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Iran

Jomhuri-e-Eslami-e-Iran (Islamic Republic of Iran)
  • Barry Turner
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)

Abstract

Persia was ruled by the Shahs as an absolute monarchy from the 16th century until 1906, when the first constitution was granted and a national assembly established. After a coup in 1921, Reza Khan began his rise to power. He was declared Shah on 12 Dec. 1925 and as closer relations with Europe were developed in the mid-1930s so the name Iran began to be used in the west instead of Persia. When in the Second World War Iran supported Germany, the Allies occupied the country and forced Reza Shah to abdicate in favour of his son. The British controlled oil industry was nationalized in March 1951 in line with the policy of the National Front Party whose leader, Dr Muhammad Mussadeq, became prime minister in April 1951. He was opposed by the Shah who fled the country until Aug. 1953 when the monarchists staged a coup which led to Mussadeq being deposed. The Shah’s policy, which included the redistribution of land to small farmers and the enfranchisement of women, was opposed by the Shia religious scholars who considered it to be contrary to Islamic teaching. Despite economic growth, unrest was caused by the Shah’s repressive measures and his extensive use of the Savak, the secret police. The opposition led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Shia Muslim spiritual leader who had been exiled in 1965, was particularly successful.

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Further Reading

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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Turner

There are no affiliations available

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