Iranian Youth the Emergence of Term Paper

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Subsequently there is a "...hunger for reforms, for more freedom and accommodation with the west." (Asghar a.)

This movement of the progressive youth as well other sectors of the population, such as women, was clearly seen in the 1999 unrest in Iran where mainly university students took to the streets of Tehran in order to express their dissatisfaction with the orthodox regime. There were more than 20,000 students who took part in this protest and the result was a slight reduction on conservatism form the regime.

The present state of affairs Iran shows that there are a number of issues that are in the forefront of the desire for progressive reforms. These include the need for freedom of thought and expression and a reduction of the strict censorship that characterizes government policy. Another issue that is central to the progressive agenda is international relationships. There is a consensus among the progressive youth that the present hard-line and confrontational attitudes adopted by the Iranian authorities are not conducive to future peace. Another pressing issue is women's rights. This is an issue that has come to the forefront of debate in the society in recent years.

All of these issues have been accentuated and exacerbated by the examples set by more liberal and modernized Islamic countries in the region. Comparisons with other countries and regions have also been made more accessible due to the prevalence of the Internet." Today there are 1.75 million Iranians with access to the internet, and in five years that figure is expected to be five million. While the internet is a window on the world, it is also Iran's leap into free speech. Recently newspapers which the government has closed have continued to publish online." (Judah T.)

There are many signs of change and indications of the refusal by the majority of young people to accept the mores and norms of formal Iranian society. Reports indicate that under the surface of orthodox society there are many unconventional activities instigated by the youth in defiance of the autocratic regime. "Across Tehran, underground rock bands are thriving, just waiting for the day they can come out into the open. And every month thousands more Iranians are going online." (Judah T.) These signs of dissent form hardliner norms can be seen in the fact that more women are "...wearing their obligatory headscarves way back over their head, to reveal as much for bidden hair as possible." (Judah T.) There are also other indications of dissent, particularly in the media and communications arena. There are an increasing number of people who are avoiding the standard TV fare offered by state television and tuning into satellite television. This of course is forbidden by the authorities. (Judah T.)

Opinion polls conducted in the country indicate that the vast majority of Iranians are in favor of reform. There is a growing belief that change in the country is inevitable and that the desire for reform, especially among the youth, cannot be halted. "One reformist academic, who asked not to be named, believes the longer hardliners block reforms and fail to ease the social restrictions of the Islamic state, the more problems they are storing up." (Judah T.) the suggested inevitability of this reform is linked as well to the growing number of well-educated young people in the country. On the one hand a well educated young population is an important asset for Iran, on the other hands "... It also poses a risk if economic and political reforms do not provide them with better opportunities." (Youth shapes Iran's economy)

This factor also relates to the aspirations of young people in the country, which are at present being stifled and suppressed by the conservative elements in Iran. In the final analysis the underground social revolution is one which is becoming more apparent and visible among the youth.

As one commentator states, "...It is a revolution that is transforming this country from the bottom up, whether the politicians like it or not. Two-thirds of Iran's population is under 30 and it is clear they have little in common with the ageing mullahs who are trying to control their lives." (Judah T.)

At present this is a social revolution that has only begun to show its nature and full extent.


Asghar a. IRAN BETWEEN LIBERALISM and ORTHODOXY. Retrieved March 11, 2007 at

Iran's Youth Push Islamic Limits. Retrieved March 14, 2007, at

Judah T. Via TV and the net, Iran's youth plot social revolution. Retrieved March 11, 2007 at

Profile: Mohammad Khatami. Retrieved March 11, 2007, at

Report: Iranian youth defy ayatollah. Retrieved March 11, 2007, at

Saghafi M. The New Landscape of Iranian Politics. Retrieved March 11, 2007, at

Youth shapes Iran's economy. Retrieved March 11, 2007, at on October 6, 1973, Egyptian forces launched a successful surprise attack across the Suez Canal. The Syrians carried out an attack on Israel at the same time.... Neither side had won a clear-cut victory, but for the Egyptians, it was a victory nonetheless. The Arabs had taken the initiative in attacking the Israelis and had shown that Israel was not invincible. The stinging defeats of 1948, 1956, and 1967 seemed to be avenged. " (

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