From the Blog



The first demonstrations against the political system of the Imperial State of Iran started in October 1977. In the beginning, a few peaceful and not very crowded events were brutally ended by the royal guards. People got angry and peaceful events were developed into a campaign of civil resistance with religious elements. On 19 August of 1978, four people with masks on their face broke inside the Cinema Rex movie theatre and set it on fire, which caused the death of 422 civilians. The protesters and their lead blamed the Shah for organizing an attack against unarmed people while the government claimed that they were innocent. This incident caused the massive demonstrations that paralyzed the country and the Shah was forced to leave the country at the beginning of 1979. The royal political system was collapsed in February of 1979 and Iran became the Islamic Republic officially. Who was Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran, and the man whose behavior and attitude caused such cruel circumstances?

Young Life

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was born in Teheran in 1919. His father, the former Shah of Iran, Reza Khan, and mother, the second wife of Reza Khan, had eleven kids but Mohammad Reza was the firstborn and became the first Shah of the Pahlavi dynasty. While being 11 years old, he was sent to Switzerland to study at the Institut Le Rosey. After finishing school in Switzerland, the young crown prince started his studies at the local military academy in Tehran and graduated as a Second Lieutenant.

Mohammad Reza was a fresh graduate and 21 years old when he became the Shah and replaced his father in 1941. Everyone thought that the young Shah will follow the strict regime of his father, but Mohammad Reza had his own plan. He wanted Iran to be a modern western country with foreign allies and a strong economy. However, his ambitions and personal attitude turned the local people against him.

Years of Ruling

The young Shah became friendly with the government of the USA and these two countries were the great allies for a while. He dragged Iran to the new ages, changed the systems of education and healthcare. He encouraged new architecture flows in Iranian cities and spends huge money on massive construction. Mohammad Reza reached higher prices to sell the Iranian oil and gas to the worldwide market to grow a national economy. He also wanted to make Iran a military stronger country, therefore, he dedicated the major part of the national budget to the nuclear programs, military, and air force.

However, the Shah was a tyrannical, arrogant, extravagant person who thought he is almighty, and his ruling can never be destroyed. He had three wives and divorced with the first two of them because they could not give birth to a boy, who was the biggest wish of the Shah. Mohammad Reza spends an incredible amount of money on luxury, pieces of art, new palaces, and gifts to his friends and wives. He died in 1980 at the age of 60 because of cancer and is buried in Cairo, Egypt.