Two quite different images emerge of the current political situation in Iran depending on whether one looks from the perspective of the state or from that of society. From the state perspective, it appears as though the Islamic regime is becoming more and more ideologically rigid, economically unstable, politically repressive and internationally isolated. It has banned political parties and other forms of independent political activity that provide a politically roused population opportunities for participation; it continues to impose strict Islamic dress and public conduct codes, alienating urban youth and middle classes; its mismanagement of the economy has resulted in rampant inflation, high unemployment, mounting debts and endemic corruption; and its at times adventurist foreign policy has left Iran with few allies internationally.

Yet, there are signs of resilience and even vitality in many spheres of national life, defying popular characterizations of Iran as a closed society ruled by a theocratic dictatorship. There is a great deal of enterprise and vigor in those sectors of the economy not controlled by the state. Iranian women continue to participate actively in the work force and other spheres of public life in spite of officially sanctioned patriarchal norms and the many obstacles that have been placed in their way. Despite government censorship and intimidation of dissidents, there is a vibrant intellectual life in the capital and in other major cities.

Artistic, intellectual, scholarly and professional publications thrive despite formidable financial constraints and official pressures. And an unknown but sizable number of people defy the authorities’ pious maledictions against Western media and regularly tune in to foreign radio and television broadcasts to find respite from the stolid programs of the state-run media.

The above contrasting images of political life in Iran today are closely linked. It is the ruling elite’s absorption in its own arcane ideological rhetoric, the internecine — and for the most part open — battles among different factions, and the multiplicity of power centers within the state that at once frustrate ordinary citizens and embolden them to voice their grievances against the authorities. The government’s inability to lessen people’s sense of economic vulnerability or outright misery has forced many to rely on their own schemes and devices. The slackening of state largesse, which for nearly two generations was the principal reason for the relative prosperity of the urban middle classes, has led to a frenzy of activity and entrepreneurship in the private small-scale sector — small farmers, bazaar merchants and traders, proprietors and workers in small urban workshops and service establishments, and those in the so-called informal sector.

Camps and Constituencies

One of the most remarkable features of the “rule of the ayatollahs” has been the degree to which this relatively small group of men, in spite of their many similarities in social origin and intellectual background, have disagreed on some of the most fundamental issues concerning the nature of an Islamic society and government, and have formed alliances and counter-alliances based on ideological affinities or political expediencies. [1] While the origins of this factionalism may be traced back to the diverse ideological interpretations of Islam within the revolutionary movement itself, it was in the early 1980s, after the ruling clerics had neutralized nearly all liberal and secular leftist groups within the revolutionary coalition, that the different “Islamic tendencies” coalesced into two major camps, the “conservatives” and the “radicals.” The conservatives, following the traditional Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh-i sunnati), upheld the sanctity of private property and advocated a limited role for the state in the economy. The radicals, basing their position on what they described as progressive jurisprudence (fiqh-i mutiraqqi), considered greater social justice and a better life for the impoverished masses (mostazafin) to be a fundamental duty of the revolutionary state. They advocated economic self-sufficiency, limits on agricultural land holding, state controls over major sectors of the economy, and progressive labor and social welfare legislation. The two factions differed, moreover, on foreign policy and cultural issues. The radicals adamantly opposed any rapprochement with the United States and, to a lesser extent, other Western countries, and advocated active support for Islamic and national liberation movements throughout the world. The conservatives favored a more cautious foreign policy, aiming to normalize Iran’s relations with other countries so long as the West’s cultural influence on the country could be curbed. The conservatives advocated a strict code of dress and public conduct for women, limits on the forms of entertainment and artistic expression, and the like; the radicals either shunned such cultural issues altogether or adopted a more lenient attitude.

The two camps appealed to, or claimed to speak on behalf of, different constituencies in society. The conservatives’ support came from the traditionalist clergy, the bazaar merchants and other segments of the traditional middle class. The radicals’ social base was the younger, more militant clerics, members of the Islamic associations in the universities, and others in the large network of “revolutionary organizations” that had come into being in the course of the revolution or shortly afterward. The radicals viewed themselves as advocates of the poor, the industrial workers and the peasantry. [2]

Iranian elite politics during the 1980s was a story of rivalries, shifting alliances and conflicts between these two factions. Any greater “divinely inspired” unity within the leadership of the Islamic Republic could have been achieved only at the cost of one group decisively suppressing the other, an outcome that would have certainly pushed the regime toward greater rigidity and intolerance. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was keenly aware of such a danger and spent much energy and political capital to ensure that the two opposing factions were kept in rough balance.

By the late 1980s, a third, more pragmatic, faction had emerged under the leadership of the then-speaker of the parliament (Majles), Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani. For the most part, they tended to be less doctrinaire in their approach to policy issues. They drew their support primarily from the modern middle classes, including government employees, technocrats and professionals, and from certain elements of the business community. They welcomed Rafsanjani’s efforts to begin the enormous task of reconstruction after eight years of a devastating war with Iraq, and to rationalize what had been a haphazard process of economic decision making.

Issues and Differences

After Khomeini’s death in June 1989, the pragmatists managed to consolidate and advance their position. Their economic reform efforts were aided by a substantial increase in oil revenues in 1990, and, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the worldwide popularity of marketization and privatization policies as panaceas for ailing economies. In the months preceding the 1992 parliamentary elections, the pragmatists devised a transparently partisan strategy to break the radicals’ hold over the Majles. With the aid of the conservative Council of Guardians and apparent approval of the newly elected Supreme Leader, Hojjat al-Islam Ali Khamenei, they “disqualified” a number of well-known radical candidates from the officially approved election rosters. The outcome was a dramatic change in the balance of the Fourth Majles (1992-1996) in favor of the conservatives, with more than two thirds of the deputies entering the Majles for the first time. The radicals who had enjoyed a commanding majority in the Third Majles saw their proportion diminish to less than 15 percent (40 deputies out of a total of 270). [3]

Contrary to all expectations, however, the new Majles was no more willing to rally behind Rafsanjani’s reform programs than was the previous one. Following his lackluster election victory to a second term in June 1993, [4] Rafsanjani’s programs requiring parliamentary approval have been repeatedly torpedoed by a new, powerful group of “hardliners,” consisting of (rightist) conservatives and at times, depending on the nature of the issues, the holdover (leftist) radical deputies. Furthermore, Rafsanjani’s detractors have received support from his former ally, Ayatollah Khamenei, on major issues. Unlike Khomeini, who generally tried to maintain a balance between opposing factions, Khamenei has sided for the most part with one — the hardline faction.

The ideological differences between the hardliners and the moderates still revolve around the three fundamental issues of state intervention in the economy, relations with the West and enforcement of strict Islamic codes of conduct. Perhaps in no other realm of national policy is the impact of factionalism and ideology as apparent as in the area of foreign policy. Particularly since the acceptance of the ceasefire in the Iran-Iraq war in 1988, Iran has had a two-track foreign policy. The first includes support for the Islamist regime in the Sudan and Hizballah in Lebanon, a rejectionist stand on the Israeli-Palestinian peace accords, reaffirmation of the death threat against Salman Rushdie, assassination of prominent opponents of the regime abroad, and, not surprisingly, continued verbal attacks on the US. The second foreign policy track is sensitive to the country’s need to reconnect constructively with the Western powers, particularly in view of its increasing need of foreign credit and capital. This track manifests itself in Iran’s relations with many non-Western countries, particularly those in Southwest and Central Asia; in its useful mediating role in the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict and in the Tajik civil war; and in its active participation in a variety of regional and international treaties and bilateral agreements. [5]

The hardliners fear that expanded relations with the West would inevitably increase the influence of Westernized technocrats and experts within the state bureaucracy and other spheres of national life. Regular targets of their attacks are academics, film makers, journalists and intellectuals accused of undermining Islamic values and propagating decadent Western ideas.

Over the past year, the hardliners have mounted a largely successful campaign to take control of key positions in the state. They have denied confirmation to some of Rafsanjani’s cabinet choices and discredited or even dismissed key members of his administration. Top positions now under hardliner control include:
• Speaker of the Majles, Ali Akbar Nateq Nouri, an ardent conservative, who replaced Hojjat al-Islam Mehdi Karroubi, an influential radical;
• the head of the judiciary branch, Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi;
• Ali Mohammad Besharati, whose Interior Ministry oversees elections and appoints provincial governors, chief administrators of counties, chiefs of rural police, etc.;
• Ali Larijani, a one-time ally of Rafsanjani, was appointed director of the state-run radio and television by Khamenei. Larijani replaced Mohammad Hashemi (Rafsanjani’s brother), who was publicly castigated for his “negative viewpoints” and “deviations;”
• Hojjat al-Islam Ali Fallahian, Minister of Information (in charge of the state security organization);
• Mohsen Rafiqdost, director of the Mostazafan Foundation (a huge quasi-governmental conglomerate of companies, industrial plants, real estate holdings, mines, etc.), who previously served as the head of the Revolutionary Guards.

Problems of Legitimacy

In part, this leadership crisis reflects the inevitable contradiction between a modern bureaucratic state operating within a constitutional framework, and a non-elected theocratic “sovereign” (the supreme jurist, or faqih), who is above all accountability. This historically unprecedented position was written into the constitution of the Islamic Republic in 1980, reflecting Ayatollah Khomeini’s enormous power and popularity. He occupied this position as marja‘-i taqlid (source of emulation), the highest religious authority in Shi‘i Islam, and as the founder of the Islamic Republic. By the time of his death in 1989, though, the ruling elite realized that no possible successor could be found who would possess the qualifications of both a marja‘ and leader of the country. In the final months of Khomeini’s life, and at his own direction, an amendment to the constitution was drafted separating these two positions.

This amendment had not been yet been ratified at the time of his death. The 80-member Assembly of Experts acted with astonishing alacrity and appointed the then-president, Khamenei to the position of faqih, despite his relatively lower rank within the clerical hierarchy. [6] The amendment was ratified later that year in a plebiscite, confirming Khamenei’s appointment as the nation’s “leader” or “guide.” Most high-ranking members of the clergy outside of the government, though, were not pleased with Khamenei’s elevation to the position of supreme jurist. Their opposition became more intense when some of Khamenei’s close associates tried unsuccessfully to lay the groundwork for him to assume the position of marja‘ and, later, when Khamenei tried to influence the choice of the next marja‘. Khamenei has usually had to resort to political maneuverings in order to achieve control over his former political associates and fellow clerics rather than simply assert his authority as the Supreme Leader of the Republic.

This crisis of leadership has been overshadowed by an even more fundamental problem — an erosion of legitimacy. With the clergy’s direct involvement in the affairs of state, it was inevitable that they would come to be blamed for the ills of society and the failings of the government. But beyond such routine recriminations, the clerics’ abuses of power, their mismanagement of the economy, their suffocating control over the cultural life of the country and, above all, involvement by some within their ranks in massive corruption schemes, have severely undermined their once considerable moral authority. [7] The “Islamic government” is fast losing the loyalty and trust of many who saw in it the promise of a new moral order.

In this respect, what Iran’s experience with Islamic revolution and government demonstrates is that Islam can serve as a powerful ideology of resistance, that it has an immense capacity for mass mobilization for revolution and war, and that it can provide the juridical basis for the establishment and legitimization of a state. But as the hegemonic ideology of a modern bureaucratic state, Islam is no less susceptible to the corrupting influences of power and privilege than other ideologies. Indeed, as Mehdi Bazargan (the first prime minister of the Islamic Republic) warned in a recent interview, and many other devout Muslims have come to fear, the main threat in Iran today to Islam as a faith is the experience of people under the Islamic government. [8]

Resilience of Society

In addition to the divisions within the ruling elite, resistance to repressive state policies by key social groups and strata has allowed Iranian society to function with a limited degree of autonomy from the state. Certain features of Iran’s social structure are especially relevant in assessing the locations, modes and extent of this resistance, and its prospects. First, nearly half of the country’s 62 million people was born after the 1979 revolution. [9] These “children of the revolution,” still too young to have much impact on politics today, will most likely be the dominant force in the mass politics of the coming years. They have been raised under the intense, though hardly effectual, indoctrination and propaganda of the Islamic Republic, the principal impact of which has been, to the consternation of the regime, a depoliticization of the youth.

A higher proportion of youth attend school than any previous generation. [10] As they reach the end of their public education in huge waves, their large numbers will far outstrip the capacity of the economy to offer them a reasonable chance for gainful employment. The present unemployment rate for the 15-to-24-year olds is twice the national average. Nor will the country’s higher educational system be able to admit those who would want to continue their education beyond a high-school diploma. Less than one tenth of the million or more students who take the highly competitive entrance examinations to qualify for college and university admission are able to enter. The restrictive codes of behavior that are imposed on youth are another source of discontent, particularly at a time when they are increasingly exposed to the commercialism of the world media.

A second relevant feature is the rural and urban distribution of the population. According to the most recent survey, conducted in 1991, 42 percent of the population lives in rural areas. Various development and reconstruction projects targeted at the rural areas since the revolution have helped improve living standards. According to income and expenditure surveys conducted by the Iranian Statistical Center, over the decade from 1977 to 1987, while the ratio between expenditures and income for rural households remained almost unchanged at about 125 percent, for urban households the ratio deteriorated from 98 to 130 percent. Over the same period, average annual income of rural households as a percentage of the income of urban households increased from 37 percent to 63 percent. [11] Higher literacy rates, improved economic conditions and increased communications have raised the expectations of the rural population and are likely to lead to greater political demand — making and assertiveness on the part of this traditionally passive segment of Iranian society. [12]

The third noteworthy feature is the multi-ethnic composition of Iranian society. The dominant ethnic group, the Persians, comprise an estimated 55 percent of the population. The country’s ethnolinguistic minorities — Turkish-speaking Azeris, Kurds, Baloch, Turkmen, Arabs — have many legitimate grievances and aspire to greater cultural autonomy and control over decisions that directly affect their lives. Although Iran’s various ethnic groups have for centuries inhabited roughly the same geographic area and shared in the same cultural traditions, relations between the center and the periphery have never been free of tension and conflict. On the whole, the present regime has been mindful of the potentially explosive nature of the issue, particularly in view of the cross-border ethnic conflicts involving Iraq (Kurds and Arabs), Turkey (Kurds), the Republic of Azerbaijan (Azeris), Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Pakistan (Baloch). Iran’s two major Sunni ethnic groups, the Kurds and the Baloch, which each have their own political parties, have become more restive recently. The devastating bomb explosions at Iran’s holiest shrine in Mashhad in the summer of 1994, in the opinion of most independent observers, was an act of retaliation against the razing of a Sunni mosque by local authorities in the same city earlier in the summer.

In general, it is in the large urban centers that resistance to the authority of the regime is most evident. This resistance does not take the form of an open, organized opposition, but follows more indirect or even passive forms. Since closing down its own official party, the Islamic Republican Party, in 1987, the regime has effectively banned all political party activities. The last remaining major opposition party, the Liberation Movement of Iran (Nehzat-e Azadi-ye Iran) of former prime minister Mehdi Bazargan and his associates, has been all but moribund in recent years. Similarly, instead of independent labor unions, the workers are only granted the privilege to have their own Islamic associations at the work place, thus effectively introducing yet another layer of control in their daily lives.

For the majority of people, the daily business of living compels them to often hold two or more jobs and spend the rest of their time taking care of other daily chores, which often bring them up against inefficient agencies and corrupt agents. Their resistance to the regime is reflected not so much in what they do against it, but in their expressions of apathy and cynicism, in their refusal to participate in regime-sponsored activities (Friday prayers, anniversary celebrations, official visits), and in their steadily lower turnouts for elections. Many openly express their nostalgia for the monarchy and offer elaborate conspiracy theories about how the Islamic revolution, its immense popularity notwithstanding, was set in motion and managed by foreign powers in order to weaken Iran and ensure its economic dependence on the West.

Many people make a complete separation between the public and the private realms of their lives. While the former is where one must endure the ubiquitous presence and the pious injunctions of the state and carry on the uphill struggle of making ends meet, the latter provides a refuge. In the company of family, friends and trustworthy acquaintances, one can enjoy a semblance of freedom and peace of mind. Watching foreign television programs with the aid of satellite dishes has become an enormously popular pastime. The foreign media, including the BBC, Voice of America, Israel Radio and several clandestine exile radio stations around the country’s borders, are more popular than ever. Official concern about this recently prompted the government to brand “satellite dishes as part of a plot to corrupt the Islamic state.” The parliament, on September 20, 1994, prohibited “any importation, manufacture and utilization” of the dishes, and instructed the Ministry of Interior and popular militias (Basij) to eliminate the antennas “with the least possible delay.” [13]

The intelligentsia, including some members of the clergy, play a crucial role in informing the public, analyzing issues critically and offering alternative visions for the future. In spite of the many financial and political risks of publishing, there is a remarkable number of newspapers, magazines, journals and books published in Iran today, many of much higher quality than those published before the revolution. [14] But the costs of intellectual dissent are still very high for authors or editors who transgress the limits of what is officially tolerated, particularly with publications that have a large readership. [15] A recent victim of such harassment and intimidation by the regime has been the poet and educator, Ali Akbar Saidi Sirjani, who was arrested last March on a slew of spurious charges including anti-revolutionary activity, drug trafficking and homosexuality, some of which constitute capital offenses. [16]

No other arena in the relationship between state and society and in the elite’s fashioning of the new Islamic order has been as contentious as the social status of women and the rules governing their public appearance and conduct. And no other group has been as determined and resourceful in challenging the various economic, social and cultural obstacles that have been placed in its way as have Iranian women under the Islamic Republic. [17] In spite of repressive and discriminatory policies in the workplace, in schools and universities, in sports and recreation, in courts of law, they have continued to make substantial gains in literacy and educational attainment, sustained their participation in the work force, and thereby kept a significant presence in public life as teachers, journalists, managers and factory workers. They have made great strides in the arts, and have gained a strong and significant voice as poets and writers. There has been an unprecedented flourishing of literature by and about women since the revolution, foiling the efforts of the regime to silence the voices of women and turning “women’s issues into a dominant discourse.” [18] The relative success of women’s resistance has been due in part to the indirect and subtle manner in which they have challenged the reactionary forces of the regime or subverted their intended goals. In the symbolically important realm of the dress code and veiling, for example, many middle-class women subvert the rules by using the head cover as a means of personal adornment rather than concealment, thus “turning an object of control into one of protest.” [19] And in asserting their fundamental rights as citizens to defy discriminatory legislation, religious edicts, court rulings and arbitrary decisions by state officials, they have placed emphasis on Islam’s egalitarian ideals rather than attacking its patriarchal values.


These different forms of resistance to the Islamic Republic do not have as their main goal a regime change, but seek to end abuses of official power, violations of fundamental individual rights, and the creation of space within which people can pursue their own lives and work without official encroachments. They strive to bring about change by working within the framework of the existing laws and through persuasion, public education and creation of informal networks.

It may certainly be argued, with some justification, that the anti-democratic character and policies of the present regime in Iran make a gradualist approach to political change futile or even impossible. Those who maintain such a position could point to the regime’s intolerant attitudes toward political dissent and its willingness to resort to harsh, repressive and punitive measures, to acts of terror, and to the use of officially sanctioned vigilantism against its opponents — all of which seriously limit the possibilities for organized, collective action, even if peaceful.

During the years of opposition to the Shah’s regime in the 1960s and 1970s, similar arguments were made, particularly by those on the left. What developed was a “negative consensus,” that practically any imaginable political outcome would be preferable to the status quo and that therefore the goal should be nothing short of a mass revolution. Today, many of those who argued for such a strategy realize that without an extensive network of democratic institutions and broader consensus on democratic and inclusionary political norms, well-intentioned revolutionary agendas could well have catastrophic consequences. In spite of many profound differences in their ideology, methods and outcomes, the nearly concurrent Islamic Revolution in Iran and the Marxist-Leninist revolution (and later the Islamist resistance movement) in neighboring Afghanistan provide compelling evidence in support of this conclusion. One of the main lessons of the Iranian revolution has indeed been a sense of disillusionment with the idea that things can be improved drastically only if the reins of government could be put in the right hands, i.e., the myth of a “revolutionary social transformation,” without the requisite changes in political culture and the creation of democratic norms and institutions at the non-governmental, grassroots levels.

To be sure, the political space that is available in Iran today to those with democratic agendas is quite limited. It could virtually disappear if the hardline faction within the present ruling elite or more extreme elements were to gain hegemony over the state, or if the regime perceived itself to be in serious danger of collapse. On the other hand, the modicum of success that the different social groups have had in resisting the repressive powers of the state provides a basis for further democratic change. Iran’s prospects as an open and democratic society are far more likely to be improved by the work of those who are genuinely committed to the strengthening of this resistance, who are participating actively in the current public debates among the Iranian intelligentsia, and who are working courageously to expand the organizational base for such efforts, both within the country and abroad, than those who advocate yet another round of revolutionary struggle to replace the present regime.


[1] For an analysis of the social background and ideological orientations of Iran’s post-revolutionary political elite, see Ahmad Ashraf, “Charisma, Theocracy and Men of Power in Postrevolutionary Iran,” in M. Weiner and A. Banuazizi, eds., The Politics of Social Transformation in Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1994); and Sussan Siavoshi, “Factionalism and Iranian Politics: The Post-Khomeini Experience,” Iranian Studies 25/3-4 (1992).
[2] The adoption of leftist ideas and categories had of course taken place earlier in the writings and speeches of Ali Shariati and Khomeini himself. See Ervand Abrahamian, Khomeinism: Essays on the Islamic Republic (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1993), especially chapters 1 and 2.
[3] For a detailed analysis of the election results, see Farzin Sarabi, “The Post Khomeini Era in Iran: The Elections of the Fourth Islamic Majlis,” Middle East Journal, 48/1 (1994), pp. 89-107.
[4] With about 56 percent of the eligible voters going to the polls in 1993, compared with 70 percent in 1989, Rafsanjani’s share of the vote was just over 63 percent, compared with 95 percent in his 1989 run for the office.
[5] See R. K. Ramazani, “Iran’s Foreign Policy: Both North and South,” Middle East Journal 46/3 (1992); Shahram Chubin, Iran’s National Security Policy: Capabilities, Intentions and Impact (Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1994); and Shirin T. Hunter, Iran after Khomeini (New York: Praeger, 1992).
[6] See Mohsen M. Milani, “The Transformation of the Velayat-e Faqih Institution: From Khomeini to Khamene’i,” The Muslim World 82/3-4 (1992).
[7] In one recent account, later acknowledged by President Rafsanjani, “a total of 106 cases of corruption were uncovered in the past six months [of 1993] including sums exceeding $1.5 billion in 13 government departments, nine state banks, two government-owned insurance companies, and seven universities and research centers.” Al-Sharq al-Awsat, January 8, 1994.
[8] “Interview with Engineer Bazargan,” Kiyan 11 (March-May 1993).
[9] 1994 estimate. The age group under 15 years comprised 44.3 percent of the population in 1991, the last year for which a population survey is available. For a brief summary of the survey results, see Iran Times, January 21, 1994.
[10] With an estimated 96 percent of school-age children enrolled in schools, according to Iran’s minister of education, 29 percent of the country’s total population is made up of students. Ettelaat, August 22, 1994.
[11] Cited by Amuzegar, Iran’s Economy, p. 290.
[12] For an interesting account of the everyday forms and modalities of peasant resistance in a village in Iranian Azerbaijan in the post-revolutionary period, see Fereydoun Safizadeh, “Peasant Protest and Resistance in Rural Iranian Azerbaijan,” in Farhad Kazemi and John Waterbury, eds., Peasants and Politics in the Modern Middle East (Miami: Florida International University Press, 1991), pp. 312-326.
[13] Le Monde, September 22, 1994.
[14] At the Seventh International Book Exhibit, in Tehran in May 1994, over 1 million books were reportedly on exhibit. Of 1,254 participating publishers, over 730 were domestic publishers who exhibited a total of 28,200 titles. There were also 331 currently published periodicals on display at the same exhibit. Nashr-e Danesh 14/3 (1994), p. 64.
[15] For trenchant analysis of the problems of censorship and infringements of freedom of expression in the Islamic Republic, see Middle East Watch, Guardians of Thought: Limits on Freedom of Expression in Iran (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1993).
[16] For a review of the author’s works and background to his arrest, see Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak, “Ali Akbar Saidi Sirjani: A Storyteller and His Times, Middle East Journal 48/3 (1994).
[17] For recent analyses of the situation of Iranian women under the Islamic regime, see the chapters by Afsaneh Najmabadi, “Power, Morality and the New Muslim Womanhood,” and Valentine M. Moghadam, “Gender Inequality in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” in Mahnaz Afkhami and Erika Friedl, eds., In the Eye of the Storm: Women in Post-Revolutionary Iran (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1994); and “Women in Iran: The Revolutionary Ebb and Flow,” Middle East Journal 47/3 (1993).
[18] Farzaneh Milani. Veils and Words: The Emerging Voices of Iranian Women Writers (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1992), p. 233.
[19] Erika Friedl, “Sources of Female Power in Iran,” in In the Eye of the Storm, p. 156.

How to cite this article:

Ali Banuazizi "Iran’s Revolutionary Impasse," Middle East Report 191 (November/December 1994).

For 50 years, MERIP has published critical analysis of Middle Eastern politics, history, and social justice not available in other publications. Our articles have debunked pernicious myths, exposed the human costs of war and conflict, and highlighted the suppression of basic human rights. After many years behind a paywall, our content is now open-access and free to anyone, anywhere in the world. Your donation ensures that MERIP can continue to remain an invaluable resource for everyone.


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This