The power of the revolutionary leader
In Iran, too, a president is elected by the citizens every four years. It also represents the state to the outside world and is responsible for international agreements. He heads the government.
But the revolutionary leader has the say on important issues, which limits the president’s influence. Today’s revolutionary leader is called Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The Shiite clergy have had the greatest power and influence since the 1979 revolution in Iran and control pretty much everything. Many people who protested against the Shah were persecuted and imprisoned again after the revolution.
In order to avoid resistance at all, there are the Revolutionary Guards, which were set up shortly after the revolution. They represent an army that should secure power. Even today, their influence should not be underestimated. They are also the ones who repeatedly act brutally, especially against an opposition in the country. Incidentally, there are no political parties in Iran. MPs join forces without a party to assert their interests.
Where are we going in Iran?
In 2013 a new president was elected to succeed the previous president, Ahmadinejad. This was Hasan Ruhani. Often in the West he is seen and represented as a “reformer”. But even he is subject to the strict rules of the system of the Islamic Republic. So it is not clear in which direction Iran will develop.
An important agreement
Many Western countries are critical of developments in Iran and, above all, there is a fear that Iran as a nuclear power will gain too much influence. In 2015, an important agreement was reached with Iran. This renounced the expansion of nuclear weapons and restricted the nuclear facilities. In return, the West gradually lifted sanctions against Iran. There is still mistrust on both sides. There is fear that the agreement could be terminated by one side.
There are many people in Iran, a country located in Middle East according to petsinclude, especially young people, who want a more just and freer system and hope Iran would open up. Many people have a good education, strive for appropriate work and a peaceful life. But there are other people too. Iran is a deeply divided country between the dawn of the modern age and clinging to old, often outdated traditions. You can find out more about this under everyday life.
USA terminate the agreement with Iran
President Trump said during his election campaign that he wanted to terminate the agreement with Iran. It was closed by his predecessor Barack Obama and for that reason alone it was more than a “thorn in the side” of the new president.
The agreement was not perfect, of course, but it was a first step in establishing something like an order of peace in the Middle East and preventing the worst by preventing the nuclear arms race. In May 2018, the American President announced that he would unilaterally terminate the agreement and no longer want to adhere to it. He claimed Iran broke the treaty even though there was no evidence to back it up.
As a result, this would have meant that there would be economic sanctions against Iran again. The greatest danger is that the so-called “hardliners” who hold on to old traditions and block the opening of the country will now prevail again. All efforts to implement reforms would then be stopped for the time being. And hatred of the West, America and Israel would continue to grow.
Women in Iran
Women are still disadvantaged in Iran. But the disadvantages are very different. For example, women are not allowed to work in certain jobs and are disadvantaged compared to men in the event of a divorce.
If a woman makes a testimony in court, for example if she appears as a witness, her testimony is only half as effective as that of the man. There are also considerable differences in inheritance law, with a woman inheriting only half of it. A man can get a divorce much more easily than a woman, even if the man does not treat the woman well.
Girls are allowed to marry at the age of 13
Women are legally allowed to be married in Iran at the age of 13. If the parents give their consent, the girls can be even younger. Men can marry more than one woman, provided the first wife agrees. Such multiple marriages are rare, however, as the law requires the man to provide for all women financially. Then some think about it.
Girls are criminally responsible from the age of nine, boys from the age of 15. Minors, or rather children, can be punished very severely by the law. The death penalty can also be imposed on children. That has already happened.
What is the moral police?
The dress code in Iran is very strict: women have to wear a veil. They are subject to strict controls. Anyone who does not comply with the regulations is severely punished. A kind of moral police is used for the control. Some women subordinate themselves, others deliberately violate these regulations, for example by only wrapping the headscarf very loosely around their heads, so that one or the other strand of hair can be seen.
Is something changing in Iran?
For a long time it was difficult for women in Iran to work. But the country’s new president, Hassan Ruhani, wants to change that. For example, women are sometimes preferred in recruitment and now work in restaurants and supermarkets. They weren’t allowed to do that for a long time. The proportion of women in parliament should also increase. Today only nine out of 290 MPs are women. Many women are now studying and their proportion at universities is higher than that of men.
Nice noses and lots of makeup
In Iran, men and women are not allowed to show themselves together before the wedding, unless they are related. Anyone who meets anyway can be arrested by the police and called to account.
A lot of make-up is typical for women in Iran. This is likely to compensate for not being allowed to show any hair or a nice hairstyle. Sometimes it looks pretty artificial because some women – at least to our liking – sometimes overdo it. In any case, there are also many fashion-conscious young women in Iran who dress and make-up accordingly.
Cosmetic surgeries are common in Iran
Many women, but also men, undergo cosmetic surgery, especially on the nose. Why that? A beautiful nose is considered the ideal of beauty in Iran. In Iran you often see people walking around with a plaster on their nose. Incidentally, also those who have not had a nose operation at all.