The Christian Science Monitor

In Iran’s surprise uprising of the poor, dents to revolution’s legitimacy

After a week of violent anti-establishment protests across Iran, in which anger welled up most vociferously among the country’s poor, even a perfume seller in Tehran knows the harm that has been done to one pillar of the 1979 Islamic revolution.

The Islamic Republic was “based on the ideal of a better world for the oppressed and the poor,” says Ashkan, a 32-year-old with a master’s degree in chemistry, who has had to settle for a job selling perfume in a friend’s shop.

“In the early years there were efforts to materialize this, because we used to have sincere and hardworking authorities,” says Ashkan, who was contacted by phone and asked that only his first name be used. “But as time went by, corruption replaced those principles, and the hardship of economic life continued to press that very layer of society…. This explains why they

Revolution's social contractElite is 'out of touch'Foreign enemies?Uneven growth

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