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Iranian revolution - Essay Example

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Considered the third greatest revolution in history, the 1979 Iranian Revolution was triggered by the general public’s dissatisfaction with Mohammad Reza Shah’s rulership. With the support of the western powers, Shah’s leadership was increasingly seen as an extension of…
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Due Iranian Revolution Considered the third greatest revolution in history, the 1979 Iranian Revolution was triggered by the general public’s dissatisfaction with Mohammad Reza Shah’s rulership. With the support of the western powers, Shah’s leadership was increasingly seen as an extension of the west control of the country, and that the repressive nature of the regime accompanied by extravagance and massive corruption leading to economic bottlenecks [inflation and subsequent shortages] only fueled the discontent into a full blown revolution (Graham 18-20).
Traditionally an Islamic state, Iran had a deep running distaste of any process of westernization. The 1941 deposition of Reza Shah by the British and the United States and their subsequent involvements in the affairs of Iran, including the forceful inculcation of the western values and the slow eradication of Islamic fundamentals [such as the veiling of women] culminating into a coup d’état that ousted the democratically elected, anti-west Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953, laid a strong foundation towards a deterministic end (Mackey 184).
A strong critic of Shah’s association with the west and the continued mismanagement of the country’s resources, Ayatollah Khomeini rose to prominence into 1963 with his brainchild opposition of the Shah’s White Revolution; a perceived westernization process aimed at complete eradication of Islamic values suspended by the Sharia laws in Iran. As Robin Wright rightly points out, the Iranian revolution was shaped by Khomeini’s "guardianship" principles summed up in Velayat-e faqih [Islamic Government] as an ideology (29-31). With the guardianship influence from the diaspora, Shah faced constant pressure under his very nose. The Freedom Movement of Iran, The Constitutionalist Liberals, the National Front and the more radical groups such as the People’s Mujahedin, Tudeh Party of Iran and the Fedaian guerillas all had a restorative mission of overthrowing Shah’s regime and instituting sound governance guided by Islamic ideals (Graham 71-74).
Setting the stage for a final push for a change were a number of anti-public events championed by the Shah’s government in the seventies. The plundering of oil benefits into extravagance by the government as the gap between the haves and the have-nots widened; increased accumulation of oil benefits in particular; and the mutilation of the Iranian solar calendar had profound impact on the 1979 revolution (Graham 94).
Work cited
Graham, Robert. Iran, the Illusion of Power. New York: St. Martins Press, 1980. Print.
Mackey, Sandra. The Iranians: Persia, Islam and the Soul of a Nation. New York:
Dutton, 1996. Print.
Wright, Robin. The Last Great Revolution: Turmoil And Transformation In Iran. New
York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2010. Print. Read More
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