Modern Warfare: The Shah Of Iran

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi iran

The Shah Of Iran

As mentioned in the Prologue of this series we suggest the year of 1941 as a possible start of the conflict in the east. Around this time many of the Middle Eastern nations had gained some independence from the Europeans. This independence came at somewhat of a cost, when the colonials withdrew they often left those whom they chose in Power. For this reason the Kings of the Middle East were always held in contempt as being western puppets. The situation was no different for the First Reza Shah of Iran, whose plight was worsened with his obsession of the west. He campaigned many reforms from infrastructure and education to religious reforms most controversial of which was the emancipation of Islamic women. This made him extremely unpopular with the Islamic clergy, particularly from the Ayatollah Khomeini.


The first Shah’s reign was put to swift end during the year of 1941 at the height of the 2nd World War. Nazi Germany in their aggressive expansion campaign had advanced on Russia. In a desperate bid the English and Russian appealed to run supply lines through neutral Iran. Under suspicion of being friendly to German Powers the Allied Forces occupied Iran in the Anglo-Soviet Invasion. The Shah was then forced to step down and Russia had its desperately needed supply routes to fend off the Germans. This in my opinion was one of the more significant Power Vacuums created in the east.

The New Shah

With his Father deposed, the 20 year old Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was appointed as the new Shah of Iran. After taking the throne Iran soon became a conduit for Allied Forces and would eventually become a member of the UN itself. It was Reza’s reign that would usher in much of the modern conflict that we see today. This was in part due to the political legacy left by his father most significant of which was the conflict with Khomeini. The controversy in his reign was first manifested in criticism from The Shahs opposition Mohammad Mosaddegh, for allowing the Anglo-Persian Oil Company to exploit Iran’s oil fields. The situation played right into the western Puppet Propaganda, and Mosaddegh was appointed as prime minister shortly after which the Iranian oil was nationalized. After a series of failed coupes to depose Mosaddegh, the British and US finally managed to get Reza back in power following a short period of exile.

The Beginning Of The End

Reza’s rule was always tainted by the controversial influence of the west, which was often used in campaigns against him especially from the Ayatollah. Reza continued with much of his father’s reforms which further inflamed the Ayatollah to the point where Khomeini was expelled from Iran. After Khomeini’s exile, the Shah began revving up his growth plan for Iran funneling its oil money into generating wealth for the country. Unfortunately these massive investments could not be effectively absorbed by Iran and instead of creating a higher standard of living for all; it succeeded only in achieving the uneven distribution of wealth. The increasing wealth gap soon sparked huge civil unrest compounded by Reza’s Prime Ministers ill-fated military responses to public assemblies. The general public’s increasing distaste Reza resulted in overwhelming support for Khomeini I who was now in Paris sending constant recordings, letters and preaching’s to Iran in opposition of Reza. Reza’s final bids for power came in a series of concessions which sympathized with the Ayatollah cause in complete contradiction to his previous position. The greatest amongst these concessions was move to declare himself a constitutional monarch. This was the final failure of his political career; he was ultimately forced to leave Iran with his prime minister remaining to maintain power and order.

Khomeini’s Islamic State

Despite western support Iran’s Prime Minister was unable to contain the situation after Khomeini’s return. Khomeini was welcome back into Iran as a returning Hero and with his overwhelming support he laid waste to the remaining Reza’ opposition. After a series of public raids on police stations and other opposition leaders The Prime minister was also forced to leave and warrant of arrest was issued for Reza. Khomeini’s revolution had come full circle, and his Islamic state was now realized. The Shah and his western reform was no more..


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