The Islamic Revolution of 1979 and Its Main Causes
For a long time, Iran was under the monarchial rule of the Safavid dynasty. The rule of Mohammad Reza Shah scuttled due to a popular revolutionary movement. During World War II, Iran declared itself neutral, but the presence of German troops in its territory contrasted this declaration. Shah later called on the United States to help it protect its people. This did not go well with the immediate neighbors like Russia, which wanted to instill some influence in Iran. Iranian relations with the western world countries improved over the years. Iran found itself depending on the West for most assistance and developing interests similar to the western world. Iranian society started developing some uneasiness from this relationship.
The Islamic revolution was brought about by Shah’s Policies of guarding the collaboration with the West for exchange of protection against adversaries. Shah became less popular for using privileged Iranian people in converting the Iranian community and government to pre-Islamic traditions. In addition, Shah Administration failed to look into the complex social-cultural, political and economic critics that had been building up since the 1960s.
Shah‘s use of an enigmatic wing of the police in dealing with the protestors added stimulus to the cause of a revolution. Shah’s strong relationship with the West was seen as a threat of converting Iran from a Muslim state to an independent state with an identity in the Middle East. An Islamic revolution set out a stringent position in relation to the West. Shah’s regime was seen to have failed since it was less ambitious, corrupt, and lacked potential economic growth. During protests, Shah’s government failed to protect the citizens. The Islamic revolutionist succeeded out of these shortfalls.
Khomeini’s theocracy changed Iran’s foreign policy in a constitutional article. Iran’s foreign policy involved maintaining independence on the country and its territory from any foreign influence. It sidelines alignment from any superpower and vows to protect the rights of all Muslims. It outlaws any treaties and agreements for control and influence on Iranian natural resources, army, economy, and any facet of Iranian society. The foreign policy refrains Iran from meddling in the domestic affairs of other countries. It also put Iran as an envoy of Islam and would help other states that are weak and suffering from oppression to reach their level of independence.
Iran has exercised state-sponsored terrorism since the Islamic revolution by supporting foreign terror groups. Iran, over the years, has supported the Hezbollah group in Lebanon. From the definition of a state-sponsor of terrorism, Iran cannot escape the hook since it has participated in using the Hezbollah group in attacking Israel. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps came into being after the revolution in order to pursue the goals of the revolution. It has been linked to offering military assistance to terrorist groups like Hezbollah and other groups through military training. When Israel attacked Lebanon in 1982, Guard Corps’ soldiers assisted Hezbollah in fighting back. In 2006, the Guard Corps collaborated with Hezbollah in attacking Israel through the provision of intelligence and assisted them in the firing of missiles.
When religion forms the core of the political, social, and revolutionary plan, religious terrorism is bound to thrive. Since the Islamic revolution in Iran, there has been a resurgence of religious terrorism both in the Middle East and the whole world. The resurgence has been tied to major religions as well as related sects. Most suicide terrorism attacks, especially in the Middle East, have been liked to Islamism.
The use of weapons of mass destruction in terrorist attacks has been an indicator of increased terrorism activity. Various terrorist attacks since 1979 have all been linked to religion. The number of religious terrorist groups has been increasing year after year. The first religious terrorist group was founded in Iran. By 1992, the number had increased to 11. During the 90s, the number of these terror groups increased appreciably, with the number of those with a central religious component on the rise. In 1994, 16 out of 49 terrorist groups and in 1995, almost half o those groups recognized were religious.
Religious Islamic terrorist groups have also ganged up against the West as they believe the westerners are out there to diminish Islamic faith. They believe the intent is to lure Muslims to other religions. As witnessed by Malaysian leader who declares Malaysia is neither a capitalist nor a socialist country, but it’s an Islamic country. This shows that religion has been politicized. Thereby, it has been used to drive a political goal.