The Green Movement Awaits an Invisible Hand

27 06 2010

The Green Movement Awaits an Invisible Hand

Mohammad Maljoo

June 26, 2010

(Mohammad Maljoo is a research fellow at the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam. A German version of this article will appear in the fall 2010 journal of the Informationsprojekt Naher und Mittlerer Osten, or INAMO. We thank the INAMO editors for permission to publish this English version.)
For background on Iranian labor, see Mohammad Maljoo, “Worker Protest in the Age of Ahmadinejad,” Middle East Report 241 (Winter 2006).

It is the custom of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, to devise a name for each Persian new year when it arrives. On Nowruz of the Persian year 1388, which fell in March 2009 Gregorian time, he proclaimed “the year of rectifying consumption patterns.” But Iranians would not be content to mark 1388 simply with thrift. That year of the Persian calendar turned out to be the most politically tumultuous since the revolution that toppled the Shah, as the loosely constituted Green Movement mounted massive street protests against election fraud.

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