Pahlavi dynasty

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Map of Iran
Map of Iran

Pahlavi dynasty


The Pahlavi Dynasty (Persian: دودمان پهلوی), officially the imperial state of Iran, was the reigning constitutional monarchy of Iran from 1925 to 1979, when the monarchy was overthrown and abolished by the Iranian revolution. The empire was founded in 1925 by Reza Shah Pahlavi, whose rule lasted until 1941 when, after the Anglo-Soviet invasion, he was forced to abdicate the Allies. He was followed by his son Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran.
The Pahlavis came to power after Ahmad Shah Qajar, the last ruler of the Qajar dynasty, was unable to stop the British and Soviet attacks on Iranian sovereignty and was consequently overthrown, ousted, and eventually sent to France Banished. The National Assembly, known as the Majlis, convened as a constituent assembly on December 12, 1925, put the young Ahmad Shah Qajar, and told Reza Shah the new monarch of the Imperial State of Persia. In 1935 Reza Shah commissioned foreign embassies to name Persia with the name, Iran.

In 1921, Reza Khan, an officer of the Iranian Persian Cossack Brigade, used his troops to support a successful coup against the government of the Qajar dynasty. Within four years, he had established himself as the most powerful person in the country by suppressing rebellion, ordering order, and expelling British and Soviet garrisons. In 1925, a specially convened assembly, Ahmad Shah Qajar, the last ruler of the Qajar dynasty, and named Reza Khan, who had formerly adopted the family name Pahlavi as the new Shah.
Reza Shah had ambitious plans to modernize Iran. These plans included the development of large-scale industries, large-scale infrastructure projects, the establishment of a transnational rail system, the creation of a national public education system, reform of the judiciary and the improvement of health care. He believed that a strong, centralized government led by trained staff could carry out his plans.

Flag of Iran during Pahlavi era
Flag of Iran during Pahlavi era

He sent hundreds of Iranians, including his son, to Europe for training. During 16 years from 1925 to 1941, Reza Shahs transformed numerous development projects into an urbanized country. Public education developed rapidly and new social strata developed. A professional middle class and an industrial working class had emerged.
By the mid-1930s, Reza Shah's strong secular domination caused dissatisfaction among some groups, especially the clergy who opposed his reforms. In 1935, Reza Pahlavi issued a decree calling on foreign delegates to use the term Iran in formal correspondence, since "Persia" was a term used by Western peoples for the country "Iran" in Persia. After some scholars protested, his successor Mohammad Reza Pahlavi announced in 1959 that both Persia and Iran were acceptable and could be used interchangeably.
Reza Shah tried to avoid involvement with Great Britain and the Soviet Union. Although many of his development projects required foreign technical expertise, he avoided the award of contracts to British and Soviet companies. Although Great Britain controlled all Iranian oil resources through its ownership of the Anglo-Iranian oil company, Reza Shah preferred to receive technical support from Germany, France, Italy and other European countries. This created problems for Iran after 1939, when Germany and the UK became enemies in the Second World War. Reza Shah proclaimed Iran as a neutral country, but Britain insisted that German engineers and technicians in Iran were spies with missions to sabotage British oil plants in the southwest of Iran. Britain demanded that Iran expel all German citizens, but Reza Shah declined and claimed that this would adversely affect its development projects.

Reza Shah Pahlavi
Reza Shah Pahlavi

World War II
After the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, Great Britain and the Soviet Union became allies. Britain and the USSR saw the newly opened Trans-Iranian Railway as an attractive way of transporting supplies from the Persian Gulf to the Soviet Union. In August 1941, because Reza Shah refused to extinguish the German citizens, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union invaded Iran, arrested the Shah and sent him into exile, control of Iran's communications and railways.In 1942, the United States, an ally of Great Britain and the USSR during the war, sent a military armed force to Iran to maintain and operate the railways. In the coming months, the three nations took control of the oil reserves of the country and secured a supply corridor. Reza Shah's regime collapsed, and the American, British, and Soviet authorities restricted the power of the oar government, which remained. They allowed Reza Shahs son Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to join the throne.
In January 1942, they signed an agreement with Iran to respect the independence of Iran and withdraw their troops within six months after the end of the war. In 1943, at the Tehran Conference, the United States reaffirmed this commitment, and on September 13 the Allies assured the Iranians that all foreign troops would leave on March 2, In 1945, the USSR refused to announce a timetable for the departure of the north-western Iranian provinces. From East Baijani and West Baijan, where Soviet-supported autonomous movements had developed. At this time, the Tudeh Party of Iran, an already influential and parliamentary representative, became increasingly milder, especially in the north.This encouraged government action, including attempts by the Iranian armed forces to restore order in the northern provinces. While the Tudh headquarters were occupied in Tehran and the Isfahan branch was shattered, the Soviet troops in the northern parts of the country prevented the Iranian forces from participating. Thus, until November 1945, Azerbaijan became an autonomous state, helped by the Tudeh party. This Marionette government of the Soviet Union lasted only until November 1946.
The USSR withdrew its troops in May 1946, but the tensions lasted for several months. This episode was one of the precipitous events of the emerging Cold War, the post-war rivalry between the United States and its allies, and the USSR and its allies.
Iran's political system became more and more open, and more political parties were formed. In 1944, the choice for the Majlis was the first truly competitive choice in more than twenty years. The foreign influence remained a very delicate issue for all parties involved. The Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC), owned by the British government, continued to produce and market Iranian oil. At the beginning of the thirties, some Iranians started advocating the nationalization of the oil fields of the country. After 1946 this became an increasingly popular political movement.

The Trans-Iranian Railway as of 1938.
The Trans-Iranian Railway as of 1938

Cold War
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi replaced his father on September 16, 1941. He wanted to continue the reform policy of his father, but between him and an older professional politician, the nationalist Mohammad Mosaddegh, a government competition soon arose.Despite his vow to act as a constitutional monarch, who was to renounce the power of the parliamentary government, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi increasingly took part in government affairs. He concentrated on the revival of the army and ensured that it would remain under the royal control as the main power of the monarchy. In 1949, an assassination attempt on the Shah, which was attributed to the Soviet Tudeh party, led to the ban on this party and the expansion of the constitutional powers of the Shah.
In 1951, Mohammad Mossadegh named the Majlis Parliament (Mohammad Mossadegh) as a new prime minister with a vote of 79-12, which nationalized shortly after the nationalization of the British oil industry (see Abadan Crisis). Mossadegh was led by the Shah, who feared that a resulting barbarian ostracism imposed by the West would leave Iran in a state of economic ruin. The Shah fled Iran but returned when the United Kingdom and the United States staged a coup against Mossadegh in August 1953 (see Operation Ajax). Mossadegh was then arrested by pro-Shah Army forces.
In connection with the regional turmoil and the Cold War, the Shah established itself as an indispensable ally of the West. In domestic terms, he advocated the reform policy that culminated in the 1963 White Revolution program, which included land reform, the extension of women's right to vote, and the elimination of illiteracy. Great plans were made to build the infrastructure of Iran, a new middle class began to flourish, and in less than two decades, Iran became the undisputed great economic and military power of the Middle East.
However, these measures and the increasing arbitrariness of the reign of Mohammad Reza provoked religious leaders who feared their traditional authority and intellectuals who sought democratic reform. These opponents criticized the Shah for his reforms, or for a violation of the constitution, laying the limits of royal authority, and foreseen a representative government.
Mohammad Reza saw himself as heir to the kings of ancient Iran, and in 1971 he held a celebration of 2,500 years of the Persian monarchy. In 1976, he replaced the calendar (year 1355) with an "Imperial" calendar (year 2535) which began with the foundation of the Persian Empire over twenty-five centuries earlier. These actions were viewed as un-Islamic and resulted in more religious opposition by the clergy.

Benito Mussolini left   Adolf Hitler right World War.

Benito Mussolini left  

Adolf Hitler right World War.

Collapse of the dynasty
The Shah's government suppressed its opponents with the help of Iran's security and intelligence secret police, SAVAK. Such opponents included members of the Communist Tudeh party.
In the mid-seventies the Shah, on the basis of increased oil revenues, launched a series of even more ambitious and courageous plans for the progress of his country and the march to the White Revolution. But his socioeconomic advances increasingly misled the clergy. Islamic leaders, especially the exiled clerics Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, could focus this dissatisfaction with an ideology linked to Islamic principles calling for the fall of the Shah and the return to Islamic traditions, and the Islamic Revolution.
The Shah's government collapsed after widespread revolts in 1978 and 1979. The Islamic revolution dissolved the SAVAKE and replaced it with SAVAMA. It was after the revolution after the American sources and the Iranian exile sources in the USA and in Paris by Gen. Hossein Fardoust, deputy SAVAK leader under the former Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and a friend from the youthful period of the deposed monarch.
The Shah fled from the country, sought medical treatment in Egypt, Mexico, the United States and Panama, and finally resettled with his family in Egypt as a guest of Anwar Sadat. After his death, his son Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi followed in his absence as heir to the Pahlavi dynasty. Pahlavi and his wife live in the United States in Potomac, Maryland with three daughters.


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