The International Institute for Iranian Studies (Rasanah), has published a book entitled ‘Movement of the Oppressed People and the Erosion of Iranian Revolutionary Principles,’ written by Mahmoud Hamdi Abulqasim and Abdurraouf Mustafa Alghunaimi. The 291-page book examines the dimensions of the crisis endured by the Iranian people who remain oppressed under the Iranian political system. The book analyzes the current circumstances of the Iranian people, especially since the political elite promised that they would be empowered at all levels under the Islamic ideology of Shiism. However, after four decades, they have found themselves facing the arrogance of the clerics and their affiliates, while the political elite continues to amass wealth and power through its exploitation of the country.
The first chapter entitled, ‘The Oppressed People and the Paths of Transition From Toqyah to the Revolution’ explains the concept of ‘the oppressed people,’ the conditions of oppression, the concept among Shiites, and the paths of Shiite transition from persecution to empowerment.
The second chapter entitled, ‘Iran and the Project to Protect the Oppressed People at Home: Frameworks, Policies and Implementation Tools,’ discusses the raising of awareness, mobilization and incitement to revolution, the constitutional foundations for empowering the oppressed people, building new legitimacy and undermining the manifestations of arrogance and its symbols, and tools and programs for empowering the oppressed people through political, economic, social and cultural empowerment tools.
The third chapter entitled, ‘Iran and Supporting the Oppressed People Abroad: Objectives, Areas and Implementation Tools,’ explores the concept of the oppressed people abroad and the areas and stages of their support and empowerment using the tools of soft and hard power. The fourth chapter entitled, ‘The Relationship Between the State and Society in Iran: The Gains of Power and the Impact of Its Policies on the Oppressed People,’ explains the factors affecting the relationship of society with the state, the Iranian political system’s gains from adopting the ‘oppressed people’ principle, and the impact of the system’s policies and orientations on the relationship between the state and the oppressed people.
The fifth chapter entitled, ‘The Revolt of the Oppressed People and the Manifestations of the Crisis of Political Legitimacy in Iran,’ discusses the protests by minorities after the revolution and the failure of the nation-state project, popular protests against the system’s policies, factional protests and the mobilization of the oppressed people.
The sixth chapter entitled, ‘The Oppressed People and the Internal and External Dimensions of the Crisis in Iran: The 2019 Fuel Protests as a Model,’ explains the internal and external environment of the crisis, the dimensions of popular discontent and the characteristics of the six-day protests. This chapter also outlines the political system’s options for dealing with the protests, between containment and repression. It also reviews the connotations of protests and offers potential solutions to the crisis.
The final chapter entitled, ‘Movement of the Oppressed People Abroad and the Impasse of Iran’s Project in the Region’ reveals the Iranian factor in the mass protests ignited in Iraq and Lebanon, the position of Iraq and Lebanon in the Iranian strategy, the Iranian tools to dominate the Iraqi and Lebanese arenas, as well as the protest movement in Iraq and Lebanon against Iranian influence. It also examines the repercussions of the popular protests on the future of Iran’s regional project.
In conclusion, this book proves that ‘the oppressed people’ concept has not been circulated in Iran since the revolution with such intensity as nowadays, to the point that the ruling elite in Iran under the leadership of the supreme leader has derived a large share of its legitimacy by promoting this concept for several theoretical, doctrinal and objective considerations.