Foreign Threat and Political Repression
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The demonstrations in the summer of 2009 against the presidential election outcome were an unprecedented challenge to the legitimacy of the Iranian regime. Green Movement protestors questioned the election outcome and demanded a recount. The initially peaceful, even silent protests by millions of people who had “lost their voice” (seda, also vote) turned violent a week after the elections, when security forces interfered. The regime succeeded in repressing the protests, and the opposition lost its 2009 momentum. The regime did not only use repression alone, but also sought to defend its self-proclaimed identity of democracy and populism. Iran’s official narrative on the 2009 elections and subsequent events aimed at defusing accusations of deceit by reversing them, justifying repression against protestors and activists. It discursively tied the opposition movement to outside interference, branded it alien, and it restated the democratic character of the Iranian state and the support of the Iranian people for the Islamic system.
KeywordsForeign Policy Islamic Republic Green Movement Iranian Regime Iranian People
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