Libmonster ID: UK-1448
Author(s) of the publication: E. V. DUNAEVA

E. V. DUNAEVA

Candidate of Economic Sciences Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences

political system of Iran Keywords:religious partiesIslamic revolution of 1979

Presidential elections will be held in Iran on June 14, 2013. Shiite clergy actively participate in the election campaign. Shiite theologians are at the head of a number of government institutions and control the activities of elected bodies. So, out of 686 applicants, the Council of Guardians of the Constitution registered only eight candidates, removing a number of key figures from the race. Among them are former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and former Chief of Staff of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - Esfandiyar Rahim Mashaei.

The establishment of the Islamic Republic, the more than 30-year - old functioning of the special system of government of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI), which reflects the idea of Islamic rule in the modern world-all this shows how the clergy can exercise political leadership of the country.

The specific nature of the Iranian political system is the close interweaving of democratic and theocratic principles, and the consolidation of real political power for the clergy. Shiite theologians are at the head of a number of government institutions and control the activities of elected bodies. However, the clergy participate in the social and political life of the country not only through traditional or power structures. Religious parties and organizations have become an integral part of the political system of Iran itself.

THE TRADITION OF THE IRANIAN CLERGY

The active participation of the Shiite clergy in political processes is due to their relative political and economic independence, as well as a strong organizational structure. Such features of his position, close connection with the masses of the people and the doctrinal features of Shiism allowed him to actively interfere in political life. One of the tenets of Shiite teaching is the dogma of the 12th hidden imam, who, having gone into hiding, continues to indirectly control the Shiite community: the most authoritative representatives of the clergy fulfill his will, i.e. act as his confidants*.

Thus, the clergy became the inspiration and organizer of the masses in the struggle against the English tobacco monopoly, which had the character of an anti-colonial movement in the middle of the XIX century. The highest Shiite authorities took an active part in the constitutional movement that developed in Iran in 1906-1911, and at some stages of it they were at the head of the revolutionary process. During the Second World War, in the 1950s, during the struggle for the nationalization of oil, the clergy represented a significant political force.

The Shahs of the Pahlavi dynasty tried in every possible way to limit the influence of theologians on all spheres of society. Under pressure from the authorities, senior religious figures agreed to separate religion from politics and expressed their willingness to follow the ban on clerics joining political parties and organizations. However, in practice, the clerics did not refuse to continue their political activities. This was clearly shown by the events of the early 60s of the XX century, which are regarded in Iran as the forerunner of the Islamic revolution. At the end of 1961, on the basis of seminars conducted by Ayatollah Khomeini, his students illegally created the Society of Teachers of the Kuma Theological Center (OP KTC).

Among the founders of this Society were future Grand Ayatollahs Hossein Ali Montazeri and Fazel Lenkarani. The Charter of the organization stated that the main goals of its activities are the protection and dissemination of Islam and the Koran, the training of religious propagandists and sending them to various parts of the country, the struggle for the introduction of Islamic norms in politics, the economy, the judicial system, social and cultural spheres. In addition, the Charter demanded to engage in a merciless struggle against despotism and social evil, to provide comprehensive support to the oppressed and the poor.1

For the first time, the Society showed itself as an organizer of protests against the Shah's reforms in the summer of 1963 in Qom, Tehran, and a number of other cities of the country, known as the "white Revolution". Drawing on close ties with top Shiite theologians in Iran and other countries, the Society initiated a campaign to recognize Khomeini as Marja al-taqlid


* According to the doctrine of the 12 imams, after the death of the 11th Imam Hasan al-Askari, supporters of direct transmission of the imamate recognized his infant son Muhammad as their 12th Imam, who, however, soon disappeared (or "disappeared"). He was hailed as the" hidden "imam and " expected Mahdi" who should return and fill the world with justice.

** Marja at-taqlid (the one who is imitated, a role model) - the head of the clergy and the leader of the entire Shiite community, the main religious authority. The exclusivity of the position of Marj al-taqlid, the need to obey his orders and imitate (taqlid) It is recognized by all members of the community, including the highest clergy. In addition to having the knowledge and qualities that are common to all leading Mujtahids (scholars and judges who have attained the highest degree of knowledge of Muslim law), the Marja at-taqlid must be infallible and able to refrain from doing wrong. He must also be a defender of the faith and unswervingly follow the religious duty, be faithful to the truth and absolutely submissive to God, and to God alone.

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this helped him avoid more severe reprisals from the authorities, since, according to the Constitution of the Shah of Iran, a person holding such a title is legally inviolable2.

After the brutal suppression of the protests in 1963, the clergy realized the need for more organizational work among the masses and set out to create a political organization that could coordinate the actions of all pro-Islamic forces. Such a structure was the Society of the Struggling Clergy of Tehran (WDS), created in 1973 on the initiative of the Kuma Society by a group of religious figures close to Khomeini. Among them were A. Khamenei, A. Hashemi Rafsanjani, M. Beheshti and others.

The WDS was formed as a closed political organization of the clergy, consisting of 95 religious figures, who managed to take control of the activities of most mosques and places of worship and direct them to mobilize the masses for the anti-Shah struggle. The main methods of their activity were: distributing appeals to believers, preaching at Friday prayers, maintaining constant contacts with Khomeini in exile, replicating his letters and speeches, and providing assistance to the poor.

Both societies became the mouthpiece of Khomeini's ideas in Iran and, in fact, the headquarters of religious forces on the eve and during the revolutionary events. The high level of organization of the clergy contributed to the fact that they were able to join the anti-Shah struggle and take the lead in mass popular demonstrations in 1978.

CLERGY IN THE STRUGGLE FOR POWER: CREATING A RELIGIOUS PARTY

After the victory of the revolution in the winter of 1979, both organizations actively continued their political activities. Immediately after the February uprising, the question arose of creating a new system of government in the country. Some religious and political figures and some representatives of the liberal bourgeoisie supported the idea of creating an Islamic republic, but other projects of a republican structure were also considered.

After the appointment of M. Bazargan, a representative of liberal-bourgeois circles, as Prime Minister of the Provisional Revolutionary Government, the clergy tried to seize the initiative and launched a struggle for dominance in the newly created authorities. It was acutely aware of the need to unite all Islamic forces, as it was concerned about the threat of being pushed out of power by liberal-nationalist or left-wing forces operating within the framework that had developed back in the 40s and 60s. political associations.

Plans to form a mass party led by the clergy were developed by Ayatollah M. Beheshti on the eve of the revolution 3. In the first days of the establishment of the new government, the first religious political party, the Party of the Islamic Republic (PIR), was created on the initiative of the Central Council of the Department of Internal Affairs. With Khomeini's approval, five religious figures-M. J. Bahonar, M. Beheshti, A. Khamenei, A. Mousavi Ardebeli and A. A. Hashemi Rafsanjani-initiated the creation of a political organization that aimed to promote the establishment of an Islamic regime in the country and ensure the political leadership of the clergy. Describing the new political association, the Iranian scholar N. M. Mammadova wrote that this party was "not an Islamic or Islamist one, but a party of the clergy" 4.

According to A. Shadlu, an Iranian political scientist and author of works on the history of the Islamic Revolution and political parties, "after the victory of the Islamic revolution, the leaders of the Islamic movement realized the need to take power into their own hands. They believed that the failure of the two previous popular movements - the Constitutional Revolution* and the Movement for the Nationalization of Oil** - was due to the fact that the clergy, while actively participating in them, did not take the helm of power."5

The main task of the party, as well as the WDB, was to unite all Islamic forces on a single platform and mobilize them to ensure the political power of the clergy at all levels. According to the PIR charter, a council of 5 theologians determined the compliance of the party's decisions and actions with Sharia law. General Manager


* The Constitutional Revolution of 1905-1911 was a bourgeois-democratic revolution in Iran that coincided with the national liberation movement. It was caused by the dominance of foreigners in the country, especially in the financial and economic sphere.

** The movement for the nationalization of oil 1951-1953. The second mass social movement led by the Prime Minister of Iran, Mohammad Mosaddegh (approx. ed.).

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Ayatollah M. Beheshti, who served as President of the Supreme Court, was elected Secretary. The most active organizational force of the party was the clergy of the middle and lower levels, who had strong positions in rural areas and among the traditional urban strata.

By promoting Khomeini's ideas about the inseparability of religion and politics and the need for the clergy to take the helm of the state, they were able to mobilize the masses of believers to carry out these tasks. Loyalty to the Islamic Revolution has become the main criterion for admitting new members. Registration to party cells usually took place at meetings in mosques. The fact of participation in revolutionary events was enough to be included in the lists of its members.6 On the ground, territorial structures of the party were quickly created, headed by the clergy.

The formation of the PIR can be considered as a reflection of the ideas of modernism in Islam, since the organization being created was an institution of modern political practice, whose leaders and members were representatives of the religious class. In addition to the governing bodies, the party was governed by a council of five senior theologians (they were also its founders), approved by the imam. The Council had to make its own judgments on the compliance of the party's decisions and activities with sharia law, which was a tribute to the tradition enshrined in the Constitution of Shah's Iran*.

The PIR included representatives of various Islamic movements and groups, 7 and soon turned into a coalition of Islamic forces, ranging from supporters of A. Shariati, a secular propagandist of left-wing Islamic ideas, to followers of the Islamic Coalition Party (PIK), which represented the interests of conservative groups of the Islamic trend.

Thanks to the activities of the PIR and two Societies, the clergy managed to establish the principle of velayat-e-faqihin the. In the shortest possible time, the leading positions of clerics in all government structures were secured and nationalist and left-wing forces were practically ousted from the political arena. Among the members of the Council of Experts that approved the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, deputies of the first Mejlis (130 out of 245), and the Supervisory Board, the majority were members of this party. Among them: General Secretary of PIR M. Bahonar, head of the party since 1984 A. Khamenei, who served as president. In the first three years of its operation, the PIR managed to secure full control over the three branches of government. Further work of the party was focused on the comprehensive consolidation of the Islamic state. PIR managed to bring the workers ' unions under its control. Islamic professional organizations were established under the party. They were formed in all state institutions and controlled by PIR cells. The party became part of a vast political and administrative system created by the clergy to consolidate their power, which also included the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), religious foundations, the Creative Jihad organization, and other institutions. In the first decade of the revolution, this religious-political structure (which was a mass political party run by the clergy in power) became the main tool for mobilizing the masses, carried out on the basis of populist Islamic-radical ideas.

As a result of the PIR's influence on the country's internal political processes, the activities of other political parties actually ceased in 1981. By 1983, the liberal-bourgeois and leftist forces were ousted from the political arena of Iran, and the only ideological trend remained Islamic, and the PIR became the only officially active party.

In Iranian historiography, the creation of this party is regarded as the first experience of clergy participation in civil society structures8, although one can hardly agree with this assessment, since this party has already been established from the very beginning.


* According to the Constitution of Iran, adopted in 1906-1907, a commission of 5 top clerics decided on the compliance of laws submitted to the Majlis with the spirit of Islam. author's note).

** According to the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, "Islamic rule" is based on the authority of a faqih (a knowledgeable person, an expert in Islamic law), which is constitutionally enshrined in the principle of velayat-e-faqih and Islamic attitudes. Waliyeh Faqih is the supreme interpreter of divine laws, while exercising supreme control over the secular State, the army, and the security forces. Above him is only the power of God and the" hidden " Imam Mahdi. The practical essence of the velayat-e-faqih principle consists in the control of the faqih and directly subordinate religious structures over the secular institutions of the state, from the point of view of their compliance with Islamic principles (editor's note).

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since the beginning of its activity, it has become a party of power.

SPLIT OF ISLAMIC FORCES: RIGHT AND LEFT

As noted above, from the very first days of its existence, the PIR was not a single cohesive organization, since it included representatives of various religious and ideological orientations. Within it, differences of opinion gradually began to manifest themselves and factionalism developed.

In the spring of 1984, during the elections to the second Mejlis, internal party disagreements became so intense that we can talk about the separation of the two factions, and in fact, about a split within the PIR. This situation also developed in other organizations of the clergy, which could not but affect the entire Islamic trend, within which two ideological trends were distinguished. One of them was called right, the other-left.

The basis of the right wing was formed by representatives of the Islamic Coalition (IK) party, which, although it became part of the PIR, retained its organizational structure. The EC relied on the bazaar, on small and medium-sized capital, i.e., on representatives of traditional strata. The left wing was represented by the Organization of the Mujahideen of the Islamic Revolution, the Islamic intelligentsia, and part of the student body that supported the line of organizing the Bureau for Strengthening Unity, which participated in the seizure of the American embassy in November 1979. The most famous representative of the left wing of the PIR was M. Mousavi, who was appointed Prime Minister of the country in 1981. General Secretary of the party M. Bahonar made active efforts to restore unity, but after his death in an explosion that occurred during the PIR conference in 1984, it became impossible to hide the separation of the two directions.

Disagreements within the factions concerned the economic and domestic political development of the country, as well as the sphere of foreign policy. The right-wingers supported the political system of the Islamic Republic of Iran as the velayat-e-faqih regime as it was enshrined in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and did not raise the issue of the need to develop democratic institutions. They advocated freedom of economic activity, demanded the return of land and property alienated during the revolution to the owners, did not support large-scale state intervention in the economy, i.e., in fact, they were based on the idea of a free market, private property and capitalist development.

The left, also supporting the idea of velayat-e-faqih, emphasized the need to develop Islamic democracy, implement the idea of justice, opposed property inequality, were supporters of state or cooperative ownership, the development of a subsidy system, and comprehensive support for the poor. In the sphere of foreign policy, the left called for exporting the revolution, helping all the oppressed, while the right did not hide its interest in developing ties with the West and even with the United States.

In the field of theology, the right wing advocated strict adherence to all the traditions of Sharia and Fiqh. That is why the right-wingers were called traditionalists, or conservatives, and this concept is still preserved in the country's political literature.

The leftists were supporters of the development of fiqh and gave the spiritual leader the right to revise certain norms of Sharia and interpret them according to the requirements of the time, i.e. they were adherents of Islamic modernism. At the same time, both trends emphasized loyalty to the imam and the Islamic Revolution. It is worth noting that Khomeini himself, although he demonstrated his position as a political leader standing above these differences, in practice, he was more likely to support the left.

The growing rivalry of the flanks went beyond the party and spread to all state structures. The PIR management became aware of the impossibility of continuing its activities. Almost half of its representative offices in various cities were closed.

Since mid-1985, representatives of the right wing began to publish the newspaper Rastakhiz, in which they openly promoted their position and criticized the views of the left. Differences in positions were evident in the Mejlis during the discussion of practical issues and made it difficult to make decisions, which affected the work of the government and other structures. The situation was aggravated by the fact that the majority of Mejlis deputies and members of the Government, as well as the leadership of the judiciary, shared the positions of the left flank, while the members of the Supervisory Board and the Council of Experts belonged to the right camp.

The lack of unity threatened the stability of the internal situation of the country, which was in the conditions of war with Iraq (1980-1988). In 1987, A. Khamenei and A. Hashemi Rafsanjani, as co-founders of the party, sent a letter to Imam Khomeini asking for its dissolution, in which they noted the need to form a broad party system. Since the contradictions directly related to Khomeini's own activities and questions about his successor, the spiritual leader supported the proposal of the party leadership, while noting the possibility of restoring the PIR if necessary.

ORGANIZATION STRUGGLING CLERGY (OBD) - LEADER CONSERVATIVE CAMP

The split in the Islamic forces could not but affect the activities of the clergy societies, which after the revolution openly entered the political arena and significantly strengthened their positions. The main goal of its activity was to protect and promote the idea of the Islamic Revolution. The WBA set the following tasks: control over the sphere of public administration in order to strengthen the legal framework and justice, strengthen ties with information and propaganda centers inside and outside the country, create research centers on cultural and religious issues and analyze the problems of the foreign and domestic political situation.-


Fiqh (Arabic - "understanding", "knowledge") - 1) the Muslim doctrine of rules of conduct (jurisprudence); 2) a set of social norms (Muslim law in the broadest sense). If sharia is Muslim law in the broadest sense, then fiqh is the normative legal part of Sharia.

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assistance in strengthening organizations and structures that defend the gains of the Islamic Revolution. To carry out these serious tasks, special departments were created under the Society - socio-political, cultural and religious, educational, Islamic propaganda, mosque affairs, security, research and religious educational institutions.

All activities of the Department of Internal Affairs are managed by the Central Council headed by the Secretary General. The society positions itself as a religious, political, and socio-cultural association of clergy and emphasizes that it does not consider it necessary to assume the tasks of a political party. As the speaker of the Khojat-ol-eslamInternal Affairs, G. Mesbahi Moghaddam, emphasizes, the Society has never set up a struggle for power, did not create divisions, did not expand the membership of its members. At the same time, it recognizes that in certain time periods the activities of this organization can be considered as a party activity.9 A number of Western and Russian researchers consider this organization as a political party.

In the first decade after the revolution, the Department of Internal Affairs and the Society of Teachers of the Kuma Theological Center (KTC) held the reins of government of the country in their own hands. These two organizations led election campaigns, nominated candidates for the Mejlis and the presidency, and their members held top government positions and exerted significant influence on foreign and domestic policy.

The Department of Internal Affairs represents the positions of the moderately conservative clergy. The members of this organization are the most influential theologians who are members of the highest authorities: the Council of Experts, the Supervisory Board,the Expediency Council, the Mejlis, the Supreme National Security Council, the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution, and the governing bodies of the judiciary. The Internal Affairs Department still remains one of the most influential political structures and, although it declares that it follows its own line and does not focus on any political trend, practically defines the ideological platform and directs the activities of a number of political parties of the conservative flank. A. A. Hashemi Rafsanjani, H. Rouhani, A. A. Nategh Nuri, M. Emami Kashani, M. Pourmohammadi are among the most famous figures of the Society who held state posts.

The society has experienced several internal crises in its history, but remains the leader of the political organizations of the Islamic Republic of Iran of a moderately conservative orientation, i.e. traditionalists. After the collapse of the PIR and the emergence of a number of political parties and groups in the country, the Department of Internal Affairs directs the activities of a number of organizations that have united in the "Front of Followers of the Line of the Imam and Spiritual Leader". It was the headquarters for developing programs and tactics of the conservative wing's actions in the political arena of Iran during election campaigns, and formed lists of candidates from Tehran. Thus, the Department of Internal Affairs, together with the Society of Teachers of the Kuma Theological Center (OP KTC), was the main force of the right flank in the elections to the Mejlis of the 3rd, 4th and 5th convocations (1988, 1992 and 1996). If in 1988, the opposing coalition of the left, led by the Association of Struggling Clergy, managed to hold If the Mejlis has a larger number of deputies, then in the next two Mejlis, the majority represented the interests of the Department of Internal Affairs and its affiliated organizations.

Under the leadership of the Department of Internal Affairs, several professional Islamic organizations were formed. The largest and most politically active among them are the Islamic Society of Engineers, the Islamic Society of Zeinab (women's organization), the Islamic Society of Doctors, the Society of Vaez (Preachers), the Islamic Society of Representatives of Shop and Market Organizations in Tehran, the Islamic Society of Teachers, etc.

THE BIRTH REFORM MOVEMENT

The growing rivalry in religious circles in the mid-1980s seriously affected the activities of the Society of Struggling Clergy and led to its split. A group of religious figures who were the founders of the Society, led by Ayatollah Mohammad Mousavi Khoeniha (the spiritual leader of the students who seized the American Embassy in 1979), Mohammad Khatami and Mehdi Karoubi, initiated the withdrawal from the OBR.

Having received Khomeini's consent, 29 members of the Society who promoted the ideas of the left flank left the Society, and in March 1988, on the eve of the elections to the 3rd Mejlis, they created a new association - the Association of Struggling Clergy (ABD) of Tehran (this organization is called the "Assembly of Struggling Ulema" in some Russian-language publications). its manager. This structure became the ideologue of the left, populist trend. From the very first days of its existence, the ABD positioned itself as a political organization and, like political parties, was officially registered in 1989. The publication Salom became the press organ of the Association, and later Aftab - e yazd.

Right-wing supporters have accused the left of splitting Islamic forces. However, Khomeini supported the positions of the left, stating in his address that " the gates of Ij Tihad (interpretation of Islam) are open to all, and different points of view on issues of society are possible and useful if they are aimed at strengthening the Islamic state."10

In the late 1980s, ABD was very popular as an ideologue of the left. Around it, numerous trade unions and public organizations began to emerge, positioning themselves as supporters of the left, which included the word association in their name. Thus, the Association of Islamic Women, the Association of Islamic Doctors, the Association of Islamic Students, etc. appeared. 11

However, the end of the Iran-Iraq war and the need to rebuild the country required a review of domestic and foreign policy. A. A. Hashemi Rafsanjani, who was elected President of the country in 1988, started the course of such revision. Representatives of the left flank did not share the position


Khojat-ol-eslam (persid. - proof of Islam) - one of the highest Shiite religious titles, roughly corresponding to bishop in Christianity (approx. ed.).

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the president. They actively criticized his line in the Mejlis, insisting on the state maintaining its position in the country's economy and opposing the free market and open-door policy in relations with foreign countries. The change in the internal situation in the country after Imam Khomeini passed away in 1989 led to a gradual decline in the authority of the left among the country's population. Between 1992 and 1996. they were forced out of all government institutions. Having refused to participate in the election campaign for the Mejlis of the 5th convocation, the Association temporarily suspended its activities. This meant the practical disintegration of the left-wing coalition. During these years, the development of the political process in Iran was determined by the Society of struggling clergy.

Nevertheless, representatives of the left-wing movement, ousted from the highest spheres of the state apparatus, retained strong positions in research centers, the Khomeini Heritage Study Organization, and the National Library. Realizing the danger of concentrating power in the hands of one flank, and seeking to restore their positions of power, left-wing theorists analyzed their actions and, recognizing some of them as erroneous, gradually began to reconsider their views.

The heterogeneity of the positions of the left-wing clergy, including members of the Assembly, was evident from the very beginning of its activity. Not all of its members were in favor of populism and left-wing Islamic radicalism. Thanks to them, the organization gained new strength, which helped it regain its position.

By 1997, ABD had returned to the country's political scene. By this time, the composition of its members had changed somewhat. Some of the remaining old cadres distanced themselves from the ideology of Islamic left-wing radicalism, supported the ideas of a free market, privatization, development of civil liberties, changes in the political system of Iran, supported the revision of the functions of the Supervisory Board, the policy of expanding ties with the Western world and the admission of cultural achievements of Western civilization to Islamic society.

On the eve of the presidential elections (1997), ABD announced its desire to return to power. The Association's entry into the coalition of forces opposed to the forces led by the WDS gave an additional impetus to this campaign. Pragmatic circles of the right camp, united with organizations of the left spectrum, nominated S. M. Khatami, who was one of the founders of the Association and belonged to the moderate wing. 12

The victory of these forces, which later became known as the "2 Khordad Front" (Khordad is the month of the Iranian calendar corresponding to our May 22 - June 22), or reformers, led to a change in the internal political situation. The left began to control the executive branch, and since 2000, the legislative branch. The head of the Association, M. Karubi, was elected Speaker of the Mejlis. Since the late 1990s, the terms "right" and" left " have ceased to be used in the political dictionary, and the names reformers and conservatives (fundamentalists) have been assigned to the main ideological and political trends.

ABD shared the most moderate positions in the reformist camp. Many of its representatives held the highest positions in the state, but a new secular organization, the Partnership (Mosharakat), took over the leadership of this flank in the period 1997-2005. By the end of the 1990s, the role of religious organizations gradually began to change, which was associated with the entry into the political arena of new forces representing the interests of the middle strata.

The liberalization of political life, the weakening of the Islamic component in the socio-cultural sphere, and the expansion of relations with the world community contributed to a certain decrease in the influence of religious institutions on society. At the same time, it should be emphasized that the process of forming parties and organizations in each of the two political flanks, which actively began in these years, took place around these associations of clergy, and they continued to remain the core of both the reformist and conservative camps.

WDB, fearing further strengthening of democratic tendencies in Iran, made every effort to unite conservative forces during the elections to the 7th Mejlis (2004) and the president in 2005. Thanks to the activities of the Supreme Council of the Society, the fundamentalists managed to capture the majority of seats in parliament, and then win the presidential election.

THE INFLUENCE IS WANING

However, the coming to power of M. Ahmadinejad, who was nominated by a Society of struggling clergy, accelerated the process of reducing the influence of this religious association on the country's political institutions. The President's policy provoked opposition from traditional authorities - members of the Department of Internal Affairs and OP KTC. Ahmadinejad's actions, according to religious figures, could lead to the expulsion of clergy from all government bodies. Both organizations openly criticized the president's line. However, respect for the spiritual leader who had expressed his preference for Ahmadinejad in the 2009 elections did not allow members of the WDB to support another candidate, although some expressed quite strong opposition to his re-election.

The Struggling Clergy Society underwent an internal reorganization during this period. In an attempt to strengthen its social base, it expanded the geographical scope of its activities and amended its Charter to allow the establishment of branches of the Society in districts, which are managed by a regional council. The word Teheran was removed from the title. The goals of the organization were confirmed: coordination of the activities of the Shiite clergy, strengthening the foundations of the Islamic revolution and protecting its gains, comprehensive support for the principle of velayat-e-faqih and the ideas of the Imam (Khomeini), monitoring the actions of statesmen, maintaining contacts with representatives of other madhhabs and cooperation with all Islamic centers, establishing contacts with representatives of other religions. with a view to consolidating peace 13. The Charter emphasized that the Company's budget is formed at the expense of membership fees, allowances and other expenses. -


Ost'ans are top-level administrative divisions of Iran (prich. ed.).

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donations and gifts, contributions from legal entities, funds paid by the spiritual leader and received from the use of Sharia instruments.

The return of the conservative wing to power in 2005 and the complete ousting of reformers from all power structures complicated the situation in the ABD, which, like the entire camp of reformers, was torn apart by serious contradictions. After his defeat in the 2005 presidential election, Secretary-General M. Kyarubi, who was one of seven candidates for this second most important post, left the Association and founded a new party. Mohammad Mousavi Khoeniha, one of the founders of this association, was elected as the new head of the ABD. Internal disagreements and intense pressure from the conservative-leaning Supervisory Board * almost negated the reformers ' efforts to gain a foothold in the Mejlis in 2008.

The Association and the entire reform camp hoped to regain their positions by participating in the 2009 presidential campaign, as they saw strong potential in their electorate. Initially, a bet was made on M. Khatami, who headed the Central Committee of the Association. However, at the last moment, the former president refused to stand as a candidate in favor of M. H. Mousavi, one of the leaders of the left flank of the first post-revolutionary years and the last prime Minister of Iran, whose name was associated with the stabilization of the economic situation in the country during the most difficult period of the Iran-Iraq war.

As you know, opposition candidates did not recognize the election results, which led to mass protests organized by their constituents, which were brutally suppressed by the government. The authorities launched a campaign to condemn the actions of opposition forces and identify all those dissatisfied with the election results as enemies of the regime. The Association of Struggling Clergy came under heavy pressure from the pro-government camp. She was accused of links with dissidents and attempts to organize a rebellion against the authorities. The parties with which she directly coordinated her actions were outlawed. There were calls to bring religious figures - members of the Association-to court. It was forced to suspend its activities. These events laid the foundation for the development of an internal political crisis, which resulted in increased disagreements within the country's ruling elite.

Over the past three years, since 2009, attempts have been made to activate the activities of the Society of Struggling Clergy and the Society of Teachers of the Kuma Religious Center. Thus, under their auspices, on the eve of the 2012 parliamentary elections, it was planned to create a united front of conservatives, focused on opposing any attempts to carry out political transformations in the country.

Representatives of these two societies, as guardians of the traditions of conservatism, developed the Charter of Conservatives, which was supposed to become an ideological basis for uniting various conservative trends. Despite numerous attempts to reach an agreement, as well as the mediation of religious societies and the personal efforts of the General Secretary of the WDS Mahdavi Kyani, it was not possible to gather all the forces into a single bloc. The results of the 2012 elections showed that candidates put up by parties that focus on Societies gain fewer votes than representatives of other associations.

On the eve of the 2013 presidential election campaign, an attempt was again made to consolidate the main forces of conservatives around two religious societies. However, they were supported only by the Front of Followers of the Imam and Rahbar line , a coalition of moderate conservative organizations. Other forces of the conservative camp refused to focus on the traditional political institutions of the clergy and put forward their own leaders.

Obviously, the system of rallying forces around religious structures, which proved itself in the first two decades of Iran, does not fit well into the current domestic political context, although modern political parties in Iran have not yet fully developed and have not gained the necessary influence and weight in Iranian society.

With the fragmentation of political forces and the deepening processes of factionalism, clergy organizations, although they retain some positions on the political scene and respond to all events in domestic and international life, can no longer find a mechanism that would promote unity in the political community.


1 www.jameehmodarresin.org

2 Interview of M. Yazdi to "Panjare" magazine - http://www.bbc.co.uk/persian/lg/iran/ 2010/10/101012_117

Mokhtari Esfahani. 3 Experience of the first religious party / / Narodnoe doverie (Etemad-e meli). 22.01.2008.

Mammadova N. M. 4 Islamic State: Correlation of state and ideological priorities / / Iran: Islam and Power, Moscow, IV RAS, 2001, p. 15.

Shadlu A. 5 Fractionism in the Islamic current. Historical omissions regarding the emergence of the right and left. Tehran, Vozar Publishing House. 2002. p. 281.

Mokhtari Esfahani. 6 Experience of the first religious party... 19.02.2008.

7 On the eve of and during the revolution, several pro-Islamic organizations emerged in Iran, both on the conservative right and on the left. Among them, we can mention the Organization of the Mujahideen of the Islamic Revolution, the Islamic Fajr Organization, the Touhid Party, Hezbollah, the Movement of Fighting Muslims, the Islamic Coalition Party, etc.

Mokhtari Esfahani. 8 Partiya islamicheskoi respubliki: ot sozdaniya do razvuska [Party of the Islamic Republic: from Creation to Dissolution]. 24.02.2008.

9 Interview of G. Mesbahi Moghaddam to "Mehr" correspondent - http://www.rohaniat-mobarez.com/portal/home/

Mamedova N. M. 10 Decree. op. P. 17.

11 For a list of the main political organizations of the Islamic Republic of Iran, see: Ravandi-Fadai L. M. Political Parties and Groups in Iran, Moscow, IV RAS, 2010, pp. 205-208.

12 On the eve of the elections, the WDB strongly demanded that a representative of the religious community be elected President. This idea was approved by the spiritual leader.

13 http://www.rohaniatmobarez.com/ Portal/Home/ShowPage.aspx?Object-Regula tion& (26.01.2011)

___

* The Supervisory Board refused to trust the majority of candidates from the Assembly of Struggling Clergy (author's note).

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