Iran Under Khomeini

By | December 16, 2021

Now far from the power games, Khomeini died on 4 June 1989; a few months earlier, as a lawyer, he had had time to judge the novel Satanic Verses as blasphemousby the writer Salman Rushdie and, consequently, to issue the death sentence against the author, inciting the Muslim faithful to carry it out. The end of the 1980s symbolically marked the changing of the guard at the political-religious leaders of the country with the disappearance of the great protagonists of the revolution. Ali Khamenei was appointed to succeed Ayatollah Khomeini as leader of the country, and Hashemi Rafsanjani, moderate reformer former president of parliament, architect of a coalition government between conservatives and reformists, took over in his place. The regime split into a relatively open wing, represented by Rafsanjani, who, however, placed himself in terms of morals and the interpretation of canon law on the line of rigor that had been Khomeini’s. and a tougher wing that presented itself on the one hand as more adherent to the inspiring principles of the revolution, on the other as a continuation of the repressive policy adopted in the early 1980s. For the first time, after the revolution, there were demonstrations against the regime in the main cities of the country (July-September 1991) and in January-March 1992 there were even some strikes, for example. in the oil sector. In April-May 1992, political elections were held, which, boycotted by all the opposition, saw a clear victory for the wing linked to Rafsanjani. The president’s modernization program, characterized by a certain pragmatism, greater openness towards the international community and the prospects of privatization in the economic field, it was at the origin of numerous and serious incidents that broke out in some cities, strongholds of the radicals. The government’s response was extremely harsh and some death sentences were carried out. The failed attempt on the life of the president in February 1994, during a rally in the capital, confirmed the climate of mistrust in the work of the government. The worsening of the economic situation, with the growth of foreign debt and unemployment, was particularly felt by the poorest sections of the urban population, whose standard of living was drastically reduced. Fear of losing the support of the regime’s traditional base led the government to partially revise its policy of economic liberalization.¬†For Iran culture and traditions, please check animalerts.com.

Rafsanjani’s eight years of presidential mandate disappointed the expectations of those who hoped in his mediation to initiate a form of normalization of the regime which, finally abandoning certain manifestations of religious fanaticism, would allow Iran to break international isolation. On the contrary, the country that had emerged from the Rafsanjani era was overall poorer, less free – especially with respect to the needs matured by the new generations – and the victim of apparently no way out. The contradiction was evident between the growing impoverishment of the country, where unemployment was rising and the industrial sector risked paralysis, and the actual modernization initiated in the region (literacy, connection of electricity and running water in the villages, raising of life expectancy, female participation in social life and high percentage of female students in higher education levels). In particular, the participation of women in political and social life increased significantly compared to the times of the Pahlavi dynasty, leaving a glimpse of a united front of struggle for the recognition of the equality of the sexes and against a rigid interpretation of the Koranic texts. Even the very young generations – in Iran they vote at 16 – caused a rift pregnant with consequences on the anti-American and anti-Western front: on the political level, the intolerance of young people towards the cultural politics of the most obscurantist religious resulted in an increase in the political weight of the reformists. In the legislative elections of March-April 1996, the Conservatives suffered a considerable decline in support for the benefit of the pro-government reformists tacitly backed by President Rafsanjani. But the significant turning point in the life of the country was determined by the results of the presidential elections of 23 May 1997. Surprisingly, Sayyad Muhammad Khatami, former Minister of Culture between 1981 and 1992, was right by the strongest candidate, the President of Parliament and leader of the conservative wing Natiq Nuri. In the legislative elections of March-April 1996, the Conservatives suffered a considerable decline in support for the benefit of the pro-government reformists tacitly backed by President Rafsanjani. But the significant turning point in the life of the country was determined by the results of the presidential elections of 23 May 1997. Surprisingly, Sayyad Muhammad Khatami, former Minister of Culture between 1981 and 1992, was right by the strongest candidate, the President of Parliament and leader of the conservative wing Natiq Nuri. In the legislative elections of March-April 1996, the Conservatives suffered a considerable decline in support for the benefit of the pro-government reformists tacitly backed by President Rafsanjani. But the significant turning point in the life of the country was determined by the results of the presidential elections of 23 May 1997. Surprisingly, Sayyad Muhammad Khatami, former Minister of Culture between 1981 and 1992, was right by the strongest candidate, the President of Parliament and leader of the conservative wing Natiq Nuri.

Iran Under Khomeini