Changing Identities in Iran

2923 Words Oct 5th, 2012 12 Pages
An Analysis of the Changing Identities Influencing Iran’s
Development

The multifaceted political and socio-cultural context of the Middle-East often leads to misunderstandings about the nature of its society. In order to be fully aware of the reasoning as to why states in the Middle-East do what they do, an in depth analysis linking both the past and present is necessary. The continuous disorder portrayed in the news has created a negative image of the Middle-East. In the case of Iran, this is especially true. Similarly to many other states in the Middle-East, Iran’s past can be characterized by perpetual ideological conflict, rivaling tribal factions and a difficulty in sustaining a
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In 1926 the monarchy passed a universal conscription law that required all Iranian men to serve in the army for at least two years.[7] This had much to do with the notion that the rise of states is directly correlated to war-making.[8] Once again a progressively imperialist notion adopted by Reza Shah helped in guiding his view of a modern Iran. Reza Shah Pahlavi’s ability to transform Iranian identity to a primarily secular mentality was entirely reflective throughout Iranian life. The widespread diffusion of Western thought was felt everywhere in society. The remarks of an Iranian magazine editor at the time are symbolic: “Salvation from long lasting misery is only possible by blind submission to the Western civilization; Iran must be westernized outwardly as well as inwardly, physically as well as mentally.”[9] As result of Reza Shah’s transformation of Iranian life, the local power in Iran throughout the 1920’s was relatively strong, however very unorganized. The problem with Reza Shah’s centralized doctrine was its dismissive role of
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