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In 1951, after the assassination of prime minister Ali Razmara, Dr. Mohammad Mosaddegh was elected prime minister by a parliamentary vote which was then ratified by the Shah. As prime minister, Mosaddegh became enormously popular in Iran after he nationalized Iran's petroleum industry and oil reserves. In response, the British government, headed byWinston Churchill, embargoed Iranian oil and successfully enlisted the United States to join in a plot to depose the democratically elected government of Mosaddegh. In 1953 US President Dwight D. Eisenhower authorized Operation Ajax. The operation was successful, and Mosaddegh was arrested on 19 August 1953. The coup was the first time the US had openly overthrown an elected, civilian government

With American support, the Shah was able to rapidly modernize Iranian infrastructure, but he simultaneously crushed all forms of political opposition with his intelligence agency, SAVAK

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini became an active critic of the Shah'sWhite Revolution and publicly denounced the government. Khomeini was arrested and imprisoned for 18 months. After his release in 1964 Khomeini publicly criticized the United States government. The Shah was persuaded to send him into exile by General Hassan Pakravan. Khomeini was sent first to Turkey, then to Iraq and finally to France…

Iranian revolution
The Iranian Revolution, also known as the Islamic Revolution,[86
][87][88] began in January 1978 with the first major demonstrations against the Shah.[89] After strikes and demonstrations paralyzed the country and its economy, the Shah fled the country in January 1979 and Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned from exile to Tehran. The Pahlavi dynasty collapsed ten days later, on 11 February, when Iran's military declared itself "neutral" after guerrillas and rebel troops overwhelmed troops loyal to the Shah in armed street fighting. Iran officially became an Islamic Republic on 1 April 1979, when Iranians overwhelmingly approved a national referendum to make it so.[16][29] 

In parallel nation wide uprisings against the new regime erupted in KordestanKhuzestan, Balochistan and other areas, though were eventually subdued, with some lasting until late 1980… Although both nationalists and Marxists joined with Islamic traditionalists to overthrow the Shah, tens of thousands were killed and executed by the Islamic regime afterward, and the revolution ultimately resulted in an Islamic Republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini…

On 4 November 1979, a group of Iranian students seized US embassy personnel, labeling the embassy a "den of spies".[93] They accused its personnel of being CIA agents plotting to overthrow the revolutionary government, as the CIA had done to Mosaddegh in 1953. While the student ringleaders had not asked for permission from Khomeini to seize the embassy, Khomeini nonetheless supported the embassy takeover after hearing of its success…

Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein decided to take advantage of what he perceived to be disorder in the wake of the Iranian Revolution and its unpopularity with Western governments. The once-strong Iranian military had been disbanded during the revolution. Saddam sought to expand Iraq's access to the Persian Gulf by acquiring territories that Iraq had claimed earlier from Iran during the Shah's rule. Of chief importance to Iraq was Khuzestan, which not only has a substantial Arab population, but boasted rich oil fields as well. On the unilateral behalf of the United Arab Emirates, the islands of Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs became objectives as well.

On 22 September 1980 the Iraqi army invaded Iran at Khuzestan, precipitating the Iran–Iraq War. Although Saddam Hussein's forces made several early advances, by 1982, Iranian forces managed to push the Iraqi army back into Iraq. They soon aligned with the Iraqi Kurdish Rebellion of 1983 against Saddam. Khomeini sought to export his Islamic revolution westward into Iraq, especially on the majority Shia Arabs living in the country. The war then continued for six more years until 1988, when Khomeini, in his words, "drank the cup of poison" and accepted a truce mediated by the UN. The total Iranian casualties of the war were estimated to be anywhere between 500,000 and 1,000,000; with more than 100,000 Iranians being victims of Iraq's chemical weapons.[95][verification needed] Almost all relevant international agencies have confirmed that Saddam engaged in chemical warfare to blunt Iranian human wave attacks; these agencies unanimously confirmed that Iran never used chemical weapons during the war

Iranian-tomcat

Iranian "Tomcat" fighter, made in USA

Mig

Iranian MiG-29, made in the former USSR

Similarly to Afghanistan before the 1978 revolution, Iran tries to balance between the former Soviet Union and the United States. For example, look at its fighter planes.

In the long run, this is not a viable strategy, as the examples of Afghanistan, former Yugoslavia, etc. show.

Other languages:

История современного Ирана

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