What would be Iran, if not for the Islamic revolution in 1973

History 13/01/20 What would be Iran, if not for the Islamic revolution in 1973

In 1963 the Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi announced the beginning of “white revolution” – the program of modernization of all spheres of life, designed to do by the year 2000, his country is the fifth largest in the world (after USA, USSR, Japan and Germany) economic power.

After 16 years, the Shah was forced to flee the country as a result of the people’s revolution, and Iran became an Islamic Republic, existing at present, and occupies (in 2017) on 29-th place in the world in terms of GDP.

of Course, if the Islamic revolution in Iran broke out, it is still far not the fact that all the plans of the Shah’s suppose to be the way they were intended. Life inevitably would make their adjustments. It is also clear that the revolution of the Shah was caused and accelerated by its policy. However, it is always important to compare what a country is won and lost in the revolution.

the Modernization of Iran

the National referendum on January 26, 1963 (6 Bachman 1341 on Shiite calendar used in Iran) approved the main directions of the “white revolution”. These were: agrarian reform through the elimination of large landed estates and giving land to landless and land-poor peasants, the nationalization of forests and pastures, the privatization of state enterprises to create a monetary Fund reforms, encouragement of private enterprise, the introduction of universal free secular education in schools for children of both sexes, giving men and women equal civil and political rights.

Parallel to this, the Iranian leadership has been steadily carried out activities on the conclusion of the main export sectors of the economy – oil production – from under foreign control. The state took an increasingly strong position in the corporatization mixed with foreign capital, oil companies, and by 1973, even the rating always comerevych in such matters of Soviet economists, has achieved full national control over the oil industry.

On the rapid economic development of Iran in this period is evidenced by such data. For 15 years (1960-1975) the GNP of Iran has increased five times. Annual growth exceeded 10%. In the years 1962-1972, the share of industry in Iran’s GDP grew from 33% to 41%. By the end of the 1970s in a rural area was done in less than 20% of national income, whereas in 1950 this figure was over 75%.

Due to increased revenue from oil in Iran rose sharply, foreign exchange reserves, and the annual budget was increased in 1962-1977 years is 15 times, amounting to 20 billion dollars of the then. Over 60% of farmers gratuitously received land through agrarian reform. Shah refused personally to his lands, placing them in the Fund for the endowment of landless peasants.

Unusually dramatic was the change in public life. Millions of young people have received full secondary education. All that has stood the exams were provided free tuition at public universities. Students were paid a state grant, the most capable were sent at public expense to study in prestigious universities in the U.S. and Western Europe.

Rapid were the changes in everyday life. According to the observations of contemporaries, Tehran 70s became the European city with the abundance of advertising and supermarkets, with new cars and young people, dressed and coiffed in the West. Woman in chador or hijab has become almost impossible to find on the streets of the Iranian capital.

the “pitfalls” of change

But not everyone liked the changes. Land reform affected the interests of the Shiite clergy, which, with such leaders as the Ayatollah Khomeini led an uncompromising struggle against the Shah’s regime, fueling anti-Jewish and anti-Christian prejudices in the mass of the people. Resented the clergy and the emancipation of women. Not all farmers are prudent to dispose of the resulting ground, went bankrupt and joined theth lumpen proletariat. With the General increase in living standards began to sharply stand out the nouveaux riches, caused the people hate.

After several years of exceptionally favorable conjuncture of the oil market in 1976 came a natural slowdown, and the pace of economic development has decreased. Here, the regime of the Shah fell into the trap of deceived expectations of perpetual economic growth. In addition, in the political sphere the Shah constantly “tighten the screws”. Back in 1957 was created the political police SAVAK earned the universal hatred, and in 1973, the Shah imposed one-party rule, abolishing the freedom of elections. In addition, the Shah’s secret police, guided by the recommendations of the United States, fought exclusively against the left and almost did not pay attention to the opposition of conservative religious groups.

what happened – regression in its purest form

By the time of a spontaneous popular revolution against the Shah’s regime left and the liberal opposition was crushed, and the resulting political vacuum was filled by the supporters of Islamic fundamentalism, the opponents of the reforms on Western way. But let’s say that the Shah’s regime or time would have taken liberalization or suppressed mostly conservatives. What could be now Iran?

it is Impossible to predict which he would take the place in the world economy. But Iran would be a secular state and Islamic fundamentalism would not have received anywhere in the world for this development. There would be no Taliban, no ISIS*, nor many of the terrorist acts that shook the world in the last two or three decades. In foreign policy of Iran would remain an ally of the US, but indirectly it could have a positive impact on the USSR. Because then the Soviet Union is unlikely to be decided on the fatal introduction of its troops in Afghanistan, near American ally. Would not have happened and the bloodiest in the world since 1945, the Iran-Iraq war.

Iran could become the world’s first Muslim state which has committed the modernization of not only technology and infrastructure but also the entire social and political StRoy. Support the Islamic revolution have become the remaining pockets of traditional structures and authority of the Shiite clergy, and they would be eliminated if a “white revolution” through to the end. There is every reason to believe that the quality of all of world civilization, not only of life in Iran, now would be different, higher in many respects than that observed in our reality. The Islamic revolution has set back not only Iran but the entire middle East and all of humanity.

* organization banned in Russia

Yaroslav Butakov

© Russian Seven

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