Iran and International Organizations
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