Children of the Revolution - Part Two

Children of the Revolution - Part Two

  • Documentaries

    Download or subscribe to this programme's podcast.

The Iranian flag painted on a young person's face

In 1979 Iran went through a major upheaval with the Revolution.

While this political and social transformation was just beginning the country was thrown into a terrible and costly war with Iraq, that would last eight years.

During these years, the revolutionary leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, encouraged Iranians to have large families, to make 'Armies for Islam'.

At the time, Iran's population was 25 million: today the population is 68 million with nearly 70 percent aged 30 or younger - these are the Children of the Revolution, (also known in Iran as "the burnt generation").

Today unemployment amongs this generation runs at 50 percent. Officially half the population lives below the poverty line. Prospects for young people are not good and many graduates are lucky to get jobs as taxi drivers.

This generation of young Iranians has experienced real extremes - the turmoil of war, social and religious reform, and the conservatism and poverty that followed.

Zohreh Soleimani is not a journalist - but she sets out to give a picture of Iran that reflects the reality of day to day lives.

The picture is contradictory - Iran is governed by Sharia law but here it has the lowest mosque attendance of any Islamic country. "To give you an example", says Zohreh , "I can watch the American programme Baywatch illegally on satellite television but then go out in the street and obediently cover my head".

Thirty years since the Revolution many young Iranians have found a way to move with the times, be creative, technologically smart and fashion conscious. The Children of the Revolution have come of age and are now destined to be the religious leaders, run businesses, teach at universities, write books, edit newspapers, shape the country and its future in the coming decades.

Programme two reports from Zahedan on the Iranian border with Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Iran's drug crisis is not going away. Figures vary, but most reports estimate that more than two million people over 15 are addicted to opium, heroin or more recently, a heroin/codeine based crack.

Opium use has long been a tradition in Iran, but heroin consumption has seen an increase.

With the spiralling economy and a recent tightening of the regime, we also hear how numbers of skilled professionals and post-graduates are moving abroad.

By contrast, we hear how the internet has taken off in Iran. Hossein Derakshan and Salam Pax (the Baghdad Blogger) give us a guide to the Iranian blogosphere, which is bristling with lively political dissidents blogging alongside poets and religious leaders.

First broadcast on 08 October 2008.

Terms of Use

The BBC Podcasts are for your personal non-commercial use only.

All title, ownership rights and intellectual property rights in and to the BBC Podcasts shall remain the property of the BBC or third parties.

You may not edit, alter, adapt or add to the BBC Podcast in any way. The BBC Podcasts are made available by the BBC on an "as is" and "as available" basis and the BBC gives no warranty of any kind in relation to the BBC Podcast.

To the maximum extent permitted by law the BBC will not be liable for any loss or damage which you may suffer as a result of or connected to the download or use of the BBC Podcasts.

See the full BBC Podcast: Standard Licence Terms here.