Iran’s Peculiar Election: The Struggle Against Sultanism

Issue Date October 2005
Volume 16
Issue 4
Page Numbers 38-51
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Given the unaccountable authority of the supreme leader, the Islamic Republic should be classified as a sultanistic regime. In such regimes, democratic change is more likely to come from nonviolent resistance than from internal reform.

About the Author

Akbar Ganji is a leading Iranian dissident. A complete English translation of Ganji’s “Republican Manifesto II,” which was written prior to Iran’s 2005 presidential election, may be found at

View all work by Akbar Ganji