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Lecture 18

Pols 3260 – lecture 18.docx

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Political Science
POLS 3260
Saeed Rahnema

Pols 3260 – lecture 18 The Iranian Revolution  Iran, most significant period is that under achamenids empire, defeated by Greek  1 empire ended and a second empire emerged; Sassanid’s adopted the same religion as the previous empire  Zoroastrianism was the religion but under the first empire it was religion of people not the state, the Sassanid’s changed this and turned this into a religious state  Hence why priests became so powerful  As a result of war and conflicts between Persian empire and Roman empire, Persian empire became weaker and weaker, when Arabs moved out of peninsula they successfully defeated older civilizations mostly because of internal weaknesses of Sassanid’s  637 AD Arabs invaded Iran and took over most of the empire, while Arabs took over major empires what happened in Iran was different than other empires; the major difference was that in Mesopotamia (Iraq and others) all converted to Islam and moved toward Arabization – Arabic became their language and all these became Arab societies  Iran although taken over by Arabs Islam was both forced and accepted on Iranian, since non-Muslims had high taxes many converted to not pay taxes but Iranians preserved their language and culture  Even in order to preserve Iranian culture they started translating many Farsi texts into Arabic, so that they keep culture and also influence Arab world  In terms of Islam they invented their own version; the doctrine of the imamate is an Iranian interpretation  Iran remained under Arab rule for almost 200 years but gradually they started challenging the caliphate and different groups became so powerful that abassi caliphs had no choice but to give them some sovereignty  The Turks come into the region; the seljuks – they were converted to Islam and they dominated and controlled Iran and became so powerful that even Abbasid had to recognize their rule  Then 13 century Mongols came and this was most devastating blow to Iran’s social and political development; they killed intellectuals ruined cities and this was a negative turning point for the decline of Iran  16 century- the safabids established the third and last Persian empire, although they themselves were Turks and Sufis they claimed they are decedents of the hidden twelfth Imam – the first king was 13 year old – they had their own fighting units- they came into power and dominated society and established empire  Already the Ottoman Empire had taken over most of the region except Iran. Safabid empire and ottoman in competition with one another  Safabid empire was eventually in decline and in 18 century there are invasions on Iran: the Turks, Russians, Afghans, and territories lost to Russia in successive wars  The wars started because Russians wanted to expand their territories, and Iranian regime was extremely corrupt under the Qajar dynasty – Mullahs and clerics became extremely powerful  Several things happened under Safabid’s: o Jewish population of Iran devastated- Safabids gave choice o non- muslims- “convert or die”; many were forced to convert and practice in secret Jadida Islam o The Shi clerics became extremely powerful, and played a significant role o The corrupt regime to fight with Russians were idea of the mullahs o The second round of Rusu-Persian war they were pushed into war again o Mullahs were responsible for these wars through their influence  19-20 centuries; Europeans come to the region  the British and Russians are most powerful in this area; the British weren’t interested in Iran but rather worried about the safety of India  Russians at the same time wanted influence from the north; as a result of competition between British and Russians Iran was not colonized, but was a smei colony  1917 came the Russian Revolution; they denounced all the treaties of Tsar but didn’t return the territories  1908 with the discovery of Oil  1905 major turning point in Iran, The first revolution in the middle east; the constitutional revolution against despotism ended in 1911  During the revolution the vast majority of leaders demand constitutionalism – first Iranian parliament established in 1906  But others didn’t want this, they wanted a society based on Sharia under Nouri, was pushing for this and they executed him for this  They wanted to end the influence of the Mullahs  The British became more influential with the discovery of oil and a 90 year concession was signed with the British  The British came to conclusion that Iran needs a strong central government, hence the orchestration of a coup d’état that they help coming into power of an Iranian to become Prime Minister, and he was pro British; but with the support of a military colonel Reza Khan, after a few months he got rid of the prime minister and he become the head of the military state, but clerics wanted shah  At this time clerics don’t allow a republic to be formed and didn’t allow  1921 – coup d’état. 1925 he
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