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date: 13 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Since the early twentieth century, Iranians have lived through several critical moments with significant socioeconomic and religiopolitical consequences for the nation and beyond. These include, though not limited to, the Constitutional Revolution (1905–11); Oil Nationalization Movement (1952–53) led by Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh; 1979 Revolution (1978–79); and 2009 post-presidential election uprisings—the so-called Green Movement, not to mention the recent protests in severaltowns and cities against economic disparity and corruption (late Dec. 2017 and early Jan. 2017–2018). Never merely about the internal conditions, these movements have always been linked with and responded to the interference of, or anxieties about the role of, foreign powers. This chapter elucidates how Iranians’ sense of indignity at living under tyranny, their concern about national sovereignty, socioeconomic disparity, and the lack of political voice have motivated their resistance. The mytho-historical referent of Karbala, intertwined with modern liberal discourses, nationalist sentiments, and the leftist notion of social justice have simultaneously fueled these movements and led to internal conflicts. Nevertheless, the dreams of a better tomorrow or the desire for freedom from tyranny linger on, anticipating new awakenings.

Keywords: constitution, Iran, foreign powers, Karbala, leftists, Mossadegh, Green Movement, 1953 coup, resistance, 1979 revolution

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