Download Eternal Iran: Continuity and Chaos (The Middle East in by Patrick Clawson PDF

By Patrick Clawson

Exploring continuities and adjustments, this publication offers the old backdrop the most important to knowing how Iranian delight and feel of victimization mix to make its politics contentious and probably harmful. From the fight among the Shah and Ayatollah Khomeini to the present stress among the reformers and traditionalists, a important factor in Iranian household politics has lengthy been its position on this planet and relatives with the West.

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Extra resources for Eternal Iran: Continuity and Chaos (The Middle East in Focus)

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Fountains mark the center of the square. To the north lies the famous Isfahan bazaar, Iran’s largest and one of its oldest. To the west is the Aligapu Palace, with its pillared balcony, carved ceilings with a musical instrument motif, and fine paintings. To the south is the famous, blue-tiled Imam (Shah) mosque, and to the east is the exquisitely decorated Lotfollah Mosque. During Shah Abbas’s reign, Iran was again at its peak, controlling not only the territory of present-day Iran, but also Bahrain, Azerbaijan, and parts of Armenia and Georgia; and hefty chunks of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

Following a seven-month siege, the shah abdicated. Safavid pretenders would remain for another half century, but always as a puppet of a higher power. The next years were anarchic. Only in the mid-eighteenth century was order restored by Nadir Khan Afshar, a general from the ethnically Turkish Afsharid tribe. After he declared himself shah in 1736, Nadir Shah’s first years were spent consolidating power and reasserting Iran’s integrity in response to encroachment from neighbors. 50 He also promoted a resurgence of Sunnism, although through the subtle means of proposing that Shi’ism be accepted as a fifth school of Islamic thought and practice, of the same status as the four schools in which Sunni Islam has historically been divided—schools that coexist readily, unlike the often tense relations between Sunnis and Shi’ites.

This internal calm even allowed the shah to travel abroad several times during his reign, a luxury his predecessors never imagined. He presided over a time of great change, modernization, increasing contact with the West, and disastrous military defeat and yet, despite the turbulent times, he was able to maintain a stability of rule greater than that of the famous Shah Abbas. 12 The young shah moved to consolidate his rule, putting down uprisings and crushing the Babi community. The Bab himself was executed by a firing squad in Tabriz in 1850.

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