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Lecture 10

History of the Modern Middle East - Lecture Ten.docx

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Department
History
Course
HIST 2P72
Professor
Behnaz Mirzai
Semester
Winter

Description
HIST 2P72 1 19 March 2013 History of the Modern Middle East: Lecture Ten Iran: Revolution and War Lecture Outline  Iran before the Islamic revolution (1941-1979)  Foreign policy  Economic policy  Western cultural influence  Internal political pressure  The Ulama  The start of the revolution (1978)  Khomeini (leader of the Islamic revolution)  Strike and demonstration  The end of the Pahlavi Regime in Iran  Revolutionary cabinet  The hostage crisis  The Iraq-Iran War (1980-1988)  Iran and Iraq before the war  Causes of war: 1. Religious schisms 2. Foreign conquest 3. Border disputes 4. Political differences  Iraq’s invasion  End of war Iran Before the Islamic Revolution Foreign Policy  Because of Iran’s geographic position, which was located between the Soviet Union and the Persian Gulf, the Shah was supported by the US  Iran was very strategically important  Iran was used as a placement of the Persian Gulf for guns, tanks, and planes to prevent Soviet expansion and influence Economic Policy  Muhamad Reza Shah initiated a white revolution in 1963, which aimed at redistributing lands, nationalizing forests, and profit sharing in industry  By force, the Shah of Iran confiscated the lands from land-owners and distributed them among peasants  As a result, the land-owners were very unhappy  In the rural areas, peasants were not provided with seeds or tools for agriculture  So, farmers migrated to the cities to work in factories because they had no means to work the land  In essence, this reform was unsuccessful  The population of Tehran increased from 1 million in 1945 to 5 million in 1977  With the decline of agricultural production and investment in the agricultural sector, the peasants were incapable of working independently  Iran was becoming more dependent on oil and became an importer  The oil revenue in Iran financed a boom in constructional developments (like bridges)  Shah was the king of the Pahlavi regime  The Pahlavi regime held the costly ceremonies of coronation of Shah and his wife in 1967 and the 2,500 anniversary of the Iranian monarchy in 1971  The economic societies of the wealthy and poor classes were becoming more divided as a result of mismanagement in various economic policies  Wealth and revenue from oil was being wasted Western Cultural Influence  The Shah’s policy was to change the lifestyle of Iranian people  Schools and universities were proliferated  Students went abroad for higher education and some married foreigners  The conservative Islamic society was disrupted by Western influence  Films were shown that opposed the Islamic traditions and attitudes  Shah presented himself as pro-Western but his political attitude was centered around an autocratic regime to support his own agenda  He created fear among the Iranians (for example – jail, torture, killing) Internal Political Pressure  The Shah was portrayed as a dictator  He was against creating a democratic regime, although he was modeling Iran after Western/American society  The secret agency was extremely powerful and censored the public  Intellectuals, writers, and the ulama were jailed, mutilated, and killed The Ulama  Religious scholars and leaders of the people who enjoyed great power  The ulama had their disciples in the religious schools and opposed the Shah who aligned Iran with the Western powers  Qom was a religious city  One of the very influential ulama was Khomeini  He was a religious teacher in Qom who openly criticized the Shah’s policy  Following riots which broke out in various parts of Iran, he made a speech in Qom that created tension and resulted in many deaths  Women were chanting in the streets with their young infants  They said they would sacrifice their lives for Khomeini
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