The Iranian Revolution

.. moderate control is losing power. The people of Iran became upset with the little change that was taking place, and wanted more extreme measures taken. In mid-1981, leaders of the Islamic Republican Party (IRP) convinced Khomeini that Bani Sadr was plotting against them, and suggested evidence indicating that he was a threat to the revolution. This led to his dismissal on June 20, of position of commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

His presidency lasted 17 months. He was arrested and dismissed as president on June 22. Forced into hiding, he fled Iran on July 29, 1981, and was granted political asylum in Paris. On July 24, extremist Muhammad Ali Rajai with subeztial IRP backing, won the electoral victory over the moderates. Thus, the period of rising fever ended, and the period of crisis began. In 1981, Khomeini took complete control over Iran and took many extremist measures.

He made sure the government completely controlled the media, as well as newspapers, television broadcasts, and radio programs. He had strict control of everything, including the treasury and flow of money to religious leaders. Those who disagreed with him faced severe economic retribution. The crisis had begun and radicals had taken over. Under Khomeini’s rule (1981-1989) came a great period of reign of terror.

For example, after a speech the Ayatollah made, right wing revolutionary guards fired into a rally of approximately one hundred thousand Muslim leftists outside the U.S. Embassy in Teheran. Five people were killed and more than 300 were wounded. Supporters held food riots in Tunisia, and others held six car bombings in Kuwait. The Islamic Jihad held suicide bombings that killed two hundred-forty one U.S.

Servicemen, and fifty-eight French troops in Beirut. These acts were not looked at as being bad acts of terrorism, but rather as acts of patriotic heroes. The reign of terror, the next step in the crisis, brought extremists into complete control. The people of Iran in the early 1980’s, had just about enough of all these laws and regulations, and were outraged at their ezdard of living. People were finally starting to revolt against the way that they have been treated. This period according to Crane Brinton, is known as the civil war.

Civil war started in Iran with the conflict with the Kurds. These people were pushed out of their homes, religious temples, and places of business, because of the overpowering radicals. An entire religious group was almost completely annihilated because of the savage behavior of the radicals. It was later found that the Kurdish problem was merely a pretext on Iran’s part to engage in meetings and collaborations with two influential middle eastern states, Turkey and Syria. People suffered so that government could gain allies.

The poor treatment of the Kurds led to confusion in the nation. Because of all of the chaos in the country, due to different public demonstrations and mass rioting, government groups were forming. The IRP, one of these groups, was in support of a nationalistic movement. Opposed to it was the Hojatieh, and a third party, which represented the Mullahs and the high ayatollahs. This third group thought Khomeini was reckless, so there was great hostility towards the IRP. These groups formed different factions among the people of Iran, and led to a divided nation.

In the early 1980’s, patriotic fever was bordering on hysteria, and the nationalism was incredible. This patriotic fever fits in to the next part of the revolution, the republic of virtue. Iran’s people had a great sense of nationalism inside of them. People held many parades and marches to express their nationalism. During this time, women were forced to wear veils in public, modern divorce laws were repealed, and harsh courts were set up, which set strict laws and harsh penalties.

The colliding views of the Iranian groups, as well as the republic of virtue, made it hard for Iran to deal with other countries. During this period, Iran’s relationship with Iraq became troubled. The war began with a fight for land and oil and as a result of the personalities of the two leaders. Both Hussein, the leader of Iraq, and Khomeini are headstrong. In addition, they disliked each other (Orwin 42). All of the circumezces that resulted from the war may have contributed in some measure to the outbreak and continuation of the conflict between Iran and Iraq (Iran-Iraq War 77-78).

The situation worsened in September of 1980 when Iraq launched an attack on Iran to take control of the waterway that divided the two countries (“Iranian Revolution” p. 835). During the war, industry suffered. Chemical, steel, and iron plants in the war zone were heavily shelled. There have been shortages in electricity, fuel, and spare parts. The available pool of workers has diminished as thousands of men marched off to the front lines to fight.

This caused great economic problems throughout the mid-1980’s. Iraq attempted to devastate oil economy even further. Tankers and ships 50 miles off the oil terminal were struck. Iran would be deprived of a major source of income (Orwin 41). By 1984 it was reported that there were one million refuges in the Iranian province of Khuzeez. Some 300,000 Iranian soldiers and 250,000 Iraqi troops had been killed, or wounded. Among the injured were Iranian soldiers who sustained burns, blisters, and lung damage from Iraqi chemical weapons (Orwin 47).

The war lasted about 8 years and Iran suffered casualties, not only in people, but in economy and leadership as well. Because of the war with Iraq, and the purges going on in Iran, the economy was severely depressed. Besides the enormous human cost, economic losses from the war exceed $200 billion. Agricultural growth has declined as a result of war, also (Orwin 34). During the crisis and during the war with Iraq, industry is plagued by poor labor management, a lack of competent technical and managerial personnel, and shortages of raw material and spare parts. Agricultural suffers from shortage of capital, raw materials, and equipment, and as a result, food production has declined.

Also, out of an estimated work force of 12 million, unemployment is up to 3-4 million (Orwin 16). Iran’s economy was desperate. In connection with the devastating economy with the war, there was economic suffering through purges, the next step in crisis. Extensive purges were carried out in the army, in the school and university systems, and in some of the departments of government although the Ministries of Justice and Commerce proved significantly more resiezt because of the entrenched power of conservative elements there). Additionally, new institutions were created, like the Revolutionary Guards – including the creation of a ministry for them – and the counsel of Guardians, along with a string of other judicial bodies (Akhavi 53).

Purges eliminated many qualified personnel, and lowered the morale of the Iranian people. Finally, after about 9 years of crisis and fighting among different groups, there was a breakthrough in the revolution, with the return of conservatives. The Ayatollah Khomeini died in May of 1989, and a new leader by the name of Ali Hashemi Rafsanjani was elected and came to power two months later. This would start the convalescence stage of Crane Brinton’s revolution. Rafsanjani has not actually called for a reversal of strict Islamic injunctions, but in oblique ways he is signaling that he favors a more relaxed approach, especially in the enforcement of the hijab (Ramazani 7). Under Rafsanjani, the return of the church has been allowed to occur, which is another step in the theory of a revolution.

On August 2, 1991, Iran resumed diplomatic relations with Iraq and had also resolved the issue over the pilgrimage of Iranian Muslims to Mecca, which has been suspended for three years. Inside Iran, the most significant development in the last few months took place in October, when several Iranian leaders teamed up in a maneuver to marginalize opponents (Igram A-10). Twelve years after Khomeini came to power, Iran’s Islamic revolution has finally softened around the edges. The signs of fitful change are everywhere. On Tehran’s streets women still observe hijab (the veil), the Islamic injunction that women keep themselves covered except for their faces and hands. But some have exchanged their shapeless black chedors for slightly fitted raincoats in colors like green and purple. Women’s fingernails are starting to sport glosses, too (Ramazani 32). Obviously, the republic of virtue has been eliminated, which is the next part in the convalescence.

After Khomeini’s death, many radical groups were weakened. This led to the elimination of radicals. President Rafsanjani, with the support of Khomeini, swiftly eliminated four of his most hard-line adversaries from the political scene by challenging their right to re-election. With Rafsanjani in control, Iranians took a new look at crisis. His pragmatic policies were firmly established, replacing militancy and isolation.

Rafsanjani campaigned to decrease the influence of important opponents, therefore improving ties with the western world. As well as attracting foreign trade. The radicals were finally eliminated, and Iran could return to the way it was. Economic problems after a revolution are good. Iran had been in debt from the time the revolution started, and an economic recovery was needed.

There was an increase in oil revenue in 1990, since ties with non-oil bearing countries had been replaced. There was also and increase in oil price, as well as other raw materials. Iran did have ten billion dollars froze in American banks, which still partly remain there today. The country’s economic problems were starting to be resolved. The return of status quo, is the final step in the convalescence stage.

Iran has returned to the status quo. They have many ties, including ties with North Korea, Libya, Syria, and Europe. Trade and friendliness has increased with Russia, as well. Russia currently want to build nuclear reactors in Iran. Commerce opened with Japan, Pakiez, Turkey, and even some allies of Iraq. Rafsanjani wants to end Iran’s pariah status in the world community and gain desperately needed aid. He thinks they are in a period of reconstruction (Desmond 32).

The Iranian Revolution is over, and the country is back on its feet. Rafasanjani was an incredible help to the economy and the government, and remains in power today. Iran has a great number of allies, which improves its ties with the west. Iran’s oil industry is booming, and the country’s economy remains stable. Americans are again allowed to be seen on the streets of Tehran, and the foreign debt has reduced.

The U.S. still has their problems with Iran (the money in the banks), but these problems are still in the process of being resolved. Iran is progressing steadily, and has recovered from the revolution. The Iranian Revolution follows Crane Brinton’s theory on a revolution because the revolution included symptoms, rising fever, crisis, and convalescence, just as the theory states. — Works Cited Akhavi, Shahrough.

“Institutionalizing New Order in Iran.” Current History. Feb. 1987: 53-56, 83. Bill, James A. “The Shah, The Ayatollah, and the U.S.” The Economist.

June 1987: 24-26. Cottam, Richard W. “Revolutionary Iran.” Current History. Jan. 1980: 12-16, 35. Ibram, Youssef.

“Standoff in the Gulf: Testing the Waters in Tehran.” The New York Times. “Iran.” The New Encyclopedia Britanica. Vol. 21 1992: 860-861, 896-897. Orwin, George. Iran Iraq: Nations at War.

New York: Shirmer Books, 1990. Ramazani, R.K. “Iran’s Islamic Revolution and the Persian Gulf.” Current History. Jan. 1985: 5-8, 32. “The Iranian Revolution.” People and Nations. Austin: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc.