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The Mostadha’fin’s Confusing Journey from Sharia’ti’s Revolutionary Utopianism to Khomeini’s Dystopian Reality 1976-1982

Ronen A. Cohen

Among the players in the Iranian Revolution were tens of groups, including the Mojahedin-e Khalq, the Forqan Group, the Hojjatiyeh, and the Tudeh, among others. Yet, one was not so well-known and, unlike others that embarked on revolutionary paths, this group was not big or active enough to do any serious damage to anybody, except perhaps to themselves, by scratching out their own innovative brand of ideological revolution. Sharia’ti’s ideology and revolutionary thought was on the front lines of the Revolution playing its modest part. Moreover, on second, third, or even fourth look, the Islamic Revolution could not have gone on without them. Though their contribution may have been modest and not easily detected, their role was nonetheless very important and must be understood to fully comprehend the main theme of the Revolution.

This book speaks to the Arman-e Mostadha’fin’s story. Confused and frustrated, this group tried to make its contribution to the Revolution’s spirit, in particular how to understand Sharia’ti’s ideological path. At the end of the day, their impact was too little to influence the wave of the Revolution; however, their existence within it helped to serve Sharia’ti’s ideology in a way that changed the shape of the Islamic Revolution’s first days.

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Chapter 1. The Historical Background of the Growth of the Arman-e Mostadha’fin Organization

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THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE GROWTH OF THEARMAN-E MOSTADHA’FIN ORGANIZATION

A lot has been written about the pre-revolutionary period that existed in Iran between 1970 up to when the revolution of 1979 repeated the well-known events, This began with the desperate attempts made by the shah to put the reforms of the White Revolution into practice and continued with the revolutionary activities that made the growth of old and new revolutionary movements possible, but all the above will not necessarily contribute anything to a complete understanding of how and why the Mostadha’fin movement developed and grew. My intention in this section is to present an historical reality mainly constructed from primary sources such as the CIA, the USA State Department and from the organization itself. Beyond the goal of revising the history by using these sources the chapter will construct a contextual framework in which all the events flow into one structured reality that is, in fact, sometimes made up of components drawn from a world filled with contradictions and falsity. By this I mean that the primary sources taken from the CIA do not necessarily contribute a lot to our understanding of the true reality that existed in Iran on the eve of the revolution because most of them are affected by interpretation and do not just present a description of the situation that apparently existed at the time that the events taking place in the country were being reported upon....

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