Iran

Iran

Iran Iran, formerly known as Persia, came under the rule of the Pahlavi dynasti in 1925. Public opposition to the repressive rule of Shah Muhammad Reza Pahlavi culminated in the so-called "Iranian Revolution" in 1979 and the abolishment of the monarchy. The same year, Rouhollah Mousavi Khomeini proclaimed the Islamic Republic of Iran that combined elements of a parliamentary democracy with a Shiite Islamic theocracy. Until his death in 1989, Khomeini was the Supreme Leader of Iran, which is the highest-ranking political and religious authority. He was succeeded by former President Ali Khamenei, who maintained this position until today. In 1997, moderate Seyed Mohammad Khatami was inaugurated as President, but his attempts to introduce reforms put him at odds with the conservative Supreme Leader Khamenei. In 2005 Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected president. The Iranian population is predominantly ethnic Persian. Major ethnic minorities are Azeris (24%), Kurds (7%), Arabs (3%) and Baluchs (2%). Almost all (98%) Iranians follow the Islam. Within the Islam, the majority of the people (89%) are Shi'a, while only 8% are Sunni Muslims.

Since 1946, Iran saw both interstate and intrastate conflicts. Iran fought a long-lasting conflict against neighbouring Iraq. Sporadic border clashes occurred along the disputed Shatt al-Arab river in 1974 and in 1980 Iraq invaded the oil-rich Iranian province Khuzestan marking the beginning of eight years of heavy fighting. In 1988 the two sides agreed on a ceasefire and withdrew to their respective borders. Furthermore, several pro-independence movements formed within some of the Iranian ethnic minorities and engaged in intrastate conflicts over territory. The KDPI (Partiya Demokrat a Kurdistan - Îran; Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran) struggled for an independent Kurdistan in 1966 and in the following 30 years the intrastate conflict was periodically active. Already in 1946 it had a short-lived independent Kurdish republic within Iran. In 1979, the APCO (Arab Political and Cultural Organisation) instigated an armed conflict to gain more autonomy for the Khuzestan region, also known as Arabistan. This conflict was terminated in 1980. The rebel group MEK (Mujahideen e Khalq; People's Mujahideen) launched an intrastate conflict in 1979 and was periodically active until 2001.

In 2005, the Kurdish PJAK (Partî Jiyanî Azadî Kurdistan; Free Life Party of Kurdistan) became active in Iran. Striving for a change in the Iranian regime in order to establish a democratic confederate system, they are mainly active in the Kurdish region of Iran. Jondullah (God's Army) is the second group that is currently fighting in Iran. It first reached the 25 battle-related deaths threshold in 2006. It's striving for the same goals as PJAK, yet it focuses on Baluchistan, an area covering the southeast of Iran, the southwest of Afghanistan and major parts of western Pakistan.

On the 31st birthday of the Iranian Revolution in 2010, Ahmadinejad announced that Iran can now be considered a 'nuclear state', after succeeding to enrich Uranium to 20% for the first time. While Iran announced that it does "not believe in manufacturing a bomb", many countries around the world fear that soon Iran will join the select group of states that possesses nuclear weapons. Therefore, in June 2010, the United Nations Security Council voted to impose the fourth round of sanctions on Iran.

The government of Iran provided secondary warring support to the government of Oman against the PFLOAG (Popular Front for the Liberation of the Arabian Gulf) from 1972 to 1975.

Since 1946 Iran has experienced the interstate, intrastate and one-sided categories of UCDP organised violence.