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 November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.



Comments


More Middle East

Religious extremism driving majority of world acts of terror Watch

Image of Groups with a religious agenda are attributed to the majority of incidents over the past few years, according to the author's report.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Instead of making humanity more respectful of their fellow man, religion is one of the factors fueling violence and chaos in the world. Religious extremism, which disallows interpretation and those of other faiths, is the force behind the majority of the acts ... continue reading


ISIS ammo: Deadly terror group can keep fighting for two years, United Nations warns Watch

Image of One anonymous member state has provided information about

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's both a dire warning and lesson to the West when it comes to terrorist organizations.  According to the United Nations, the dreaded Islamic State, or ISIS has enough weapons now to continue fighting for two years unabated. The ironic twist? Most of ... continue reading


The long and painful war against terrorism: 2013-14 the worst years to date Watch

Image of Operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Taliban is one of the militant groups responsible for the most deaths around the world.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new report has revealed that the number of people who have been killed by militants across the globe has jumped up more than 60% from 2013, reaching a record high of nearly 18,000. This death toll could continue to rise in 2014 because of the escalating ... continue reading


The United Arab Emirates just named these two American organizations as terrorists! Watch

Image of Al-Qaeda and its affiliates throughout the Middle East and North Africa have been designated a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It came as somewhat of a shock to two Islamic groups in the United States when they found that they were recently included in a list of terrorist organizations by the United Arab Emirates. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Council on American-Islamic ... continue reading


Two U.S. Islamic groups branded as terrorists Watch

Image of Both CAIR and MAS were among more than 80 groups whose designation was approved by the UAE cabinet and announced this past weekend.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Two moderate, mainstream Islamic groups in the United States feel as though they've been tarred and feathered with the same brush. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which describes itself as "America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy ... continue reading


Did Army Ranger Peter Kassig resist Jihadi John during his beheading? Speculation abounds why he made no statement. FULL VIDEO available here Watch

Image of Army Ranger and American citizen, Peter Kassig was kidnapped by the Islamic State after serving in Syria as a humanitarian aid worker.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

American hostage Peter Kassig, who was allegedly beheaded by Islamic State terrorists did not make any statement to the camera as previous victims did. This has fueled speculation that Kassig may have been killed in another fashion, such as in an airstrike or while ... continue reading


'Jihadi John' reported wounded in U.S. airstrike that killed 10 top ISIS commanders Watch

Image of According to reports received by the Foreign Office, the masked executioner is believed to have narrowly escaped death as he attended a summit of the group's leaders in an Iraqi town close to the Syrian border last Saturday.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The British-accented terrorist known as "Jihadi John," who beheaded two British and two American hostages held by Islamic State terrorists, has been injured in a U.S.-led air strike. Jihadi John has recently been seen in the beheading video of U.S. aid worker ... continue reading


PURE EVIL: U.S. hostage Peter Kassig beheaded by Islamic State Watch

Image of A 16-minute video has been uploaded to various social networking sites by Islamist State depicting the beheading of U.S. hostage Peter Kassig. The video shows a black-clad, masked militant waving Kassig's head.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

U.S. President Barack Obama called it "pure evil." A 16-minute video has been uploaded to various social networking sites by Islamist State depicting the beheading of U.S. hostage Peter Kassig. The video shows a black-clad, masked militant waving Kassig's head. ... continue reading


THE GROWING THREAT: Al Qaeda, al Nusra and other militant groups join forces with Islamic State to conquer the Middle East and BEYOND Watch

Image of Members of the Islamic State in a captured tank.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While the United States continues its campaign of sustained airstrikes against the Islamic State, a new phase in the growing Middle Eastern war has begun. Spurred on, by of all things, the unification of the Islamic State and al-Qaeda in Syria. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


SHOCKING VIDEO! TURKISH MOB ATTACKS U.S. NAVY Watch

Image of Members of the Turkish Youth Union, an anti-West group that targets the U.S. with hateful speech and protests.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Three American sailors were assaulted by a crowd of young Turks on November 12, in an attack that was caught on video and quickly spread, bringing with it anger and condemnation from the U.S. and Turkey. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Officials with the U.S. ... 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, Revelation 5:1-10
1 I saw that in the right hand of the One sitting on ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 149:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 9
1 Alleluia! Sing a new song to Yahweh: his praise in ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 9:41-44
41 In reply Jesus said, 'Faithless and perverse ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 20th, 2014 Image

St. Edmund Rich
November 20: Archbishop of Canterbury England, who battled for discipline and ... 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