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22

Because this question has been edited many times I have to clarify that I am answering the version that asks: What caused the Iranian 1979 revolution to become Islamic? Short Answer (more suited for causal conversations in bars): It was easier to portray the Shah as anti Islamic ruler in league with the Western powers bent on destroying Islam in an Islamic ...


22

Khomeini was in France because he had been expelled from Iran and then Iraq, and his aides had advised him to go to Europe, and because France granted him political asylum. He was at the time an aged and relatively obscure religious figure, a target of political persecution who had not been to his home country in well over a decade. They probably saw him as ...


22

This seemed to have come from Persia's freedom from the Qajars and some nationalism on the part of Germany during WWII influencing the Shah's decisions. So it was originally changed in 1935 and not 1979, unless you are only referring to the Islamic Republic addition, which was done at the Ayatollah's will, more than likely. The name of the country in ...


18

SHORT ANSWER The reason why the Soviet Union backed down over Iran is still the subject of debate, but there does not appear to be any evidence that he threatened a nuclear strike. Nor would Stalin have needed reminding of American nuclear capability. There was, though, considerable diplomatic pressure from the US both inside and outside the UN. It is also ...


17

There are only approximately 20,000 Zoroastrians in Iran, which is about 0.026% of the total population. I would not say Zoroastrianism is strong in Iran in terms of the total population. The only way Zoroastrianism can be said to be strong in Iran is because it has the second-largest Zoroastrian population after India (~69,000). See List of countries by ...


15

According to Wikipedia it was the Alvids who started it: They were descendants of the second Shi'a Imam (Imam Hasan ibn Ali) and brought Islam to the south Caspian Sea region of Iran. Their reign was ended when they were defeated by the Samanid empire in 928 AD. According to this Wikipedia link Safavids were the ones who imposed it: Although Shi'...


14

One of the recurring themes in history I find fascinating is the spread of sects. You'll often find that when a group wants to separate itself from a foreign power structure, it will embrace a fashionable heresy. For this reason, the old views generally are kept toward the religous culture's central seat of secular power, and the new ones become popular ...


14

The Invasion of Iran was carried out by British and Commonwealth forces in the south, and Soviet forces in the north. The Shah of Iran was forced to abdicate, and the new Iranian government under his son was obliged to adopt a pro-Allied stance. For the remainder of the war, Iran was occupied by Soviets in the north and British forces in the south. The ...


13

Comparing just to the Constitution of the Netherlands, that of Belgium was for a Unitary State with no substantial body of Common Law and tradition, while that of The Netherlands was for a Federal State, with a substantial body of Common Law and Tradition. Further part of the motive for the separation of Belgium from Netherlands in 1831 had been a feeling ...


13

There were plenty of European revolutions which led to terrible casualties and not much democracy, both before and after the French revolution. The Hussite wars. The English revolution of 1688. The German revolutions of 1848/49. The Paris commune of 1870. The revolutionaries simply tried again, or they faded away when conditions changed.


13

Persia / Iran was sovereign for most of its history. Actually, Persia / Iran had colonies, mostly in the Caucasus region, before they were lost to Russia in the early 1800's. At times Russia and / or Britain held some Iranian territory occupied, but Iran was not "defeated" wholesale prior to the Anglo-Soviet invasion in 1941... by which time "colonization" ...


10

Iran and Saudi Arabia are both majority Muslim nations in western Asia, with a lot of their external revenue coming from oil extraction. But that's about where the resemblance ends. Iran is largely Shia' in religion, and the vast majority of its population speak Indo-European (Mostly Indo-Iranian) languages. Only about 3% of its population is Arab. Their ...


9

The two situations were completely different: in 1943 Iran was largely occupied by the Allies (British and Russian) who thus had the final say in everything. Whereas in 1979 the Shah was toppled by a genuine revolution; at that stage there was nothing the US could have done for him. Perhaps if he had abdicated himself a few years before 1979 in favour of, ...


9

Iran was never a British colony. British actions may have inadvertently aided the Islamization of Iran, though the most critical time period appears to me to be the Mossadegh government ('51-'53), not the Second World War or prior. Also, you say I am sure that the Islamization of today's Iran is the result of Great Britain's policy on Iran before the ...


9

There is a notion that superpowers have, well, super powers, and can bend history to their will. There is never a shortage of conspiracy theories involving foreign agents. The reality of course is that even great powers are constrained, and the idea that Carter's appearance in Iran sparked a revolution is at the very least too Carlylian for my taste. If ...


9

According to Ronen Bergman, in his book The Secret War With Iran, there were four factors motivating Israel's Operation Seashell, in which hundreds of tons of Israeli weapons were airlifted or shipped to Iran during the Iran–Iraq war: Israel had sustained significant losses due to the 1979 revolution in Iran. Since weapons were the Iranian rulers means of ...


8

Iran was defeated in his history before the age of colonization: By Muslims, in 633 A.D. It lasted more than two centuries and even led to the change of the countries religion. The Persian Empire's official religion was Zoroastrianism. [Source] By Mongols, in 1219 A.D.[Source] According to the definition, "colonization is a process by which a central ...


7

It is not true. The name Iran is old enough and comes from Ayran which means the land of Aryans but Reza Shah suspected westerners' motives in using the name Persia instead of Iran and tried to change the name to Iran again. Reza Shah had extreme nationalist ideas, and the Nazi regime cheated him and abused these feelings in the second world war. Westerners ...


7

Like virtually every other country, Iran values having a culture that is not simply defined by its predominant religion. Iran, therefore, has a close attachment to its pre-Islamic (or better, non-Islamic) civilisation. Besides being a source of pride in its own right, this heritage also serves to differentiate the country and people from its surrounding ...


7

The Iranian Revolution was in 1979. Before this time, the US and Iran were close friends when the nation was run by the Shah. The Vietnam War ended in 1975. I assume that Iran supported the US in Vietnam, because the governments were still very close. The modern Iranian government did not like Sadaam Hussien. The Iran-Iraq War of 1980-1988 was likely fresh ...


6

Flu is caused by a virus. A virus is too small for an optical microscope. The 1918 flu pandemic was neither caused nor spread by humans intentionally (although some nations uses quarantine to good effect). Humans still have no effective flu treatment. Blaming the British for Iranian deaths from the pandemic is preposterous. The British did not quarantine ...


5

I will answer the part of your question about these four specific names. The Persian names for Holland and Germany are recent borrowings from French. Lehestān is borrowed from Turkish and derives from the name of the Lendians, a Slavic tribe who once lived in what is now Poland. Hend is an Arabicised form of Middle Persian hindūg, Old Persian hindū-, ...


5

As you mentioned, their linguistic relation to Kurdish does imply a shared history at some time in the past. As near as I can piece together from various sources online, the split may have happened as early as 200AD though, which in terms of languages (and history) is quite a long time indeed. They have an oral tradition of descent from Hamza, an uncle of ...


5

Here are a few pages that have more detail. The official report is worth a look. The first one lists several mistakes, including: The lack of any overall review of the plan The requirement that all the US armed services should have a "piece of the action", which led to helicopters not being flown by crews who were familiar with them, who might well have ...


4

The Safavid dynasty, which continuously ruled Iran from 1501 to 1722, made Shi'a Islam the official state religion. Over this period most Iranians converted to Shi'a Islam. Ismail I, the founder of the Safavid dynasty, made conversion mandatory.


4

As per T.E.D's suggestion, to summarize the detailed answer I have posted already, following are main points: Safavids main target was the Sunni Muslim community of Iran which was the majority of Iranian population at inception of Safavid Empire. They considered them possible fifth column since main rivals of Safavids were Sunni Ottomans who were expanding ...


4

To a large extent both Alexander and his father were inspired by the Ten THousand, as well as the Greeks' dramatic victories against the invasions by Darius and Xerxes. In these campaigns the Greek heavy hoplite infantry had proved itself more than a match for the best that the Persians could muster. Once united under the Macedonian mantle, a force of ...


4

I haven't found a lot of numbers specifically for British Persia, but it is amost certianly the case that far more subjects of that area died from the Spanish Flu (50-100 million killed world-wide) rather than WWI (about 16 million killed, mostly in Europe and Africa). Even among the heaviest combatants, the the numbers were close (eg: UK 1 mil for war, 250K ...


4

The 1964 speech was arguably a turning point in Khomeini's campaign against the Shah. The speech was against the Shah's giving U.S. servicemen "extraterritorial" privileges, the right to be tried for crimes in Iran in American, rather than Irani courts. It cut pretty close to home and upset the Shah. The Shah didn't try to kill him, but did arrest and ...


4

The answer to your question is that both the CIA and Canadians were responsible for the escape of the American diplomats. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Central Intelligence Agency, Al Jazeera, Ottawa Citizen, New York Times, Montreal Gazette, and many other sources confirm the story. Once the crisis started the CIA contacted the Canadians in Tehran,...


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