Presentation on theme: "I.R. Iran Political & Economic Change Shakib Marghi."— Presentation transcript:
I.R. Iran Political & Economic Change Shakib Marghi
Ancient Persia Satraps were created to serve as provincial governors, which was the first from of federal-ish government. Primarily a hereditary monarchy. There were lots of imposters. Some guy claimed to be Cyrus the Great's son and got away with it for a pretty long time. The first version of the Pony Express was made in Persia, because the Empire was pretty big.
Not So Ancient Persia During the middle ages, Persia lay on the silk road, which was one of the reasons it was always pretty rich and strong. When European powers developed their navies and decided to look towards the new world for resources, Persia was no longer the middle-man of trade. The Safavid Empire was an authoritarian theocracy, which forced everyone to become a Shiite Muslim. This strengthened national unity. In the turn of the 20th century, the British discovered oil in Persia. The Qajar dynasty's lavish lifestyle bankrupted the country, and they were forced to give Persian oil rights to the UK.
Dawn of a New Century The theocracy had slowly weakened during the Qajar period, which was evident in the a large acceptance Babi revolution at the local level in the 1840's. In 1906, Muhammad Ali Shah is forced to sign a constitution that allows a Majles. In 1921, Reza Khan takes power and crowns himself as Reza Shah, deposing the 21 year old Ahmad Shah and ending the Qajar dynasty. Reza Shah enlists the aid of foreign investors and intellectuals to modernize Iran and bring it up to par with Europe. Iran's biggest trade partner is Germany. The Pahlavi Foundation, a tax-exempt patronage system, is implemented. In WW2, Iran is invaded by the UK and the USSR for easy access between British India and the Eastern Front of the war in Europe.
Post WWII Reza Shah is deposed in 1941, and his son Mohammad Reza Shah is crowned. In the years following WW2, the public became disillusioned with the government. Mohammad Mossadeq of the National Front became the Prime Minister and took power. Mossadeq sought to nationalize Iranian resources and industries and change Iran's status as a rentier state. The Anglo-Persian Oil Company was going to be bought out, which infuriated Winston Churchill. In Operation Ajax, the CIA sponsored an overthrow of the democratically elected Iranian government under fears that the nationalization of oil would lead Iran into being a communist state. Mohammad Reza Shah was put back in power and the Iranian people began to resent the Western governments for interfereing.
What Have We Done In the 1970's Iran underwent a White Revolution (anti-communist) which consisted of land reform, women's rights, and secularization, but it mostly benefitted the rich and made the income gap grow. Oil became the source of 97% of the country's GDP. Mohammad Reza Shah was the Pofirio(Richfirio) Diaz of Iran. The Shah created the Resurgence Party and declared Iran a one-party state. Various factions such as marxists, bazaari's(merchants), and the general poor began to protest these changes in 1977, and many groups were pitted against the Shah, who was forced to flee Iran in 1979 and abdicate his throne. The clergy took advantage of the power vacuum, suppressing opposing factions and the media. One of their main victims became the socialist Mojahedin, and fled to Iraq and still live there in make-shift camps.
In Comes Theocracy Ayatollah Khomeini came back from exile, led the way for the establishment of a theocracy, in which religious authorities govern. Khomeini earned the trust of the masses using his status as a Shiite cleric and became the Supreme Leader. The army of Iran, which was the 5th largest in the world before the revolution, was dismantled. Most military officers and personnel were either imprisoned or executed despite their neutrality during the revolution. The new government of Iran nationalized many industries such as the automotive and energy industries on promises of improving the quality of life for everyone. However, over time these promises seemed more and more empty.
Tough Times Following the revolution of 1979, the USA placed economic sanctions on Iran after the American Embassy in Tehran was taken hostage. Consequently, the two countries have no relations with each other. In 1980, Iraq invaded Iran's oil fields. Through the religious zeal and death of millions of men, the Iraqi armies were repelled and the war dragged on until 1988. In 1989, Khomeini died, and 40 amendments were made to the constitution in anticipation of this event. The amendments increased the size of the assembly of experts to 86. They also gave the Assembly of Experts the authority to convene at least once a year and to determine whether the Supreme Leader was "mentally and physically capable of carrying out his arduous duties." Ayatollah Khamenei, the former President of Iran, took over as Supreme Leader and abolished the position of Prime Minister.
The Present In the 90's and early 00's, Iran saw a legislative push towards liberal reforms such as women's rights, less restrictions on the media, and a drive towards civil society under Khatami as President. However, many of Khatami's closest political allies were assassinated, which effectively halted the progressive movement. In the 2000's, Iran lack of cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency has caused the United Nations to impose greater sanctions on Iran. The 2009 presidential elections were heavily contested, and protesters claimed electoral fraud on president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's behalf. The laissez fair policies that have been made since the 90's have increased the income gap. Iran currently has an unemployment rate of 14.6% and a year over year inflation rate of 10%.
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