By Laura Etheredge (editor)
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Extra info for Iran (Middle East: Region in Transition)
Guild unions operate locally in most areas but are limited largely to issuing credentials and licenses. The right of workers to strike is generally not respected by the state, and since 1979 strikes have often been met by police action. Roughly one-fourth of Iran’s labour force is engaged in manufacturing and construction. Another one-fifth is engaged in agriculture, and the remainder are divided almost evenly between occupations in services, transportation and communication, and finance. Women are allowed to work outside the home but face restrictions in a number of occupations, and the number of women in the workforce is relatively small in light of their level of education.
Christians are the most numerous group of these, Orthodox Armenians constituting the bulk. The Assyrians are Nestorian, Protestant, and Roman Catholic, as are a few converts from other ethnic groups. The Zoroastrians are largely concentrated in Yazd in central Iran, Kerma¯n in the southeast, and Tehra¯n. Religious toleration, one of the characteristics of Iran during the Pahlavi monarchy, came to an end with the Islamic revolution in 1978–79. While Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians are recognized in the constitution of 1979 as official minorities, the revolutionary atmosphere in Iran was not conducive to equal treatment of nonMuslims.
Literary Persian, the language’s more refined variant, is understood to some degree by most Iranians. Persian is also the predominant language of literature, journalism, and the sciences. Less than one-tenth of the population speaks Kurdish. The Lurs and Bakhtya¯ rī both speak Lurī, a language distinct from, but closely related to, Persian. Armenian, a single language of the Indo-European family, is spoken only by the Armenian minority. The Altaic family is represented overwhelmingly by the Turkic languages, which are spoken by roughly onefourth of the population; most speak Azerbaijanian, a language similar to modern Turkish.
Iran (Middle East: Region in Transition) by Laura Etheredge (editor)