Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 1986

The human rights situation in Iran in 1986 was exacerbated
by the ongoing war with Iraq, a war which began in 1980 and
continues with little hope for an end in the near future. The
war has resulted in hundreds of thousands of casualties,
massive population displacement and refugee problems for the
Government, and billions of dollars of loss due to missile and
bombing attacks. Costly in human and economic terms to both
sides, the Iranian refusal to negotiate a settlement with the
present Iraqi regime has caused a prolongation of hostilities
which are severely disruptive and affect every facet of
civilian life. Insurgency in the ethnic Kurdish area of Iran
and urban terrorism by groups opposed to the Khomeini regime
also cause civilian casualties and property damage. Seemingly
random bomb attacks, often perpetrated by these groups in
strictly civilian and public places, only add to the violence
and suffering caused by the war.
Iran is officially an Islamic Republic under the leadership of
Ayatollah Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini. Its formal system, based
on the Constitution approved in 1980 by popular referendum,
follows a parliamentary pattern with a legislature, the
Majles, and a president elected from among multiple candidates
by universal suffrage. However, only candidates meeting
highly restrictive religious and political criteria are
permitted to contest elections, and the choice offered to
voters is limited. The regime's hold on power is reinforced
through arrests, executions, and other forms of intimidation.
The regime is dominated by a political elite composed of Shi ' a
Muslim clerics who support Khomeini and of laymen aligned with
these clerics. The regime, however, is not monolithic, and
there are major differences on theology and on economic issues
such as private property ownership, government versus private
control of foreign trade, industrial policy, and strategy for
the war with Iraq.
Eight years after the 1979 ouster of the Shah and the advent
of the Islamic Revolution, the Iranian regime still considers
itself revolutionary but must grapple with the need to revive
the economy and operate political and social institutions,
both new and old, in a productive manner. Iran is an oil-rich
developing country. The disruptions of the revolutionary
period and the war have caused serious economic deterioration.
Inflation and unemployment are high, and corruption and black
market activities flourish.
Although the trend is toward greater adherence to
constitutional guarantees of human rights, particularly since
December 1982, Iran's human rights record in 1986 continued to
show serious abuses.
Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including
Freedom from:
a. Political Killing
Reliable statistics were not available on the number of people
killed for political or religious reasons in 1986. Due to the
* Because of the absence of a United States Mission in Iran,
this report draws heavily on unofficial sources.
lack of procedural safeguards for defendants tried in
revolutionary courts, which handle virtually all political
cases, most of the executions ordered each year by such courts
amount to summary executions. It is also difficult to
separate cases of executions for participation in violent
activities or narcotics trafficking from executions based
purely on the defendants' beliefs, statements, and
associations, given the regime's practice of cloaking the
latter category with trumped-up charges from the former.
In its 1986 Report, Amnesty International expressed concern
about the continuing large-scale executions of prisoners in
Iran for both political and nonpolitical offenses and said it
had learned of 470 executions in ""985. Noting that executions
on political grounds were rarely made public in Iran, Amnesty
International expressed its belief that the actual number of
executions was considerably higher than the 470 of which it
was informed.
Political killings have also been perpetrated by opposition
groups, including the Mojahedin-e-Khalq, which appears to be
the most active antiregime organization in Iran.
b. Disappearance
No information is available on the number of disappearances
in 1986.
Disappearances are seldom permanent in Iran. People are
arbitrarily arrested or carried off, held without charge, and
some are summarily executed; the society, however, is not
tightly controlled, so a persistent relative can usually
determine who was responsible for the arrest and locate the
There are, however, some cases of long-term disappearance.
One report obtained by Amnesty International stated that
sometimes opposition members are listed as "killed while
resisting arrest," when in fact they are still alive and in
jail. Most such arrests are believed to be the work of the
Revolutionary Guard and to be sanctioned by the regime.
c. Torture and Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or
Stories of torture in Iran's prisons are rampant and cover a
wide range of inhuman practices, particularly in Tehran's Evin
Prison, Iran's largest and most notorious. Mock executions
reportedly have been a favorite method of torture there, along
with blindfolding and solitary confinement. Beatings of all
kinds appear to be common. Allegedly, prisoners are beaten on
the soles of their feet until they can no longer walk; others
have had damaged kidneys as a result of being kicked and
This torture apparently occurs in government prisons or in
government houses in which prisoners of special interest are
held for questioning. Presumably it takes place with the
sanction of top officials. Many of these reports come from
individuals who themselves were in the prisons and who, in
some cases, experienced the torture.
The regime continues to revise Iran's civil code to conform
more closely with its interpretation of Islamic law. In 1985
the Government announced the development and inauguration of a
new machine for surgical amputation of the hands of convicted
thieves. As interpreted in Iran, this punishment consists of
amputation of the four fingers of the right hand. There were
subsequent announcements of the occasional use of this
device. Death by stoning reportedly has been reinstituted as
a punishment for certain crimes against morality. There are
many reports of floggings, both as a means of torture and as a
formal punishment for sexual offenses.
In its report, "Torture in the Eighties," Amnesty International
expressed concern that torture has become a routine practice
in at least some Iranian prisons and noted in particular two
kinds of ill-treatment of prisoners: the officially
sanctioned punishment of prisoners by whipping, and the
torture of prisoners held in incommunicado detention during
interrogation to extract confessions.
Iran holds an estimated 45,000 to 60,000 Iraqi prisoners of
war (POW's). Former prisoners have reported that Iran
regularly subjects POW's to whippings, random executions, and
psychological torture.
d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile
Although arrests for expression of views critical of or
different from those of the Government have decreased during
the past several years, opposition to the regime itself or to
an Islamic form of government still remains grounds for
arbitrary detention. If there is a formal accusation, the
charge is usually subversion, antiregime activities, or
treason. There is also evidence that some persons are
arrested on trumped-up criminal charges (for example, on drug
charges) when their actual "offenses" are political; the lack
of fair trials and other procedural safeguards encourage such
a practice.
Political arrests are made by members of the Revolutionary
Guard or, less commonly, by members of komitehs, local
neighborhood groups which have assumed a quasi-official role.
There normally are no warrants for political arrests. No
judicial determination of the legality of detention exists in
Iranian law. Suspects are held for questioning at local
Revolutionary Guard offices or in jails. In some cases a
mullah (a religious official) is involved, in others
unidentified questioners, sometimes including torturers. It
is unclear whether this questioning constitutes a trial by a
revolutionary court or whether it is part of the investigation
process. Sometimes defendants are released after several
hours or days, but the process may be repeated two or three
times before the authorities decide the detainee is innocent
or that he is guilty and should be jailed.
A number of foreigners (including two Americans) were arrested
in Iran during 1986, one for allegedly spying. (At least one
other American has been imprisoned in Iran since 1984). These
foreigners sometimes appear to become pawns in power struggles
between various leaders and factions, with release dependent
on how long it takes for their usefulness in this regard to be
exhausted. The Iranians do not regularly grant consular
access to these persons, nor do they notify the embassies
involved that their nationals have been detained.
Information as to whether forced labor is used in Iran is
unavailable .
e. Denial of Fair Public Trial
Most of those arrested have a trial of some sort, but although
so-called trials of major opposition figures have sometimes
been telecast, no trial by a revolutionary court can be called
fair or public. If the trial is given publicity, it is
generally because the prisoner has already been forced to
confess to crimes.
Restraints on arbitrary actions of the revolutionary courts
were reportedly severely weakened in 1985 by a decision to
limit the review authority of the Supreme Court. Formerly,
all cases decided by the revolutionary courts were subject to
review by the Supreme Court, permitting improper decisions to
be overturned, but under the new decision the Supreme Court
can only examine those cases which are recommended for review
by the Supreme Judicial Council, which consists of the Chief
Justice, the Prosecutor General, and three mullahs. The
judicial system is further weakened by the fact that
revolutionary courts can consider cases formally under the
jurisdiction of the civil and criminal courts. Assignment of
cases to regular rather than revolutionary courts is haphazard
and apparently occurs mainly when arrests are made by regular
police. Revolutionary courts can also overturn the decisions
of civilian courts.
For common criminal offenses, many elements of the
prerevolutionary judicial system survive, and the accused
often have the right to a public trial with benefit of lawyers
of their own choosing, assuming they can afford the fee. Even
this judiciary is not fully independent, however. Many of the
former judges were retired after the revolution, and new
judges selected. One criterion for new judges is grounding in
Islamic law, and political acceptability is a requirement for
any government position. Favorable verdicts reportedly can
often be "purchased" from the judges serving on civil and
criminal courts and, to a lesser degree, from judges of
revolutionary courts.
f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or
The Government is attempting to remake Iranian society
according to Khomeini's interpretation of Shi 'a Islam. It
rejects the Western distinction between a public sphere which
the Government may control and a sphere of private life
(religion, culture, thought, and private behavior) which the
State may not properly control. The regime defines itself as
Islamic and attempts to enforce a way of life asserted to be
Islamic .
Since Khomeini's eight-point decree of December 1982, Iranians
have enjoyed greater freedom in their private life. One of
the eight points provided that no one had the right to enter
private homes without a warrant. An exception was made for
suspected hideouts of opposition groups. The decree did say
that if Revolutionary Guards entered a home believing it to be
an opposition hideout and found they had made a mistake, they
were to depart, even if they had found evidence of un-Islamic
activities, such as the presence of alcoholic beverages. The
decree also stated that mail should not be opened nor
telephones tapped unless there was good reason to suspect
antiregime activities. Homes are still entered, mail is still
opened, and phones are still tapped, but much less so than
previously. Moreover, Iranians now have a decree by Khomeini
on which to base complaints. A Headquarters for the
Enforcement of the Imam's Decree was set up, as were a number
of provincial and local offices. These offices, which may
still be in operation, are said to have received thousands of
complaints about violations of rights of privacy.
Special Revolutionary Guard units check on social activities.
Women whose clothing does not completely cover the hair and
all of the body except hands and face, or who wear makeup, are
subject to arrest. If they are, in the words of the
Prosecutor General, "reformable, " they may be lectured and
released. If considered defiant, they may go to jail.
The schools are reportedly used by the regime to assure that
students' families behave in an "acceptable. Islamic manner."
Children are asked about the habits of their parents, and
un-Islamic behavior is reported to Revolutionary Guard units.
Neighborhood komitehs, which originally acted as "block
wardens," monitoring the activities of residents, seem to be
less active now. There have been efforts to disband them and
many may have, in fact, disappeared.
Section 1' Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:
a. Freedom of Speech and Press
The Constitution states that "publications and the press may
express ideas freely, except when they are contrary to Islamic
principles, or are detrimental to public rights." In
practice, most publications are controlled by the Government
or by the Islamic Republican Party, and the remaining
independent publishers run the risk not only of press
shutdowns and confiscation of publications and equipment but
of arrest and summary punishment if they are overly critical
of the regime. Examples of such punishments were sufficiently
numerous in past years to retain a chilling effect. All books
are required to be subm.itted to the Ministry of Islamic
Guidance for censorship before they can be published.
Publishers, authors, and printers also engage in substantial
"self-censorship" before submitting books to the Ministry in
an effort to avoid the substantial penalties, including
economic losses, incurred when books are rejected.
While there are competing newspapers in Iran, and officials
and policies of the Government are often subjected to public
criticism, newspapers are forbidden to criticize Khomeini and
the concept of the Islamic republic, or support the right of
self-determination for any ethnic groups in Iran.
Nevertheless, some independent publishers out of favor with
the regime continue to survive, and some books and pamphlets
critical of the regime are published without reprisal.
Foreign books, newspapers, and magazines may be imported only
after official review.
All broadcasting facilities are government owned.
Academic freedom has increased in the last several years.
Universities operate under looser constraints than in the
past, but the regime remains committed to the elimination of
all un-Islamic influences. As part of the admissions process,
all Muslim students must pass examinations that demonstrate
knowledge of the Koran and Islamic precepts. All textbooks
are reviewed to determine their acceptability.
b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association
Although the Constitution permits unarmed assemblies and
marches "provided they do not violate the principles of
Islam," the only ones permitted in practice are those
sponsored by the Government, such as Friday prayers and
sermons and parades on official occasions. As in the past,
there were numerous demonstrations of public protest in 1986,
but these were forcibly dispersed. The Constitution permits
political parties, groups, professional associations, and both
Islamic and minority religious associations, but most
independent organizations have either been banned, co-opted by
the Government, or are moribund. Restrictions on freedom of
speech and assembly discouraged the participation in the 1984
parliamentary elections of any party other than the
semiofficial Islamic Republican Party (IRP).
There were until recently no legal labor unions, although some
unauthorized unions had been organized and were active.
However, a new national labor union, the Islamic Union, was
reportedly created in late 1985 under a law enacted by the
Majles. All economic concerns with a minimum of 50 employees
are permitted to have a branch of the new union, whose goal is
said to be to protect workers' interests and further their
professional development. Nominally independent, it
reportedly is controlled by the Labor Ministry.
It is also believed that there are officially sanctioned
"Islamic workers councils" in some factories. These, however,
are more instruments of government control than bodies that
represent workers' interests, although they have frequently
been able to block layoffs or firings of workers.
c. Freedom of Religion
Iran terms itelf an Islamic republic, and religion is closely
intertwined with government. Grand Ayatollah Khomeini is
recognized as the supreme leader, and this position is viewed
as having something akin to divine sanction. The President
and many other top officials are mullahs, as are the Speaker
of the Majles and nearly half the Majles deputies.
Approximately 90 percent of Iranians are Shi ' a Muslims. Aside
from slightly over 1 percent who are non-Muslims (Baha'is,
Christians, Zoroastr ians , and Jews), the rest are Sunni
Muslims. The Sunnis are mostly Kurds, Arabs, Turkomans,
Baluch, and other ethnic minorities. Their political
influence is very limited. The Constitution declares that
"the official religion of Iran is Islam and the sect followed
is Ja'fari Shi 'ism," but it also states that "other Islamic
denominations shall enjoy complete respect." Although Sunnis
have encountered religious discrimination on the local level,
the regime has made efforts to reduce Shi ' a-Sunni antagonism.
Tests of Islamic knowledge and orthodoxy, required in the
early postrevolutionary years for public or semipublic
employment, have been dropped in recent years on the grounds
that they conflict with the constitutional provision that "the
interrogation of people regarding their beliefs is forbidden."
This provision is ignored, however, in the treatment of
members of the Baha ' i faith.
The Baha'i religion is considered heretical in Iran, and since
the Revolution the Baha'is, Iran's largest non-Muslim minority
(300,000-350,000 members), have suffered severe persecution.
mainly government -directed and aimed at the religious
leadership. In August 1983, the Prosecutor General issued an
order that effectively bans all Baha ' i religious activity and
provides the legal foundation on which virtually all members
of the faith can be charged with crimes. Baha'i property has
been confiscated, shrines demolished, businesses disbanded or
confiscated, and known Baha' is denied public-sector employment
and social services. Baha'i marriages are not recognized.
Participation by Baha' is in social welfare organizations is
forbidden, their businesses are outlawed, and teaching of the
faith is not permitted. Although the Baha'i national leaders
dissolved the community's organizations in obedience to the
Prosecutor General's edict, they were subsequently arrested,
and at least some were executed.
Many ordinary Baha 'is have also been arrested. Charges are
vague: "crimes against God," "corruption on earth," "warring
against God," and "Zionism" are among the most frequent. The
real reason for the arrests seems to be practice of Baha' ism.
As of October 1986, 750-800 Baha' is were in jail.
Approximately 200 have been executed or have died following
torture since the beginning of the revolutionary period; at
least 3 Baha 'is were executed during 1986.
The small Christian, Jewish, and Zoroastrian (the pre-Islamic
religion of Iran) populations are concentrated mainly in urban
areas. Their religions are recognized by the Constitution,
and they elect representatives to seats reserved for them in
the Majles. They are permitted to practice their religions,
to instruct their children, and, although with a great deal of
disruptive interference, to maintain schools. There continue
to be reports of officially sanctioned discrimination against
these minorities, particularly in the areas of employment and
public accommodations, and of severe discrimination by the
Government against Muslims who have converted to
Christianity. Jews are subject to travel restrictions which
are not applied to members of other recognized religious
groups .
d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation
Iranians may travel to any part of Iran, except for the war
zone on the border with Iraq and, in times of heavy fighting,
some Kurdish areas. Such limitations as exist are for
purposes of military security. Persons may also change their
place of residence without obtaining permission.
Travel outside Iran is considerably easier than before the
spring of 1983. Khomeini's decree of December 1982 included
the right to travel abroad. Prior to that time passports and
exit visas had been difficult to obtain. Males of draft age
are not issued exit visas except for approved courses of
study, and Iranians who are politically suspect, such as some
retired military officers and high level public officials
under the former regime, may not be able to leave. Persons
who have not repaid loans obtained from development banks
under the old regime are also denied exit visas. Reportedly
some Iranians, particularly those with skills in short supply
and who were educated at government expense, are required to
post bonds to obtain exit visas. Jewish Iranians are
permitted to obtain passports and to travel, but they are
normally denied the multiple-exit visas given to most Iranians
and must make a fresh application (with a fresh fee) for each
planned trip. Permission is not normally granted for all
members of a Jewish family to travel outside Iran at the same
With the exception of some with close ties to the former
regime, Iranians are generally able to return after long
periods abroad without reprisal. Not all citizens who leave,
however, are guaranteed the right to return. Iranians
suspected of close association with the old regime have
encountered problems obtaining new passports, and there are
unconfirmed reports of arrests on their return. However,
numerous other immediate relatives of persons wanted by the
regime seem able to live in Iran, travel outside, and return
without undue difficulty, and in recent years many who fled at
the time of the revolution have returned and have sought,
through the Iranian judicial system, the return of their
properties .
Iranian passports have always been stamped "not valid for
emigration," but the Government does not make a clear
distinction between legal residence in another country and
emigration. According to the regulations, Iranians with a
legal residence outside Iran may be issued passports and
advance exit visas by the Iranian embassy, consulate, or
interests section in their country of residence. Iranians who
have acquired U.S. citizenship are considered Iranian (in
effect dual nationals) unless they have formally renounced
their Iranian citizenship in accordance with Iranian law.
Dual nationals have complained that the Iranian Interests
Section in Washington will neither give them visas in their
U.S. passports nor issue them Iranian passports and exit visas
on the grounds that their residence in the U.S. is not legal
because, according to Iranian law, they emigrated illegally.
Although such services may be denied, there are no known
instances of the denial of Iranian citizenship to Iranians who
left Iran, or to those who have remained there.
Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens
to Change Their Government
Iran is ruled by a group of religious leaders and their lay
associates who share belief in Ayatollah Khomeini as the
supreme leader of the revolution and in the legitimacy and
desirability of a theocratic stare based on his interpretation
of Shi ' a Islam. Of Iran's political parties, only the Islamic
Republican Party is represented in the Government, and most
high-level government officials belong to it. Roughly half
the winning candidates in the 1984 Majles elections were
members; the remainder were elected as independents.
Beginning a year after the Shah's departure, the revolutionary
regime has held elections at fairly regular intervals for
president, Majles deputies, members of the Council of Experts
(responsible for choosing Khomeini's successor), and members
of local government councils. All elections have been hard
fought, generally with several candidates for every position.
All candidates must be approved by the Council of Guardians,
however, and only those meeting the Council's vaguely
described political and religious criteria may run. In
practice, only supporters of the theocratic state are
accepted. There has, however, been considerable diversity of
opinion among candidates on economic and social qxiestions.
A presidential election was held in 1985, but the Council of
Guardians denied certification as candidates to 51 of 54
applicants. Only the incumbent President, Hojjatollah Ali
Khamenei (Secretary General of the IRP) , and two fellow
members of the IRP were permitted to run. The President was
reelected with a reported 87 percent majority; his majority
and voter participation were lower than in the 1981 election.
The independence of the Majles is enshrined in the
Constitution and exists to a large degree in practice. While
Majles deputies are typically allied with various powerful
political and religious officials, they may speak and vote
independently and may shift from one faction to another. The
Majles holds genuine debates, normally broadcast live on
radio, on a wide variety of issues but not, however, including
central issues such as the war or the fundamental character of
the Islamic Republic. In some cases, laws proposed by the
Government have been voted down.
The Constitution provides for a Council of Guardians composed
of 12 members, 6 clerics unilaterally appointed by Khomeini,
and 6 lay members well-grounded in Islamic law who are
nominated by the head of the Judicial Council subject to the
Majles' approval. The Council of Guardians must certify all
bills passed by the Majles as being in accordance with Islamic
law and the Constitution. If bills fail to be certified, they
are sent back to the Majles for revision. They cannot become
law until passed by the Majles and certified by the Council.
The Council has rejected various important bills and portions
of bills passed by the Majles, including legislation on land
reform, foreign trade, private enterprise, the press code, and
reform of the civil code.
Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and
Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations
of Human Rights
The Government is disdainful of foreign human rights groups,
government-sponsored or independent, and regards them as a
Western means of interfering in the country's internal
affairs. Aside from permitting the International Committee of
the Red Cross (ICRC) to assist in several small-scale POW
exchanges between Iran and Iraq over the past few years, Iran
has allowed no visits by any humanitarian groups since January
1985, when a U.N. -appointed team visited POW camps. Since
1984, the Government has refused to allow a U.N. Human Rights
Commission special rapporteur to enter Iran to prepare his
reports. There are no internal human rights groups.
The ICRC has had access to some POW's, but not to all those
believed held in Iran. The U.N. Secretary General has
criticized conditions in prison camps in both Iran and Iraq.
In October 1986, a Government spokesman announced that the
ICRC would be permitted to visit POW camps, and the first
visit took place in early December.
Iran was the subject of a critical paragraph in the 1985
report of the International Labor Organization's Committee on
the Application of Conventions and Recommendations. Focusing
on the treatment of Baha'is and others, the committee
expressed concern over Iran's continued failure to comply with
the Convention on Discrimination in Occupation and called upon
the Government to ensure a policy consistent with the
Amnesty International has written to Iranian officials,
including Khomeini, protesting violations of human rights in
Iran, but has received no reply.
In August 1986, diplomats representing the 12 member states of
the European Community made a demarche to the Government
expressing their concern at reports of violations of Bahai ' s
human rights. The regime denied the charges.
Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion,
Language, or Social Status
Always the object of discriminatory practices in Iran's
conservative society, women have faced even more
discrimination since the Revolution. Ultraconservative dress,
entirely hiding the hair and all of the body except the face
and hands, is now an absolute requirement for all women,
regardless of their religion, national origin, citizenship, or
diplomatic status. Women are harassed, detained, or
physically attacked if they appear in public in clothing which
official or self-appointed guardians of public morality deem
insufficiently modest. Employment opportunities for women are
more restricted than was the case under the Shah. Women are
legally barred from being judges. Although there are cultural
barriers making employment in professional level positions
difficult to obtain, women do work as lawyers, physicians, and
statisticians, and in other professions in both the public and
private sectors. Two women serve as deputies in the Majles.
The Family Protection Act, passed under the Shah, was revoked
by the Islamic Government and replaced by a civil code
reflecting Islamic law. A bill passed in mid-1983 did,
however, give women the right to divorce their husbands, and
regulations announced in 1984 substantially broadened, to 12,
the number of grounds for which a woman may seek divorce. A
husband may still obtain a divorce without having to state a
reason or go to court. The new marriage regulations provide
for improved financial settlements for wives whose husbands
divorce them.
As noted in Section 2.c., the Christian, Jewish, Zoroastrian,
and Baha ' i minorities reportedly suffer officially sanctioned
discrimination in a number of areas, particularly with respect
to employment and public accommodations. Muslims who have
converted to Christianity are similarly discriminated against.
Iranian labor law, which exempts agriculture, domestic
service, family businesses, and, to some extent, other small
businesses, forbids employment of minors under 12 years of age
and places special restrictions on the employment of minors
under 18 and of women. Under the law, women and minors may
not be used for hard labor or, in general, for night work.
The labor law also establishes a 6-day work week of 48 hours
maximum (except for overtime at premium rates), with 1 day of
rest (normally Friday), as well as at least 12 days per year
of leave with pay and a number of paid public holidays. There
are also legal provisions with respect to minimum wages and
health and safety in workplaces. Given the large sectors of
the economy exempted from the labor law, the State's still
unresolved administrative disorganization resulting from the
revolution, the effects of the war with Iraq, and the general
lack of labor unions which are both legal and effective, it is
unclear to what extent the provisions of Iran's labor law
actually affect most of the labor force. Despite the war,
unemployment remains high, probably in the 30 percent range.
Information on collective bargaining in Iran is not available.