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.
Citizens have long been excluded from policymaking, and they don’t like the results.
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.