The Rise and Fall of a Social Movement in Iran: The Iranian Green Movement

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Bayar E.

Social and Legal Studies, vol.8, no.2, pp.19-54, 2022 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 8 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.52477/sls.2023.13
  • Journal Name: Social and Legal Studies
  • Journal Indexes: Index Copernicus
  • Page Numbers: pp.19-54
  • Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Affiliated: Yes



The Green Movement, which we can consider as the pinnacle of the social movements that started in the 1990s, started when people took to the streets to protest the results of the elections in which Ahmadinejad was elected president for the second time in 2009. The Islamic Republic of Iran, which witnessed millions of people filling the squares in the metropolitan cities and the capital Tehran in a short time, started to eliminate the opposition with pressure and intimidation policies as soon as it got over the initial shock on the regime. The protest demonstrations, in which tens of thousands of Iranians were detained, hundreds of them sentenced to prison and tens of them were murdered, did not succeed, although they made a worldwide impact.

After the leaders of the movement were sentenced to house arrest, the movement lost its effectiveness to a great extent when the connection between the leaders and the movement was broken. However, it can be claimed that the Green Movement was a very important turning point in Iranian political history. As a matter of fact, despite the passing years, the Islamic regime is still concerned about the revival of the Green Movement. Although years have passed since the Green Movement, there has not been a significant change in the way the regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran suppressed social movements and protests, and the current regime continued to use violence as the most important tool in intervening in social events. This situation is not limited to public movements to change the regime, but also continues in demonstrations where economic conditions, water problems or police violence are protested. Whether the movement has a center or a leader group does not significantly affect the dose of violence. In this study, we will focus on the Green Movement, which, as a social movement, has left serious effects in Iran.

Keywords: Green Movement, Green Way of Hope, New Social Movements, Populism, Reform