Presentation on theme: "Historical Development of Iranian Political Culture"— Presentation transcript:
1 Historical Development of Iranian Political Culture
2 Geography of Iran Iran is located in the Middle East Large regions of Iran are unusable or unsuitablePopulation centered in the northeastForced early Iranians to look outward (expansion & conquest)Oil has become a very important natural resource in the development of IranIran is roughly the size of Alaska…but cannot be seen from anyone’s house
3 Uniqueness of Iran (1) Persian vs. Arab Iranians are ethnically Persian not Arab.Although heavily influenced by Arabs who brought Islam to Iran, still to today the Persian roots of Iran separate it from the rest of the Arab world.Arab League Member Nations in GreenIran is in orange – not a member of the Arab League
4 Uniqueness of Iran (2) Islam - Shiite vs. Sunni Islam was brought to Iran in the 7th century C.E.Iranians (90%) are Shiite (followers of Shia Islam)Only about 10% of Muslims are Shia MuslimsShiites believe that Muhammad’s descendants known as “Imams” have special spiritual and political authority.Most Shiites live in Iran & Iraq and make up a majority of the population of those countries
5 Uniqueness of Iran (3) Theocracy vs. Secularization Theocracy – a government ruled strictly by religionSecularization – the belief that religion and government should be separated.Iranian history shows an ebb and flow between theocratic and secular rule.The only AP GAP country that is currently ruled as a theocracy.
6 Development of Iranian Political Culture Ancient Persia (550 B.C.E. – 330 B.C.E.)Greek & Islamic Era (330 B.C.E. – 1501 C.E.)Safavids (1501 C.E. – 1722 C.E.)Qajars (1794 C.E. – 1925 C.E.)Pahlavis (1925 C.E. – 1979 C.E.)Iranian Revolution (1979 C.E.)Islamic Republic of Iran (1979 C.E. – Present)
7 Political History of Iran (1) Persian Empire (550 B.C. – 330 B.C.)First large empire in world historyThe Persians fought against the Greeks and were defeated by Alexander the Great (West vs. East)Cyrus the Great ( B.C.)1st Persian Emperor
8 Political History of Iran (2) Greek & Islamic Era (330 B.C.E. – 1501 C.E.)Alexander the Great brought the Hellenistic Civilization to the former Persian EmpireIn the middle of the 7th century Arab Muslims conquerored Iran and brought Islam (Shia) with them.Nike of Samothrace
9 Political History of Iran (3) Safavids (1501 C.E. – 1722 C.E.)1st Iranian ruled government since the Persian EmpireShah (monarchy) headed government.Safavids claimed to be descendants of the 12th Imam (Shia)Practiced religious toleration of Sunnis & “People of the Book” (i.e. Jews & Christians)Safavids Dynasty ended in 1722 when they were invaded by Afghan tribesmen.Ismail I – founder of the Safavid Dynasty
10 Political History of Iran (4) Qajars (1794 C.E. – 1925 C.E.)Qajars a Turkish people gain control over IranCapital city of TehranRetain Shia Islam as official religionCouldn’t claim to be decedents of Imams, so Shiite clerics became main interpreters of IslamWidening the separation of religion and governmentEventually Iranians became unhappy with government debt, lavish court costs, and foreign (western) influence.Constitutional Revolution ( ) Iranians demanded greater influence in government & a ‘cleansing of leadership’Ahmad Shah Qajar
11 Political History of Iran Constitution of 1906Direct ElectionsMonarchy with a separation of powersLaws made by a powerful elected legislaturePopular sovereigntyBill of RightsShia continued to be the official religionOnly Shiites could hold cabinet positionsGuardian Council – Shiite clerics who could veto any legislation.
12 Political History of Iran (5) Pahlavis (1925 C.E. – 1979 C.E.)WWI further weakened the Qajars1921 Reza Khan led a coup d'état and proclaimed himself shahReza Khan – commander of the Cossack Brigade; Shah of Iran ( )
13 Political History of Iran Unpopular Pahlavi Shahs1. Totalitarian, not just Authoritarian RuleControlled the banks, media, more sectors of the economy, etc.Democratic thoughts were not forgotten – Pahlavi Shahs were challenged by communist & nationalist political movements.
14 Political History of Iran Mohammad Reza PahlaviEmperor of Iran ( )Unpopular Pahlavi Shahs2. Ties to the WestPahlavi leaders were very close with Western nationsEx.) In 1951 Pahalvi Shah fled Iran due to popular support of a rival nationalist/communist movement, however the US & UK helped to re-install the Pahalvi Shah back to power.Many Iranians saw Pahlavis as pawns to the WestRentier State – states which derive all/substantial portion of their national revenue from the ‘rent’ of natural resources to external clients.i.e. Oil to the West , 97% of Iranian exports
15 Political History of Iran Unpopular Pahlavi Shahs3. Iran became too SecularizedWhite Revolution – further secularized Iran; pro-WesternSeen as a counter to Communist/Red influencesEx.) Extended voting rights to women, allowed women to work outside the home, restricted polygamyAbove: Iranian women in traditional Islamic burkasRight: Pahlavi shah appears very ‘Western’
16 Political History of Iran Division Within IranPahlavi SideSupports modernizationSecularizationCloser ties to the WestTraditional/Shia WaysAyatollah Khomeini charismatic vocal critic of the shah
17 Political History of Iran Division Within IranTraditional/Shia WaysAyatollah KhomeiniPreached Islamic fundamentalismResented elite & the United StatesSupported Jurist Guardianship – senior Shia clergy having authority over the entire Shia community
18 Political History of Iran (6) Iranian Revolution (1979)“The Spark”Revolution of Rising Expectations – a political theory that says revolutions are most likely to occur when people are doing better than they once were, but then some type of set back occursEx.) Late 1970s oil prices drop by 10%, while Iranian consumer prices increase by 20%
19 Political History of Iran Revolution of Rising Expectations Theory
20 Political History of Iran (7) Islamic Republic of Iran (1979 C.E. – Present)On February 11, 1979 the shah flees IranApril 1979 a national referendum votes out the shah and establishes the Islamic RepublicCultural Revolution – aimed to purify the country of the shah’s regime, secular values, & western influence.