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Iran is a backwards country.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/3/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 10 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 293 times Debate No: 83366
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
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I believe that Iran; since the revolution has been progressing far more than the time when the Shah was in power. The Islamic Revolution in the 70's made Iran a far superior country. First round is acceptance, and state what you believe as well.


The idea that an Iran with no Western allies is more progressive than the Pro-Western Shah is ludicrous. Throughout the majority of the 20th century, Iran was a strong ally of the United States. As usual with US-allied countries, they began to "Westernize" their society. This lead to a spike in their economy as they began to build infrastructure, modernizing their military, and reaping the benefits of their natural resources. The fact that Iran was becoming increasingly secular and Western aggravated some Shia's. The attempt to modernize Iran is cited as one of the reasons for the Revolution.
Also, the idea that any one nation can be a theocracy and be considered "modern" is questionable. Most modernized nations are, on paper, secular states. Theocracies (especially Islamic states) generally have a poor human rights record, as Sharia law promotes brutal and unfair punishments for the minor transgressions. Another issue that plagues Islamic theocracies and is the extreme gender inequality. Women are denied certain economic, political, and even basic opportunities such as driving. Saudi Arabia is a prime example of what a theocratic state does to its constituents. Attempts to modernized by the government can be seen by their citizens as Western sympathy, as industry and capitalism are generally associated with the West.
Furthermore, an accurate comparison to a Cold War Iran and a modern Iran may be difficult to assess. The Iran of the Cold War had more direct issues to deal with (such as their geopolitical enemy Iraq) than the modern day Iran. Post-Revolution Iran also had no allies during said war outside of Syria (fellow Shias) and North Korea. The Soviet Union and United States both publicly supported Iraq. The Iran-Contra issue can be addressed in later rounds.
Debate Round No. 1


Well hello, glad you accepted.

1.) The reason for the Islamic Revolution was not because it was modernizing, more because it was becoming, "Westernized" it was becoming a lot different than the Shias of Iran would have liked. In their eyes, a lot of the western beliefs were completely contradictory to their beliefs. So they did not like the fact that it was becoming westernized, not modernized. Though they are somewhat the same, but not exactly.

2.) Although many Muslim countries are corrupt and use Sharia law, such as Saudi Arabia. Iran does not use Sharia law. Instead they use laws based off of Islamic values.

3.) Having a theocracy does not limit a countries ability to become modernized, though it limits it ability to become westernized

4.) After the revolution, there was a country just for Shia muslims. Shia muslims were heavily oppressed throughout the middle east for centuries. Iran is a safe haven for Shia Muslims, and saved countless lives.

5.) The only thing holding Iran back are the western sanctions. If they were not sanctioning, they could have became much stronger. - Use the sources they have there.


I'd just like to say I have no issue with utilizing Wikipedia as a source. Large, important articles such as the one for Iran is more than likely accurate and protected from vandalism.

1) At the time of the attempted modernization, the technological, infrastructural, and economic gap was so massive that any attempt at modernization was viewed as Westernizing, nearly synonymous to one another.

2) That is just as barbaric. In fact, a serious crime is "crimes against God", also known as Hadd. Hadd leads to a denial of the basic human right known as freedom of speech. I am unable to say anything negative about the religion of Islam or I face execution, Crucifixion, or amputation.

3) See above. Theocracies lead to backwards policies.

4). Which is great. However, this in no way supports your argument.

5). That isn't true. Other countries with no sanctions in place in the Middle East are just as backwards as Iran. Much like Saudi Arabia, where women just now gained the right to vote.

Our argument not only pertains to the infrastructure/economy of Iran, but to their social policies as well. Social policy in Iran is incredibly barbaric. Gender inequality, denial of basic human rights, execution for being gay. Men who rape women have the ability to "pay" for their crime. That is literal. They give money to the victim to avoid any sort of punishment. This means a wealthy, land-owning male could rape as many women as he wants, as long as he can pay compensation or "Diyyeh."

Iran is amazing backwards, assuming backwards is an antonym of progressive, such as equality for everyone regardless of sex, race, or sexual preference, basic human rights, fair punishments to crime, a system in which the little guy can still come out victorious, drug decriminalization and social safety nets. Iran lacks all of these.
Debate Round No. 2


1.) Where did you figure this out?

2.)Since you gave no citations I looked everything up myself. Hadd is not anything like what you said. It has to do with sexual relations outside of marriage, apostasy (Which Iran has never executed anyone for doing so) and theft. There is no removing of your, "basic human rights."

3.)Poor human rights record? Iran does not have a bad human rights, according to the west. But does the west get to decide everything?

4.) Iran did not recently just give the right for women to vote. Only Saudi Arabia just gave them the right to vote.

5.) Execution for gay men? That is only if they commit sexual acts.

6.)I could only find two links to Diyyeh. Both were wikipedia. A lot of info on that page was not cited, nor verified.

7.) Equality for sexes? Has the U.S. had a female president? No. So don't point fingers at Iran, when women are still fighting for rights in the west.


1) Commons sense dictates the West consisted of the most advanced and modernized nations. Iran was also a US ally at the time. Clearly, reorganizing your culture to modernize and develop a society that reflects that of America's was seen as the same thing.

2) Surprised how you can't deduct that apostasy is the same as the denial of freedom of speech and freedom of religion. It is not that hard to make a connection. Denying someone the right to abandon or even speak out against a religion is a clear violation of basic human rights.

3) Strange, all kinds of sources indicate that they do. But it must be "Western propaganda" huh?
Is that enough sources for you?

4) Ok? I said that in my argument. This bullet is now redundant.

5) So two people can be executed for doing something in the privacy of their bedroom and you claim Iran is progressive? Yeah, right.

6) Maybe you should work on your searching skills. While the spelling differed, it wasn't very hard to find.

7) So having elected a female President is an accurate representation of their rights? We haven't had a Hispanic President, does that mean Hispanics are oppressed and fighting for rights in America? No. We haven't had an Asian President, does that mean Asians are oppressed? No. Perhaps you should question how many women actually are involved in politics. Not a lot choose to pick politics as a career. Women can be astronauts, CEO's, and politicians just like men. Women are treated kindly under the law (as opposed to Iran).

Hopefully that was enough sources for you.
Debate Round No. 3


1.) Does not mean people looked at it the same way you think they did.

2.) Yes, we are talking about Iran. In Iran, nobody has been executed or jailed for apostasy. If you speak out against Shia Islam publicly, of course you are going to be prosecuted. You are speaking out against the government. Does that make it a "backwards" government? Stalin imprisoned his political opponents, and the Soviet Union was very progressive. So this does not make Iran, backwards.

3.)Executions are not a denial of human rights. You say theocracies lead to backwards polices, this is entirely false. Backwards policies is an opinion. What a religion looks as a law, the west looks at it as a crime. Why do secular countries get to decide what a human right is. Even what a backwards policy is. Secular countries are generally western. One Iranian law especially looked at by people as a denial of human rights, is the execution of minors. More specifically, anyone who has gone through puberty, girls 9, boys 15. How is this a denial of human rights? If someone who has gone through puberty commits a crime, they are responsible for their actions. Stoning and beheadings have never been used either.

4.) Two people that commit a crime against the human race. They are to be executed under law, this does not make Iran, "anti-progressive". Unless it is progressive towards a secular nation, which is not what Iran is supposed to be.

5.) The links you sent, say it is under sharia. In cases that blood money was used, it was under tradition of the families. Sharia is not used in Iran.

6.) You claim that females don't have rights in Iran. In Iran, they can take almost any job. Women are still fighting for rights in the west. So, that is why I pointed out that America does not have many female politicians yet they point fingers at Iran for not having many, when they do. Iranian women are treated with lots of respect compared to many other nations in the world.


Sdio forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


Zederath forfeited this round.


Sdio forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by adilmuhammad 10 months ago
right. iran is a backward country
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