Iran Table of Contents
Iran is a charter member of the United Nations (UN). Although it belongs to all UN specialized agencies, the Republic has not participated as actively as the monarchy in the world organization. Iran criticized the UN for nonsupport during the Iran-United States crisis over the hostages. Iran also criticized the UN for failing to condemn Iraq as an "aggressor" following the Iraqi invasion of Iran in 1980.
As a major oil producer and exporter, Iran is a founding member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC--see Glossary). Both under the monarchy and under the Republic the government has advocated that OPEC maintain high prices for the oil that members sell on the international market. Iran supported lower production quotas for members as a means of keeping international oil prices high. Between 1979 and 1985, Iran generally was regarded as uncooperative at the semi- annual OPEC ministerial conferences. Since 1985, however, Iran has worked with Saudi Arabia, the largest oil producer within OPEC, to draft production and pricing compromises acceptable to the whole OPEC membership.
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The most detailed examination of the government of Iran during the first four years following the Revolution is Shaul Bakhash's The Reign of the Ayatollahs. Considerable detail about various policies pursued by the government can be found in Dilip Hiro's Iran under the Ayatollahs. A collection of essays that analyze the role of the clergy in politics, the postrevolutionary economy, the aspects of the "new" Islamic ideology, the opposition, and Iran's relations with the superpowers is found in The Iranian Revolution and the Islamic Republic, edited by Nikki Keddie and Eric Hooglund. Revolutionary Iran by Ruhollah Ramazani examines Iran's foreign policy in the Middle East since 1979. (For further information and complete citations, see Bibliography.)
Data as of December 1987