Imperial State of Iran

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Iran, because of the great leadership of the Shah, is an island of stability in one of the more troubled areas of the world. ~ Jimmy Carter

The Imperial State of Iran was Iran between the years 1925 and 1979, during which the country was ruled by Reza Shah Pahlavi and later his son Muhammad Reza Pahlavi.

Quotes[edit]

By Iranians[edit]

Are these mules, jackasses, apes, leopards, dragons, sharks and gorillas the chosen members of our society? Is this zoo the ruling class of Iran? ~ Reza Baraheni
I envisaged future generations of Iranians proudly taking their rightful place among the vast family of nations, and fulfilling their responsibilities with dignity. I hoped to see dispelled for ever the mediaeval shadows from which Iran had emerged only half a century ago, and that the light which is the very essence of Iranian civilization and culture would prevail. Throughout my reign, I lived only for the realization of this dream which was beginning to become reality. ~ Muhammad Reza Pahlavi
  • To witness the collective dispossession of the nurtured tradition and way of life in an entire nation, travel to Iran. The people of the country are being alienated from their cultural and ethnic roots and thus from their identity. They have been denied all that is of merit in the West while their own values are corroded. The cultural denuding thus involves a double alienation which gnaws at our vitals like a cancer.
    • Reza Baraheni (1977) The Crowned Cannibals: Writings on Repression in Iran, p. 5
  • Iran is the country of the poorest of the poor and the richest of the rich. The lot of the majority of people in Iran has not moved forward even an inch during the last fifty years of the Pahlavi dynasty's reign, though the seven-year-old middle-class boy of fifty years ago, namely, the present Shah of Iran, has grown to be one of the richest men on earth.
    • Reza Baraheni (1977) The Crowned Cannibals: Writings on Repression in Iran, p. 10
  • The reason most of my countrymen would tell you that they carry a grudge against the United States is that the U.S. government has given its unconditional support to a monarch who has terrorized a whole nation, plundered its wealth and bought billions of dollars' worth of military equipment which neither he nor our nation knows how to use. Iran is a dangerous quagmire in which the United States is sinking deeper and deeper. The future will speak for itself. But if Iran becomes the new Vietnam, we can be sure that it was the inhumane and irresponsible policies of the U.S. government, the excessive greed of American arms corporations and the extreme stupidity and adventurism on the part of present Iranian authorities that led to the creation of that crisis in the history of humanity.
    • Reza Baraheni (1977) The Crowned Cannibals: Writings on Repression in Iran, p. 10
  • In Iran one cannot stage Hamlet, Richard III or Macbeth because no Iranian should see the death of a prince or a king on the stage. He might jump to conclusions, as if contemporary Iranian history itself is devoid of attempts at regicide.
    • Reza Baraheni (1977) The Crowned Cannibals: Writings on Repression in Iran, p. 11
  • It is a zoo in a glass tower. There are no kings, queens, princes, princesses, generals, ministers or secret agents here. There are beasts instead. Nobody speaks the language of human beings here. The gory shadows of these animals are reflected on the walls and mirrors. The beasts hop up and down on the tiles and silk rugs, howling, bleating, roaring, mewing, grinding their teeth and breathing savagely through their palpitating nostrils. It is like being in a public bath with lepers. The tails, the muzzles, the claws and paws rise in the air, scratching at each other, touching and twisting each other, cornering, buggering each other, and sinking in an infernal, abysmal pleasure. Are these mules, jackasses, apes, leopards, dragons, sharks and gorillas the chosen members of our society? Is this zoo the ruling class of Iran?
    • Reza Baraheni (1977) The Crowned Cannibals: Writings on Repression in Iran, p. 93
  • I envisaged future generations of Iranians proudly taking their rightful place among the vast family of nations, and fulfilling their responsibilities with dignity. I hoped to see dispelled for ever the medieval shadows from which Iran had emerged only half a century ago, and that the light which is the very essence of Iranian civilization and culture would prevail. Throughout my reign, I lived only for the realization of this dream which was beginning to become reality.
    It will be seen that I worked tirelessly and keenly to this end. I had ceaselessly to struggle against all sorts of obstacles and difficulties. I had to confront innumerable plots and intrigues both inside the country and abroad. I combated the all-powerful, multi-national trusts and cartels when all my advisers warned me against such challenges. I may have made mistakes, of course, but this long battle was not one of them.
  • They say that [martial law] would have cost my country less than the bloody anarchy which is there now. I can only reply that it is easy to play the prophet a posteriori and that a sovereign may not save his throne by shedding his compatriots' blood. A dictator can, because he acts, because he acts in the name of an ideology which he believes must triumph whatever the price. But a sovereign is not a dictator. There is an alliance between him and his people which he cannot break. A dictator has nothing to hand over. Power lies in him, and in him alone. A sovereign receives a crown and it is his duty to pass it on.
  • I wanted to build up Iran while we still had oil and thus to guarantee the life of the country after our oil reserves were exhausted. Therein lay the solution. We had to move fast, we had no time to spare. Finally, it is unquestionable that the oil lobby contributed actively to my downfall.
  • The Shah was at the apex of a hierarchy of parasites fattening themselves off the Iranian economy. He was followed by lesser Pahlavis and their relatives, a total of some sixty-five families. Of the $2,000 million exported annually during the period 1973-8 half of it belonged to the Pahlavis. The Pahlavi Foundation, set up by the Shah in 1958 as a charity organisation out of the sale of crown lands to the tenants, came in handy to the Pahlavis as a means of funneling their funds out of Iran.
    • Dilip Hiro (1985) Iran under the Ayatollahs, p. 95
  • It is evident that a lot of mistakes and excesses have been committed before the revolution. I don't deny it, on the contrary - there was evidently a lack of political liberty. I don't deny either that the revolt was popular, but those that spearheaded the revolution didn't want this result, Iran has regressed for twenty-two years. I prefer to speak of the future, history will judge what happened in the past.

By non-Iranians[edit]

The friendship between Iran and the United States, strong and enduring, has been enriched by the shared experiences of our two nations. ~ Lyndon B. Johnson
  • It has never been easy to be a Persian, from the oldest times in history till today.
  • When we visited Tehran in 1962 we saw for ourselves the energy and the determination and the skill with which His Majesty and his ministers are carrying out great programs aimed at the welfare of his people. His leadership has been a vital factor in keeping Iran free and in modernizing this ancient land. So it gives me great pleasure and it is a high privilege today to ask those of you, our friends in this country, together with our guests to join in a toast to a reformist 20th century monarch, His Imperial Majesty and the Empress Farah.
  • The friendship between Iran and the United States, strong and enduring, has been enriched by the shared experiences of our two nations.
  • Persia is a country in transition between past and present, a boiling mass of half East, half West. It is sharing these labels, but still has something that is more Eastern, in a very deep way, than anything we know, and yet it's more Western than even we'd like it to be.
    • Peter Brook, as quoted in A. C. H. Smith (1971) Orghast at Persepolis.
  • We deeply value our friendship and our ties with Iran, and we will remain strong in that friendship now and for the future. In an interdependent world, we remain deeply grateful for the constructive friendship of Iran, which is playing a very important role in pursuit of a more peaceful, stable, and very prosperous world. And we, for our part, remain constant in our friendship with this great country. We pledge ourselves to insuring that our ties are creatively adjusted to meet the pressing problems and changing realities of the present world.
  • Iran, because of the great leadership of the Shah, is an island of stability in one of the more troubled areas of the world.

External links[edit]

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