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The Iranian Revolution - Essay Example

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The essay explores some of the Shah's policies that may have played a part in driving the revolutionaries’ agenda forward during the Islamic revolution. The paper concludes that Shah’s efforts to modernize Iran both economically and socially were the greatest source of his undoing…
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The Iranian Revolution
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The Iranian Revolution

Download file to see previous pages... This research will begin with the statement that the Iranian Revolution (also referred to as the Islamic Revolution/1979 Revolution) details the events entailing the overthrow of the Pahlavi dynasty ruled by Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who was considered a close ally to western governments such as the U.S. The demonstrations against the Shah regime started in October 1977 and developed in to a widespread campaign of civil resistance that can be regarded as partly religious and secular, and reached fever pitch in January 1978. The royal reign ultimately collapsed shortly after the defeat of the loyal troops by guerrilla and rebel troops in armed street battles. After the fall of Pahlavi Dynasty, Iran voted to adopt an Islamic Republic mode of governance, and endorse a fresh democratic-theocratic hybrid Constitution on which Khomeini became Supreme Leader of the country as from December 1979. The Iranian Revolution came as a surprise to many, as well as to Shah of Iran. The Iranian revolution was a surprise to many given that it lacked the majority of the routine causes of revolution; it generated immense changes at a fast speed, was immensely popular among the masses; and, substituted a modernizing autocratic monarchy with a theocracy grounded in the Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists. Even at the height of street protests and demonstrations, neither Iranians nor its key allies such as the U.S officials perceived the possibility that Iran’s armed troops, which was highly modernized and the largest, would be incapable of dealing with the revolutionaries....
Even at the height of street protests and demonstrations, neither Iranians nor its key allies such as the U.S officials perceived the possibility that Iran’s armed troops, which was highly modernized and the largest, would be incapable of dealing with the revolutionaries (Coughlin 4). The causes of the Iranian Revolution can be traced to happenings that long predated it. In 1963, the Shah launched his “White Revolution” detailing a series of radical reforms fashioned at modernizing and westernizing Iran. Although, the instituted reforms generated rapid economic growth, they also yielded to social dislocation, speedy urbanization, and the incorporation of western habits and customs by the ruling elite, which alienated traditionalists and pious religious elements within Iranian society (Abrahamian 6). The undertaken reforms also threatened to undermine the economic base and persuasion on Iran’s clerical establishments by alienating the clergy from the regime. This ultimately proved catastrophic in the end with the collapse of the monarch (Amuzegar 10). Although, the Shah enjoyed the support of Iran’s upper and middle classes, he did not respond adequately to the rising discontent among the ultra-conservative. Shah had sectional support from some clerics who viewed him as a substitute to the political left. Nevertheless, other clerics were dissatisfied with the way in which the monarch was running its affairs. The clerics associated Shah with his father’s actions in 1936 when he barred clerics from acting as judges within state courts. Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa (religious edict) against the proposed reform and who ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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