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Shah is a title given to the emperors, kings, princes and lords of Iran It was also adopted by the kings of Shirvan (a historical Iranian region in Transcaucasia).
Table of contents

12222, Week 39

Khomeini's star grew in exile and he would eventually become the figurehead of the Islamic revolution that ended Pahlavi's reign. Major economic powers queued up in Tehran to take advantage of the oil boom while closing their eyes to the authoritarian drift, as the shah outlawed opposition parties and relied ever-more heavily on his feared secret police, the SAVAK.

Angry over US criticism of his human rights record, Pahlavi grew closer to the Soviet Union and China, while also launching an economic partnership with Europe and in particular France. At home the billionaire shah's extravagance and the wealth lavished on those in the royal circle drew increasing criticism. He took on the traditional title of "King of Kings" in a lavish coronation ceremony in , having already adopted the specially chosen moniker of "Light of the Aryans" two years earlier. The unprecedented luxury of his party to mark the mythical 2,th anniversary of the Persian monarchy in was also vilified by his left-wing and clerical opponents.

The shah's power began to crumble in January after a daily newspaper was forced to publish an article critical of Khomeini. It sparked demonstrations by theology students that were violently crushed, the memorials to victims leading to a cycle of protests that grew through the year. Unable to comprehend why his people were ungrateful for his modernising efforts, the shah grew increasingly paranoid and reclusive.

A final bid to arrest the uprising, by apologising for his mistakes and lifting many repressive measures, came too late and only fuelled the protests. Kermit Roosevelt returned to Iran on 13 July , and again on 1 August , in his first meeting with the king. A car picked him up at midnight and drove him to the palace.

He lay down on the seat and covered himself with a blanket as guards waved his driver through the gates. The Shah got into the car and Roosevelt explained the mission. The Communists staged massive demonstrations to hijack Mosaddegh's initiatives, and the United States actively plotted against him. On 16 August , the right wing of the Army attacked. Armed with an order by the Shah, it appointed General Fazlollah Zahedi as prime minister. They failed dismally and the Shah decided to leave the country.

Ettelaat , the nation's largest daily newspaper, and its pro-Shah publisher, Abbas Masudi, were against him, calling the defeat "humiliating". During the following two days, the Communists turned against Mosaddegh. Opposition against him grew tremendously. They roamed Tehran, raising red flags and pulling down statues of Reza Shah. This was rejected by conservative clerics like Kashani and National Front leaders like Hossein Makki , who sided with the king.

On 18 August , Mosaddegh defended the government against this new attack.

The US Wants to Bring Back the Shah of Iran

Tudeh partisans were clubbed and dispersed. The Tudeh party had no choice but to accept defeat. In the meantime, according to the CIA plot, Zahedi appealed to the military, claimed to be the legitimate prime minister and charged Mosaddegh with staging a coup by ignoring the Shah's decree. Zahedi's son Ardeshir acted as the contact between the CIA and his father.

Gangs with clubs, knives, and rocks controlled the streets, overturning Tudeh trucks and beating up anti-Shah activists. As Roosevelt was congratulating Zahedi in the basement of his hiding place, the new Prime Minister's mobs burst in and carried him upstairs on their shoulders. That evening, Henderson suggested to Ardashir that Mosaddegh not be harmed. US actions further solidified sentiments that the West was a meddlesome influence in Iranian politics.

Albright stated:.


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In the United States played a significant role in orchestrating the overthrow of Iran's popular prime minister, Mohammad Mosaddegh. The Eisenhower Administration believed its actions were justified for strategic reasons; but the coup was clearly a setback for Iran's political development. And it is easy to see now why many Iranians continue to resent this intervention by America in their internal affairs. Mohammad Reza returned to power, but never extended the elite status of the court to the technocrats and intellectuals who emerged from Iranian and Western universities.

Indeed, his system irritated the new classes, for they were barred from partaking in real power. The very fact that Mohammad Reza was considered a coward and something of an airhead turned out be an advantage as the Shah proved to be an adroit politician, playing off the factions in the elite and the Americans against the British with the aim of being an autocrat in practice as well in theory.

Mohammad Reza was determined to copy Mosaddegh, who had won popularity by promising broad socio-economic reforms, and wanted to create a mass powerbase as he did not wish to depend upon the traditional elites, who only wanted him as a legitimising figurehead. Determined to rule as well as reign, it was during the mid s that Mohammad Reza started to promote a state cult around Cyrus the Great, portrayed as a great Shah who had reformed the country and built an empire with obvious parallels to himself.

To see the arrogance and effrontery of the mullahs once again rampant in the holy city! How the old tyrant must despise the weakness of his son, who allowed these turbulent priests to regain so much of their reactionary influence! In a study done by the State Department, Mohammad Reza was praised for his "growing maturity" and no longer needing "to seek advice at every turn" as the previous study had concluded.

Fall of the Shah

In January , the Shah began negotiations on a non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union, which he claimed to have been driven to by a lack of American support. This led him to ask for vastly increased American military aid, saying his country was a front-line state in the Cold War that needed as much military power as possible. The Shah and Soraya's controversial marriage ended in when it became apparent that, even with help from medical doctors, she could not bear children. Soraya later told the New York Times that the Shah had no choice but to divorce her, and that he was heavy-hearted about the decision.

Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi

In an editorial about the rumours surrounding the marriage of a "Muslim sovereign and a Catholic princess", the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano , considered the match "a grave danger", [] especially considering that under the Code of Canon Law a Roman Catholic who married a divorced person would be automatically, and could be formally, excommunicated.

In the U. Kennedy , were not friendly. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy , the President's brother and the leading anti-Pahlavi voice in the Kennedy administration. In a sign of the changed dynamics in Anglo-Iranian relations, the Shah took offence when he was informed he could join Queen Elizabeth II for a dinner at Buckingham Palace that was given in somebody else's honour, insisting successfully he would have dinner with the Queen only when given in his own honour. Mohammad Reza's first major clash with Ayatollah Khomeini took place in , when the Shah changed the local laws to allow Iranian Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, and Baha'i to take the oath of office for municipal councils using their holy books instead of the Koran.

Please order all laws inimical to the sacred and official faith of the country to be eliminated from government policies. In , Mohammad Reza launched the White Revolution , a series of far-reaching reforms, which caused much opposition from the religious scholars.

Iran’s last Shah - the fifth estate

They were enraged that the referendum approving of the White Revolution in allowed women to vote, with the Ayatollah Khomeini saying in his sermons that the fate of Iran should never be allowed to be decided by women. The second attempt on the Shah's life occurred on 10 April The assassin was killed before he reached the royal quarters, but two civilian guards died protecting the Shah.

Petersburg, Russia , and his wife, the former Farideh Ghotbi. They were married in , and Queen Farah was crowned Shahbanu , or Empress, a title created specially for her in Previous royal consorts had been known as "Malakeh" Arabic: Malika , or Queen. The couple remained together for twenty one years, until the Shah's death. They had four children together:. One of Mohammad Reza's favourite activities was watching films and his favourites were light French comedies and Hollywood action films, much to the disappointment of Farah who tried hard to interest him in more serious films.

He also had a passion for automobiles and aeroplanes, and by the middle s, the Shah had amassed one of the world's largest collection of luxury cars and planes. Milani described Mohammad Reza's court as open and tolerant, noting that his and Farah's two favourite interior designers, Keyvan Khosravani and Bijan Saffari, were openly gay, and were not penalised for their sexual orientation with Khosravani often giving advice to the Shah about how to dress.

He said that he chose to wait until this moment to assume the title because in his own opinion he "did not deserve it" up until then; he is also recorded as saying that there was "no honour in being Emperor of a poor country" which he viewed Iran as being until that time. As part of his efforts to modernise Iran and give the Iranian people a non-Islamic identity, Mohammad Reza quite consciously started to celebrate Iranian history before the Arab conquest with a special focus on the Achaemenid period.

In the s, Iran had an economic growth rate equal to that of South Korea, Turkey and Taiwan, and Western journalists all regularly predicated that Iran would become a First World nation within the next generation. Mohammad Reza had strong etatist tendencies and was deeply involved in the economy with his economic policies bearing a strong resemblance to the same etatist policies being pursued by General Park Chung-hee in South Korea at the same time.

Solutions-Oriented Peace Journalism

Mohammad Reza considered himself to be a socialist, saying he was "more socialist and revolutionary than anyone". The Baha'i minority also did well after the bout of persecution in the mids ended with several Baha'i families becoming prominent in world of Iranian business.


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Mohammad Reza loved to be compared to his "ego ideal" of General de Gaulle, and his courtiers constantly flattered him by calling him Iran's de Gaulle. The Shah's diplomatic foundation was the United States' guarantee that it would protect his regime, enabling him to stand up to larger enemies. While the arrangement did not preclude other partnerships and treaties, it helped to provide a somewhat stable environment in which Mohammad Reza could implement his reforms.

Another factor guiding Mohammad Reza in his foreign policy was his wish for financial stability, which required strong diplomatic ties. A third factor was his wish to present Iran as a prosperous and powerful nation; this fuelled his domestic policy of Westernisation and reform. A final component was his promise that communism could be halted at Iran's border if his monarchy was preserved. By , the country's treasury, the Shah's autocracy, and his strategic alliances seemed to form a protective layer around Iran. Although the U. Polk encouraged the Shah to distribute Iran's growing revenues more equitably, slow the rush toward militarisation, and open the government to political processes, he became furious and identified Polk as "the principal enemy of his regime.

It also envisioned Afghanistan 's joining at some time in the future. The Shah was the first regional leader to recognise the State of Israel as a de facto state, although when interviewed on 60 Minutes by reporter Mike Wallace , he criticised American Jews for their presumed control over U. Johnson , U. Concerning the fate of Bahrain which Britain had controlled since the 19th century, but which Iran claimed as its own territory and three small Persian Gulf islands, the Shah negotiated an agreement with the British, which, by means of a public consensus, ultimately led to the independence of Bahrain against the wishes of Iranian nationalists.

During this period, the Shah maintained cordial relations with the Persian Gulf states and established close diplomatic ties with Saudi Arabia.

opufupoxyr.ga Mohammad Reza saw Iran as the natural dominant power in the Persian Gulf region, and tolerated no challenges to Iranian hegemony, a claim that was supported by a gargantuan arms-buying spree that started in the early s. In , Mohammad Reza told a journalist: "World events were such that we were compelled to accept the fact that sea adjoining the Oman Sea—I mean the Indian Ocean—does not recognise borders. As for Iran's security limits—I will not state how many kilometers we have in mind, but anyone who is acquainted with geography and the strategic situation, and especially with the potential air and sea forces, know what distances from Chah Bahar this limit can reach".

Iran's elations with Iraq, however, were often difficult due to political instability in the latter country. He resented the internationally recognised Iran-Iraq border on the Shatt al-Arab river, which a treaty fixed on the low watermark on the Iranian side, giving Iraq control of most of the Shatt al-Arab. The initial operation was a disaster, but the Shah continued attempts to support the rebels and weaken Iraq.

Then, in , the countries signed the Algiers Accord , which granted Iran equal navigation rights in the Shatt al-Arab as the thalweg was now the new border, while Mohammad Reza agreed to end his support for Iraqi Kurdish rebels. The U.