Iran Info Sheet


Who: The Islamic Republic of Iran is a major oil-producing Middle Eastern state. The official language is Persian and the official religion, Islam, with over 90% of Muslims identifying as Shi’ite.


Overview: Iran, a theocracy today, established in 1979 by over throwing the US-supported monarchy and deposing the Shah (ruling monarch). After over throwing the Shah, Iran became economically and politically isolated from the U.S. and other major western powers. This has only just recently begun to be relaxed with the nuclear deal reached between the P5+1 (Permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany) and Iran.


Priorities: Iran is a Shiite majority state and is commonly thought of as being in a power struggle, against the Sunni kingdom of Saudi Arabia (which supports the rebels), for control over economic and political influence in the Middle East. Iran has dedicated military personnel to advise the Assad regime and find ways to provide economic support to the regime.


Political Associations: Iran is a member of the United Nations. Allies: Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas (Palestinian Islamic organization), Russia


Criticisms: Arab states in the region accuse Iran of stirring rebellion among Arab Shi’a populations in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Yemen. Iran has used repressive tactics to quell democratic reform movements within its own borders. Iran also directly supports Hezbollah, the Shiite extremist and political party in Lebanon, which is considered by the Western Powers as a terrorist organization. Hezbollah, has been providing military support to Assad in Syria