I have a new chapter in the recently published volume The Fate of Third Worldism in the Middle East. Palestine, Iran and Beyond, edited by Rasmus Elling and Sune Haugbolle (London: Oneworld, 2024). My contribution makes use of a batch of classified Iranian documents to
revisit the question of how the Islamic Republic reached out to the Global
South in the early 1980s. I argue that Iran’s export of the revolution in the
form of several delegations traversing countries from Gabon to Malaysia was
not only ad-hoc and improvised but also affected by the serious tension of
navigating pan-Islamic solidarity and Third Worldism. At a time when leftist
Iranian groups involved with the revolution of 1978–1979 had become
marginalised and eliminated, the ‘travelling revolutionaries’ in Iran’s delegations still tried to play the card of international anti-imperialist solidarity.
In 1983, however, they had come to feel much more at home in a specific
Islamic idiom.

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