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HIST232: Modern Middle East and Southwest Asia

Unit 6: The Iranian Revolution   In this unit, we will examine the origins of the Islamic Revolution and then take a look at social and political life in Iran under Ayatollah Khomeini’s rule. We will also discuss how the Iranian Revolution destabilized the nations of the Middle East and Southwest Asia and led to religious and political turmoil throughout the region in the following decades. Following World War I, Iran attempted to maintain political independence from European imperial authority, but British investments in Iran’s oil industry gave Great Britain significant control over Iran’s economy and politics. After World War II, Iranian voters elected Mohammed Mossadegh as prime minister. Once in power, Mossadegh began nationalizing Iran’s oil industry. In response, the British and American governments instigated Mossadegh’s overthrow and placed autocratic ruler Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in charge of the country. The Shah supported modernization and secularization of Iranian society and brutally suppressed political and religious opponents. In 1978, strikes and demonstrations against the Shah’s rule led to the Iranian Revolution. The Shah fled Iran, and a theocratic council appointed Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini as the new supreme religious leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Unit 6 Time Advisory
This unit will take you approximately 13 hours to complete.

☐     Subunit 6.1: 5 hours

☐    Reading: 2.5 hours

☐    Web Media: 1 hour

☐    Lecture: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 6.2: 7 hours

☐    Reading: 4 hours

☐    Web Media: 1.5 hours

☐    Lecture: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 6.3: 1 hour

Unit6 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:
- Identify the political and cultural origins of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran and assess how the Revolution altered political and social life in Iran and the surrounding region.  - Identify the impact of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran on U.S.-Iranian diplomatic relations.

6.1 Origins of the Revolution   - Reading: US Library of Congress: Helen Chapin Metz, ed.’s Iran: A Country Study: “The Shah’s White Revolution,” “State and Society, 1964-74,” “Khomeini and Renewed Opposition,” and “The Coming of the Revolution” Links: US Library of Congress: Helen Chapin Metz, ed.’s Iran: A Country Study: “The Shah’s White Revolution” (HTML), “State and Society, 1964-74” (HTML), “Khomeini and the Renewed Opposition” (HTML), and “The Coming of the Revolution” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read these webpages in their entirety to better understand prerevolutionary Iran.  These readings also address the topics outlined in subunits 6.1.1 through 6.1.6 of this course. 
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Lecture: C-SPAN Video Library/World Affairs Council of Northern California: “The Shah” Link: C-SPAN Video Library/World Affairs Council of Northern California: “The Shah” (Adobe Flash)
     
    Instructions: Please watch the entire lecture (approximately 60 minutes) to better understand the Shah’s role in the Iranian Revolution.  This lecture also addresses subunits 6.1.4 through 6.1.6. 
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Lecture: iTunes U: Columbia University: Richard Bulliet’s W3719 History of the Modern Middle East, “Lecture 23. Iran under the Shahs” Link: iTunes U: Columbia University: Richard Bulliet’s W3719 History of the Modern Middle East, “Lecture 23 Iran under the Shahs” (iTunes U Audio)
     
    Instructions: Click on the above link.  You might be asked to launch iTunes before you can access the lecture.  Scroll down to find Lecture 23.  Please listen to the entire lecture (approximately 78 minutes), which addresses Iran under the Shahs. 
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the link above.

6.1.1 British and American Imperialism in the 1950s   - Reading: C-SPAN Video Library/National Cathedral’s Center for Global Justice and Reconciliation: “The U.S. and Iran: A Difficult History” Link: C--SPAN Video Library/National Cathedral’s Center for Global Justice and Reconciliation: “The U.S. and Iran: A Difficult History” (Adobe Flash)
 
Instructions: On the C-SPAN website, please click on the play button and watch the entire discussion (approximately 110 minutes) to better understand U.S./Iranian relations. This lecture also addresses subunits 6.1.3 through 6.1.6. 
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.1.2 Nationalization of Foreign Oil Companies   6.1.3 Overthrow of Democratic Government   6.1.4 Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi Comes to Power   6.1.5 Modernization, Secularization, and Autocratic Rule   6.1.6 Suppression of Muslim Religious Opposition   6.2 The Islamic Revolution   - Reading: US Library of Congress: Helen Chapin Metz, ed.’s Iran: A Country Study: “The Bakhtiar Government,” “The Revolution,” “The New Constitution,” and “The Bani Sadr Presidency” Links: US Library of Congress: Helen Chapin Metz, ed.’s Iran: A Country Study: “The Bakhtiar Government” (HTML), “The Revolution” (HTML), “The New Constitution” (HTML), and “The Bani Sadr Presidency” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read these webpages in their entirety to better understand prerevolutionary Iran.  These readings also address subunits 6.2.1 through 6.2.4. 
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

6.2.1 Collapse of the Pahlavi Dynasty   - Reading: Fordham University’s Internet Modern History Sourcebook: Professor Paul Halsall’s version of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s “The Uprising of Khurdad 15, 1979” Link: Fordham University’s Internet Modern History Sourcebook: Professor Paul Halsall’s version of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s “The Uprising of Khurdad 15, 1979” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read Khomeini’s speech to better understand the Iranian Revolution.  Ayatollah Khomeini gave this speech at the end of the Iranian Revolution in 1979.  He warns working-class Iranians not to be deceived by the corrupting pro-Western ideas and values of the elites.  He asserts that Iranians should look to the principles of Islam as they seek political and intellectual guidance in order to create the new Islamic Republic rather than to the West. 
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.2.2 American Embassy Hostage Crisis   - Lecture: C-SPAN Video Library/Hofstra University: “Iran Hostage Crisis” Link: C-SPAN Video Library/Hofstra University: “Iran Hostage Crisis” (Adobe Flash)
 
Instructions: On the C-SPAN website, please click on the play button and watch the entire discussion (approximately 94 minutes) to better understand the causes and effects of the Iranian hostage crisis. 
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.2.3 Organization of the Theocratic Islamic Republic   6.2.4 Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini Appointed Supreme Leader   - Lecture: iTunes U: Columbia University: Richard Bulliet’s W3719 History of the Modern Middle East, “Lecture 24: The Islamic Republic of Iran” Link: iTunes U: Columbia University: Richard Bulliet’s W3719 History of the Modern Middle East, “Lecture 24: The Islamic Republic of Iran” (iTunes U Audio)
 
Instructions: Click on the above link.  You might be asked to launch iTunes before you can access the lecture.  Scroll down to find Lecture 24.  Please listen to the entire lecture (approximately 73 minutes), which addresses the Islamic Republic of Iran. 
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the link above.

6.3 Consolidating the Revolution   - Reading: US Library of Congress: Helen Chapin Metz, ed.’s Iran: A Country Study: “Terror and Repression” and “Consolidation of the Revolution” Link: US Library of Congress: Helen Chapin Metz, ed.’s Iran: A Country Study: “Terror and Repression” (HTML) and “Consolidation of the Revolution” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read these webpages in their entirety to better understand prerevolutionary Iran.  These readings also address subunits 6.3.1 through 6.3.6. 
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

6.3.1 Merging of Religious and Civil Authority   6.3.2 Suppression of Secular Values   6.3.3 Suppression of Political Opposition   6.3.4 Support of Revolutionary Terrorist Organizations Abroad   6.3.5 Consequences of Iranian Revolution for Middle East and Southwest Asia   6.3.6 Consequences of Iranian Revolution for International Community