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The Role of the Clergy in the Establishment and Consolidation of Pahlavi I (1925–1941)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 January 2024

Yunos Kojuri Gashniani
Affiliation:
Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at Yasouj University, Iran
Ali Bagheri Dolatabadi*
Affiliation:
Associate Professor of International Relations, Department of Political Sciences, Yasouj University, Yasouj, Iran
Abouzar Fattahizadeh
Affiliation:
Assistant professor of International Relations, Department of Political Sciences, Yasouj University, Iran
*
Corresponding author: Ali Bagheri Dolatabadi, E-mail: abagheri@yu.ac.ir

Abstract

In Iran, the writing of history has consistently been intertwined with political decisions, and official historiography written after the Islamic Revolution is no exception. The majority of books and articles on Pahlavi I have inherited this historiographic tradition, and are thus highly politicized, particularly around the topic of the role of the clergy during this era. Official narratives of this period are based on two representations: portraying intellectuals and Britain as the sole forces involved in bringing Reza Shah to power and consolidating his rule, while concealing the role of the clergy, or depicting this social group as the sole opposition to his government. This article aims to assess this binary narrative and answer the following question: What role did the clergy play in establishing and consolidating Reza Shah's reign? Research findings indicate that neither of these claims are accurate, as the clergy played a key role in the transfer of power from the Qajar to Pahlavi dynasties by supporting Reza Khan during his ministry, participating in the coup on February 22, 1921 (3 Esfand 1299), and supporting him in the Constituent Assembly. Further, the majority of clergy not only did not play the role of opposition, but indeed actively participated in the governmental institutions of the era. This research utilizes a historical-documentary approach to examine the subject.

Type
Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2024. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Association for Iranian Studies

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