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National Democratic Front

The overthrow of the Pahlavi monarchy allowed a full spectrum of Islamic, leftist, and secular ideas supporting the Revolution to flourish. With the exception of the monarchist Rastakhiz party, which had dissolved, the pre-Revolutionary parties were reactivated and several new parties were organized. These included secular parties, such as the National Democratic Front (NDF). All these parties operated openly and competitively until August 1979, when the Revolutionary Council forced the provisional government to introduce regulations to restrict the activities of most political parties. The National Democratic Front and the Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran (KDP), also espoused varying forms of socialism. The National Democratic Front of Hedayatollah Matin-Daftari was headquartered in Paris, as was the National Front.

On 8 August 1979, the Revolutionary Prosecutor banned the leading left-wing newspaper, Ayandegan. Five days later hezbollahis (Revolutionary militias) broke up a Tehran rally called by the NDF, a newly organized left-of-center political movement, to protest the Ayandegan closing. The Revolutionary Council then proscribed the NDF itself and issued a warrant for the arrest of its leader. Hezbollahis also attacked the headquarters of the Fadayan organization and forced the Mojahedin to evacuate their headquarters. On 20 August 1979, forty-one opposition papers were proscribed. On 8 September 1979, the two largest newspaper chains in the country, Kayhan and Ettelaat, were expropriated and transferred to the Foundation for the Disinherited.

Neither the National Front nor the National Democratic Front had engaged in significant political activity after 1982, although the latter party joined the Mojahedin-dominated National Council of Resistance in that year and was still a member in 1987. Remnants of such groups ceased to be effective politically in Iran with the 1987 banning of political parties. The NDF did not reemerge in Iran when political were legalized at the end of the 1990s.

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Page last modified: 09-07-2011 02:46:10 ZULU