In this Working Paper on the state of civil society in Iran, Sohrab Razzaghi makes a number of claims and offers recommendations for bolstering independent civil society in Iran. Two of the most thought-provoking points concern the role of the UN in propping up state-sponsored and dependent civil society as opposed to independent civil society and the influx of former political insiders into independent civil society. Razzaghi writes: At present, and for the first time, an opposition has emerged from within the regime which none of the suppressive measures are able to drive into the margins. This opposition is getting increasingly stronger and has created splits among Iranian society, the clerical establishment, the government, and the people.
This publication is part of the working paper series of the Knowledge Programme Civil Society in West Asia.