Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/29/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Middle Eastern nation has not known stability since 1979

Long a thorn in the side of the West, the nation of Iran has a long, proud and calamitous history of defiance. Having toppled the autocratic Shah in 1979, who was nonetheless friendly with the United States, the former revolutionaries themselves are now being challenged by groups thirsting for change.

In the lead up to the elections Mir-Hussein Mousavi held a number of popular rallies. Mousavi's supporters dressed themselves in green scarves, wristbands and other items as they paraded in the streets of Iranian cities to show support for the reform candidate.

In the lead up to the elections Mir-Hussein Mousavi held a number of popular rallies. Mousavi's supporters dressed themselves in green scarves, wristbands and other items as they paraded in the streets of Iranian cities to show support for the reform candidate.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/29/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Iran, Green Party, Khomeini, opposition, revolution


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Opposition to them began shortly after the revolution that ended the Shah's reign. Iran fought a long and costly war with Iraq, and splits emerged among the once united revolutionary front. The Iranian government began a crackdown on dissent in an attempt to consolidate power and bring stability to the nascent Islamic Republic.

The most famous of the early opposition groups was the People's Mujahedeen of Iran, or MEK. In spite of being closely allied to Ayatollah Khomeini and his supporters throughout the 1970s, the group split from the Supreme Leader shortly after the revolution.

In 1981, the conflict between the government and MEK fighters descended into street battles. Outlawed shortly afterwards, Iraq's Saddam Hussein exploited the group, giving it a base in Iraq and support to wage attacks inside Iran and provide intelligence. 

Also among the opposition groups was the Tudeh party, or the "party of the masses." Many of this group's members were arrested and executed during the 1980s.

Faced with mounting opposition on all sides, the Islamic Republic banned all political parties save the Islamic Republic Party in 1981. Khomeini later broke up the party in 1985 over internal conflicts. Only parties that adhered to the Islamic character of the state could operate legally.

Those who held different views paid a heavy price, like Abulhassan Babnisdar, the Islamic Republic's first president. He went into exile after being impeached a year after taking office.

Another high-profile figure fell foul of the Supreme Leader in 1989. Ayatollah Hussein-Ali Montazeri, Khomeini's heir apparent, was fired after he had called for more openness and criticized the crackdown on dissent.

Montazeri was replaced by the more conservative Ayatollah Ali Khameinei, who succeeded Khomeini upon his death in June 1989. He remains Iran's Supreme Leader today.

Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was elected as president for the first of two terms. Critics accuse Rafsanjani of widespread corruption. He oversaw the period of reconstruction after nearly a decade of the devastating war with Iran.

In 1997, the election of the reformist Mohammad Khatami arrived in a surprising landslide victory indicating the country was ready for change. While Khatami encouraged more openness in Iran, his reformist agenda was limited by the judiciary, which remained controlled by conservatives.

Khatami had tried to increase the president's powers and limit the power of the Guardian Council, a 12-member council half appointed by the Supreme Leader and half selected by parliament, but was blocked by the powerful body that is able to veto parliament and interpret the constitution.

And then, the "Green Movement." Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a conservative who, ironically, doesn't come from a clerical background like most of his predecessors, was elected to his first term as president in 2005. Ahmadinejad's first term was characterized by defiance to western-imposed sanctions and threats against Iran. 

Ahmadinejad stood for re-election against his main challenger, Mir-Hussein Mousavi in 2009. Mousavi, who served as the Islamic Republic's first and only prime minister from 1979 until the office was abolished in 1989, was a close ally of former president Khatami and ran as the main reform candidate.

In the lead up to the elections Mousavi held a number of popular rallies. Mousavi's supporters dressed themselves in green scarves, wristbands and other items as they paraded in the streets of Iranian cities to show support for the reform candidate.

Despite the visible display of support for Mosuavi, Ahmadinejad emerged from the June elections as the nationwide winner with over 64 percent of the vote; Mousavi finished second with just under 34 percent.

When Iranians go to the polls to elect fresh members of parliament on March 2, they will do so without the major reform candidates on the ballots. Most pro-reform groups are calling for boycott, but some individuals will run as independents.

.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Middle East

30 tribesmen in western Iraq executed by Islamic State (WARNING GRAPHIC PHOTOS)

Image of More than 1,000 heavily-armed tribesmen and some troops left the town in around 500 vehicles to take refuge in the nearby town of Barwana.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

More than 30 tribesmen were executed by Islamic State in western Iraq this week. In the meantime, government forces are continuing their offensive against the extremist militants across the country. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Islamic State captured ... continue reading


Muslims criticize the Islamic State for perverting Islam Watch

Image of Fighters from the Islamic State watch over captured Syrian soldiers.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new voice in the international community is speaking out against the Islamic State; over 100 Muslim leaders have signed a 17-page letter that criticizes and condemns the terrorist state, their actions in Iraq and Syria, and their interpretation of the Quran and ... continue reading


U.S. journalist endured continuous torture before being executed by ISIS Watch

Image of In spite of all of his torture, James Foley would share his limited rations with other captives, and gave up his blanket to somebody else in the depths of winter, other prisoners said.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Forty-year-old U.S. journalist James Foley suffered torture at the hands of his ISIS captors before they killed him. Captured in 2012 and executed in 2014, his torments included waterboarding, virtual starvation and being hung upside-down by his ankles. LOS ... continue reading


Into the wrong hands: ISIS fighters seize weapons from U.S. airdrop Watch

Image of The incident was more of an embarrassment than a strategic loss. ISIL fighters already possess millions of dollars' worth of U.S. weaponry that they captured from fleeing Iraqi soldiers when the group seized swaths of Iraq in June.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Islamic State fighters are believed to have seized at least one cache of weapons airdropped by the U.S. The payload reportedly missed besieged Kurdish militias defending the Syrian border town of Kobane. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Yesterday we announced ... continue reading


HORRIFIC video shows Islamic State stoning Yazidi woman - by group of men, including HER father Watch

Image of In a related incident, a man was executed in Idlib province in an area controlled by Islamist groups including the Nusra Front, al Qaeda's official affiliate in Syria.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A sickening video of a young woman being stoned to death by a group of men, which includes her own father, has been released by Islamic State. The video is believed to have been filmed in the city of Hama. The clip shows a bearded cleric ranting at the woman in ... continue reading


Yazidi woman 'I've been raped 30 times and it's not even lunchtime!' Watch

Image of A Yazidi woman over the telephone that she had been raped so frequently that she could no longer use the toilet. She says that her despair is so great she will commit suicide - even if she is freed.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A young Yazidi woman held captive by the Islamic State for repeated sexual abuse says that she was raped 30 times in just a few hours. Kept prisoner, she now begs the West to bomb the brothel where she is being held. It's believed that she's being kept prisoner ... continue reading


Islamic State has infiltrated INSIDE of Turkey with attempt to kidnap Syrian leader Watch

Image of Militants have recently shot and wounded a senior Syrian rebel commander within the nation. The incident has raised questions of Ankara's commitment to defeating the terror group.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While Islamic State fighters batter the Syrian city of Kobani near the border with Turkey, ISIS agents are apparently now currently operating within the nation of Turkey. Militants have recently shot and wounded a senior Syrian rebel commander within the ... continue reading


Jack 'the acid' Ripper: Suspects arrested in connection with acid attacks against women in Iran Watch

Image of Though the attacks have instilled fear in some women in the city, many continue to live their lives without apologies.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Iranian authorities have arrested a number of people suspected of throwing acid at women. Its' believed that the women were wearing their traditional Islamic head covering improperly. The public had grown increasingly angry over the series of attacks in the ... continue reading


Sectarian violence spreads in Yemen, where Shi'ite militia square off against al-Qaeda Watch

Image of A member of the Shi'ite military Houthi organization.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Yemeni city was taken by al Qaeda fighters, and 33 people were killed by a suicide bombing and gun fighting during the group's challenge to the Yemeni government. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This is just the latest bout of violence that has erupted in ... continue reading


Al Qaeda launches 'magazine war' with Islamic State in effort to attract new recruits Watch

Image of Resurgence, the new magazine for Al Qaeda.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Al Qaeda is attempting to make a comeback in the public eye following the stunning rise of the competing Islamic State. In an online publication, aimed at a global audience, the terror group is encouraging attacks at economic infrastructure. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Philippians 1:1-11
1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, to all ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 111:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 Alleluia! I give thanks to Yahweh with all my ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 14:1-6
1 Now it happened that on a Sabbath day he had gone ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 31st, 2014 Image

St. Wolfgang
October 31: Wolfgang (d. 994) + Bishop and reformer. Born in Swabia, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter