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Iran

Yearbook 1997

Iran. In the May 23 presidential election, Mohammad Khatami won just as much as surprisingly over his main rival, Parliament Speaker Ali Akbar Nateq-Nouri. Inflation and unemployment were important issues during the election campaign. The turnout was high - 88.1% - and Khatami received 69% of the vote. He succeeded Ali Akbar Rafsanjani, who served two terms in a row and therefore was not allowed to run for office in the seventh presidential election since the revolution of 1979. Khatami is considered a principled religious leader, but he has also profiled himself as a tolerant politician throughout his career. As Minister of Culture in the early 1990s, he relieved the censorship, after which he resigned following criticism from the country's conservative camps.

Khatami appointed a government that was considered more reform-friendly than the previous one. When it came to sensitive foreign and security policy, however, he chose ministers who had the full confidence of his conservative opponents. Khatami appointed three women as close associates: Vice President Massoumeh Ebtekar, Deputy Minister of Culture Aasam Nuri and the women's advisor Zahra Shojai. The three are the first women in the country's political leadership since the revolution in 1979. Based on Digopaul, months after the change of government, foreign visitors noted that everyday life in Iran became less dogmatic. Many women - who had already begun to make up their appearance to a certain extent - dared to let plateau shoes and red-painted toenails appear under their long coats.

Relations with the western world had been very tense during the first part of the year. A court in Germany ruled in early April that Iran's political leadership was behind the assassination of four Kurdish regime critics at a restaurant in Berlin in 1992. One Iranian and one Lebanese were sentenced to life imprisonment for performing the assassinations and two other Lebanese were sentenced long term imprisonment for assisting in murder. The EU interrupted the so-called critical dialogue with Iran and the diplomatic contacts between the Union and Iran were mutually broken. They resumed in November, which was interpreted as a propaganda victory for Khatami.

Relaxation was also noted in relations with other countries. Khatami won a triumph in December when Iran hosted an Islamic summit within the framework of the Islamic Conference Organization (ICO). 55 countries, including rivals such as Iraq, sent representatives. Even in the bottomless relationship with the United States, a thaw was noticed when Khatami in December recognized the US government as rightfully elected.

However, Khatami is not unharmed. The conservative clergy still hold a dominant position and there were signs of a power struggle within the country's leadership towards the end of the year.

One example that drew criticism abroad was the case of author Faraj Sarkoohi. He had been arrested by the security police in November 1996 and charged, among other things. for spying. In September - after Khatami's accession - he himself reported to his wife in Germany that he was sentenced to one year in prison for defaming Iran in foreign newspapers. When he was to be held responsible for the accusations of espionage was unclear.

Earthquakes shook Northern Iran in February and again in May. Several thousand people were killed and the material destruction was extensive.

1997 Iran

The US breach of the Iran agreement was supplemented by sanctions, and the EU quickly discovered that the primary target of the sanctions was not Iran, but European companies such as the US would boycott if they continued their economic activities in Iran. Therefore, despite the EU's promise to companies to compensate them for US sanctions, a large number of European companies withdrew from Iran.

In early October, the International Court of Justice in The Hague issued an order urging the United States to immediately impose its sanctions on Iran. The US draconian sanctions were in violation of the 1955 friendship agreement between the two countries. The US Secretary of State then declared that the United States would ignore the ruling and resign the agreement with immediate effect. At the same time, the United States revoked its accession to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations between Countries. Both the sanctions and the United States' discarding of the PLO's diplomatic mission in Washington were in breach of the convention and could be brought before the international court. The United States' fundamental position on international agreements is that they are contrary to the sovereignty of the United States and must therefore be abolished.Guardian 3/10 2018; US terminates 1955 treaty with Iran, Daily Star 4/10 2018)

In mid-February 2019, the United States held a conference with participants from 60 countries aimed at intensifying the destabilization of Iran. The conference failed. The US Vice President started by scolding the EU for undermining US sanctions on Iran. However, sanctions that also affect, inter alia, European companies that continue to trade with Iran in accordance with the Security Council agreement. The EU therefore provides financial compensation to the companies affected by the illegal sanctions of the United States. The EU had therefore only sent low-ranking diplomats to the United States Conference. The United States was only supported by its policies from Israel and its allied feudal dictatorships. In parallel with the United States Conference, Russia held a conference with Turkey and Iran on peace in Syria. Through its long-standing support for jihadists in the country, the West had completely disregarded this process. (Mike Pence chides US allies at Warsaw summit on Iran, Guardian 14/2 2019)

 

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