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The 20 th Century in IRAN A Brief History. Constitutional Revolution Before the 1920s, Iran was ruled by various dynasties During WWI, Iran occupied by.

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Presentation on theme: "The 20 th Century in IRAN A Brief History. Constitutional Revolution Before the 1920s, Iran was ruled by various dynasties During WWI, Iran occupied by."— Presentation transcript:

1 The 20 th Century in IRAN A Brief History

2 Constitutional Revolution Before the 1920s, Iran was ruled by various dynasties During WWI, Iran occupied by British, Russian, and Ottoman troops – blow to ruler at the time REZA KHAN became political leader after coup d’etat in 1921 Previous ruler deposed by Majles

3 Constitutional Revolution Reza Khan ruled as REZA SHAH PAHLAVI (1925- 1941) after Qajar dynasty ended As shah, put down rebellions & established order

4 PAHLAVI DYNASTY Reza Shah tried to modernize Large-scale industries, implemented major infrastructure projects, built a cross-country railroad system, established a national public education system, and improved health care Middle & working classes emerged Iran was urbanized But dictatorial style rule angered ppl

5 PAHLAVI DYNASTY Clergy was most vocal about reforms 1935 – country’s name changed from Persia to Iran Reza Shah tried to avoid involvement with Brit. and USSR But Brit owned all of Iran’s oil resources

6 PAHLAVI DYNASTY Reza Shah preferred Germany and France as allies but during WWII, caused problems with Brit Iran remained neutral during WWII Brit & USSR invaded Iran in 1941 b/c Reza Shah refused to expel Germans from Iran Reza Shah forced into exile

7 PAHLAVI DYNASTY The U.S. helped USSR & Brit to maintain the Trans-Iranian RR in Reza Shah’s absence Brits & Russians allowed Reza Shah’s system of gov’t to collapse Allowed his son to take over – Mohammad Reza Pahlavi After WWII, all countries involved agreed to respect Iran’s independence

8 PAHLAVI DYNASTY USSR took longer to exit its troops causing Cold War tension 1944 – competitive elections for the first time Brits continued to control oil Iranians called for nationalization of oil Mohammad Reza Pahlavi wanted to continue reform policies of father

9 PAHLAVI DYNASTY But Mohammad Mossadegh, a nationalist, contested for control of gov’t Shah Pahlavi was supposed to set up constitutional monarchy & give up powers to Majles But he became increasingly more involved

10 PAHLAVI DYNASTY 1951 – Majles elected Mossadegh as prime minister He nationalized oil industry Shah Pahlavi was afraid West would impose oil embargo & ruin Iran economically Shah fled Iran but returned when ****CIA staged coup against Mossadegh*** (major Turning Point in relations)

11 PAHLAVI DYNASTY 1953 – Mossadegh arrested Shah established himself as indispensable ally to West during Cold War White Revolution – reform policies that Shah implemented (land reform, voting rights to women, reduction of illiteracy)

12 PAHLAVI DYNASTY In less than two decades Iran became the indisputable major economic and military power of the Middle East Religious leaders & intellectuals angered by Shah’s moves, especially since he was going against constitution

13 PAHLAVI DYNASTY Replaced Solar Islamic calendar with “Imperial” calendar & saw himself as heir to Persian kings Move seen as “un-Islamic” & resulted in more religious opposition SAVAK put down Shah’s opponents Shah remained unresponsive to public opinion & opposition

14 PAHLAVI DYNASTY Discontent united by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, exiled cleric Ideology tied to Islamic principles that called for the overthrow of the Shah and the return to Islamic traditions, called the Islamic revolution The Shah's government collapsed following widespread uprisings in 1978 and 1979. The Shah fled the country & came to U.S. for medical treatment

15 PAHLAVI DYNASTY The Pahlavi Dynasty was succeeded by an Islamic government under Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979

16 Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini led the revolution Turned Iran into a THEOCRATIC state, run by clergy & Islamic principles Shah of Iran forced to flee to USA Khomeini took title of SUPREME LEADER


18 Islamic Republic of Iran President elected by people but candidates pre-approved by the GUARDIAN COUNCIL Group of clerics who make sure all laws are compatible with Islam Khomeini picked members of the Guardian Council

19 Life Under Khomeini Sharia was introduced Women forced to cover hair & body with CHADOR Media controlled Mass executions of former monarchy supporters Many violations of human rights

20 Relations with the USA Anger built up against US for accepting Shah In response, young supporters of Khomeini took hostages at American embassy – became known as IRAN HOSTAGE CRISIS Lasted 444 days (11/4/79-1/20/81)

21 Relations with Arab World Radical Shi’a regime scared many neighboring Sunni Arab countries Sept. 1980 – Saddam Hussein & Iraq invaded Iran Iran stronger than Saddam expected War lasted 8 years with huge cost in lives & resources for both countries

22 Relations with Arab World No “winner” – 1 million casualties War also known for its use of chemical weapons Last P.O.W’s returned in 2003 USA supported Iraq & Saddam against Iran but sold weapons to both Iran-Contra Affair – US scandal under Reagan

23 Relations with Arab World Reagan administration sold arms to Iran & used proceeds to illegally fund rebels (Contras) in Nicaragua 1989 – death of Ayatollah Khomeini due to cancer

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