Iran. In the March 18 parliamentary election, reform-friendly supporters of President Sayyed Mohammad Khatami won a landslide victory over conservative forces in the clergy. After a supplementary round of elections on May 5, the reform friends had secured about 200 of Parliament’s 290 seats. In a number of major cities, they took home all the mandate – however, not in Tehran where the conservatively-dominated Guardian Council annulled a quarter of the vote. The turnout was 80%.
After the election, the outgoing parliament, which was completely dominated by Conservative members, voted through several controversial laws, including a new press layer. In the months following the election, a number of journalists were accused of violating the basic principles of Islam. 20 reform-friendly newspapers and magazines were closed. The conservatively dominated judicial system also enabled other judgments suspected of violating human rights. Ten Iranian Jews were sentenced on July 1 to prison for between 2 and 13 years for spying on Iran’s behalf. In September, a higher court reduced the sentence by between 2 and 6 years. The judgments were based mainly on admissions made by the accused without legal assistance. Nineteen writers, journalists and politicians, among them Iran’s most popular female politician, Jamileh Kadivar.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER: Offers three letter and two letter abbreviations for the country of Iran. Also covers country profile such as geography, society and economy.
Single bright spots were also noted. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in January pardoned Tehran’s former mayor, the liberal Gholamhossain Karbaschi, who in 1998 had been sentenced to two years in prison for, among other things. embezzlement. The death sentences against four student leaders who had played prominent roles during the student riots in July 1999 were converted in May to prison sentences of 15 years. Several of the police chiefs who had been responsible for the violence against the students were also convicted of assault. Five people arrested for a murder trial against Khatami’s closest adviser, Saeed Hajjarian, on March 12 were also sentenced to lengthy prison sentences for the act. But conservative forces were suspected to be behind that act.
On several occasions during the year, official buildings in Tehran were attacked with grenades. The Iraqi opposition group People’s Mujaheddin took responsibility for the attacks. At the end of August, fierce fighting was reported between government troops and Mujaheddin soldiers at the Iraq border.
Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi visited the United Kingdom in January. It was the first time since the revolution that an Iranian foreign minister visited that country. In March, the United States lifted the ban on imports of Iranian goods, such as carpets, caviar and pistachios. Iran replied by declaring that imports of American wheat and other products would resume. Khatami visited Germany in July. He thus became the first Iranian head of state in the country since the Shah was there in 1967. A neighbor was also noted for the neighboring Iraq. Iran stated in August that they had released the last of the Iraqi prisoners of war held since the war between the countries in the 1980s.
In April, it was announced that privately owned banks will be allowed in Iran, even outside the economic free zones where they have been previously. In May Iran, the World Bank granted a $ 232 million loan. The loan, which will be used for health care and water purification projects, was the first from the World Bank since 1993.
Rouhani released 11 political prisoners in September – the month after his inauguration.
Israel continued its violent destabilization of Iran. In November 2013, Iran’s Deputy Minister of Industry, Safdar Rahmatabadi, was killed in his car in Tehran.
However, despite its violent opposition, Israel failed to slow down the process of normalization between the West and Iran. Israeli allies in Washington, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were removed from the post in January 2013 and replaced with John Kerry. With the turn of Iran’s foreign policy, the diplomatic process accelerated from the end of 2013. In November, Iran, the West and Russia signed a preliminary agreement in Geneva (Joint Plan of Action), which meant that Iran would freeze the development of its nuclear program.
In the fall of 2014, Saudi Arabia boosted its oil production in agreement with the United States. The consequence was that the oil price was more than halved. For Saudi Arabia, the purpose of bringing Iran into an even deeper economic crisis was. Iran was Saudi Arabia’s worst enemy. For the United States, the purpose was also to stifle the economies of Russia and Venezuela.
The halved oil price (and sanctions against Iran) exacerbated the Iranian economic crisis. It strengthened Rouhani’s position vis-à-vis conservatives, notably the Revolutionary Guard, and the diplomatic negotiations between Iran and the West, therefore, continued through 2014. Shortly before an important agreement was reached in April 2015 on the nuclear program and repeal of Western sanctions, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu visited Washington in March 2015, in which he invited by the Republican majority in Congress tried to buckle the process. The visit was diplomatically unheard of. Usually, a prime minister will be invited by the government before making a state visit. In this case, he was invited by the opposition. The Obama government refused to meet with him during his visit, and it had no bearing on the negotiations in Lausanne, Switzerland, which ended in April with a first agreement and in July with a final agreement on sanctions and nuclear program. As part of the agreement, Iran was to reduce the number of uranium enrichment centrifuges by 70%, completely shut down the Bushker heavy-water reactor, not enrich uranium to more than 3.67% and transfer pre-existing higher enriched uranium to Russia. On the other hand, the West’s unilateral and UN sanctions should be lifted over a 4-12 month period. In January 2016, the IAEA was able to document that Iran had fulfilled its part of the agreement, and the West therefore began to implement the sanctions. The western states – including Denmark – stood in line in Tehran in January 2016 to get their bite of the cake. completely shut down the heavy water reactor in Bushker, do not enrich Uranium to more than 3.67% and transfer pre-existing higher enriched Uranium to Russia. On the other hand, the West’s unilateral and UN sanctions should be lifted over a 4-12 month period. In January 2016, the IAEA was able to document that Iran had fulfilled its part of the agreement, and the West therefore began to implement the sanctions. The western states – including Denmark – stood in line in Tehran in January 2016 to get their bite of the cake.
According to COUNTRYAAH, the population of Iran in 2000 was 65,623,294, ranking number 17 in the world. The population growth rate was 1.320% yearly, and the population density was 40.2956 people per km2.