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Building an Islamic state

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1 Building an Islamic state
The Iranian Revolution and its aftermath Muslim clergy and soldiers clasp hands in friendship atop an armored personnel carrier. Printed in Time magazine, January 29, 1979 From:

2 A cartoon believed to have been published around January, 1980, depicting post-revolution chaos. The artist is unknown. Posted on the Iranian newsgroup soc.culture.iranian


4 This and the map on the following slide from the Univ
This and the map on the following slide from the Univ. of Texas map collection,


6 Iran Prior to Revolution: A very hasty comparative overview
Pre-20th century state: Safavid and Qajar empires Qajar rule: decentralized, diffuse Imperialism/Colonialism British and Russian spheres of influence Early authoritarian state-building Pahlavi rule, Reza Shah, Muhammad Reza Shah, A wall in Tehran, 1978 : "Kings are the disgrace of history; you are the most disgraceful king. Death to Imperialism." From:

7 State-building under Reza Shah: brief notes
Secularism New civil code (1928) Secular judicial system Centralization Creation of police force, civil service Cosmetic “westernization” Hat law (1935) Veil banned (1936) Nationalism From “Persia” to “Iran” New state school curricula Turkey & Iran compared: the early period Institutions of government Occupation

8 State consolidation: Muhammad Reza Shah
Entrenching the monarchy 1953 coup against Mosaddeq Creation of internal security organization, SAVAK Tight political control US aid & oil revenue patronage The “White Revolution” Large-scale industrial development, literacy, education, land reform After 1975, one-party state Harsh police rule, systematic torture Forced “westernization” Devaluation of the Ulama & Islam

9 1979 Iranian Revolution: Why
Rising popular opposition Authoritarianism Economic woes Urban middle class suffering Shah’s reliance on foreign experts Cracks in the regime US & NGO pressure Moderate reforms Crises Economic recession protest & suppression “The Shah had a lot of sympathy for the poor.” Cartoon by Iraj Zare; re-printed in Hassan Javadi's Satire in Persian Literature.

10 Left, Muhammad Reza Shah in London, as covered by a Belgian tabloid
Left, Muhammad Reza Shah in London, as covered by a Belgian tabloid. Right, Muhammad Reza with his son. Photos:

11 1979 Iranian Revolution: Three visions, and then two (and then one)
Representatives of three different and conflicting visions of the new Iran. Left, secular reformer Bani-Sadr; middle, constitutional liberal Mehdi Bazargan, who originally proposed retaining the Shah under a constitutional monarchy, and later, the first prime minister of the new Iranian republic; and right, Ayatollah Khomeini. Photo courtesy of Nikki Keddie, from Bill Cleveland, A History of the Modern Middle East, p. 424.

12 After the Shah: competing visions
1st (early Revolution) Vision Moderate Constitutional Monarchy (Mehdi Bazargan, the Freedom Movement & Ali Shari’ati) 2nd Vision Secular Republic -- respecting but not controlled by Shi’ism 3rd Vision: Theocracy-government of Ulama

13 Iranian Revolution: Who
A. Khomeini Moderate, politicized Ulama Radical Ulama Bazaari merchants Theological students Urban workers Secular students Secular Urban Intellectuals Oil workers on strike, 1978.

14 Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, 1902-1989
Exiled, Velayet-e Faqih (Guardianship of the jurisprudent) Photos of the Ayatolloh Khomeini, from

15 "Anti-government demonstrators in Tehran set fire to portraits of the Shah and his family."
From the November 20, 1978, issue of Time magazine Ayatollah Khomeini in the Paris suburb of Neauphle le Chateau, late 1978. Photo by Hatami

16 1979 Iranian Revolution: How
Early days of protest & suppression pamphlets,cassettes demonstrations Violent suppression & continued resistance Growing confrontation Sept “Black Friday” in Tehran: wave of protests and violent suppression Strikes, paralysis of Iranian economy, huge demonstrations, defections in the army Jan M. Reza Shah flees the country Feb. 1: A. Khomeini returns to Iran Main headline: "2,500-year-old despotic monarchy collapses. Cities liberated by the revolutionary army." Kayhan newspaper, February 11, 1979

17 The chaos after the revolution: the first new Islamic-Iranian state
Khomeini Who exactly should rule, and how?? Presidency & Prime Ministry Monarchy replaced by new Islamic republic (March 1979): But what was an “Islamic Republic?” Council of Guardians Issued laws, decrees, veto power over PM Various political parties Local committees Revolutionary Tribunals Armed Forces Revolutionary Guards

18 Foreign crises * US hostage crisis, Nov. 1979
Newsweek, February 26, 1979 * US hostage crisis, Nov. 1979 * Iran-Iraq War, : about 200,000 Iranians die

19 Internal resistance & purges
Photos: Former SAVAK chief and three colleagues lie dead after their execution. : Resistance and Suppression: 10,000 Iranians die

20 After the Revolution (or, the 2nd revolution):
The second Islamic-Iranian state

21 Structure of Government*
Council of Guardians 12 members Can veto Majlis legislation Expediency Council (mediates disputes between Majlis & Guardian Council) Cabinet Parliament (Majlis) Elected every 4 years 293 members Supreme Leader (faqih) Armed Forces Assembly of Experts * 86 clerics President * 4-year terms (max. 2) Judiciary Electorate * The Iranian Constitution was first passed in 1979 and revised in In addition, some of the government institutions presented here were created after This slide presents the current (2004) structure of the government. This chart was in part modeled on one created by the BBC.

22 The New Theocracy Further changes & later reforms
Economy: state control, privatization Expansion of public sector (later unsuccessful attempts to contract this) Creation of foundations to oversee former regime’s property Nationalization of industries, banks, businesses Forced departure of foreign companies (1979) Rationing, subsidies, price controls, redistribution of property 1988 and after: liberalization package new privatization, reduction of govt subsidies, promotion of exports But oil still provides 40-50% of government income New legal code Sharia legal codes Polygamy, free male divorce, child custody to fathers in initial post-Revolution phase; increasingly challenged in 1980s

23 Social reforms (and re-reforms)
Cultural revolution, University purges New dress codes Gender segregation Outlawing of music and liquor Religious education in schools Other Social reforms “Reconstruction Jihad”: Improved rural conditions Improved education and public health Initial discouragement of women’s education soon changed Rise in female literacy: 36% in 1976; 72% in 1996 Grassroots primary health care Better family planning: drastic reduction in birthrate after 1988 Photo: BBC

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