Iranian monarchism is the advocacy of restoring the constitutional monarchy in Iran, which was abolished after the 1979 Revolution.
A constitutional monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the sovereign exercises authority in accordance with a written or unwritten constitution. Constitutional monarchy differs from absolute monarchy in that constitutional monarchs are bound to exercise their powers and authorities within the limits prescribed within an established legal framework. Constitutional monarchies range from countries such as Morocco, where the constitution grants substantial discretionary powers to the sovereign, to countries such as Japan and Sweden where the monarch retains no formal authorities.
Iran, also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. With over 81 million inhabitants, Iran is the world's 18th most populous country. Comprising a land area of 1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq mi), it is the second largest country in the Middle East and the 17th largest in the world. Iran is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the northeast by Turkmenistan, to the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, and to the west by Turkey and Iraq. The country's central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, give it geostrategic importance. Tehran is the country's capital and largest city, as well as its leading economic and cultural center.
The Iranian Revolution, also known as the Islamic Revolution or the 1979 Revolution, was a series of events that involved the overthrow of the last 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.
Iran first became a constitutional monarchy in 1906, but underwent a period of autocracy during the years 1925–1941, after which the Iranian National Assembly was restored to power. During the years 1941 to 1953, Iran remained a constitutional monarchy and active parliamentary democracy with Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi retaining extensive legal executive powers.
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, also known as Mohammad Reza Shah, was the last Shah of Iran from 16 September 1941 until his overthrow by the Islamic Revolution on 11 February 1979. A close ally of the United States, he tried to use vast oil revenues to generate a rapid industrial, cultural and military modernisation, as well as economic and social reforms. In reaction religious forces revolted and overthrew him.
In March 15, 1951, the National Assembly, led by Prime Minister Hossein Ala, unanimously voted to nationalize the oil industry, which at the time was dominated by the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (now BP). In 1953, the British MI6 and American CIA orchestrated a coup against Mohammed Mossadegh's government. Agents fueled rumors that the republican-minded Mossadegh was planning on abolishing the monarchy and declaring himself President of a new Republic of Iran, leading to a pro-monarchist backlash from the public and leading to a successful result in the coup against the prime minister.
BP plc is a British multinational oil and gas company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is one of the world's seven oil and gas "supermajors", whose performance in 2012 made it the world's sixth-largest oil and gas company, the sixth-largest energy company by market capitalization and the company with the world's 12th-largest revenue (turnover). It is a vertically integrated company operating in all areas of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, refining, distribution and marketing, petrochemicals, power generation and trading. It also has renewable energy interests in biofuels and wind power.
The Shah, who had gone into exile during the coup, returned to Iran and named General Fazlollah Zahedi as the new prime minister. Many contemporary sources attribute the coup, or counter coup, entirely to the U.S. American CIA (CIA Coup) and agents of the British MI6 who are reported to have organized and paid for it.These sources point to many other coups in which the CIA was instrumental, such as those in Congo (1964), Chile (1973), and Algeria (1991). Monarchists, however, argue that the counter-coup was in fact a popular uprising, and that the foreign intelligence agencies' undeniable involvement was peripheral. At least some historians argue the coup could not have taken place without both CIA organizing and Iranian support.
Fazlollah Zahedi was an Iranian general and statesman who replaced the democratically elected Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh through a coup d'état, in which he played a major role.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Afterwards, the era of constitutional monarchy gradually came to an end as the Shah increasingly exercised his executive powers unilaterally, thus leading towards the development of autocracy. By the early 1970s, with most political parties having been banned, Iran had effectively become a one-party state under Rastakhiz. National Front leaders like Karim Sanjabi and moderate traditional Islamic leaders like Mohammad Kazem Shariatmadari continued to espouse a constitutional monarchy.
The National Front of Iran is an opposition political organization in Iran, founded by Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1949. It is the oldest and arguably the largest pro-democracy group operating inside Iran despite having never been able to recover the prominence it had in the early 1950s.
Karim Sanjabi was an Iranian politician of National Front.
Sayyid Mohammad Kazem Shariatmadari, also spelled Shariat-Madari, was an Iranian Grand Ayatollah. He favoured the traditional Shiite practice of keeping clerics away from governmental positions and was a critic of Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini, denouncing the taking hostage of diplomats at the US embassy in Tehran. In 1982 he was accused of being part of a plot to bomb Khomeini's home and to overthrow the Islamic state, and he remained under house arrest until his death in 1986. His followers also opposed Ruhollah Khomeini.
Under increasing international pressure, particularly from President Jimmy Carter of the United States, the Shah pushed forward major democratic reforms in the late 1970s, designed to gradually restore the constitutional monarchy as it had originally been. However, several uprisings in 1978 and 1979 culminated in the Shah, who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and had kept the fact secret, to leave the country with his family to seek treatment overseas. Within several days the Shah's government had effectively collapsed and the Second Revolution had begun. The new provisional revolutionary government officially abolished the monarchy and declared Iran to be a republic. The following year, in 1980, the Islamic Republic of Iran was established under the Supreme Leadership of Ruhollah Khomeini.
James Earl Carter Jr. is an American politician and philanthropist who served as the 39th president of the United States from 1977 to 1981. A Democrat, he previously served as a Georgia State senator from 1963 to 1967 and as the 76th governor of Georgia from 1971 to 1975. Carter has remained active in public life during his post-presidency, and in 2002 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in co-founding the Carter Center.
The Supreme Leader of Iran, also referred to as Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, but officially called the Supreme Leadership Authority, is the head of state as well as the ultimate political and religious authority of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The armed forces, judiciary, state television, and other key government organizations are subject to the Supreme Leader. The current longtime officeholder, Ali Khamenei, has been issuing decrees and making the final decisions on economy, environment, foreign policy, education, national planning, and everything else in Iran. Khamenei also makes the final decisions on the amount of transparency in elections, and has dismissed and reinstated presidential cabinet appointees. The Supreme Leader directly chooses the ministers of Defense, Intelligence and Foreign Affairs, as well as certain other ministers, such as the Science Minister. Iran's regional policy is directly controlled by the office of the Supreme Leader with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' task limited to protocol and ceremonial occasions. All of Iran's ambassadors to Arab countries, for example, are chosen by the Quds Corps, which directly report to the Supreme Leader.
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.
In the months following the Revolution, former Field Marshal of the Imperial Armed Forces Bahram Aryana organized a counter-revolution in exile. Based in Paris, France, with other military officials of the Imperial Armed Forces and Prince Shahriar Shafiq, he established Azadegan, a paramilitary resistance intended to help restore the constitutional monarchy. Fearing a growing counter-revolution, Prince Shahriar was assassinated in Paris in December 1979 by Khomeinist agents, which was a major setback for the monarchist resistance. Despite a number of successful operations which garnered international media attention in 1980 and 1981, the outbreak of war between Iran and Iraq officially brought any hope for counter-revolution to an end.
In the 1990s and the decade following 2000, the Shah's reputation has staged something of a revival, with many Iranians looking back on his era as a time when Iran was more prosperousand the government less oppressive. Journalist Afshin Molavi reports even members of the uneducated poor - traditionally core supporters of the revolution that overthrew the Shah - making remarks such as 'God bless the Shah's soul, the economy was better then;' and finds that "books about the former Shah (even censored ones) sell briskly," while "books of the Rightly Guided Path sit idle."
Monarchist parties and organizations are strictly prohibited by the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and monarchists and their sympathizers are subject to imprisonment if discovered. However, monarchists remain active in Los Angeles and maintain links with their organizations and parties in Europe such as Azadegan, the Constitutionalist Party and Rastakhiz.
Monarchist groups such as Azadegan and Constitutionalist only advocate for the restoration of the constitutional monarchy, without necessarily endorsing the Pahlavi dynasty or any other Iranian royal dynasty. Rastakhiz and Kingdom Assembly of Iran specifically calls for the return of the House of Pahlavi to the throne.
The former Crown Prince of Iran, Reza Pahlavi, himself does not advocate the restoration of his dynasty, instead stating that the matter is for Iranians themselves to decide in a national referendum whether or not to restore the constitutional monarchy with the restoration of the House of Pahlavi.
A royalist supports a particular monarch as head of state for a particular kingdom, or of a particular dynastic claim. In the abstract, this position is royalism. It is distinct from monarchism, which advocates a monarchical system of government, but not necessarily a particular monarch. Most often, the term royalist is applied to a supporter of a current regime or one that has been recently overthrown to form a republic.
Mohammad Mosaddegh was the 35th prime minister of Iran, holding office from 1951 until 1953, when his government was overthrown in a coup d'état orchestrated by the United States' Central Intelligence Agency and the United Kingdom's MI6.
The Pahlavi dynasty was the last ruling house of the Imperial State of Iran from 1925 until 1979, when the Monarchy of Iran was overthrown and abolished as a result of the Iranian Revolution. The dynasty was founded by Reza Shah Pahlavi in 1925, a former brigadier-general of the Persian Cossack Brigade, whose reign lasted until 1941 when he was forced to abdicate by the Allies after the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran. He was succeeded by his son, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran. According to Reza Shah, He named Agha Ameri the successor to his dynasty if it fell.
The 1953 Iranian coup d'état, known in Iran as the 28 Mordad coup d'état, was the overthrow of the democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh in favour of strengthening the monarchical rule of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi on 19 August 1953, orchestrated by the United Kingdom and the United States, and the first United States covert action to overthrow a foreign government during peacetime.
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 Abadan Crisis occurred from 1951 to 1954, after Iran nationalised the Iranian assets of the BP controlled Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) and expelled Western companies from oil refineries in the city of Abadan.
Rastakhiz Party of People of Iran or simply Rastakhiz Party was Iran's single legal political party from 1975 to the Iranian Revolution in 1979, founded by the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror is a book written by American journalist Stephen Kinzer. The book discusses the 1953 Iranian coup d'état backed by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in which Mohammed Mossadegh, Iran's prime minister, was overthrown by Islamists supported by American and British agents and royalists loyal to Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
Princess Ashraf ol-Molouk Pahlavi was the twin sister of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran (Persia), and a member of the Pahlavi Dynasty. She was considered the "power behind her brother" and was instrumental in the 1953 coup which led to him taking the throne. She served her brother as a palace adviser and was a strong advocate for women's rights. Following the Iranian Revolution in 1979, she lived in exile in France, New York, Paris and Monte Carlo and remained outspoken against the Islamic Republic.
Assadollah Rashidian was an Iranian anglophile who along with his brothers, played a critical role in the 1953 overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh. He was a principal covert agent of the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) and through him the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was able to convince the Shah, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, to endorse the operation.
Daryoush Homayoun (Persian: داریوش همایون;
Sheikh Fazlollah Nouri was a prominent Shia Muslim cleric in Qajar Iran during the late 19th and early 20th century and founder of political Islam in Iran. Despite his sympathy with the Iranian Constitutional Revolution in the beginning for its opposition to tyranny and rule of law, he soon turned against it upon realizing that the movement established a Western-style government with secular law rather than a government with Islamic law. He was executed for treason by Constitutionalists as a result. Today he is considered a martyr (shahid) in the fight against democracy by Islamic conservatives in Iran.
Mozzafar Baghai is known best as an Iranian political figure of the 1940s and 50s. He rose to prominence during the national struggle against British control of Iran's oil industry. For decades, most Iranians had resented the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company for the perceived injustice of allocating most profits to the company and the British government, while only a very small proportion was given to Iran, despite the fact that the oil fields were on Iranian territory. Baghai made himself known as a fiery critic of the British and he allied himself with those of like mind, including Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh. He was different from many other nationalists in that he held very left-wing views. He was able to best articulate this when he formed the Toilers Party of the Iranian Nation, a left-wing, nationalistic and anti-communist party that included such notables as Khalil Maleki. In 1949, the Toilers Party joined with Mossadegh and his liberal supporters in forming the National Front of Iran, which was an umbrella organization for all Iranians who were committed to the principles of freeing Iran from foreign domination, ending arbitrary rule and establishing a government dependent on the will of the people of Iran. In April 1951, one month after the oil industry was nationalized by the Majlis, Mossadegh was chosen by that elected body as the Prime Minister of Iran, subject to approval by the reigning Mohammad Reza Shah.
A referendum on the dissolution of Parliament, the first referendum ever held in Iran, was held in August 1953. The dissolution was approved by more than 99% of voters.
The Azadegan Organization was an Iranian monarchist organisation which sought to restore the Pahlavi dynasty following the 1979 Iranian Revolution. The group, founded by General Bahram Aryana, was described as the most prominent of the "fundamentalist monarchist" groups following the Revolution.
Mahmoud Afshartous, also written Afshartoos, was an Iranian general and chief of police during the government of Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh. Afshartous was abducted and killed by anti-Mossadegh conspirators, which helped pave the way for the 1953 coup d'état.
Azadeh Shafiq was an Iranian royal and a member of the Pahlavi dynasty, being daughter of Ashraf Pahlavi. Following the Iranian revolution that toppled her uncle, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, she exiled in Paris and involved in opposition activities to the Islamic regime in Iran.