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Iran Update

In: Historical Events

Submitted By efederico
Words 542
Pages 3
Today Iran’s government is an Islamic theocracy. On the surface, the U.S. and Iranian governments have much in common: a president who is popularly elected, a legislature, and a powerful judiciary. The main difference in Iran’s government is that one man, the Supreme Leader, (who today is Ayatollah Ali Khamenei) uses ideological and political control over a system dominated by clergy who back every major function of the state. The president is the 2nd highest-ranking authority, who is responsible for setting the country's economic policies. Iran’s government also includes a Parliament, which is a unicameral legislative body that drafts legislation, ratifies international treaties, and approves the country's budget. There’s also The Assembly of Experts, which consists of 86 educated clerics who elect the Supreme Leader from within their own ranks and periodically reconfirm him. The Council of Guardians has the authority to interpret the constitution and determine if the laws passed by Parliament are in line with sharia, Islamic law (which means they have veto power over Parliament). Additionally, there is an Expediency Council (currently headed by Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani) who serves as an advisory body to the Supreme Leader, making it one of the most powerful governing bodies in the country. The US and Islam’s governments had numerous issues with each other in the past, and now they are gradually trying to improve their relations.
The United States had long-standing concerns over Iran’s nuclear program, sponsorship of terrorism, and human rights record. The United States and the international community had imposed sanctions against Iran to in order for Iran to engage seriously in discussions with the international community and address concerns over its nuclear program and human rights abuses. Recently, on January 20th 2014, the permanent members of the UN Security Council(and Germany) and Iran came up with an interim nuclear deal, The Joint Plan of Action. It involved Iran diluting its stockpile to a lower lever of enriched uranium gas production or converting it into oxide form, which is more difficult to process into weapon fuel. While Iran has committed not to manufacture or operate new centrifuges during this interim period, none of its 18,000 centrifuges will be dismantled as a result of the deal. Iran has also insisted that the agreement does not restrict research and development of more advanced centrifuges, which it has continued to pursue. To monitor Iran's compliance with the restrictions of the interim agreement, the IAEA is implementing an "enhanced monitoring" arrangement under which inspectors are given daily access to the enrichment plants at Natanz and Fordow. Inspectors have also gained "managed access" to centrifuge production and assembly workshops, which have not previously been inspected regularly. Despite President Obama’s veto threat against any new sanctions legislation, administration officials have emphasized that the interim accord with Iran does not restrict the United States from enforcing most existing sanctions. To show its willingness to enforce these measures, on February 6, 2014 the administration announced the blacklisting of a display of entities and networks tied to the Iranian financial system, weapons proliferation, and terrorism. The Treasury Department also announced the creation of a new Foreign Sanctions Evaders List (FSE List) to specifically flag those individuals and companies violating U.S. sanctions.

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