There Is A Wealthy Historical Context For The Current Iranian Protests
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There Is A Wealthy Historical Context For The Current Iranian Protests

There have been problems for a while now.

There Is A Wealthy Historical Context For The Current Iranian Protests
Business Insider

I know what you’re thinking, I promise I do. "Sierra, why does past shit matter for the present? What do past protests have to do with the current one?"


Good Guys: Mossadegh, The People of Iran

Bad Guys: England, U.S., Shah Pahlavi, Khomeini

After World War II was over Britain’s economy and infrastructure was in shambles, one of their only sources of revenue was profits from oil sales in Iran. Britain made a deal with the religious leaders at the time to get money from oil in Iran–spoiler alert, there’s a lot of oil in Iran–and it was going great for them. Would you like to know who it wasn’t going great for? Iranians. They had a huge natural resource at their disposal to help them modernize but England decided it was theirs so they couldn’t do anything.

So in 1951, the people had enough of this. They elected a prime minister named Mohammed Mossadegh in a fair election modeled after a real democracy. Mossadegh was well educated at European schools and told the people he would nationalize the oil industry. He took over and fulfilled his promise and Iran was happy!! The Iranian people lived happily ever after and there was no more conflict in the region and there was a thriving democracy in the middle east.

Unfortunately, that’s not what happened.

In 1953 there would become a “secret” coup that would not be so secret because of how disastrous it was. The CIA, in cooperation with U.K.’s Secret Intelligence Service, decided that the old regime of religious leaders were better at being puppets of the West. So they went into a country, staged protests of the universally loved leader Mossadegh, and threw him out. Guess who they replaced him with?! The Shah, who promised to give them oil revenues in exchange for being put back in power.

Fast forward to 1971: Pahlavi, the Shah, declares at Persepolis that he is the Emperor and gets stuff done to nationalize Iran through oil control. It is a dictatorship without freedoms, and the Iranian people are getting restless. By 1978 Pahlavi had been trying to urbanize the cities at the expense of the power which created a larger lower class and widened the gap between the wealthy and the poor, and food prices were rising. All of this leads us to the 1979 riots. People were mad that so few people had so much money and mad at how the leader had no regard for ever-growing lower class. The Shah gets kicked out and this guy Khomeini comes back, but he also sucks.

Fast forward to now. In a country that has known corruption, restriction, and poverty, people want change. Let me rephrase, people have been wanting change. Since 1951 when they democratically elected that super cool hippy Prime Minister Mossadegh, Iran has wanted change.

They want the opportunity to change their circumstances. They want to participate in the government. They want to wear a veil if they so choose, and they want to not wear the veil if they choose that option. People want to feel that the government is on their side, not working against them. They want simple rights, and that initial coup over 50 years ago demonstrated to them that they don’t have a say in their own government.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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