Iran – Before and After the Revolution
The Islamic Republic of Iran, formerly known as Iran or Persia, was crowded with a young generation looking for full freedom against the Shah. Persia, once as a powerful country with vast oil resources, soon became a vulnerable nation, ready to accept a new leader to guide them. The people were ready for change, but were the changes they got the changes they were looking for. The people wanted freedom against the shah, (For generations Iran was ruled by Kings) who allowed some freedoms, but it was somewhat limited. The people wanted freedom of speech, so that the press could freely publish their own opinions. They wanted to get rid of a law that made all eighteen-year-old males attend two years of military service unless they are accepted to a university, which would allow them attend the army later as a service worker. The shah was anti-religious, which was not ideal for many of the civilians in Iran. Savak (Secret organization of Iran) was accused of many anti – human rights actions, such as killing students who protested and immediately jailing press members for inappropriate conduct. A major problem was that the shah was a “puppet” of the United States many say, because the Shah would constantly confer with the U.S. of all of his decisions as ruler. The after affects of the revolution resulted in similar conditions, however. Human rights are horrible, the government limits all freedoms, the economy has suffered greatly, average salaries are hard to live with, most of the educated people in Iran fled to foreign countries, the quality of public schools is horrible, and the government still controls all television broadcasts and keeps a watchful eye on the newspapers. From bad to worse is what many people feel has become of Iran, but the people are ready for a real change.
Iran was a country ruled by the Shah (King), who began his rule in the beginning of the 1950’s. He would help Iran greatly improve conditions. He began to improve relations with the United States securing oil deposits throughout Iran with American companies. However, the shah slowly became more and more dependent on the United States. He began asking the United States for advice on almost every decision he made. Although no such reports were printed in the United States (to my knowledge) there are sources, which lived in Iran and experienced all of this first hand that have released information on all of this. The Shah soon began experiencing difficulties with uprisings amongst the people and soon his downfall would begin.
Regardless of the stir-ups in Iran, oil prices rocketed at one point and the Iranian economy was booming in the seventies making a small number of people in Iran very rich. The problem was that many people still remained in poverty which sparked up even more small uprisings. In response to this the Shah used about one hundred and forty million dollars to improve schools and passed a law giving land to poor farmers throughout Iran. His attempts were useless, as many students or the young generation of adults began demanding more freedom and less dependence on the United States. The people also wanted a government more involved with religion, which the shah completely disregarded. Basically, the Shah wanted to westernize his country so quickly, which removed his attention from the people’s needs. Soon, however, the Shah had to do something to scare the people. As more and more protests began to occur, the Shah organized Savak (Iranian Secret Service), which began killing the students and jailing many others. Many consider that the CIA and the Intelligence service of England were responsible for the training of Savak members, which only angered the civilians of, Iran even more.
The duties of Savak included preventing uprisings and taking care of any that took place. Many students began fearing for their lives. From sources in Iran, it was said that any little negative comment towards the Shah resulted in immediate punishment by the Savak. They killed many, deported others, jailed some, and made the lives of many families a living hell. This organization was another huge factor