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Iranian Revolution

Iranian Revolution

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Iranian Revolution

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  1. Iranian Revolution Early History of Iran

  2. Where is Iran?

  3. Arabs • Arab: A panethnic group from the Arabian Peninsula • Panethnic: multiple ethnicities • In the 7th Century CE Arabs invaded Iran and brought Islam with them

  4. Islam • Allah (God) spoke through his final prophet (Mohammed) and those teachings were written down in the Quran • Members of the Islamic faith call themselves Muslims • Not all Arabs are Muslims and not all Muslims are Arabs • Today there are over 1 billion people who practice Islam

  5. 5 Pillars of Islam • There is only one God, Allah, and Muhammad was his prophet (spiritual spokesperson) • Praying in the direction of Mecca (a holy city in Saudi Arabia) 5 times a day • Fasting from dawn to dusk during Ramadan to commemorate a time when Muhammad began to receive messages from Allah • Making a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in your lifetime • Giving Charity to the poor

  6. Two Branches of Islam • 85% of Muslims are Sunni • Most Iranians are Shiite • What caused the Break? • When Muhammad died who would lead the Muslims? (Become Caliph – highest religious leader) • Shiites believed that the authority should remain in the Prophet’s family line • Sunni’s believed that the prophets closest followers should choose the Caliph

  7. Karbala Massacre • Ali (Muhammad’s son-in-law eventually became the 4th Caliph but was assassinated – his son vowed revenge • Husayn and a small band continued to challenge Sunni rule for 19 years – When Sunni troops eventually surrounded and massacred them  martyrdom (sacrificing oneself for a cause) is a key aspect of Shiite branch

  8. The First Iranian Revolution • Iran had a Shah (king), but he wasn’t very powerful and so he sold rights to Iran’s natural resources to European companies for paltry profits (but it was enough to make him wealthy) • 1906 the people revolted and demanded a Parliament – Initially the Shah agreed to create a Parliament and write a Constitution • The next Shah rejected these and called for aid from Great Britain and Russia (who had interests in Iranian Oil) who brought troops in and in 1911 they had re-established the Shah’s power

  9. Ruhollah Khomeini • Son of a local cleric – Murdered for following Islamic law • Khomeini entered religious school and studied to become an Imam (or Mullah – leading clerics whose job is to interpret Islamic law to fellow Muslims) • He finished his studies and became a teacher – was renowned for his legal talent

  10. Reza Khan • In the 1920s an army officer seized power from the Shah and crowned himself Shah in 1925 – changed family name to Pahlavi • Program of Modernization • Modeled his government on European structures • Took power away from local religious institutions and leaders

  11. Secrets Exposed • In 1942 Khomeini publishes Secrets Exposed which argued that the Shah’s reforms were bringing in western influence which would destroy Islam – this influence was “poisonous to the nation”

  12. WW2 and a New Shah • Reza gave his support to Germany and was pressured to abdicate by Great Britain and the Soviet Union • 22 year old Son, Mohammad, became Shah

  13. Mossadeq • 1951 Parliament's new Prime Minister is Mohammad Mosaddeq • He pledged to nationalize Iran’s oil fields • GB turns to US for help • Eisenhower tells Kermit Roosevelt (yes the grandson of TR) to overthrow Mosaddeq

  14. White Revolution • The Shah ruled with an iron fist – This embarrassed the US • The US forced the Shah to enact reforms • Selling land cheaply to the poor • Reforming Education and Health Care • Women’s rights – vote • He also focused on Iran’s Persian roots over its Arabic/Islamic traditions

  15. Khomeini Responds • On the anniversary of Husayn’s Martyrdom Khomeini gave a speech openly criticizing the Shah • The next day he was arrested • Chaos in the city • “All of Islam is Politics” • Shah banishes Khomeini 1964

  16. Khomeini’s Thinking • Borrowed from Plato’s Republic he argued that the Mullah’s would be the philosopher kings that would lead Iranian politics • The Islamic faith would be the basis for laws and the supreme judge of right and wrong

  17. 1974 and The Wealth Gap • OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) raises prices of oil which reap huge rewards for the Shah and the wealthiest of Iran • Tehran of nightclubs and liquor stores – in direct violation of Islamic law • Smuggled tapes of Khomeini