Issues in Iran and the Iranian Revolution
The Iranian revolution which is also known as the Islamic revolution of Iran is identified as the revolution during 1978 and 1979 that dismantled the monarchy type of leadership of Muhammad Reza Shah Pavali and put the country under an Islamic republic governance led by Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini (Brumberg).
Various issues surrounded Iran during the time of Reza Shah’s reign. The revolution was catapulted by these underlying issues that were disregarded by Shah during the earlier parts of his leadership. One of these issues is the growing negative perception of the Islamic fundamentalists and conservative members of the society about Shah’s regime. During the period of his leadership, Muhammad Reza Shah created a reform known as the White Revolution. Such reform was based on the Westernized culture, allowing women to have more freedom and augmenting the secularist way of education despite the oppositions of the traditional Shia Muslims who, at that time, constitute the dominant faction of Iran’s population (Brumberg).
In addition, many of the people of Iran saw Reza Shah as a puppet for Western countries. Shah regimen was also corrupt and autocratic. His development schemes and reform as well as the nationalization of the country’s oil industry received negative feedbacks from various sectors, including the middleclass members of the society who received few benefits from the White revolution. Most of the earnings that were extracted from the reform benefited only large companies who have a deep connection with Shah’s family and strong ties with the international market (Brumberg).
Another major effort of Reza Shah was the establishment of a secret police association known as SAVAK. The main duty of the secret police was to suppress anti-government organizations. SAVAK used violent schemes to prevent the presence of movements that were against Shah’s leadership. However, despite the continuous efforts of SAVAK and their use of power to stop the movements, anti-government organizations continued to exist and gained significant power which led to various upheavals. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini spearheaded various demonstrations in the country’s major cities in order to show their opposition against Shah. The increase in the number of demonstration finally made Reza Shah to realize the capabilities of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini as a threat to his leadership. Shortly after, Khomeini was deported to Iraq where he still continued pursuing the fight for regaining the power of the Islamic republic. Although he was not in the country, he was able to left a legacy which led to various demonstrations participated by different sectors of the society (Khorrami).
Subsequent actions of Shah to gain control over the country include replacements of prime ministers and the use of violence by the SAVAK. Yet, the demonstrations and movements have already reached unprecedented levels that even his acceptance of the demands of the oppositions was disregarded. From there, he was demanded by the anti-government organizations to leave the country (Khorrami).
Khomeini returned to Iran after 14 years of exile and began controlling the government. He eventually became the ultimate leader also known as the Faqih and used “un-Islamic” means of governance. Khomeini advanced hostage takings in order to gain control of everything. Likewise, his ideological concept of Iran is powered by the traditional belief which put the lives of less religious Iranians at risk. Khomeini used excessive violence during the time of his leadership (Brumberg).
Evidently, the different sets of beliefs of the leaders in Iran during that time catapulted the revolution. There was no consensus of what should be done for the improvement of the country. Both Shah and Khomeini relied on their powers to manipulate the country to adhere to what they think was right. Aside from these, there was no proper management of political reforms and economic issues. This is because Shah’s and Khomeini’s leadership was fuelled by personal pursuit which affected Iran as a whole.
Brunberg, Daniel. “Islamic Revolution of Iran.” Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia.
2008. 24 September 2008 <http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761588431/Islamic_Revolution_of_Iran.html>.
Khorrami, Mohhamad Mehdi. “The Islamic revolution.” Internews. 2008. Public
Broadcasting Service (PBS) Online. 24 September 2008 <http://www.internews.org/visavis/BTVPagesInews/Theislamicrevolution.html>.