In Presence of the Sun (98)
In a couple of episodes we are going to explain the root causes of the Islamic Revolution in the words of the Leader, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei as follows:
Iran was dependent on the west before the Islamic Revolution. During the era of Reza Khan Pahlavi, the Shah himself and everybody under him were intensively dependent on the British for the British had installed Reza Khan to the throne and had full control on him. The British, themselves, dethroned him and replaced him by his son, Mohammad Reza. But Mohammad Reza was inclined toward the Americans and behaved in a very servile manner as if he had no authority or willpower of his own.
Ayatollah Khamenei elaborates, “When the heads of a nation and a country are subservient to America what will they do in the country? Clearly, those things will be decided and executed which are to the benefit of America. From buying, selling, propaganda, instatement, deposing, unseating and installing; and in short, whatever is to the benefit of the master will be done in the country. And whatever is to the benefit of the people won’t be done. A nation’s lack of independence is such a catastrophe which was the same in the previous regime. The most important problem of the country was that the sinister Pahlavi regime was dependent on America and before that to Britain! It was they who said who must come up and become the prime minister, official, minister, the manager of the oil company or assume such a job. As for the Americans, they would also give high position to anybody they wanted. And anyone whom the enemies of this nation wished to depose the Pahlavi regime would wield their utmost to depose him. In this country, if something was to the benefit of the Americans it would be carried out by the establishment. If something was to their detriment and useful for the people it wouldn’t be done; rather it would be countered. A country’s lack of independence is such.”
In the view of Imam Khomeini and Ayatollah Khamenei thorough dependence of the Pahlavi Shahs on the west, especially the US, and lack of authority in the main decisions of the country was the country’s most important in the past.
Giving an example of the servitude and vassalage of the Iranian Shahs to Britain and the US, the Leader says, “In this country a few days had remained to the expiry of the oil treaty of Iran and Britain. A few persons concluded a treaty which would observe the interests of Iran to some extent. Reza Khan entered the ministerial session, took the treaty from the relevant minister and threw it into the stove before their eyes. Why? Because the British envoy had already come to him and held a private session with him for a few hours; and in that private session had told him what he had to say. And he came and threw into the stove and destroyed what would secure just a little of the interests of Iran but the enemy and the foreigner wouldn’t tolerate it! My dear ones! The entire history of the Pahlavi era has passed like this. The interests of the nation were first overshadowed by the interests of Britain and then the interests of America. If the American interests were in something or a contract it was impossible for the officials of the country to behave the opposite of it. They would behave according to their view.”
During the Pahlavi era there were tens of thousands of American advisors and personnel in the most sensitive military, intelligence, economic and political centers in Iran and they would get exorbitant salaries. In fact it was they who carried out various affairs and they determined the policies of the ruling system. As for the regional and international spheres, even in the economic fields like the oil price, how to sell it and the situation of foreign oil companies in Iran the monarchial regime would just follow the dictates and orders of the Americans. Hence, the foreigners, especially the Americans, had absolute freedom and authority to pillage and loot the resources and assets of this country. Another treason perpetrated by the Pahlavi regime was that it kept Iran fully dependent on the west in industry and economy. Moreover, this dependence was deepened every day. This dependence had put Iran in a position that whenever the enemies decided they could deprive the country of basic needs.
Another cause of the collapse of the monarchial system in Iran was the corruption of the regime and its enmity with religion. Reza Khan Pahlavi, who had been installed by the British, was an illiterate military person with harsh characteristics. He lived a hedonist life in his youth with no interest in religion and even he was opposed to religion. Thus, when he seized power with the support of the British, Britain intended to make Iran as part of its land. But it never happened. So, they thought of creating an Iranian but puppet government; a government whose all decisions were in their hand. Therefore, the second way was chosen and the Pahlavi rule was shaped based on this decision and Reza Khan came to power.
When Reza Khan traveled to Turkey and a few European countries and saw their progresses, he thought that those progresses had been made by separation of people from religion. Hence, on return to Iran, he decided to separate completely the Iranian people from religion. He was very strict on this but never succeeded.
Ayatollah Khamenei says in this regard, “When coercive Reza Khan wanted to bring us a souvenir from the west, the first thing that he brought was clothes and removal of hijab; and that through resorting to force and his Cossack [military] coercion! The clothes shouldn’t be long; they should be short. The hat should be this way; then they changed even that. Basically it should be chapeau hat! If a person dared to wear a hat other than the chapeau hat or put on anything other than short clothes he had to be beaten and deserted. These things were adopted from the west! Women had no right to keep their hijab; not just chador, chador had already been removed. If women wore scarf and kept it under their chin they would be beaten! Why? Because women in the west come out with no head cover! These were brought from the west. They didn’t bring anything that was necessary for this nation. Science didn’t come. Experience didn’t come. Struggle and endeavour didn’t come. Taking risk didn’t come.”
Reza Khan liked to demonstrate his bravery in anti-religious measures. With the ouster of Reza Khan the British brought to power his son Mohammad Reza. The new Shah continued fighting religion with newer tactics and policies.
Another sinister scheme of the Pahlavi regime was to make the youth corrupt. According to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, this scheme has been carried out in the Islamic countries since 200 years ago. This is corroborated with a brief look at history. During the era of colonialism, the westerners knew that if the youths of Asia and Africa grow in science and technology they would obtain strong willpower and wouldn’t allow their resources to be looted by colonialists.
Ayatollah Khamenei explains this, “That you may have read in some books or articles that in some of the Latin American or East Asian countries the young generation is plunged in various corruptions like narcotics, alcohol and sexual corruption; this has not been the case since the beginning. This policy has been put into effect. Unfortunately, during the monarchial era we were not separate from this, either. In this country, too, through the treacherous and ignoble Pahlavi family and its accomplices, they carried out this policy as much as they could and dragged some of the youths toward corruption.”