Iranian Revolution Research Paper

Decent Essays
The Iranian Revolution of 1979 was a very significant event in the development of the Iranian state. The Shah was universally reviled, and the revolt against his government brought together citizens of wildly different viewpoints. It was a revolution inspired by populist ideals, but led by a religious fundamentalist. The circumstances of revolution would also continue to influence the national identity of Iran for decades after the event, and is still affecting world politics today in the form of U.S. and Iranian relations.
The revolution did not come out of nowhere; there were many forces and events that set the stage for the revolution of 1979. The first and most the persistent of these forces was the growing influence of Ayatollah Khomeini.
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This was a significant event, as public mention of Khomeini, the leader of the 1963 protests, had been banned since he was exiled in 1964.” (Kurzman 3). The mention of Khomeini was banned not only because he was a protestor of the Shah’s government, but also because the Shah’s government was trying to prevent Khomeini from becoming a rallying force for dissenters in Iran. This effort failed however, and the Ayatollah would continue to be influential throughout and after the Iranian Revolution of 1979. Another source of tension that led to the revolution was the Islamic fundamentalist’s reaction to many of the Shah’s apparent indifference to religious leaders and matters. “Around mid-August a mullah of some prominence was hit and killed in a highway accident. The immediate supposition was that this was the work of SAVAK, and there were big demonstrations in Isfahan causing it to be placed under martial law. August coincided with the month of Ramadan in the Muslim calendar.” (Precht 5). The Iranian fundamentalists had such little trust in the Shah that they believed that he had a Mullah killed for no apparent reason. The Shah also did not help his image among the fundamentalists by declaring Martial Law during the most holy month on the Muslim calendar. The final source of…show more content…
The revolution really began as a series of peaceful protests against the Shah’s government. “In June 1975 and January 1978, seminary students in the shrine city of Qum, Iran, staged public protests against the regime of Shah Muhammad Riza Pahlavi. In both instances security forces forcibly suppressed the protests. Yet the first incident generated almost no public outcry, while the second incident echoed throughout Iran and quickly became a rallying point for revolutionary mobilization.” (Kurzman 2). The protests were the sparks that were needed to ignite the powder keg that was Iran under the Shah. The widespread protests and strikes eventually led to the exile of the Shah, but not yet the dismantling of the government that supported him. “In early January 1979, I don't know whether Sullivan suggested that the Shah leave the country or it was the Shah's idea or somebody else suggested it to the Shah. But, the Shah said that he was leaving for the US. I was asked if that would be a good idea. I said that I thought the Iranian population would be delighted.” (Precht 17). The Shah left both out of fear and as a possible method to calm the Iranian people and preserve his government so that he could possibly return. After the Shah left the country in exile, Ayatollah Khomeini returned. Upon his return
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