25 Nostalgic Pictures Of Iran Before The Revolution

25 Nostalgic Pictures Of Iran Before The Revolution

In the decades prior to the Islamic revolution of 1979, Iran was ruled by the Shah whose dictatorship repressed dissent and restricted political freedoms.


However, he also pushed the country to adopt Western-oriented secular modernization, which allowed a certain degree of cultural freedom.


Under the Shah's rule, Iran's economy, as well as the country's educational opportunities, expanded. Britain and the US counted Iran as their main ally in the Middle East, while the Shah aggressively industrialized large sections of the country.


Nevertheless, the Shah's increasingly authoritarian measures and his eventual dismissal of the multiparty rule set the stage for the notorious revolution.


Still, for approximately 40 years, the Shah led Iran through a series of sweeping changes.


1) From 1941 to 1979, Iran was ruled by King Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah.

25 Nostalgic Pictures Of Iran Before The Revolution

Shah Muhammed Reza Pahlevi, his wife, Queen Fawzia, and the little Princess Shahnaz on the grounds of their palace near Teheran, Iran, in 1942. AP


2) Due to Iran's vast supply of oil, proximity to India, and shared border with the Soviet Union, Britain and the US fully backed the Iranian government.

25 Nostalgic Pictures Of Iran Before The Revolution

Sepah Square, the main square in Tehran, Iran, April 20, 1946. AP Photo/Tom Fitzsimmons


3) Even before the Islamic Revolution, however, the Shah's grip on power was unsteady.

25 Nostalgic Pictures Of Iran Before The Revolution

This is the White Palace of the Shah of Iran at Saadabad, Tehran, as it looked in August 1953, after the government upheavals. Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi returned to power August 22, 1953, when his supporters ousted Premier Mohammed Mossadegh, that had forced the Shah to flee a few days earlier. AP


4) Communists and religious members of society used to dislike the Shah and his pro-Western government.

25 Nostalgic Pictures Of Iran Before The Revolution

Cars and pedestrians travel on Ferdowsi Avenue in Tehran, Iran, April 20, 1946. AP Photo/Tom Fitzsimmons


5) In 1953, the Shah had to flee Iran after a Western-backed coup to overthrow Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh failed. A second coup succeeded in overthrowing Mosaddegh, which aimed to nationalize the Iranian oil industry to Britain's chagrin, so the Shah returned to Iran.

25 Nostalgic Pictures Of Iran Before The Revolution

Pedestrians and automobiles travel through the main cross streets of Tehran, Iran, April 20, 1946. Lalezar Avenue passes up the center of the picture toward the north, while Istanbul Avenue runs left to right. AP Photo/Tom Fitzsimmons


6) Like Ataturk in Turkey, Reza Shah undertook a series of reforms aimed at turning Iran into a modern westernized nation.

25 Nostalgic Pictures Of Iran Before The Revolution

Nevit Dilmen/Wikimedia Commons


7) These reforms included the structuring of Iran around a central Persian identity, the often brutal suppression of tribes and their laws in exchange for strong a central government, and the expansion of woman's rights.

25 Nostalgic Pictures Of Iran Before The Revolution

Nevit Dilmen/Wikimedia Commons


8) Like Ataturk, Reza Shah attempted to make religious observation subservient to the state.

25 Nostalgic Pictures Of Iran Before The Revolution

Nevit Dilmen/Wikimedia Commons


9) Part of Iran's method of achieving that was through the banning of veils in public.

25 Nostalgic Pictures Of Iran Before The Revolution

Nevit Dilmen/Wikimedia Commons


10) Women were also encouraged to attend school to receive an education.

25 Nostalgic Pictures Of Iran Before The Revolution

Nevit Dilmen/Wikimedia Commons


11) Although Reza Shah intended to turn Iran into a modern westernized state, his bans on religious garments alienated and frustrated religious conservatives and traditionalists.

25 Nostalgic Pictures Of Iran Before The Revolution

Nevit Dilmen/Wikimedia Commons


12) Despite the backlash from religiously observant members of society, the Shah managed to create a seemingly cosmopolitan city life.

25 Nostalgic Pictures Of Iran Before The Revolution

Nevit Dilmen/Wikimedia Commons


13) Women and men mixed freely, and educational opportunities were significantly extended. Western clothing and norms also became ingrained into large segments of the Iranian population.

25 Nostalgic Pictures Of Iran Before The Revolution

Nevit Dilmen/Wikimedia Commons


14) Leading the charge for westernization was the Iranian royal family. The picture below depicts Empress Soraya.

25 Nostalgic Pictures Of Iran Before The Revolution

Empress Soraya of Iran poses in the studio of Italian fashion designer Emilio Schuberth, left, with an evening dress made of white Organdy while the designer adjusts some pleats of his dress in Rome, Italy, May 13, 1953. AP Photo


15) Under the royal family's invitations, Iran became a popular destination for celebrities and heads of state. Here, an Italian actress and her husband visit a sports competition as guests of Iranian Princess Ashraf.

25 Nostalgic Pictures Of Iran Before The Revolution

Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida and her husband Milko Skofic (both center) pose for a photographer with Iranian sportsmen at the ZurKhaneh (house of strength) stadium, Persia, May 20, 1963. AP Photo


16) The Iranian royal family reciprocated and widely toured the capitals of the world. Below, the Shah and his wife met with Winston Churchill in London.

25 Nostalgic Pictures Of Iran Before The Revolution

British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill poses with the Shah and Queen Soraya of Persia on February 21 at his official London residence, 10 Downing Street, after they had lunch with him there. AP Photo


17) Toward the final days of the Shah's reign, the royal family tried to rally the country around an increasingly historical nationalism based on the former Persian empires.

25 Nostalgic Pictures Of Iran Before The Revolution

A street scene showing pedestrians on a sidewalk, June 16, 1970, Tehran, Iran. AP Photo/Roy Essoyan


18) In 1967, the Shah took the old Persian title "Shahanshah," or King of Kings, at a coronation ceremony in Tehran.

25 Nostalgic Pictures Of Iran Before The Revolution

Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi crowning Empress Farah at their coronation ceremony in 1967. PD-IRAN


19) Celebrations financed by the government were also initiated all over the country in order to honor the Persian roots of Iran. Here, gymnasts take part in an October 16, 1975, celebration honoring the founding of the Persian Empire.

25 Nostalgic Pictures Of Iran Before The Revolution

AP Photo/Harry Koundakjian


20) Despite Iran's views of the past, the government continued to value education and child development.

25 Nostalgic Pictures Of Iran Before The Revolution

A street scene showing pedestrians threading their way between bumper-to-bumper traffic, June 16, 1970, Tehran, Iran. AP Photo/Roy Essoyan


21) Tehran funded study abroad in Europe for Iranians, and schools and clinics were built throughout the Iranian countryside to care for more impoverished kids as part of the Shah's "White Revolution."

25 Nostalgic Pictures Of Iran Before The Revolution

A street scene showing pedestrians on a sidewalk, June 16, 1970, Tehran, Iran. AP Photo/Roy Essoyan


22) High petroleum prices and relative stability in the Middle East contributed to a growing business class in major Iranian cities.

25 Nostalgic Pictures Of Iran Before The Revolution

A street scene depicting pedestrians threading their way between bumper-to-bumper traffic, June 16, 1970, Tehran, Iran. AP Photo/Roy Essoyan


23) Here, Iranians swim in an octagonal swimming pool at the guesthouse of the Iranian National Oil Company.

25 Nostalgic Pictures Of Iran Before The Revolution

AP Photo/Horst Faas


24) By 1975, Reza Shah abolished Iran's multiparty system and concentrated ever-greater amounts of power in his own hands under the government-permitted Rastakhiz (Resurrection) party.

25 Nostalgic Pictures Of Iran Before The Revolution

A view of Tehran, Iran, July 1971. AP Photo/Horst Faas


25) By January 16, 1979, Reza Shah fled Iran during the Iranian Revolution. The revolution began as a popular movement fueled by outrage against government extravagance, brutality, corruption, and the suppression of individual rights before it was taken over by Ayatollah Khomeini.

25 Nostalgic Pictures Of Iran Before The Revolution

Seen here are visitors at a vacation resort in Iran on the Caspian Sea, July 1971. AP Photo/Horst Faas


Reference: Business Insider

25 Nostalgic Pictures Of Iran Before The Revolution 25 Nostalgic Pictures Of Iran Before The Revolution Reviewed by Κατερίνα Παπ on 2:16 PM Rating: 5

2 comments

Don't show again. Close

Like us on Facebook?