Analysis of the Political and Social Consequences for Iran of the 1979 Revolution

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Analysis of the Political and Social Consequences for Iran of the 1979 Revolution

When Ayatollah Khomeini ousted Mohammed Reza Shah and ended the Pahlavi dynasty in the revolution of 1979 many political and social consequences took place. These consequences were due to vital decisions made by him but also due to repercussions of the revolution itself. With Iran being dominated predominantly by monarchies for the past several decades with the most recent being the Pahlavi dynasty the public had been through an era of radical yet superficial ‘modernisation’ and ‘westernisation’. Khomeini entered his rule with an extremist Islamic rule that was non-existent under the previous Shahs and this was bound
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With a country backed by a 99% Shi’ite population he moved the country in the direction of a theocracy. This is one of the major political consequences of the ’79 revolution and it meant that over time Khomeini was able to abolish the Shahs regime, eradicating many of the top members of his regime, and create an Islamic Republic Party in 1979, and eventually make this the state party. The Ayatollah had to deal with foreign influence within the country. The Shah had welcomed western influence into the country but Khomeini disliked this dependence and his revolution ended up in a bitter quarrel with western powers such as the US and Britain. The quarrel rose to new levels when members of the Iranian public took American embassy workers hostage and were not released until 1980. The consequence was a ruined diplomatic tie with the Carter government and western powers alike.

The Ayatollah destroyed the good relations with the west but he also made himself unpopular with various other Arab states. Anwar Sadat who believed that the west was the way to move on was opposed to the Ayatollah’s view of a completely isolated Islamic republic. Sadat even accepted Mohammed Pahlavi as an exile but he was forced to leave because of his health. Khomeini’s views were popular to the people especially the poverty stricken rural community of Iran but not to other leaders in the region.

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