Iran in Ferment: The Green Wave

Issue Date October 2009
Volume 20
Issue 4
Page Numbers 6-10
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In early May 2009, it looked as if incumbent Mahmoud Ahmedinejad would easily win a second term as Iran’s president. Within just a few weeks, however, a popular movement known as the Green Wave picked up speed and carried opposition candidate Mir Hosein Musavi into an eagerly anticipated election day on June 12. The Wave surged into a tsunami of protest when authorities claimed that Ahmedinejad had beaten his rival—and with him the forces of reform—by a none-too-credible 63 to 33 percent. Now, the Green Wave must determine its future direction, particularly with regarding the question of centralized leadership. There is, however, reason to be optimistic: the Green Wave is indisputably the largest and broadest opposition gathering in the Islamic Republic’s three-decade history, and it has galvanized Iran’s massive younger generations like nothing before it.

About the Authors

Ali Afshari

Ali Afshari is an Iranian political activist, former NED Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow, and winner of a 2006 Helman-Hammett grant from Human Rights Watch.

View all work by Ali Afshari

H. Graham Underwood

H. Graham Underwood is a freelance researcher and journalist who specializes in Iranian affairs.

View all work by H. Graham Underwood