image of a compass

The National Democratic Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide through citizen participation, openness and accountability in government.

The Iran Bulletin is a biweekly publication covering domestic political and election issues in Iran.

— Sign up to receive the Iran Bulletin by email
— Print this issue of the Iran Bulletin
— Contact the editor

September 1, 2009

Volume 1, Issue 12
Leigh Catherine Miles, Editor 

The Iran Bulletin is a publication of the National Democratic Institute (NDI).



Feature Articles

The Islamic Republic on Trial: Guardianship of Unjust Jurist

The disputed presidential election and its violent aftermath have led members of the Iranian religious establishment to question the moral, legal and religious foundations of the Islamic Republic. Prior to the election, Shi’a clerics mostly debated the relative balance of the Republic’s Islamic and democratic aspects. Now debate has shifted to the fundamental nature, pillars and theoretical justifications for the regime itself. | Read more »

Voices from Iran

These stories are on-the-ground analyses and perspectives written by Iranian authors.

Iran’s Assemblies Fail the Iranian People

Tehran is in the grips of a fever that only worsens as reports of torture and abuse of detained activists increase.  The regime has taken measures to contain the crisis, but each action has only fanned the flames. The parliament and the Assembly of Experts – popularly elected bodies – could have aligned themselves with the people, but have chosen instead to pay heed to their regime constituencies, losing the opportunity to write a new page in Iran’s history.| Read more »

Seen & Heard: Analysis of Recent Media Coverage in Iran

Seen and Heard: September 1

Highlights from election-related stories in the Iranian press. | Read more »


Background Brief: Ahmadinejad’s Cabinet

A breakdown of the final list of cabinet nominees President Ahmadinejad presented to the nation on Aug. 19 which began receiving confirmation votes from the parliament on Aug. 30. | Read more »

Background Brief: Governance of Civil Society

A review of authorities and laws, as written and applied, that regulate civil society organizations in Iran. | Read more »

Background Brief: Human Rights

The recent violent crackdown against Iranian activists exemplifies long-standing concerns about infringements on human rights in Iran.  Although political and social restrictions were eased under President Mohammad Khatami, since 2005 President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has renewed a clamp down on human rights citing national security concerns. | Read more »

Background Brief: The State of Iran’s Economy

Given Iran’s vast oil and natural gas resources, the Islamic Republic should be a very wealthy country. However, while Iran’s poverty rate is relatively low, estimates of the inflation rate range from 23 to 30 percent, factories operate below capacity, major cities have rolling power blackouts and real estate prices have tripled. | Read more »

Diagram: The Balance of Power

A visual depiction of the structure of the Iranian leadership, illustrating the lines of authority among the Republic’s elected and unelected officials. (Will open in new window.) | Read more »

Submit an Article to the Iran Bulletin

Authors interested in writing for the Bulletin should email Leigh Catherine Miles at with a brief description of the proposed article and information on the author's background.

Articles published in the Bulletin generally approach the situation in Iran analytically, though the author’s point of view is often clear. Articles should be written in English and can vary in length from 800 to 1,500 words. The Bulletin generally does not reprint articles previously published elsewhere.

Past Editions

Pictured above: The corridor aside the central court of the Nasir al-Mulk Mosque in Shiraz, Iran