The survey titled “Iranians’ Attitudes toward Political Systems” was carried out between February 17-27, 2022. Over 20 thousand respondents participated in this study. The final sample used in this report consisted of 16,850 Iranians living inside Iran. The study’s findings reflect the views of literate Iranian residents aged above 19, who comprise 85% of the Iranian adult population. The results can be generalized to the target population with a 95% credibility level and credibility intervals of 5%.
The results show that 88% of the population consider “having a democratic political system” to be “fairly good” or “very good”. On the other hand, while 67% of the population consider “having a system governed by religious law” to be “fairly bad” or “very bad”, around 28% evaluate such a system as “good”. Moreover, 76% of the population are against “having the army rule”.
When asked about their preferred regime type, 34% chose a “secular republic”, 22% the “Islamic republic”, 19% a “constitutional monarchy”, and 3% an “absolute monarchy”. Also, over 21% declared that they are “not sufficiently informed to answer this question”.
With respect to the political structure, 37% favor a “unitary and centralized state”, 15% opt for a “unitary and decentralized state”, and 12% chose a “federal state”. Approximately 6% chose “I support the secession and independence of my ethnic group [millīyat-i khvud]”. About 30% declared that they are “not sufficiently informed to answer this question”.
About the head of state, around 78% opposed this function being passed down through heredity, 72% opposed the head of state being a (Shia) religious authority, and 66% think the head of state should not appointed/elected for life. Also, 56% oppose the head of state being an Atheist.
Asking about political parties and ideologies that people may vote for in free elections, constitutionalist (pro-monarchy), social democrat, Religious-Nationalist, environmentalist, and National Front leanings are among the most popular political parties and ideologies.
From a list of civil and political figures given in this survey, Reza Pahlavi was the most popular with 39% followed by Ebrahim Raisi with 17%, Narges Mohammadi and Nasrin Sotoudeh with 15%, Masih Alinejad with 13%, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mohammad Nourizad, and Kaveh Madani with 12% of support. The latter are followed by Mir-Hossein Mousavi, Mohammad Javad Zarif and Mohammad Khatami in that order of popularity.
In response to a question about respondents’ favorite design for the national flag, 46% chose the three-colored flag with the lion and sun symbol, while around 30% opted for the current flag of the Islamic Republic, and approximately 19% preferred a three-colored flag without any symbols; 5% did not choose any of the given options.
Asking about the political leaders of Iran’s modern history, 66% have a positive view of Reza Shah Pahlavi (1878-1944), while 23% evaluate him negatively. Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (1919-1980) is viewed positively by 64%, while 28% judge him negatively. Mohammad Mossadegh’s (1882-1967) popularity is similar, with 64% positive responses and 27% negative. In contrast, 28% have a positive view of Ruhollah Khomeini (1902-1989), while 64% evaluate him negatively. Finally, approximately 26% of the population evaluate Iran’s current Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei (b. 1939), positively, while 66% judge him negatively.
With respect to bringing about political change in the current milieu of Iran, about 65% favors “nationwide strikes”, 65% “protest campaigns in social media”, 52% “engaging in civil disobedience”, and around 50% is positive about “street demonstrations and protests”. Nearly 19% of the society say they support an “armed uprising”, while 68% disapprove of this strategy.
Respondents were also asked their opinion about frequently-chanted slogans in recent years. 65% of the population are in favor of “Reformists, Principlists, the game is over!”, about 58% agree with “What a huge mistake, our revolution was!”, and 53% approve of “Reza Shah, may you rest in peace!”. On the other hand, 21% sympathize with “Khamenei, we are all your soldiers; we’re ready to take action under your command!”, while 67% disagree with this slogan. Only 5% agrees with “Ya Hussain, Mir-Hossein”, while 76% oppose it.
Regarding the official and native languages, 85% consider Farsi as the most appropriate official or common language for Iran and 65% agree that schools should teach native languages in addition to Farsi, while 19% disapprove of this option. On the other hand, 61% disagree with the statement “I prefer my child to receive higher education in their native language rather than in Farsi”, while 18% agree.
Ebrahim Raisi’s performance as president is evaluated positively by 20% and negatively by 69%. Discontent with Raisi’s administration is stronger among urban-dwelling citizens with an academic background. Also, dissatisfaction with him tends to be higher among women.
Regarding Iranians’ political orientation, 41% want the overthrow of the Islamic Republic, 21% prefer structural changes and a transition from the Islamic Republic, while 18% want to preserve the principles and values of the revolution, and 8% seek reforms within the Islamic Republic; 11% selected none of these options. Comparison with previous surveys reveals no drastic changes occurring over the past year