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The overthrow of the Shah 40 years ago : How the Iran as the God-state to a great power rise

Officially, the flight as a holiday trip has been spent. But in fact, he initiated the end of a 2500 year old monarchy. As Iran's Shah Reza Pahlavi and Empress Farah on 16. In January 1979, climbed in Tehran a machine to Aswan in Egypt should be a final farewell from your country. Not three months later, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini proclaimed the Islamic Republic.

The escape of the Shah and its overthrow marked a transition in the Middle East and the beginning of the enmity between Iran and the United States. Under President Donald Trump a new peak. According to reports, the employee had only recently, the possibility of military strikes against Tehran in check.

Washington's long-Arm

The fates of the Shah and his country are closely linked with America's policy in the middle East. Twelve years after the Pahlavi to the peacock throne had climbed, organized by the CIA together with the British secret service in 1953, a coup against the democratically elected Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh.

In the aftermath of the Shah was an important ally and arms customer of America. Richard Nixon called the autocratic ruler of a "old friend, a progressive leader and a world statesman of the first rank".

In Iran, many saw the fundamentally different. Although the Shah regarded himself as a Western-oriented Reformer, made a lot of enemies, and had any kind of resistance and Opposition with the help of his infamous secret police, Savak brutally suppress. The West, led by the USA, supported the Shah, however. Highways and streets rule guaranteed by Western corporations, control of the Oil industry. In addition, Iran was considered as an anti-Communist bulwark against the neighboring Soviet Union.

What the Iranians had against the Shah and the corrupt power clique had, his delusions of grandeur. Reza Pahlavi called himself "king of kings" and acted accordingly. So he celebrated in 1971 the 2500. Anniversary of the Foundation of the Persian Empire, with a decadent Party in the ruins of the ancient capital of Persepolis.

The "Great Satan"

The growing resistance to his rule, the Shah of power and at a loss. The call for the return of the Shah exiled Ayatollah Khomeini was louder. As the Shiite cleric from the Parisian exile to damn the Regime in Tehran as "illegal", came Pahlavi to flee.

Khomeini landed at the 1. February 1979 in Tehran. Millions of people were preparing the Ayatollah a euphoric reception. The Revolution had triumphed, with the Islamic Republic – a repressive, from a cleric caste-steered state of God – began a new era.

As a rule, Foundation Khomeini continued not only to Islamisation, but also to Anti-Americanism. The mood against the "Great Satan was stoked". A consequence of the hostage-taking of U.S. citizens in the Embassy in Tehran, which lasted until January, 1981. A year earlier, the United States broke off diplomatic relations with Iran and for the first time, imposed economic sanctions.

Washington's support for Saddam Hussein's Iraq in the eight year war against Iran, the death of 241 American soldiers in an attack to the Tehran-supported Hezbollah in Lebanon in 1983 and the Downing of an Iranian airliner by the US Navy in 1988, with 290 dead cement the Iran-brushed-American hostility. With Trumps confrontation has now reached a climax.

Iran's Shah Reza Pahlavi and his wife Farah Diba were at 16. In January 1979, left the country.Photo: AFP

Iran's revolution, ideology

the US sanctions, and the Conviction to be in constant American attacks, to shape the world view of the Islamic Republic. Add to this an implacable hatred to Israel. The memory mix to the close relations between the Shah and the Jewish state, with the heritage of the extreme anti-Israel set Iran and the intention to become in the Middle East as an advocate of the Palestinians. For years, the Iranian leadership is threatening the "Zionist Entity" with destruction.

At the same time, the Shiite theocracy of Sunni neighbors and, therefore, potential rivals surrounded – developed a revolutionary sense of mission. Unlike in countries such as Saudi Arabia, the Iranians have shaken off after this reading your monarchy and a godly state built.

the revolution export is today a drive spring for the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic. What alerted competitors and declared enemies, such as Saudi Arabia. Because Iran with mixed, relying mainly on the foreign Department of the paramilitary revolutionary guards, for example, in Iraq and Syria is strong and tries so, its power to extend.

Militant militias such as the Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthis in Yemen are supported by Tehran with arms and money. Iran's nuclear program and the construction of rockets with a range of several Thousand kilometers are for opponents such as the United States, the Gulf monarchies and Israel is a more dangerous provocation.

the Regime with problems

In fact Iran is of great geo-strategic winners of the past years. The Mullahs have succeeded in spite of all the Resistors, to increase their political and military influence in the Region continuously. Your ambitious objective – a kind of "Shi'a Crescent" from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean sea, the Tehran Say has come closer and closer.

This foreign policy course has its price. Tehran's leadership to be your consistent approach tens of billions of costs – money, the missing of the crisis-ridden domestic economy and the 80 million inhabitants of the country. No wonder that discontent and dissatisfaction to grow in large Parts of the population.

Many Iranians complain that the use of it in foreign countries at your expense. A year ago, demonstrators chanted: "For Iran, but not for Gaza, Syria or Lebanon." Add to that corruption and a self-service mentality of the elites. Of the clergy, and with him closely-related institutions have created Institutes and foundations, which are financed from the state budget, i.e. tax revenues.

Against the Shah for the Ayatollah: In January of 1979, many Iranians are demonstrating and calling for Khomeini's return to Iran.Photo: AFP

For the people, complain about the Iranians. The prices for important goods of everyday life have soared, the currency has dramatically lost value. Young people often find a Job. For many, the frustration is so great that they resort to drugs, Iran has a massive drugs problem.

all That remains of the Regime is not hidden. President Hassan Ruhani is one of those in the ruler of the clique and the try to counteract. Finally, their Power is at stake. Recently, he announced a 20 percent increase of salaries in the public service and state aid for the purchase of food.

Whether this is enough to appease the minds, is questionable. Because of Trump's sanctions make Iran a hard time. After the termination of the nuclear agreement, the US President wants to force with all means the Islamic Republic to its knees. But at the moment it doesn't look like it, he could swiftly succeed.

More about

Powerful men, Who in the Middle East Say

Christian Böhme, Thomas Seibert

The forces of Reform, according to America's withdrawal from the nuclear deal. The hard-liners to give more and more the tone. The Mullahs have to defend their Power, more or less successfully. For The Past 40 Years.

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