In August 1978 a bloody revolt broke out which found joint elements mobilized in the name of Islam, left-wing parties and nationalist groups, who did not identify with the regime. The reasons were obvious: the failure of the five-year development plan (1973-78) which was supposed to structurally modernize the country, the lack of development of the industrial sector, and the crisis of the traditional economy.
Food dependence from abroad reached unusual proportions; the small and medium-sized trade, which traditionally supplied itself with local products and on which the well-being of large sections of the urban population was built, was no longer able to withstand the competition with the rampant flow of goods imported from Europe and the United States. The model of consumer society that the regime was trying to impose could not take root either socially or economically. The effects of the ” white revolution ” which, with its agrarian reform, should have guaranteed a national capital, transforming the large landowners into entrepreneurs and the peasant laborer into small landowners, had had no other result than the
These are the premises of the so-called ” Islamic revolution ” of Iran. They were attended by the bāzārī (market traders), the Mostad FIN(the dispossessed, predominantly the masses of the large city suburbs, primarily Tehran), the intellectuals (nationalists, Marxists and ‘Muslims’, where the term began to give the specific meaning, not of professing the Islamic faith, but of militant for the establishment of an Islamic state). The figure of R. Khomeini (H̱omeynī) emerged, who, although little known for a long time, had however already distinguished himself in 1963, the date of his exile from the country, first in Turkey, then in ῾Irāq and finally (from 1978) in France. That he was a man of religion was not an element of surprise for the reality of the Iran, where men of religion formed a sort of clergy starting from the 19th century (despite the substantial impossibility of homologation with Western reality). of politics, they become interpreters, perhaps demagogic, of popular needs towards central power, while remaining careful guardians of economic and social privileges consolidated over time. The revolution rested on a misunderstanding: the formulation of national identity on the basis of the adhesion of the vast majority of Iranian populations to Shiism, a minority and heretical form of Islam, meant that frustrations of various kinds, including those of a cultural nature due to politics anti-Islamic shah, would translate into a subversive thrust in the name of Islam, understood as a totalizing, religious, ideological and political system at the same time. For Iran history, please check ehistorylib.com.
For these reasons, the moderate government of S. Baẖtiyār, called by the shah at the beginning of the revolt, appeared disqualified from the start; the exile of the Shah was inevitable (January 16, 1979) and the triumphal return of Khomeini on the following February 1. Khomeini appointed a provisional government chaired by Mahdī Bāzargān, but royal power was assumed by an Islamic Revolutionary Council designated by Khomeini himself. On April 1, 1979, the Islamic Republic of Iran following a popular referendum and in December of the same year another referendum approved the constitution which provided, among other things, the existence of a religious “ guide ”, intended to verify the congruity between legislative action, the work of the government and canon law, office that was entrusted to Khomeini for life. The entry into force of the constitution was, however, delayed by the explosion of ethnic conflicts. The minorities who had supported the revolution claimed recognition of their role and asked for autonomy and sharing in power, but, albeit in different ways and times, the answer was negative and resulted in the resumption of repression, which, already experienced under the regime Pahlavī, was mainly directed against the Kurds (v.Kurdistan, in this Appendix).
However – positively in Muslim countries, negatively in the West – another is the reason that imposed the Iran to international attention: in November 1979, 50 officials of the US embassy in Teherān were taken hostage, and the attempt to free them by force (April 1980) ended miserably (they will only be released in 1981 in exchange for the suspension of freezing measures for Iranian deposits in the US). The western response was timely: economic sanctions were decreed by the United States, Japan and the EEC, and the Irāq was allowed to denounce the treaty established in 1975 with the Algiers agreements, regarding the definition of the borders on the Šaṭṭ al῾Arab., the reason for a centuries-old dispute between the two countries.
This provided Irāq with the pretext to attack Iran (September 1980), starting a war, which in Iraqi intentions should have been a ” blitzkrieg ”, but it was in reality long and bloody and economically bled the two countries. The war highlighted patriotic loyalty rather than sectarian loyalty: Iraqi Shiites did not in fact constitute any Iranian fifth column. THERE. took an early lead, but the Western aid to Iraq allowed the latter a counteroffensive that transformed the conflict into a trench war (v. ir · aq in this Appendix).
The war exacerbated the internal conflicts of the regime, but, at the same time, it served as a deterrent for a possible popular intervention, the results of which seemed uncertain, given the persistent degree of mobilization of the masses. The President of the Republic, Abū’l-Ḥasan Banī Ṣadr, elected in January 1980, was substantially sacked and the reformist wing lost credit with him, while the fundamentalists strengthened with the 1980 elections, won by the Islamic Republican Party. The Revolutionary Council dissolved (May 1980) and, against the will of the President of the Republic, Muḥammad ῾Alī Raǧā᾽ī was appointed Prime Minister. The fundamentalist physiognomy of the regime was irreversibly institutionalizing and the most visible reaction was a sort of urban guerrilla that saw the Organization of the Moǧāhedīn in the front row (moǧāhedīn-i ẖalq). In the attack against the headquarters of the Islamic Republican Party (28 June 1981), in addition to the secretary, Beheštī, a member of the ” clergy ”, but also educated in Europe, members of the government and parliament died.
After the dismissal of Banī Ṣadr (June 1981), he was elected president of the Raǧā᾽ī Republic, who died the following 30 August in another attack on the Prime Minister. He was succeeded (October 1981) by ῾Alī H̱āmene᾽ī. The situation seemed to stabilize, through a harsh repression against any form of protest, ethnic, political or otherwise, in the following two years. In 1983, the Communist Party Tudè, which had been an ally of the regime until then, was dissolved under the accusation of espionage in favor of the USSR. Executives and militants were arrested and sentenced to death, after painful ” self-criticism ” televised.
International relations were changing, although not profoundly: those with the USSR were more difficult, also following the Soviet intervention in Afghānistān, condemned by the regime; less conflictual, in fact, even if not formally, with the West for the objective need to obtain war supplies for a type of armament inherited from the previous regime and mainly of European and American manufacture. Indeed, Israel, the emblematic enemy of the Iran Islamic, he was indicated as a conduit for a series of financial transactions, aimed at overcoming the sanctions never revoked.
In August 1985 H̱āmene᾽ī was reappointed to the presidency of the Republic.
In August 1988 the war successes of the Irāq led the Iran to accept the UN Security Council resolution imposing a ceasefire. Thus, despite great difficulties, peace negotiations began.
In February 1989 the case of S. Rushdie, the well-known British writer of Indian origin, broke out. His novel, Satanic Verses, was in fact judged blasphemous, and Khomeini, as a jurisperist, pronounced a death sentence against the author, inciting the Muslim faithful to carry it out. This sentence caused a huge stir in international public opinion, was condemned by Western governments, led to the breakdown of diplomatic relations between Iran and Great Britain (restored in November 1990) and still forces Rushdie into hiding. On June 4, 1989 Khomeini died, now far from the power games, and the next day H̱āmene᾽ī was appointed his successor as the ” guide ” of the country.
In the same 1989, in Vienna, Qāsemlū, general secretary of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, was assassinated, already expelled by the National Resistance Council, which, formed by the opponents to the regime, had been established again in Iran, on 21 July 1981, and he had then been diplomatically present above all abroad, especially in France, while also boasting a ” liberation army ” created in June 1987, active in Iraqi territory along the entire border with Iran (female participation represents a significant detail, which according to some sources would amount to 40% of the workforce, at all levels). Qāsemlū was said to be negotiating with the regime to find a solution for the Iranian Kurds,
In place of H̱āmene᾽ī, ῾Alī Akbar Rafsanǧānī became President of the Republic, who had the first five-year economic plan approved by Parliament which provided for the reduction of the state participation in the economy from 70 to 50% and the request for a foreign loan of 27 Millions of dollars. The vice president, Mohāǧirānī, proposed the resumption of relations with the USA: this proposal, even if it was rejected, had great significance. The regime was divided into a moderate and relatively open wing, represented by Rafsanǧānī, who, however, was concerned with morals (veil to women, prohibition of alcohol, etc.) and the interpretation of canon law on the line of rigor that had been Khomeini’s, and a harder wing that appeared on the one hand as more adherent to the inspiring principles of the revolution, from
The special rapporteur of the UN Commission on Human Rights was, in January 1990, for the first time, allowed to go to Teherān, but protests against the regime intensified internationally. On April 24, 1990, in Geneva, Kāẓem Raǧavī, representative of the aforementioned National Resistance Council, was killed. In the same April the leaderIraqi asked H̱āmene᾽ī for a meeting between heads of state to reach a definitive solution to the conflict, a request to which Iran did not join. However, after the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait and after the Iran declared its support for the UN resolutions, on August 14, 1990 the Irāq accepted all the Iranian conditions for the ceasefire and proposed a peace treaty that followed the 1975 agreement. he did not sign any treaty, but resumed his sovereignty over the Sha al-῾Arab and over the territories that Irāq had occupied militarily. At the end of the Gulf War, in April 1991, the first official contacts took place between Iran and France, Italy, Germany and Austria.
For the first time, after the revolution, there were demonstrations against the regime in the main cities of the country (July-September 1991) and in January-March 1992 there were even some strikes, for example. in the oil sector. Meanwhile, the new situation created in the USSR allowed the regime to purchase sophisticated armaments from the former Soviet republics. In April-May 1992, political elections were held, which, boycotted by all the opposition, saw a clear victory for the wing linked to Rafsanǧānī. The latter’s modernization program, characterized by a certain pragmatism, greater openness towards the international community and the prospects of privatization in the economic field, was among the reasons for the numerous and serious incidents, which broke out in May and June 1992., in some cities strongholds of the radicals. The government’s response was extremely harsh and some death sentences were carried out.