To read EMET’s fact sheet on Iran, click here.
Know as Persia until 1935, Iran became an Islamic republic in 1979 after the ruling monarchy was overthrown and Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was forced into exile. Shia Muslim Islamist clerical forces led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini established a theocratic system of government with ultimate political authority vested in a learned religious scholar referred to as the Supreme Leader who, according to the constitution, is accountable only to the Assembly of Experts – an elected 86-member body of clerics. Now the Supreme Leader is the Ayatollah Ali Khameini. Iran’s current President if Hassan Rouhani. The President is elected in an undemocratic process every four years.