Source:  Centre for Development Policy and Research, SOAS Number 39, Oct 2009

Elaheh Rostami-Povey,  London Middle East Institute and Centre for Gender Studies,  SOAS

Protests Iran

The recent uprising in Iran, which started in the summer of 2009, has raised a number of major issues for debate in the international media and among politicians, academics and activists. This Development Viewpoint discusses the background to the uprising, its social composition and demands, and its implication for Iran and the region. In the process, it seeks to dispel some of the prevailing misconceptions about the nature of this mass movement.

The Background

Most analysts in the West portray Iran as a religiously conservative country, ignoring its momentous socio-economic transformations since the 1979 revolution. Especially during the 1990s and until today, Iran has undergone massive changes and has achieved substantial progress in human development.

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