IRAN: THE GROWING ROLE OF THE CONSULTATIVE ASSEMBLY

Created: 1/1/1985

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Iran: The Growing Role of the

Research Paper

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Iran: The Growing Role of the Consultative Assembly]

Judgments

Information mailable at afli was used ia this report.

Consultative Assembly has become one of the most inllucntial political institutions in Iran under Ayatollah Khomeini. As Khomeini's health deteriorates, an increasing number of policy questions arc likely to be sent to the Assembly for resolution!

Assembly Speaker Rafsanjani is well placed to encourage and exploit any increase in the Assembly's authority. Skilled at maneuvering among Iran's diverse political factions. Rafsanjani is second only to Khomeini in power. Once Khomeini dies, he could become the most influential polilical figure in the couniry, although he is too young and tooleric to succeed Khomeini directly.

The emergence and survivalonservative majority in the Consultative Assembly would benefit Western interests and reduce Soviet opportunities to bring toeftist government in Tehran. An Assembly led byoalition would continue to impose Islamic values in Iran and remain critical of Western policies affecting the Third World, but it would also be likely to give primary importance to strengthening the economy andtable social structure. Conservatives would encourage working relationships with theincluding the Unitedwith the non-Communist Third World, especially Iran's neighbors!

Dominance of the Assembly by the radicals would allow it to override legislative review by the conservative Council of Guardians, enact extreme social and economic programs, and pressardline foreign policy.egime is more likely to look to the USSR for assistance

n

Radical aad Conservative Views on Selected limes

and conservative disagreements are most clearly defined on economic issues such as land reform, management of trade and industry, and ihe lax structure. Radicals favor redistributing private propertyenefit the lower classes, strong central control and planning over the economy, andtaxes through higher ratesroadening of the tax base. Conservatives want no limitations placed on amassing privateider role for the private sector, and no increased tax burden. They charge that radicals in the regime do not Properly manage the assets they now control]

Divisions between the factions blur on many other matters. Most radicals, however, are hawkish on the war with Iraq and are suspicious of the loyalty of the regular armed forces. Most conservatives, on the other hand, want to end the conflict and to improve Iran's economy. They oppose strengthening theRevolutionary Guard at the expense of Ihe regular forces. Conservatives believe that the Guard Is controlled by trigger-happy radicals willing to eliminate rival interest groups

Radicalsardline foreign policy inwith other regimes and organizations opposed tothat is. th less hostile to the

^radical and conservative leaders

W terrorism and'planning lo export the revolution to other Muslim communities. Many conservatives are as concerned as radicals about the tVestern cultural

impact on Islamic societies, but the conservatives' economic interests contribute heavily to their interest in continued contacts with the Westess aggressive foreign

Conservatives and some radicals are strongof the Istamization of Iranian society. The most extreme proponents of Islamlzatlon arc the ultracon-servatlves. Conservatives, however, do noi strongly support the political and religious domination of Iranupreme Jurisprudent and hope to reduce the authority of that post after Khomeini's death. Many radicalsiew of Islam consonant with socialist principles and hope eventually to push the clerics into the background. Meanwhile, however, radicals support Khomeini's dominance, realizing Iran's needtrong leader at the helm and hoping that he will allow their views to prevail.

This paper uses the termsconscfiainc, and uliracoittcn-aim to Indicate general divisions In ike Iranian political sprit rum Pracmatifi is used to characterize Individuals tike Atsembly Speaker Hasheml-Rafsanjani. whose >itws seem ia be driven mainly by opportunism. Their terms art Intended only to define Iranianrelatttath other and not to suggest similarities uiih foreign potliical groups. Moreover,map fit Imo one part of the spteirum an some issues and oihtr pans of iht spectrum oa other issues. Iranians tend not lo be troubled by vague and shifting alliances or by simultaneous participation In groups with opposing goals and ideologies, ottord-ing to rVtsttrn scholars!

iran: The Growing Role of the Consultative Assembh

In the four years of its existence, the Consultative Assemblyhura) has grown from ainstitution lo Iran's single most importantfrom Ayaiollah Khomeini, ll has become the main arena in which Iranian power struggles arc waged. Khomeini has made clearlhat Ihe Majles is the regime's link with the people and ihe forum in which different factional views will be melded into policy. Leaders of major political factions responded to this mandate by competing Strongly in4 election for the Assembly.]^

If we look at the executive and ludicial powers in relation to the legislative, it is clear that the Majles is at the head of affairs.^

Editorial in government-controlled Kayewspaper

4

The increased power of the Majles resulis mainly from provisions in the Constitution that weaken ihe executive branch. The Constitution divides iheinto executive, legislative, and judicialwith balanced powers as in many Western countries. But it imposes on thea supremeKhomeini has not become involved in day-io-day policymaking, his presence has prevented the emergencetrong

This has allowed the Assembly to occupy cenler stage. As the Iranian power struggle unfolds, now and afler Khomeini dies, decisions made in the Majles will be important indicators of whether conservative or radi-cal Islamic ideology is becoming dominant^

Growing Power and Constraints

embcr Consuliative Assembly has evolved into ihc polilical institution most representative of Iran's diverse polilical spectrum. With Khomeini's blessing, the Majles has been ihe primary beneficiary

Assembly Sessions

Majles debate is official unless Council ofmembers are present, and no proposal islaw until the Council has reviewed and accepted thewithinays after passageill. The Assembly must amend any proposal that the Council of Guardians considers in violation ofor constitutional principles unlesshe Assembly's members vote to override the Council. The Constitution forbids the Majles from evenan urgentthat must be implementeddayCouncil members participate in the debate.^ j

Representatives who propose "bills resultingeduction af public income or Increase of general expenses" must offer provisions to restore anin the budget. Members cannot transfer their individual responsibilities to substitutes, and the Assemblyhole cannot delegate Its powers. Members who want to resign have IS days to

Majles members are authorized to address alland foreignthe Majles has hod greater impact on domestic than on foreign policy- Representatives are not liable to prosecution or arrest for remarks made during debate or for their votes. Khomeini has recently ruled, however, that anyone libeled bya Majles member canight of replyl

The Constitution provides ihat Assembly sessions should be open to the public and press, except when the primeabinet minister, orssem-bly members calllosed session. I

indicate that the Majles routinely goes into closed session during debate onIssues. If only to mask heated exchanges between members. Representatives of religious minoritiesthat they have been excluded from closedon defense issues. Three-fourlhs of themust approve measures adopted In closed session, two-thirds in open session

The Assembly electsspeaker, twosix secretaries, and three "supply" cfficers,pparently arrange for all the equipment needed by the Majles and itsdivides itself by lot into aboutqualear. Heads af the branches, in consultation with the other Majles officers, determine committee assignments ofSpecial committees are often set up to consider special issues, for example, how to deal with the US hostages and the qualifications of prime-ministerial candidates. The Defense Committeenews and Information" subcommittee that tries to obtain for Majles members "correct and accurate" reports on the war with Iraq. | |

The Majles meets Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday for debate, according to Speaker Rafsanjani, and other days for committee work. Fridayeligiousypical Majles session opens wilhand speeches that raise parochial issues or allow members to endorse the regimes position on an issue not under debate. It continues with readings from the Qoran. remarks by the Speaker, and the items scheduled for debate^

of regime efforts to institutionalize its power. Almost all the formerly independent revolutionary bodies such as the Revolutionary Guard and Construction Crusade are now accountable to the Majles. Reining in the few remaining independent bodies is on Ihe agenda of the newly elected second Assembly.^

Today the Majles is ihe home of iht(It} is the government of the oppressed who inherit the earth.

Assembly Speaker Hashemi-

Rafsanjani

m*

Majles records detail how individual membershave become persistent watchdogsgovernment organizations and

records and commentary in Iranian media indicate that the Assembly has passed hundreds of billsdomestic and foreign policy and responding to constituents* needs. Majles activity has focused on budgetary, defense, judicial, agricultural, andaffairs, according to these records.[

As farnow,ard-workingAssembly does not exist anywhere else in the world. i i

Speaker Rafsanjani, May IM*

The first Assembly, which sat from0 tolso defined policy by failing to legislate on several contentious issues. Radical proposals for land reform, for example, were blocked by conservatives even though the radicalsajority in the first Assembly. This, in effect, established theof conservative demands ihat agriculturalbe based on respect for private property.^

Evidence of varying reliabilitylose link between the fortunes of the Majles and its Speaker, Hojat ol-Eslam Ali Akbarragmatist who allies himself with conservatives or radicals depending on the issue and his perception of his own best interests. He lacks impressive clerical anceslry and credentials as well as

the authority of age but has parlayed his leadership of the Majles into nationwide influence second only to Khomeini's. In turn, Rafsanjani's skills have helped (he Majles emerge as the focus of polilical activity in Iran. Both have gained power primarily al ihc expense of the executive branch, j

Weak President

The presidency has been overshadowed by Khomeini and is unable to provide the checks on legislative power common in Western countries. Thevests Khomeini with supervisory powers over the entire government, thus gulling ihe0 the clerical-controlled Majles wasby ihen President Abol Hasan Bani-Sadr and passed legislation severely limiting the powers of the president. The executive lost its power to frustrateajles by refusing to sign bills. The Majles also gave some of the president's appointive powers to the prime minister, who must reiain the Assembly's confidence.

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The current President, Hojai ol-Eslam Aliajor rival of Assembly Speaker Rafsanjani, has been unable to revitalize theIn contrast lo the vigorous Assembly Speaker, President Khamenei's health has been weakened by the aftereffects of the serious wound he suffered in an assassination attempt inoreover,to diplomatic sources in Tehran, hisis more suited to the seminary than to the rough-and-tumble of Iranian politics.|

Khamenei announced in4 thai he planned soon to introduce legislation increasing ihe powers of his office. This move reflects his desire to weaken Rafsanjani and curtail the increasing power of the Majles before Khomeini dies. We believe ihe President will not gain the power he wants. According to the exile press. Rafsanjani curtly responded lhat "real power rests with the Majles Speaker,an accepl or reject any minister andall legislative, administrative, and judicial activi-

Figure 2

Iran: Institutional Relationships

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Rrvlcwi (ompneocy

Ksmci membcii

bit

ci thwnnill liyuf Ihc Council

of Ouudlui fromhit olBcnmcu jnjircd By Iftt

Suftina luoKlil COUDIK

Council ol* Guardians

The Council of Guardians is the only politicalservingheck on the Majles To ensure that the Majles could not subvert the Islamic revolution, the clericsody of experts in Shiathe Council of Guardiansegubandan)of six clerics appointed by Khomeini and six laymen named by thereview allfor conformity with Islamic tenets and theIn effect, ihe Council of Guardians performs

judicial review functions akin to those of the US Supreme Court, ll answers onlyhomeiniJ

Conservatives have controlled Ihe Council ofsince its formationhey are careful to check excesses by radicals. Westernized politicians, and technocrats in the Assembly and executive branch. Iranian press accounts detail how ihc Council

of Guardians ordered significant modifications in bills, nuking them unacceptable to ihe radicals tn Ihe firsl Assembly.esult, during ihc past four years ihc radicals have been unable io pass legislation on land reform, labor relations, civil taxes, andof trade and industry. Because ihe Majles hat been unable to address controversial issues in omnibus bills, it has deall wilh ihem piecemeal.

otion

believe the general perception lhat Ayatollah Khomeini's health is seriously deterioratingtbe desire of diverse political groups to win seats in ihe Maiks during tbe election inheyto protect their interests in tbc posi-Khomeini era by securing legislationould still be blessed by Khomeini. Many highly placed Iranians also seem to believe that the Majles will become ihc focus of ihc post-Khomeini power struggle. Inwe believe ihey see ihc Assemblyajor forum for airing and institutionalizing views, making alliances, winning adherents, and (hereby gaining nation.il prominence. Provincial figures hope inlo parlay influence in the capital inio more clout back homej |

So many provincial clerics, government officials, and members of revolutionary organizations wanted lo ran for Assembly seats4 that theew election law required anyone hoMine an official position toonth before be or she could be consideredandidate" )

During the election, members of each factionthey had duringiheir rivals were blatamly ignoring election regulations:

Members of political groups and revolutionaryintimidated voters and clashed wilh each othci, according to sources of varying reliability. Disputes in some cities became so intense thai there wasreakdown of general order.

Clerics and government officials exploited their positions lo endorse their candidates and attack opponents Flection officials wrote in the njrnci of

1 Forbids critical statements about candidates by prominent clerics and laymen, attacks on rivals by candidates, or the destruction af others' publicity materials. Irfiuential clerics are specificallyby Khomeini toeu-tralily even al the cost of allowing the election af less well-qualified candidates.

Encourages candidates lo voluntarily withdraw In favor of more qualified rivals.

Bans use of mass media for electioneering orcandidates' rallies or meetings^

vol or*

Iheir proteges on tbe ballots of ills according to Iranian press accounts

Reacting lo an even smaller turnout in subsequent runoff elections, ihe Majles amended the election lawllow the election of any candidate wholurality of at least one-third of ihc votcsJ

lect ion Resultslance

andidates registered toithdrew,ailed the review process, according to election officials

Throughout the world, this is the onlythai truly represents the masses, who have elected it free from the Influence of feudal overlords, politicking, and so on. Q

Ayaiollah Khomeini mo. im

one o/ the candidates identifiedostage taker at the US Embassy was elected. Almost all of those elected were active in the anti-Shah movement. None held office under the Shah.

Of the new deputiesreoearsreoears.reoears,reoears, and four areoears, the upper age limit established by the election law. according to the Iranian press.fromwomen. Four are Sunni Muslim clerics, and an unknown number are Sunni laymen.

Incomplete statistics released by the Iranianindicateercent of the new Assembly members can only read and write {the minimum educational qualification allowed byercent completed elementary school.ercent have two years of college-level work.ercent have undergraduateercent haveandercenteminary but are not necessarily all clerics.

According to Speaker Rafsanjani.are associated with the IslamicParty, which encompasses almostembers served In the first Majles. Other regime spokesmen have indicated thatembers are clerics, slightly less than in the first

I the Iranian

s. One em-

Western observers found the process corrupt, but others had quite different perspectives. Two Third World officials have told]

ivc by mci

phasized, in addition, thai Khomeini had scoredcoup by holding the election during

A New Conservative Coalition

Conservatives with linksawar associations and their clerical allies waged an effective campaign to challenge radical domination of the Majles. They were motivated by the same concerns thai spurred bazaari members' opposilion to thetaxes, concentration of economic power in the hands of slate enterprisesew favored individuals, and bazaaris' inability to protect their personal property. Many were concerned over the radical economic proposals considered by the first Majles."

jet

in ihe Majles, like Speaker Rafsanjani, and someas Dori-Najafabadi. aTehranprompted by the activities of the bazaar political committees lothe conserva lives, accordingources of varying reliability. An Iranian poliiical digest has suggested thai Rafsanjani cleared candidate lists with the conservative Grand Ayatollahcritic of thea visit io Qom ibis spring. I

Our society must become more moderate Speaker Rafsanjani

Stet.mb.tl9U

Wc estimate that the radicals probably alsoore of aboutembers in the new Majles. One of ihe most obvious casualties of ihe election was the Islamic Republic Party ilKPi, often referred to in the Western media as Iran's "rulinghe IRPev vehicle far radical power in the first Majles.

they would be swamped by theto Khomeini for support during the election. Some radical spokesmen argued strongly ihai provincial clerics and iheirtend to benot abandon their local responsibilities by seeking scats in the Majles. Just weeks before the election, radicals based in Tehran universities obtained their own ruling from Khomeini thatcodeword forfeel free to participate fully in the

The Majles islace, not of rationalbetween rational men.lace of humdrum accusations and counteraccusatlons pouring on members from all sides.

A centrist

Hadical-Coasenalive Power Balance

In practice, tins means mat the conservatives must

We do not believe ihe conservatives won absolute control of the Majles in the election,

radicals.

24

able to countore of slightly more than one-third of the Assembly necessary lo block passage of

Jlhatre

ire conservatives, ana one is an independent. The

embers cannot now be labeled wilh assurance. We believe these data underrepreseniwho generally work behind the scenes, and

Radicals can

also appeal tohas an cmotional attachment to nunc radical readers and io their ideology, according to the Iranianurge that radical views be heeded.| |

The conservative coalition is probably capable of mustering the simple majority needed io passbills addressing limited,elemenis of majorissues. Nonetheless, radicals will stillto block such bills by using parliamentary maneuvers towo-thirds vote.| |

Khomeini and other leading figures have indicated publicly their expectation that the second Majles will

pass legislation acceptable to the conservative Council of Guardians. Such hopes may not be fulfilledas the radicals and iheir conservative rivals can prevent each other from passing controversialKhomeini's fragile health, however, has made the political stakes higher, and factional loyalties and alliances may become more fluid as members less Strongly committed to either side opportunistically seek links to any faction they suspect is becoming dominant| |

Four More V

When the second Majles opened onay, radicals promptly clashed with the Council of Guardians over the election results in many districts. Iranian press accounts reveal that radicals vehemently protested Council certification of races lost by radicaland its annulment of other races radicals had won. Radicals also challenged the credentials of many conservative members who had been approved by the Council of Guardians, bul in almost all cases their charges were rejected by the Majles.ignificani early victory by gaining both of the Deputy Speaker positions in the second Assembly over strong opposition from the radicals] ]

The confidence debate for the Prime Minister and Cabinet in Augustajor test of strength between conservatives and radicals. Publication in the press for ihe first time or verbatim accounts of Assembly debates heightened the power struggle among the factions. Conservatives who believed the radical-dominaied media had misrepresented iheir

remarks circulated broadsheets containing iheir own version of the dcbaiesf"

Organization will alio becomeministry, while ihe third. Executive Affairs, will be Bbolishcd. according io an Iranian political digest]

These mocs further strengthenedover ihe executive The ouster of the five ministers the most ihc Assembly bad ever dropped at once and the narrow approval of four Misers signaled thai ihe Asscmbl) expects policy changes from ihe government The removal of allwould have been, inote of no confidence in ihe Prime Minister, according io the Constitution.

Prime Minister Musavi-Khamenei may ycl be forced out, according to rumors circulating in Tehran thai probably rcfleci the goals of ihc conservative coali-

Although apparently thrown off balance b> their electoral defeats and ihc initial conservative victories in ihe second Assembly, the radicals quicklyIn recenl monihs ihey have been able to block the appointmentoderate as Minister of Defense | ]

sprang up throughout Iran after the revolution. Restrictions on the komitehs would further reduce the independence of revolutionary organizations and strengthen ihe Majles.

into the Interior Ministry and the new Information and Security Ministry theGuards now associated with the komitehs. Both the Majles and the executive want control over these forces, which perform vital internal securitybecause they willritical role in the post-Khomeini era.

Clarifies the powers of the presidency.

And. perhaps, endorses terms for ending the war

controversial issues such as land reform, civil taxes, and the management of trade and industry.

We believe Speaker Rafsanjani's recent publicihat ihe second Majles may address war issues suggests he is trying to persuade Khomeini to declare Iraq defeated and allow the Majles to modify his general outlineettlement. The regime used this method0 to end the US hostage crisis^

One of the Important issues that we hope Id Include in the Majles agenda is ending the war This will be interesting work, full of incidents.

Controversy

All elements of the regime claim to be satisfied with the results of the initial actions of the secondNonetheless, we believe the second Assembly will be as controversial as the first. Regime spokesmen have indicated lhat the second Majles will deal wilh empiy Cabinet posis and legislation thai:

Defines the role and relationship to the government of ihe komitehs, the armed semiofficial groups that

Speaker Rafsanjani

Prospecls

The Assembly willey institution in the struggle lo shape the Islamic Republic over the next four

Li

years. Conlrol of Ihe Majles and (he shape of future legislation will depend on the ability of rival factions to win support among the large body of loosely affiliated or independent mem berg j

Radical power has been weakened but not ended. Neither radicals nor conservatives are likely tothe allegiance of uncommitted Majles members unless Khomeini clearly endorses one side or lhc other on particular issues. At the moment, he seems to favor lhc conservatives. This will give lhc conservatives an edge on bills that come up early in the Assembly calendar. Wc believe, however, that Khomeini will attempt toalance among the factions to aver! an intensified power struggle he realizes could threaten clerical rule. The Assembly, therefore, is likely to remain deadlocked on several important issues, such as land reform, economic policy, and labor relations. Since it is the radicals whoundamental restructuring of society, deadlock will, in effect,efeat for the radicals.^

If the Majles is harmed, the Islamic Republic is

Ayatollah Khomeinit

We believe that the extent to which the Majlesynamic forum for shaping policy and managing factional differences also will define, in large part, the degree to which post-Khomeini Iran can maintain its cohesion. There is no other official body in the Islamic Republic that has the authority to dealroad range of issues and in which all major factional interests are represented. If Iranian factions cannot work out their disagreements through process, they are likely to resort to

theorce J

the Iranian media indicate thatleaders want to increase theindependence and make it the focus of atheocracy in the post-Khomeini era. The two conservative Deputy Speakers, Yaidi and Rabani-Amtashi, as well as other prominent Assemblyassociated with the bazaar, have spoken about the structure of theways that indicate theytronger Majles. Little information is available on the views of Khomeini's heir apparent, Ayatollah Moniazcrij |

/ believe by drawing on the experience of the first Majles, the second will become even more

Speaker Rafsanjani

mt

Accounts of Assembly debates show that Rafsanjani and some of the radicals also want to strengthen the Majles -although not at the expense of Khomeini or his successor. They have heatedly attacked both the conservative Council of Guardians for thwarting the will of the Assembly and those ministers whom members believe have been disrespectful toward the Majles

Majles Vulnerabilities

There are two major threats to the growing power of Ihe Majles and tbe ambitions of leadingfigures. The first would arise if factional disputes in the Assembly lead lo its paralysis, making iland pushing the power struggle into other arenas. Wc do not believe this is likely. It is in the interest of all faction leaders in the Majles to preserve its power and, hence, their own.|

The second threat is the possible unraveling of the regime after Khomeini's death. The Majles controls no armed forces that could safeguard its power. Atozen of its members, however, are known to have close connections with paramilitary and regular fi

We believe that the Iranian clerics and their lay allies arc likely to maintain their hold on powerafter Khomeini's death. We doubt, however, that the rivalries between Iranian interest groups can be controlled without the mediation of an unquestioned leader such as Khomeini. The prospects for political instability, therefore, are growing:

In the first year or so of the post-Khomeiniespecially if he diesbelieve Speaker Raf-sanjani's continued participation in the political

Abolish ihe Majles?

Mattes as defined in9ompromise between Ihe often inconsistent views of ihe factions then participating in ihe Khomeini regime. The Assembly and its leaders have played an increasingly important role, and il has been repeatedly endorsed by Ayatollah Khomeini and his heir. Ayalollah Montaieri. Bui lis ideological basis remains fragile both because of theof clerical dogma and because, like mosl Third Wnrld stales. Iran

Strictly speaking, and as influential Iranian ullracon-servatives argue, Shia ideology has no place for alaw has been revealed by Allah and interpreted authoritatively by the Prophetthemams,ong line of revered senior Shia clerics. Extreme supporters of leadershipupreme Jurisprudent want power to be concentrated in ihai office, revolutionary organizations, andbodies of experts in Shia law. Radical Islamic technocrats, on the other hand, took to the day when Ihe clerics can be seni backhe seminaries, ihe supreme Jurisprudent is no moreonsultant, and the regime is dominated bv the executive^

Extremist supporters of leadershipupreme Jurisprudent, ultraconservatlves. and even somecould argue for abolishing ihe Assemblyas enacted basic laws. We believe radicals would oppose abolition unless they could dominate ihe regime. If the Assembly closed:

The Council of Guardians could assumefor interpreting the legal code to meet new circumstances.

An Assembly of Expertshcbrcgam* could be called topecific issueroader consensus of legal expertise was needed. Two such Assemblies have9 to draft the Constitution and since3 to establish guidelines for an eventual transition to theJ^

We believe it is unlikelyajority within Ihe Majles would vole for its closure. The possibility of continued revision of Ihe legal code along lines preferred by iheir own supporters Is likely to tempi all factions. Moreover, the existence of ihe Assembly maintains ihe appearance of popular participation In political activities that enhances support for the regimi I

will be an Important stabilizingf Rafsanjani were assassinated in the first months after Khomeini's demise, we believe theof the Majlestronger focus of power could be slowed.

could step into his

On the other hand, if Rafsanjani were killed or permanently removed by his opponentsost-Khomeini regime has begun to consolidate, we believe other Majles leaders will have emerged who

The Majles is unlikely toajor independent role in the poliiical arena, however, if an Iranian strongman eventually seizes control. No singleleader Is likely to want another institution to challenge his primacy]

Implications for tbe United States

We would nol expectonservative-led Majles toramatic improvement in relations with the Uniied States. The factions and interest groups that would make upovernment include many who strongly support the continued Islamization of Iran and the exclusion of Western values from the Muslim world. Some are associated with terrorism.|

Nevertheless, these leaders arc also the mosladvocatesore moderate approach to the

outside world and ihc expanded use of Western technology. We believe that over lime their interests in domestic stability and economic development would lead to an easier relationship with the Uniied States, even if formal diplomatic relations were not reopened. Their actions also would weaken opportunities for the USSR to exploit Iranian ethnic and economicin the hope of eventuallyro-Soviet government to powe( I

On ihc other hand, if Iranian radicals come to dominate the Assembly, extreme social and economic legislation is likely to be passed over the objections of the Council of Guardians. Conservatives on thecould even be replaced by radical clerics and lay jurists. We wouldadical Majles to feel threatened by the West -especially the Unitedto pressardline foreign policy, possibly one thai looked to the USSR for assistance.

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