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Terms in this set (12)

• Muhammad Raza continued the modernization of his country like his father, using the oil revenues, of course without attempting the nationalization of the oil revenues.
• The White Revolution land reforms were not quite successful, for they produced the dissatisfied 'ulama and dissatisfied peasants, for most of them got land slots of poor quality.
• In 1940, 22% of Iranians lived in cities.
• By 1976, almost 50% of Iranians lived in cities.
Using oil revenues, the Muhammad Reza Shah's government established strong police, abolished old guilds and created the new ones more loyal to the government, and even bulldozed the shops of disobedient shopkeepers.
• His government created their own "religious corps" that spread its own brand of Islam, closed religious publishing houses, asserted its control over religious endowments, and passed the family law that took precedence over, and frequently contravened the shari'a.
• The above measures infuriated the 'ulama and shopkeepers and motivated them to rebel against Muhammad Reza Shah.
• To eliminate dissent, just like his father, Muhammad Reza resorted to repression.
He banned the political parties created in 1940's and 1950's and created two parties in the majlis ironically called "yes" and "yes, Sir" parties.
• In 1975 he combined these two parties into one party - "National Resurgence Party" made up of "al loyal Iranians."
• In 1976 Amnesty International reported that "no country in the world has a worse record of human rights than Iran."
• In 1977, however, the U.S. president Jimmy Carter visited Iran and proclaimed it to be "an island of tranquility in the sea of turbulence." Carter's support emboldened the shah to begin a new round of repression.
By 1976 the Shah had accumulated upwards of $1 billion from oil revenues
• His family, including 63 princes and princesses, had accumulated between $5-$20 billion
• The family foundation controlled about $3 billion dollars
• The Foundation used the money for patronage and investment into agriculture, real estate, construction, insurance, hotels, publishing, automobile manufacture, food-processing, and textile factories. In all the Pahlavi Foundation controlled more than 200 factories.
• The family was the foremast beneficiary of the oil revenues and the line between the state and family earnings was blurred.
Some social scientists have proposed religious or cultural explanations.
• This explanation fails on three grounds:
• 1. Shi'ism has been the religion of the majority of Iranians (Persians) since the 16th century. Why did the revolution then wait for 1979 to happen?
• 2. Before the revolution, Shi'ism actually promoted obedience, i.e. the passive acceptance of any political order.
• 3. Citing Shi'ism as the cause of the revolution also overemphasizes the role played by the 'ulama in the revolution and discount the role played by the other groups.
Other social scientists have proposed economic and structural explanations.
• Those who argue for economic causes point to the downturn in the economy in 1975-77. The Iranians rebelled due to the economic privation.
• Those who cite structural reasons usually point out the fact that Iran was a rentier state. When the government is not anymore able to distribute the social welfare to which the population feels entitled, then the population withdraws its allegiances.
• These reasons are neither persuasive. • Other Middle Eastern countries, rentier and non-rentier states, went through their economic troubles in the 70's, however, in none other of them the revolution happened. Why in Iran?
Finally, the third group of social scientists argue for what they call "conjuncturnal or multicausal theories."
• According to a scholar, the Iranian revolution might be traced to the simultaneous occurrence of rapid and uneven capitalist development, political weakness of the monarchy, the development of the broad oppositional coalition, the unification of that coalition around a set of key symbols, and the right international context.
• Gelvin considers the multicausal theories most convincing though, from the sociological point of view, they are disappointing, for they cannot be easily put into a scientific formula or law.
• The Iranian Revolution seems to be a reaction of the Iranian society on social and economic injustices and monopolies, i.e. monarchial nepotism and privatization of the state by the shah, disrespect for power-sharing, destruction of oppositional political parties, persecution of political opponents, detachment of the shah from the people and their cultural values, etc. To sum, the Shah's regime lacked legitimacy.
*Iran hostage crisis, in U.S. history, events following the seizure of the American embassy in Tehran by Iranian students on Nov. 4, 1979.
*The overthrow of Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlevi of Iran by an Islamic revolutionary government earlier in the year had led to a steady deterioration in Iran-U.S. relations.
*In response to the exiled shah's admission (Sept., 1979) to the United States for medical treatment, a crowd of about 500 seized the embassy. Of the approximately 90 people inside the embassy, 52 remained in captivity until the end of the crisis.
• President Carter applied economic pressure by halting oil imports from Iran and freezing Iranian assets in the United States. At the same time, he began several diplomatic initiatives to free the hostages, all of which proved fruitless. On Apr. 24, 1980, the United States attempted a rescue mission that failed. After three of eight helicopters were damaged in a sandstorm, the operation was aborted; eight persons were killed during the evacuation. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, who had opposed the action, resigned after the mission's failure.
-In 1980, the death of the shah in Egypt and the invasion of Iran by Iraq made the Iranians more receptive to resolving the hostage crisis. In the United States, failure to resolve the crisis contributed to Ronald Reagan's defeat of Carter in the presidential election. After the election, with the assistance of Algerian intermediaries, successful negotiations began. On Jan. 20, 1981, the day of President Reagan's inauguration, the United States released almost $8 billion in Iranian assets and the hostages were freed after 444 days in Iranian detention; the agreement gave Iran immunity from lawsuits arising from the incident.
• In 2000 former hostages and their survivors sued Iran under the 1996 Antiterrorism Act, which permits U.S. citizens to sue foreign governments in cases of state-sponsored terrorism. The following year they won the lawsuit by default when Iran did not offer a defense. The U.S. State Dept. sought dismissal of the suit, arguing it would hinder its ability to negotiate international agreements, and a federal judge dismissed the plaintiffs' suit for damages in 2002, ruling that the agreement that resulted in their release barred awarding any damages.
Iranian Air Flight 655:
In July 1988 the U.S.S. Vincennes, an Aegis cruiser sent to help guard U.S.-flagged tankers in the Persian Gulf during the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), erroneously shot down a commercial airliner flying from Iran to Dubai. In an attempt to determine whether the plane might be a commercial airliner, one crew member was given the task of checking the airliner guide for flights from Bandar Abbas; the crewman hurriedly thumbed through the guide and missed the flight (which was seventeen minutes late). Another crewman incorrectly recalled the plane's altitude from the screen, leading all concerned to believe the plane to the descending toward the Vincennes rather than ascending. Independent psychologists who reviewed the incident concluded that the mistakes were due to combination of stress, information overload, and a breakdown in communication among the Vincennes' staff in the Combat Information Center.

Pan Am Flight 103:
Pan Am Flight 103, also commonly referred to as the Lockerbie
bombing, was the bombing of a Pan Am transatlantic flight from
London Heathrow Airport to New York's John F. Kennedy International
Airport on Wednesday, 21 December 1988, some five months after the
Iranian Air Flight 655 Incident. A Boeing 747-121, named Clipper Maid of
the Seas, was destroyed by an explosive device killing all 243 passengers
and 16 crew members. Large sections of the plane crashed into
Lockerbie, in southern Scotland, killing an additional 11 people on the
The British and American governments initially blamed the PFLP-GC [Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command ,[(a Palestinian militant group backed by Syria, with assumptions of assistance from Iran in retaliation for Iran Air Flight 655. The cause of the crash was later determined to be a bomb associated with the Libyan intelligence service.
Until 2003 Libya had never formally admitted carrying out the 1988 Lockerbie bombing. On 16 August 2003 Libya formally admitted responsibility (but did not admit guilt) for Pan Am Flight 103 in a letter presented to the president of the United Nations Security Council.
• The motive that is generally attributed to Libya can be traced back to a series of military confrontations with the US Navy that took place in the 1980s in the Gulf of Sidra, the whole of which Libya claimed as its territorial waters. First, there was the Gulf of Sidra incident (1981) when two Libyan fighter aircraft were shot down. Then, two Libyan radio ships were sunk in the Gulf of Sidra. Later, on 23 March 1986 a Libyan Navy patrol boat was sunk in the Gulf of Sidra, followed by the sinking of another Libyan vessel on 25 March 1986. The Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, was accused of retaliating for these sinkings by ordering the 5 April 1986 bombing of West Berlin nightclub, La Belle, that was frequented by U.S. soldiers and which killed 3 and injured 230.