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20 th century Iran. Westoxication & the Revolution. *see notes pages for more info on some slides. Gharbzadeg or Westoxication Push and Pull of the Modernization. Source: Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/atlas_middle_east/iran_timeline.jpg.

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20 th century Iran

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20 th century iran

20th century Iran

Westoxication &

the Revolution

*see notes pages

for more info on

some slides

20 th century iran

Gharbzadeg or Westoxication

Push and Pull of the Modernization

Source: Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection


20 th century iran

1938 Time Magazine

Cover Story –

“20th Century Darius”

The Pahlavi Dynasty

- the Mythic Persian Conqueror,

though looking very

Western in this photo.

Grows increasingly autocratic

rather than constitutional

as the 1905-1911 crisis

dictated he should.

20 th century iran

Westoxication =

fear of continued political, economic, and cultural subordination to the West

20 th century iran

Central problem of early modern Persia - How does one keep this land united?

  • Safavid used State-sponsored Shi’ism

  • Qajar monarchs allowed semi-feudal regionalism in exchange for

  • support of their title (in name only)

  • Pahlavis attempt to create an historic sense of Persian identity

  • based on pre-Islamic civilization.

20 th century iran

White Revolution – Western style modernization

Promises never quite meet the reality of rural life.

Leads to further feelings of Westoxication as traditional

culture is viewed as one target of Shah’s reforms by conservative

Clerics such as Ayatollah Khomeini

20 th century iran


= royal decadence

financed by oil wealth

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Persepolis – October, 1971

Festivities cost est. $500 million*

*Source: Geoffrey Wawro, Naval College Review

Vol. LV, No.1, Winter 2002.

Image Sources: http://badraie.com/parade.htm


20 th century iran

The Sides according to the Revolutionaries


The West (materialism & immorality)

SAVAK (tyranny & torture)

Islam (morality & duty)

Iran (independence & pride)

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Element of theocracy introduced

into the democratic process

to ensure that un-Islamic abuses

(ie. Westoxication) does not happen

Power Structure of Iran post 1979 Revolution



20 th century iran

Women and Youth in Post-Revolutionary Iran

Are they ardent supporters, wavering adherents, or adamant opponents?

Source: BBC http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/picture_gallery/04/middle_east_iran_hostage_crisis/html/1.stm

20 th century iran



Women dominate in lower level posts

In line with global patterns, exceptional compared to many Islamic nations, but

does it meet the expectations of those who supported the Revolution?

Source: Women’s Socio-Cultural Council of the Islamic Republic of Iran http://www.iranwomen.org/zanan/english/statis.htm

20 th century iran

Women & “Islamic Dress”

Chador – flowing outer garment

that covers the hijab (headscarf),

blouse, and skirt. Used to conform

with Islamic dress codes for women

in public post 1979.

Source: BBC http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2936772.stm

In Spring of 2006, Ayatollah Khamenei

Upholds prohibition barring women from

attending soccer matches. These women

watch through a fence.

Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer


20 th century iran

1990 & 2000s

Generation born after the revolution is in its twenties. Is it still relevant to them?

Source: http://www.iranian.com/Covers/2004/August/aug20.jpg

20 th century iran

Youth Unemployment 1997-2002

70% of population is under 30 in 2006

The Revolution seems like their parents’ past to many.

The present is about the lack of opportunity to a great number.

Source: Iranian Youth Today http://www.nyoir.org/ENG/Iranian-Youth-Today-Employment.htm

20 th century iran

May 24th, 2006 Student Riots in Tehran

Triggered by dismissal of reformist professors and interference in

university affairs by militia groups (conservative forces)

20 th century iran

former president (mixed)




Election of 2005

- controversial referendum on reform vs. hard-line revolutionaries

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iranian_presidential_election,_2005

"Do you think you are dealing with a 4-year-old child to whom you can give some walnuts and chocolates and get gold from him?"

“Iran's achievements in all fields further motivates the vigilance of the world's free and independent nations, which eventually will lead to the downfall of the global arrogance"

Source: http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/05/25/iran.nukes/index.html

*see notes pages

20 th century iran

Rattle the saber a bit, and unemployment and the culture

police might be forgotten, but for how long?????

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