Nezam Shahanshahi: The Shah’s Imperial Order
This chapter is concerned with the political order that Shah Mohammad-Reza Pahlavi devised from the mid-1960s to rule Iran. It sheds light on the nature of the new order, the character and idiosyncrasies of the Shah and that of the regime’s principal protagonists. The global balance sheet of the regime during a decade considered the golden age of the Shah’s rule is exhaustively reviewed. Impressive achievements in terms of oil diplomacy and economic and industrialization policies, the build-up of a military might and the nation’s new status as a regional superpower are examined against the backdrop of systemic flaws and drawbacks, posing the fundamental question of why such unprecedented progress did not bring success.