No Vote? No Problem.
Iranians vote for a president on May 19. But in Iran’s system, it’s the Supreme Leader who always wins.
Ali Khamenei, who has held the position since 1989, is in a distinct group of political actors. Around the world, 21 individuals—monarchs, heads of one-party states, a military commander, and the Supreme Leader himself—hold vast executive power in unelected positions. Free from the “nuisance” of the popular vote, these leaders are immune to the political currents that rotate power in electoral systems.
Analyses and recommendations offered by the authors do not necessarily reflect those of Freedom House.
The ultimate test of the agreement’s success may be whether it creates space for systemic changes that make Iran less threatening, regardless of the technology it possesses.
Secretary of State John Kerry will appear this week before the House and Senate committees on appropriations and foreign affairs to explain the Obama administration’s fiscal year (FY) 2014 budget request for the Department of State and foreign operations. Freedom House compiled a series of key questions it would like Secretary Kerry to answer about administration policy and budget priorities during the hearings.
By: Nicholas Bowen, Guest Blogger
Despite the recent focus on Iran’s nuclear program, the country’s deteriorating human rights situation has been the subject of mounting international concern for a number of years. The conservative presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who first took power in 2005, has harmed Iranians’ interests through its divisive factional infighting, economic ineptitude, and deepening confrontation with both the democratic world and Iran’s Arab rivals. But a newly published United Nations report has highlighted the extent to which the regime’s policies have also degraded the country’s already poor human rights conditions during Ahmadinejad’s tenure.