Jomhuri-e-Eslami-e-Iran (Islamic Republic of Iran)
  • Barry Turner
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


Persia was ruled by the Shahs as an absolute monarchy from the 16th century until 1906, when the first constitution was granted and a national assembly established. After a coup in 1921, Reza Khan began his rise to power. He was declared Shah on 12 Dec. 1925 and as closer relations with Europe were developed in the mid-1930s so the name Iran began to be used in the west instead of Persia. When in the Second World War Iran supported Germany, the Allies occupied the country and forced Reza Shah to abdicate in favour of his son. Iran’s oil industry was nationalized in March 1951 in line with the policy of the National Front Party whose leader, Dr Muhammad Mussadeq, became prime minister in April 1951. He was opposed by the Shah who fled the country until Aug. 1953 when the monarchists staged a coup which led to Mussadeq being deposed. The Shah’s policy, which included the redistribution of land to small farmers and the enfranchisement of women, was opposed by the Shia religious scholars who considered it to be contrary to Islamic teaching. Despite economic growth, unrest was caused by the Shah’s repressive measures and his extensive use of the Savak, the secret police. The opposition led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Shia Muslim spiritual leader who had been exiled in 1965, was particularly successful.


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Further Reading

  1. Abdelkhah, Fariba, Being Modern in Iran. Columbia Univ. Press, 1999Google Scholar
  2. Abrahamian, E., Khomeinism: Essays on the Islamic Republic. Univ. of California Press, 1993Google Scholar
  3. Amuzegar, J., Iran’s Economy Under the Islamic Republic. London, 1992Google Scholar
  4. Ansari, Ali M., Modern Iran Since 1921: The Pahlavis and After. Pearson Longman, Harlow, 2003Google Scholar
  5. Daneshvar, P., Revolution in Iran. London, 1996CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Ehtesami, A., After Khomeini: the Iranian Second Republic. London, 1994Google Scholar
  7. Foran, J., Fragile Resistance: Social Transformation in Iran from 1500 to the Revolution. Boulder (Colo.), 1993Google Scholar
  8. Fuller, G. E., Centre of the Universe: Geopolitics of Iran. Boulder (Colo.), 1992Google Scholar
  9. Hunter, S. T., Iran after Khomeini. New York, 1992Google Scholar
  10. Kamrava, M., Political History of Modern Iran: from Tribalism to Theocracy. London, 1993Google Scholar
  11. Kinzer, Stephen, All the Shah’s Men: an American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror. John Wiley, Indianapolis, 2003Google Scholar
  12. Lahsaelzadeh, A., Contemporary Rural Iran. London, 1993Google Scholar
  13. Martin, Vanessa, Creating an Islamic State: Khomeini and the Making of a New Iran. I. B. Tauris, London and New York, 2000Google Scholar
  14. Mir-Hosseini, Ziba, Islam and Gender: The Religious Debate in Contemporary Iran. Princeton Univ. Press, 1999Google Scholar
  15. Modaddel, M., Class, Politics and Ideology in the Iranian Revolution. Columbia Univ. Press, 1992Google Scholar
  16. Moin, Baqer, Khomeini: Life of the Ayatollah. I. B. Tauris, London, 1999Google Scholar
  17. Omid, H., Islam and the Post-Revolutionary State in Iran. London, 1994CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Rahnema, A. and Behdad, S. (eds.) Iran After the Revolution: the Crisis of an Islamic State. London, 1995Google Scholar
  19. National statistical office. Statistical Centre of Iran, Dr Fatemi Avenue, Tehran 14144, Iran. Website:

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Turner

There are no affiliations available

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