Bill, James A.
December 1978
Foreign Affairs;Winter78/79, Vol. 57 Issue 2, p323
This article discusses the challenges that Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi, Shah of Iran, faced after the mass rebellion in 1978. In 1978, however, opposition to the Shah of Iran's political rule took the form of a mass movement and during the first eleven months of the year riots shook hundreds of villages, towns and cities. The estimated death toll resulting from these public displays was over 3,000 persons. Martial law was instituted and during the course of the year's disturbances, the Shah ordered his troops to fire on demonstrating crowds in Tehran. Whatever sturdy consistency has obtained in Iran up to now seems to have been shaken, possibly for good. Hence, U.S. knows astonishingly little about Iran. Other more visible issues have deflected much of our attention elsewhere. The hundreds of thousands of U.S. people who have lived in Iran since World War II have seldom penetrated the glittering surface consisting primarily of north Tehran and its charming, well-to-do, English-speaking inhabitants. Occasional forays to Isfahan and the Shah Abbas Hotel, Persepolis and the gardens of Shiraz and the resorts along the Caspian Sea have not served to sharpen our appreciation of the social, political and economic realities of the country.


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