The Shia clergy and their social class, the (Ulema), had a significant influence on Iranian society and first came to prominence with the widely supported 1890 anti-tobacco protests and the 1891 Tobacco Protest. Islam was always key to there lives, especial in the countryside and with the poor.
A 1906 revaluation lead to a parliament, but it fell in 1907 when the priests started moaning at the liberals and left. The UK and Russia had been chewing away at Persia's lands for for decades. Baku became part of Russia in the Gulistan Treaty of 1813. By 1747, Farah in Afghanistan became part of Ahmad Shah Durrani's last Afghan empire. The British army also passed through the province to support Afghan forces in Herat Province against the invading Persians. The Siege of Herat (1837-1838) was an unsuccessful attack on the Afghan city of Herat, by the Qajar dynasty of Persia, during the time of the geo-political rivalry called the Great Game. The de jure divided the nation in 1907. This was then enforced between 1941 and 1947 after a small pro-Axis powers nationalist army rebellion.
After World War 1 Reza Palavi rose up the ranks of an Iranian Cossack brigade and staged a British sponsored, but Persian supported coup in 1925. He crowned himself Shah (king) and brutally dragged the nation in to the modern world like Kammel Ataturk did with Turkey. He cut back on the privileges and powers of the priests, aristocrats and merchants. Reza Shah banned the chador in 1936 and the law was in effect until 1941.
He chose to abdicate in favour of his son, Mahamed Reza Khan, after the 1941 coup was crushed and went in to exile in South Africa. Communists, nationalists, priests, liberal republicans, aristocrats and merchants all sought to gain more influence one the Second World War was over.Some of the parts of Persia closest to the Azerbaijan SSR in the Soviet Union, briefly held a communist uprising and were crushed as was the Persian Communist Party (or Tudeh in Persian). He was slightly wounded in an assassination attempt in 1947. The Shah helped the peasants and gave away royal land during the late 1940's. He also survived a nationalist place coup and a pro-royalist military counter-coup in 1953, with Anglo-American help. Mohammed Mosaddeq became Prime Minister in 1951 and instituted reforms that included nationalising the oil companies, less Western interference in Persian domestic affairs and a land reform program. The Americans and British accused the nationalists, who wanted a better slice of oil profits (UK 66%, Persia 33%), of being a commie and a Soviet agent. The USA then claimed they were the only one who saved the Shah, not the UK, the Shah him self or the Persian folk. The USA also began to slowly turn him in to a dictatorial vassal! Throughout his reign, his Savak secret police brutally stamped out any opposition save for a few die-hard clerics and urban liberals.
The Shah's popular 1961 White Revaluation promised land reform, health care, literacy campaigns, full democracy under a constitution monarch and woman's rights. Unfortunately he scrapped the constitution and became a de facto dictator in fear of a coup by the MPs which he understandably despised. The priests hated the revolution and the Shah did not compromise or even take them seriously as an opposition power bloc. The Ayatollah Khomeini started preaching to the crowds in the holy city of Gom, during 1963, that the Shah was a Western puppet, that Americans should not be immune to Iranian domestic law, that Israel was evil, that poverty was evil and that women did not need or deserve rights. The Shah chose not to take action, so his prime minister sent in the troops and massacred several holy and nationalist porters. The Khomeini was also then exiled to holy city of Najaf in Iraq. At about this time the Shah tried to persuade the ultra conservative Saudi king in to allowing both discos and mini-skirts, which the king found very offensive to Islam!
Persia's oil wealth had started to revitalise the Persian economy by the late 1960's. Oil wealth in 1964 was $550m and by 1976 it was $20bn. The 1971 anniversary of the founding of the Persian state was an extravagant, cultural oriented, historically minded, patriotic show; in which the Shah said he would live up the memory of Persia's ancient founder, King Cyrus the Great. 50 Heads of state joyfully attended the event as the confused Persian public watched it with disgust. There were many more university graduates than jobs since there were way too many people than jobs created for them after an uncontrolled post World War 2 baby boom.
Human rights groups, the French media, the British media, some foreign embassy staff, some Persian lawyers and the American government were appalled by the mass arrests and torturing by the secret police that had occurred prior to the event. It was exacerbated in 1972, when it was revealed that many of the victims were known to be innocent. As this was going on several Western leaders paradoxically wanted Persia to build up it's military and maintain the peace in the Persian gulf. He would also get incurable cancer in 1974.
The political and economic fall out from 1970s energy crises and Arab-Israeli War of October 1973 had made things even worse for the Shah as the British newspapers took great pleasure in deamonising the Shah, whilst lionising the emergent Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein. The Shah's support for OPEC petroleum price increases earlier in the decade had pretty much cheesed of the Western leaders and corporations, but the American President, Richard Nixon, still regard regarded him as an ally.
Towards the late 1970s the Shah's regime became increasingly oppressive, brutal, inept, out of touch, remote, cack-handed, goofy, dictatorial, inefficient, corrupt, and extravagant. It also suffered from basic functional failures that brought economic bottle-necks, shortages, poverty and inflation. The American President, Jimmy Carter, was also offended by Persia's horrifically poor human-rights policy. Many in the UK and France also saw him as too fond of extending his family's wealth at his peoples' exspence via a sham democracy stuffed full of his cronies.
Democratic nationalist republicans swilled around the town and conservatively minded Islamic peasants swilled around in the rural places from the mid 1970 on wards. The Khomeini called for the toppling of the Shah in 1977. The Shah soon accused him of being a sexual pervert, an Israeli agent and a British agent; but the Persians only felt offended by the ludicrous accusations that the puppet media were issuing on the Shah's behalf! Martial law was declared in Tehran as protests swelled in 1979, leading to the massacre known as "Black Friday", which the Shah did not want or enjoy. It is a known fact that if you kill a few protesters at a time, then you created martyrs and thus more protesters, unless you kill all of them as soon as you can and totally bully the nation in to sublimation with genocidal policies.
In the following days he asked the USA for help and reassurance, but the told him to f**k off! Later he gave a TV and radio address to the nation and arrested 500 top officials, most of whom were his flunkies, to head off a revolution. On November 6, 1979, the Shah dismissed Sharif-Emami from the post of prime minister, and chose to appoint a military government in its place. General Gholam-Reza Azhari was chosen to be prime minister. Gen. Azhari was chosen by the Shah because of his mild-mannered approach to the situation. The cabinet he would choose was a military cabinet in name only, and consisted primarily of civilian leaders. A fearful Saddam Hussein then exiled the increasingly bellicose Ayatollah Khomeini to France.
The Shah was perceived by many Persians and some Iraqis as a puppet or vessel of the UK and United States, who were also still in charge of part of it's oil industry (most of it was nationalised in 1953, 1972 and/or 1973) and who's culture was socially affecting that of Iran. The rural population and the Iranian clergy hated this.
The Iranian Revolution (also known as the Islamic Revolution or the 1979 Revolution; Persian: انقلاب اسلامی, Enghelābe Eslāmi or انقلاب بیست و دو بهمن) refers to events involving the overthrow of the pro-American Pahlavi dynasty under Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the revolution, supported by various leftist and Islamic organizations and Iranian student movements. Iran became an Islamic republic.
Once the revolution came the UK and USA threw there support behind the Khomanie and rejected the Shah, who fled to Panama via the USA and later settled in Egypt, where he died of cancer in 1980. The Soviet Union, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, France and both Germanys did not want to get dragged in to the conflict.
His 4 major faults were-
- He acted like a dictator, but did not want to live up to it's brutal responsibility, unlike Saddam Hussein.
- He totally lost touch with, and so totally underestimated, his peoples' Islamist dislike for him and his ideas.
- He did not understand his people loved thire culture and religion obsessivly.
- He thought he was as good as Ataturk, but proved to be as good as Goofy.
The Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Iran, after a short stint in Turkey, to popular acclaim, after 14 years exile in France on 1 February 1979. It was a major celebration as ~5,000,000 people thronged the streets of Tehran in joy! He proclaimed an Iran and Islamic theocracy that day.
The constitutionalist liberals; the democratic, reformist Islamic Freedom Movement of Iran, headed by Mehdi Bazargan, and the more secular National Front The urban intellectuals and middle class, and wanted the Shah to adhere to the Iranian Constitution of 1906 but lacked the cohesion and organization of tthe Khomeini's forces.
The remains of the communist Tudeh Party of Iran and the Fedaian guerrillas did play a major part in toppling the Shah and fighting the Islamist clerics, as did the People's Mujahedin, who were leftist Islamists and opposed the influence of the clergy as reactionary behavior.
Iran hostage crisis
Regional rebellions in April 1979
The Baloch, opposition parties, Kurds, Turkomen and Zoroastrians rebelled. When the Marxist guerrillas and federalist parties revolted in some regions comprising Khuzistan, Kurdistan and the Turkoman city of Qabus, which lasted between several months to over a year, depending on the region in question.
Establishment of Islamic Republic and the Referendum of 12 Farvardin
On March 30 and 31 (Farvardin 10, 11) a referendum was held over whether to replace the monarchy with an "Islamic Republic" – a term not defined on the ballot. Khomeini called for a massive turnout and only the National Democratic Front , Fadayan, and several Kurdish parties opposed the vote. It was announced that 98.2% had voted in favor.
Over the first few years after the revolution many people were either sacked, exiled, fled or were killed for being counter revolutionary, un-Islamic, pro-Zionist, liberals, communists, nationalists or pro-Shah. The revolution would ultimately lead to the deaths of thousands of Iranians the clergy thought were evil and/or counter-revolutionaries.
This even managed to discover and quash a well hidden 1980 air force officers plot to set up a secular military dictatorship and kill the Ayatollah Khomeini.
Iraqi ethnic claims
Iraqi support was given to the The Democratic Revolutionary Front for the Liberation of Arabistan (Iran's Khūzestān Province). The Democratic Revolutionary Front for the Liberation of Arabistan was an Iranian Arab militant group founded in 1979. The got notoriety for the 1980 Iraqi Embassy bombing in Rome and the 1980 Iranian Embassy siege.
Women's rights and public morality
The Quran does not specify specific gender roles for women. In only a few instances are circumstances men and women notably different in the Qur'an. Passages that seem to affirm male authority over women are based on the Islamic understanding that men are responsible for the financial support of women. While the Qur'an allows a Muslim man to take up to four wives, it also insists on equal treatment for all. In most Islamic practice, gender roles manifest themselves, partially because men and women are sometimes allotted different rights and different cultural expectations. Islamic Women are often expected to be obedient and loyall wives and later mothers, staying within the family environment, while men are expected to be protectors, bread winners and caretakers of the family.
Several passages of the Quran deal with acceptable dress for both men and women. Sura 24, Verses 30-31 states:
"And tell the believing men to lower their gaze and be modest. That is purer for them. Lo! Allah is aware of what they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment save to [those relatives who fall within bounds of close relationship explained in the Qur’an]..." Chapter 24, Verses 30-31
“Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do.” [Al-Qur’an 24:30]
“And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons…” [Al-Qur’an 24:31]
According to Qur’an and Sunnah People should were a 'hijab' and their clothes should be:
- The extent of covering obligatory on the male is to cover the body at least from the navel to the knees. For women, the extent of covering obligatory is to cover the complete body except the face and the hands up to the wrist.
- The clothes worn should be loose and should not reveal the figure.
- The clothes worn should not be transparent such that one can see through them.
- The clothes worn should not be so glamorous as to attract the opposite sex.
- The clothes worn should not resemble that of the opposite sex.
- The clothes worn should not resemble that of the unbelievers, i.e. they should not wear clothes that are specifically identities or symbols of the unbelievers’ religions.
The general moral conduct, behavior, attitude, family life and intention of the individual are also regulated by this and related ideals.
Modern, drunken, sexed-up, Western, consumer driven, hedonistic, scantily clad, house parties are (as far as I know) seen as an abomination only available to non-believers.
Saddam did like the anti-colonial and anti-Semitic ricochet, but feared Shiite domination of the Middle East. The Iran-Iraq war is caused principally by-
- Arab-Iranian racism
- Shia-Sunni Sectarianism
- Iraqi ethnic claims on Iran's Khūzestān Province
- Iranian religious claims on southern Iraq and the city of Basra
- Saddam's humongous ego.
- The Ayatollah Khomeini's fanaticism.
- An era of general instability in the region.
- Ownership of the jointly held Shatt al Arab Waterway.
The USA, UK, France and Israel
Iran has backed several religious, terrorist groups and anti-Israel groups, which they did not like.
Iran has backed several religious, terrorist groups and anti-Iraq and anti-Afghan groups, which they did not like.
Most of the world was politically terrified and/or hostile, since they feared an upswing in Middle East violence.
The economy is held back by sanctions, but is still growing rather well. Things are less server and backward than under the Khomeini. Iran is an emerging regional power and a convicted anti-Semite/USA-phobic.
Tourists are welcomed from most places, but Israelis are not welcome and are viewed as Iran's sworn enemy. Women generaly should were head scarfs, baggy trousers or long full skirts, and baggy tops with long sleeves and no deep necklines. In private and some urban settings things have got tighter and skimpier in recent time. Bikinis, strappy tops, hot-pants, vest tops and heavy make-up are definitely forbidden and are considered immoral stuff that would only appeal to whores.
Trousers, skirts and tops should be loose fitting. There aren’t any footwear taboos. Women's shoulders and knees must covered. Generally most types of baggily shaped long sleeved t-shirts, non-revealing blouses, trousers and long skirts are OK.
Bikinis, strappy tops, hot-pants, vest tops and heavy make-up are definitely forbidden and are considered immoral stuff that would only appeal to whores.
See-through tights, vest tops, little-black-dresses, lycra shorts, boob-tubes and mini-skirts are regarded as very vulgar and only useful as underwear.
Short sleeves, short skirts, tight lycra leggings, ski-pants, halter-necked tops, gypsy-tops, tight jeans, shorts and plunging necklines are also considered too rude to be worn in public.
Headscarves are to be worn in mosques and more severe nations.
Muslims can't drink alcohol or take hallucinogenic drugs and getting them intoxicated is considered evil. Gay/lesbian sex and all public fondling are also banned for being evil and perverted, especially for Muslims.
Divorce courts are run by legally trained priests.
Also see: Iranian videos page.
- Middle East
- Iranian videos page
- Iran-Iraq war
- Yom Kippur War
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- Time line of Iraq
- Palestine vs Israel
- 1970s energy crises
- 1953 Iranian coup d'état
- Minerals and fuel in central Africa
- Mineral mining, smelting and shipping videos
- What women should wear in the Middle East
- Bourj el-Barajneh and it's refugee camp
- North Yemen-South Yemen Border Conflict of 1972
- Gulf Cooperation Council
- Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf
- October 28, 1972 Cairo Agreement
- Republic of Mahabad
- Azerbaijan People's Government
- Iran crisis of 1946
- Tri-Partite Treaty