The 11th February of each year, is a bitter reminder for Iranians all over the world of the victory of the Islamic Revolution and the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
As the Islamic Republic in Iran today marks its 39th anniversary, it is a fact that more than 50% of Iran´s population was not even born when the Islamic regime came to power in 1979. Since then, the people of Iran have been living under the constant propaganda of the Islamic regime, especially in discussing the late Shah of Iran. But today, our youths are thirsting to know the history and be a part of history. However, to be a part of history, we need to know the history. This short text is a humble yet necessary reminder of who the late Shah was.
During the World War 2, Iran was attacked and occupied by the Allies. This Anglo-Soviet invasion would show to be a turning point in the history of our country. The British who despised Reza Shah the Great, the founder of the Pahlavi Dynasty in 1925, not only forcefully exiled His Majesty, but they also did their very best to conspire against the young Crown Prince, Mohammad Reza. The British wanted to make Iran to a republic or at least restore the former Qajar Dynasty which was overthrown by Reza Shah the Great. The British failed, and the young Crown Prince could ascend the throne on 16th September 1941. A new Shah was born; His Imperial Majesty Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi.
Iran was occupied for three years, and as the British withdraw, the Soviet troops, however, refused. At the same time, Iranians loyal to Soviet, with the help and support of Kremlin, established two Soviet client states in Iran; the “Republic of Azarbaidjan” and the “Republic of Mahabad”.
The young Shah faced now the greatest challenge of his rule. With great diplomats surrounding him, the Shah was able to solve the crisis. Soviet troops left Iran, and the two Soviet founded republics fall. Without Soviet support, the republics had neither the resources nor the support of the people, to stay in power.
Iran stayed united. The Shah was victorious.
This complex and complicated challenge would show to be one of the many challenges which His Majesty would face during his 37 years reign over Iran.
With Iran once again in peace and harmony, the Shah was able to continue modernizing the country. Being educated in Switzerland, the Shah initially ruled Iran in full accordance with democratic standards and norms. Political parties from the far left to the far right, were all allowed to participate in the political arena. This, however, changed after 4th February 1949, as the Shah was shot in close range. His Majesty survived after initially being wounded. The assassinator, Naser Fakhr-Arai was killed by the Shah´s guards. It is still unclear whether Fakhr-Arai was a member of the Iranian communist party, the Tudeh party, loyal to the Soviet, or the extremist Islamic organization, Devotees of Islam, Fadayan-e Eslam. At that moment, there were indications that Fakhr-Arai was a member of the Tudeh, why the party was banned.
With the assassination attempt on the young Shah´s life, a dark veil was thrown over Iran´s democratic progress. The veil got even darker in the 1950s as the selected Prime Minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, refused to obey the constitution and step down. By refusing the order of the Shah which was in line with the duties of the Shah in accordance with the constitution, Mossadegh staged a Coup d’état, as his foreign minister Hossein Fatemi also demanded the end of the Monarchy and the establishment of a republic. The Shah left the country and only days later he was brought back after massive popular demonstrations in the streets of Iran. Some scholars deem that these massive demonstrations were organized by the CIA and the SIS. However, objectively analyzing the CIA documents released on the matter, one can clearly see that the demonstrations in support of the Shah was fully spontaneous.
Whatever the story and ideology, the Shah was again victorious. He would, however, as seen later, have big difficulties in trusting people. After all, his own Prime Minister, Mossadegh, had tried to topple him.
The Shah had though not lost his believe in democracy. As he planned massive modernizing reforms for Iran, his plans were rigorously objected and opposed by landlords and Islamists. Even leftist and communists criticized the Shah´s proposed reforms. In order to gain the proper support, the Shah ordered a referendum; more than five million voted yes while a little over half a million voted no. The Shah´s dreams of modernizing Iran had now become true. In 1963 his reforms, known as the White Revolution, were launched. Some of the most important parts of these reforms were granting women the right to vote, the abolishment of feudalism and the formation of the literacy corps, the health corps as well as the reconstruction and development corps.
Iran was now rapidly modernizing, and also helped western industrial countries with their highly broken economies. His Majesty for example granted huge loans to both the United Kingdom as well as Sweden. Barely 50 years previous, Iran was a poor, back warded and devastated country. In the 1970s, it had in only two-three decades, been transformed to one of the richest and modernized countries of the world. The Shah was the main reason for this. Together with brave Iranian women and men, he could rapidly make Iran to the bride of the Middle East.
As Iran´s modernization continued and grew stronger, so did also the opposition to the Shah and his reign. In 1979 both Islamists as well as leftists and communists, in an unholy alliance, moved against the Shah and arranged massive demonstrations and protests. They were highly supported by the Soviet as well as the US as new evidences shows.
16th January 1979 the Shah left Iran and passed away in Cairo on 27th July 1980. The leader of the demonstrations and protests against the Shah, Rohollah Khomeini, returned to Iran from France on 1st February 1979. Ten days later, on 11th February 1979, the Islamic Revolution was officially victorious.
Each year, the Islamic regime in Iran celebrates this day. This year, however, the celebrations of the regime will be held with a clear shadow hanging over the officials of the regime. It is the shadow of His Majesty Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi.
For 39 years the Islamic Republic have been in power in Iran. Millions of books, articles, movies, series, radio programs and speeches have been produced by the regime to demolish the Shah. For 39 years have the propaganda machines of the regime been active in tyrannizing the Shah. And yet, they have failed. As the people of Iran once again in late December 2017 and early January 2018, poured out to the streets to protest against the Islamic regime, they cried “O, Shah of Iran, Return Back to Iran”, “Iran Lacks a Shah, Why There is No Order in the Country” and “King of Kings, Rest in Peace”.
Close to 40 years after the establishment of the Islamic Republic, the people cries for the Shah. That is a fact. The rest is history.