With the Islamic Republic facing the biggest political crisis in its 30-year history, these two films reveal how the 1979 Revolution sowed the seeds of discord that led to the post-election bloodshed of June 2009.
Through first-hand accounts, rare archive footage and dramatic reconstruction, we recount the creation of the Islamic Republic and the struggle for its control: how the revolutionary movement was made up of religious and secular groups whose competing agendas continue to resonate in today’s battle between Moussavi and Ahmadinejad.
Episode 1: The Seeds of Discord
Today, many of Iran’s opposition leaders live in exile, from where they’re often at the forefront of today’s ‘Green Movement’. Amongst them, ironically, are some who stood beside Khomeini 30 years ago. They tell how they lost faith in his Iran and fought to realise their dream of a democratic state – but were defeated by the autocratic clerical regime they’d helped Khomeini create.
Episode 2: Iran’s Torment
This programme chronicles the struggle for democratic freedoms in the Islamic Republic since the death of its founder, Ayatollah Khomeini, and shows how the current reform movement was born. In 1988, Iran stood at a crossroads: the war with Iraq over, no longer could the ayatollahs use the threat of invasion to unite the country. Their answer: brutal repression. Thousands of people were executed. Many more were tortured, often for years on end.
2 x 45 mins, Al-Arabiya, 2010
Dimitri Collingridge & Charlie Smith