Africa Asia Europe North America South America Oceania
You are here: Home > Asia > Iran


Yearbook 2009

Iran. The aftermath of the June 12 presidential election shook Iran fundamentally. The incumbent ultra-conservative President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was challenged above all by former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi who promised increased freedom for the nation's citizens. However, both Mousavi and the other high-profile candidates, the former Speaker Mehdi Karroubi and the former base of the Revolutionary Guard Mohsen Rezai, were conservative by Western standards.

2009 Iran

When the election results were announced, Ahmadinejad was said to have received 62.6 percent of the vote and Mousavi 33.8 percent. Mousavi immediately claimed that extensive election fraud had occurred and hundreds of thousands of his green and black-clad supporters, most young people, walked the streets in protest demonstrations. Over the next few weeks, protests grew to the most extensive since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Ayatollah spiritual leader Sayyed Ali Khamenei declared the election valid and issued a sharp warning that the protesters would be punished. The regime deployed the Revolutionary Guard and the Basij militia - a type of citizen guard - which, according to official sources, killed 36 protesters, according to the opposition about twice as many. More than 4,000 were arrested, most of whom were released within a few weeks, reportedly often after severe torture and ill-treatment. Trials initiated against some hundreds of activists, journalists, lawyers and local staff at Western embassies were criticized by human rights activists who believed that recognition had been forced under torture. At least five of those arrested had been sentenced to death at year-end.

According to countryaah, the country's establishment was fragmented. Khamenei supported Ahmadinejad but many other spiritual leaders were critical of Ahmadinejad, who has no spiritual education, and said he was a populist who had run the country's economy at the bottom and completely militarized the political system. In Ahmadinejad's new government, which was approved by the majlis (parliament) in early September, there were a large number of unproven ministers who were criticized as inexperienced jazz owners. There was also the country's first female head of department, Health Minister Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi.

The demonstrations continued in connection with religious and political holidays during the rest of the year. On December 20, the storayatolla Hossein Ali Montazeri, long critical of the country's leadership, died, which drove even more protesters into the streets. At least eight people were killed in Tehran and Tabriz, among them Mousavi's nephew. Mousavi and Karroubi were perceived as leaders of the opposition and many of their employees and relatives were arrested.

Several observers expected that Iran, in order to appease the harsh criticism received from the Western world, would show a willingness to compromise in the conflict over its expansion of nuclear fission facilities, but this did not happen. Iran announced in September that it had a new enrichment facility under construction near the city of Qom south of Tehran. The five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany proposed in October that Iran would allow most of its uranium in France and the Russian Federation to be used before use in a research reactor in Tehran, but no agreement was reached. On November 27, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued a resolution condemning Iran for keeping the new plant secret and demanding that construction be stopped. Iran called the resolution "useless".

Several acts of violence shook the Sunni-e Baluchistan-dominated region in the southeastern part of the country. On May 28, 25 people were killed in a blast attack in a Shiite mosque and on October 18, 31 people, at least six of whom were officers in the Revolutionary Guard, were killed in a suicide bombing. The Sunni Muslim group Jundallah (God's soldiers) took on the responsibility for the later attack. All 168 people on board were killed on July 15 when a passenger plane of the Tupolev type crashed twelve miles north of Tehran en route to Armenia's capital Yerevan.

Other Countries in Asia

Hyper Countries Copyright 2009 - 2020 All Rights Reserved