Terror and consolidation
Moreover, the revolutionary movement that took power after the downfall of the Shah, like revolutionary movements elsewhere, did not have a clear programme for the building of a ‘just Islamic state’. Arguments arose within the leadership over the form of the state and the institutionalization of power.
A new phase in the Revolution began with the impeachment of President Banisadr on 22 June 1981. While the revolutionary movement had consisted of clerics, middle-class liberals, and secular radicals against the Shah, the dismissal of Banisadr by Khomeini represented the triumph of the more fundamentalist clerical party over the other members of the coalition.
Especially during 1981 and 1982, people became disillusioned with the course the revolutionary government had taken. Revolutionary groups such as the Tudeh and the Mujahedin-e Khalq, which had also contributed to the downfall of the Shah, fiercely opposed the shape the new state was taking, with some resorting to violence. In addition, rebellions by various ethnic groups erupted throughout the country. The revolutionary leadership suppressed the rebellions and the opposition groups harshly.
Following the fall of Banisadr, opposition groups attempted to reorganize and violently overthrow the government. The government responded with repression and terror. The war with Iraq that had started with Iraq’s invasion in September 1980 was often used as an argument for the harsh suppression of opponents, who were portrayed as a threat to national security. Thousands of opponents were arrested, tortured, and executed or forced to flee the country. The government also took steps to implement its version of an Islamic legal system and an Islamic code of social and moral behaviour.
We would like to ask you something …
Fanack is an independent media organisation, not funded by any state or any interest group, that distributes in the Middle East and the wider world unbiased analysis and background information, based on facts, about the Middle East and North Africa.
The website grew rapidly in breadth and depth and today forms a rich and valuable source of information on 21 countries, from Morocco to Oman and from Iran to Yemen, both in Arabic and English. We currently reach six million readers annually and growing fast.
In order to guarantee the impartiality of information on the Chronicle, articles are published without by-lines. This also allows correspondents to write more freely about sensitive or controversial issues in their country. All articles are fact-checked before publication to ensure that content is accurate, current and unbiased.