The Philipeenes Essay, Research Paper
Iran is a large country in Southwest Asia. The nation has many petroleum resources and is also important because of the country+s economy which is growing very fast and because of its location. Iran’s northern border is Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan. Iran controls the Strait of Hormuz, the Gulf of Oman, and everything that goes in and out of the Persian Gulf because of its large coastline. Iran also borders Turkey and Iraq on the west and Afghanistan and Pakistan on the east. The country used to be known as Persia, from the ancient Greek name Persis, but in 1935 the government of Iran asked for the use of the older and correct name, Iran. This name means Land of the Aryans. Iran was an independent monarchy for more than 2,500 years until 1979. In that year the shah of Iran, Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, was removed from office and an Islamic republic was announced. The soils in Iran that are mostly used for farming are the brown forest soils from along the coastal areas of the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea. In other areas, soils that are good for farming are limited and hard to find. However, water is a lot more important than soil because in many areas water is not available, unlike the soil. Iran has a mixed type of climate which sometimes has both high temperatures and a lot of precipitation. Summers are very hot along the Persian Gulf, where the temperatures sometimes reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Winters are commonly cold, except along the warmer Caspian and Persian Gulf shores. In Tehran, the average January temperature is 36 degree Fahrenheit and the average for July is 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Precipitation ranges from more than 50 inches in the northwestern Zagros and the Elburz mountains to less than 2 inches in southeastern areas of the country. The most important river in Iran is the Karun which flows across a wide plain, is passable to Ahvaz and is Iran’s only river able to be used by boats and ships. Three other rivers that keep up their flow all year are, the Atrak in the northeast, the Safid which flows to the south shore of the Caspian Sea and the Aras in the northwest. Other rivers in Iran usually dry up in summer and flow off and on. People use long underground water tunnels called qanats that bring water from the mountains into the land. About 10% of Iran is covered with forest. Most of it is deciduous and located in the mountains near the Caspian Sea. Different kinds of trees and shrubs also cover parts of the Zagros Mountains. Drier parts of the country do not have much vegetation. Common trees in the wet part of the desert are poplars, tamarisks, date palms, myrtles, and mulberries. In the central land area some of the animals are wild boars, foxes, jackals, and some lions and tigers in the wilder areas. Lizards and other creatures live in the drier areas. Iran is very rich in minerals like petroleum and natural gas. In 1986 it was the sixth-largest producer of oil in the world. Petroleum production declined beginning in 1979. Most oil fields are located in the southwest, especially in Khuzestan province. Some are under the waters of the Persian Gulf and some discoveries have been made in other parts of the country. Natural gas supplies are also huge and make up the world’s second-largest reserves. In the 1970’s iron and coal deposits were produced for use in the new steel industry, and large amounts of salt, copper, lead, zinc, and chromite are starting to be made use of. The population of Iran has many different ethnic groups. Minority groups stand their ground and protect their local separatism and try to have freedom in local affairs. About two-thirds of the total population is descended from Aryan tribes who migrated to Iran from central Asia in the 17th century. The other one-third is mostly Turks and Arabs. The largest Aryan group are Persians, who make up 63% of the total population and live mainly in the central area of the country. Many of Iran’s important ethnic minorities move from from place to place and do not like cultural change and some even want separate nations. These groups include the Kurds, who live mostly in the northern Zagros Mountains, the Bakhtiari and Lurs, who live in the southern half of the Zagros Mountains, and the Baluchi, who live in the southeast. About 98% of all Iranians are Muslims, 93% of them are Shiites, or members of the Shia faith of Islam. Iran is the world’s center of Shiite Islam. Most of the ethnic minorities including Kurds, Baluchi, Turks, and Arabs, are Sunnites, or members of the Sunni faith of Islam. The leaders of the Shiites are a religious class of mullahs. These leaders have high political effect and include about 400 ayatollahs, or holy ones. Since the 1979 revolution, even the most non-religious Iranians have been forced to follow exact Islamic codes of actions. The main minority religions are Bahai, Zoroastrianism, and Christianity. There are large areas of Iran where no one lives. The population is mostly along the southern shores of the Caspian Sea, the Atrek River valley in the northeast, the Karun River valley and Tigris Euphrates delta in the southwest, and the mountain valleys of the northwest. The largest urban center is Tehran, the capital, which has grown fast in the last couple of decades. Other large urban centers are Isfahan, Shiraz, and Tabriz. Mashhad and Qum are important Shiite religious centers. Education is free and required for all children from age six to age eleven. Since the revolution, many new schools have been built, and textbooks have been rewritten. Ever since the closing of the country’s universities after the revolution, they have gradually reopened since 1983. The largest is the University of Tehran which was built in 1934. Most of the higher education concentrates mostly on agricultural and vocational studies. Health care in Iran has improved since the 1960’s but is still ineffective, mostly in rural areas. However, since the revolution, more attention has been placed on giving social services to those areas. During the 1960’s and 1970’s the shah attempted to change Iran into a modern, industrial nation. The income of the nation increased after the price of oil raised all over the world in the 1970’s. During this time Iran had one of the highest growth of economic rates in the world. This fast increase made a healthy middle class, but it also caused a lot of social and cultural shifting. After the 1979 revolution, Iran’s extreme rule centers on being independent. During this period and Islamic teachers had more control over economic decisions than the government did up to the time of around 1987. Most of the industries were controlled by the government and many large projects were canceled. The selling of oil stayed at a high level even though there was damage to wells, refineries, and export terminals. This was caused by the long Iran and Iraq War. All the money spent on this war by Iran really hurt the economy. Manufacturing now is a bigger part of the gross national product than agriculture even though less people work for it. The main businesses are oil related and involve refining and the making of petrochemicals. However, the labor force is fifteen million people with thirty-three percent of these people work in agriculture and twenty-one percent are occupied in manufacturing. The main oil processing center is Abadan. Steel developing began in 1973, and is mostly used in the making of cars, buses, trucks, tractors and refrigerators. Many dynasties have controlled Iran. Some of these have been in the middle of huge empires going through much of the Middle East. The modern Iranian situation has its beginnings from Cyrus the Great, who was the first Achaemenid emperor in 549 B.C. In 330 B.C., Iran became part of Alexander the Great’s empire. After that, it was part of the Seleucid kingdom and then in 250 B.C it was part of the Parthian empire. In AD 224 the Parthian Arsacid empire was brought down by the Sassanians. The Sassanians were a Persian dynasty that ruled until the Arab victory, which ended in 641. The Arabs presented Islam and put Persia into the practice of the Islam leaders In the eleventh and twelve centuries the country was ruled by the Seljuk Turks, who showed the business and economic plan that continued until the twentieth century. Persia was invaded and taken over by the Mongols under Genghis Khan in the thirteenth century and by Timur in the fourteenth century.
In the sixteenth century, after a long time of no union, Shah Ismail set up the Safavid dynasty, which brought Persia back as a political system and made Shiism the national religion. The greatest Safavid ruler was Shah Aabbas I. The Afghans took over the Safavids in 1722, but Persian freedom was gained back by Nadir Shah. After the Afshar dynasty, the Zand dynasty had power and then was brought down in 1794 by the Qajars. They had power until 1925. Iran has twenty-three provinces, each directed by a governor general. Nine regions are watched over by governors. The provinces and regions are even divided into counties, districts, and villages. Iran gained independence on April 1, 1979 when the Islamic Republic of Iran was proclaimed. A constitution was then made on December second through the third that same year and changed in 1989 to give more power to the president and get rid of prime ministership. The executive branch in Iran has a supreme leader, a president, and a Council of Ministers. The legislative branch is a unicameral Islamic Consultative Assembly and the judicial branch is controlled by the Supreme Court. The Supreme leader and Chief of State is Ayatollah Ali and the head of the government, the president, is Ali Akbar. In 1990 Iran and Iraq brought back political relations. However they are still trying to work out written understandings about straightening out disagreements from their eight-year war over the area of borders, prisoners of war, and freedom of moving and independence over the Shatt al Arab waterway. During the 19th century Iran came under increasing pressure from Russia in the north and from Britain, which was pushing westward from India and northward from the Persian Gulf. The Anglo-Russian Entente of 1907 divided the country into a Russian zone of influence, a British zone, and a neutral zone. In 1908 petroleum was discovered. The Qajar dynasty was unable to save the country from a civil war and from foreign rule until a strong leader came into power named Reza Shah Pahlavi after World War I. The parliament of Iran put him into the throne in 1925. He reorganized the military forces, restored internal order, developed new industries, and changed the legal system. In 1941 British and Soviet pressure forced Reza Shah to be throw out of office. He was succeeded by his 22-year-old son, Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi. In the early 1950+s the power of the new leader was challenged by the nationalist leader Muhammad Mosaddeq. Shah was forced to flee the country shortly in 1953, but he returned soon with strong support from the Western powers. Mosaddeq was then convicted of treason, and Shah emerged as a powerful ruler. In 1954 a new agreement with a large group of Western oil companies was settled, giving Iran fifty percent of all profits. In 1963, Shah introduced an new program of modernization that included land reform, more rights for women, and fast industrialization. This plan was known as the White Revolution. The reforms were too much for some and not enough for others. During 1977 and 1978, however, tensions increased and opposition from both the left and right erupted into street rioting. In November 1978 Shah took Iran+s military into rule. People were even more angry now, but this time led from Paris by the exiled Islamic fundamentalist Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. On Jan. 6, 1979, Shah lifted military rule, and a few days later he left the country. Khomeini returned on February 1, and on February 12, Iran was made an Islamic republic. Hundreds of Shah’s supporters and members of his secret police, Savak, were arrested, tried, and executed. Khomeini made policies to reverse the Westernization of Iran, and a new constitution was approved. There was now a new parliamentary form of government with an elected president and a unicameral parliament. The new regime did not agree with the United States because of the its longtime support of Shah. The capturing of the U.S. embassy in Tehran and its personnel by military students in November 1979 brought on a long international crisis. The students took hostage 66 U.S. embassy employees and demanded the return of the shah for trial. The Ayatollah Khomeini supported the students. On November 14, U.S. president Jimmy Carter ordered all Iranian assets frozen in U.S. banks. On November 19 and 20, thirteen hostages who were either black or female were released. Although the shah left the United States in early December, the militants refused to release their hostages. On April 24, 1980, there was an unsuccessful U.S. attempt to rescue the hostages made even more hostility between the two countries, and the death of the shah in July had no effect on the hostages’ status. In November, however, the Iranian parliament set four circumstances for their release. These conditions are that could be no U.S. interference in Iran; the unfreezing of Iranian assets inside and outside the United States; the cancellation of all sanctions; and the return of the shah’s property. An agreement was finally signed in January 1981. On January 20, the day of Ronald Reagan’s inauguration as president, the hostages were released. Former president Jimmy Carter went as Reagan’s representative to greet them at a U.S. base in West Germany. At the same time, in 1980, a border disagreement with Iraq broke out into war when Iraqi troops invaded Iran. The war continued until 1988, when Iraq and Iran agreed to a cease fire. The hostage crisis and the war with Iraq made the people of Iran think that Khomeini was the greatest leader of all time. Abolhassan Bani-Sadr was elected president in January 1980, but found his powers limited more and more by the fundamentalist members of clergy who held a majority in parliament. In June 1981 he was dismissed. The person who succeeded him was Muhammad Ali Rajai, who was assassinated later that year. Hojatolislam Ali Khamenei was elected president in 1981 and reelected in 1985. Iran’s government continued to have domestic support even though shortages of food and foreign exchange. It became more and more restricted with other countries, however, partly due to its relations to Hezbollah and other terrorist groups. Disagreements among Iran’s political leaders emerged, mostly after the late 1986 revelations of United States arms sales to Iran in the Iran Contra Affair. After Khomeini’s death, on July 3, 1989, the Council of Experts elected Khamenei to be Iran’s next supreme religious leader. Hashemi Rafsanjani, the speaker of parliament, became president after July 1989 elections. Soon after Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, it agreed to return to Iran all prisoners and territory taken during the Iran Iraq war. The two nations restored diplomatic ties in September. Iran remained neutral during the Persian Gulf War in 1991. It later sought investment from Western Europe and tried to extend its control in the Muslim republics of Central Asia. It also supported Muslim extremists in Sudan and the Israeli-occupied territories. A typical day in Iran would be much different from that of any day in the United States. If you were a teenager in Iran, life would would be tough. If your family was in the lower or middle class, your parents would usually work in the fields farming tobacco or cotton, the two biggest crops in Iran. You would go to school in the morning. Schools in Iran are very different from the ones in the United States because they do not have as much money or support from the government. Every person in the country has to pray a couple times a day. When a teenager returns from school, he or she might play in the streets with their friends. Families cannot afford much because the average income in Iran is only 1,500 dollars. ————————————————————–