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Iranian Islamic Revolution

Why was the Iranian Islamic Revolution a reaction to Western values and influence?

Iran: Religious Revivalism and the Rejection of the West. The Iranian Revolution directed by Ayatollah Khomeini presented a fundamental challenge to the existing world order. The movements called for a return to a golden past age, and were directed against Western-backed governments. Khomeini claimed divine inspiration and sought to establish a state based on Islamic precepts. Each wanted to spread his movement to wider regions. Khomeini succeeded because of circumstances unique to Iran, a nation not formally colonized, but divided into British and Russian spheres of interest. Iran thus lacked colonial bureaucratic and communications infrastructures as well as a large Western-educated middle class. Modernization policies, supported by Iran's oil wealth, were imposed by the regime of the Pahlavi shahs. Advances resulted, but the majority of Iranians were alienated. The shah's authoritarian rule offended the middle class; his ignoring of Islamic conventions roused religious leaders influential with the mass of the people. Favouritism to foreign investors and a few Iranian entrepreneurs angered bazaar merchants. Landholders were affronted by incomplete land reform schemes that did not much benefit the rural poor. Urban workers at first secured benefits, but then suffered from an economic slump. The military were neglected. When revolution came in 1978, the shah was without support and left Iran. Khomeini then carried through radical reform. Religious figures took over leadership and suppressed all opposition. Strict implementation of Islamic law began and women's opportunities were restricted.

Northern Virginia Community College. The Iranian Revolution. http://novaonline.nvcc.edu/eli/evans/his135/Events/Iran79.htm
Frank E. Smith. The Iranian Revolution. http://www.fsmitha.com/h2/ch29ir.html
Mojan Moman. The Religious Background of the 1979 Revolution in Iran. http://www.northill.demon.co.uk/relstud/shia.htm
Satya Gabriel. Class Analysis of the Iranian Revolution of 1979. https://www.mtholyoke.edu/courses/sgabriel/iran.htm.

Solution Preview

See the attached file.

THE QUESTION:
Why was the Iranian Islamic Revolution a reaction to Western values and influence?

MAIN TOPIC:
Foreign Relations between the United States and Iran

KEY SUB-TOPICS:
• Cold War - Just about everything the U.S. was doing in Iran and elsewhere during your time under study was in relation to its global confrontation with the Soviet Union

• United States foreign-policy with Iran between 1953 and 1979

• President Carter and the Carter Doctrine

• NSC-63 and the Carter Administration's Persian Gulf Security Framework - https://www.fas.org/irp/offdocs/pd/pd63.pdf

• CIA and U.S. State Department working back-channels in an effort to use Iranian territory to train fighters for the Afghan Resistance Movement despite the occurrence of the Iranian Revolution and the holding of American hostages

• Oil Nationalization

• Western world's need for oil and natural gas production led by the efforts of the United States and Great Britain from both Iran and Saudi Arabia

• ARAMCO oil agreement between the U.S and Saudi Arabia

• AIOC oil agreement between the United States, Great Britain, and Iran

• Sunni (Saudi Arabia) and Shia (Iran) Islam....vs. Christianity

• Theocracy vs. Democracy

IDEAS TO GUIDE YOUR CRITICAL THINKING:

- Keep in mind that answering this question in an in-depth manner would really take someone back to centuries before as one powerful empire after another tried to conquer their land and territory. The Iranian Revolution was ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses the Iranian Islamic Revolution.

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