Armenian Social Democrats, the Democrat Party of Iran, Iran-i Naw: A Secret Camaraderie

This article was published in Iran and Iranian Studies

The Russian revolution of 1905 was followed by a series of revolutions in Iran (1906), Turkey (1908), Mexico (1910), and China (1911) that marked a new stage in the history of the developing world and brought several competing ideologies – nationalism, democracy, religion, and socialism – into open confrontation. The Iranian Constitutional Revolution is remembered most for its establishment of a parliament and democratic constitution in the country for the first time. Less known are the roles of various social democratic tendencies that were active in Iran in this period. These groups, which became politically important organizations in their own right, are of crucial importance in an understanding of the course and development of the revolution. Moreover, the social and cultural aspects of the revolution, in which the social democrats played an active part, were not marginal and insignificant but rather at the very heart of the revolution, helping to define both the scope and limitations of the movement.