The National Movement of the Iranian Resistance 1979-1991 : the role of a banned opposition movement in international politics
Banned opposition movements dedicated to the overthrow of repressive governments have existed for centuries. In the second half of the 20th century, while some terrorist organizations in Western Europe, the United States, and Japan have resorted to violence in pursuit of their goal of world revolution, others, particularly, in the Third World, have engaged in acts of resistance, including violence, for the attainment of their democratic rights. Today, the more serious opposition movements are able to obtain support from outside sources for the pursuit of their aims. This thesis, deals first with the fundamental theoretical questions germane to the study of any opposition movement in current times (Chapter 1). Thereafter, as a researched case study, it focuses on "The National Movement of the Iranian Resistance (NAMIR)", led by Dr. Shapour Bakhtiar which was the first political movement to come out in opposition to the theocratic dictatorship in Iran. The thesis recounts Bakhtiar's political background (Chapter 2) and gives a detailed account of his activities in NAMIR from July 1979 until his brutal assassination in August 1991 (Chapters 3-6). Finally, it is hoped that this researched presentation will facilitate for students of international politics a better understanding of some of the critical concepts and issues relevant to the role of banned opposition movements in contemporary international politics.