HSS A15 World Cultures
Dr. Steven W. Esthimer
October 3, 2013 There were many factors that contributed to Iran’s hostility towards the West and Europe. In numerous ways Iran was weakened by the West as it is clearly revealed in later modern Iran. Hostility towards the West negativity contributed to Iranian history in ways such as Great Britain taking over the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) in 1901, newspapers attacking the Ayatollah Khomeini, and how the shah changed the status of women and their rights. Beginning in 1901, Great Britain began to take over the AIOC. With the discovery of oil, the British government stepped in and became the majority shareholder of the company.1From 1901 to 1949, Great Britain had complete control over the company. Iran no longer had a say in the running of the company and received nothing from the British for their company. The Iranians were treated very poorly and unfairly. The hard-working individuals were only paid a slight amount of fifty cents a day, lived in rat-infested slums, and lived without running water and electricity. Iranians weren’t permitted to observe their own company’s financial records as well. When riots broke out in Abadan in 1946, the Iranian public demanded that their government renegotiate the terms of the arrangement with the AIOC.2 The British were not pleased in these requests and were settled through threats. At this time, Britain was in the middle of financial suffering because of post-war financial hardship and relied on Iranian oil to fuel its economy.3They came to an agreement and offered to train more Iranians for upper positions and promised that royalty payments would not drop below $134 million. In the late 70’s, when Khomeini began to become prominent, the Shah noticed his increasing power. A government newspaper published an article in an effort to discredit Khomeini in January of 1978. A group of theology students noticed this article and protested in the city of Qom. They were brutality put down by the army and many were killed. Forty days after the death of the students, leading members of the clergy who opposed the Shah called for Iranians to protest and then to attend there Mosques. The protests were peaceful, except in the city of Tabriz where the government sent in tanks to control the demonstrations, and killed more than one hundred protestors. Realizing that if the government tried outlawing the traditional mourning rituals, it risked of losing the massive amount of control they held.4 Because of these many protests and issues, Iran was teetering on the verge of the revolution.
One of the many things the shah did to westernize Iran included granting women more rights and freedoms. The shah was determined to make his country more like the Western countries that he appreciated and admired. The shah succeeded in doing so and granted women the right to vote as well as increasing educational and employment opportunities. He also introduced laws that gave women additional rights in marriage.5 Polygamy or one of the many things the shah did to westernize Iran included granting women more rights and freedoms. The shah was determined to make his country more like the…