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Nationalism in Iran Iran was primarily an Islamic society and went through many changes and struggles to come to where they are today There were many important steps that had to be taken before they could have accomplished what they did Nationalism in Iran began in the early 1940s because Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi was trying to westernize Iraq after his father Reza Shah Pahlavi overthrew the Qajar dynasty Once Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi started ruling he began making western style popular music discoteques and cinema widespread Some of the Iranians didnt really mind this much but many others resisted because they wanted to preserve their beliefs and heritage From all of this tension grew between the westernized people and the more traditional Islamic people Some people resorted to violence but most of the conflict was political A growing Iranian nationalist movement called for self-determination control over Iranian oil and fair elections The most widely known lead of the nationalist movement was Irans Prime Minister Mosaddeq who attempted to seize control of oil production in Iran He also wanted to limit Muhammad Reza Shahs power For a period of time Mossadeq succeeded in gaining control of Iranian oil reserves When this happened the western powers reacted harshly and began leading a worldwide boycott of Iranian oil In 1953 Mosaddeq was removed from power in a coupe that the United States CIA supported After Pahlavis control was restored he set up an internal security organization Throughout the 1960s and 70s the population was poor and they werent getting any richer Later in the years the shah began a program called the White Revolution This program was made to promote rural literacy give women rights to vote and distribute land to rural farmers Some farmers benefited from this but 40 of the landless never got any land In the mid 1970s there were many anti-shah demonstrations which involved a wide range of Iranian groups
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