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Iran

Social conditions

Iran is a strong male-dominated society - after the 1979 Islamic Revolution more than ever. Visit AbbreviationFinder to see the definitions of IRN and acronym for Iran. During the Shah's time, much effort was made to modernize the country; inter alia women's rights were expanded. The practice of veil was abolished by legislation in 1936, and women were given the right to vote in 1963. The Islamic revolution put an end to these reforms, and women's freedom is now severely restricted. Thus, e.g. forced to wear a veil was reintroduced. Iran is not only a prominent human society, it is also a distinct class society. After the revolution, however, a certain change in the composition of the upper class has taken place. While many former high-status people left the country, they have been replaced by the highest among the scribes as a new dominant group.

The social insurance system includes sickness, unemployment and pension insurance, which are statutory as well as working hours, holidays and minimum wages. Unemployment is high, 25-30 per cent (1992). Trade unions are not allowed; instead, "Islamic committees" are assumed to safeguard the interests of workers.

Health care was greatly expanded during the Shah, but the medical density remained lower than in many neighboring countries. After the Islamic revolution, development work has continued, but the protracted war on Iraq has stalled the development, and the training of doctors has declined since the early 1980s. Almost 2/3 of the hospitals are run by public authorities, but the regional differences in accessibility are significant; Tehran alone accounts for 35 per cent of care sites. They have managed to cope with severe diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and cholera, but the health problems are nevertheless large, especially in rural areas, where infant mortality is still high.

Society of Iran

Ahmadinejad reiterated in January 2008 that Iran will continue its peaceful use of nuclear energy, pointing to 16 peaceful uses. The year later, he reiterated that Iran has no plans for nuclear weapons development. Notwithstanding the president's statements, however, his office is responsible for the country's nuclear program. It is governed by the country's top National Security Council, which is under the aegis of the spiritual leader, Ali Khamenei. In 2005, Khamenei issued a general fatwa (ban) on nuclear weapons.

In the spring of 2008, the US Department of Defense Pentagon published a report that, based on military intelligence, diminished President Bush's claim over 2 years that Iran was developing nuclear weapons. "That's not the purpose," the Pentagon concluded. However, the facts did not prevent Bush from continuing and escalating the war rhetoric against the regime in Tehran, and in August the United States assembled a naval force consisting of 10 aircraft carriers in the Indian Ocean. The greatest force since the attack on Iraq in 2003.

2009 Re-election of Ahmadinejad

Ahmadinejad was re-elected in June 2009 for a second term as President with 62.6% of the vote. His counterpart, the equally conservative Mir-Hossein Mousavi, to 33.8% of the vote. The election triggered the most widespread protests in Tehran and other major cities since the revolution in 1979. The demonstrations continued for months after the election, increasing in strength following the Guardian Council in late June, acknowledged Ahmadinejad's election victory. The government and state militias hit hard on the protesters who were arrested, tortured or killed. The government subsequently admitted that 36 had been killed. The opposition talked about double the number.

Twitter and mobile phones became important instruments in organizing the protests, and the government ended up closing the various networks, blocking Internet and satellite TV for periods.

While the Western media rarely reports on protests in the Palestinian territories against the Israeli occupation, and the violent behavior of the occupying forces, there was full focus on the protests in Iran. The Western world supports Israel, regardless of its war crimes and attacks on the Palestinian population, while Iran is being hated. However, both states have in common that they are religiously fundamentalist.

 

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