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1 A Case Study Focusing on the 1979 Revolution Prepared by Rolando Duarte and Chris Cain Iran:

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1 1 A Case Study Focusing on the 1979 Revolution Prepared by Rolando Duarte and Chris Cain Iran:

2 2 Colonial Legacy Although the nation of Iran, with its Persian roots, was not a western colonial creation and remained, in name, independent during the colonial era, it still was greatly influenced by the colonial powers in the area who intervened to protect their political and economic interests. The U.S. restoration of the Pahlavi family to power in 1953, for example, can be seen as an example of a reassertion of colonialism.

3 3 The Revolution Began as a popular democracy movement Ended with the establishment of the world's first Islamic state

4 4 The Shah Shah Reza Pahlavi and a circle of his relatives and friends ruled Iran. Gap between rich and poor increased in 1970s Dissent arose in response to economic problems and to Shah’s autocratic style

5 5 Opposition to the Shah Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini—shia cleric in exile in Paris Long the bravest and most outspoken opposition voice to the Shah The Ayatollah promised economic reform and a return to traditional religious values Appealed to many in Iran

6 6 Unrest In the late 1970s, numerous large and violent protests occurred General strikes added to the instability

7 7 The Departure of the Shah January 1979-Shah leaves Tehran for an “extended vacation,” never to return. Khomeini supporters tear down his statues throughout Iran

8 8 The Shah’s Regent Prime Minister Shahpur Bakhtiar appointed by shah to run the country Bakhtiar tries to resist growing opposition and refuses to allow Ayatollah Khomeini to form a new government

9 9 Khomeini Returns From Exile Ayatollah Khomeini returns on Feb. 1, 1979 Instability increases Street battles break out between Khomeini demonstrators, police, security forces, and the Shah’s supporters

10 10 The Revolution Feb. 11, 1979, tanks move through Tehran Rumors of a military coup flew, but army did not make its move. Revolutionaries broke into the leading radio station of Tehran and broadcast “This is the voice of the revolution of the Iranian people!”

11 11 Revolutionary Era Begins Bakhtiar resigns. Ayatollah Khomeini wins national referendum by a landslide Khomeini declares Iran an Islamic republic Khomeini appointed Iran’s political and religious leader for life

12 12 Conclusion: Islam and Nationalism The Iranian Revolution provides an excellent example of the tensions between secular nationalism and the ideals of political Islam. The Shah had numerous opponents: clerics, democracy activists, the poor, and traditionalists who resented his secular reforms. The Shah’s close ties with and support by the U.S. allowed the clerics to articulate opposition to him as an anticolonial jihad.

13 13 Sources Beeman, Willliam O. The Revolution of 1979, pp in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World. BBC News. The Iranian Revolution in Pictures. Retrieved from ian_revolution/html/1.stm on May 8, (Slides 3-11 are based on this source). Central Intelligence Agency. World Factbook: Iran. Retrieved from on May 8, (Map on slide 1) Nasr, S. V. R. European Colonialism and the Emergence of Modern Muslim States in Oxford History of Islam, J. Esposito (ed.). Rischer, Michael M.J. Iran: From Religious Dispute to revolution. Bazargan, Mehsi. Religion and Liberty in Kurzman, ed. Liberal Islam,


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