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In February of 1979 perhaps the most relevant and overwhelming revolution of the twentieth century was executed in Iran The Islamic Revolution as it was known would forever change the face of politics in not only Iran but also the entire Middle East and produce political and social aftershocks that would be felt around the world Almost two months after the revolution the Pahlavis monarchy that had been in power for over half a century was replaced with an Islamic Republic with the approval of over ninety-five percent of Iranians Joseph 2000 307 The republic was more able to serve the predominantly Muslim makeup of Iran than the monarchy which many claimed excluded the majority from political participation In the twenty-three years since that transition the issue of whether or not democracy exists in Iran has been discussed and debated extensively When one looks at the current state of government in Iran it is evident that the Islamic Revolution has produced a true democracy in Iran The idea of democracy is defined as a government that is periodically elected from time to time and thus controlled by the people who live under it Under a democracy the people rule either by direct vote at public meetings or indirectly through the election of certain representatives to govern them Avis 1983 314 Iran seems to fit that definition When compared to countries considered true democracies such as the United States and Canada it is obvious that numerous differences exist between those democracies and that of Irans However while these differences make Iran unconventional compared to the governments of the Western powers it does not remove Iran from the classification of a democracy Perhaps the best way to display the legitimacy of Irans democratic status is to draw parallels between Iran and the more accepted Western model Canada the United States and Britain that is commonly associated with democracy There are three main parallels
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