Article 115 of the Iranian Constitution covers the candidacy requirements for the office of the president of the Islamic Republic. According to this article the president must be elected from a pool of “religious and political men,” a phrase that has always triggered much dialogue during the presidential election season. Some interpret “men” in the phrase as literal and believe that constitutionally, women do not have the right to run for president. Others consider the word “men” as public figures and as a result the constitution does not restrict women from standing for presidency. This argument specifically gains credibility due to the fact that at the time the Constitution was being written, initially the Farsi word for man (Mard) was used, but after a lot of discussion, it was replaced by the Arabic word (Rajol) which in Farsi can refer to women in certain contexts.
Last week Mohammad Yazdi, a cleric on the Guardian Council responded to a female who was trying to run for president. In a very condescending fashion, he stated that 34 years after the Constitution was written it is clear that “the Constitution does not allow women to be president and I do not understand how this lady has already chosen her cabinet members.” This female candidate had stated that should she be elected, her cabinet would be composed of half male and half female members. Mohammad Yazdi made these statements at a gathering of teachers and students from the Qom religious school. Thirty women have registered to be considered as potential presidential candidates this year.
Prior to this, Gholamhossein Elham, the former spokesman and current member of the Guardian Council stated that “the literal text of the Constitution clearly states that the candidate must be a male and also a political figure.” These comments triggered a lot of criticism. Among the critics, Fatemeh Rakei and Akram Mansouri Manesh, two congresswomen from the sixth parliament and members of the Islamic Iran Participation Front political party, sharply criticized the comments and said that this interpretation of the Constitution reduces the trust of women in the government, because an interpretation such as this suggests that women do not possess the management abilities required for the various government levels.
In an interview with Etemad newspaper concerning the comments by the Guardian Council, Mohammad Hashemi said that the Article 115 of the Constitution does not need any special analysis and it will be interpreted through the norms and social atmosphere in society and the issue should not be settled by a group within the Guardian Council.
Yazdi’s comments were also followed by a wave of criticism from women’s rights and human rights activists. Journalist Asieh Amini told Radio Farda that “Women should not run, because society is not prepared to accept them. Look at the positions well below the presidency. Whenever a woman is designated at the highest level of management in an organization, everybody begins to prejudge. It is this institution, our society and our country that need to be educated about female leaders. We have a lot of competent, highly educated women with a good management background and who can rise step by step just like anybody else who lives in this society. There is no difference between men and women. It is society that needs to learn to accept and at the moment the acceptance is not there.”
Hossein Ghazian, a sociologist based in Washington believes that neither the Iranian government, nor a large portion of society recognize women as legitimate political figures. Concerning the government’s view on women, he believes that “the roots of the issue go back to the government which came out of a revolution based on Islamic ideology. This ideology later became more fundamentalist. In this ideology, women are second class citizens in the service of men”.
Following the vast rejection of candidates, Ahmad Shaheed the UNSR on human rights in Iran said, “These rejections, which included women, were discriminatory and violated the basic right of participation in political process. It is a violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Iran is a signatory.” In a statement, five UN reporters also warned about the limitations on the rights of Iranian citizens, especially women. Kamala Chandrakirana, the head of the UN discrimination against women working group also said, “This action by the Iranian government increases the lack of participation of women in public, political and professional sectors.”
Thirty-four years after the foundation of the Islamic Republic, it is obvious that discrimination forms a major part in the lack of women’s political, social and economic opportunities. Women are kept from reaching high management positions including the presidency. Although the elimination of women has always been defended through religious arguments, it is internalizing beliefs and creating classes in society. As half of society, women need to legally and religiously obey and they have no other options. Criticisms and protests have not generated any change and this “obeying” is ongoing from the homes to the different levels in society. Major decision making in the Islamic regime is considered a man’s responsibility and women should not interfere with it. Furthermore, following the condescending statements by Mr. Yazdi, no official in the Islamic Republic and no male or female Islamic conservative reacted. This demonstrates the condescending view of the Islamic Republic towards women in the different sectors of society and politics. This belief existed from day one in the regime and it is visible in Article 115 of its Constitution; an article which was passed with doubts, so that it can stop women from running for presidency as any other normal citizen can.
It is notable that some people also believe that women are not qualified for the position either. Hossien Ghazian has said that “the latest information I have on the issue, is from research done in the early 2000s. People were asked this very question – if women are qualified for positions like the presidency. Almost one third of the people believed women are qualified for presidency. The other two third were either opposed to it or were undecided. This poll showed that the idea had still not been created in the society that women are qualified.”
Obviously, the social preparedness or lack that of cannot be a justification for not having equal protection by law and lawmakers must look at all sectors of the society without discrimination and create adequate legislation. Unfortunately, the paternalistic foundation of the bureaucracy in Iran and the paternalistic literature in government organizations has increased a sense of male superiority in the regime. This masculinism is keeping women from acquiring mid and high level positions in the government bureaucracy and obstructs their ability to compete with men. Statistically speaking, women form 4.9 percent of the workforce and the percentage of women in the private sector who reach high management levels is 9.4.
International and national experience shows us that the presence and participation of women in the decision making and management of the country will result in a better use of its national and social resources and encourages sustainable expansion, especially sustainable human development. Considering all this, a basic question is worth asking: If during the past 34 years, the existing qualities and precious experiences of many working and able women had been valued and considered, would not Iranian society be in a better condition than today?
On June 4, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei charged that foreign powers are plotting to discourage Iranians from voting in the upcoming presidential election. Tehran’s enemies also want to cause “sedition” after the poll “just like what they did” after the disputed 2009 election, Khamenei claimed in a televised speech. He spoke to thousands at a ceremony marking the 24th anniversary of the passing of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, founder of the Islamic Republic. Khamenei also encouraged Iranians to vote in large numbers on June 14 to show their confidence in the political system. He warned candidates against “making impossible promises” and giving concessions to the West. The following are excerpts from Khamenei’s official Twitter account and a variety of press reports.
Why it won’t be the end of the world if the mullahs get the bomb.
BY ALIREZA NADER
„Iran is an irrational actor“
Wrong. It’s as clear as day that the Islamic Republic pursues goals in the Middle East that put it on a collision course with the United States. Iran is opposed to Israel as a Jewish state, for instance, and competes for regional influence with the conservative Gulf Arab monarchies. But that doesn’t mean it is irrational: On the contrary, its top leadership, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is deliberative and calculating. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s antics and often wild rhetoric shouldn’t obscure the fact that the Islamic Republic is interested in its own survival above all else. When contemplating the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran, we should all be grateful that notions of martyrdom and apocalyptic beliefs don’t have a significant pull on Iranian decision-making.
Iran’s possible pursuit of nuclear weapons capability is motivated by deterrence, not some messianic effort to bring about the end times. The Islamic Republic has a relatively weak conventional military that is no match for U.S. and most Western forces — most of its regular naval and ground forces operate equipment from the 1960s and 1970s. It has tried to make up for this through a doctrine of asymmetry: It has supported terrorist and insurgent groups across the Middle East and created a „guerrilla“ navy, which — at best — might be able to swarm U.S. ships and interrupt shipping in the Persian Gulf. This is all meant to prevent U.S.-driven regime change.
Nukes could provide the ultimate deterrent for an insecure regime. And Iran has a lot to be insecure about: It is a Shia and Persian-majority theocracy surrounded by hostile Sunni Arabs, which has recently watched the United States overrun unfriendly regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq with relative ease. The regime perceives both conflicts as having damaged U.S. credibility and power — but knows this is no guarantee it can protect itself in a future conflict against the vastly superior American military without a nuclear bomb.
As dangerous as it is, Iran’s possible pursuit of nuclear weapons makes logical sense. And it isn’t an effort that is unique to the Islamic Republic: Any Iranian political system, whether imperial, theocratic, or democratic, would at least consider a nuclear weapons capability. Although a nuclear-armed Iran would be a dangerous development, a closer look demonstrates that it could well be a containable challenge for the United States and its allies. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags
BY AFSHIN SHAHI | MAY 29, 2013
When someone mentions Iran, what images leap into your mind? Ayatollahs, religious fanaticism, veiled women? How about sexual revolution? That’s right. Over the last 30 years, as the mainstream Western media has been preoccupied with the radical policies of the Islamic Republic, the country has undergone a fundamental social and cultural transformation.
While not necessarily positive or negative, Iran’s sexual revolution is certainly unprecedented. Social attitudes have changed so much in the last few decades that many members of the Iranian diaspora are shellshocked when they visit the country: „These days Tehran makes London look like a conservative city,“ a British-Iranian acquaintance recently told me upon returning from Tehran. When it comes to sexual mores, Iran is indeed moving in the direction of Britain and the United States — and fast.
Good data on Iranian sexual habits are, not surprisingly, tough to come by. But a considerable amount can be gleaned from the official statistics compiled by the Islamic Republic. Declining birth rates, for example, signal a wider acceptance of contraceptives and other forms of family planning — as well as a deterioration of the traditional role of the family. Over the last two decades, the country has experienced the fastest drop in fertility ever recorded in human history. Iran’s annual population growth rate, meanwhile, has plunged to 1.2 percent in 2012 from 3.9 percent in 1986 — this despite the fact that more than half of Iranians are under age 35.
At the same time, the average marriage age for men has gone up from 20 to 28 years old in the last three decades, and Iranian women are now marrying at between 24 and 30 — five years later than a decade ago. Some 40 percent of adults who are of marriageable age are currently single, according to official statistics. The rate of divorce, meanwhile, has also skyrocketed, tripling from 50,000 registered divorces in the year 2000 to 150,000 in 2010. Currently, there is one divorce for every seven marriages nationwide, but in larger cities the rate gets significantly higher. In Tehran, for example, the ratio is one divorce to every 3.76 marriages — almost comparable to Britain, where 42 percent of marriages end in divorce. And there is no indication that the trend is slowing down. Over the last six months the divorce rate has increased, while the marriage rate has significantly dropped. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags
Ab dem 1. Juli verschärfen die USA ihre Sanktionen gegen den Iran. Die zuletzt über die Türkei tolerierten Goldlieferungen sollen damit gestoppt werden.
Im vergangenen März lieferte die Türkei Gold im Wert von 381 Millionen US-Dollar in den Iran. Gegenüber dem Vormonat entsprach dies einer Verdreifachung der Goldlieferungen in die islamische Republik.
Die USA wollen diesen Gold-Transaktionen nun endgültig einen Riegel vorschieben. Die zuständige Sonderabteilung des US-Finanzministerium unter Secretary David S. Cohen hat laut Presseberichten ab dem 1. Juli eine Verschärfung der Sanktionen angekündigt. Regierungen, Privatunternehmen und iranischen Bürger soll es demnach künftig untersagt sein, Gold und andere Edelmetalle in den Iran zu liefern.
“Ich kann ihnen versichern, dass wir sehr genau auf Hinweise achten werden, wenn jemand außerhalb des Iran Gold an die iranische Regierung verkauft”, so Cohen am gestrigen Mittwoch vor dem US-Ausschuss für Auswärtige Angelegenheiten.
Zu den Handelsbeziehungen zwischen der Türkei und dem Iran sagt er: “Keine Frage, dass Gold von der Türkei in den Iran fließt. Was wir im Wesentlichen sehen, sind iranische Bürger, die Gold kaufen, um sich vor dem Wertverlust des Real zu schützen. So gesehen ist dieser Goldhandel eine Reflektion des Erfolges unserer Sanktionen, um den Wert des Rial zu schwächen”.Man habe beiden Regierungen klar gemacht, dass Washington die Sanktionen mit Bestimmtheit gegen jeden durchsetzen werde, der den Gold-Bann bricht. Details über drohende Strafmaßnahmen nannte Cohen nicht.
Die USA und ihre Verbündeten beschuldigen die iranische Führung, an der Herstellung von Atomwaffen zu arbeiten. In Teheran bestreitet man ein solches Vorhaben.Nach den Rekordlieferungen der vergangenen Monate, ist nun bis zum Inkrafttreten der Sanktionen auch in den kommenden Wochen mit einer deutlichen Zunahme türkischer Goldexporte in den Iran zu rechnen.
Purchases last month were 507,821 metric tons, compared with 1.04 million tons a year earlier, according to data on the Korea Customs Service’s website today. The volume was 556,658 tons in March, the figures showed. The April deliveries were equivalent to about 124,000 barrels a day.
South Korea halted imports of Iranian crude in August and September after the start of a European Union ban on insurance coverage for tankers carrying oil from the Persian Gulf nation. The injunction was a part of sanctions by Western countries intended to pressure the Islamic republic to stop its nuclear program, which the U.S. and Israel say is aimed at developing atomic weapons and Iran says is for civilian purposes.
South Korea resumed crude shipments from Iran in October after the Persian Gulf nation offered its own vessels for transporting the commodity.
The Asian nation’s total crude imports fell 5 percent to 9.34 million tons last month from a year earlier, the customs data show.
Von Mohammad Reza Kazemi
Die Kamera zoomt auf eine Tür, die sich langsam öffnet. Ein Bett ist zu sehen. Auf dem Bett: ein junges Paar beim Sex. Ein Kichern ist zu hören. Es kommt nicht von dem Paar, sondern von dem Mann hinter der Videokamera, der nun durch das Zimmer schleicht, immer näher an das Bett heran. Plötzlich schreckt das Paar auf: Die beiden haben bemerkt, dass sie von dem Mann beobachtet, gefilmt werden. Alle drei brechen in Gelächter aus.
Diese Szene stammt aus einem iranischen Home-Porno-Clip, und sie ist alles andere als außergewöhnlich.Iran und Pornografie? Das Internet ist mittlerweile voll von selbstgedrehten Pornos made in Islamic Republic of Iran. Die Produktion und Verbreitung solcher Filme stehen in Iran unter Strafe – genauso wie außereheliche Beziehungen: Bei Ehebruch drohen Peitschenhiebe oder sogar Steinigung (mehr dazu in den Reports von Human Rights Watch und Amnesty International).
CIVIL STATUS Single
EDUCATION college education
OCCUPATION university student
AFFILIATION no political affiliation
DATE OF EXECUTION June 20, 2009
LOCATION Tehran, Iran
MODE OF EXECUTION extrajudicial-shooting
CHARGES Unknown charge
On February 16, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei claimed Iran has no intention to build nuclear weapons. But he warned that if Tehran decided to build them, the United States could not stop it.
The Supreme Leader called Washington hypocritical on nuclear proliferation, human rights and democracy promotion. Diplomatic pressure and sanctions contradict U.S. overtures for direct negotiations, he told thousands at a rally in Tabriz.
But Khamenei suggested that the two sides could negotiate if the United States acts and speaks “reasonably” on the nuclear issue. He stipulated that Iran will not relinquish its right to enrich uranium and produce nuclear energy.
In his speech, the Supreme Leader condemned recent infighting between President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the heads of Iran’s legislative and judiciary branches. Ahmadinejad raised allegations of corruption against Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani and Head of the Judiciary Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani. Khamenei called the accusation an “immoral act” that went against Islamic law. He also noted that Ali Larijani’s responses were “excessive.”
Khamenei told government officials to focus on the “common enemy” and solving economic republics instead of arguing with each other. The following are excerpts from the Supreme Leader’s speech. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags