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Aspects of Terrorism in Iran

Sepehr Zabih
The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Vol. 463, International Terrorism (Sep., 1982), pp. 84-94
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1043613
Page Count: 11
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Aspects of Terrorism in Iran
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Abstract

Even prior to the Constitutional Revolution of 1905-11, acts of terrorism were a commonly accepted form of political and religious struggle in Iran. Since the 1978-79 turmoil, terrorism has been used frequently by governments in power and has attained a transnational dimension. Beginning in the early 1900s, the composition and ideological orientation of violent groups have changed dramatically from religious fundamentalist in the forties and fifties to Marxist and Marxist-Islamic since the mid-sixties. After the 1979 revolution began, there was a significant realignment of all political terrorist forces. In order to overthrow the Shah, these groups joined Khomeini and staged a successful insurrection. Two years later, the more secular groups deserted the Islamic Republic in order to wage an armed struggle for its overthrow. The transnational dimension of terrorism in Iran has also changed. Such states or entities as Libya, Lebanon, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and Shia Lebanese Amal are no longer on the side of either Khomeini or his arch opponents. For the foreseeable future, political terrorism will continue to be a common feature of the Iranian scene.

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