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E. V.A.1.b. The Green Movement, 2009-2010

Once they had established their dominance, the Ayatollahs initially controlled a draconian regime based on religious extremism more brutal than the Shah’s, and relying heavily on various security services. The political constitution does, however, allow (within a theocratic framework) regular parliamentary and presidential elections, which supporters of moderate reform could attempt to use. It was in response to the regime blatantly ‘stealing’ the election from the opposition candidate for the presidency in 2009 that the ‘Green Revolution’ erupted. The western press dubbed the protests the ‘Twitter revolution’, but the importance of Twitter in the organization of the protests has been contested. The Arab Spring prompted a brief resurgence of protest in early 2011.

Buchan, James, Impasse in Iran, New Left Review, issue 59 (Sept./Oct.), 2009, pp. 73-87

Mostly an analysis of broader Iranian history, but discusses June 2009 protests and their aftermath.

Democracy, Journal of, Section on ‘Iran in Ferment’, Journal of Democracy, Vol. 20, issue 3 (October), 2009, pp. 6-20

Articles by:

  • Afshan, Ali and Graham Underwood, ‘The Green Wave;
  • Milani, Abbas, ‘Cracks in the Regime’ (focusing on role of Islamic Revolutionary Guard corps and dissent in Ministry of Intelligence’;
  • Bouroumand, Ladan, ‘Civil Society’s Choice’ (stressing human rights and referring back to her article Bourourmand, Ladan , The Untold Story of the Fight for Human Rights Journal of Democracy, 2007, pp. 64-79 ).

Falasiri, Arash, Iran’s Green Movement: Decapitated but not Defeated, London,, 2011

Hashemi, Nadar ; Postel, Danny, The People Reloaded: The Green Movement and the Struggle for Iran’s Future, New York, Melville House, 2011, pp. 440

Anthology exploring the nature of the movement, including expert and participant analyses, manifestos, communiques, interviews and debates. A number of the presentations, including that by co-editor Danny Postel and Charles Kurzman’s ‘Cultural Jiu-Jitsu’ can be viewed on YouTube channel ‘Iran: Politics of Resistance’.

Majd, Hooman, The Ayatollahs’ Democracy: an Iranian Challenge, London, Allen Lane, 2010, pp. 282

The author, an Iranian journalist living abroad, provides lively analysis of the Green Movement and current Iranian politics. See also: Majd, Hooman , Think Again: Iran’s Green Movement. It’s a Civil Rights Movement, not a Revolution Washington DC, Foreign Policy, , 2010 , online at