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Iran Awakening

            The Islamic Republic has ruled the more than twenty-five hundred year.
             old nation of Iran for the last thirty-three years. In these past three.
             decades, support for the Islamic Republic by ordinary Iranian citizens has.
             fluctuated back and forth and still does to this day. Specific social.
             groups such as women, intellectuals, and students have expressed their.
             desire for reform since this theocratic form of government came to power.
             These expressions for change are documented in Shirin Edabi's book Iran.
             Awakening. After reading this personal and historical account of the.
             Islamic Republic, one can understand the criticism of government and.
             struggle for human rights is a tale that continues for the people of Iran.
             Iranian civilization has been recorded as a nation since 625 BC.
             Throughout Iran's history many autocratic dynasties have ruled. The.
             Pahlavi Dynasty was the last aristocracy. In 1953, Shah Mohammad Reza.
             Pahlavi regained power after a coup d'etat, supported by the United States.
             and Britain, overthrew democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad.
             Mosaddegh. As a prolonged result of this unconstitutional power grab and.
             many other unpopular policies, the Shah fled Iran on January 16, 1979. On.
             February 1,1979 Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini, who.
             himself had been placed into exile almost 16 years prior by the Shah,.
             returned to Iran. On April 1,1979 a national referendum was held and the.
             Islamic Republic of Iran was created. After an approved theocratic.
             constitution, Ayatollah Khomeini became the Supreme Leader of the new.
             Islamic Republic.
             Opposition to the Shah was the main reason behind the Iranian.
             revolution. No specific plan or group came to power immediately. Shirin.
             Ebadi recalls, "Most of the country identified far more with the.
             opposition, which included secular nationalists, and Marxists among its.
             ranks. Among these opposition groups, the mullahs' voices were the.
             loudest; it was the clergy, whose network of mosques spread out across the.

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