The Iranian Revolution (also known as the Islamic Revolution or the 1979 Revolution) refers to events involving the overthrow of the Pahlavi dynasty under Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi.
Who was supported by the United States and its eventual replacement with an Islamic republic under the Grand AyatollahRuhollah Khomeini, the leader of the revolution, supported by various leftist and Islamic organizations and Iranian student movements.
Several events in the 1970s set the stage for the 1979 revolution.
The 1971 2,500th anniversary of the founding of the Persian Empire at Persepolis, organized by the government, was attacked for its extravagance. “As the foreigners reveled on drink forbidden by Islam, Iranians were not only excluded from the festivities, some were starving.”Five years later the Shah angered pious Iranian Muslims by changing the first year of the Iranian solar calendar from the Islamic hijri to the ascension to the throne by Cyrus the Great. “Iran jumped overnight from the Muslim year 1355 to the royalist year 2535.
The oil boom of the 1970s produced “alarming” increase in inflation and waste and an “accelerating gap” between the rich and poor, the city and the country, along with the presence of tens of thousands of unpopular skilled foreign workers. Many Iranians were also angered by the fact that the shah’s family was the foremost beneficiary of the income generated by oil, and the line between state earnings and family earnings blurred.
By 1976, the shah had accumulated upward of one billion dollars from oil revenue; his family—including sixty-three princes and princesses—had accumulated between five and twenty billion dollars; and the family foundation controlled approximately three billion dollars.
By mid-1977 economic austerity measures to fight inflation disproportionately affected the thousands of poor and unskilled male migrants to the cities working construction. Culturally and religiously conservative, many went on to form the core of the revolution’s demonstrators and “martyrs".
Saturday, June 13, 2015
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