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By John Foran

Century Of Revolution: Social events in Iran (Social hobbies, Protest an...

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Additional resources for A Century of Revolution: Social Movements in Iran

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75 As a result of these rebellions and the flood of petitions and protest letters he was receiving, the shah began to contemplate canceling the concession. The com- THE TOBACCO MOVEMENT OF 1890-92 15 pany and the British government naturally resisted this idea. The British embassy, however, began to realize that the tobacco monopoly was not going to work, and its forced imposition did not seem to be in Britain's best interest in Iran. The Russians were also active against the concession, although their role in the tobacco movement was by no means central.

The Tiflis and the Baku branches of the RSDWP sent volunteer fighters to Tabriz, including Azari, Georgian, and Armenian revolutionaries. 27 Armenian members of both the Dashnak Party and the Hnchack Social Democratic Party were also active in the resistance movement in Azarbaijan and Gilan. Two members of the Dashnak Party—Stepan Zoranian, known as Rustam, and Yephrem Khan—would play important parts in the leadership of the movement. 28 In 1909, the Russian social democrat and Bolshevik G. K. 29 In addition, Mikhail Pavlovitch, the influential Russian social democrat who lived in Paris at the time, was in close contact with the Iranian emigre society.

THE TOBACCO MOVEMENT OF 1890-92 17 The case of the tobacco rebellion also has important theoretical implications for the connection between ideology and class mobilization. Although the historical narrative shows that the merchants used Shi'i discourse to defend their interests, closer scrutiny of the history of the merchants' struggle against foreign capital points to a more complex relationship between ideology and class capacity. In this particular case, class capacity was highly conditioned by the ideological context within which the struggle was taking place.

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