A revolution is a mass movement that intends to violently transform the old government into a new political system. The Iranian Revolution, which began in 1979 after years of climax, was an uprising against the Shah’s autocratic rule resulting in much religious and political change. Shah Muhammad Reza Pahlavi made efforts to remove Islamic values and create a secular rule and “westernize” Iran through his White Revolution. In addition, his tight dictatorial rule and attempts at military expansion felt threatening to the people, who desired a fairer governmental rule immensely influenced by Islam. Afterwards, governmental affairs became extremely influenced by Islamic traditions and law which created changes religiously and politically for years to come. Although the Iranian Revolution was both a political and religious movement in that it resulted in major shifts in government structure from an autocracy to a republic and that Islamic beliefs were fought to be preserved, it was more a religious movement in that the primary goal of the people was to preserve traditional ideology and in that the government became a theocracy intertwined with religious laws and desires of the people.
The Iranian Revolution of 1979 is one of the most significant events of the twentieth century. It initiated an era of Islamic revivalism and the fight against "modernization" in many nations where Islam is the chief religion. Favoritism by the government, Islamic fundamentalism, the use of political tyranny by the administration of Mohammed Reza Shah, otherwise known as the monarchist regime, particularly the violence committed by the secret police, rising income inequality, extensive venality of the rich minority, and the effect of Western imperialism were all causes of the revolution.
Kent, J. and Young, J.W. (2013), International Relations Since 1945: A global History. 2nd edn. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Following the war with Vietnam, America foreign policy saw a new shift. This shift is marked by the decline of containment to a policy of a ‘here and now’ approach. That is, the United States’ new policy was to deal with each situation on a case by case basis rather than treating every threat of communism as a threat to containment. This reclaimed part of the old policy of objectivity in international affairs. As the past shows, controversies and wars alike have the power to dramatically shift a countries foreign policy. One can only wonder what will cause the next change.
... War. Back then, the world was in tension, but there were defined lanes of power and authority. That world is gone and today, the world is anything but a sea of tides. In fact, it is exactly the opposite of the situation during the Cold War. Globalization has windswept borders and complex technologies are posing serious threats to global security. In this respect, experts responsible for drafting US National Security strategies must incorporate all elements of US power, be it economic might, military capability, persuasive diplomacy, soft power or development aid to make the world a better place . Iran has proven to be the new threat to regional and global security. It nuclear power actions must be regulated by a vibrant and strategic foreign policy. To do this, a number of lessons can be borrowed from the situation during the Cold War as discussed in this paper.
“International Relations.” Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica Online Academic Edition. Encyclopedia Britannica Inc., 2012. Web. 09 Mar. 2012
The Cold War was a critical juncture that fundamentally altered the world. For nearly fifty years, the Cold War dictated the landscape of foreign policy as two superpowers squared off. While not being a traditional “hot” war, the United States and the Soviet Union fought a proxy war that spanned decades and administrations. Compromise, poise and skillful diplomacy ultimately saw the end of the Cold War in 1989. However, decades after the Cold War “officially” ended, the implications and remnants of the showdown between two superpowers still loom large today. The resulting actions and inactions continue to define American foreign policy and carry substantial merit in present day.
It is somehow strange for today’s reader to find out that the situation with America’s foreign affairs hasn’t changed much. As some clever people have said, “The History book on the shelf is always repeating itself.” Even after nineteen years, Americans think of themselves as citizens of the strongest nation in the world. Even after the September the 11th. Even after Iraq. And Afghanistan.
Shiraev, Eric B., and Vladislav M. Zubok. International Relations. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.
Before 1979, Iran was under monarchy rule. The leader, Reza Shah, was placed on the throne after the coup of 1953 that overthrew the nationalist Prime Minister, Mossadeq. After the coup, the Shah established a government rule that gave him absolute control: the nationalists were silenced; the opposition communist party was crushed; and some clerics were persecuted but most were side-lined. The SAVAK, the secret police, became a brutal tool for suppression. The Shah established a close relationship with the West, mainly Britain and the United States of America, which benefitted these countries and the Shah. Iran was bound to a mutual defence treaty with Britain and other countries in the Middle Eastern region, and in return Iran received military