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Religious Conflicts With The Iranian Government

1831 words - 8 pages

Religion and Government in Iran:
Government under the Constitution of 1979
Religious Conflicts with the Iranian Government

Preston Nelson
Religion and Politics
February 18, 2014

The middle-east has always been a hot zone for religious and political conflict but more specifically, Iran. Iran is an Islamic state where Islam is practiced within politics. The Constitution of 1979 runs off of the basis of Islamic Law. The population of Iran varies upon resources but they are all around the number of seventy million people. The country is 90 percent Shia Muslim and eight-percent Sunni Muslim.1 The rest of the country is made up of very small minority religions. The minority religions have very little influence in the country and are easily thrown around by the government and the majority Shia Muslims.
I am going to explain the government system at the national level and then how religion inter-mingles within it. The main ideas that will be tuned in on are: the legal basis and religion relationship, official religion, religious influence in the government, the government system, and what religious conflicts are in Iran today.

Government under the Constitution of 1979
The Islamic Republic of Iran was established in 1979 after the previous monarchy was overthrown. Today, Iran remains the only Muslim country to be run by clergy. 2 Ayotollah Ruhollah Khomeini established a government with a separation of powers but the ultimate power was given to the Supreme Leader (a religious scholar) or otherwise called the Faqih. The Supreme Leader is not a majority elected official but chose by the Assembly of Experts which consists of eighty-six Islamic Scholars which are elected by the people. These scholars are all clergymen that serve eight year terms.3
The Iranian government is a theocratic Republic which means that the government is ruled in the name of God. This means that Shi’ite Islam is not just the official religion but it creates the framework for the government.4 According to Güneş Murat Tezcür and Taghi̇ Azadarmaki̇ “The justification for clerical rule derives from clerical status as the interpreters of the divine law and guiders of the religious community during the occultation of the twelfth Ima of Shi’ism.”5 The Constitution of 1979 is based off of Islamic law and made Shia Islam the official religion.
The Islamic Republic of Iran has a three branch government: Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary. The Executive branch is headed by the president who is the second most powerful government official. The president is elected by a national majority vote and is limited to two four year terms, similar to the United States’ president. The Assembly of Experts evaluate the leader’s actions and meet with him annually to discuss his performance. The president can also be impeached by two thirds vote of the Majlis, or parliament.6
The Supreme Leader is the commander-in-chief of the military. He appoints all commanders in the armed forces. The Supreme...

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