National Democratic Front (Iran)

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National Democratic Front
Leader Hedayatollah Matin-Daftari
FoundedMarch 1979
Split from National Front
Merged into National Council of Resistance of Iran
Headquarters Tehran, Iran
Ideology Progressive liberalism [1]
Political position Centre-left [2]

The National Democratic Front (Persian : جبهه دموکراتیک ملی, romanized: Jebha-ye demokrātīk-e mellī) was a liberal political party founded during the Iranian Revolution of 1979 that overthrew shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and banned within a short time by the Islamic government. It was founded by Hedayatollah Matin-Daftari, a grandson of celebrated Iranian nationalist Mohammad Mosaddeq and a "lawyer who had been active in human rights causes" before the downfall of the shah and the son of the fourth prime minister and the jurist Ahmad Matin-Daftari. Though it was short-lived, the party has been described as one of "the three major movements of the political center" in Iran at that time, [3] and its ouster was one of the first indications that the Islamist revolutionaries in control of the Iranian Revolution would not tolerate liberal political forces.

Persian language Western Iranian language

Persian, also known by its endonym Farsi, is a Western Iranian language belonging to the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian subdivision of the Indo-European languages. It is a pluricentric language predominantly spoken and used officially within Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan in three mutually intelligible standard varieties, namely Iranian Persian, Dari Persian and Tajik Persian. It is also spoken natively in the Tajik variety by a significant population within Uzbekistan, as well as within other regions with a Persianate history in the cultural sphere of Greater Iran. It is written officially within Iran and Afghanistan in the Persian alphabet, a derivation of the Arabic script, and within Tajikistan in the Tajik alphabet, a derivation of Cyrillic.

Romanization of Persian or Latinization of Persian is the representation of the Persian language with the Latin script. Several different romanization schemes exist, each with its own set of rules driven by its own set of ideological goals.

Iranian Revolution Revolution in Iran to overthrow the Shah replace him with Ayatollah Khomeini.

The Iranian Revolution, also known as the Islamic Revolution or the 1979 Revolution, was a series of events that involved the overthrow of the last monarch of Iran, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, and the replacement of his government with an Islamic republic under the Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, a leader of one of the factions in the revolt. The movement against the United States-backed monarchy was supported by various leftist and Islamist organizations and student movements.



Matin-Daftari's party was launched in early March 1979 at a meeting attended by around one million people. [4] This was "at a time when all shades of secular opinion outside the guerrilla movements were beginning to sense the direction of Khomeini's political strategy" and opposed the domination of the revolution by Islamist theocratics such as ran the Islamic Republic Party. It was a "broad coalition" aimed at groups and individuals who disapproved both of the National Front's closeness to Mehdi Bazargan's Provisional Revolutionary Government, and of leftist groups—such as the Tudeh Party—who refused to criticize Khomeini out of anti-imperialist solidarity. [5] It hoped to "draw on the Mosaddeq heritage to reestablish a coalition of the middle classes and the intelligentsia". Matin-Daftari had been a member of the National Front—the other major Iranian liberal, secular party of the time—and his new party was somewhat more leftist than the NF.

Mehdi Bazargan Iranian politician

Mehdi Bazargan was an Iranian scholar, academic, long-time pro-democracy activist and head of Iran's interim government, making him Iran's first prime minister after the Iranian Revolution of 1979. He resigned his position as prime minister in November 1979, in protest at the US Embassy takeover and as an acknowledgement of his government's failure in preventing it.

National Front (Iran) political opposition party in Iran

The National Front of Iran is an opposition political organization in Iran, founded by Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1949. It is the oldest and arguably the largest pro-democracy group operating inside Iran despite having never been able to recover the prominence it had in the early 1950s.

The NDF "emphasized political freedoms, guarantees for individual rights, access for all political groups to the broadcast media, the curbing of the Revolutionary Guards, revolutionary courts, and revolutionary committees. Its economic programs favored "the mass of the people", and it supported a "decentralized system of administration based on popularly elected local councils." [6]

Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Islamic defense branch of Irans military

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is a branch of Iran's Armed Forces, founded after the Iranian Revolution on 22 April 1979 by order of Ayatollah Khomeini. Whereas the Islamic Republic of Iran Army defends Iran's borders and maintains internal order, according to the Iranian constitution, the Revolutionary Guard (pasdaran) is intended to protect the country's Islamic republic system. The Revolutionary Guards state that their role in protecting the Islamic system is preventing foreign interference as well as coups by the military or "deviant movements".

Islamic Revolutionary Court is a special system of courts in the Islamic Republic of Iran designed to try those suspected of crimes such as smuggling, blaspheming, inciting violence or trying to overthrow the Islamic government. The court started its work after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Along with the Fadayan and some Kurdish groups the NDP boycotted the March 30, 31, 1979 referendum on making Iran an Islamic Republic (the Referendum of 12 Farvardin). [7] In the debate over Iran's new revolutionary constitution it supported a parliamentary democracy with equal rights for women, adoption of the universal declaration of human rights and limited presidential powers. [8] "Expressing concern over the freedom of elections and government control over the broadcast media," along with the National Front they announced they would boycott the election for the 1st Assembly of Experts, which wrote the new constitution. [9]

It drew large crowds at its demonstrations but these were "ferociously attacked by gangs of Hezbollahi thugs." [5] On 12 August 1979 it scheduled a mass demonstration to protest the closure of newspapers such as Ayandegan. The demonstration was attacked and hundreds are injured by rocks, clubs, chains and iron bars wielded by Hezbollah "toughs". [10] Before the end of the month the newspapers the party had tried to protect were banned, Ayandegan was seized and converted into a pro-Islamist newspaper, Sobh-e Azadegan. [11] A warrant was issued for the arrest of Hedayat Matin-Daftari, [10] "ostensibly for disrupting public order." [12] After this the party went underground. [13] In 1981 it joined the National Council of Resistance of Iran, a group founded by Bani Sadr and the People's Mujahedin of Iran (MEK) to fight the Islamist regime in Iran, [14] but withdrew sometime later in protest against the MEK's "violent pro-Iraq activities in the Iran–Iraq War". [15]

Ayandegan was one of the most influential and popular daily newspapers in Iran during Mohammad Reza Pahlavi's rule. The paper was founded in 1967 by Daryoush Homayoun. From its start in 1967 to 1977 he also edited the paper, which held a liberal stance. The paper had its headquarters in Tehran. Following the 1979 revolution, on 8 August 1979, the revolutionary prosecutor banned the newspaper.

National Council of Resistance of Iran The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), is a broad coalition of democratic Iranian organizations, groups and personalities, aiming to establish a democratic and non-nuclear republic in Iran, based on the separation of religion and state.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran is an Iranian political organization based in France. The organization has appearance of a broad-based coalition; however many analysts consider NCRI and the People's Mujahedin of Iran (MEK) to be synonymous, taking the former to be an umbrella organization or alias for the latter, and recognize NCRI as an only "nominally independent" political wing or front for MEK. Both organizations are considered to be led by Massoud Rajavi and his wife Maryam Rajavi.

Peoples Mujahedin of Iran Iranian political party

The People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran, or the Mojahedin-e Khalq, is an Iranian political-militant organization based on Islamic and socialist ideology. It advocates overthrowing the Islamic Republic of Iran leadership and installing its own government. It was the "first Iranian organization to develop systematically a modern revolutionary interpretation of Islam – an interpretation that differed sharply from both the old conservative Islam of the traditional clergy and the new populist version formulated in the 1970s by Ayatollah Khomeini and his government". The MEK is considered the Islamic Republic of Iran's biggest and most active political opposition group.

See also

Organizations of the Iranian Revolution

Many organizations, parties and guerrilla groups were involved in the Iranian Revolution. Some were part of Ayatollah Khomeini's network and supported the theocratic Islamic Republic movement, while others did not and were suppressed. Some groups were created after the fall of the Pahlavi Dynasty and still survive; others helped overthrow the Shah but no longer exist.

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Ruhollah Khomeini 20th-century Iranian religious leader and politician, founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Sayyid Ruhollah Mūsavi Khomeini, also known in the Western world as Ayatollah Khomeini, was an Iranian politician and cleric. He was the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, which saw the overthrow of the last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and the end of the 2,500 year old Persian monarchy. Following the revolution, Khomeini became the country's Supreme Leader, a position created in the constitution of the Islamic Republic as the highest-ranking political and religious authority of the nation, which he held until his death. He was succeeded by Ali Khamenei on 4 June 1989.

Tudeh Party of Iran Iranian communist party

The Tudeh Party of Iran is an Iranian communist party. Formed in 1941, with Soleiman Mohsen Eskandari as its head, it had considerable influence in its early years and played an important role during Mohammad Mosaddegh's campaign to nationalize the Anglo-Persian Oil Company and his term as prime minister. The crackdown that followed the 1953 coup against Mosaddegh is said to have "destroyed" the party, although a remnant persisted. The party still exists, but has remained much weaker as a result of its banning in Iran and mass arrests by the Islamic Republic in 1982, as well as the executions of political prisoners in 1988.

Liberalism in Iran

Liberalism in Iran or Iranian liberalism is a political ideology that traces its beginnings to the 20th century.

Islamic Republican Party political party

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Mahmoud Taleghani Iranian Ayatollah

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Timeline of the Iranian Revolution

This article is a timeline of events relevant to the Islamic Revolution in Iran. For earlier events refer to Pahlavi dynasty and for later ones refer to History of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This article doesn't include the reasons of the events and further information is available in Islamic revolution of Iran.

Political thought and legacy of Ruhollah Khomeini

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Hezbollah is an Iranian movement formed at the time of the Iranian Revolution to assist the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and his forces in consolidating power. References in the media or writing are usually made to members of the group—or Hezbollahi—rather than Hezbollah, as Hezbollah is/was not a tightly structured independent organisation, but more a movement of loosely bound groups, usually centered on a mosque.

Assembly of Experts for Constitution former Institution of the Revolution in Iran

Assembly of Experts for Constitution, also translated the Assembly for the Final Review of the Constitution (AFRC), was a constituent assembly in Iran, elected in the summer of 1979 to write a new constitution for the Islamic Republic Government. It convened on August 18 to consider the draft constitution written earlier, completed its deliberations rewriting the constitution on November 15, and saw the constitution it had written approved by referendum on December 2 and 3, 1979, by over 98 percent of the vote.

The Muslim People's Republic Party (MPRP) or Islamic People's Republican Party was a short-lived party associated with Shia Islamic cleric Shariatmadari. It was founded in 1979 during the Iranian Revolution as a "moderate, more liberal counterweight" to the theocratic, Islamist Islamic Republican Party (IRP) of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and disbanded in 1980.

Casualties of the Iranian Revolution

Observers differ on how many people died during the Iranian Revolution. The number of casualties suffered by protesters and revolutionaries at the hands of the Shah's monarchy during the revolution is either close to 60,000, or around 2,000, depending on whether the estimates used are those of Islamic government or from historians in Western countries. The number of protesters and political prisoners killed by the new theocratic republic after the fall of the Shah is estimated by human rights groups to be several thousand.

The consolidation of the Iranian Revolution refers to a turbulent process of Islamic Republic stabilization, following the completion of the revolution. After the Shah of Iran and his regime were overthrown by revolutionaries in February 1979, Iran was in a "revolutionary crisis mode" from this time until 1982 or 1983. Its economy and the apparatus of government collapsed. Military and security forces were in disarray.

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Interim Government of Iran government of Iran from February to November 1979

The Interim Government of Iran was the first government established in Iran after the Iranian Revolution, and the first nominal republic established in Iran after 2,500 years of Persian monarchy. The regime was headed by Mehdi Bazargan, one of the members of the Freedom Movement of Iran, and formed on the order of Ruhollah Khomeini on 4 February 1979. From 4 February to 11 February, Bazargan and Shapour Bakhtiar, the Shah's last Prime Minister, both claimed to be the legitimate prime minister; Bakhtiar fled on 11 February. Mehdi Bazargan was the prime minister of the interim government and introduced a seven-member cabinet on 14 February 1979. Ebrahim Yazdi was elected as the Foreign Minister.


  1. L. P. Elwell-Sutton and P. Mohajer (August 18, 2011) [December 15, 1987]. "ĀYANDAGĀN". In Yarshater, Ehsan (ed.). Encyclopædia Iranica . Fasc. 2. III. New York City: Bibliotheca Persica Press. pp. 132–133. Retrieved September 12, 2016.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  2. Robert A. Kilmarx, Yonah Alexander (2013). Business and the Middle East: Threats and Prospects. Elsevier. p. 124. ISBN   9781483189758.
  3. (The National Front of Iran and the Iran Freedom Movement being the other two.)
    Bakhash, Shaul, The Reign of the Ayatollahs New York, Basic Books, 1984, p.68
  4. Moin, Baqer. Khomeini: Life of the Ayatollah, Thomas Dunne Books, c2001, p. 218
  5. 1 2 Moin, Khomeini, (2001), p.218
  6. Bakhash, The Reign of the Ayatollahs, 1984, p.68
  7. Bakhash, The Reign of the Ayatollahs, 1984, p.73
  8. Bakhash, The Reign of the Ayatollahs, 1984, p.77
  9. Bakhash, The Reign of the Ayatollahs, 1984, p.80
  10. 1 2 Moin, Khomeini, (2001), p.219–20
  11. Bakhash, The Reign of the Ayatollahs, 1984, p.88
  12. Bakhash, The Reign of the Ayatollahs, 1984, p.89
  13. Bakhash, The Reign of the Ayatollahs, 1984, p.142
  14. Bakhash, The Reign of the Ayatollahs, 1984, p.218
  15. Keddie, Modern Iran, (2006), p.253)