Is Iran a dictatorship


The current political situation

Hasan Rouhani's presidency can be seen, at least in part, as a result of these disputes. Unlike Ahmadinejad, he comes from the ranks of the clergy, has close ties to their high-ranking representatives and is considered loyal to Khamenei.

In recent years it has been of central interest to the Islamic Republic that Bashar al-Assad's Syria does not cease to be Iran's most important ally in the Arab region, which is why it has repeatedly intervened directly in the Syrian civil war - even though Rouhani has signaled concession here as well . Despite this, Iran is viewed by its opponents as a participant in the war. This shows, in addition to the attack on the Iranian embassy in Beirut in November 2013, above all the attack on the Iranian parliament in Tehran and on the mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini in 2017. The Iranian state media (expected) also gave Saudi Arabia and America one Complicity, but generally the Islamic State is considered to be responsible. The same applies to the attack on a military parade in Ahwaz in southwest Iran in September 2018. While the Islamic State quickly assumed responsibility, the Iranian government - in addition to Saudi Arabia - also blamed European countries and appointed the ambassadors of Denmark and the Netherlands and the UK one.

The political and, in particular, the economic situation in Iran continues to be shaped primarily by the conflict over the Iranian nuclear program. With an end to the international economic and financial sanctions, Iran would again be in a position to export oil and, in return, to award contracts to Western companies to modernize its infrastructure in many areas. International financial transactions would be possible again, trade with Iranian companies would become easier again and the Iranian state would have access to still frozen funds of over 100 billion euros. While the Iranian state hopes that these opportunities will strengthen its economic competitiveness, most of the Iranian citizens hope for a quick improvement in their living conditions. From the beginning of 2016, the sanctions were actually gradually lifted again by the USA. In a first step, in August 2018, this concerned the acquisition of gold, precious metals and US dollars on the one hand, and the import of aircraft and aircraft parts on the other. In a second step, from November 2018, this affects the Iranian oil and banking sector, which affects the Iranian economy unevenly hit harder. So far the sanctions have been reinstated by the USA alone, but the pressure is already growing on European companies to withdraw from business with Iran. Accordingly, the exports of German companies to Iran have already declined significantly.

In this context, however, around the turn of the year 2017/18, there were public protests, especially young Iranians in Tehran and other cities, including Mashhad. As with similar expressions of displeasure in recent years, the focus is on the University of Tehran. The information on the number of participants varies. The demands of the protesters are varied, but the core is criticism of the economic situation of many young Iranians. On the other hand, however, there are also demonstrations by supporters of the Iranian government, which are, however, organized by the state. It is interesting that Iranian state television describes some of the demands as being justified and President Rouhani stresses the protesters' right to protest.

In the spring of 2019, the situation increasingly came to a head, both politically and militarily. Among other things, the US has sent warships to the Persian Gulf, reinforced its troops in the region and withdrew some of its embassy staff from Iraq for security reasons. In the first few weeks of 2020, this simmering conflict suddenly intensified. After the killing of the Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Jerusalem Revolutionary Guard Brigades, the rocket fire in positions also used by Americans, and the shooting down of a Ukrainian airliner by the Iranian air defense, the conflict continues to offer enormous potential for escalation. All the more so as at the same time the dispute over the nuclear agreement (JCPOA) is again intensifying