Iran

Making a stand with Iran's Green Movement

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In 2009 a mass movement was born in the streets of Iran, mobilising millions in opposition to the disputed re-election of President Ahmadinejad. Jack Farmer and Peyman Jafari spoke to author Hamid Dabashi about being an opponent of both the Iranian regime and Western imperialism


You have described the Green Movement in Iran that emerged after the 2009 presidential elections as a civil rights movement, rather than an attempt to overthrow the whole political order. Do you think the Green Movement will eventually have to pose a fundamental political challenge to the regime?

Iran - a fight on two fronts

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In July last year thousands of ordinary Iranians took to the streets to demonstrate against tyranny and repression. Now, as the West seeks to impose sanctions, Dominic Kouros argues that the democracy movement is still a potent force capable of leading a struggle for genuine liberation

When the Iranian people took to the streets in July to demonstrate against tyranny they were met with brutal repression. Six months on, the same people have refused to give up their fight. Meanwhile, global leaders are circulating plans to capitalise on the unrest. The people of Iran are challenging not only their own leaders but also the threat of crippling foreign sanctions and military engagement.

Iran's new rebellion

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Iranians have taken to the streets as the divisions in the ruling class have sharpened into open conflict, writes Peyman Jafari.

The fallout from the presidential election on 12 June precipitated the biggest political crisis in Iran since the 1979 revolution. The official results gave the incumbent president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, 63 percent of votes, compared to 34 percent for his main rival, the reformist Mir Hossein Mousavi, who then accused the government of vote-rigging. In the following days hundreds of thousands took to the streets of major cities, defying the riot police and shouting, "Where is my vote?"

Iran: from Shah to Ayatollah

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With the failure of the "war on terror" has come an emboldened, increasingly influential Iran. But as world leaders look for ways to exert their authority on the country, Naz Massoumi looks at Iran's revolutionary history and its repeated rejection of imperialism.

"Iran, because of the great leadership of the Shah, is an island of stability in one of the more troubled areas of the world," said US President Jimmy Carter on his New Year's Eve state visit to Iran in 1977. He spoke too soon. Just a week later the Shah's police shot and killed dozens of theology students as they protested in the religious city of Qom against a scurrilous attack on Ayatollah Khomeini in a pro-government newspaper. One year later, on 16 January 1979, following months of demonstrations and a general strike, the Shah was forced to leave Iran.

Alternative Iran

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Stereotypes of Iranian society see a cowed population dominated by "mad mullahs". Naz Massoumi takes a look at new books which challenge the myths.

The US's imperialist project in Iraq is falling apart - a fact that even the most belligerent of neoconservatives has been forced to admit. But this does not mean that George Bush is retreating quietly. The instinctive response of the US ruling class to its troubles is to ramp up its aggression - and Iran is rapidly becoming the key target for "regime change" in the Middle East.

The Hidden History of the Iranian Revolution

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Nuclear weapons proliferation is not the real reasons for the US's attitude toward Tehran.

The hypocrisy of the Western governments' threats to Iran should be obvious. Iran does not have nuclear weapons, whereas nearby states like Israel, India and Pakistan do, as of course do all the permanent members of the UN Security Council.

Iran: A Cinema Born Out of Poetry and Resistance

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Iranian films reflect the contradictions of their society, argues Naz Massoumi.

The initial international acclaim received by Iranian cinema in the 1990s presented a paradox. The western media's portrayal of post-revolution Iran painted a picture of war, repressive mullahs and fundamentalism (and even more so now, as Bush's hypocrisy reaches new levels when we are told that Iran has a fundamentalist, nuclear-proliferating, unelected government). In this context, the films of childlike innocence and rural landscapes showed a very different, poetic image of Iran, and thus seemed to present a big contradiction.

The Other Iran

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Peyman Jafari examines Iran's recent history of struggle, and looks at the challenges facing activists today.

Hardly any analyst had anticipated the sweeping victory of the conservative hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinedjad in Iran's presidential election in June this year. What most Iranians rejected, however - even if it was in a distorted way - was their ruling elite and the hawkish rumblings from Washington.

Iran: Next in Line for Regime Change?

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The student protests in Iran in June were part of the pro-democracy movement, involving secular and religious women, workers, student and the youth, which has been evolving since the early 1990s.

The media attempts to show the protestors as sympathetic to Bush, but Israel and the US's policy of Middle East domination is extremely unpopular in Iran. People in Iran, as in the rest of the region, are fully aware of the repercussions of the US and British war in Iraq through the Al Jazeera television coverage. Moreover, 1 million Iranians died and 1 million were disabled in the war with Iraq (1980-88), and people have not forgotten that the US armed Iraq and turned a blind eye to the gassing of Kurdish people.

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