416–418.Google Scholar
  46. 49.
    See Joe Klein, “Shadowland: Who’s Winning the Fight for Iran’s Future?” The New Yorker, 78: 1 (February 18 and 25, 2002), pp. 66–76, and Parka Hafezi, “Iranian Students Heckle Khatami,” Reuters, December 6, 2004.Google Scholar
  47. 50.
    Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance, Arzesh-ha va Negaresh-hayeh Iranian (Tehran: Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance, 1380 [2001/2002]) summarized (as is the 2002 poll) in Nazgoul Ashouri, “Polling in Iran: Surprising Questions,” Policy Watch, No. 757 from The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, May 14, 2003, available at www.washingtoninstitute.org. The 2001 poll has a wealth of information about social attitudes and practices, e.g., asked “How Often do You Participate in the Friday Prayer?” 29% said rarely and 38% never, which is consistent with traditional Iranian ways of expressing religiosity.Google Scholar
  48. 51.
    On the role of soccer in Iranian politics, see Shiva Balaghi, “Football and Film in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Middle East Report, 229 (Winter 2003), pp. 54–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  50. 54.
    Angus McDowall, “The Great March Backwards,” MEED, October 8–14, 2004, pp. 4–5Google Scholar
  51. and Gareth Smyth, “Iran: Risky Business,” The Banker, December 1, 2004.Google Scholar
  52. 56.
    See Richard Tapper, ed., The New Iranian Cinema: Politics, Representation, and Identity (London: I.B. Tauris, 2002), especially the essay on the sad state of viewership: Hossein Ghazian, “The Crisis in the Iranian Film Industry and the Role of Government,” pp. 77–85. The information on counterfeiting was collected by Clawson in Iran, September 2004; cf “Gamha-ye Mo’aleq-e Qachaqchi,” Hamshahri, 12 Azar 1378 (December 2, 2004), p. 22.Google Scholar
  53. 59.
    Hassan Hakimian, “Population Dynamics in Post-Revolutionary Iran: A Re-Examination of the Evidence,” in Parvin Alizadeh, ed., The Economy of Iran: The Dilemmas of an Islamic State, London, I. B. Tauris, 2000, pp. 177–203, argues that only minor changes are needed.Google Scholar
  54. More persuasive and much more detailed is Marie Ladier-Fouladi, Population et politique en Iran (Paris: Institut National D’Etudes Démographiques, 2003), pp. 21–40 and, on marriage, pp. 41–70. The birth data quoted are from p. 27; the total fertility rate, p. 30; the contraceptive use, p. 37.Google Scholar
  55. 62.
    There are no good data on overall emigration from Iran. Many reformist Iranian government officials have made exaggerated statements about emigration, sometimes misquoting a 1998 IMF report (“How Big is the Brain Drain,” IMF Report WP/98/102). Many references to such exaggerated statements can be found on the Internet and in Iranian newspapers, including to Science and Technology Minister Mostafa Moin’s 2001 statement, “some 220,000 leading academic elites and industrialists had left Iran for Western countries over the past one year.” Population and travel data clearly show was not true. Akbar Torbat, “The Brain Drain from Iran to the United States,” Middle East Journal, 56: 2 (Spring 2002), pp. 272–295, analyzes emigration to the United States by those with college education.Google Scholar
  56. For an account of educated young Iranians’ dreams about leaving the country, see Afshin Molavi, Persian Pilgrim mages: Journeys Across Iran (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2002), pp. 298–307.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Patrick Clawson and Michael Rubin 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick Clawson
  • Michael Rubin

There are no affiliations available

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