STRUCTURE OF SOCIETY
Iranians have a very strong sense of class structure. In the
past they referred to their society as being divided into tiers,
or tabagheh, which were identified by numbers: the first
tier corresponded to the upper classes; the second, to the middle
classes; and the third, to the lower classes. Under the influence
of revolutionary ideology, society is now perceived as being divided
into the wealthy, a term generally prefixed with negative adjectives;
the middle classes; and the mostazafin, a term that literally
means disinherited. In reality, Iranian society has always been
more complex than a three-tier division implies because each of
the three broad classes is subdivided into several social groups.
These divisions have existed in both urban and rural areas.
Data as of December 1987