National Front (Iran)

The National Front of Iran (Persian: جبهه‌ ملی ایران, romanized: Jebhe-ye Melli-ye Irân) is an opposition[4] political organization in Iran, founded by Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1949. It is the oldest and arguably the largest pro-democracy group operating inside Iran[4] despite having never been able to recover the prominence it had in the early 1950s.[5]

National Front
ChairpersonSeyed Hossein Mousavian
SpokespersonMohsen Frashad
FounderMohammad Mosaddegh
Founded
  • Re-established 1993; 29 years ago (1993)

  • Previous organizations:
  • 12 November 1949; 72 years ago (1949-11-12) as the original National Front
  • 14 July 1960; 62 years ago (1960-07-14) as the National Front (II)
  • 29 July 1965; 57 years ago (1965-07-29) as the National Front (III)
  • 12 June 1977; 45 years ago (1977-06-12) as the National Front (IV)
HeadquartersTehran, Iran
Parliamentary wingNational Movement fraction (1950–1953)
Ideology
Political positionCentre[2][3]
Parliament
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Website
jebhemeliiran.org

Initially, the front was an umbrella organization for a broad spectrum of forces with nationalist, liberal-democratic, socialist, bazaari, secular and Islamic tendencies, that mobilized to successfully campaign for the nationalization of the Iranian oil industry. In 1951, the Front formed a government which was deposed by the 1953 Iranian coup d'état and subsequently repressed.[6] Members attempted to revive the Front in 1960, 1965 and 1977.

Before 1953 and throughout the 1960s, the Front was torn by strife between secular and religious elements;[5][7] over time its coalition split into various squabbling factions, with the Front gradually emerging as the leading organization of secular liberals[8] with nationalist members adhering to liberal democracy and social democracy.[4]

During the Iranian Revolution, the Front supported the replacement of the old monarchy by an Islamic Republic[2] and was the main symbol of the "nationalist" tendency in the early years of post-revolutionary government.[9] It was banned in July 1981, and although it remains under constant surveillance and officially it is still illegal, it is still active inside Iran.[4]


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