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Archive for January, 2007

Assignment One: Democracy in Iran?

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

To succeed on this assignment, you must:

1. Read and analyze the documents on the following links:

Frontline on Democracy in Iran

BBC on Democracy in Iran

Iran Breifing Paper pages 35-40 ONLY (from “Citizens and Society” through “Gender”)

2. post (where it says “comments” below) a one page single-spaced op-ed citing ample evidence from EACH article (insufficient evidence from EACH article will result in a zero). Your op-ed should carefully address the relationship between Islam and Democracy in Iran.

Assignment Two: Structural-Funtional Analysis Made Easy (Sort Of)

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007



Iran’s complex political system combines elements of a modern Islamic theocracy with democracy. The whole system operates under a Supreme Leader who is, in theory, appointed by an elected body but is in practice answerable to nobody. The key question is how this system develops in the ongoing struggle between reformists and conservatives.

To answer this question, I have two posted two interactive flow charts which should help you to cultivate structural-functional analyses of Iran’s Political system:

One is Here

The Other is Here

Here is a nice visual from the NYT 

Here is some teacher who explains it reasonably well. If nothing else, he has a splendid haircut:

Your task is to be prepared for a quiz on the structures and functions of the Iranian government.

Assignment Three: Three Articles

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

In Iran, Even Some On Right Warning Against Extremes

Executive Seeks To Extend Control As Local Elections Near

Assembly Election Significant Despite Heavy Vetting

The Response Sheet (just in case)

Whose Iran?

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

Read this Secor contribution to the NY Times Magazine.

Answer these questions and to be prepared to discuss this piece in class




Ahmadinejad’s letter to Americans

Sunday, January 28th, 2007

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

O, Almighty God, bestow upon humanity the perfect human being promised to all by You, and make us among his followers.

Feel more of this enlightened theocrat’s loving embrace here

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Website

Sunday, January 28th, 2007

From his mouth to your ears. Cope with the irony and read on here

Other Links and Resources

Sunday, January 28th, 2007

A virtual potpourri of resources on Iran including:

General Background

The Student and Reform Movements
Press Freedoms
U.S.-Iran Relations and the Nuclear Issue
Media Resources

Interview with Shirin Ebadi

Sunday, January 28th, 2007

Shirin Ebadi, age 56, has fought for women’s rights, children’s rights and human rights for years, defending political activists and other human rights lawyers. Ebadi was Iran’s first woman judge before the 1979 Islamic revolution — at which point she was fired by the mullahs. As a lawyer, writer and part-time lecturer at Tehran University, she has argued that there is no contradiction between Islam and human rights. She has been previously jailed for her defense of political activists. Currently Shirin Ebadi has taken on the case of Zahra Kazemi, the Canadian journalist murdered in Iran.

Read the Interview Here 

A Timeline

Sunday, January 28th, 2007

Key Events in Iran Since 1921 are Here

A Comprehensive Country Study

Sunday, January 28th, 2007

The facts, just the facts ma’am (and other references of more value to you) are here