Mohammed Reza Pahlavi

by 1978, the “white revolution” (i.e. bloodless revolution) carried out by Iran, the oil power in the Middle East, under the leadership of King Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, had been 15 years. In these 15 years, due to the soaring oil price and the king’s determination to innovate and forge ahead, the ancient and backward Iran is rapidly breaking away from the “tradition”, making rapid progress and rapid changes on the road to “modernization”, and has made dazzling achievements. With its prosperous economy and well-equipped and powerful weapons, it seems that it is about to reproduce the brilliance of the ancient Persian Empire 2500 years ago. However, at the end of the year, the powerful king Pahlavi was unexpectedly overthrown by the “black storm” – the fundamentalist “Islamic” revolution set off by mullahs dressed in black robes and wrapped in black. The “two revolutions” with such great differences in strength competed with each other, but the result was that the weak won and the strong lost. Moreover, “in these 15 years, the wishes of the people of the whole country have completely turned over. How did this reversal happen?” There must be many profound and thought-provoking reasons.

Iranians are descendants of ancient Persians. The huge empire established by Cyrus the great and King Darius 2500 years ago was the heyday of ancient Persia, which was called Sabbath in the Han Dynasty. But with the fall of the Empire, Persia was conquered by many nations and countries. In the seventh century, Iran was occupied by Arabs holding high the banner of Islam, and Islam became Iran’s “state religion”. If broken down, Iranians are converted to Shiites in Islam. An important feature of Islam is the unity of politics and religion. The Koran is not only the norm of religious belief and etiquette, but also the code of conduct that the secular society must follow. And areas such as education and justice must be mastered by the clergy.

in the long history, Iran gradually declined. At the end of the 18th century, the Turkmen Kaiga tribe in Northeast Iran unified Iran and established the Kaiga Dynasty. Due to its location in the east-west traffic hub, it has become the object of contention of some European powers since modern times and has been repeatedly invaded. Russia annexed Georgia in 1801; Three wars between Britain and Iran led to Iran’s ceding compensation and recognition of Afghanistan’s independence. Since then, France, Austria and the United States have forced Iran to conclude unequal treaties. In the second half of the 19th century, Britain and Russia seized the privileges of mining, building roads, establishing banks and training troops in Iraq. In 1907, Britain and Russia signed a contract to divide their sphere of influence in Iraq: Russia in the north, Britain in the South and a buffer zone in the middle. Although Iran is still an “independent” country in name, it is actually under the influence and even direct control of Britain and Russia. In our terms, it is “semi colonial and semi feudal society”. The glory of the past is in sharp contrast to the shame of today. Iran will inevitably produce strong nationalism on the road of rejuvenating a powerful country, and strong nationalism can easily lead to general and blind xenophobia.

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are similar to China. Some people with lofty ideals in Iran also put forward “constitutionalism” for the purpose of “national salvation”. They believe that learning from the Western reform of restricting the king’s power is the fundamental policy for a strong country to resist the aggression of Western powers. Therefore, Iran’s “constitutionalism” and “nationalism” were intertwined from the beginning. Further, if there is no “national salvation”, it is difficult to have “Enlightenment”, let alone the progress of “Enlightenment”. But because of this, “Enlightenment” is easily overwhelmed by “national salvation”. From 1905 to 1911, a “Constitutional Revolution” took place in Iran. King Mohammed Ali Shah was forced to convene Parliament and formulate Iran’s first constitution. Although there is a constitution, no one abides by it. Therefore, Iranian politics is in chaos, which is similar to China after the revolution of 1911. The long-term political chaos has created conditions for soldiers or warlords to seize power. In 1921, an illiterate but high-ranking Cossack Wufu Reza Khan launched a coup to overthrow the weak Kaiga Dynasty. He served as Minister of the army, took over government power and became prime minister in 1923. Finally, he simply deposed the king in the name of Parliament in 1925, proclaimed himself king, and officially established the Pahlavi Dynasty.

King Lisa was anxious to make the country rich and strong, and implemented a series of reforms, such as large-scale land reform and the abolition of some unequal treaties, so he received wide support. The modernization movement of secularism carried out by Iran’s neighboring Turkey under the leadership of kimar impressed King Lisa very deeply. He was determined to follow kimar and carry out the modernization movement of secularism in Iran. He established a modern national army, set up some factories produced by large machines, built railways and roads, and recaptured the power of education and justice from the clergy. He established a modern school system from primary school to university, replaced theological education with secular scientific knowledge, established a modern judicial system based on the French legal system, and replaced Islamic law with secular civil law, In particular, the church is not allowed to interfere in politics. In order to change customs, he advocated wearing suits and asked women to take off the black veil that had covered thousands of years. These were strongly opposed by religious forces, and there was a fierce conflict between the royal family and the church. In order to suppress the church, the king led troops to Qom, the residence of Shiite leaders, openly ignored the most basic precepts of Islam, stepped into the sacred Mosque in riding boots and beat a respected Ayatollah with a walking stick. He finally used cruel means to make the religious power yield to the royal power, but he actually paid a huge price: he planted the seeds of decades of hatred between the church with a very broad mass base and the whole Pahlavi Dynasty.

in the wind and cloud of the Second World War, the pro German King Lisa (he renamed Persia Iran in the 1930s to emphasize that Persia belongs to Aryan race) was forced to abdicate in 1941 under the pressure of Britain and the Soviet Union and handed over the throne to his 22-year-old son Pahlavi.

when King Pahlavi, who had studied in Europe since childhood, ascended the throneKnown as a playboy, he has no political experience and naturally looks like a puppet. After more than ten years of political tempering and several major political crises, King Pahlavi finally came to power and began an ambitious “white revolution” in 1963, hoping to make Iran “the fifth industrial power in the world” in 2000. At the beginning of this package of modernization and secularization plan, it encountered fierce opposition from the Shiite sect led by the highly respected Khomeini, so that the two sides had a bloody conflict on the streets of Tehran in the early summer of 1963. The result, of course, ended with the bloody suppression of church forces by the national army, and Ayatollah Khomeini was forced into exile.

most people believe that this move has destroyed the Shiite resistance movement, and the clergy have obeyed. W. H. Sullivan, a former U.S. ambassador to Iran, wrote: “the king himself believes that from now on, he can let go of his modernization, westernization and secularization plan, and will no longer encounter serious Shiite resistance.” Since then, the “white revolution” which lasted for 15 years and brought great changes to Iran began.

King Pahlavi described this “revolution” in detail in his book the white revolution. “The fundamental idea that led to this revolution is that rights should belong to the whole people and not be monopolized by a few people,” he said “We need to carry out a profound and fundamental revolution, put an end to all social antagonism and factors leading to injustice, oppression and exploitation, eliminate all reactionary forces that hinder progress and contribute to backwardness, and point out effective methods for building a new society. These methods should also be consistent with the spirit and morality of the Iranian people, the country’s natural climate, geographical conditions and its national characteristics Points, national spirit and historical traditions, and can enable us to achieve and catch up with the goal of the most advanced society in the contemporary world as soon as possible. ” Of course, he realized: “these programs and plans have two factors that are basic and sacred to us: first, relying on spiritual and religious beliefs – of course, Islam for us”; “Second, safeguard and even increase individual and social freedom, so that it can be consolidated and developed unprecedentedly.” In short, “our real revolution all follows the two sacred general principles I pointed out, that is, considering spiritual and religious factors, safeguarding individual and social freedom, eliminating all traces of exploitation, and eliminating phenomena that are only beneficial to the minority but unfavorable to the majority”. Therefore, it is necessary to “carry out land reform to eliminate the relationship between feudalism and landlords and farm workers; labor relations should also be based on new and workers no longer feel that they are exploited”. It is also necessary to improve the status of women and eliminate illiteracy. Specifically, land reform was carried out in rural areas, the tenant system was abolished, and a quarter of the arable land was distributed to more than 30000 farmers, but this seriously infringed on the educational property; In cities, some factories and enterprises were sold to cooperatives and individuals, a large number of foreign students were sent to developed countries, a large number of modern schools were set up, and a large number of modern intellectuals were trained. Various regulations on women were further relaxed. It cannot be denied that these have led to rapid economic and social development in Iran. Many huge modern chemical plants magically appear in the originally desolate fields. Tehran has changed from a dirty and dilapidated town to a world-famous prosperous city. Poor Iran has suddenly become the world’s second largest oil exporter, almost synonymous with wealth. In 1974 alone, it lent tens of billions of dollars to foreign countries, Within two years, it purchased military equipment worth US $6 billion, significantly improved the overall living standard of the people, and rapidly strengthened its national strength…

. However, under this universally recognized achievement, there is a profound and huge social crisis. Not only did king Pahlavi not realize this, but most “observers” did not realize the seriousness of the problem. However, the exploration, summary and reflection of many people after the great changes are still thought-provoking.

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and “white revolution” made Iran’s economy develop rapidly. The average annual growth rate from 1968 to 1978 was 16% to 17%, and the average national output value according to the population jumped from 160 US dollars in 1960-1961 to 2250 US dollars in 1977-1978. In particular, Iran just recovered its sovereignty from western oil consortia in 1973, which coincided with the sharp rise in international oil prices, and the country’s annual oil revenue soared from US $4 billion to more than US $20 billion, mutating from a debtor country to a creditor country. Many people believe that the country cannot accommodate such a huge amount of funds. The government began to spend money recklessly, regardless of costs and development balance. Military spending alone soared from $900 million in 1970 to $10 billion a year after 1975. Many huge projects are left idle for waste due to lack of supporting facilities. On the contrary, they cause serious imbalance in economic development and high “tension” in the economic environment, leading to high inflation. Therefore, in a sense, it is not poverty, but this huge wealth swallowed up the Pahlavi Dynasty.

in addition, economic development is obviously divorced from social development. Although there are modern machines, there is a serious lack of qualified workers and technicians, let alone modern managers. Due to the uncoordinated development, various “bottlenecks” have been formed. Sullivan wrote: “Investing in the construction of large industrial enterprises without adequate preparation will certainly form bottlenecks. These bottlenecks are often encountered in dealing with bureaucracies. According to the ancient Persian tradition, the joints of the government can be bought with money. Given the scale of these plans, huge investments and serious losses caused by a slight delay, the amount of bribes is very surprising People. As a result, corruption prevailed, involving the highest levels of government and, in fact, members of the royal family. In my opinion, the corruption brought about by the forced industrialization plan is a major threat to the king and his regime. ” It is all kinds of appalling corruption (which will not be described in detail due to space limitations) that have caused the moral decline of the whole society and gradually exerted centrifugal force on the Pahlavi regime.

people believe that only democracy and the legal system can effectively fight corruption and promote integrity, but king Pahlavi does not think so. Therefore, he has no legal system to stop the growing trend of corruption and bribery. But in the face of growing corruption and briberyHe had to set up a “Royal Commission of inquiry” in 1976 to supervise corrupt officials. This “self-monitoring” mechanism naturally has little effect. However, he believed until his death that the “Royal Commission of inquiry” was the best mechanism to supervise officials and fight corruption. At the last moment of his life in exile, He still wrote: “This is a modern service institution for examining state affairs. In my opinion, this method of self-evaluation is more reliable and fair than the method that western countries must rely on ‘loyal opposition’. Opposition criticism is rarely based on objective circumstances. Unfortunately, like many of our subsequent articles, this article has not had time to achieve results.” “Their demand for ‘real parliamentary democracy’ is actually just a demagogic propaganda, and the result will be a distortion and satire of democracy. This kind of democracy is common in the discredited multiparty system. What I want is real democracy that promotes the actual interests of our country, but my opponents are not interested in this proposition”. He still stressed that “only under the protection of the constitutional monarchy can Iran’s life at all levels be widely democratized”. “Therefore, in order to realize real imperial democracy, there needs to be a monarch to unify from above”. He also opposes democratic politics and economic development, and believes that Iran should first develop its economy at this time: “without the white revolution, democracy in Iran will be just an illusion, and democracy based on hunger, ignorance and spiritual degeneration is only an irony, and will eventually become the most dangerous enemy of democracy.”

the United States and other western countries are allies of Pahlavi, but the governments of these countries have often severely criticized the autocratic rule of Pahlavi’s regime and asked him to carry out political system reform. There is no need to say that the Western press has intensified its criticism of him. In the face of all kinds of criticism, Pahlavi retorted: “as their allies, they still want me to realize the western democratic thought, regardless of the impracticability in a country like us.” “The press, especially in the United States, often have stereotypes about what Iran should be, regardless of what it actually is and, more importantly, what it will be in the future. Iran was suddenly pushed from the Middle Ages to a modern and technologically developed world. Comparing such a country with a country with hundreds of years of democratic tradition and civilization is like comparing apples and oranges , they are simply incomparable. ” “Postwar American history has always required other countries to emulate the United States, regardless of their historical, political, economic and social conditions.” He insisted that “democracy is a historical process. No matter from the lower level or the upper level, it cannot be enforced by laws and regulations. My own experience shows that learning to implement it gradually from the upper level is much more effective than the great turmoil at the lower level”. “I think every country has the right and obligation to realize or restore a great civilization. That’s why Iran can’t help but maintain its generational and universal tradition,” he said. In short, he believes that the criticism of the United States and other western countries on him is imposed on others with their own values. He especially emphasizes that the tradition and characteristics of “handed down from generation to generation” in Iran must be retained in the political system.

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it is a great irony that they still emphasize the correctness and effectiveness of “their own experience” when their own political power has been overthrown and the “imperial democracy” that hopes to supervise themselves has been proved wrong. The gradual reform from the top is indeed much better than the reform from the bottom up, but the premise is that the top must take the initiative to implement the reform to meet the needs of the society. The problem often lies in that the rulers always emphasize that the conditions of political reform are immature and need to “step by step”, but the result is that they always refuse or delay the reform on this reason, and finally lead to the total outbreak of contradictions and miss the opportunity of “step-by-step” reform.

however, ferredon huveda, the younger brother of former Prime Minister amiba huveda and former Iranian ambassador to the United Nations, who was executed by the Islamic court in the Islamic revolution, later had a clear understanding of this. He reflected that the lack of democratic political reform was the reason for more corruption, It is precisely the reason why political opponents can develop: “at that stage of national development, the king’s basic mistake was not to accelerate economic development, but to neglect political freedom. By 1970-1972, the improvement of material conditions needed to go hand in hand with democracy. Here, the king made a serious mistake of judgment and missed some opportunities.” In this way, the mosque has become the political activity center of the opposition, because “in a society that cannot vent its discontent in parliament, the relatively inviolable holy land naturally becomes the activity center of dissidents”. “Spekds” and “spkds” have inspired a group of “spekds” and “spkds” intellectuals, “Iran seems to be moving in a reasonable direction, so that many intellectuals and technical experts have participated in the king’s modernization movement. A group of my friends believe that real economic development will bring democracy. Therefore, what needs to be done is to support the king’s reform and provide impetus for economic development and political liberalization.” However, King Pahlavi’s long-term adherence to the so-called “imperial democracy” has gradually led to a strong tendency of centrifugation and opposition in the intellectual community. However, Pahlavi firmly believes that the reason for the alienation of the intellectual community is that “in the face of so many novel things, some of our students are not prepared. Their thoughts are not mature enough and they do not know how to deal with a new life that is obviously very comfortable”. They “do not know the difficulties experienced by their parents and grandparents”, “like spoiled children”, often make excessive demands. Although the economic development of

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has improved the people’s living standards in general, it has caused amazing polarization due to various reasons. “For a small group of adventurous traders, the ‘white revolution’ is like a cornucopia filled with gold.”. As a result, “the rich are getting richer and richer, the poor are getting poorer and poorer, and the number of people is still doubling”. There are many examples of the “miracle” of becoming millionaires and multimillionaires overnight. “Behind the wall, people and wealth are exhausted on one side, which exacerbates the polarization of society. In the luxurious villa, the famous families of the country are decorated with hazy mirrors that exaggerate themselves, ignore others and distort the factsThey have a splendid hall. However, it is ironic that not only the ordinary people were dissatisfied, but when the national financial crisis later imposed some restrictions on the newly rich in order to reduce inflation, such as strengthening taxes and curbing speculation, requiring them to “sacrifice” a little interests, they actually joined the ranks of opposing Pahlavi.

pay attention to industry and ignore agriculture, resulting in the stagnation of rural development, making a large number of rural labor force go to the city to find a way to make a living. Sullivan wrote: “They come from conservative rural areas and are educated in strict Islamic traditions. They come to westernized modern cities and are not used to things that go against their basic concept of right and wrong. Although their income is much higher than they can expect in their lifetime, they are also very dissatisfied with all kinds of expenses. They are eager to build a waiting price for speculation The high-rise buildings in Gu are empty and uninhabited, while I live in a room with more than a dozen people in a slum in the south of dehilan. They saw government officials and the middle class coming and going around the city in Mercedes Benz cars driven by full-time drivers, but they had to squeeze because of a serious shortage of public transport. There are a lot of disappointments and discontent, and there are too few things that can comfort them. Many of them are addicted to drugs, and many blindly vent their resentment with rogue behavior. ” These have become serious social problems.

importantly, the relationship between Pahlavi and the church has been very tense. Under the leadership of Khomeini, the church has been firmly opposed to secularization, westernization and modernization, and is at odds with Pahlavi. Pahlavi once threatened Khomeini by saying, “don’t let me put on my father’s boots.” Khomeini replied angrily, “your father’s boots are several sizes bigger for you!” The church believed that the “white revolution” not only violated the church property, but also corrupted morality. The brightly lit streets of Tehran, drunken cinemas, bars, casinos, luxury hotels and the growing pornography industry are intolerable in any case by a morally strict Islam. What made the church think that the king committed a capital crime was that he regarded the establishment of the empire by Cyrus 2500 years ago as more important than the forced exile of the Prophet Muhammad from Mecca a thousand years later. In fact, Cyrus was used against Muhammad. Pahlavi held a series of activities and ceremonies, regarded himself as the legal heir of Cyrus, and revised the calendar in 1977, not from the Islamic calendar, but from the time when Cyrus founded the Persian Empire. The move aroused national anger and became a factor in his downfall. A year later, amid protests in the streets, the king had to withdraw his order and restore the Islamic calendar.

although Khomeini has been in exile for a long time, he has a great influence at home. He always firmly believes that Allah, truth, justice and morality are on his side. He adheres to the fundamentalist revolution against the king with the call of “simple, free and just life”. The increasingly serious social crisis provides a deep social foundation for fundamentalism to purify faith, purify morality and establish a perfect ideal society in the world. The worse the society is, the greater the appeal of fundamentalism. The pursuit of a perfect society is deeply rooted in human nature.

in this way, Pahlavi had to face the opposition of intellectuals who called for the expansion of freedom and democracy and religious figures who called for the restoration of tradition. Intellectuals who once supported the “white revolution” and now further demanded the expansion of freedom and democracy and some people believed that Pahlavi was too conservative, too emphasized Iranian tradition and characteristics, and rejected political reform; Powerful religious figures and other people who have always opposed the “white revolution” believe that his economic and social policies completely violate tradition and doctrine and oppose him. When faced with the common opposition of these two forces in the opposite direction, the “white revolution” is in jeopardy. All kinds of social contradictions caused by

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and “white revolution” have not been solved. The problems are accumulating and the crisis is deepening. “The scene in Iran in 1977 was like a group of hungry rats swallowing a piece of fat,” huveda wrote In the autumn of 1978, the opposition to the king finally broke out in public and expanded rapidly. Opponents come from all sectors of society: “workers, intellectuals, market businessmen, women with or without veils, priests, children and teenagers wrapped in black, green and white headscarves, rich people in suits and poor people in rags.” “The obvious contradiction between alienation and exacting of the people, technological progress and political rigidity is the main source of misfortune. They finally corrupt all the king’s work, although the original intention of these work is undoubtedly good”. In mid January 1979, King Pahlavi was finally overthrown and fled abroad, and the “Islamic Republic” was proclaimed. Khomeini’s basic principle is that the state must not be above religion, and any law that violates Islam is actually illegal. The intellectuals in “suits” who resolutely joined the ranks of opposing Pahlavi for democracy and freedom realized something at this time, and some of them later had to flee abroad.

of course, some people saw some signs in advance, The French writer villier wrote frankly at the end of the book “biography of Pahlavi”, which was full of praise for Pahlavi published in 1976: “the three words that Iranian children should learn to read and write are Koda, Shah and mihane (Allah, king and country). Maybe one day, the second word may even be eliminated.” However, he was only half right: he believed that economic development would promote the emergence of modern democratic politics according to the “general principles”, but did not expect that Iran’s “special case” would eventually promote the fundamentalist revolution of political and religious unity! The root cause of the failure of

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and “white revolution” is that Pahlavi always opposes democratic constitutionalism and always believes that democratic constitutionalism is only a western “regional” system, rather than a universal system and value required by modern economic system. Therefore, he believes that all kinds of criticisms against him are only imposed by others with their own values. Others are obviously good for him, but he thinks it’s bad for him. He didn’t realize it, No