The ideology of the Iranian Revolution has been called a "complex combination" of nationalism, political populism, and Shia Islamic "religious radicalism".
Nationalism is a political, social, and economic ideology and movement characterized by the promotion of the interests of a particular nation, especially with the aim of gaining and maintaining the nation's sovereignty (self-governance) over its homeland. Nationalism holds that each nation should govern itself, free from outside interference (self-determination), that a nation is a natural and ideal basis for a polity, and that the nation is the only rightful source of political power. It further aims to build and maintain a single national identity—based on shared social characteristics such as culture, language, religion, politics, and belief in a shared singular history—and to promote national unity or solidarity. Nationalism, therefore, seeks to preserve and foster a nation's traditional culture, and cultural revivals have been associated with nationalist movements. It also encourages pride in national achievements, and is closely linked to patriotism. Nationalism is often combined with other ideologies, such as conservatism or socialism for example.
Populism is a range of political approaches that deliberately appeal to "the people", often juxtaposing this group against the "elite". There is no single definition of the term, which developed in the 19th century and has been used to mean various things since that time. In Europe, few politicians or political groups describe themselves as "populist" and in political discourse the term is often applied to others pejoratively. Within political science and other social sciences, various different definitions of populism have been used, although some scholars propose rejecting the term altogether.
Shia Islam is one of the two main branches of Islam. It holds that the Islamic prophet Muhammad designated Ali ibn Abi Talib as his successor and the Imam (leader) after him, most notably at the event of Ghadir Khumm, but was prevented from the caliphate as a result of the incident at Saqifah. This view primarily contrasts with that of Sunni Islam, whose adherents believe that Muhammad did not appoint a successor and consider Abu Bakr, who they claim was appointed Caliph through a Shura, i.e. community consensus in Saqifa, to be the first rightful Caliph after the Prophet.
The Iranian revolution expresses itself in the language of Islam, that is to say, as a religious movement with a religious leadership, a religiously formulated critique of the old order, and religiously expressed plans for the new. Muslim revolutionaries look to the birth of Islam as their model, and see themselves as engaged in a struggle against paganism, oppression, and empire.— Bernard Lewis, Islamic Revolution
Perhaps the most important of the diverse ideological interpretation of Islam within the grand alliance that led to the 1979 revolution were traditional clerical quietism, Khomeinism, Ali Shariati’s Islamic-left ideology, and Mehdi Bazargan’s liberal-democratic Islam. Less powerful were the socialist guerrilla groups of Islamic and secular variants, and the secular constitutionalism in socialist and nationalist forms.
Ali Shariati Mazinani was an Iranian revolutionary and sociologist who focused on the sociology of religion. He is held as one of the most influential Iranian intellectuals of the 20th century and has been called the "ideologue of the Iranian Revolution", although his ideas ended up not forming the basis of the Islamic Republic.
Mehdi Bazargan was an Iranian scholar, academic, long-time pro-democracy activist and head of Iran's interim government, making him Iran's first prime minister after the Iranian Revolution of 1979. He resigned his position as prime minister in November 1979, in protest at the US Embassy takeover and as an acknowledgement of his government's failure in preventing it.
Several leftist guerrilla groups attempting to overthrown the pro-Western regime of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi were notable and active in Iran from 1971 to 1979. The groups shared a commitment to armed struggle, but differed in ideology. Most were Marxist in orientation, but the largest group — People's Mujahedin of Iran — was founded as an Islamic socialist organization. The leftist movement is meant to overthrow conservative or capitalist systems and replace them with Marxist–Leninist, socialist, or anarchist societies.
The slogan chanted by demonstrators—"Independence, Freedom, and Islamic Republic" (Estiqlal, Azadi, Jomhuri-ye Eslami!)— has been called the "pivotal yet broad demand" of the revolutionaries. Revolutionaries railed against corruption, extravagance and autocratic nature of Pahlavi rule; policies that helped the rich at the expense of the poor; and the economic and cultural domination/exploitation of Iran by non-Muslim foreigners—particularly Americans.
Contributors to the ideology included Jalal Al-e-Ahmad, who formulated the idea of Gharbzadegi —that Western culture must be rejected and fought as was a plague or an intoxication that alienated Muslims from their roots and identity.Ali Shariati influenced many young Iranians with his interpretation of Islam as the one true way of awakening the oppressed and liberating the Third World from colonialism and neo-colonialism.
Jalal Al-e-Ahmad was a prominent Iranian novelist, short-story writer, translator, philosopher, socio-political critic, sociologist as well as an anthropologist who was "one of the earliest and most prominent of contemporary Iranian ethnographers". He popularized the term gharbzadegi – variously translated in English as "westernstruck", "westoxification", and "Occidentosis" –, producing a holistic ideological critique of the West "which combined strong themes of Frantz Fanon and Marx".
Gharbzadegi is a pejorative Persian term variously translated as ‘Westernized’, ‘West-struck-ness’, ‘Westoxification’, ‘Westitis’, ‘Euromania’, or ‘Occidentosis’. It is used to refer to the loss of Iranian cultural identity through the adoption and imitation of Western models and Western criteria in education, the arts, and culture; through the transformation of Iran into a passive market for Western goods and a pawn in Western geopolitics.
During the Cold War, the term Third World referred to the developing countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America, the nations not aligned with either the First World or the Second World. This usage has become relatively rare due to the ending of the Cold War.
The author who ultimately formulated the ideology of the revolution though, was the man who dominated the revolution itself—the Ayatollah Khomeini. He preached that revolt, and especially martyrdom, against injustice and tyranny was part of Shia Islam, : نه شرقی نه غربی جمهوری اسلامی).that clerics should mobilize and lead their flocks into action, not just to advise them. He introduced Qur'anic terms—mustazafin ('weak') and mustakbirin ('proud and mighty') —for the Marxist terminology of the oppressors-oppressed distinction. He rejected the influence of both Soviet and American superpowers in Iran with the slogan "not Eastern, nor Western - Islamic Republican" (Persian
Persian, also known by its endonym Farsi, is one of the Western Iranian languages within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and some other regions which historically were Persianate societies and considered part of Greater Iran. It is written right to left in the Persian alphabet, a modified variant of the Arabic script.
But even more importantly he developed the ideology of who would run the Islamic Republic, what form of government it would take. Khomeini believed strongly that Islam required the principle of welayat-e faqih, be applied to government, i.e. that Muslims, in fact everyone, required "guardianship," in the form of rule or supervision by the leading Islamic jurist or jurists—such as Khomeini himself.This was necessary because Islam requires obedience to traditional Islamic sharia law alone. Following this law was not only the Islamically correct thing to do, it would prevent poverty, injustice, and the plundering of Muslim land by foreign unbelievers. But for all this to happen, sharia had to be protected from innovation and deviation, and this required putting Islamic jurists in control of government.
Sharia, Islamic law or Sharia law is a religious law forming part of the Islamic tradition. It is derived from the religious precepts of Islam, particularly the Quran and the Hadith. In Arabic, the term sharīʿah refers to God's immutable divine law and is contrasted with fiqh, which refers to its human scholarly interpretations. The manner of its application in modern times has been a subject of dispute between Muslim fundamentalists and modernists.
Establishing and obeying this Islamic government was so important it was "actually an expression of obedience to God," ultimately "more necessary even than prayer and fasting" for Islam because without it true Islam will not survive.It was a universal principle, not one confined to Iran. All the world needed and deserved just government, i.e. true Islamic government, and Khomeini "regarded the export of the Islamic revolution as imperative." However regarding "export of revolution" he stated: it "does not mean interfering in other nation's affairs", but "answering their questions about knowing God"
This revolutionary vision of theocratic government was in stark contrast to the quietist Shiism that called for withdrawal from political life, or at least government, until the return of the Mahdi. And needless to say it was in conflict with the hopes and plans of Iran's democratic secularists and Islamic leftists. At the same time Khomeini knew a broad revolutionary base was necessary and did not hesitate to encourage these forces to unite with his supporters to overthrow the Shah.Consequently, the ideology of the revolution was known for its "imprecision" or "vague character" prior to its victory, with the specific character of velayat-e faqih/theocratic waiting to be made public when the time was right. Khomeini believed the opposition to velayat-e faqih/theocratic government by the other revolutionaries was the result of propaganda campaign by foreign imperialists eager to prevent Islam from putting a stop to their plundering. This propaganda was so insidious it had penetrated even Islamic seminaries and made it necessary to "observe the principles of taqiyya" (i.e. dissimulation of the truth in defense of Islam), when talking about (or not talking about) Islamic government.
This split between the general and the specific elements of the revolution's ideology inevitably broke down the unity of the revolution as Khomeini abandoned taqiyyaand worked determinedly to establish a government led by Islamic clerics, while opponents of theocracy resisted. In the end the break was not fatal. The opposition was defeated and the revolutionary ideology prevailed.
Following the revolution, its ideology became apparent in social, economic and cultural policies.
In terms of dress, western-style neckties for men and uncovered hair, arms, etc. for women were banned. But there were non-religious changes as well, such as an emphasis on proletarian dress, manners, and customs, as opposed to Western aristocratic or bourgeois elegance and extravagance of the Shah's era. For example, observers noted in the early days of the revolution the "canteen-like" nature of restaurant meals, meant "to underscore the triumph of the Muslim proletariat." In men's dress, a judge described the "overnight transformation" in February 1979 of the Ministry of Justice in Tehran:
The men were no longer wearing suits and ties but plain slacks and collarless shirts, many of them quite wrinkled, some even stained. Even my nose caught a whiff of the change. The slight scent of cologne or perfume that had lingered in the corridors, especially in the mornings, was absent.
Sayyid Ruhollah Mūsavi Khomeini, known in the Western world as Ayatollah Khomeini, was an Iranian politician and marja. He was the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution that saw the overthrow of the last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and the end of 2,500 years of Persian monarchy. Following the revolution, Khomeini became the country's Supreme Leader, a position created in the constitution of the Islamic Republic as the highest-ranking political and religious authority of the nation, which he held until his death. He was succeeded by Ali Khamenei on 4 June 1989.
The Iranian Revolution was a series of events that involved the overthrow of the monarch of Iran, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, and the replacement of his government with an Islamic republic under the Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, a leader of one of the factions in the revolt. The movement against the United States-backed monarchy was supported by various leftist and Islamist organizations and student movements.
Mohammed Sadeq Givi Khalkhali was a Shia cleric of the Islamic Republic of Iran who is said to have "brought to his job as Chief Justice of the revolutionary courts a relish for summary execution" that earned him a reputation as Iran's "hanging judge". A farmer's son from Iranian Azeri origins was born in Givi in appearance Khalkhali was "a small, rotund man with a pointed beard, kindly smile, and a high-pitched giggle."
The Tudeh Party of Iran is an Iranian communist party. Formed in 1941, with Soleiman Mohsen Eskandari as its head, it had considerable influence in its early years and played an important role during Mohammad Mosaddegh's campaign to nationalize the Anglo-Persian Oil Company and his term as prime minister. The crackdown that followed the 1953 coup against Mosaddegh is said to have "destroyed" the party, although it continued. The party still exists, but has remained much weaker as a result of its banning in Iran and mass arrests by the Islamic Republic in 1982, as well as the executions of political prisoners in 1988.
The Islamic Republican Party formed in mid-1979 to assist the Iranian Revolution and Ayatollah Khomeini establish theocracy in Iran. It was disbanded in May 1987 due to internal conflicts.
Velayat-e faqih, also known as Islamic Government, is a book by the Iranian Muslim cleric, faqīh, and revolutionary Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, first published in 1970, and probably the most influential document written in modern times in support of theocratic rule.
The Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist, also called the Governance of the Jurist, is a post-Occultation theory in Shia Islam which holds that Islam gives a faqīh custodianship over people. Ulama supporting the theory disagree over how encompassing custodianship should be. One interpretation – Limited Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist – holds that guardianship should be limited to non-litigious matters including religious endowments (Waqf) judicial matters and the property for which no specific person is responsible. Another – Absolute Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist – maintains that Guardianship should include all issues for which ruler in the absence of Imams have responsibility, including governance of the country. The idea of guardianship as rule was advanced by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in a series of lectures in 1970 and now forms the basis of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The constitution of Iran calls for a faqih, or Vali-ye faqih, to serve as the Supreme Leader of the government. In the context of Iran, Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist is often referred to as "rule by the jurisprudent", or "rule of the Islamic jurist".
This article is a timeline of events relevant to the Islamic Revolution in Iran. For earlier events refer to Pahlavi dynasty and for later ones refer to History of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This article doesn't include the reasons of the events and further information is available in Islamic revolution of Iran.
Khomeinism is the founding ideology of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Impact of the religious and political ideas of the leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini include replacing Iran's millennia-old monarchy with theocracy. Khomeini declared Islamic jurists the true holders of not only religious authority but political authority, who must be obeyed as "an expression of obedience to God", and whose rule has "precedence over all secondary ordinances [in Islam] such as prayer, fasting, and pilgrimage."
Mehdi Hashemi was an Iranian Shi'a cleric who was defrocked by the Special Clerical Court. After the 1979 Iranian Revolution, he became a senior official in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards; he was executed by the Islamic Republic in its first decade. Officially he was guilty of sedition, murder, and related charges, but others suspect his true crime was opposition to the regime's secret dealings with the United States.
On 28 June 1981, a powerful bomb went off at the headquarters of the Iran Islamic Republic Party (IRP) in Tehran, while a meeting of party leaders was in progress. Seventy-three leading officials of the Islamic Republic were killed, including Chief Justice Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti. The Islamic Republic of Iran first blamed SAVAK and the Iraqi regime. Two days later, Ruhollah Khomeini accused the People's Mujahedin of Iran. A few years later, a Kermanshah tribunal executed four "Iraqi agents" for the incident. Another tribunal in Tehran executed Mehdi Tafari for the same incident. In 1985, the head of military intelligence informed the press that this had been the work of royalist army officers. Iran's security forces blamed the United States and "internal mercenaries".
Ayatollah Seyed Reza Zanjani was a Shia Iranian cleric who opposed first the autocracy of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and then theocracy that was established by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and his supporters following the Islamic Revolution.
Many organizations, parties and guerrilla groups were involved in the Iranian Revolution. Some were part of Ayatollah Khomeini's network and supported the theocratic Islamic Republic movement, while others did not and were suppressed. Some groups were created after the fall of the Pahlavi Dynasty and still survive; others helped overthrow the Shah but no longer exist.
Assembly of Experts for Constitution, also translated the Assembly for the Final Review of the Constitution (AFRC), was a constituent assembly in Iran, elected in the summer of 1979 to write a new constitution for the Islamic Republic Government. It convened on August 18 to consider the draft constitution written earlier, completed its deliberations rewriting the constitution on November 15, and saw the constitution it had written approved by referendum on December 2 and 3, 1979, by over 98 percent of the vote.
The Muslim People's Republic Party (MPRP) or Islamic People's Republican Party was a short-lived party associated with Shia Islamic cleric Shariatmadari. It was founded in 1979 during the Iranian Revolution as a "moderate, more liberal counterweight" to the theocratic, Islamist Islamic Republican Party (IRP) of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and disbanded in 1980.
Observers differ on how many people died during the Iranian Revolution. The number of casualties suffered by protesters and revolutionaries at the hands of the Shah's monarchy during the revolution is either close to 60,000, or around 2,000, depending on whether the estimates used are those of Islamic government or from historians in Western countries. The number of protesters and political prisoners killed by the new theocratic republic after the fall of the Shah is estimated by human rights groups to be several thousand.
The consolidation of the Iranian Revolution refers to a turbulent process of Islamic Republic stabilization, following the completion of the revolution. After the Shah of Iran and his regime were overthrown by revolutionaries in February 1979, Iran was in a "revolutionary crisis mode" from this time until 1982 or 1983. Its economy and the apparatus of government collapsed. Military and security forces were in disarray.
The Iranian Revolution was a positive nationalist and Islamic revolution that replaced a secular totalitarian monarchy with a religious democracy based on "Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists".
Sayyid Ruhollah Mūsavi Khomeini, known in the Western world as Ayatollah Khomeini, was an Iranian Shia Muslim religious leader, philosopher, revolutionary and politician. He was the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution that saw the overthrow of the Pahlavi monarchy and Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran. Following the revolution, Khomeini became the country's Supreme Leader, a position created in the constitution of the Islamic Republic as the highest-ranking political and religious authority of the nation, which he held until his death. On 1 February 1979 Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, returned to Iran after 14 years in political exile. Khomeini had been a prominent opponent of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, who had fled the country during the events of the Iranian Revolution. Upon his return, he was greeted by crowds of millions, and within 10 days the revolution would be successful. Khomeini's return and the 10 days following are now celebrated in Iran as the Fajr decade.