Iran: Democracy is getting suffocated and harassed.


Iran: Democracy is getting suffocated and harassed.

Democracy means by the people, for the people, and to the people, and it doesn’t mean for the God, to the God, and by the God. Religion and democracy can’t be blended together, they contradict each other. and they can’t go together. Democracy is the modern political system. Religion is a quite personal thing, a way of living, and it can’t be imposed on the people and on the society. Religion does talk about the economy, the way of living and politics, and it does have provision and does describe the ancient model of rudimentary democracy. Over the time, the architecture of democracy has changed. Modern democracy is well defined and well organized, and ancient democracy which is described in the religious scripts, are now obsolete. Now the world is more interconnected and integrated, it was ever before, and people consider religion as the secondary thing and they are interconnected by the common democratic and economic values.
Democracy has now multiple variants, it can be representative, republic, parliamentary and presidential, and fair democracy talks about the religious freedom. It doesn’t allow making religion as the base to frame a democratic constitution. Religion is god-centric for the people, but democracy is people-centric for the people, by the people, and to the people. Every religion interprets their almighty differently, and religious scripts create unprecedented confusion. Blending of religious law with democracy is not fit for the plural society.  Modern Political, economic and social norms profoundly deviate from the religious script, but there are still some countries exist which blend the democracy with religion. The impact of which is enormously devastating for the people in the society.
In this article, I would talk about the Iranian democracy, it was widely appreciated in the world in the early days, it was the first kind of democracy in the Persian Gulf and in the Middle-East, but later it was described as a disastrous outcome of the great Iranian revolution. In 1979 revolution, the monarch was unseated and cleric took over Iran, and a wired framework of the political system was installed which they claimed democracy. Cleric got huge power share in the country, and a supra-democratic system was created which demeaned the democratic values. Supreme leader was given the ultimate authority. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei became the supreme leader for life. He was the father of the Iranian 1979 revolution, and was the greatest Islamic intellectual in Iran, and so had great influence in the country. He had overridden the democratic values with Islamic law, and the constitution was made in his favor. His office had constitutional control over the Judiciary and the powerful military. He holds control over internal and external affairs.
The different constituents of Iranian political system are the assembly of expert, Guardian Council, expediency council, Supreme Leader, Judiciary, Armed forces, president, Parliament and cabinet of ministers. Iranian Parliament has 290 members, President and its cabinet are accountable to the parliament, and parliamentarians, president, and cabinet are elected directly by the people like other democracy. Unlike most of the system in the world, the Iranian president has limited power. He is responsible for setting up the economic agenda. He has the powers over the selection of cabinet, government budget and questioning public sector or government authority. But there is the very controversial process of presidential candidate selection, where supreme leader approves the candidacy of the aspirants. Parliament is also less effective, unlike other democracy. It has lesser power compare to the non-elected council like Guardian council and assembly of the expert.
            Fig: the Complex political system of Iran.
Guardian Council is the most influential body in Iran political system. It has six clerics appointed by the supreme leader. It has six jurists nominated by the parliament and judiciary. Every bill passed by the parliament has to approve by the council. The council has the power to veto them if it undermines the Islamic values. It plays the vital role in the selection of the presidential candidate, parliamentarians and the assembly of experts. It does the strong vetting for the candidate. It helps the supreme leader to select the president and its cabinet whoever is in his favor. He is vetting out the reformist leader.
Assembly of experts is directly elected by the people. Only clerics can join the assembly. They are strongly vetted by the guardian council. The assembly is responsible for the appointment of the supreme leader. It monitors his performance. There is a provision that it can remove him if he fails to fulfill his duties. This assembly is profoundly dominated by the conservatives.
Expediency council is the advisory body over the legislative dispute between parliament and the Guardian Council. They are appointed by Supreme leader. It has also the responsibility for the revision of the constitution.
Supreme leader involves in every aspect of the governance, defense, foreign affairs, and internal affairs. He is religious and he makes sure that the rule of Islamic law is established. He controls the media and civil society. He directs the guardian council to do the strong vetting against the reformists. He has actually arrested the democracy and is harassing it. A leader can’t be chosen for life in the democracy. The leaders can’t be vetted on religious ground. These are the serious flaws of Iranian democracy. Iran needs a political reform. People have already smelled the democracy. The establishment will have to pay the heavy price if they crush the aspiration for political reform in the country. Pro-democratic insurgence took place in Tehran by students after the closure of reformist newspaper “Salam”. It expanded shortly across Iran. The clash between security forces and protesters took place which led to rioting and arrest of thousands of students. Conservatives regain the control over the parliament from reformist in 2004. Thousands of reformist leader were disqualified using hardline guardian council by undemocratic vetting system.
      Fig: Iran's supreme leaders: They are the greatest intellectual, still resisting the political reforms.
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