Changes in Iran After the Islamic Revolution

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Before the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran, the country was on course to becoming a westernized secular country. The Shah of Iran was more interested in developing the country along western model than anything else. People were left on their own to make decisions regarding moral issues. Religion was a private affair and people were free to practice their religion, as they wanted. People enjoyed personal freedoms comparable to those enjoyed in the west. They only thing they lacked was political freedom as all the power rested with the Shah. The elite controlled political power and anyone who wanted to join politics needed the sponsorship of the elites. The elites also controlled the economy largely because Shah appointed members of the legislature to companies and state industrial complexes. Accumulating wealth and maintaining it depended on retaining connections with the political class. The middle class and the poor were disadvantaged by the system because opportunities for education, pursuing wealth, government jobs, and politics were the reserve of the elite (Keddie 20). For these reasons, people supported the ouster of the Shah. The Ayatollah had even promised people many free things once he assumed leadership. Once he assumed leadership, he never made good his promises and things even got worse as people lost most of the freedoms they enjoyed under Shah (Axworthy 56). When Sartrapi arrived in Austria, she was thrilled to see well-stocked stores and said, “It had been four years since I’d seen such a well stocked library” (Sartrapi, p. 12). From the story of Marjane Sartrapi, the changes brought by the Islamic revolution made life difficult especially for young people. Power and influence shifted from the elites to religiou...

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