Citation
Imagining Iran

Material Information

Title:
Imagining Iran Contending Discourses in Modern Iran
Creator:
Sharifi, Majid
Place of Publication:
[Gainesville, Fla.]
Publisher:
University of Florida
Publication Date:
Language:
english
Physical Description:
1 online resource (304 p.)

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Doctorate ( Ph.D.)
Degree Grantor:
University of Florida
Degree Disciplines:
Political Science
Committee Chair:
Brown, M. Leann
Committee Co-Chair:
Oren, Ido
Committee Members:
Hyden, Goran S.
Arfi, Badredine
Jacobs, Matthew
Graduation Date:
8/9/2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Communism ( jstor )
Countries ( jstor )
Discourse ( jstor )
National politics ( jstor )
Nationalism ( jstor )
Political discourse ( jstor )
Political power ( jstor )
Political revolutions ( jstor )
Semiotic signs ( jstor )
Socialism ( jstor )
Political Science -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
building, development, discourse, interpretation, iran, islam, law, modernity, nationalism, pahlavi, politics, state
Genre:
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
born-digital ( sobekcm )
Political Science thesis, Ph.D.

Notes

Abstract:
Since the 1906 Constitutional Revolution that established the first representative government in the Middle East, all Iranian regimes have aimed to build a modern nation-state. But the main body of the literature depicts the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which resulted in the establishment of the Islamic Republic, as a failure of Iran's struggle to modernize. This dissertation moves away from the false dichotomy of modernism versus traditionalism and instead conducts an in-depth survey of Iranian political discourses dating back to the 19th century when Iran first encountered the West. Tracing competing interpretation of Iran?s political development describes and analyzes how the Iranian state elites have had competing ideas of Iran as a nation-state. Inspired upon post-structuralist and post-colonialist literature written by Charles Taylor, Michel Foucault, Ernesto Laclau, Chantal Mouffe, and Edward Said, the research examines the social content of competing political discourses in Iran. A comparative analysis of pre-modern and modern texts illustrates that six signifiers show up in the representation practices and policies of all political discourses since the late 1800s. These basic signifiers are security, development, law, democracy, class equality, and Islam. By showing how these basic signifiers coalesce to form a particular official state discourse, my dissertation examines how contending discourses shaped the basis of Iran's state building, nationalism, and foreign policies since the early 1900s. ( en )
General Note:
In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note:
Includes vita.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description:
Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description:
This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis:
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local:
Adviser: Brown, M. Leann.
Local:
Co-adviser: Oren, Ido.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Majid Sharifi.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright Sharifi, Majid. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Classification:
LD1780 2008 ( lcc )

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Full Text





While the people resented the discriminatory policies of the oil company, the state resented

Britain because it was at the mercy of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company for its revenue. Therefore,

the tension between the two states was always very high.

In 1932, for example, Britain's deliberate lowering of the oil production in Iran reduced

Iran's revenue. Frustrated by the lack of control over the state budget, Reza Shah ordered the

sudden cancellation of the oil concession.42 The popular media celebrated the move, but after

more than a year of negotiation, the shah had to once again submit to a modified version of the

original oil concession, which had been agreed to under dubious circumstances. The 1933 oil

agreement increased the duration of the concession from the remaining 27 years to 60 years.

Additionally, it changed the flexible revenue share of Iran from 16% of the profit to a fixed share

of four shillings per barrel.

This was a clear defeat for Iran-and the shah resented it.43 Upset with this defeat, Reza

Shah punished those who negotiated the agreement. Timour-tash, chief negotiator of the

agreement and one of the most loyal supporters of the state, lost his life on the accusation that he

had angered Britain by also entering into negotiation with the Russians. The Iranian signatory to

the agreement, Hassan Taqizadeh, who had served the state for many decades, was deported for

his part and his reputation was ruined.

In short, Britain imposed an alliance on the state, and Iran reluctantly submitted to it for

the sake of its survival. This preservative alliance was not, however, a sustainable one because

almost all other identities understood Britain as their foreign other.



42 The concession was originally granted to a British subject named William Darcy in 1901. In 1909, the concession
was taken over by the Anglo-Persian Oil Company. In 1914, when the British government converted its navy from
coal to oil, it decided to nationalize the company by acquiring 51% share of the company.
43 For example, Taqizadeh, who was involved with the negotiations, thought that the new contract was a defeat.









battleground between the Allied and Central Powers. Russia occupied the north; Britain occupied

the south and began arming Bakhtiyaries, Khamseh, and Arab tribes. The Ottomans invaded the

north and forced the Russians out of Azerbaijan. They also moved into the northwest and began

arming the Kurds who fought the British and their Arab tribal proxies at the time. The Germans

began to arm and advise the Bluchies, Qashqaies, and Tangestanies tribes, who began fighting

the British forces in the south. The pro-Germans members of the Majlis fled the capital and

established a provisional government in Kermanshah in the northwest.30 In contrast, the pro-

Allied government remained in Tehran.31 In other words, there were two governments and

multiple fronts, and each front reflected an existing internal division exploited by external forces

for their own interests.

In short, the previously high hope of establishing a constitutional government turned into

despair. By 1918, the population was suffering from severe famine. At least one-quarter of the

population in the north, which is the most fertile part of Iran, starved to death; there are no

existing records of the effects of the food shortage on the rest of the country.32 Reflecting the

state of the country, words like chaos, anarchy, war, starvation, corruption, and occupation

described the conditions of the country, and urgent calls for the restoration of order dominated

the texts.

After the war ended, Britain blocked Iranian envoys to the Versailles Peace Conference in

1919. Simultaneously, the British Foreign Office Secretary in London, Lord Curzon, was

pressing for an immediate passage of a mandate that would legally bring Iran under the formal

control of Britain. He had approved the bribing of three key cabinet ministers in exchange for

30 William J. Olson, Anglo-Iranian Relations During World War I (London: F. Cass, 1984), pp. 45-46.
31 Keddie and Richard, Modern Iran: Roots and Results ofRevolution, p. 75.
32 Katouzian, State and Society in Iran: The Eclipse of the Qajars and the Emergence of the Pahlavis, pp. 91-116.









Other. The result was the collapse of the regime. In brief, this chapter is about the construction

and deconstruction of the official state discourse from 1953 to 1979.

Part I: Restoration of the Discourse of Modern Monarchism (1953-1979)

After the coup on August 19, 1953, the state began a two-prong policy of eliminating its

opposition and simultaneously building its particular vision of the state. Considering U.S.

economic and military aid, the granting of various loan packages, and the lifting of the embargo

on Iran's oil export, all of which had followed immediately after the coup, the state gained the

material power to physically repress its opposition and pursue its particular vision of state-

building, nation-imaging, and conducting foreign policy. However, while the state succeeded in

eliminating its opposition and somewhat muting the voices of opposition, it failed to influence,

shape, or permeate values, concepts, and rationalities embedded in, and expressed by, contending

discourses. It seemed that the state spoke in one language and the society mistranslated it into

several other languages. In this divide, the state represented itself as a modernizing state headed

by the shah as the provider of security and the embodiment of law, nationhood, equality, and

Islamic ethics. However, a great majority of the people interpreted the state as an omnipotent

foreign entity to be avoided if possible, but to be accepted as necessitated by social reality. In

this social environment, while the Iranian society in general acquiesced in the omnipotency of

the state, subversive voices of contending discourses appeared in the heavily censored non-

official texts. In this section, I compare values, concepts, and rationalities produced by the state

with the subversive voices of discontent coming from the contending discourses and devaluing

the state language as one of deceit, threat, and domination.

Building and Securitizing the State

After the 1953 coup, in a series of relational linkages and differences, the state was

represented as the embodiment of the shah threatened by internal and external enemies. With this









Iranians. Mohamad Reza Shah repeatedly represented Russians in an oppositional relation with

their own state. He wrote:

I have the kindest regard for the Russian people as whole. The ordinary citizens of Russia
realize better than do their leaders that no freedom-loving country [referring to Iranian
people] can accept aid from a regime that shows clear signs of wanting to dictate its
neighbors' foreign policy.66

In other words, the people of Iran and Russia naturally shared a certain value, but the

Soviet state violated that value. Based on this relational logic in the discourse, Mohamad Reza

Shah represented the Soviet state as a threat to freedom of people in not only Iran, but also the

West. In other words, discursively, Mohamad Reza Shah had become the defender of the

Western freedom and democracy, although his own polity was not similar to any Western

democracy.

Accordingly, in 1955, the state enthusiastically entered into a U.S.-British-backed security

agreement named the Baghdad Pact, which had a similar logic with that of the North Atlantic

Treaty Organization (NATO). The Baghdad Pact was a security pact among Pakistan, Turkey,

Iran, and Iraq against the Soviet Union. However, Mohamad Reza Shah tried to maintain a

cordial relation with the Soviet Union. In 1956, following this policy, the shah visited Moscow

and began to negotiate a non-aggression pact between Iran and the Soviet Union. However, the

1958 military coup in Iraq, which dethroned the British-backed king Abul-lah, along with a

foiled military coup in Iran, provoked the shah to enter into a mutual defense pact agreement

with the United States. The Baghdad Pact was revised (a) to first reflect the absence of Iraq and

(b) to strengthen the shah's regime. The Baghdad Pact was, therefore, renamed the Central

Treaty Organization (CENTO). With CENTO in full force. Mohamad Reza Shah's regime and



66 Habib Ladjevardi, "Shahpour Bakhtiyar," (Iranian Oral History Project, Harvard University Center for Middle
Eastern Studies, 1984).









(Khoda, .\Vs//i, Mehan). This slogan was imprinted on mountain-sides, billboards, lawns, and

other visible places.

Relations with Other States: Identities, Alliances, and Enemies

As modern absolutism became the official state discourse, it helped constitute the direction

of Iran's relations with other states. The identification of allies and enemies was ranked, based

upon the extent to which the other reinforced or weakened the official state discourse.32A foreign

state would be ranked as an ideal ally if it helped reinforce the state official identity, but it would

be ranked as a potential enemy if it threatened the official state discourse. In this hierarchic

construction of allies-enemies, us-them, and Irani-khareji, the Soviet Union was ranked at the top

of the state's enemies, and the Western states were considered potential allies. Nevertheless, not

all states were ranked equally. While Germany and the United States ranked at the top of ideal

allies, Britain was ranked at the bottom of the state allies.

This hierarchic ordering of allies and enemies had come out of the Iranian experience of

World War I, the Russian October Revolution, the political disintegration of Iran during World

War I, and the defeat of the 1919 Agreement.33 These experiences prepared the way for the

construction of how Iran ranked the allies and enemies. But these experiences were not in

accordance with some universally understood objective reality as the basis for making these

decisions. Instead, the hierarchic ordering of allies-enemies was the result of how political

discourses represented and understood Self in relation to others.

Accordingly, the official state discourse represented and understood Germany as an ideal

ally that reinforced how the state represented its developmental model, race, and external others



32 See Chapter 3.

3 See Chapter 6.









the Islamic way of life, so they rejected the West as a whole and suggested a return to an Islamic

Self. However, others argued that for the Islamic Self to survive, it had to rationally adapt itself

according to the necessities of time, that is, to learn Western philosophy, science, technology,

and governance. A prime example of an Islamic reformist was Sayed Jamal Afghani whose main

argument was that "the decay of the Muslim umma (community) and its manifest weakness in

relation to European ascendance are inextricably tied to the neglect of science and philosophy."23

In sum, the Tobacco Uprising represented a turning point when traditional discourse of

monarchic absolutism began to fall apart, and the values embedded in the political discourse of

monarchic absolutism, which had not been contested for centuries, began to be opposed. In other

words, what were previously valued became devalued, and concepts that did not previously exist

in the language entered the language. In the next section, I will examine these new concepts as

they entered into the language during the 1906 constitutional revolution.

The 1906 Constitutional Movement

By the constitutional revolution of 1906, the discourse of monarchic absolutism had totally

collapsed. By then, even the king, ministers, and many others in the court devalued the old order

and valued a new law-based political order similar to those of European governments. Law

became the basic signifier of the discourse constitutionalism and the state adopted it. Majority of

the clergy, the state-elites in and out of the court, merchants, and urban masses constructed an

alliance that became known as "constitutionalists." For constitutionalists, law was supposed to

provide security and order, develop and modernize the country, and determine state relations

with itself and its surrounding world.




23 Ali Reza Kashi, The Order and Trend of the Discourse of Democracy in Iran (Tehran: Gam-e No, 2006/1385), pp.
46-52.









However, what Keddie saw as the necessity of economic and political liberalization and/or

democratization, Mohamad Reza Shah perceived as the threat of nationalism and communism.

Mohamad Reza Shah articulated his thought in later years: "Nationalism, like imperialism, is a

tricky notion. In its true form, nationalism can lead a country to greatness. For example ...

America's notable progress, and my father's amazing achievements which was due to ...

the pure spirit of nationalism instinctive to our [Iranian] people."21 He then argued that while his

father had eradicated imperialism and promoted a "true" Iranian nationalism, Mussadiq's

"irrational, emotional temperament" had provided conducive conditions for communism and an

"immature nationalism" when we [Iranians] were in an irrational phase" of our history.22

Mohamad Reza Shah continued linking his brand of nationalism, which prioritized security, as

"true nationalism and patriotism."

In sum, security permeated the meanings of how the state development was imagined,

designed, and practiced. In a rationalistic world, it would have been expected that because the

shah had experienced the fragile nature of his father's absolutist state, he would not have

continued the process of othering local and national forces while increasing his reliance on the

coercive forces of the state equipped and financed by the United States. However, in the

imagined world of reality, he did what his father had done and failed-the securitization of the

state at the expense of othering all other competing identities.

Political Development

Mohamad Reza Shah represented and understood political development in terms of

consolidation of power, which he personified. The Shah vigorously guarded his absolute control



21 Ibid., 109.
22 Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions, 246.









Ali-Akbar Davar, perhaps one of the most important advocators of modem absolutism,

insisted upon economic development as the solution to Iran's main problem-underdevelopment

(aqab oftadegi). The following passage is an excerpt from Davar's writings:

The contemporary Western civilization is the result of the Industrial Revolution ... and the
West is not stronger or superior because it has more intellectuals, schools, libraries, and
scientists; all these are branches, leaves, and fruits of the Western civilization. The root
cause of the superiority of the civilization of others [the West] is their railroads ... as long
as they [the West] worked with their hands as we did, and carried loads with horses as we
did, their lives were not that much different from ours. But from the moment Europe drove
on rails and began to control the nature while our nation kept on riding donkeys, Iran was
destined to live in destitution. While the industrial revolution was taking place, we
[Iranians] were living in a world of sleep-like ignorance. Then when we woke up, we
saw two uninvited European giants on either side of our bed ... Although we recognized
the intrusion, we did nothing. Now that we have a few years of experience before us, now
that we have seen how Britain and Russia have carved up Iran into their spheres of
influence and have forced us to abject poverty once again. .[How can we change?]. ..
.What did Japan do forty years ago? Did they resort to poetry? Did they use their prayer
beads to develop their country? Did they curse their rulers and shout that foreigners stop
them from developing their country? No, they built a railway system, they opened up
schools and universities, hospitals and as long as we refuse to dedicate ourselves to an
economic revolution, as the Japanese have done, we will move or change nothing. We will
remain as a submissive nation of disaster-stricken, starved, and tattered cloaked beggars,
we continue suffering even more as time goes on. While it is true that we have six-
thousand years of history, we cannot exchange that history for factories, railroads,
hospitals, and schools.11

For Davar, who represented a great majority of the state-elites at the time, state-led

developmental projects meant the difference between becoming Western or non-Western.

Developmental projects, without the absolute power of the state, appeared impossible for Davar.

He wrote:

For Iran, the establishing of an absolutist state is a patriotic mission by which, as logic
dictates, a strong-willed and competent leader must lead this nation to its desired destiny
[development]. The leader must impose upon the nation what is good for them, and must
do what is necessary even if he has to use the force of whips. 12



1 Bashiriyeh, Mavanea Tosa'yea Syasi Dar Iran (Obstacles to Political Development in Iran), p. 72.
12 Ibid., pp. 75-76.









To analyze how each political discourse interpreted its relation to Self, things in a field,

and Others, I first had to identify the basic signifiers that governed the "regularity" in the

discourse, as well as identifying the hierarchic relation between a basic signifier and other

signifiers. In finding the basic signifier of a particular discourse and its hierarchic relational

linkages and differences to other signifiers, I could examine what were valued or devalued,

privileged or muted, idealized or demonized, considered Self or Others, and constituted Iranian

or Foreign. Moreover, I could examine the conceptualization of what were considered security,

development, lawfulness, democracy or people, Islamic, and class just counterpoised to their

opposites. In doing so, I could draw a narrative of how different official state discourses

idealized contending images of state-building, nation imagining, and conducting of foreign

policy.

The second challenge was selection and reading of texts and text-analogues. The selection

of source material was relatively easy and conventional. Identifying contending political

discourses included texts that speak from the position of "truth" and "authority," for example,

policy statements, partisan newspapers and journals, speeches, debates, official records, party

platforms, and written and oral memories. In the case of oral memories, the audio collection

titled Oral History at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University was a very

useful source. I also selected texts produced by non-state actors, for example, newspapers,

historical books, fictions, films, poetry, comics, songs, anthems. I have cited some of these

source materials throughout this dissertation, but not all.

The criterion for reading texts was a difficult task because the criterion could not be

predetermined. For identifying the "basic signifiers," analyzing the relational linkages and

differences among them, and finding their hierarchic formations, I needed historical texts and









fighting corruption. Subsequently, Amini cut 15% of the budget for various ministries, but he

could not cut the military budget, which made up the largest portion of the budget. 7

Amini's reform plan also called for fighting bureaucratic and commercial corruption. To

deal with bureaucratic corruption, he enforced a tough disciplinary regime on mid-level

bureaucrats and attempted to stop the rampant nepotism, which was a normal way of doing

business in Iran.76

This policy further alienated the state-elites who treated governmental institutions as their

private property. To deal with high prices, he blamed the traditional merchants (Bazaaris) for

hoarding goods and he prosecuted some of them. However, these policies alienated the court, the

landed elites, the bureaucracy, the Bazaaris, and the conservative clergy.

Meanwhile, the rhetoric of democratic reform heard from both the United States and Amini

energized the opposition to regroup and call for democratizing the existing system. Mussadiq's

secular loyalists, who had maintained their support among the general population, including

university students, began to reactivate the Second National Front (SNF). On the other hand,

Mussadiq's religious sector formed the "National Freedom Movement." Moreover, the Third

Force, which had social democratic tendencies with a strong support among intellectuals-along

with a new generation of the Tudeh Party, began to campaign for democratic reform. Confident

of their popularity, the opposition was called for a new election, but Amini refused to hold one.

He was confident that a new election would bring the Second National Front to power, and this

appeared intolerable for Amini as well as Mohamad Reza Shah. In his interview with Habib

Ladjervarid, Amini contended:


75 Helmut Richards, "America's Shah Shahanshah's Iran," Middle East Research and Information Project 40, no.
Sep. (1975): p. 16.
76 Ladjevardi, ed., Memoirs ofAliAmini: Prime Minister of ran (1961-62), pp. 123-124.









economic model, the measure of success or failure was how a given project would please

Mohamad Reza Shah. The state-elites intensely competed against each other, not for productive

efficiency, but for pleasing Mohamad Reza Shah.33 In other words, although the liberal

economic theories of modernization had permeated various contending discourses in Iran, they

were interpreted, understood, and practiced in accordance to the internal logic of the official state

discourse-monarchic modernism. The next three sections explain this relational logic.

Representation of Nationalization

After the coup in 1953, while the state continued to value its own version of

nationalization, it represented Mussadiq's dispute with Britain in a different relational logic. The

state represented Iran's oil dispute with Britain as the betrayal of the country's national interest

because it damaged Iran's alliance with the West. The strategy to improve the public images of

Britain in Iran, the state represented Britain as a part of the Western alliance and thus an ally of

Iran, not the owner and operator of Iran's oil industry or a power that had attempted to colonize

Iran. Moreover, Britain was represented in terms of its people and not its government. For

example, Mohamad Reza Shah wrote:

The free Western peoples have shown a willingness to extend to us much economic and
technical aid, and at the same time, they have in recent years rarely meddled in our affairs.
For example, in proportion to her population, Britain now provides more assistance than
any other country in the world, and we are happy to be among the recipients. 34

In this text, Britain is represented as a part of the Western world, but not as a colonizing state.

The British are represented as respectful of Iran's sovereignty, and, most importantly, they now

help the people of the world, including Iran. By transformation the image of Britain from a

colonizing state to aiding Iranians, the negotiation over the oil dispute became possible and even


33 Alikhani, ed., The Complete Notes ofAssaddollah Alam (Yad Dasht-Haay-EAlam), v.2, p. 83
34 See Mohammed Reza, Mission for My Country, p. 298.









more attacked the shah for selling Iran's independence "to our masters," the Americans.

Khomeini blamed the shah for "destroying Iranian dignity," for reducing "the Iranian people to a

level lower than that of an American dog."173 For this speech, the shah deported Khomeini. In

less than three months, in January 1965, an Islamic militant killed the prime minister, Ali

Mansur. In the same year, a faction of the banned National Front formed the Mujtahedin-e

Khalq-e Iran (MKI), an Islamic militant group, whose aim was to overthrow the shah-that

"American servant."174 In April 1965, a socialist militant attempted to assassinate the shah

because "the shah was serving the interest of American capitalism."175 In the same year, the

Fadaian-e Khalq, another group of Marxist militants, was formed. Its goal was to overthrow the

Shah-that "American Servant and the Hired Hand of Capitalists." Interestingly, the words

Mujtahedin and Fadaian (fighters and devotees) are both rooted in the Islamic concept ofjihad

in a struggle of Self against the Others-the non-believers, the foreign capitalists, and foreign

dominators.

Although the meaning of serving the interest of America fundamentally differed from one

group to the next, a unity existed in both words and deeds. The shah was represented as the

"Servant of America," a represent that continued until the fall of the regime. In deeds, because of

the state's effective suppression of all voices of opposition, nationalists, socialists, and Islamists

became united in their stand against the regime. They all began to call for the violent overthrow

of the regime. This was a fundamental shift. In the early 1960s, only modern Islamists were

calling for the overthrow of the regime, the changing of the constitutional monarchy, and the


173 Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions, pp. 489-491.
174 Bill, The Eagle and the Lion: The Tragedy ofAmerican-Iranian Relations, pp. 161-163.

175 Ansari, C..'ii m; Iran: The Failure ofAmerican Foreign Policy and the Next Great Crisis in the Middle East,
p. 59.









Islam, class, and the people's local interests. However, during the 1906 Constitutional

Revolution, the battle between the old and new political order continued. On the one hand,

constitutionalists signified the primacy of law in establishing a legal, modern, class-just, and

sovereign political order. On the other hand, monarchists signified the primacy of security in

order to modernize the country without creating chaos, to maintain Islamic laws and traditions, to

prevent class warfare, to prevent revolution, and to protect the national interest by creating a

balance between Russia and Britain. Modernization vis-a-vis absolutism was the Japanese model

that interested Iranians. Whereas constitutionalists imagined a parliamentarian political model,

monarchists imagined a Japanese or German model. Nevertheless, by the 1920s,

constitutionalism failed and so did the state. Because of rampant insecurity, chaos, famine, civil

war, occupation, and tribal conflicts, the primacy of providing security once again became the

defining signifier for the state. I call this political discourse "modern absolutism."

I call it "modern" because the state began to signify and treat modernization projects as

historical missions. I also call it "absolutism" because the shah eventually personified the state

and essentially became the absolute sovereign over all aspects of social, political, and economic

life. Thus, the motto for Reza Shah's state-building project began with restoration of security

(amniat) to the country.

Once modern absolutism became the state official discourse, it began to permeate the

meanings of other signifiers-political order, modernization, law, people, class, and Islam. First,

the state wanted to modernize, centralize, militarize, and bureaucratize. This representation

meant valuing a particular understanding of modernization and devaluing traditional mechanisms

of governance. Second, the state signifiers-security and development-permeated the meaning

of"people" of Iran and constructed an official nationalism. Third, the state permeated the









Values and concepts previously constructed in different discourses were now being linked

to new and different series of relational linkages, differences, and opposition. For example,

Reza Shah's raced-based Persian Nationalism, which had been constructed in oppositional

relation with the Shi'i concept of divine sovereignty, was now being linked to it. This linkage

would have been improbable during Reza Shah's reign. Nevertheless, Mohammed Reza Shah

represented them as mutually inclusive concepts.94

Fourth, by borrowing the intertextual language of Irani-Khareji, which had become a

prominent value in the language of democratic nationalists during Mussadiq's oil nationalization

struggle, Mohammed Reza Shah classifies his dynasty as the manifestation of a "true" Iranian

nationalism in an oppositional relation with foreigners. He declared:

Although Reza Shah had secured the country by establishing a disciplined military,
building roads .. unveiling women, codifying uniform clothing for men, and doing many
other important things in the shortest possible time, he never had the opportunity to
modernize the social foundation of Iran ... or uprooting puppets of foreign powers.95

Relying on the premise that his father had fought foreigners, Mohmad Reza Shah

represents his dynasty as a bulwark against foreigners and his opposition as the puppets of

foreigners. Referring to Mussadiq and the Tudeh Party as "foreigners" and "foreign agents," the

shah wrote:

Those who pretended to be anti-foreigners were, in fact, according to credible documents
and reasons, used to take direct orders from foreigners. [And] the only thing they all
shared was their opposition to the Pahlavi's monarchic power ... [and] they did that by
promoting pessimism and suspicion in the nation.96



94 As was explained in Chapter 5, the official state discourse of modern monarchism created a boundary between
"good" and "bad" Muslims. "Good" Muslims were represented as Persian nationalists, but "bad" Muslims were
represented as anti-shah, anti-Iran, and fanatics who not only opposed the modernization of Iran, but also
misunderstood the "true" teaching of Islam.
95 Mohammed Reza, White Revolution, pp. 8-10.
96 Jalal Al-e Ahmad, The Curse of the Land (Nefrin-E Zamin), 2 ed. (Tehran: Ravaq, 1357/1978), p. 278.









its conduct became even more entangled with U.S. policies. For contending discourses, however,

entering a security agreement with the United States was interpreted as the relinquishing of

Iran's sovereignty to the United States.67

However, in the official discourse, the state represented and understood itself as an equal

partner with the West, receiving economic aid, loans, grants, and advice from the United States,

all of which were represented as economic interdependence in contrast to Mussadiq's policy of

economic isolation. Moreover, Iran's security pact with the United States was represented as

exercising balance of power against the threat of the Soviet Union, as opposed to Mussadiq's

policy of non-alignment, which supposedly prepared the way for a communist takeover.

According to this relational logic, Mussadiq's policy was labeled as "negative nationalism"

in contrast to what Mohamad Reza Shah labeled as "positive nationalism." Mohamad Reza Shah

wrote:

When Mossadegh and his followers cried like women and indulged in hysterical tirades
against the British, I tried to think of the larger national interest. Mossadeqh's
negative nationalism not only provided the Communists with their ideal opportunity but,
paradoxically, allowed the British more influence over Iran's national policies than ever
before .... Mossadegh's policy was of course one of negativism, not nationalism in any
valid sense; nevertheless, the term positive nationalism I think helps distinguish between
his conduct and that of the true patriot.68

In this text, the state official nationalism is represented as positive, logical, anti-

communist, and patriotic. In contrast, Mussadiq's nationalism is represented as the opposite.

Simultaneously, Mohamad Reza Shah argued that "British imperialism has ceased in Iran ...

and outmoded capitalistic imperialist exploitation ... is giving way to new co-operative

relationships."69 Based on this relational logic, Mohamad Reza Shah argued:


67 For example, see Mohammed Reza, Mission for My Country, p. 126. The difference in spelling in the original.

68 Ibid., p. 130.

69 Ibid., p. 131.









relational logic, the shah began to appropriate the largest portion of the state's budget to build up

a military that was too small to oppose the Soviet Union's supreme conventional forces and too

big and blunt for crashing internal unrest or uprisings. Nevertheless, having internal and external

enemies for the regime constituted the logic behind the state's securitization policy.

Constitutive of this securitization was the full backing of the Eisenhower administration,

which helped the shah eliminate his opposition and begin to build a police state personified by

the shah, who represented the embodiment of progress, law, people, justice, and Islamic norms.

The shah began to represent communists, nationalists, and Islamic fanatics as threats to the state

monarchic order, Persian-Aryan nationalism, and Iran's alliance with the West.

From the day after the coup, the state began a brutal round of executions, imprisonments,

and deportation of many of the well-known leaders of the opposition. It also banned these

leaders' organizations and muted their voices.2 In these practices, the communist Tudeh Party

paid the heaviest price because the threat of communism was the defining enemy for the state's

articulatory logic. By the end of 1953, at least 2,300 members of the Tudeh Party were arrested.3

In addition to communists, nationalists were also rounded up. Mussadiq spent three years in

prison and then was put under house arrest until his death. Hussein Fatemi, whose newspaper

articles, speeches, and actions had turned him into a heroic figure for nationalists, was executed

by a firing squad. He was put to death because of his fiery speeches against the shah's illegal acts

against the government and his alliance with the CIA and Britain.

In the official state discourse, the shah was represented as the embodiment of the state and

the people. Constitutive of this representation was the logic of the shah's campaign to represent


2Jame A Bill, The Eagle Adn the Lion: The Tragedy ofAmerican-Iranian Relations (New Haven: Yale University
Press, 1988), pp. 98-100.
3 Pahlavi Mohammed Reza, "The Shahanshah Message to the Nation" Ettelaat, August 23, 1953.









CHAPTER 7
CONCLUSION

I began this dissertation with a question. How did the Iranian state elites imagine, interpret,

and practice the politics of nation-state building in modem Iran? I also asked a series of

questions. Why did so many people-within and outside of Iran, in and out of government-

dismiss the possibility of an Islamic revolution or the establishment of an Islamic state? Could it

be that competing ways of imagining Iran had produced competing social realities with different

sets of presuppositions, preferences, interests, and mode of rationalities? If so, what were the

social content of these competing realities? Most significantly, if competing ways of imagining

Self produced competing social realities, how did they shape the politics of Iran?

These questions were at the heart of my dissertation, and answering them required a

surveying of Iran's political development from the perspective of its state elites. In this spirit, my

dissertation made a historical narrative of political development in modern Iran. It reached back

to texts written in the 19th century and compared with those written later. It argued that four

previously non-existent signifying words-"development," "law," "democracy," and "class-

equality"-entered the political language of the state elites. By the 1900s, these four words

together with the two traditional words of "security" and Islam existed in competing political

discourses. I have called these six words the basic political signifiers in the politics of Iran

because they have existed in not only the common political language of modern Iran, but also in

its contending political discourses, and each basic signifier has been signiassociated with a

different set of meanings, concepts, themes, and modes of rationalities. Depending upon the

hierarchic formation of these six signifiers into an official state discourse or discourses of those

opposing the state, different interpretation of social reality and idealization of Iran were

constructed. Each "imagined" Iran produced a particular social reality and the conditions of









fashion statement was another attempt to make Iranians look Western. In his memoir, Mukhber

wrote:

In a meeting, the Shah lifted my hat and asked, "What do you think now?" [referring to his
latest "civilizing" attempt by changing the Pahlavi Cap to the European hat], to which I
responded, "The old one [Pahlavi Cap] had a better name." Agitated, his majesty took
some steps and retorted, "All I am trying to do is for us to look like them [European] so
they [Westerners] would not ridicule us." To which I replied, "And, of course, this has
been a thoughtful consideration of yours. Then I said to myself, what they [Westerners]
ridicule us for is because of what is under these hats, which are the type of our virtueless
emulations of them.22

Intended or not, for most people, the intent behind Reza Shah's decision to impose brimmed hats

was understood as another attempt to prevent faithful prayers to properly touch the ground with

their foreheads, as it is required in Muslim prayer. These practices created a deep division

between the state and society and caused resentment, riots, and protests. The result caused the

loss of hundreds of lives and untold number injuries-and did not transform the society as Reza

Shah had intended.23

Imagining the Nation

Constitutive of the political discourse of moder-absolutism was the way it represented the

official Irani from his internal and external other (Khareji). Iranian official nationalism was

linked to three symbols or codes: history, language, and race. This construction was formed by a

selective meaning of the history of Persia, of the Farsi language, and of the Aryan race. The shah

was the critical link connecting these codes to the state and the nation of the past to the present.

This linkage was supposed to reinforce the state official identity. These linkages are explicitly



22 Ibid., v. 6, pp. 263-267. However, the longer version of this text is interesting in another way. Although Reza
Shah and Mukhber had a different understanding of what Westerners might ridicule, they both were conscious of the
fact that Westerners ridiculed Iranians. In this text, and many other texts, the distinction between us/them,
superior/inferior Westerners/Iranians is very clear to both Reza Shah and Mukber, although their reactions are
different.
23 M. Afshar, Ayandeh June 1925, p. 5-6.









developmental projects and devalued state-owned and state-operated industries. The assumption

of this body knowledge was that by liberalizing the market, the political system would

automatically liberalize politics. In other words, the logic of the liberal economic discourse was

based on the relational opposition between the concepts of the state and economic development.

The logic of monarchic modernism, however, was based on the relational equivalence between

the concept of the state and economic development. The differences in the relational logic

between these two discourses resulted in disappointing the advocators of economic liberalism in

three different ways.

First, liberal economic models did not liberalize the economy. Second, these models did

not change the shah-centered policy of Iran. Third, they did not improve the lives of the people;

instead, they widened the economic, political, and social divide between the state and society. In

other words, rather than articulaiting the political from the economic, as economic liberalism

does, the state politicized the economy to a greater extent than previous eras.

The state became the primary holder of the means of production, distribution, and

investment. But, most importantly, the state also became the arena in which political and

economic actors competed. In this shah-centered polity, various personalities in the court,

cabinets, and ministries competed for gaining or maintaining the trust of Mohamad Reza Shah.

This competition constructed a different relational logic from those of liberal economic theories.

In this relational logic, developmental projects, policies, and practices were valued in terms of

how they glorified the shah-centered state. Therefore, the state-elites competed for gaining and

maintaining Mohamad Reza Shah's trust and attention. This arena of competition produced

losers and winners according to its own internal logic. Unlike an ideal liberal economic model in

which the productivity of a given project indicates its success or failure, in the shah-centered









multiple experiences of Western modernity was the devaluing of traditional discourses and the

emergences of new discourses, and each with a different way of imagining Iran.

Collapse of the Discourse of Monarchic Absolutism

By the late 1800s, Western modernity had deeply penetrated the traditional institutions of

the court and the Shi'i's institutions in unexpected ways. 16 The result was the weakening and

eventual collapse of the traditional discourses of monarch absolutism, which was based on

security and order imposed by the shah.

First, Iran's encounter with the West seriously undermined the court's existential relations

not only with its own elite class, but also with the local as well as religious authorities. As

previously explained, since the Shah Abbas reign (1587-1629) and until the early part of the

1906 constitutional revolution, the official state discourse (Saltanat-e Motlaq-eh) valued the shah

as the absolute personification of power of the state, and the shah ruled indirectly through

parallel structures of local authorities. Accordingly, the shah's absolutism was articulated in

terms of a divine political design that was necessary for maintaining peace, order, and security.

However, after the Tobacco Uprising, some state-elites and religious elites, as well as local

authorities challenged the official state discourse. For example, after Mirza Reza Kermani

assassinated Naser al-Din .\lha during the shah's pilgrimage to the shrine of the .\lh h Abdal-

Azim, a Shi'i respected sanctuary in northern Tehran, the interrogator posed this question to

Mirza:

If you really care about the country and as you say wished to protect the dignity of the
nation, then why did you not worry about creating chaos and anarchy? Kermani responds:
You are right. But if you look at the history of European countries, you'll see that there is
no great purpose that is not achieved through bloodshed. 17


16 Shi 'ite is a noun and Shi'i is an adjective.

17 Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions, pp. 60-70.









Culture," "Fighting Corruption," and "Equality under Law."21 In short, the theme of this

particular newspaper, which had the highest circulation, continued to reflect the official language

of the state. Meanwhile state censorship muted voices of the opposition. Jalal Al-e Ahmad, a

famous Iranian essayist, political activist, and literary critic, observed:

From 1953 onward, we have had many colorful papers that appeal to, and aroused the best
of our animal instincts, but they are all vacant of any spirituality, virtuosity, and
righteousness. Meanwhile, none of them speaks of any serious problem. Worse than
anything else, they all \,pk n, i/th one language. A language that is vacant of any identity
and value [referring to the main newspapers in Iran], you can read the page 38 of one paper
and then begin reading the page 39 of another paper without ever losing track of their
content.22

This oppressive monotony in the official language of the state began to become the only

language that could be expressed freely. The Majlis and cabinets lost their previous legislative

autonomies and began to speak in the official language of the state. The two legal political

parties, the Melioon Party and Party of Mardum (National and Peoples parties), became what

Mohamad Reza Shah called the "loyal" and the "loyal opposition" parties.23 And except for their

differences in jockeying for posts by adulating Mohamad Reza Shah, no substantive differences

existed between the two parties.24 The state gradually began to ban all unions and associations

and formed state-sponsored ones. Moreover, the state banned street protests, mass rallies, and

strictly monitored and regulated religious rituals, a practice that began to alienate clerics who

were otherwise supportive of the regime. Meanwhile, the state began to organize mass rallies on

various state-sponsored anniversaries or when Mohamad Reza Shah attended grand openings or


21 See Ettelaat from August 20 to the end of the 1953 year.

22 Mohammed Reza, Mission for My Country, p. 172. Emphasis added.

23 Also see, Habib Ladjevardi, ed., Memoris ofJafar Sharif-Emami; Prime Minister of Iran (1960-61 & 1978),
(Iranian Oral History Project, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University, 1999), p. 188.
24 For competition to get closer to the shah, see General Zahedi, "Premier Zahedi Radio Message," Ettelaat, August
23, 1953.









However, the plan was doomed from the start because it privileged security over other

contending signifiers. Accordingly, although both Reza and Mohamad Reza Shah valued

economic development, they wanted absolute control over state resources. Hence, the plan was

doomed for its internal contradictions. Ironically, Mohamad Reza Shah's regime valued the

rhetoric of liberal economic development, but the state-elites practiced state-centered economic

politics.

Nikki Keddie argues, "The Plan's scant accomplishment during its first year brought

criticism."13 While those with political connections to Mohamad Reza Shah and Majlis largely

supported and benefited from the plan, some constitutionalists, Islamists, and socialists criticized

the plan by blaming "the United States and Britain for backing men who cared little for Iran's

economic development."14 Additionally, socialists in the Tudeh "attacked the plan and its foreign

advisors" for the Tudeh understood the plan as a means to further penetration of American

imperialism into Iran.15 In less than a year, the plan's failure became obvious.

The Overseas Consultants, Inc. blamed the failure on "the old, corrupt forces" operating in

Iran. This, representation should have been expected since the image of Iranians as corrupt and

incompetent, as opposed to the objective, honest, and competent Americans, was a prevalent

feature of these discussions. But the OCI did not blame itself for aiming to liberalize the

economy without liberalizing the polity, for it feared the spread of communism. 16 In this context,

security signified the meaning of, and criterion for, how developmental planning was designed.

This securitization made it impossible for planners to conceive the possibility of dismantling the


13 Ibid.
14 Ibid.

15 Ibid., p.23.

16 Bostock and Jones, Planning and Power in Iran: Ebtehaj and Economic Development under the Shah, P. 102.










loyalty.2 On the fifth day of the invasion, Reza Shah appointed Mohammad Ali Furuqi (Zaka al-

Mulk) who accepted the conditional surrender of Iranian sovereignty and negotiated the terms of

Reza Shah's abdication. By the third week, the previously irrelevant Majlis began to demand

more control over the cabinet.3 In short, within a few weeks from the invasion, the myth of Reza

Shah's invincibility was shattered.

For 16 years, Iranians had experienced and understood Reza Shah as the personification of

a man on a historic mission to lead his nation of Persians to its rightful place among civilized

Western states. But in less than a month, both the mission and the dictator had failed. Reza Shah

agreed to the dictated terms of his abdication, which allowed his son, Mohamad Reza, to save the

Pahlavi dynasty.

Soon after the invasion, the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) began to broadcast an

unprecedented radio campaign against Reza Shah. The common theme of these messages was to

characterize Reza Shah as a cruel, corrupt, and illegitimate leader of Iran who had stolen

property from the people, mismanaged the economy, and murdered innocent citizens.4 However,

the shift from supporting Reza Shah's autocratic rule for two decades to invading Iran in alliance


2 Before the invasion, in a speech to graduating officers, Reza Shaw cancelled their customary vacations and warned
them of the imminent threat to the country. Sixteen days after the invasion, Itial 'lat published an article titled The
People are Sadden (Tasor-e Mordom). The article, which was picked up by the international press, sent the signal to
the effect that the shah might intend to mobilize the masses against the Allied invasion.

3 See Ali Dashti's speech in the Twelve Majlis. "Foreign Relations of the United States 1941 ", ed. The Near East
and Africa The British Commonwealth (United States Government Printing Office, 1959).

4 Although the pretext for the occupation was the presence of the German fifth column in Iran, the occupation
occurred because London and Moscow did not trust Reza Shah to remain neutral if Germany's military advances on
the Eastern Front continued. The Allies also wanted to have a secure access to southern and northern oil fields in
Iran in addition to a secured road and railway system from the Persian Gulf to the northern borders. The pervasive
sympathy for Germany in southern tribes could have caused serious trouble for the Allies as it had during World
War I. Moreover, in March 1941, Rashid Gilani, an Iraqi nationalist, had overthrown Abdullah's pro-British
government in Iraq. Although the coup in Iraq eventually failed and Gilani escaped to Tehran, it alarmed Winston
Churchill into preventive actions in Iran. For more, see correspondence between the United States Council in Tehran
and Washington from June to September 1941, in volume iii, Pahlavi Mohammed Reza, Mission for My Country,
1st ed. (New York,: McGraw-Hill, 1961), 75.









dynasty. Reza Shah, with much of fanfare, had abolished this act. At the time, the impression

was that the Shah had agreed to exchange Iranian juridical power for a $200 million loan.

Khomeini delivered a devastating speech, which resulted in his deportation, but it secured his

leadership position as the most vocal and fearless opponent of the regime. 153 Gradually, the key

points of this speech became the central theme among all contending discourses. For the

occasion, he announced:

I cannot express the sorrow I feel in my heart. .... Iran no longer has any festival to
celebrate. They [the regime] have turned our festivals to mourning .... They have sold
us. ... They have sold our independence .... The dignity of Iran has been trampled
underfoot .... All American military advisors, together with their families ... and anyone
in any way connected to them, are to enjoy legal immunity to any crime they may commit
in Iran ... if some American's servant assassinates your marja [source of guidance]. ..
the Iranian police does not have the right to apprehend him. 154

Khomeini said that this indignity is because the nation is represented by a foreign-installed

regime that is not sovereign, cannot provide security, has not helped Iran develop, has violated

the constitution, is unjust, and most importantly, has corrupted Iranian Islamic norms. In other

words, Khomeini utilized all the previously constructed signifiers to devalue the regime, and

provote an Islamic theory of nation-state building that would be independent of all foreign

powers. He proclaimed that as far as Iran is concerned, "America is worse than Britain; Britain is

worse than America, [and] the Soviet Union is worse than both of them. They are all worse and

more unclean than each other! But today, it is America that we are concerned with."155

In sum, not only Khomeini but also all modem Islamists in the 1960s incorporated values,

concepts, and rationalities previously constructed in Iranian contending discourses in a new

153 This was the beginning of a particular construction that equated credibility, justness, and even correctness of a
political position or leader by the extent to which a person suffered at the hands of Mohamad Reza Shah while
continuing to resist. Hence, the logic of argument was not what one said, but how fearlessly he said it.
154 Khomeini, Islam and Revolution: J-0 ,'i,, ', and Declarations oflmam Khomeini, p. 185.

155 Afshin Matin-Asgari, Iranian Student Opposition to the Shah (Costa Mesa, Calif.: Mazda Publishers, 2002).









clergy implemented Islamic jurisprudence through their network, and local or tribal authorities

governed on behalf of the shah. However, beginning in the mid-1800s, the state, religious, and

local elites began to represent the shah's absolutism as the cause of the people's insecurity and

acquiescence to the threat of Britain and Russia as the threat to Islamic Self. Constitutive of these

drastic shifts were the articulation of new demands based on previously non-existing concepts,

such as law-based governance or constitutionalism, development or progress, national or

people's rights, and class justice or socialism-concepts that had entered into the language as the

result of Iran's encountering the West. Finally, by briefly examining the Tobacco Uprising of

1890-1891 and the 1906 constitutional revolution, I will explain the construction of a hegemonic

bloc. This bloc was united in its opposition to the presence of British foreigners.

The Political Discourse of Monarchic Absolutism (Saltanat-e-Motlaq-eh)

From the reign of Shah Abbas Safavid (1587-1629) until the 1906 constitutional

revolution, the discourse of monarchic absolutism had been the official state political discourse.

Despite changes in tribal dynasties since Shah Abbas I, all monarchs more or less followed the

basic tenets of the discourse in the way Shah Abbas had exercised power.

Once Shah Abbas consolidated his power by eliminating or reducing his military reliance

on any one tribe, especially his own Qizilbash tribe, he drew military resources from Persian and

Tajik populations, as well as non-Muslim forces, such as Armenians and Georgians, into his

military. He sold trading and territorial rights to the highest bidders rather than to local and tribal

authorities. He broke any tribe or family that became too wealthy or powerful. He outsourced

revenue rights and appointed administrative rights and concession rights to local and tribal

authorities. He banned Sufism and other religious movements that appeared subversive to the

state official religion-Shi'ism. He built a strong administrative and bureaucratic infrastructure

(dar-bAryan). He also co-opted high-ranking clergy who could explain the justification for the









they all expressed a feeling of empowerment to hear thousands of voices defying what had been

previously conceived as an invincible force with various means of terrorizing the people. This

new meaning of "God is Great" became a social call for action, which was signified by Islam-

but it was not necessarily Islamic.

Suddenly, the power to reproduce the state was reduced to almost nothing. By August

1978, the print media, which up to that point had reflected the official state discourse, went on

national strike. The state could not broadcast its messages any longer. Even the state-owned

National Radio and Television station went almost silent, and the military was forced to take

over its operation. But the broadcasting media effectively remained silent because Khomeini

ordered the people to turn off their radios and televisions for a time. Most people followed his

order. As though that was not enough to mute the state, workers in charge of the electrical grid

frequently triggered a blackout at exactly 8 p.m., which was the traditional time for the radio and

television news hour.203

In contrast to the state, the representational power of the people increased. In repeated

cycles of street demonstrations, the previously muted voices of the people reduced the ominous

power of tanks and troops into seemingly innocuous toys chasing young boys in the streets. In a

live or die game of hide and seek, tanks and troops, which had previously frightened the people,

became entertaining tools for the young people. The environment was jubilant and festive.204

And most slogans and writing on the walls praised Ayatollah Khomeini while they denounced

the shah.205



203 Ibid., p. 194.
204 In-depth interviews with participants.

205 Khomeini, Islam and Revolution: J0 ,''a'., and Declarations oflmam Khomeini, p. 266.









remainder was for various economic programs. This aid, combined with increasing oil revenues

and other income, produced a sum of $3.407 billion from 1955 to 1962. 44

With this impressive amount to spend on private and public expenditures, and combined

with lowering tariffs, which Prime Minister Munucheher Iqbal (1956-1960) called the "Open

Door Policy," the country was flooded with consumer goods.

Ali Ansari quoted Elwell-Sutton's description of Iran in 1957:

Financially, Persia is heavily and irrevocably indebted to the United States. Large
American missions of officers and men advise the Armed Forces and the police. American
advisers are attached to every ministry and American World bank officials watch carefully
over the activities of the Plan Organization. All the international agencies are at work, and
semi-official concerns like the Near East Foundation add their quota. More than 100
American officials work in the huge new Point-Four building in Tehran. Americans
have reorganized the educational system. American cars, cosmetics and refrigerators fill
the shops. Even the Seventh Day Adventists have opened a large church in a
fashionable quarter of Tehran.45

By 1960, this so-called "Open Door Policy" drastically increased cheap imports and

decreased non-oil exports as expected, but the policy also destroyed the local economy that

provided subsistence living for the largest portion of the population. This portion of the economy

was not taken into account. As a result, while the open market policy caused a severe shortage of

balance-of-trade and balance-of-payment, it also created unemployment and under-employment

out of a portion of the self-sufficient portion of the population.46 These policies were in sharp

contrast to Mussadiq's era when the country had achieved a balance of payment with a non-oil

economy. A serious attempt was made to improve the efficiency of the traditional economy

without destroying it.



44 Katouzian, The Political Economy of Modern Iran: Despotism and Pseudo-Modernism, 1926-1979, pp. 204-211.
45 Ali M. Ansari, C..,,';. ,i,,- Iran: The Failure ofAmerican Foreign Policy and the Next Great Crisis in the Middle
East (New York: Basic Books, 2006), p. 41.
46 Katouzian, The Political Economy of Modern Iran: Despotism and Pseudo-Modernism, 1926-1979, p. 201.









evil, a practice that continued until the fall of the regime when foes and friends juxtaposed their

positions. In this discourse, while the West in general, and the United States in particular were

represented as trustworthy allies, the Soviet Union was represented as the primary foe.

In this representation, unlike Reza Shah's raced-based rationale, which equated Iranian

with Aryans and Germans, Mohammad Reza Shah's logics for his alliance with the United States

and his opposition the Soviet Union were based on security. Accordingly, U.S. policies and

practices were split into two categories. The "good" part of America included its conservative

people, realists, and security-conscious elites. The "bad" part of America consisted of liberal

elites whom Mohamad Reza Shah represented as naive, dangerous, and an uninformed minority.

In this representation, Mohamad Reza Shah referred to Eisenhower, Nixon, Kissinger, and

Johnson as "his old friends." But he implied that Kennedy, Carter, and the other Americans who

criticized Iran were misinformed about the reality of Iran and the special bond that existed

between the shah and the people. He blamed the liberal-oriented journalists for misinforming

Americans. He argued that American liberals inadvertently promoted the cause of international

communism by criticizing the security-conscious policy of Mohamad Reza Shah and his

conservative allies in the United States.64 Based on this relational logic in the discourse, the

conservative America was to be trusted, and the liberal America was to be suspected with

ambiguous motives.65

In the discourse, the Soviet Union was also dichotomized-good and bad. The "good" part

of the Soviet Union was its Russian people, and its "bad" part was its state. Iran represented the

Soviet state as an evil entity that threatened the lives and freedom of the Russians as well as the



64 For example, see Ibid.
65 Mission for My Country, p. 306.









who considered laws as the sovereign between the state and society, or modernists who imagined

laws as the embodiment of the will of the shah-centered state, democratic nationalists imagined

laws as subordinated to the will of the people. Muhammad Mussadiq said, "The law was for the

people and not the people for the law." Third, development was described as economic self-

reliance, which led to pursuing policies of economic autarky rather than economic

interdependence and Westernization as Mohamad Reza Shah wanted to pursue. Fourth, Islam

was valued as the people's shared vision of good against evil in perpetuity and not as a

traditional norm versus modernity as Reza Shah or Mohamad Reza represented. Fifth, class was

described in terms of the boundary between good and bad rules, not workers and capitalists. For

example, for democratic nationalists, class symbolized a relational opposition between the poor

and the rich, the just and unjust, the Iranians and the foreigners. In the United States, as well as

the court in Iran, Iranian anti-British nationalism was represented as pro-communism. Chapter 5

will review this period.

In 1953, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) backed a military coup that toppled the

regime. Once again, a new political discourse became the official state discourse. I call this

discourse "monarchic modernism" because it was personalistic and also modern. Although this

new imagining of Iran had traces of Reza Shah's modern absolutism, it was a new interpretation

of an ideal state. Chapter 6 will examine this period, which covers Iranian political development

from 1953 to 1979.

In Chapter 6, I will discuss how the official state discourse alienated the state from its own

society and provided conditions conducive for constructing a hegemonic bloc against it. Chapter

6 will consist of four successive eras of restoration, reform, consolidation, and collapse of

Mohamad Reza Shah's regime. I interpret how the discursive practices of the state delegitimized









In tribes, villages, towns, and cities, the people were always at the bottom of these

pyramids of power structures, but that is not to say that local authorities could exercise power as

they wished. Most Iranian communities were geographically dispersed, economically self-

sufficient, ethnically-homogenous, and inward-looking. Therefore, despite the arbitrariness of

rule at the apex of the power structure, local authorities had to rule by consensus among

competing authorities and respective constituencies.8 Otherwise, local resistance or uprisings

would diminish the power of local authority and would force the shah to appoint new valis (local

representatives of the state). While the shah's rule was absolutist in name, in practice and at local

levels, rules were negotiated to fit the needs and necessities of the locality. However, the stability

of the system began to fall apart when these practices, policies, customs, and norms began to

change.

By the mid-1850s, texts had already begun to represent monarchic absolutism as the sign

of the state's weakness, religious corruption, and local conflict. After the two Russo-Persian wars

of 1813 and 1826 forced Prince Abbas Mirza (1789-1833) to accept the two Treaties of Golestan

and Turkaman-chay, a clear shift began in texts, policies, and practices of the state, religious,

local authorities.9 Texts, originating within the court, began to devalue monarchic absolutism as

a corrupt order that needed to be replaced with what was termed as nezam-e-jadid (the new

order). Iran's first serious experience with modernity was its military confrontation with Russia.

Its first attempt to modernize began from and within the state structure. The court began to

modernize its military. Prince Abbas Mirza (1789-1833) sent the first group of Iranian students

to Western countries, hired Western advisers, imported military technology, and helped train the

8 Guive Mirfendereski, A Diplomatic History of the Caspian Sea: Treaties, Diaries, and Other Stories, 1st ed. (New
York: Palgrave, 2001).

9 For more information on treaties of the wars in 1813 and 1828, see Nikki R. Keddie and Yann Richard, Modern
Iran: Roots and Results ofRevolution (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2003).









CHAPTER 2
THE EMERGENCE OF THE IRANIAN NATION-STATE

Introduction

If the shah believes in his divine duties, he must realize that all people are equal before the
eyes of God. If the shah wants to be the Shepard of his flock, he must serve them
diligently. .... While the shah may want foreigners as his masters, let him be the slave, but
we the people do not, and will not allow foreigners to enslave us. ... If the shah's
ministers want to sell the country in the name of Islam, we will not allow them. The
shah must not think that we are afraid of him, we are Fadaian [those who would sacrifice
their lives for the good of others], who sacrifice Self for the manifestation of justice on
earth.

-Excerpts from Roohul-Qudos, a daily paper published in 1907.1

In the 1920s, Iran began to build a modern nation-state according to a particular

imagination of Self in relation to its internal and external Others. This chapter attempts to

provide a brief historical background for how that imagination was constructed. First, I will

discuss the fall of the state official discourse, which constituted how various tribal dynasties, at

least since the Shah Abbas regime in the 16th century, understood and related to their

surrounding world.2 Then I will explain the embedded values and concepts in the official state

discourse of monarchic absolutism in Iran. Next, I will show how Iran's encountering the West

in the 1800s resulted in the shifting of values, concepts, images, and myths associated with Iran's

political order. Accordingly, in the 1800s, the state-elites, religious authorities, and local

governors glorified the Iranian monarchic absolutism as a divine Islamic order that provided

security and peace for the Muslim Iranian subjects. By signifying security and Islam as the two

basic components of Iran's political order, the shah exercised his power indirectly, the Shi'i



1 Nasrolah Falsafee, Zendagan E Shah Abbas Aval (History of Shah Abbas I), 5 vols. (Tehran: Tehran University
1965/1344), v. 3, p. 121.
2 In this dissertation, I do not capitalize the word "shah," which simply means "king," when I am using the word as a
generic name. However, I capitalize the word when it is a part of a proper name, for example, Shah Abbas, Reza
Shah.









jobs since no noun has yet been coined that avoids the negative connotation of being a

construction worker.

Similarly, in the hierarchic construction of urban-rural relations, people living in cities

other than Tehran were categorized as ,shal/h// Ia\/ \ (non-Tehranis). Although not as negatively

loaded as that of Dewhati, the word is pejorative, and the connotation remains in the language

today.

Understanding Social Development

At the societal level, the sole criterion for measuring social development was the level of

Westernization, which meant taking on a Western appearance-most of the time in form but not

in content. Accordingly, the state represented Western education, Western lifestyles, and

instrumental rationality as social development. However, the state represented and understood

traditional education, lifestyle, spirituality, faith, religion, local customs, and local norms and

practices as social underdevelopment or backwardness regardless of their substance or lack of

substance.

In the attempt to appear Western, the state focused on the project of transforming

traditional ways to "modern" practices. Equipped with the administrative, coercive, political, and

economic powers, the state prohibited the practicing of religious rituals, gatherings, and

ceremonies. It banned Sharia laws, took away traditional clothes, and eliminated the role of

clergy as judges. Most significantly, the state began to replace the clergy, who up to then

administered various religious endowments (Vagf). As a result, the clergy benefited from an

autonomous source of income for various Shi'ite institutions. For example, the largest property

holder in Khurasan was-and still is-the Immam Reza endowment in Meshhad.

Whereas the building of the Iranian Railway System symbolized a grand economic

development, abolishing Shari laws symbolized the most significant social development. As a









Bluches, and Turcomans could not communicate with each other or with the Farsi-speaking

population. These Farsi-speaking people constituted roughly half of the country's population at

the time, but the people living in different location did not have to communicate with each other

in the past. However, during Reza Shah's rule, the officialization of the Persian language was not

successful. It did not create a unified national image, but instead politicized history and

language.

An Official National Race

Race also became an approved key word for official Iranian nationalism. Textual

representation of "true" Iranians was that of a superior race.30 Aryan (Arya'ian) was explicitly

represented as being superior to Arabs, Turks, and other ethnicities.31 Even elementary and high

school textbooks stated that savage Arabs, Mongols, Tartar, Turks, Uzbek, and Afghans were

counterpoised to gentle, highly cultured Iranians. Interestingly, Iranian victories over other

nations were represented as "civilizing missions," For example, the invasion of India by Nader

Shah matched, if not surpassed, the savagery of those who invaded Iran, but this savagery was

represented as the greatness of Nader Shah. No Iranian invasion, however, was represented as

"savage"-but "savage" was used to describe the Arab invasion of Iran in the 7th century. One of

the Persianized words Farhangestan coined for the word "Arab" was Tazi. The supporting

argument for this coinage was that in the ancient texts, Iranians referred to Arabs as Tazian-the

plural form for Tazi. Although the historic credence of this claim is dubious at best, the current

meaning of Tazi is that of a "savage" or the name for a type of "hunting dog." Nevertheless, in

official and literary texts Arabs were referred to as Tazian. Interestingly, to date, this word has

30 For the purpose of this dissertation, I refer to "race" only in its rhetorical practices and not in reference to any
apparent or not-so-apparent physiological or cultural differences.
31 "Aryan" is a categorical race and language designation attribute to the people who shared an Indo-European
mother language. The meaning of the word has gone through some changes of its own.









"education's rights," and "Islamic nationalism" were assumed as the inflammatory language of

contending discourses. Suddenly, however, the Shah began to incorporate the same words as if

he had invented them.

In 1963, the shah introduced a bill focused on six points: (a) land reform, (b)

nationalization of forests and pasturelands, (c) workers' profit sharing in privately owned

factories, (d) privatization of state factories, (e) women's suffrage, and (f) rural education by

conscripted Literacy Corps. This bill had hitherto been a part of the articulatory practices and

social demands of various contending discourses. However, the shah began to represent these

ideas in by incorporating signifiers, which had become meaningful in the contending discourses

against the shah-centered state-people, class-equality, Islam.

First, the state held a referendum which was represented a democratic way of the people to

revolt against their oppressors and remain in support of their protector-Mohamad Reza Shah.

Previously, the Shah had either rigged elections or refrained from holding them, so this was

another shift in representing a shah-led referendum as democratic participation. However, the

language of the referendum had belonged to Mussadiq's discourse of democratic nationalism.

Second, the state represented land reform as a shah-led modernization plan. However, the

language of land reform, profit sharing, universal education, universal suffrage, and

nationalization were values constructed in the discourse of socialists. For example, since the

1940s, the communist Tudeh Party had promoted peasant rights to profit from the land they

worked on, workers' rights to own the surplus value (profit) they produced in privately owned

factories, people's rights to universal education, and women's right to vote. But while socialists

articulated these rights in terms of a historical struggle for a revolutionary overthrowing of the









itself in opposition to the non-Muslim foreign Other. In Chapter 5, I will discuss how the

discourse of democratic nationalism prioritized people rather than security, which gave meaning

to how security, development, law, class, and Islam were interpreted.









major cities where most state-owned factories were located.52 In contrast, Mohamad Reza Shah,

the son, opened up domestic and local industry. Nevertheless, both the father and son pushed a

state-centered economic development. For example, Mohammad Reza Shah wrote: "In

modernizing a nation, just as in conducting a military campaign, you need a plan of action,"

which meant a plan of action by Mohamad Reza Shah.53 This representation of economic

development was contrary to the liberal view of American economists on the state payroll.

Alluding to economists who disfavored Mohamad Reza Shah-centered developmental policies,

Mohamad Reza Shah retorted:

Some American and European economists and engineers have peculiar ideas on how we
should go about Westernizing an economically less-developed country [Iran]. ... I
profoundly disagree. Because of the shortage of technicians and managers and because
private investors were timid about entering the industrial field, the Government had to do
much of the pioneering. This was true in my father's time, and in some fields, it is still the
case today. The Government owns and operates industrial enterprises in many parts of
the country now.54

Mohamad Reza Shah, however, was not alone in his resentment of economists because the

state paid to receive their advice. For example, Ebtehaj's resentment of American and European

economists was similar to that of Mohamad Reza Shah. In response to warning issued by

economists at the World Bank, Ebtehaj said:

The way to develop a country is not to listen to economists, who always say, "No, don't do
this, don't do anything." If America in her early years had economists she would never
have developed. ... If a patient will surely die unless he has a serious operation, and he
might not survive the operation, is there any sensible person who would say: "Don't
operate"? That is Iran's position.5




52 Mohammed Reza, Mission for My Country, p. 138.

53 Ibid., pp. 133-155.
54 Bostock and Jones, Planning and Power in Iran: Ebtehaj and Economic Development under the Shah, p. 115.

55 Ibid., pp. 153-160.









increased. These events caused a credit shortage, unemployment, and inflation.193 The common

theme among Islamists, nationalists, and socialists was that the Shah and the United States had

conspired and caused the adverse economic conditions in Iran. 194 Ayatollah Khomeini declared:

What happened to all that money? Is our country poor? Our country has an ocean of oil. It
has iron; it has precious metals. Iran is a rich country. But those so-called friends of
humanity [the Americans] have appointed their agents to rule this country in order to
prevent the poor from benefiting from its riches."195

In contrast, the Shah blamed the economic crises on the merchant class and imposed a

punishing price and income control on the middle class, which bore the brunt of the austerity

measures the state imposed. 196

Meanwhile, as the power of the state to communicate its message waned, the shah began

another round of "reforms." His measures were, however, too little and too late. From 1977,

whatever the state did or did not do was interpreted in a negative light. He charged Amir Abbas

Hoveyda with fraud and mismanagement. 197 Hovida had held the post of prime minister more

than 12 years and was one of the most loyal sycophants of Mohamad Reza Shah, an ideal "yes

man" whom the Shah tolerated. But the firing of Hovida and talk of reform were understood

according to an opposing social reality that re-represented the shah's effort to reform as another

scheme devised by his new American master, Jimmy Carter, who wanted to deceive Iranians



193 For example, while Iran was a creditor from 1973 to 1974, it sought an international loan in 1977. See Ibid., pp.
81-102.
194 See Khomeini, Islam andRevolution: ';; a,,i i and Declarations oflmam Khomeini, pp. 223-224.

195 Looney, Economic Origins of the Iranian Revolution, pp. 3-5.

196 Keddie and Richard, Modern Iran: Roots and Results ofRevolution, p. 217. Rubin, Paved with Good Intentions:
The American Experience and Iran, p. 131, p. 171, p. 270. Abbas Milani, The Persian Sphinx: Amir Abbas Hoveyda
and the Riddle of the Iranian Revolution, 1st ed. (Washington, D.C.: Mage Publishers, 2000).

197 Hoveyda was kept under arrest without a hearing until he was executed immediately after the revolution, see
Habib Ladjevardi, Memoir ofFatemeh Pakravan, Iranian Oral History Project (Center for Middle Eastern Studies of
Harvard University, 1998; reprint, IBEX, Inc.), p. 123.









First, during the Tobacco Uprising, the very concept of the shah's absolute divinity was re-

represented as the cause of insecurity among the people and lack of Iran's sovereignty rather

than security and absolute sovereignty of the shah. This was a discursive shift.

Second, the Tobacco Uprising was an urban-based mass movement that shared a vision of

a national rather than a tribal or local community. For the first time in centuries, the concept of a

shared vision of an Iranian national community was being formed. Unlike previous eras when

the shared vision of a community centered on parochial and familial interests and visions, the

shared vision of the community in this era centered on an emerging "imagined community" of

Muslim Iranian people.

Third, the primary demand of the people during the uprising was for the establishment of a

House of Justice (Khanah Edalat). It was not, however, clear as to whether the House of Justice

would be based on Islamic or secular laws. As it turned out, this question was not and has not yet

been settled. However, the essence of establishing a House of Justice was proof of the weakening

of the official state discourse and the permeation of new concepts into the language.

Finally, the emergence of Iranian modern nationalism was mainly mobilized, organized,

and led by the Shi'i clergy in the name of the "nation of Muslim Iranian (Melat-e Musalman-e

Iran)."12 As it turned out, the clerical leadership in Iran again became a vanguard for mobilizing

people in different episodes of Iran's modern history. The majority of the Shi'i clergy were using

a familiar language of the nation of Muslims or (umma), which discursively was in relational

opposition to non-Muslim nations. Using the familiar language of the nation of the Iranian

people (Melat) was, in some sense, in relational opposition to the state (Dolat). In this discourse,

the people were interpreted as a unified body of Iranians and Muslims in their relational

12 Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread ofNationalism. For the concept of
imagined community, see Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions, pp. 58-61.









this ideal-typical model. The people actually treated the utopia of the Islamic Republic as a

"real" alternative that would incorporate all "good" and reject all "evil." The utopias of the

Islamic Republic did not, however, take more than a few months to shrink to the size of its

constituents-a small but cohesive portion of the population. At the time, the impossibility of the

utopia of the Islamic Republic was not, however, imaginable-its simple binary representation

appeared to make sense despite its internal contradictions.

This dissertation has argued that analyses based on fixed and immutable political concepts

might reveal certain aspects of politics, but hide much more about the intricacies of man as a

self-interpreting subject. Meanwhile, the act of ignoring the intersubjective voices embedded in

competing social reality limits a better understanding of what might otherwise be possible or not.

This is what happened to Reza Shah and Mohamad Reza Shah. They both muted the voices of

others within, and, as it turned out, with no tangible outcomes but tremendous cost. This research

has argued that tracing the multiplicity of voices from the past into presents facilitates

understanding of what might fit within the realm of possibility or not. In the case of Iran,

realizing what is possible or not can minimally help avoid costly confrontation and maximally

promote better dialogue between the Iranian state and its own society as well as the international

community.









return to an Islamic past. For political participants, as well as leaders of the Islamic Revolution,

the ideals of an Islamic state were not a return to any recent past. The ideals centered on

establishing an Islamic state based on modern concepts-providing security, development, law,

democracy, equality, and social morality for an Iranian-Islamic nation. These concepts, which

were previously incorporated into the discourses associated with Western modernity, were

articulated in terms of the Second Islamic Republic, the first republic being the 13-year reign of

the Prophet Mohamad in Medina. Thus, at least for Islamists, this revolution was not a call for

establishing an Islamic caliphate so much as for establishing an indigenous-Islamic Republic,

which was represented in opposition to Western modernity. For most Iranians in 1979, Western

modernity had become associated with domination, colonialism, imperialism, corruptive

capitalism, immoral communism, and wicked liberal individualism.3 Indeed, the basic tenets of

the Islamic Republic of Iran were modern concepts rather than being particularly Islamic, as

Islam had been previously interpreted. It was neither a republic as republicanism had been

formerly understood, nor was it Iranian as Iranian-ness had been imagined in the past. This new

imagining of Iran was both modern and traditional, and this model of modernity was not yet

familiar and imaginable for most in the West and some in Iran.

Many in the West, including the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had not entertained

the possibility of an Islamic revolution in Iran. It was not imaginable, conceivable, or predictable

to have a revolution with the black flag of Islam instead of the red flag of communism. All the

precautionary policies and practices, therefore, had been designed to primarily confront the threat

of communism. At the time, Islam-Shi 'ism, Wahabism, or Sunnism-was deemed preferable to

the evilness of communism.


3 See Chapter 6, Return to Self.










Garbzadegi was the act of naming an existential and familiar concept embedded in the

sub-discourse of Irani-khareji, although the Khareji in this interpretation was no longer merely

external or physical; instead, it was internal and metaphysical. In this emerging interpretation,

the familiar concept of Iran-Khareji was being re-represented as Khareji taking over the mind of

an Iranian.

As a reminder, the West had been dichotomized-the West as a "foreign colonizer" and

the West as a "humanist ideal." The West-home to foreigners, colonizers, and their Iranian

agents-was linked to Britain, Russia, and, after the 1953 coup, America. The other West was a

conceptual ideal in which science, philosophy, and technology, democracy, civilization, and

industrialization flourished. This ideal West was supposed to be emulated. For modem Islamists,

this boundary between the West as "foreign colonizer" and the West as an ideal disappeared-

the West became a dark physical and metaphysical place. 141 Its physical presence was linked to

Britain, the Soviet Union, and America, and its metaphysical entity was linked to those Iranians

who admired its idealness. In this way, the familiar language of labeling opponents as "agents,"

"stooges," "spies," "hired hands," or "puppets" of foreign powers was extended to mean those

who simply valued Western modernity as progressive human achievement rather than means of

domination, alienation, and Self-hate. From this perspective, the new genre of "committed

literature" was created. 142 This literature, depicted the West (Garb), which literally means where

the sun sets, as a place where foreigners have always tried to invade the East (.\/Ii q). The East

Goes to New York, derided this stereotype. One of the oldest narrative of this stereotype is, however, Muhammad
Ali Jamal-zadeh's satirical short story, Farsi Is Sweet, which was written in the 1920s.
141 For the debate between Darius Ashuri, who advocated modernism but an opponent of the regime and modem
Islamists, such as Al-e Ahmad and others who posited the West in an oppositional relation with the East, see the
collection of Ashuri's essays, Ahmad, (l,, i. :,. ,, (Westoxication), pp. 149-150.
142 This genre included secular and Islamic literature. For example, people such as Ahmad Shamlu, Hushang
Gulsheri, and Khosru Golsurkhi became famous for writing in this genre. For further information, see Majid
Sharifi's non-published paper, The Discourse ofKharejian in the Committed Modern Iranian Literature.









moment when secularization will at last come back to the fore and reveal the good, old type of

revolution we have always known."7

The question then arises, why did so many people-within and outside of Iran, in and out

of government-dismiss the possibility of an Islamic revolution or the establishment of an

Islamic state? Could it be that competing ways of imagining Iran had produced competing social

realities with different sets of presuppositions, preferences, interests, and mode of rationalities?

If so, what was the social content of these competing realities? Most significantly, if competing

ways of imagining Self produce competing social realities, how do they shape politics?8

These questions are at the heart of my dissertation, and answering them requires a serious

surveying of the idea of constructing Iran as a modern nation-state. In this spirit, my dissertation

reaches back to texts written in the 19th century, when concepts-development, law, democracy,

and equality-then non-existent in the Iranian context began to permeate the language of state-

elites and then pervaded the language of the people. I will call these four key political concepts,

as well as two existing concepts-security and Islam-the six basic signifiers of modern Iranian

political discourses. Consequently, these signifiers, more or less combined, undermined the

cohesive imagining of Self; thereby, leading to the emergence of competing "imagined

communities."9 Each of these imagined communities formed a narrative of Iraninan nationalism

by incorporating a particular interpretation of the Iranian basic signifiers. I will call these

competing narratives "contending political discourses," and when one is adopted by the state, I

SLawrence D. Kritzman, ed., Michel Foucault: Politics, Philosophy, Culture: Interviews and Other ;';, ,,i''. 1977-
1984 (New York: Routledge, 1988), p. 224. Foucault was very familiar with the nuances of Iranian politics. He
travelled to Iran in 1978 and 1979.

8 I define "Self' and "Other" as generic collective identities counterpoised to one each other.

9 For the concept of imagined community, see Benedict R. Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the
Origin and Spread of Nationalism (London: Verso, 1983). See Janet Afary, Kevin Anderson, and Michel Foucault,
Foucault and the Iranian Revolution: Gender and the Seductions oflslamism (Chicago: University of Chicago
Press, 2005).









describe, and interpret concepts is not asked. The main body of the literature on Iran, therefore,

remains silent as to changes and transformations that have occurred in meanings of concepts

associated with modernity and traditional. The dissertation refrains from categorizing political

development into modernity and tradition. It attempts to describe the emergence, as well as the

changes and transformation in the meaning of how the state elites interpreted concepts, themes,

practices, rationalities associated with political development in Iran's modem history. The

dissertation adheres to an interpretative approach that takes changes and transformations in the

meanings of concepts, themes, and rationalities seriously.

Interpretative Approach

In contrast to the extant literature, this dissertation is inspired by the "reflexive" or

"interpretative" approach, which takes intersubjective meanings seriously. According to Ido

Oren, "The term 'reflexivity' derives from the Latin word reflexus- 'bent backward'-and in

social theory it generally refers to the turning of science back upon itself."31 Similarly, Charles

Taylor argues that the study of man is essentially the science of interpretation. He asks, "Is there

a sense in which interpretation is essential to explanation in the sciences of man? The view that it

is, that there is an unavoidably 'hermeneutical' component in the sciences of man, goes back to

Dilthy."32 Taylor contends:

Interpretation, in the sense relevant to hermeneutics, is an attempt to make clear, to make
sense of an object of study. This object must, therefore, be a text, or text-analogue, which
in some way is confused, incomplete, cloudy, seemingly contradictory-in one way or





31 Ido Oren, "Political Science as History: A Reflexive Approach," in Interpretation and Method: Empirical
Research Methods and the Interpretive Turn ed. Dvora Yanow and Peregrine Schwartz-Shea (Armonk, New York
ME Sharpe 2006), p. 221.
32 Charles Taylor, "Neutrality in Political Science," in Philosophy and Social Science (Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1985), p. 25.









class, Islam, and the law. First, the state resented Britain because it undermined its

conceptualization of an absolutist and modernizing order. The mere association of Britain with

the state undermined the image of an absolutist king of kings (shahanshahs), whose divine rule

was supposed to free Iran from foreign powers and modernize it. Second, it also undermined

popular nationalism because Britain had already been represented as the Iranian "historic" other

since the Tobacco Uprising in 1876. This image had been reinforced only by many events,

including World War I and the 1919 Agreement. Third, socialists resented Britain as the primary

imperialistic and colonial other. Fourth, Islamists identities hated Britain for destroying the

Islamic and traditional way of life. Finally, constitutionalists resented Britain for undermining

the legal basis of Iran's constitutional government and supporting a military regime. In short, the

hatred for Britain was almost universal, but the state remained in a preservative alliance with

Britain while resenting, suspecting, and resisting it. In other words, the alliance simultaneously

maintained and undermined the state and created tension.

This tension put Reza Shah in a precarious position. As someone who had come to power

with the help of the British, he consciously went out of his way to point out that he was a "true"

independent nationalist. Thus, he harshly punished those suspected of having the slightest

contact with the foreign powers in Iran. On one occasion, in front of some notable elites, he said,

"I know the British brought me to power, but I have served my country well."37 In other words,

he badly needed to show himself as independent from British control. Therefore, he never

allowed British advisors to take part in his state-building projects, and never funded students to

go to Britain for an education.





3 Pahlavi Mohammed Reza, Answer to History (New York: Stein and Day, 1980), p.124.









By the 1900s, the Iranian people wanted to establish a government based on law.

Narratives associated with law or legal-rational norms permeated the meaning of security,

development, democracy, class-justice, and even Islam. The basic signifier for constitutionalist

was "law," which subordinated other signifiers. Constitutionalists imagined "law" as the basis

for a civilized, modern, and just Islamic nation, and imagined international agreements as the

basis for having relations with other states. In other words, the meaning of a law-bound state

permeated and subordinated the meanings of other signifiers. By the 1920s, however, the

discourse of constitutionalism collapsed and constitutionalists became disreputable personalities

associated with foreigners (kharejian). Security combined with development became the two

basic signifiers of a political discourse, which I will call "modern absolutism."

Chapter 3 will review the rise and fall of the discourse of modem absolutism. First, Reza

Shah was represented as the absolute and divine sovereign over the people and the state. In this

discourse, the divine sovereignty was de-linked from Islam and began to be linked with ancient

Persian monarchies. Second, the state began to push for a particular imagination of Iranian

nationalism, which was supposed to be Western-like, ironically, by a return to a collective Self

that was imagined as Persians rather than Muslims. Third, the official state discourse represented

Islam in an oppositional relation with Iran by representing Islam as traditional, local, and against

Persians. Fourth, modern absolutism represented the state as the absolute law unto itself. Thus,

the state attempted to eliminate local, tribal, and religious institutions. The change in governance

made rules under modern absolutism even more arbitrary than under the personalistic rules of

ancient regimes. Finally, modern absolutism represented class-based identities as anti-

development, anti-Persian, anti-Iranian nationalism, and a Russian conspiracy. At the time,










bureaucracy. To avert a social revolution, the shah and the Majlis sided with the nationalists and

agreed to Mussadiq's nine-point plan for nationalization of the oil industry as a precondition for

him to form a new government.14

Relying on his public support, Mussadiq nationalized the AIOC. Britain reacted with fury

not only at the loss of its most valued prize, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, but because of the

blow to its Middle Eastern the imperial prestige and possessions. Anthony Eden, the British

prime minister, called for confronting Iran for the return "of stolen property" and prevention of

the "spread of Mussaddiqism in the Arab Middle East."15 As Britain's effort to defeat Mussadiq

intensified, so did Mussadiq's popularity16

On July 16, 1952, Mussadiq ratcheted up the pressure. In effect, he told the shah that either

he must give up his post as the military commander-in-chief or Mussadiq would turn in his

resignation. Considering the immense popularity of Mussadiq at the time, that meant a possible

revolution.17 The shah initially refused and nominated Qavam as the prime minister whom the

British favored to form a new government.18 On July 21, 1952 (Siya Tir), the revolutionary

uprising, which was organized by nationalists led by Mussadiq, Islamists led by Kashani, and

socialists led by the Tudeh, began to mutiny in the military. The generals ordered soldiers back

to their barracks, and protesters began to control the streets. By 5 p.m., news of the victory of

14 Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions, pp. 261-266. Also, Katouzian, Musaddiq and the Struggle for Power
in Iran, pp. 117.
15 Katouzian, Musaddiq and the Struggle for Power in Iran, p. 122.

16 Britain first referred Iran to the International Court of Justice in The Hague and later to the National Security
Council, but it lost its cases. Britain also began to use its various embassies throughout Iran as the basis for
fomenting opposition, but Mussadiq closed all of them. Then the British economic blockade worsened the economic
conditions of Iran, but it was not enough to bring down Mussadiq's government. Finally, Britain resorted to military
means by lobbying for a military coup. See Katouzian, Musaddiq and the Struggle for Power in Iran, 122-25
17 It appears that Mussadiq was content to retire. In his memoir, he alludes to his fatalistic desire to go back to
retirement. Also see Mohammad Mussadiq, "Public Letter of Resignation," Ittial'lat, July 17, 1952.

18 Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions, p. 270.









represented as historically determined, not mandated from the people. In fact, mandates from the

people was represented as illogical. For example, Ali Akbar Davar, the Minister of Justice during

Reza Shah's reign, suggested." "As logic dictates, a strong-willed and competent leader must

lead this nation to its desired destiny [development]. The leader [Reza Shah] must impose upon

the nation what is good for them, and must do what is necessary even if he has to use the force of

whips."16

Unlike Reza Shah, who muted the 1921 British-backed coup, his son felt compelled to

flaunt the 1953 coup as "the resurrection of the people.""17 For example, on August 24, 1953, the

Society of August 19 Resurrection, a previously unknown group and perhaps associated with one

of the CIA organized mobs, widely distributed and published its first declaration, which followed

the same argumentation as those of Mohamad Reza Shah and Zahedi's addresses, but with "the

voice of the people:"

Our dear compatriots, the August 19 Resurrection succeeded because Muslim

toilers ... and citizen patriots sacrificed their lives ... and freed themselves from the
terror of Mussadiq's government, which had become the horrific house offoreigners and
Bolsheviks ... a government that spoke of democratic nationalism but wanted to depose
our innocent and beloved shah. People must now be aware that the Justice, Education,
and Labor Departments are still under the control of foreigners. People must not take
their silences for their submissions. These hired hands of foreigners are like poisonous
snakes lying in their hidden dens and ready to strike our country and contaminate our
environment .... [Therefore] it is not enough that our national hero, General Zahedi, has
saved the nation from their fangs. We have now the obligation to obey the decrees
issued by of our innocent and beloved shah and follow his vision in his purpose to secure
us from the internal and external threats ... [so that the shah] can improve our security,
wealth, and fortunes. 18



16 "The First Declaration of the Society of August 19 Resurrection" Ettelaat 1953.

17 Despite the weight of evidence detailing all aspects of the 1953 coup, the shah's loyal supporters still refer to the
1953 coup as "the day of national uprising (rouz-e qyam-e mardom or mellat).
18 "The Daily Current Ettellaat 1953, Sep. 3, 4, 5, 8, and 9 Emphasis added.









failed in the third objective. In other words, the shah lost the support of the landed elites without

expanding his social base. 106

The second controversial component of the White Revolution was the enfranchisement of

women, which was represented in terms of "Emancipation of Women" (Azady-e Zanan) the

same phrase that Reza Shah had used to force the unveiling of women back in 1934. This was

also a showy and performative act. In a country where the shah's secret police created fear to

manage discontent, or in a nation with no semblance of free and fair elections, enfranchising

women did not appear as a genuine reform to socialists or nationalists who otherwise would have

supported it. However, the act alienated the most conservative clerical elites who linked and

represented it as another attempt to revive Reza Shah's unveiling. 107 In his 1941 essay, Kashfal-

Asrar, Ayatollah Khomeini had devalued Reza Shah by writing that "they [the state-elites]

regard the civilization and advancement of the country as dependent upon women going naked in

the streets, or to quoting their own idiotic words, turning half of the population into workers by

unveiling them. 108 Khomeini's 1941 sentiment was again expressed in 1963. Islamists re-

represented the shah's "Emancipation of Women" in the same terms-an attempt to corrupt

them. Other components of Mohamad Reza Shah's White Revolution, such as the workers' right

to profit sharing or nationalization of water, forests, and grazing lands, were grand and showy

without any substantive research or surveys done on them. 109


106 For more information on the shah's land reform, see, Hooglund, Land and Revolution in Iran, 1960-1980. Also,
see Najmabadi, Land Reform and Social( hC I,,I.. in Iran, Nima Nattagh, Agriculture & Regional Development in
Iran (Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, England: Middle East & North African Studies Press, 1986). Baldwin, Planning
and Development in Iran, pp. 71-98.
107 Ruhollah Khomeini, Islam and Revolution: i ,',,,; and Declarations of Imam Khomeini (Berkeley, Calif.:
Mizan Press, 1980), pp. 171-172.
108 Baldwin, Planning and Development in Iran.

109 See Pollack, The Persian Puzzle: The Conflict between Iran andAmerica, pp. 89-90.









literally means where the sun rises and life begins. In other words, the West-East dichotomy was

translated into a Manichean world of good and evil, and this was also a familiar concept in both

Islamic, Shi'i, and Persian myths. Thus, when this worldview was coined by Ale-Ahmad, it

appeared as if this foreignness within has been there since eternity. However, this worldview was

in sharp contrast to previous literary works. For example, during the rule of Reza Shah, the

dominant theme in unofficial literature portrayed the West as good and the East as evil,

backward, and primitive. 143

Al-e Ahmad wrote, "A West-struck person always obsessively and mindlessly pays

attention to Western voices and gestures."144 Ayatollah Khomeini repeated the same sentiments:

A West-struck person even knows himself from the perspective of Orientalists, who are
true expertise for promoting Colonialism, although in their deceptive and treacherous
ways, and by pretending their love and devotion for the knowledge of Islam and the East,
they have constructed a thick veil of ignorance in front of you, the young generation.
Behind this thick veil, they have hidden the "true" dimensions of Islam. Now, however,
all you who have been enlightened with the light of Islam must wake up those who have
been afflicted with this West-struckness.145

Similarly, Ali Shariati represented Iran in an oppositional relation with the West in the same

way:

When I say, "we," I mean "we the Easterners," "we the Muslims," "we the Iranians".
who have experienced terrifying events and witnessed how the treacherous conspiracies
perpetuated by our own Iranian "Left" and "Right" in cooperation with the brutal and
violent forces of foreign powers that together have tried to uproot all traces of our national
identity. As a terrified bird in captivity, we are captured by so many "isms," such as
anarchism, Marxism ... and modernism. The essence of these isms negate our heritage,
cause us to be the mindless emulators of the West, and encourage us to passively submit to




143 In Chapter 3, "Modernism in the Literature," I discuss how modernism was valued and traditionalism was
devalued.
144 Ayatollah Khomeini, Sahif-Eh Imam (Collection ofImam Khomeini) vol. 2 (Tehran: 1349/1970), p. 282.

145 Ali Shariati, Johan Beeni and Ideology (Ontology and Ideology), 5 ed. (Tehran: Enteshar, 1379/2000), pp. 147-
165.









BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Majid Sharifi is a Ph.D. graduate from the University of Florida Department of Political

Science where he also earned a Master of Arts degree in international relations. In 2003, he

graduated with a Master of Arts degree in political science from the Department of Political

Science, Florida International University. In addition to his research program that started in fall

2006, he taught an introductory course in international relations in the Department of Political

Science, University of Florida.

Sharifi was born in Iran. As a student activist, he experienced the political environment of

Iran before, during, and after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Deeply influenced by the fast-paced

changes of political currents in Iran, he decided to write this dissertation about the shifting ideas,

meanings, and rationalities of competing images of Iranian nationalism in its modern history. For

more than 30 years, he has lived and worked in the United States, but he has never lost his

connections to Iran. Sharifi chose to become a teacher for no better purpose than being impressed

by his 10th grade teacher who wanted him to learn because-his teacher had insisted-the very

process of learning changes not only the learner but also the world he lives in.









creating social unrest.18 On the other hand, the emancipatory aspects of Western modernity were

beginning to delegitimize the court from within and without.

The weakening of the court continued to corrupt the very fabric of the court and its

relationship with itself and the people. Even Naser al-Din Shah, who once saw himself as the

shadow of God on earth, became infatuated with the glory of the West. In Iranian mythology, the

shah of Iran was referred to as the .\lhi Ihui\l which literally means the king of kings. In the

collective imagination of Iranians, the shah of Iran was in fact perceived as the king of kings in

the same way he was depicted in the stone carving in Persepolis. According to these images and

narratives associated with them, the shah of Iran would annually receive kings, dignitaries, and

governors of other states, who would come from near and far to show their respect, submission,

and loyalty for the great .\l/ihihnlth of Iran. Accordingly, they would kneel in front of his

majesty and submissively offer their expensive gifts. This representation of the shah of Iran, as

the center of the world and the king of kings, had been taken as inevitable natural facts of social

reality for centuries, was now collapsing. The shah was no longer viewed as the king of kings,

and Iran as the center of the world.

Relatedly, the Shi'i clergy had helped legitimize this image since the Safavid dynasty. On

rare occasions, the clergy submissively had protested the abuses of kings' appointees through

private channels, but never did they question the absolute authority of kings over life, property,

and liberty of the people. Neither did the clergy question the legitimacy of monarchic order.

By the mid-1800s, this image of the shah of Iran had collapsed along with the mythical

reverence for the institution of the court and the Iranian monarchic order. In the discourse, the

West had become the center of the world and the locus of power and glory, even for the shah of

18 Abrahamian argued that the standard of living began to decline in the 19th century. See Katouzian, State and
Society in Iran: The Eclipse of the Qajars and the Emergence of the Pahlavis, p. 286.









The word "revolution," which the shah had previously devalued and detested, was

suddenly valued. Previously, socialists and democratic nationalists had represented the shah as

an anti-revolutionary force and a vestige of a dying feudal system. In contrast, the shah had

represented communists as revolutionary forces out to destroy Iran's heritage of monarchism that

had supposedly helped the nation survive its historical ordeals. In other words, in the official

state discourse, revolution was devalued as the language of Others, and when Kennedy had

referred to the "Alliance for Progress" as a revolution, it had disturbed Mohamad Reza Shah.

In a 1962 interview with Mohamad Reza Shah, David Lilienthal wrote:

The Shah reiterated his bewilderment at some of the campaign speeches about "furthering
revolution" and "such things." [In that interview, the shah said], "I was concerned that the
President [Kennedy] was surrounded by some men who were professors and might not be
realistic about what revolution means out here, about how evil subversion by the Soviets
can be."87

To which Lilienthal responded, "These expressions about 'revolution' did not mean in America

what they might mean when used in Iran."88 In another section of the interview, Lilienthal

assured the shah that Kennedy's use of the word "revolution" had actually meant "social

revolution toward higher living standards."89 Additionally, Julius C. Holmes, Kennedy's

Ambassador to Iran (1961-1965) recalled that he had to assure Mohamad Reza Shah that

Kennedy's references to "revolutions" in his speeches meant only "social revolutions."90

In the shah's language, the word "revolution" was considered as the language of the

Others. Moreover, in the official state language, words such as "feudalism," "land reform,"

"class justice," "workers' rights," "women's rights," "profit sharing," "health rights,"


87 Richards, "America's Shah Shahanshah's Iran."
88 Ibid.

89 Ibid.

90 Mohammed Reza, Answer to History.









LIST OF REFERENCES

Abrahamian, Ervand. Iran between Two Revolutions, Princeton Studies on the near East.
Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1982.

Abrahamian, Ervand, and NetLibrary Inc. Tortured Confessions: Prisons and Public
Recantations in Modern Iran. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999.

Adamiat, Fereydoon. Freedom and Thoughts and the Setting of Constitutional Movement (Fekr
Aza'dy Va Moqademeh Yeh Neza't Moshroeya't). Tehran Entesharat-e-Sokhan 1961/1340.

Afary, Janet, Kevin Anderson, and Michel Foucault. Foucault and the Iranian Revolution:
Gender and the Seductions oflslamism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005.

Afshar, M. Ayandeh June 1925.

Ahmad, Jalal Al-e. The Curse of the Land (Nefrin-E Zamin). 2 ed. Tehran: Ravaq, 1357/1978.

Gharbzadegi (Westoxication). Tehran Ravaq, 1344/1962.

Gharbzadegi = (Weststruckness). Lexington, KY: Mazda Publishers, 1982.

On the Intellectuals (Dar Khedmat andKhianat Roshanfekran). Tehran: Ravaq
1356/1978.

- Three Year Accomplishment (Karnam-Eh S-Eh Saleh) 3ed. Tehran Ravaq, 1357/1978.

Ajodani, Mashallah. "Ejtema'eyon Amyon (Social Democrats)." Political & Economic Ettela'at
20, no. 227-230 (2006): 180-201.

Ajoudani, Mashallah. Mashroteh Irani Va Nazaryeh Valayat-E Fagih (Iranian
Constitutionalism; Backgrounds for the Theory of Guardianship of the Jurisprudent).
London: Fasl-e Ketab Publication, 1997/1367.

Al-Mulk, Nezam. Politics (Seeya'sat Nameh). Edited by Abdul Rahim Khalkhali. Tehran
1936/1310.

Alamdari, Kazam. Why Iran L, .t'ei Behind and the West Moved Forward 10th ed. Vol. 1.
Tejram: Shabak, 1990.

Alikhani, Aliquli, ed. The Complete Notes ofAssaddollah Alam (Yad Dasht-Haay-E Alam). 5
vols. Tehran: Maziar, 1385.

Amj ad, Mohammed. Iran: From Royal Dictatorship to Theocracy, Contributions in Political
Science, No. 242. New York: Greenwood Press, 1989.

Amuzegar, Jahangir. Iran: An Economic Profile. Washington: Middle East Institute, 1977.









nation is usually articulated in relation to the struggle against foreign others (khareji). The

foreign others are always represented as enemies inside working with foreigners outside of a

presumably homogenous nation that has existed only in words but practiced in deeds.

Conclusion

In this chapter, I briefly described the specific historical condition that resulted in the

collapse of the century-old official state discourse of the Iranian monarchic absolutism. I

described how previously valued concepts were devalued, and new basic signifiers entered the

language. While in the pre-modem discourse of monarchic absolutism, the shah, who was

signified as the absolute provider of security for the Muslim-Iranian subjects, began to be

represented as the cause of insecurity and the threat to the Islamic way life. The meaning of the

shah as the security provider collapsed. Relatedly, the meaning of what was previously

represented as a divine political ordered collapsed. Meanwhile, four new signifiers gradually

entered the language. Together with traditional signifiers, the new signifiers began to construct

competing imaginations of Iran, which I have called "contending discourses," each with a

different image of an ideal nation-state that is secure, developed, lawful, democratic, class-just,

and Islamic.

I reviewed the Tobacco Uprising, which was the first urban-based mass movement that

shared a vision of a national community united against the shah and against Britain. In 1906, that

shared vision formed a unity among constitutionalists who wanted to establish a law-based

government. Soon after the establishment of the first Iranian constitutional government, the

extreme internal division, exacerbated by the occupation of foreign powers, forced the country

into civil, local, and tribal conflicts, which ended only when Reza Khan's British-backed coup

resulted in establishing the first modern state Iran. In Chapter 3, I will explain the formation of

Reza Khan's imagination of building a modern nation-state.









Part III: Consolidation of Power (1964-1978)

During this era, Iran's oil revenues increased, the United States acquiesced in a shah-

centered foreign policy, and Mohamad Reza Shah enhanced his personal power over the state

and society. The result of this consolidation was the rapid transformation of the state according

to a particular vision of security, modernization, law, people, justice, and ethics embedded in the

official state discourse.

Security

In terms of security, while contending discourses represented the shah as the "servant of

America (nukar-e America)," the state represented itself as an equal partner in the struggle

against the spread of international communism.156 Based on this logic, for example, the shah sent

Iranian troops to fight against pro-Nasser forces in Yemen, armed Iraqi Kurds against the Soviet-

leaning regime in Baghdad, and became the only state in the Middle East with close ties to Israel.

The shah gladly played the role of being the regional gendarme in accord with the Nixon

Doctrine of regionalization of security. Simultaneously, the United States acquiesced to the shah-

centered state, for the most part discontinued pushing for political reform, and focused on

persuading the shah to purchase more American products. 157

Development

In terms of development, U.S. media represented Mohamad Reza Shah as the agent of

"progress" and modernization in the Middle East. 158 From the perspective of the United States,


156 The word nukar literally means a house servant, which also means being loyal to one's master. During this era,
because of the state repressive measures, the opposition's rhetorical campaign against the Shah was mostly waged
from outside of the country. For example, see Pollack, The Persian Puzzle: The Conflict between Iran and America,
p. 95.
157 Ansari, Modern Iran since 1921: The Pahlavis andAfter, pp. 166-167.

158 Barry M. Rubin, Paved with Good Intentions: The American Experience and Iran (New York: Oxford University
Press, 1980), p. 122.









sovereign and thus the legitimate provider of security, development, law, democracy, equality,

and social ethics.

Imagining the Nation

Motivating, Unifying, and Mobilizing the People

Representing people as the absolute sovereign discursively constructed a singular body of a

nation in opposition to foreign powers and their Iranian agents. The binary representation of

"people" opposing "foreigners" translated into the struggle for people's motivation and

mobilization. Articulating this representation were individuals such as Khalil Maleki, Ali

Shayigan, Ahmad Razavi, Jalal Naini, Rahmat Mustafavi, and Hussein Fatemi. The latter three

men edited a daily paper titled Bakhtar-i Emruz (Today 's East), which became the official organ

of the National Front. However, as the NF fragmented, the paper remained a loyal promoter of

Mussadiq's discourse of democratic nationalism until the fall of his government. By representing

the "people" as a unified body in a life-and-death struggle, Bakhtar-i Emruz motivated the

people to take the state away from foreign usurpers of power and establish the people's

sovereignty (hukumat-i mardumi). For example, in its first issue in 1949, the headline read, "To

End the Pain of Hunger, a Man Hung Himself."27 The piece is not, however, about the plight of a

man; it is about the body of the nation that is dying because of corrupt and incompetent state-

elites who pursued their own self-interest and the interests of foreigners (Kharejian), but ignored

the horrible socio-political conditions of the nation. The paper stated that if the elites were of the

people, the suffering would end. The paper therefore argued that the only solution for ending the

suffering was for the people to establish the people's sovereignty, free from the contamination of





27 "Commemorating Imam Hussein's Birthday," Bakhtar Emruz May, 9 1950.









At the time, Malek al-Shoara-ye Bahar, a radical democrat and famous poet, called for the

revived unity that had brought the monarchic absolutism to its knees. In a nostalgic tone for the

unifying ideals of the constitutional revolution whose origin was not far in the future, Bahar

wrote:

Agreed, we did not, to the breaking of our own promises,
To the losing of our own oneness,
To the shattering of our own nation,
And to the changing of our own minds.
But agreed, we did,
To the saving of our motherland for God's sake,
To the unity of our own people for God's sake,
And to the destroying of our own internal enemy for God's sake.28

Although the poet assumed the oneness of the "motherland," the "nation," and the "internal

enemy" for all Iranians, no such oneness existed. Different imaginations of Iran had opposing

notions of the "motherland," the "nation," and the "internal enemy." These internal divisions

turned to the loss of faith on the part of the people about the constitutional movement, and even

the word "constitutionalism" (mashroteh) came to mean killing and looting rather than how it

had been previously valued as the universal ideal for goodness. According to Katouzian,

"Whenever anyone killed anyone and anywhere was looted, they said it was constitutionalised .

S(beh mashroteh-ash resi).29

When World War I broke out, Iran's internal division was exacerbated exponentially.

Although Iran declared neutrality, it did not have the power to enforce it. Thus, it became the

Hosein Bashiriyeh, Mavanea Tosa'yea Syasi Dar Iran (Obstacles to Political Development in Iran), vol. 5 (Tehran:
Gam-e No 2001).

Adamiat, Freedom and Thoughts and the i. ,,ig of Constitutional Movement (Fekr Aza'dy Va Moqademeh Yeh
Neza't Moshroeya't). Mohammad Malekzadeh, History of the Constitutional Revolution of Iran (Tarikh-E Inqila'b-E
Mashrutiyat-EIran), 5 vols. (Tehran: Suqrat Press, 1949), v. 1, pp. 202-205.
28 For the Farsi text, see Katouzian, State and Society in Iran: The Eclipse of the Qajars and the Emergence of the
Pahlavis, p. 58.
29 Ibid., p. 71.










The Tobacco Uprising

In 1890, in exchange for 15,000, Naser Al-din Shah (who reigned from 1831-1896)

"handed over the complete control of the production, purchase, sale, and export of Iranian

tobacco to the British Rege company."11 With this concession, a massive campaign against the

shah began. Merchants refused to deal with the British company. Sayed Jamal Afghani (1839-

1897) began a letter campaign to convince the Shi'i clerical establishment to use their pulpits

(manbars) to mobilize the people against the concession. Ayatollah Mirza Hassan Shirazi, a

respected religious scholar (Mujtahed) in Najaf, issued afatwa (religious edict) that banned the

consumption of all tobacco products. People from all occupations, including wives of the shah,

obeyed thefatwa and a national political movement was born. The shah had no choice but to

cancel the concession and pay damages to the British company, which also included future

profits. The Tobacco Uprising was a historical turning point that demarcated traditional political

discourses from modern discourses. During the Tobacco Uprising, for the first time, Iranians

articulated concepts that were unprecedented in the way the relationship between the ruled and

rulers was represented in at least four different ways.






Nezam Al-mulk, Politics (Seeya'sat Nameh), ed. Abdul Rahim Khalkhali (Tehran 1936/1310).

Abdul Hussein Zarin-kub, Dar Jeztejoya TasvofDar Iran (a Survey ofSufism in Iran) vol. 2 (Tehran: Amir Kabir,
1376/1997).

Jacob Edward Polak, Persian, Das Land Und Seine trans. Kikavus Johndari (Bowohener: Ethnographische
Schilderugen, 1865).

Polak, Persian, Das Land Und Seine

Additionally, a great deal of understanding can be deduced from the reading of European travelers to Iran, as well
as Iranian travelers to Europe. For example see Suroosh Irfani, Iran's Islamic Revolution: Popular Liberation or
Religious Dictatorship? (Lahore, Pakistan Vanguard Books Ltd., 1983), p. 22.

1 Irfani, Iran's Islamic Revolution: Popular Liberation or Religious Dictatorship?

































"To Sheki, Annahitta, and Ava with Love"









Once again articles of clothing became a part of political identity. The state-elites refused

to wear ties as the symbol of modernism association with garbzadegi (West-struckness).

Although wearing Western-style suits and pants remained as the standard norm for men's dress

code, ironed pants, shined shoes, short sleeves, long collars, expensive materials, shaved faces,

shiny colors, or whatever else was deemed showy or fashionable became un-Islamic. The state

also ordered all female employees to wear hejab (the complete covering of one's hair and body).

Eventually, the order applied to all women in Iran, even to non-Iranian visitors such as foreign

journalists. In addition to the dress code, alcohol, drugs, music, dating, theater, and all practices

imagined as Western were banned as anti-Islamic values.211 In brief, with the collapse of the

Shah's regime, modem Islamists officialized the discourse of modern Islam. Modern Islam was

embedded in all the existential values, concepts, and narratives previously constructed in the

context of Iranian contending discourses, but in a new meaning.

Conclusion

During the tumultuous period of 1953 to 1979, by signifying security and development, the

official state discourse represented Mohamad Reza Shah as a divine sovereign who was expected

to provide security, develop the nation, uphold the law, and enforce the will of the people, as

well as spread justice and Islamic ethics. Constitutive of the official state discourse was the

significance of six sub-discourses that all modern Iranian political discourses share, although

each according to a different interpretation of an ideal nation-state and values. The shah-centered

state represented itself (a) as the divine sovereign who provided security for his people; (b) as the

leader who modernized Iran to supposedly become as civilized as the West; (c) as the ruler who

governed according to Western bureaucratic norms and rationality; (d) as the leader who


211 Khomeini, Islam and Revolution: J0 '' '., and Declarations oflmam Khomeini, pp. 200-208.









4 THE FALL OF REZA SHAH AND THE SHARING OF THE STATE (1941-1951)........126

In tro du ctio n ................... ...................1.............................6
Events (1941-1951) ..........................................................126
The Fall of Reza Shah and the Sharing of the State.................... .................. ................126
The Building of a N ew State ........................................................................... 129
Econom ic D evelopm ent ............................................................. .............. 129
Political Development .................. ......................... .. ...... .................134
Im agination of the N ation ........................................................ ............. 138
F o re ig n R e latio n s ............................................................................................................ 14 4
The Foreign in Foreign Policy............................................... ............. ............... 144
F oreig n P policy ...............................................................14 7
C o n clu sio n ................... ...................1...................5.........2

5 DEMOCRATIC NATIONALISM (1951-53) ............ .............. ................................ 155

Introduction ............ ......... .................. ..................... ................... 155
E v e n ts ........................................ .... .. .....................................................1 5 5
Political Identity of Democratic Nationalism (1951-1953)............................. ............. 161
Im agining the N action .............. ................ .......... .. .. .......163
M otivating, Unifying, and M obilizing the People.................................... ............... 163
Imagining People as the Source of Law................................................166
D iscourse of D developing the State .............................................. ............................. 168
F freedom Independence........................................................................ ...................168
Political D evelopm ent ........... ...... ....... ........................................ 168
E conom ic D evelopm ent ....................................................................... ...................17 1
F foreign R relations ......... ....... .............................. ............................174
C o n clu sio n ......... .... ................................................. ...........................18 0

6 THE CONSTRUCTION AND COLLAPSE OF MODERN MONARCHISM (1953-
1 9 7 9 ) ............. ..... ............ .......................................... ................................ . ........... 1 8 2

Introduction ......... ................................ .. ................182
Part I: Restoration of the Discourse of Modern Monarchism (1953-1979)........................186
Building and Securitizing the State ...................................... ............... 186
Im agining the N action ............... ...................... ................................ ........... .... .... 189
The Shah as the Embodiment of the Nation-state................................189
The People: The Official Representation of Civil Society................ ........... 191
Security as a Disciplinary Practice: The Language of Repression.........................198
E conom ic D ev elopm ent............................................................................... ...................20 1
Representation of N ationalization ..................................... .......................... .......... 203
Official Representation of Economic "Liberalism" ........... .......................................205
Representing Shah-centered Development....................... ........................ 209
M easuring Econom ic D evelopm ent ........................................ ......................... 212
F o reig n R elatio n s ............................................................................................................ 2 16
Part II: Crisis and Reform (1960-1964) ............... .................................. ...............220
Representing Economic Underdevelopment as Security ...........................................220


7









existing constitution and allow them to participate in the government. Hence, the aim was not to

antagonize the regime. In other words, the secular opposition had agreed to tone down its anti-

American, anti-shah, and anti-Israel rhetoric in public so that the regime could co-op them. They

essentially advocated what Bakhtiyar described as a "minimalist demand" for holding "a semi-

free election."116 But the state would not allow nationalists or communists to participate in the

election because they were perceived as threats to the state.

The Discourse of Modern Islam: Political Islam and Return to Self

By 1960, Islamists had begun to represent a worldview that was both evolutionary and

revolutionary. It was "evolutionary" because it incorporated all the basic signifiers previously

constructed in both modern and traditional Iranian discourses. It was "revolutionary" because it

called for the overthrow of the regime as a symptom of Iranian Self-hate, alienation, and Western

domination. A revolutionary and evolutionary Islam was represented by de-linking development

from Westernization. In other words, Islamists began to represent development in terms of

returning to an Islamic-Iranian Self rather than emulating the Western models of development.

Most significantly, however, was how Islamists retrieved Islamic, Shi'i, and Sufi historical texts

to represent a supposedly "true Islamic ideology" for life both here and hereafter. Accordingly,

this modem Islamists constructed a new political ideology that represented traditional clerical

conservatism and quietism as "un-Islamic." Instead, they offered an alternative Islamic ideology.

In contrast to a compromising call on the part of socialists and nationalists, by 1960,

Islamists were demanding a systematic and revolutionary change. They called not only for a

violent and revolutionary overthrow of the regime, but also a modernizing vision of Islam that

devalued Islamic or Sufi quietism, religious conservatism, and any other compromises with the

116 Interview with Dabashi and NetLibrary Inc., Theology ofDiscontent: The Ideological Foundations of the Islamic
Revolution in Iran.









and class and justice. Through a particular signification of "people," democratic nationalists

imagined an ideal nation-state in which the "people" were represented as a unified body with no

distinction made between Persians and non-Persians, capitalists and workers, civilized citizens

and savages, Muslims and non-Muslims, and modern and traditional. In other words, the

"people" became the basic signifier that linked a series of images, words, and practices to

construct a political space in which differences in Self disappeared to constitute a unified body

called the "people" conceptualized as the absolute sovereign; therefore, the provider and the

beneficiary of order or security, law, development, justice, and ethics.

However, transforming the fragmented body of the nation into a unified Self needed a

historically available and socially understood sign or symbol in the language. That sign was

Kharejian (foreigners), which was already related to how Iranians imagined themselves in

relation to others. Since the 1906 Constitutional Revolution, the word "foreigner" (Kharejian)

had signified weakness, poverty, misery, insecurity, and domination of Self by arrogance, power,

and wealth over others. Yet Kharijian had exited into the language in many forms. To transform

this heterogeneity into homogeneity needed another available, possible, and imaginable sign in

the language. That sign was the AIOC, which linked Britain. Foreigners reflected all that was

imagined wrong with Iran-no independence, no freedom, no law, underdevelopment, class

injustice, and unethical practices. In effect, this discourse represented Iran as a collective body

threatened by the AIOC and Britain. In the discourse on democratic nationalism, Iran was

represented as a biological body whose very survival was threatened by Britain. Through this

practices, the people were motivated and mobilized as though they were a singular body

threatened by Britain. In the next section, I will discuss how rhetoric, policies, and practices in

the discourse constructed a political space in which people were turned into the absolute









never entered popular texts, but it has remained in modernists' texts. In any event, these racist

connotations entered into fictional literature where the imagery of Arab and Turkic savageries

were truly noteworthy. In later decades, a particular literary genre developed in Iran: Roman-e

Tarikhi (romantic history) with three common themes in this genre. First, Iranians were

victimized by the Arabs and later by the Turks. Second, the post-Arab invasion of Iran has been

a struggle to defend the Iranian civilization from savages. Third, early Islamic-Arab

achievements in arts and sciences were actually the achievements of the Persians-not those of

the Arabs.

Academia also had a great role in the creation of this knowledge. In 1934, when the

University of Tehran formally opened, many prominent modernist figures helped establish a new

field-Iranology (Iran e.\/, t/ii). Iranology was a bridge that connected Persian history,

language, literature, and architecture to Iranian official nationalism. Abdolhossein Zarinkoub,

Zabihola Safa, and Badiozzaman Forouzanfar were three of the founders of Iranology. During

this era, Allameh Dehkhoda published his 15-volume Persian dictionary. Interestingly, Iranology

had begun in 1903 at the University of Gottingen in Germany. Not surprisingly, during the

1930s, when Reza Shah admired Germany as an ideal Western developmental template, the

University of Gottingen was at the apex of the production of knowledge in the newly established

field of Iranology. This new field produced academic and scientific knowledge for the Iranian

official nationalism. The common theme among Iranologists was to compare the glories of the

past to the miseries of the present. However, in this glory-misery dichotomy, the official

nationalism related the glories of the past to the unity of God, the state, and the people. Not

surprisingly, throughout the Pahlavi dynasty, the state motto was "God, King, and Nation"









"fatherland" from foreign traitors and communist spies.56 This "victory day" was celebrated with

much fanfare until the fall of the Pahlavi dynasty.

In contrast to the Shah, constitutionalists and nationalists in the Majlis represented the

victory as a legal victory. They argued that the victory had become possible by Qavam

convincing the Soviets that he would lobby the Majlis on their behalf. This maneuver would

have been impossible without a legal and functional Majlis, constitutionalists argued. Moreover,

they argued that Qavam had cleverly utilized the Majlis to make a positive equilibrium

(muvazen-ya musbat) between the British and the Soviets. Accordingly, constitutionalists

believed that having a functional Majlis in charge of making treaties gave legal sanction to ruling

elites to pit one power against the other. Qavam made this point in a 1949 letter from Paris to the

shah as the shah was in the midst of his most aggressive move to reduce the role of the Majlis. In

his letter, Prime Minister Qavam reminded the shah that the 1946-1947 negotiation with the

Soviets would have failed had it not been for the Majlis and the constitution. He strongly advised

against further weakening of the constitution, urging that it would not only threaten the national

interest but also endanger the Pahlavi dynasty. For that advice, the shah took away Qavam's title

(ashrafor eminent), which he had given to him for negotiating the Soviet withdrawal in 1947.57

However, as power shifted from the cabinet and the Majlis to the shah, foreign policy

shifted from the concept of positive equilibrium to what the shah, in later years, called the policy

of "positive nationalism," which essentially meant the shah's acquiescent alliance with the

United States and its allies. Nevertheless, the articulation of the shah's concept of "positive

nationalism" was possible only in the context of Mussadiq's foreign policy of negative


56 Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions, pp. 225-231.

57 Mahmood Mamdani, Citizen and Subject: Contemporary Africa and the Legacy of Late Colonialism, Princeton
Studies in Culture/Power/History (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1996).









security, and law because it has applied conceptual categories constructed in the West to describe

Iran's competing social realities. Second, Taylor focuses on "meanings" as social phenomena

that are intersubjectively interpreted as "reality" for subjects, of things in particular fields, and in

relations to other words, things, concepts, images, and narratives. Taylor emphasizes that social

reality is an interpretation of Self as a group, of the material and social world, and of the

intersubjective vision in relational terms, for example, Self in relation to others. The third

characteristic of Taylor is his attention to transformative changes:

My principal claim is that we can only come to grip with this phenomenon of breakdown
[transformative changes] by trying to understand more clearly and profoundly the common
and intersubjective meanings of the society in which we have been living. For it is there
which no longer hold us, and to understand this change we have to have an adequate grasp
of these meanings. But this we cannot do as long as we remain with the ambit of
mainstream social science, for it will not recognize intersubjective meanings, and is forced
to look at the central ones of our society as though they were the inescapable background
for all political actions.38

For Taylor, historical changes in "common meanings or intersubjectivity" transform social

reality. Accordingly, social reality is embedded in the knowledge of the present but built upon

the past, as they were understood. Citing the case of immigrant groups-embedded in two

contrasting social realities of their past and present, he states that new identities are "sealed in the

blood of the old."39

Finally, the fourth characteristic of Taylor's interpretative approach is to show that

competing social realities can and do coexist. Taylor strongly rejects the notion that politics is

about the "perennial" struggle of making distinction between, for example, the "correct political

perception" and its opposite-"ideological," "misperception," "irrationality," "false




38 Ibid., p. 64.
39 Ibid.









desirable. In practical terms, the negotiation resulted in recognizing the sovereign right of Iran

over its oil resources. Meanwhile, Iran accepted a 50-50 profit sharing scheme, and it agreed to

compensate the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) 25 million for its losses. Additionally, the

state agreed to the formation of a consortium of oil companies, which paid more than $600

million to British Petroleum (BP) for 60% of its share. In short, the result of the coup

transformed not only Iran-U.S. relations by bringing about an economic bonanza for eight

American oil companies that ended up owning 40% of the former AIOC, but it also guaranteed

oil supplies for Britain. Meanwhile, Iran maintained its performative control over its oil

resources, which the regime represented as a national victory and the contending discourses

depicted as a national defeat. 35

Although the image of Britain was being reconstructed, the state could not avoid values

attached to the concept of nationalization, which had become a national value during Mussadiq's

government. Therefore, the state valued nationalization while it discursively subverted the

meaning of nationalizing. Ali Amini, Iran's chief negotiator in the settlement of the oil disputes

in 1954, referred to this national value, that is, nationalization, as an unavoidable "national

disease" that everyone had to adhere to.36 The "national disease" that Amini refers was a trace

from the past. Anything labeled foreign-owned or foreign-operated was understood as being

against the Iranian national interest.

Accordingly, Mohamad Reza Shah adopted Mussadiq's language of nationalization. He

not only began to take credit for the nationalization of oil industries, which he had once opposed,

but he started a new round of nationalization. During his land reform in 1963, he ordered the


35 Keddie and Richard, Modern Iran: Roots and Results ofRevolution, pp. 136-137.
36 Habib Ladjevardi, ed., Memoirs ofAli Amini: Prime Minister oflran (1961-62), (Iranian Oral History Project,
Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University, 1999), p. 85.










Irani). Similarly, many of the nationalists also identified with the sub-discourse of Pan

Persianism.33 I will discuss this point further in Chapter 5.

In this era, Muslims were classified into two categories: "Good" Muslims were considered

as pro-development, Western-like, Western-dressed, pro-shah, and anti-communist; "bad"

Muslims were considered as fanatical, anti-development, and anti-shah. Bad Muslims were

represented as close-minded, superstitious, crude, and pre-modern people. Phrases and words,

such as "fallen-behind" (aqab uftad-ih), "fanatical" (fanatic), "traditional" (sunati),

"superstitious" (khurafati) and "religious dogmatism" (khushk mazhab) described bad Muslims.

Additionally, bad Muslims were represented as Arab-like rather than Iranian or Western-like.

This logic of differentiation and categorization between good and bad Muslims continued

throughout the reign of the second Pahlavi, Mohamad Reza Shaw.

This differentiation between good and bad was very prominent throughout the reign of

Mohamad Reza Shah. In this dichotomization, good clerics visited the shah, supported the shah's

anti-communist campaign, and refrained from political activities. Chapter 5 will discuss this

phenomenon further.

The dichotomization of good and bad Muslims also included women. Good Muslim

women remained unveiled and Western-like in appearance, but weak and Eastern-like in their

behavior. Mohamad Reza Shah promoted this view of women throughout his reign. For him, the


33 For example, the Pan-Iranist Party, which was first led by Mushin Pizishkhpoor and Dariysh Furuhar, primarily
identified with the identity of Persianism. Historically, the party was a pro-German party, but between 1941 and
1951, its main objective was fighting the Tudeh Party and communism through the representation of communists as
kharejian. When Mussadiq's oil nationalization struggle became the primary national issue differentiating the
Irani/Khareji, the party became a pro-Mussadiq Party. However, Mussadiq was gradually re-represented as pro-
communist, and thus a Khareji, the party's position changed again. Then, Pizishkhpoor, who led the party, became
an ardent supporter of the shah absolutism even though it was a known fact that the shah was receiving help from
both the United States and Britain. But Furuhar deviated from the Pan-Iranist party line and continued identifying
with Mussadiq as an Iranian nationalist and constitutionalist. In 1997, Furhar and his wife were stabbed to death by
some agents in the Information Ministry of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The accusation was that Furhar was
associated with Kharejian.









Mohamad Reza Shah, who appointed Ebtehaj as the head of the PO with the consent of the

United States. But Mohamad Reza Shah kept Ebtehaj in his post as long as Ebtehaj went along

with the Shah's insistence on increasing the military budget even during economic crisis.42

During the 1950s, Ebtehaj, was deeply influenced by Walt Rostow's concept of staged

development. Rostow believed that economic growth, vis-a-vis various developmental projects,

would automatically lead to a higher living standard and change the sociopolitical consciousness

of the people. According to Dr. Khodadad Farmanfarmaian, a close associate of Ebtehaj and the

head of the Harvard Advisory Group, Ebtehaj believed:

Once you raise the standard of living of people through deliberate economic development,
all these political problems-corruptions, inefficiency, jealousies, etcetera will be
wiped out from their awareness, from their conscious, from their character if you will. And
as the standard of living went up, people would become more straightforward, more
cooperative, and that you would get true social, political change from the development of
the development of the country.43

Ebtehaj's liberal prescription for economic development was a typical representation of

what Foucault called "a regime of truth," which the U.S. epistemic community represented as a

universal developmental model for everywhere. Its basic tenets were simple: (a) increase private

consumption and expenditure, (b) decrease tariffs on imports, (c) export products that are

comparatively profitable, and (d) encourage investment by increasing capital security and

profitability. From 1952 to 1962, Iran received more than $1.135 billion from the United States

out of which $225 million was in loans, $504 million was for military assistance, and the






42 Bostock and Jones, Planning and Power in Iran: Ebtehaj and Economic Development under the Shah, pp. 151-
154.

43Ibid., p. 92. Habib Ladjvardi, "Interview with Khordad Farmanfamaian" in Iranian Oral History Project
Harvard University Center for Middle Eastern Studies (Iranian Oral History Project I Harvard University Center for
Middle Eastern Studies, 1982 ), tape 3.










advertisement that depicted a veiled Iranian woman-as if they did not exist even as

36
consumers.

The same trend could be seen in the growing movie industry. According to Hamid

Dabashi, "Not until the advent of the Islamic Revolution and the active 'Islamization' of the

cinema, did women appear veiled in motion pictures."37 The general texts showed unveiled

women as educated, modern, and articulate. In contrast, veiled women were represented as

traditional, motherly, and inarticulate. Moreover, it was unthinkable to imagine that a female

employee of the state or even a private firm would have veiled women employees. In fact,

working women were equated with being modem, mobile, fashion-conscious, Western-like,

educated, and wealthy. Conversely, being a traditional woman was equated with being veiled,

homebound, religious, uneducated, and traditional.

Nevertheless, in the discourse of modern absolutism, women remained as weak, irrational,

and emotional to be protected by their respective patriarchs. In a passing statement referring to

Mussadiq, his greatest rival before Ayatollah Khomeini, Mohamad Reza Shah suggested,

"Mussadiq and his followers cried like women and indulged in hysterical tirades."38 In an

interview with Oriana Fallaci, he suggested that women were created to be beautiful, charming,

and comforting to men, for they do not have the ability to become Michelangelo, Bach, or even a

great chef39






36 Dabashi, Iran: A People Interrupted, p. 20.

37 Mohammed Reza, Mission for My Country, p. 126.

38 Oriana Fallaci, Interview with History, 1st ed. (New York: Liveright, 1976), pp. 270-272.

39 Mohammed Reza, Mission for My Country, p. 298.









Return to Self

During this era, the interpretation of the concept of Irani-Khareji (Iranian-foreigners)

began to shift from perceiving external or physical enemies to internal and metaphysical enemy-

foreigners. In the discourse, Kharejian (foreigners) were no longer merely linked to the physical

presence or domination of Americans, British, or Russians. They were instead represented as

Western-like others within.

Iran was represented as a sick body afflicted with a Western disease that was debilitating

the Iranian mind and body. This pathological analogy was similar to how modernists had

described Iran since the 1906 constitutional revolution a dying patient whose survival depended

upon adopting Westernization, which was equated to modernization in modernist discourses. In

contrast, by 1960, modern Islamists represented Iran as a dying patient whose survival depended

on rejecting Westernization but not modernization, which they equated with a return to Islamic-

Self. 136

For modern Islamists, the linkage between Westernization and modernization broke apart.

They began to devalue both capitalism and socialism as Western-style modernism, which had

enslaved Iran. Eventually, public intellectuals, such as Al-e Ahmad and Ali Shariati, began to

challenge the regime without directly confronting it. In much more confrontational ways,

however, modern Islamists directly challenged socialists and nationalists by devaluing them as

soulless, cultureless, and they alienated Iranians in their monkey-see-monkey-do attitude toward

the West. Meanwhile, they also blamed the established Shi'i clergy and their conservatism,





136 "If a patient will surely die unless he has a serious operation, and he might not survive the operation, is there any
sensible person who would say: don't operate? That is Iran's positions," said Ebtehaj. See Ahmad, (il .. i,.,
(Westoxication), Ahmad, On the Intellectuals (Dar Khedmat and Khianat Roshanfekran).









and death to the shah."81 The protest provided an ideal opportunity for Mohamad Reza Shah to

discredit Amini, raise the threat of a communist revolution, and push back Kennedy's reform.

The next day the military brutally attacked the university. Ahmad Farhad, the university

chancellor, resigned in protest. In his letter of resignation to Amini, Dr. Farhad wrote:

Many of the students have been beaten to the point of death. I have never seen or heard of
so much cruelty, sadism, atrocity, and vandalism on the part of Government forces. Some
of the girls of the University were criminally attacked in the classrooms by the soldiers ....
Not even the University Hospital was out of bounds to the soldiers. Many of the nurses and
patients were either beaten or wounded.82

Turning a peaceful demonstration into a bloody war on students achieved its purpose. The

military closed the university and began a massive round of arrests. The SAVAK arrested and

charged leaders of the opposition with the usual charge of disturbing the peace and threatening

the state's security.83 Meanwhile, Amini was stuck in a budget crisis, which needed more help

from the United States or a cut in the military expenditure, neither one of which was

forthcoming. In June 1962, Amini turned in his resignation and the shah appointed Assadullah

Alam, one of his most loyal sycophants, as the new prime minister.

In short, in the battle to break the shah-centered state, the Kennedy-Amini alliance lost to

Mohamad Reza Shah. Both Kennedy and Amini returned to their default positions, which was

supporting the shah rather than jeopardizing the system. In his offer of resignation, Amini said to

the shah:






81 Richards, "America's Shah Shahanshah's Iran," p. 16.
82 Ibid.

83 It is argued that the head of SAVAK, Timour Bakhtiyar, who wished to replace Amini as the prime minister,
instigated the attack on the University of Tehran. For example, see Ladjevardi, ed., Memoirs ofAli Amini: Prime
Minister of Iran (1961-62), p. 123.









society, political parties, history, and religion. From its emergence in 1953, despite having a

monopoly over the material and institutional resources of the country, the state nevertheless

could not produce legitimacy for itself, so it ruled mostly by fear. However, by the mid-1970s,

the state began to lose its representational power to its opponents.

From the mid-1970s, the state could not instill fear or produce legitimacy for its rule.

Discursively, Mohamad Reza Shah was turned into a symbol of American imperial domination,

and resisting him became a symbol of patriotism. The interpretation of the shah, as one who

invoked grandeur, fear, and the divine myth of the king of kings (shah han shah,) was changed

into a diminutive stature of a "Servant of America." Even the oil boom of the 1970s

delegitimized the regime despite the fact that the regime had raised the people's standard of

living. The military buildup fueled the people resentment rather than producing national pride.

An extensive array of modernizing projects and policies angered the people because they were

interpreted as further decaying of the Iranian-Muslim Self, which had never existed. By 1979,

the state collapsed. In sum, by a genealogical exploration of the state discourses during the

Pahlavi dynasty, this dissertation has shown how different ways of imagining Iran produced

different policies and practices, which facilitated some possibilities while barring others.

The implication of this dissertation is not just about understanding the past, but how the

past has permeated the present-the continuities and changes in how meanings of policies and

practices of the current regime in Iran has traces of the past embedded in the exigency of the

present. Despite the pervasive argument in the literature, which represents the Islamic Republic

as a failure in modernity, the Islamic Republic is a particular case of modernity embedded in

social values previously constructed in the contending discourses of Iran. The discourse of the

Islamic state in Iran was-and is-a particular construction made possible by the existing









terms such as "despotic orientalism," "arbitrary rule," "illegitimate rule," and "unrepresentative

rule." These are categorical identifications explicitly constructed in reference to an ideal typical

Western model. These categories are descriptive representations of the East. Is legitimacy only

"founded in law and the consent of influential social classes," as it had been in Europe?

Third, Katouzian described the modern and pre-modem history of Iran in terms of the

theory of "arbitrary rule." The theory has a cyclical trajectory, which is very deterministic. He

explained each cycle in four terms: (a) the implosion of the system because of arbitrary rule; (b)

the establishment of relative freedom; (c) freedom leading to social chaos and physical

insecurity; and (d) a strongman coming to power to provide security and peace. This cyclical

theory, he argued, leads to the reestablishment of another round of arbitrary rule. Referring to the

establishment of Reza Shah and the Islamic Republic, he stated that "after some temporary

successes [for having freedom and law] ... the Iranian society proved to be more powerful than

newly acquired political ideas."24 In other words, for Katouzian, not only is modernity a fixed

ideal typical concept, but tradition is also a fixed and deterministic concept. Moreover, both the

state and the society deterministically provide the condition for justification of a cyclical theory

of the "arbitrary rule."

Finally, Katouzian presented his methodological approach by declaring:

[T]his research [is] ... a comparative theory of Iranian state, society and politics
developed by applying social science models and techniques to Iranian society. It
compares and contrasts the Iranian experience with that of Europe, laying bare the
important-but often concealed differences between them.25

In other words, he explicitly accepted Europe as an ideal typical model of modernity. That

is why he described Reza Shah's attempt to modernize as "pseudo modernism." Presumably,


24 Ibid.
25 Ibid.









and agriculture producer, and consumer. In addition to becoming the largest employer in the

country, the state became the largest source of promoting education, the gatekeeper for receiving

education, and decider in the content of knowledge for the educational system. By the 1970s, the

state financed 70,000 students in state-owned universities in addition to financing even a larger

number of students in various Western educational systems. In fact, among the Near Eastern

countries, Iran sent a higher percentage of its student population abroad than any other country in

the region.171 Additionally, while the state maintained its traditional economic monopolies, such

as imports, exports, transportation, roads, airlines, cements, steel, tobacco, the state also began to

tightly regulate and control licensing of small and large businesses.

In short, notwithstanding their differences, the media and epistemic community in the

United States, as well as Iranian state-elites, agreed that the shah-centered policies were

drastically transforming the lifestyle of Iranians, but according to a particular vision that

perceived the shah as the cause of not only regional security but also "domestic stability." 172

Constitutive of knowledge was, however, a total disconnect between the state version of realities

and those interpreted and understood from the prism of contending discourses. These discourses

represented Mohamad Reza Shah as the "Servant of America." For socialists, the shah was

serving the interests of capitalist America. For nationalists, the shah was serving the interest of

foreign powers, which by then happened to be America rather than Britain. For Islamists, the

shah was serving the interest of non-Muslim America out to destroy Islam.

During this time, Ayatollah Khomeini, who had been released from prison for calling the

Shah's White Revolution un-Islamic and branding him as the cheap servant of America, once


171 Minister of Science and Higher Education, "Statistics Concerning Iranian Students in Iran," (Tehran 1970), pp.
74-75.
172 Khomeini, Islam and Revolution: J0 '' '., and Declarations oflmam Khomeini, pp. 181-188.










Foucault's words, "[I]t is that language which has given us the possibility and the right to do so. .

S[those particular languages] forms the blind spot on the basis of which things around us are

arranged as we see them today."54

In sum, Foucault defines discourses as "a group of statements ... made up of a limited

number of statements for which a group of conditions of existence can be defined."5 The

assumption is that language is an active medium and itself a part of how social reality is

collectively constructed and intersubjectively understood.56 Foucault argues that discourses

create conditions of possibility for the production of presuppositions, truths, preferences,

interests, rationalities, and contextual knowledge that creates a space in the language for what

would be possible, communicable, and socially valued or devalued.57

For the purpose of this dissertation, which is concerned with the Iranian state- elites'

imagination of an ideal nation-state, I will attempt to interpret the language of the official state

discourses in modern Iran. I will analyze the "slow genesis" and "obscure development" of

contending discourses of the state-elites as the way they projected their "discursive practices

"onto the society," which produced, reproduced, and reified conditions of possibility for the

construction of the political discourse of Islamic Republicanism.58


54 Ibid.

5 Ibid., p. 117.
56 To my knowledge, Foucault does not use the term "intersubjectivity" inArchaeology ofKnowledge. I use it
because the term has become a generic word that refers to collective, unconscious, and subjective meanings shared
by groups of people.

57 For the purpose of this dissertation, I mention Foucault for his insight into the role of discourses and the hierarchic
formation of historical discourses into condition of existence. I am aware that there are methodological and
epistemological differences between Taylor and Foucault. While Taylor's emphasis is hermeneutics and
interpretative meanings, Foucault's focus is the opposite. He attempts to avoid all interpretation and departs from the
goals of hermeneutics and "truth" in meanings. But this does not mean that Foucault denounces interpretative
meaning. For him, meanings depend on the historical discursive formations. For the purpose of this dissertation, I
mention Foucault for his insight into the role of discourses and the hierarchic formation of discourses.
58 Ibid., p. 117. By discursive practice, Foucault means the way in which discourses are projected onto society.









institutional legacy of modern absolutism inherited from Reza Shah's era and continued to

operate in the country. As a result, the attempt was made to liberalize the economy without

tackling the issue of polity. In other words, since security was the governing statement for U.S.-

Iran relations, it shaped thw wya various aid packages were designed.

In his 1949 trip to Washington, through his envoys, Mohamad Reza Shah communicated

that he was more interested in military than economic aid. According to Frances Bostock and

Geoffrey Jones, the Shah's preference "caused confusion in Washington and consternation in

Tehran."17 But the confusion in Washington disappeared when Eisenhower became president

and securitized Iran even further. In later years, Mohamad Reza Shah began to blame the failure

of the plan on Mussadiq, which was a different source of corruption than the OCI had blamed.

Mohamad Reza Shah argued that Mussadiq's "negative policies led straight to the sort of

political and economic chaos which foreign agents [Tudeh members] found ideal for their

purposes." In other words, the shah did not conceive of the possibility of failure because of the

institutional legacy of modern absolutism,18 but he blamed Mussadiq's policy of nationalizing

the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC).

However, Keddie correctly rejected these representations and concluded, "It is often said

that the cutting off Anglo-IOC royalties finished the Plan, but its de facto demise was assured

before oil nationalization. 19 Keddie argued, "The assumption that development was possible and

desirable without a basic change in social [political] structure fundamentally weakened planning

[economic development] in Iran.20


17 Mohammed Reza, Mission for My Country, 126.

18 Keddie and Richard, Modern Iran: Roots and Results ofRevolution.
19 Ibid.
20 Mohammed Reza, Mission for My Country, 126.









For example, news of Japanese and Italian oil tankers arriving, loading, and leaving

Abadan was enthusiastically reported as if Iran had already defeated Britain. In a sense, the

government began to treat the oil issue as if it had already won the battle, and all indications

pointed that way. According to Katouzian, "On purely economic grounds, the fall of Mussadiq's

government was by no means inevitable."59

In short, the discourse of democratic nationalism constructed a political space that made a

particular representation, description, and rationalization of economic development as the only

way to assure Iran's aspiration for freedom, independence, and development. All other

alternatives or possibilities were represented as bad, foreign-driven, and detrimental to Iran's

survival. Even history was reconstructed to prove the point. Mussadiq argued: "I was opposed to

oil concession .. ever since the 9 Majlis when the 1933 Agreement was concluded ... [and] I

was certain that, as long as foreign powers operated Iran's oil resources, this country would

never see the face of freedom independence and development."60

Foreign Relations

Democratic nationalists imagined the nation as a singular body united in a historical

struggle against Kharejian. This dichotomization of Iran versus foreigners permeated into the

conduct of foreign policy. Patriotism meant standing up to Kharejian and betrayal meant

supporting foreigners. For example, in his memoir, to prove that he has always been a patriot,

Mussadiq wrote:



58 For example, a front page title read, Carrying Iranian Oil to Japan Is a Great New Loss for England. In a
celebratory tone, another title on the same day read, Loading the Twenty-Thousand-Ton Japanese Tanker Finished
and It Left Abadan Today; Tomorrow Loading the Five-Thousand-Ton Italian Tanker Begins. See Bill and Louis,
eds., Mussaddiq, Iranian Nationalization and Oil, p. 225.
59 Mussadiq, Speeches by Dr. Mussadiq
60 Musaddiq, Musaddiq's Memoirs, pp. 280-281.









notion that Islam, science, modernization, and development are not opposed to each other as the

regime had represented them to be.

Finally, Bazargan emphasized that the intended purpose for religious rituals, prayers, and

obligations is political, and religious leaders who advised their followers to abide by religious

rituals or prayers-just for the sake of being saved-did not understand religion or politics. One

of his examples was the ritual of going to Mecca. He argued that the purpose for this mandatory

pilgrimage-for those who could afford to make the long journey-is a political act to unify the

nation of Islam. His interpretation of the call for collective Friday Prayers, fasting, and other

Shi'i rituals was in the same vein. He argued that these religious responsibilities without political

purposes were mindless acts of irrationality and therefore a path away from progressing toward

the collective consciousness or getting close to God. Notwithstanding their differences, modern

Islamists had the same view of what they called "Islamic ideology," which was a shared

understanding or a new interpretation on which the 1979 revolution was constructed.126

Bazargan's ideal state did not differ in its basic signifiers from other contending

discourses. It was an ideal state that could provide security, human economic development,

freedom, equality, justice, and democracy. Accordingly, this ideal state must not discriminate

based on race, status, and knowledge. Women must be equal to men and have the right to

participate in the administration of the government. The state must educate all its people, and

through public education and Islamic ethics, the state must and will eradicate corruption. Finally,

he described an ideal Islamic nation as well. An ideal nation is an inclusive collectivity that

recognized the people's right to form group associations. But these ideas were not particularly



126 Mehrzad Boroujerdi, Iranian Intellectuals and the West: The Tormented Triumph ofNativism, 1st ed. (Syracuse,
N.Y.: Syracuse University Press, 1996).









House. To restore order, the police had to resort to tear gas, which blew over to where Mohamad

Reza Shah and President Carter, accompanied by their wives and dignitaries, stood before the

press corps. With tears running down their faces, the press corps was busy taking pictures.

Within a few hours, Mohamad Reza Shah's image, as he was wiping his tears off his face,

reached Iran. The once seemingly invincible shah of Iran, whose secret police had scared people

to submission, appeared to be a weak, feeble, and frail man broken by a few hundred students.

Suddenly, the aura of invincibility was totally gone.200 A few days later, the Association of

Iranian Writers held a 10-day public event, which attracted thousands of people. The mere

holding of a public event was a turning point in the collapse of the regime. From then on, it

appeared that the public no longer feared the regime even though the regime's terror tactics had

not yet changed. It seemed that the very nature of understanding fear of punishment had

disappeared. At the same time, Ayatollah Khomeini, backed by the Shi'i clerical establishment

and supported by nationalists, socialists, and individual activists, began to speak in a

deterministic voice. In the discourse, Mohamad Reza Shah was represented as though he was

already defeated.

For example, in his message to the people of Tabriz, a city in northern Iran, Khomeini

represented the Shah as a savage, a brute, and a criminal agent of America whose military,

police, and secret police were not only beatable, but also weak. He wrote: "Now, after the

criminal massacres and bloodshed that have taken place in Tabriz, a few SAVAK agents have

been sent into streets in different parts of the country."201 This representation of SAVAK is

different from former representations. Previously, SAVAK was represented as an omnipotent


200 Eye-witness to the event of November 1977.
201 Khomeini, Islam and Revolution: J0 a'',, and Declarations oflmam Khomeini, pp. 229-230.









building, nation-imaginings, and decision-making in foreign relations. Constructing an official

approved society was an inversion of the relational logic between the people and the state, and

the state was compelled to follow this logic by discursively changing it. In this inversion, the

state became the object of the people's desire for sovereignty, development, law, justice, and

enforcing social norms rather than the people being represented as the passive subjects of the

state. After the coup in 1953, this mode of rationality continued, and the state continue its

repressive policies, but always in the name of "the people."

From the perspective of this relational logic, the state represented itself as a modem

democratic Persian-monarchy backed by a series of civil society organizations, comprised of

loyal citizens to the shah and thus to the state. This representation practice created a paradox for

the state. On the one hand, the state "felt compelled" to construct an active, supportive civil

society. On the other hand, the state "felt compelled" to make sure that the civil society remained

loyal to the state and thus loyal to Mohamad Reza Shah. For example, Mohamad Reza Shah

wrote, "As we Persians see it, the human values inherent in true political democracy merit

whatever price we have to pay for it." He stated, "In free countries everywhere, parties must be

created by leaders who enjoy support." 15 He then rejected those who criticized the state for

forming parties:

[As being] from the top rather than rising from the rank and file of the people. Some
cynics even claim that the parties are mere puppets of the Government or the Crown.
That of course misses the whole point about how you can foster parties in a newly
developing country such as Iran.15

This rhetorical relation between the people and the state meant that the raison d'etre for

the state was supposed to be a mandate by the people, but guided by the state, which was

Mohamad Reza Shah. In contrast, during Reza Shah's era, the state raison d'etre was

15 Bashiriyeh, Mavanea Tosa'yea Syasi Dar Iran (Obstacles to Political Development in Iran), p. 72.









receive full U.S. support, for both the United States and the shah, security from the threat of

communism, Islamism, and Iranian democratic nationalism permeated the meaning of economic

and political development. Meanwhile, the shah was beginning to lose the collective imagination

of Iranians to another security threat-the construction of the common threat of Anglo-Iranian

Oil Company, which is the subject of Chapter 5.

In sum, the economic and political developments were driven by the fear of communism,

Islamism, and nationalism. In this era, the United States produced the knowledge for Iran's

developmental plan, and the shah-centered state adopted it without actually liberalizing either the

economy or politics. Nevertheless, the United States went along with Mohamad Reza Shah's

modern absolutism and his consolidation of power. For both the United States and Mohamad

Reza Shah, security from communist constituted the main signifier in their political discourses.

While the construction of a common threat made the Iran's acquiescent alliance with the United

States possible, it made compromise with socialist, Islamist, and nationalist opposition

impossible. To compromise or enter into a dialogue with these contending discourses meant the

deconstruction of the very signifier (security) that made the shah's policies and practices

meaningful.

Imagination of the Nation

With the fall of Reza Shah and the temporary loss of absolutism, the nation that Mohamad

Reza Shah imagined remained much the same as the one his father had imagined. But some

shifts also occurred. Unlike his father, who represented himself as a no-nonsense, tough, and

disciplinarian patriarch, the son represented himself as Western-educated and a progressive

democrat, who respected law, adhered to Islamic norms, and sympathized with the plight of what

he called "my people," which in the discourse of modern absolutism meant being the "subject"

of the shah. However, much like his father, his ideal typical model of nationalism was an abstract


































Majid Sharifi









rather about the worldly affairs of serving self and the community. Hence, while Bazargan

rejected quietism and pure spiritualism, he was promoting active participation along with

personal love, devotion, and commitment to God's work, all for achieving both material and

spiritual perfection for the individual, as well as collective material improvement and

improvement of consciousness.

Bazargan used the language of Tariqatist to represent a progressive history of collective

consciousness. He also valued materialism and activism. In fact, he quoted Marx to express that

the material conditions of life have historically corresponded with the progressive collective

consciousness of mankind. He stated that the manifestation of any collective consciousness in a

given time and space is different political ideologies, such as feudalism, capitalism, socialism,

and communism. In many ways, Bazargan's argument was utilizing a Marxian class and

dialectical analysis to represent its interpretation of progressive history, but by incorporating the

familiar languages of Tariqatists and .\lht ili \\ instead of the unfamiliar language of socialists

or nationalists. Bazargan idealized an Islamic state, which, he argued, would become possible

only if Iranian collective consciousness would progress to the point of attaining an "Islamic

ideology."

In this interpretation of Islam, the relationship between .\l/,i it and Tariqat became

complementary rather than opposing. As such, the previously considered personal and private

became political, religious, and public. The Tariqatist's interpretative and individualistic love,

commitment, and devotion to God became the public and political way of devotion to political

participation aimed at establishing Islamic rules, laws, and norms. Bazargan promoted an Islamic

ideology that viewed political participation in terms of acting: both rationally and spiritually, Self









Foreign Relations


The Foreign in Foreign Policy

During the colonial competition in Iran, all politics began in foreign embassies, and all

local politics had a foreign policy dimension. Since that time, all contending political discourses

in Iran have identified their enemies as "foreigners," and this era was no exception. In other

words, in the existing political spaces in Iran, it was inconceivable to imagine politics

independent of foreign intervention.

In the discourse of modern absolutism, the United States and its Western allies constituted

Self, and communists, democratic nationalists, and Islamists constituted the Other. As Reza Shah

had imagined Germany as a Self-like Aryan nation and thus a natural ally, the young shah

perceived the United States as a Self-like Western nation and thus a natural ally. Referring to

America, Britain, Canada, and France, he wrote, "Our cultural relations with the Western

democracies go back many centuries; our ties with those people are no sudden growth.

Culturally, the West has borrowed extensively from us, and by choice, we have absorbed much

that is Western. Today, we have the same basic goals."40 Additionally, as natural allies are

supposed to do, the shah expected the United States to protect his state from the threat of what he

called the threat of "international communism." He argued that for developing countries such as

Iran, security "is their first essential for advancement,"41 and the Middle East needed not only a"

Marshal Plan," but also a "security shield comparable with NATO. ... If a country fails to

secure its defenses, the Communists play with it as a cat does with a mouse."42 In other words,

for the young shah, the communists were both domestic and international enemies, and the

40 Ibid., p. 296.
41 Ibid., pp. 293, 296.

42 Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions, pp. 173-176.









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Zonis, Marvin. The Political Elite oflran, Princeton Studies on the near East. Princeton:
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showcase of this ugly, inefficient, and unhealthy urbanization. In response to this urbanization,

the Ministry of Urban and Housing Development was formed. However, the ministry was also

embedded in the same relational logic which promoted grand and showy projects-but ignored

the basic needs of the city. In brief, Tehran, which was the focal point of economic development,

represented a model case of a grand and showy developmental project with unintended

consequences that continue to make the city an exemplary case of planning or lack of planning.61

Ironically, Mohamad Reza Shah romanticized this unplanned planning. He represented a

lingering beauty of the past mixed with the progressive move toward the future, a future that has

not yet arrived in Tehran. In 1960, he wrote:

Today my country is a show window for the blend of ancient and modern. Just outside
of Tehran, you can still see camel caravans go by, bringing goods from afar into the city.
(Lucky is he who can see a caravan and hear its camel bells, as it passes under a full
moon). ... [In contrast,] as you go to meet a friend at Tehran's big new jet-age
international airport, you pass along broad boulevards lined with modern shops, and ablaze
with neon lights, where some of the women will be wearing the most daring Paris fashions,
and others still be veiled.62

The shah's romanticization of these visibly sharp contrasts in Tehran was, however, an

interpretation that could have possibly amused a foreign tourist of Iran, and not an Iranian living

in it. At the time, socialists, nationalists, and Islamists were particularly not amused by these

contrasts. They respectively represented these contrasts as class inequality between those who

lived in northern Tehran and those who lived in shantytowns. Nationalists represented these

contrasts as the sign of foreign domination and exploitation of Iranian dignity. Islamists

represented these contrasts as the promotion of un-Islamic mores by the state. Most of these




61 For an example of how the discourse of modernization affected the planning or lack of planning major cities in
Iran, see Mohammed Reza, Mission for My Country, p. 28.
62 Zamani, JalalAl-EAhmad's Culture p. 70









In short, as the result of Iran's encountering the West, its dominant political discourse collapsed.

While the court lost the traditional support of ulama, the established clerical began to lose its

own legitimacy.

For centuries, ulama were the sole epistemic community with an unrivalled role in the

production of knowledge in Iran. However, as the result of Iran's encountering Western

philosophy, science, technology, and modernity, ulama lost its monopoly over the production of

knowledge. By the late 1800s, Western concepts permeated the language of Shi'ism with

subversive effects. While some wanted to stop this permeation and confront the West, others

wanted to adapt to it and reform Shi'ism.22 In other words, even the discourse of Shi'ism, which

had not changed its narrative for centuries, began to change, although inadvertently.

Constitutive of these changes was the revival of a methodological debate among Shi'i

scholars. The debate created two new schools of Shi'i thought-Akhbaris and Ussulis. Akhbaris

literalistss or textualists) relied on the literal meaning of Qur 'an, Hadith, and other holy texts.

Literalists understood Islamic texts as divine, perfect, and immutable. In contrast, Ussulis

(principlists or interpretivists) insisted that the Islamic Holy Texts are living documents and their

meanings should correspond to the necessities of the time (moqtaziat-e zaman). In this debate,

while the former would encourage a fixed reading of Islamic texts, the latter privileged an

interpretive approach to the understanding of Islam. Although by the mid-1800s, Ussulis had

won this debate, the traces of these two methodological schools remained in the political debate

among Shi'i scholars. For Shi'i literalists, all aspects from the West had a corruptive effect on


22 For a reformist view of Islam, see Mehdi Ansari, Sheikh Fazlolah Nouri Va Mashrotiat; Rodaryi-E Du Andisheh
(Sheikh Fazlolah Nouri and the Constitution; Confrontation of .. Thoughts) (Tehran: Entesharat-e Amir Kabir,
1997/1376).

For a confrontationalist view, see Roxanne Leslie Euben, Enemy in the Mirror: Islamic Fundamentalism and the
Limits of Modern Rationalism (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1999), p. 97.









regime. For example, Mehdi Bazargan, who became the prime minister of the provisional

government after the fall of the regime, became very popular for representing Islam as a modern

and modernizing ideology that was represented as both divine and scientific. In the same vein,

Ayatollah Taleqani represented Islam as a socialistic religion concerned with class justice while

he criticized the Marxian interpretation of historical materialism and Soviet-style socialism.

Ayatollah Motahri represented Islam as both a rational philosophy and faithful theology. Ali

Shariati began to represent Islam as a modem, socialist, democratic, scientific, and revolutionary

ideology that appealed to young, educated, and urban people. Even Jalal Al-e Ahmad, who had

started his political writings as a socialist, began to advocate Islam as a cultural dimension of an

Iranian Self versus the Western Other, a dimension whose loss, he argued, had created all the

miseries Iranians had suffered since Iran had encountered the West. Ayatollah Khomeini, a

disciple of Ayatollah Bourujerdi who had advocated quietism, also began to call for the

overthrowing of the regime by advocating an Islamic state that was modern, modernizing,

Islamic, socialist, and democratic.117 Most importantly, modem Islamists were not necessary

from the clerical establishment. For example, although Mehdi Bazargan, Ali Shariati, and Jalal

Al-e Ahmad had a strong affinity for Islamic thought, all of them had a European education and

had done extensive traveling and living in the West, as well as having in-depth contacts with

well-known Western intellectuals. In other words, modem Islamists were familiar not only with

the Islamic school of thought, but also with the West and Western philosophy. For a brief

understanding of the modem Islamic thought, which became the main contender of the regime, I

will now review the interpretation of three important figures.




117 For example, Hamid Dabashi, Theology ofDiscontent: The Ideological Foundations of the Islamic Revolution in
Iran (New Brunswick Transaction Publishers 2006).









Iran's average annual growth of 10% from 1963 to 1973 represented successful developmental

projects forged by the Shah. This rate of growth became the metric for measuring Iranians'

satisfaction with the shah-centered state.159 Even Iranian experts such as James Bill argued that

the rapid growth of the Iranian economy might overcome the societal resentment.160 In policies

and practices, Iran shifted from being a receiver during the Kennedy administration to the status

of donor-state during the Johnson and Nixon presidencies. This shift reflected the consolidation

of the Shah's position not only as an indispensable Western ally in security, but also as a

stabilizing force for production and marketing of oil to the West and Israel. Moreover, the rise in

oil prices helped make Iran an open market all sorts of military, commercial, and consumer

products. The United States, along with Britain, France, and even the Soviet Union, found it

difficult to resist the increasing oil revenues. For instance, The New York Times reported: "The

Defense Department hopes to ease its troublesome cost problems with a new Navy fighter plane,

the F-14 Tomcat, by selling some of them to Iran and perhaps to allies in Europe such as West

Germany."161 Some Pentagon official considered the shah's insistence on acquiring so much

sophisticated military equipment as a psychological obsession rather than an actual security

threat from either Iran's Arab neighbors or the Soviet Union.162

As a result of the Shah's consolidation of power, a shift arose in the perception of Iran. In

1966, the Johnson administration went as far as declaring Iran a "developed nation" that no

longer needed American aid. 163 This representation became a dominant theme in the U.S. media.


159 Bill, The Eagle and the Lion: The Tragedy ofAmerican-Iranian Relations, pp. 19-40.

160 John W. Finney, "Pentagon Hoping Iran Will Buy F-14sr: Able to Intrude," New York Times, Thursday, July 19,
1973.
161 Pollack, The Persian Puzzle: The Conflict between Iran and America, p. 96.

162 Ibid., p. 95.

163 Zonis, The Political Elite oflran, pp. 18-79.









IMAGINING IRAN: CONTENDING POLITICAL DISCOURSES IN MODERN IRAN


By

MAJID SHARIFI



















A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

2008









Cottam, Martha L., and Richard W. Cottam. Nationalism & Politics: The Political Behavior of
Nation States. Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1964.

Dabashi, Hamid. Iran: A People Interrupted. New York: NEW PRESS, 2007.

- Theology ofDiscontent: The Ideological Foundations of the Islamic Revolution in Iran.
New Brunswick Transaction Publishers 2006.

Dabashi, Hamid, and NetLibrary Inc. Theology ofDiscontent: The Ideological Foundations of
the Islamic Revolution in Iran. New York: New York University Press, 1993.

"The Daily Current Ettellaat 1953.

Department, U.S. State. 1910-21.

Dreyfus, Hubert L., and Paul Rabinow. Michel Foucault, Beyond Structuralism and
Hermeneutics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982.

Editorial. "The Fire Is Rekindled." The Fire (Atash) 1946.

Elm, Mostafa. Oil, Power, and Principle: Iran's Oil Nationalization and Its Aftermath. 1st ed,
Contemporary Issues in the Middle East. Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press,
1992.

Emami, Jamal. "Parliamentary Proceedings." 1951.

Euben, Roxanne Leslie. Enemy in the Mirror: Islamic Fundamentalism and the Limits of Modern
Rationalism. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1999.

Fallaci, Oriana. Interview i//h History. 1st ed. New York: Liveright, 1976.

Falsafee, Nasrolah. Zendagan E .\hlah Abbas Aval (History of .halh Abbas I). 5 vols. Tehran:
Tehran University 1965/1344.

Fateh, M. Panjah Saal Naft-E Iran/Fifty Years of Iranian Oil Tehran: Chehr Press, 1956/1335.

Fatemi, Said. "Either Freedom or Death (YaMarg, YaAzadi)." Bakhtar, August 18, 1949.

- "Si-Ya Tir, the Day of National Resurrection." Bakhtar Emruz, Monday, July 20,
1953/1332.

-- "To End the Pain of Hunger, a Man Hunged Himself." Bakhtar Emrouz June 1949.

Finney, John W. "Pentagon Hoping Iran Will Buy F-14sr: Able to Intrude." New York Times,
Thursday, July 19, 1973.

"The First Declaration of the Society of August 19 Resurrection Ettelaat 1953.









invoke the Marxist language of historical struggle, not against class enemies, but against

Kharejian and their historically determined fates. The text then represented the "people" as the

legitimate source of laws. It stated:

We have waited to see a constitutional government; now, we will build one by ourselves.
We will first level your palaces and then construct our nation on their rubbles. We will
free ourselves from centuries of misery and slavery, and we will build a government of
the people, by the people. We will break all idols and idolatries, and we will demand our
rights and freedom.31

The text also represented the "people" as the legitimate interpreter of the law: "The government

uselessly invoked the constitution, rules, procedures, and laws; all that it had already been

corrupted."32 Moreover, the text represented the "people" as a historically united body:

We the people .. shared a divine unity [inherited] from our forefathers whose voices
came from within us, we want to destroy this shameful despotism and restore the spirit of
our constitution, we want freedom for our people .. and fighting us is as if you are
fighting the words of God."33

While the people were represented as a singular body with a common history, faith, blood,

will, and leadership, their religious, tribal, class, and historical differences were muted.

Moreover, the people's enemy was also represented as a historical entity their fathers had fought

but had not won yet. The text argued that "we Iranians had not yet cut the hands of foreigners

and the backstabbing traitors, and by relying on the infinite power of the people led by our

'beloved' leader, Mussadiq, we will soon establish our sovereignty fully."34

Discursively, in the historical and religious struggle between the people and their foreign

enemies, the very life of the nation is threatened by internal and external enemies. Moreover, the



31 Ibid.
32 Ibid.

33 Ibid.
34 Jamal Emami, "Parliamentary Proceedings," (1951), 16th Majles, Nov. 13.









For example, the title of a report in The New York Times read: "Economic Reforms Are

Transforming Iran: Officials Turn to Industry." The piece argued, "Perhaps nowhere else in the

Middle East have such broad, basic steps been taken in quest of economic progress as in Iran."

This shift in the perception of Iran also translated into policy changes. Iran was re-classified as a

politically stable, developed, and progressive state. A year before the 1979 revolution, President

Carter announced that Iran was "an island of stability" in a troubled region." Constitutive of this

classification was muting or ignoring the widening gap between the official state representation

and those of the contending discourses. 164

The state-elites also believed that Iran was an island of stability and development. For

example, Jahangir Amouzegar, Iran's influential finance minister during the 1970s, published a

book tiled titled Iran: An Economic Profile. As the regime was deeply alienated from its own

society and on the verge of a revolution, Amouzegar boasted about the unprecedented rapid

growth and political stability in Iran, which he mainly attributed to the sound and determined

policies of Mohamad Reza Shah:

Iran's remarkable economic growth, political stability and social progress in recent years
are considered one of the world's outstanding success stories. The record is particularly
striking because of its short time span. ... In fact, in the 1960-1976 period, Iran [has]
experienced what is likely to be recorded by future historians as one of the most rapid and
most fundamental socio-economic transformations in modern times. A fortuitous
combination of farsighted leadership, internal political stability, improved developmental
planning, increasingly educated people, newly discovered and better utilized natural
resources-and the indispensable rise in oil revenues.165

In his book, Amouzegar argued, "The national policies formulated within the framework of

the 17-point 'Revolution of the Shah and the People' have produced equally interesting




164 For example, see Amuzegar, Iran: An Economic Profile, ix-xiii.
165 Ibid.









"linkages and differences" to "black" and "white" colors.49 It is, therefore, reasonable to assume

that an interpretative inquiry attempts to discover how words, images, myths, and narratives of

experiences are identified in terms of their relational linkages and differences expressed in the

language. The language, therefore, becomes the medium that mirrors, reflect, or constitute the

changing nature of social reality. Also, it is reasonable to assume that language is the medium

that represents the existential realities throughout time, so it is constitutive of not only social

reality but also changing social reality.

The interpretative focus of this dissertation is the language of the state-elites in Iran, so I

adhere to the view of Michel Foucault whose commitment to interpretative epistemology based

on language stands out among contemporary social theorists. The primary focus of Foucault's

interpretation is not only the general language language ) as the medium of social communication

but also the particularity of languages as the medium for competing discourses mirroring

competing experiences of social reality.50

For Foucault, on the one hand, language (langue) is a semantic field of shared meanings

that make communication possible via highly structured sign systems-French, English,

German, and so forth. On the other hand, languages languages ) are particular fields of shared

knowledge that constitute a particular understanding of social reality-economics, medicine,

psychotherapy-which he calls a discourse.

49 For an informative explanation of the logic of "equivalence and difference," see Ernesto Laclau and Chantal
Mouffe, Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics (London: Verso, 1985). For the
application of the logic of "linkages and differences", see Lene Hansen, Security as Practice: Discourse Analysis
and the Bosnian War (London; New York: Routledge, 2006).
50 Foucault's works can be divided into at least two phases-early and late works. The first phase of Foucault,
reflected in the 1972 Archaeology of Knowledge, focuses on the role of discourses. In his Archaeology of
Knowledge, Foucault proposes his theoretical framework for the exploration of the concept of discourses. This
dissertation draws upon some elements of Foucault's archaeological works. For more information, see Hubert L.
Dreyfus and Paul Rabinow, Michel Foucault, Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics (Chicago: University of
Chicago Press, 1982).The second phase, reflected in his genealogical works places emphasis on institutional
practices rather than the autonomy of discourses.









(Russia and Britain). The official discourse also represented the United States as an ideal ally

that was disinterested in colonial competition. Thus, officials attempted to solicit an alliance with

the United States despite the fact that the United States showed little or no interest in Iran until

World War II. Hence, Iran gladly acquiesced in making an alliance with Germany or desired to

do the same with the United States. However, Iran represented Britain as an ally that preserved

Iran against the Soviet Union at the price of robbing Iran for its own interest. Thus, while it

remained in a preservative alliance with Britain, it simultaneously resented, suspected, and

resisted Britain's influence. Relatedly, Iran represented and understood the Soviets as the main

external and internal threat to Iran's sovereignty. In many ways, this hierarchic ordering of allies

and enemies differs from the argument that economic interdependence reduces security concerns.

In this case, Iran's Anglo-Russo economic and political interdependence was at a high level, but

the Soviet Union was considered as an enemy and Britain as a suspect ally. In contrast, Germany

and the United States, which started with no economic and political interest in Iran, were ranked

as ideal allies. By 1941, Germany had become the most influential ally of Iran, but the United

States had chosen to remain disengaged. Hence, Reza Shaw made the decision to enter into an

alliance with Germany or the United States. The resentment to remain in a preservative alliance

with Britain and to fearfully take a defensive position against the Soviet Union made sense only

in the context of how the state understood itself in relation to others.

Relations with Germany: Acquiescent Alliance

During Reza Shah's reign, Germany was represented as an ally because it reinforced the

official state discourse by supporting Iran's absolutism, by cooperating in Iran's developmental

projects, and by reinforcing Iran's official nationalism. When Reza Shah's regime began,

Germany had no economic interests or political influence in Iran, but by the time Reza Shah was

forced to abdicate in 1941, Germany had become the most important ally of Iran. In this alliance,









history aptly: "In starting the national clock from the Ancient Persia (Ackaemenid) Empire,

Mohammad Reza Shah was paradoxically paying lip service to a Western historiography."176

In addition to starting a new calendar, the Shah invited an impressive number of world

leaders, including Vice President Spiro Agnew. According to Ansari, the occasion drew

tremendous attention to the Shah and his economic, military, and political achievements in the

foreign press along with "the prying eyes of human rights groups and other non-governmental

organization.""177 In Iran, the representation of this celebration was the same. While the official

media declared that Iran had reached the "Gate of a Great Civilization," contending discourses

represented the event as the travesty of justice.

In the opening of his speech in front of a large gathering of world dignitaries, the Shah

addressed Cyrus directly from a location not too far from Cyrus's tomb. He declared, "Cyrus,

rest in peace because we [present Iranians] are awake." The shah's statement assumed a

continuing historical consciousness between Cyrus and Mohamad Reza Shah in particular, and

the shah of Iran and the people of Iran in general. But in contending discourses, the speech

produced a variety of popular parodies and political texts that undermined the Shah's legitimacy.

Additionally, reports of the Shah spending millions of dollars for flying food from Maxim's of

Paris while many Iranians were starving entered the common language.178 From 1971 to 1976,

the Shah's alienation from his own society increased.

On February 20, 1975, shifting from the representation logic of a two-party system,

Mohamad Reza Shah banned the two officially sanctioned political parties-the People's Party


176 Ibid.
177 Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions, pp. 168-175.

178 Asgar Saremi Shohab, The Rastakhiz Party of ranian Nation According to the Documents 2vols., vol. 1 (Tehran:
The Center for Isalmic Revolution Documents, 2006/1386).









Just as a man has some friends upon whom he would especially rely on in any crisis, so too
have we. We remain always ready to enlarge the circle of those most entrusted; at the same
time we remain vigilant to join with our friends in resisting any form of imperialism.70

In other words, while the state constructed friends out of the conservative America, it

made foes out of the Soviet Union. In this relational logic, the state represented U.S. economic

and security dependence as a natural outcome of an alliance among friends and against their

common foes. Meanwhile, contending discourses represented U.S.-Iran relations as a loss of

Iran's sovereignty. In other words, in the context of contending discourses in Iran, U.S.-Iran

relations became attached to a different narrative that was associated with the 1953 coup, British

colonialism, and then U.S. imperialism. But for Mohamad Reza Shah, both the United States and

Britain were associated with words such as "trust," "friendship," "alliance," and "cooperation."

However, Mohamad Reza Shah's representation of the United States as a friendly ally began to

change during Kennedy's presidential campaign in 1960.

Part II: Crisis and Reform (1960-1964)

Representing Economic Underdevelopment as Security

In 1961, as power shifted in Washington under the rubric of the "Progress for Alliance,"

the Kennedy administration shifted its foreign policy focus from military assistance to economic

development. Kennedy argued that underdevelopment provides conditions conducive for a

revolution. Peaceful economic and political development was, therefore, necessary to secure

freedom and stop communism. Kennedy warned, "Those who make peaceful revolution

impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."71 As such, revolutions were classified into

"peaceful" or "good" ones and "violent" or "bad" ones. While liberal revolutions were


70 Joseph Grunwald, "The Alliance for Progress," Proceedings of the Academy of Political Science: Economic and
Political Trends in Latin America 27, no. 4 (1964).

1 Bill, The Eagle and the Lion: The Tragedy ofAmerican-Iranian Relations.









modernist who advocated Mussadiq's brand of democratic nationalism, a nationalist who valued

constitutionalism. Above all, Bazargan was a man who envisioned an Islamic state based on a

progressive "Islamic ideology" that was familiar in Islamic law or ,\/,i i/t and Islamic Sufism or

Tariqat. 19

Similar to modernists, Bazargan believed in a progressive, determined, and evolutionary

view of history, but based on a different articulatory logic from those of modernists. While

modernists' logic of a progressive history was based on positing man's relation with nature,

Bazargan's logic of an evolutionary history was based on man's relation with God. While

modernists viewed the relationship between man and nature as primarily a physical or material

relation between man and nature, modem Islamists interpreted the relationship between man and

God as primarily a metaphysical relationship between man and God's consciousness. For

modernists, human history is a progressive path toward domination of man over nature. From a

different logic, Bazargan proposed that human history is a progressive path toward God as the

perfect universal consciousness. But Bazargan was not the only one with this interpretation of

historical progress. Notwithstanding their differences, Ali Shariati, Ayatollah Morteza Motahari,

Sayed Mohammad Taleqani, Allameh Hussein Tabatabai, and Ayatollah Khomeini shared

Bazargan's view of a progressive history, with which they all identified and signified by the

word Tohid. In Islamic traditional texts, Tohid meant the belief in monotheism, but in modem




119 Traditionally, Tariqat, which was highly apolitical, was represented in an oppositional relation with Shariat that
was highly political. Notwithstanding the differences among various Islamic schools of thought as to what
constitutes the content of Shariat and Tariqat, the methodological differences between the two schools had been
translated into Shariat as a political, prescriptive, formal, and reproduced through the clerical institution, and Tariqat
as apolitical, highly individualistic, intuitive, informal, and reproduced by devout followers on their own free will.
But the modernist Islamic discourse both have come together as though they have been an integral part of each
other. Ali Shariati was the best known articulator of this combination.




Full Text

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1 IMAGINING IRAN: CONTENDING POLITICA L DISCOURSES IN MODERN IRAN By MAJID SHARIFI A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2008

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2 Majid Sharifi

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3 To Sheki, Annahitta, and Ava with Love

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I am very grateful and deeply indebted to many people whose assistan ce made this project possible. First and foremost, I thank my wi fe, Sheki, whose patience and support were indispensable. I also thank my two daughters, Annahitta and Ava, for the sacrifices each made on my behalf. Two years of research have gone into this di ssertation, which would not have been possible without the indispensable influence, guidance, direction, and inspirati on of the people in the Department of Political Science at the Universi ty of Florida. I must thank Professor Goran Hyden, who influenced my decision in starti ng the Ph.D. program in 2003. Without Professor Hyden, I probably would have stayed in Miami. I am most indebted to Professor Ido Oren, who stimulated my initial interest in the politics of identity, interpretative epistemology, and the significance of histor y. During the past two years, Dr. Oren has spent numerous hours listen ing, reading, and constructively criticizing my work. Without Professor Oren, my approach would have been le ss bold and more conventional. Professor Oren taught me innovative ways of looking at history, politic s, and identities. Most significantly, I am gratef ul to Professor Leann Brown w ho has been the guidepost for directing this research. Whenever I was in need of guidance or inspira tion, her office was my first and only destination. Prof essor Brown has a keen way of explaining the most complex issues in the shortest and fastest way imaginab le. Without her help and suggestions, I could not have finished this work. I also thank Professor Badredine Arfi, who opened up a new window of understanding into a world that would not have otherwise existed. He introduced me to a body of literature that changed the direction of my re search in fundamental ways.

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5 Finally, since I entered the Ph.D. program in 2003, Suzanne Lawless-Yanchisin has helped me ways that are too numerous to men tion. I must simply say thank you.

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6 TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...............................................................................................................4 ABSTRACT.....................................................................................................................................9 CHAP TER 1 INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................................11 Literature.................................................................................................................................15 Interpretative Approach...................................................................................................24 Challenges and Issues...................................................................................................... 39 The Plan of the Dissertation and Preview of My Findings.....................................................47 2 THE EMERGENCE OF THE IRANIAN NATION-STATE ................................................ 57 Introduction................................................................................................................... ..........57 The Political Discourse of Monarchic Absolutism ( Saltanat-e-Motlaq-eh ) ...................58 The Tobacco Uprising.....................................................................................................64 Collapse of the Discourse of Monarchic Absolutism......................................................68 The Shifts in the Discourse of Shiism............................................................................72 The 1906 Constitutional Movement................................................................................ 74 Conclusion..............................................................................................................................80 3 THE DISCOURSE OF MODERN ABSOLUTI SM (1922-1941)......................................... 81 Introduction................................................................................................................... ..........81 Establishment of a Modern Absolutist State.......................................................................... 83 Militarizing and Bureaucratizing the State...................................................................... 85 Dominating the Polity...................................................................................................... 89 Commanding the Economy.............................................................................................90 Development and Modern Absolutism................................................................................... 91 Understanding Economic Development..........................................................................92 Understanding Political Development............................................................................. 95 Understanding Social Development................................................................................ 97 Imagining the Nation............................................................................................................102 Romanticizing History................................................................................................... 103 Official Language..........................................................................................................104 An Official National Race............................................................................................. 110 Relations with Other States: Iden tities Alliances, and Enemies.......................................... 112 Relations with Germany: Acquiescent Alliance............................................................ 113 Relations with Britain: Preservative Alliance............................................................... 115 Relations with the Soviet Union: Defensive Confrontation..........................................120 Relations with the United States: Acquiescent Alliance ...............................................121 Conclusion............................................................................................................................124

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7 4 THE FALL OF REZA SHAH AND THE SHARING OF T HE STATE (1941-1951)........ 126 Introduction................................................................................................................... ........126 Events (1941-1951)..............................................................................................................126 The Fall of Reza Shah and the Sharing of the State......................................................126 The Building of a New State......................................................................................... 129 Economic Development......................................................................................... 129 Political Development............................................................................................ 134 Imagination of the Nation...................................................................................... 138 Foreign Relations..................................................................................................................144 The Foreign in Foreign Policy....................................................................................... 144 Foreign Policy...............................................................................................................147 Conclusion............................................................................................................................152 5 DEMOCRATIC NATIONALISM (1951-53)......................................................................155 Introduction................................................................................................................... ........155 Events...................................................................................................................................155 Political Identity of Democratic Nationalism (1951-1953).................................................. 161 Imagining the Nation............................................................................................................163 Motivating, Unifying, and Mobilizing the People......................................................... 163 Imagining People as the Source of Law........................................................................ 166 Discourse of Developing the State....................................................................................... 168 Freedom, Independence................................................................................................. 168 Political Development...................................................................................................168 Economic Development................................................................................................ 171 Foreign Relations..................................................................................................................174 Conclusion............................................................................................................................180 6 THE CONSTRUCTION AND COL LAPSE OF MODERN MONARCHISM (19531979).....................................................................................................................................182 Introduction................................................................................................................... ........182 Part I: Restoration of the Discour se of Modern Monarchism (1953-1979).......................... 186 Building and Securitizing the State...............................................................................186 Imagining the Nation.....................................................................................................189 The Shah as the Embodiment of the Nation-state.................................................. 189 The People: The Official Repr esentation of Civil Society ..................................... 191 Security as a Disciplinary Pract ice: T he Language of Repression......................... 198 Economic Development........................................................................................................ 201 Representation of Nationalization................................................................................. 203 Official Representation of Econom ic Liberalism...................................................... 205 Representing Shah-centered Development.................................................................... 209 Measuring Economic Development.............................................................................. 212 Foreign Relations..................................................................................................................216 Part II: Crisis and Reform (1960-1964)................................................................................220 Representing Economic Underdevelopment as Security.............................................. 220

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8 Representing a Shah-centered Reform and Revolution.................................................227 Consequences of the White Revolution........................................................................ 234 Classifying the Other.....................................................................................................237 The Discourse of Modern Islam: Political Islam and Return to Self.................................... 240 Mehdi Bazargan.............................................................................................................242 Jalal Al-e Ahmad........................................................................................................... 250 Return to Self.................................................................................................................252 Ayatollah Khomeini...................................................................................................... 256 Part III: Consolidation of Power (1964-1978)...................................................................... 260 Security..........................................................................................................................260 Development.................................................................................................................. 260 Part IV: The Collapse of the State and the Rise of Modern Islam.......................................272 Conclusion............................................................................................................................280 7 CONCLUSION..................................................................................................................... 283 LIST OF REFERENCES.............................................................................................................293 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.......................................................................................................304

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9 Abstract of Dissertation Pres ented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science IMAGINING IRAN: CONTENDING POLITICA L DISCOURSES IN MODERN IRAN By Majid Sharifi August 2008 Chair: Leann Brown Cochair: Ido Oren Major: Political Science Since the 1906 Constitutional Revolution that established the first representative government in the Middle East, all Iranian regime s have aimed to build a modern nation-state. But the main body of the literature depicts the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which resulted in the establishment of the Islamic Republic, as a fa ilure of Irans struggle to modernize. This dissertation moves away from the false dichotomy of modernism versus traditionalism and instead conducts an in-depth survey of Irani an political discourses dating back to the 19th century when Iran first encountered the West. Tracing competing interpretation of Irans political development describes and analyz es how the Iranian state elites have had competing ideas of Iran as a nation-state. Inspired upon post-structuralist and post-coloni alist literature written by Charles Taylor, Michel Foucault, Ernesto Laclau, Chantal Mouffe and Edward Said, the research examines the social content of competing poli tical discourses in Iran. A compar ative analysis of pre-modern and modern texts illustrates th at six signifiers show up in th e representation practices and policies of all political discour ses since the late 1800s. These basic signifiers are security, development, law, democracy, class equality, an d Islam. By showing how these basic signifiers

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10 coalesce to form a particular official state di scourse, my dissertation examines how contending discourses shaped the basis of Irans state build ing, nationalism, and fore ign policies since the early 1900s.

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11 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION How did the Iranian state elites im agine, inte rpret, and practice the politics of nation-state building in modern Iran? In the 1800s, the state elites imagined the West as an ideal model for building a secured, developed, lawf ul, democratic, just, and moral state. By the late 1970s, a majority of the people interprete d the West as the source of Ira ns insecurity, underdevelopment, illegal, undemocratic, unjust, and immoral state. This interruption in th e meaning of what was considered Western or Iranian had occurred several times since Irans first encountered the West, and each new interruption in the mean ing of the West or Iran was a particular interpretation of competing extant social reality. From 1978 to 1979, united in body and spirit, th e voices of several million urban Iranians turned into a unified call demanding death to th e shah and death to America. Constitutive of the metaphorical demand for the death of the regime of the shah was the birth of a new imagining of Iran that had not previously been imaginable for many in the West and some in Iran.1 In the course of a few months, the regime of Mohamad Reza Shah Pahlavi (who reigned 1941 to 1979) collapsed like a house of cards, and the shah's Great Civilization lay in ruins.2 The undisputable leader of this massive revolt was Ayatollah Khomeini, a religious leader who called for the establishment of an Islamic state. By 1978, the possibility of establishing an Islami c state, whose ideals had been put forth quite clearly for at least two decades, was self-evide nt to millions of Iranians. But for most in the West and some in Iran, those ideals were merely emotional, irrational, and fanatical calls for a 1 In Farsi, the word shah is used as a common noun, wh ich simply means king, but it is also used as a compound proper noun, fo r example, Reza Shah, Mohamad Reza Shah. From this point, as a proper no un, I capitalize the word Shah, but as a common noun, I will not capitalize it. 2 In 1971, Mohamad Reza Shah claimed that Iran had reached the gate of a Great Civilization.

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12 return to an Islamic past. For political particip ants, as well as leaders of the Islamic Revolution, the ideals of an Islamic state were not a retu rn to any recent past. The ideals centered on establishing an Islamic state based on modern conceptsproviding security, development, law, democracy, equality, and social morality for an Iranian-Islamic nation. These concepts, which were previously incorporated into the discour ses associated with Western modernity, were articulated in terms of the Second Islamic Republic the first republic being the 13-year reign of the Prophet Mohamad in Medina. Thus, at least fo r Islamists, this revolution was not a call for establishing an Islamic caliphate so much as for establishing an indi genous-Islamic Republic, which was represented in opposition to Western modernity. For most Iranians in 1979, Western modernity had become associated with domin ation, colonialism, imperialism, corruptive capitalism, immoral communism, and wicked liberal individualism.3 Indeed, the basic tenets of the Islamic Republic of Iran were modern concepts rather than being particularly Islamic, as Islam had been previously interpreted. It was neither a republic as republicanism had been formerly understood, nor was it Iranian as Iranian-ness had been imagined in the past. This new imagining of Iran was both modern and traditiona l, and this model of modernity was not yet familiar and imaginable for most in the West and some in Iran. Many in the West, including the US Central Intelligence Agen cy (CIA) had not entertained the possibility of an Islamic revolution in Iran. It was not imaginable, concei vable, or predictable to have a revolution with the black flag of Isla m instead of the red flag of communism. All the precautionary policies and practices, therefore, had been designed to primarily confront the threat of communism. At the time, Islam Shiism Wahabism, or Sunnism was deemed preferable to the evilness of communism. 3 See Chapter 6, Return to Self.

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13 The collapse of the Pahlavi dynasty was all th e more shocking because at the time Iran had one of the fastest growing economies in the wo rld. In 1976, Jahangir Amouzegar, Irans Finance Minister, boasted, Between 1963 and 1976, the aver age annual industrial growth exceeded 20 per cent, while the number of indus trial plants, and the size of the industrial work force nearly doubled.4 Additionally, the shah had the loyal backi ng of one of the strongest military, police, and secret services in the world. Moreover, Iran had the full backing of the United States. In 1977, just a year before the massive intermittent protests began, President Jimmy Carter had confidently characterized Iran as "a n island of stability" in a troubled region. The stability that Carter referred to was, of c ourse, the stability from the thre at of communismnot an Islamic threat.5 In 1978, as the regime of Mohamad Reza Shah was collapsing, President Carter took time off from historic Camp David meetings to telephone his support to the embattled Shah.6 In other words, neither the US offi cials nor Irans state-elites exp ected, imagined, or predicted an Islamic revolution to replace the modern and modernizing regime of the shah of Iran. Secular intellectuals and political activists di d not expect or predict an Islamic revolution in Iran. For the so-called progressive leftist inte llectuals around the world, as well as socialists and the secular nationalists in Iran, imagining an Islamic state was not possible either. While they enthusiastically supported the overthrowing of the regime, they dismissed the possibility of an Islamic state. When the Islamic Republic was in fact established, they confidently expected that history would self-correct its own irrationality and the newl y Islamic state would be sent back to the dustbin of history. Michel Foucault, w ho was familiar with Iranian politics of the late 1970s, wrote that Many here [in the West] and some in Iran are waiting for and hoping for the 4 Jahangir Amuzegar, Iran: An Economic Profile (Washington: Middle East Institute, 1977), p. x. 5 James Bill, "Iran and the Crisis of 78," Foreign Affairs 57, no. 2 (1978/79). 6 Ibid.: p. 334.

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14 moment when secularization will at last come back to the fore and reveal the good, old type of revolution we have always known.7 The question then arises, why did so many pe oplewithin and outside of Iran, in and out of governmentdismiss the possibility of an Islamic revolution or the establishment of an Islamic state? Could it be that competing ways of imagining Iran had produced competing social realities with different sets of presuppositions, pr eferences, interests, and mode of rationalities? If so, what was the social content of these comp eting realities? Most significantly, if competing ways of imagining Self produce competing so cial realities, how do they shape politics?8 These questions are at the hear t of my dissertation, and answ ering them requires a serious surveying of the idea of constructing Iran as a mode rn nation-state. In this spirit, my dissertation reaches back to texts written in the19th century, when conceptsdeve lopment, law, democracy, and equalitythen non-existent in the Iranian c ontext began to permeate the language of stateelites and then pervaded the langu age of the people. I will call th ese four key political concepts, as well as two existing conceptssecurity and Is lamthe six basic signifiers of modern Iranian political discourses. Consequently, these sign ifiers, more or less combined, undermined the cohesive imagining of Self; thereby, leading to the emergence of competing imagined communities.9 Each of these imagined communities formed a narrative of Iraninan nationalism by incorporating a particular interpretation of the Iranian basic signifiers. I will call these competing narratives contending po litical discourses, and when one is adopted by the state, I 7 Lawrence D. Kritzman, ed., Michel Foucault: Politics, Philosophy, Culture: Interviews and Other Writings, 19771984 (New York: Routledge, 1988), p. 224. Foucault was very familiar with the nuances of Iranian politics. He travelled to Iran in 1978 and 1979. 8 I define Self and Other as generic collec tive identities counterpoised to one each other. 9 For the concept of imagined comm unity, see Benedict R. Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (London: Verso, 1983). See Janet Afary, Kevin Anderson, and Michel Foucault, Foucault and the Iranian Revolution: Gender and the Seductions of Islamism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005).

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15 will call that particular discourse the official state discourse or state discourse for short. My research traces the historical narrative of how competing official state discourses emerged in modern Iran. Second, by conducting some textual an alysis mixed with hi storical narrative of political development, the dissertation describes how contending political discourses shaped the idea of building a modern state, the imaginati on of Iranian nationalism, and the conducting of policies that demarcated the Iranians from foreigners, although the meaning of who constituted Iranians or foreigner changed in time.10 Literature In general, political scientists, sociologists, political econom ists, a nd historians, who have studied modern Iran, agree that as a result of Irans encounter with the West, fundamental changes occurred in the 19th century: the centuries-old mode of governance collapsed and a struggle between modernity and tradition began. Gene rally, the literature assumes that political development and modernization in Iran have faile d. Thematically, the main body of the literature treats modernity a Western ideal-typical model whose characteristics should be the political metrics by which the successes or failures of mo dernity in a non-Western context are measured. In other words, two constant themes pervade the literature. One theme describes Irans failure by pointing out its differences with European successes. The other theme attempts to demonstrate the causes of Irans failure, and the causes of its failure are always its differences with the West. Therefore, the very act of describing modern ity in terms of its differences with Western modernity pre-determines its failure in Iran. In the following section, I wi ll attempt to show how the main body of the literature on political development in Iran de scribes and causally explains 10 Because there were competing ideas as what constituted an Iranian or foreigners, I put them in quotations.

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16 the failure of modernity and its related concep ts from the state, society, and institutional perspectives. From a state-centric point of view, for exam ple, Nikki Keddie, prof essor of history at UCLA and an authority on Iranian history, blamed the state for Irans failure to become modern, democratic, and liberal. She described two contrasting images of Ira n: One is Usually prefaced by the adjective Persian [and is] culturally positive [the other is] politically negative.11 She argued that these contrasting images however simplified, in some ways reflect real features of Irans history. She conte nded that throughout Irans tumult uous history, Iran displayed two constant characteristics: the phenomenon of cu ltural strength combined with problematic politics, particularly on the part of ruling groups.12 Keddies reference to the problematic politics of ruling groups in Iran would not have been possible had it no t been for her ideal typical model of the oppositethe unproblematic politics of Western stat es. In other words, Keddie stated that despite Irans cultural heritage a nd strength, the state has failed to become modern and politically positive as Western stat es are politically positive. Notwithstanding the problems of assuming a state disembedded from its society and culture, Ke ddies reference point for comparing Iran is the West, not the West as a geographical place universally understood, but the West as a fixed, ahistorical, and conceptu al ideal that Keddie simply assumes without describing it. In other words, Keddies referenc e point for the state failure is a comparative analysis between her fine descriptions of Iran as a failed case of becoming a modern, democratic, and liberal state to a Western ideal type. Keddie was not, however, the only one who compares Irans failure to modernity with an ideal typical non-existent model for modernity. 11 Nikki R. Keddie and Rudolph P. Matthee, Iran and the Surrounding World: Interactions in Culture and Cultural Politics (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2002), p. 3. 12 Ibid., p. 4.

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17 Richard Cottam surveyed Iranian nationalism from a sociological pe rspective in the early 1960s. He examined tribes, peasants, minorities, aristocratic elites, and intellectuals as sociological elements of Iranian modern nationa lism. Influenced by his Iranian sources and the societal sentiment of the time, he contended that Iranian modern nationalism was deeply scarred by Irans encounter wi th Western interventionist, colonialist, and imperi alist policies. Then he suggested that the next wave of Iranian na tionalism will be more Iranian and less Western.13 In the same vein, Joseph Upton, who intermittently resided in Iran for 14 years during the late 1940s and 1950s, explained the adverse effects of foreign intervention on the formation of the Iranian national character, as well as individual characters.14 Both Cottam and Upton described Iranian nationalism much in the same wa y as Kenneth Pollack would describe it some 40 years later. In his 2004 book, The Persian Puzzle, Pollack attempted to reveal the complexity of U.S.-Iran relations by examining the historical circumstances that have helped construct what he labeled an Iranian pathologi cal nationalism. Then he argued th at since Iranians have already mis-learned their history, it is hi ghly unlikely that the truth of history would be revealed to them.15 In the literature, Iranian na tionalism is characterized as pathological, xenophobic, hyper, and the characterization renders its failu re inevitable compared to an ideal typical healthy nationalism in Europe. Similarly, James Bills 1972 book, The Politics of Iran: 13 Martha L. Cottam and Richard W. Cottam, Nationalism & Politics: The Political Behavior of Nation States (Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1964). 14 Joseph M. Upton, The History of Modern Iran; an Interpretation (Cambridge: Distributed for the Center for Middle Eastern Studies of Harvard University by Harvard University Press, 1960). 15 Kenneth M. Pollack, The Persian Puzzle: The Conflict between Iran and America 1st ed. (New York: Random House, 2004), p. 424.

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18 Groups, Classes, and Modernism, pointed out the systematic fa iling of modernity in Iran.16 Unquestionably, an authority on th e politics of Iran, Bill focuse d on the balanced tension and rivalry among the elites as they struggle to maintain the stabil ity of the traditional political system by easing it into a modern sy stem. As in Marvin Zoniss 1971 book, The Political Elite of Iran, a large part of Bills book articulated the pervasive insecu rity of the state-e lites in all levels of government.17 Bill and Zonis argued that insecurity is a fixed feature of the Iranian politics. Although ministers were no longer killed as they were during Reza Shahs rule and during the Qajar dynasty, depending on Mohamad Reza Shahs mood of the day, they were dismissed, exiled, demoted, and disgraced.18 In Bills estimate, the most se rious challenge to the system was what he called the Uprooters, who consisted mainly of university students, teachers, and professors with leftist an d nationalist tendencies. Meanwhile, the shared theme in Cottam, Zoni s, and Bill described the anomalies in the peculiarities of Iranians nationalism, pervasiv e insecurities among state elites, bureaucratic nepotism, and underdevelopment. As each author described the differences between Iran and the West, the logic of Irans failure in modernity became self-evidentIranians looked, acted, and rationalized differently than their Western counterparts, and thus th ey were not yet modern as the West. Comparing Iran with an ideal typical mode l of Western modernity, Bill, Zonis, and Cottam failed to understand Iranians in the context of contending discou rses in Iran. While they all strongly emphasized Irans failure in modernity, none noted the increasing power of Islamists or the gap between two social realitiesthe state and the society. 16 James Bill, The Politics of Iran: Groups, Classes and Modernization Merrill Political Science Series (Columbus, Ohio,: Merrill, 1972). 17 Marvin Zonis, The Political Elite of Iran Princeton Studies on th e near East (Princeton : Princeton University Press, 1971), pp. 233-341. 18 Bill, The Politics of Iran: Groups, Classes and Modernization p. 44.

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19 While some have analyzed Irans failure in modernity by focusing on the state or society, others have examined this presumptive failure by focusing on the various dimensions of characteristics of Iran. Through the prism of form al and informal institutions, the literature examines various aspects of the interd ependency between the state and society.19 One of the most notable scholars in this school, Homa Katouzian, was keenly aware of the Euro-centric perspective of the main body of th e literature on Iran. He complained that theories of state and society, produced in the context of the historic al experience of European development, were usually applied to non-European societies such as Iran: European analysts took the facts as corresponding to seemingly similar facts from European history; Iranian anal ysts did not have theories of their own, and what they understood from European theories they a ppliedmore or less uncritically. They saw Iranian land assignees, tribal chieftains and state officials as an aristocracy, merchants as bourgeois, peasants as serfs, and so on. It fo llows that they also saw the state as the representative of the ruling classes.20 To set the Euro-centric view of the Irania n scholarship straight, Katouzian made four points, which are relevant to my argument. Fi rst, Katouzian argued that theories must be pertinent and specific to spatial and temporal varieties.21 Insisting on contextual instead of universal theories, he proposed the theory of arb itrary rule, which states that because of the fundamental differences in the interactive rela tions among the propertied class, the state, and lawthe course of political development in Ira n has been based on arbitrary rule imposed by rulers at state, local, and tr ibal levels. Katouzian, however, neglected to acknowledge that the 19 For a comprehensive literature review of the relationshi p between state, society, and institutions, see John M. Hobson, The State and International Relations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000). Also, see Michael Mann, The Sources of Social Power vol. 2 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993). 20 Homa Katouzian, State and Society in Iran: Th e Eclipse of the Qajars and the Emergence of the Pahlavis Library of Modern Middle East Studies 28 (New York: I. B. Tauris, 2000), p. xii. 21 In many ways, Katouzians mythological approach is simi lar to the argument of Charles Tillys notion of reading history in its own contextuality. See Charles Tilly, As Sociology Meets History Studies in Social Discontinuity (New York: Academic Press, 1981).

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20 concepts of propertied classes, social bases of state power, and law-based government were deeply embedded in European discourses of modernity. Moreover, the term, arbitrary rule is itself a Euro-centric representation explicitly articulated in Chalres de Secondat Montesquieus The Persian Letters, Hegels Philosophy of History, Karl Marxs writing on India, and Bernard Lewiss, The Root of Muslim Rage To use a term, such as arbitrary rule, which is imbued with the explicit gaze of Orientalists over the Orientals, is incompatible with an Iranian-centered theory.22 Even as Katouzian wanted to move away from Euro-centric theories, he re mained embedded in them ontologically. Second, Katouzian stated, Unlike Europe, th e state legitimacy was not founded in law and the consent of influential soci al classes, the mere success of a rebellion was sufficient for its legitimacy.23 In other words, his contention is that the legitimacy of rule centered on rulers rather than the rule itself. Then he claimed that the 1906 and 1979 revolutions were departures from the past. The people revolted to change the ru le of law. I concur w ith Katouzian that the 1906 and 1979 revolutions were fundamentally differe nt from all the other historical Iranian rebellions. I also add that for centuries there were no revolutions to change the system of governance. The question then arises, could it be that the reason why ru lesarbitrary or not were not challenged for centuries was that the pe ople indeed understood rules of governance as legitimate? In fact, in most cases, they understood them as divine. Could it be that the reason the so-called arbitrary rule was challe nged after Irans encounter with the West because the narrative associated with personal rule changed from good to evil? For example, what was previously valued as the divine rule of th e shah of Iran became associat ed with previously non-existent 22 For a comprehensive review of this claim, see Ali Mirsepassi, Intellectual Discourse and the Politics of Modernization: Negotiating Modernity in Iran Cambridge Cultural Social Studies (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), pp. 15-53. 23 Katouzian, State and Society in Iran: The Eclipse of the Qajars and the Emer gence of the Pahlavis p. 1.

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21 terms such as despotic oriental ism, arbitrary rule, illegitim ate rule, and unrepresentative rule. These are categorical identifications explic itly constructed in reference to an ideal typical Western model. These categories are descriptive re presentations of the East Is legitimacy only founded in law and the consent of influential so cial classes, as it had been in Europe? Third, Katouzian described the modern and pre-modern history of Iran in terms of the theory of arbitrary rule. The theory has a cyclical trajectory, which is very deterministic. He explained each cycle in four term s: (a) the implosion of the system because of arbitrary rule; (b) the establishment of relative freedom; (c) fr eedom leading to social chaos and physical insecurity; and (d) a strongman coming to power to provide security and peace. This cyclical theory, he argued, leads to the reestablishment of another round of arbitrary rule. Referring to the establishment of Reza Shah and the Islamic Republic, he stated that after some temporary successes [for having freedom and law] the Ira nian society proved to be more powerful than newly acquired political ideas.24 In other words, for Katouzian, not only is modernity a fixed ideal typical concept, but tradition is also a fi xed and deterministic conc ept. Moreover, both the state and the society deterministic ally provide the condition for just ification of a cy clical theory of the arbitrary rule. Finally, Katouzian presented his met hodological approach by declaring: [T]his research [is] a comparative th eory of Iranian state, society and politics developed by applying social science models and techniqu es to Iranian society. It compares and contrasts the Iranian experien ce with that of Europe, laying bare the importantbut often concealed differences between them.25 In other words, he explicitly accepted Europe as an ideal typical model of modernity. That is why he described Reza Shahs attempt to modernize as pseudo modernism. Presumably, 24 Ibid. 25 Ibid.

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22 pseudo modernism is counterposed to real mode rnism, which is assumed to be a universal model that has never existed except in the interp retation of philosophers in the past, and now in the understanding of political scientists.26 The central problem with the main body of the literature on Iran is not, therefore, the misapplication of Euro-cen tric theories, but rather the ontological assumption that modernity has to mimic an ideal typical Western model to be real. Essentially, Katouzians description of Iran is a se lf-fulfilling failure so far as Iran is compared with a Western ideal typical model. Other contemporary scholars of Iranian political development share Katouzians ontological assumptions. The titles of widely published books, whose authors are greatly respected in Iranian academia, reveal the prevai ling ontological assumption that views Iran as a case of failed modernity. For example, Hussein Bashiriyehs book, Obstacles to Political Development in Iran ( Mavanea Tosa'yea Syasi dar Iran ) is a survey of the causes of Irans underdevelopment. Again, an ideal typical model of the present serves to measure the failure of modernity in Iran, which is presumably caused by its historical conditions. Another eminent Iranian scholar is Kazem Alamdari, whose book Why Iran Lagged Behind and the West Moved Forward has been republished at least 10 times since 2000.27 Alamdari contended that the causes for Irans lagging behind the West were the absence of capitalism and secularism. He stated that de velopment in Western countries was caused by capitalism and secularism, neither one of which exists in todays Iran.28 Similarly, Ahmad 26 For example, see Barrington Moore, Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World (London,: Penguin, 1967). 27 The 10th edition of this was reprinted in 2004. In Iran, academic books are normally printed only in batches of 3,000, and it is unusual for a book to be reprinted that many times. See Kazam Alamdari, Why Iran Lagged Behind and the West Moved Forward 10th ed., vol. 1 (Tejram: Shabak, 1990). 28 Ibid., p. 53.

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23 Movassaghi, who currently teaches in the Depart ment of Law and Political Science at the University of Tehran, published Modernization and Reform in Iran: From Theory and Practice.29 Movassaghi continued the theme of the main body of literature. In his description of the West, Western modernity is a measuring rod for comparing Irans development. The questions for his research include: What are the theories, rules, and anomalies of Western modernity with all of its associative social concepts, which have all originated in the West based on Western historical experiences? How were they in troduced to the Third World? The hypothetical answer to these questions rests on the fact that modernism and reform in the West developed within the framework of modernity, which included gradual cultural, social, economic, and political transformation. But in the Third World and Iran, these transformations have been ideological, superficial, incomplete, in name and unrealistic. We will attempt to distinguish the differences be tween real modernism and the pseudo modernism that have been introduced and enforced in Iran.30 Notwithstanding the differences in the perspectives of the contributors to this body of literature, it appears as if the 1960s to 1970s generation, as well as the 1990s to 2000 generation of scholarswhether writing in or outside of Iran have all been trained in the same political science department. In sum, the main body of the literature on Iran produced by the previous and current generation of scholars of Iran treats both modernity and tradition as fixed ideal types placed on a linear continuum. On this conti nuum, modernity is either valued as an inevitable evolutionary historical path led by the West or is devalued as a devolutionary historical course imposed by the West. In either case, history is treated as a determining institution that produces its own deterministic concepts and questions. However, th e quesiton of how indivi duals come to define, 29 Ahmad Movassaghi, Modernization and Reform in Iran: From Theory to Practice (Tehran: Ghoomes Publishing Company 1385/1996). In Western-based texts, a clear distinction exists between modernization and modernity. In Iranian texts, this distinction is sometimes blurred. Movassaghis book title is an example. By modernization, he means modernity ( nu sazi ). 30 Ibid., p. 4.

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24 describe, and interpret concepts is not asked. The main body of the literature on Iran, therefore, remains silent as to changes a nd transformations that have occu rred in meanings of concepts associated with modernity and traditional. The dissertation refrains from categorizing political development into modernity and tr adition. It attempts to describe the emergence, as well as the changes and transformation in the meaning of how the state elites interpreted concepts, themes, practices, rationalities associated with politic al development in Irans modern history. The dissertation adheres to an interp retative approach that takes ch anges and transformations in the meanings of concepts, themes, and rationalities seriously. Interpretative Approach In contrast to the extant liter ature, th is dissertation is inspired by the reflexive or interpretative approach, which takes intersub jective meanings seriou sly. According to Ido Oren, The term reflexivity derives from the Latin word reflexus bent backwardand in social theory it generally refers to the turning of scie nce back upon itself.31 Similarly, Charles Taylor argues that the study of ma n is essentially the sc ience of interpretation. He asks, Is there a sense in which interpretation is essential to expl anation in the sciences of man? The view that it is, that there is an unavoidably hermeneutical component in the sciences of man, goes back to Dilthy.32 Taylor contends: Interpretation, in the sense relevant to hermeneutics, is an attempt to make clear, to make sense of an object of study. This object must, therefore, be a text, or text-analogue, which in some way is confused, incomplete, cl oudy, seemingly contradictoryin one way or 31 Ido Oren, "Political Science as Hi story: A Reflexive Approach," in Interpretation and Method: Empirical Research Methods and the Interpretive Turn ed. Dvora Yanow and Peregrine Schwartz-Shea (Armonk, New York ME Sharpe 2006), p. 221. 32 Charles Taylor, "Neutrality in Political Science," in Philosophy and Social Science (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985), p. 25.

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25 another, unclear. The interpretation aims to bring to light an underlying coherence or sense.33 To clarify what is otherwise unclear, Taylor poi nts out to the centrality of meanings in the interpretation of Self, things, and Others. He states: (1) Meaning is for a subject. a specific subject. a group of subj ects (2) Meaning is of something: that is. We can distinguish be tween a given element situation. action. Or whateverand its meaning. And (3) things only have meaning in a field, that is, in relation to the meanings of othe r things. This means that there is no such thing as a single, unrelated meaningful element; and it means that changes in the other meanings in the field can involve changes in the given element.34 Taylor claims that his definition of mean ings of social reality, which he calls experiential meaning is for a subject. of something. in a field [fragmented sentence in original].35 He makes a distinction be tween Linguistic meaning which has a fourand not a three-dimensional structure. Linguistic meaning is for subjects and in a field, but it is the meaning of signifiers and it is about a world of referents [signified].36 In this dissertation, I follow Taylors methodology, which focuses on the linguistic meanings of signifiers. For the purpose of this dissertation, I am concer ned with four interrela ted characteristics of Taylors interpretative approach. First, Tayl or criticizes the mainst ream literature for not understanding the science of man. For example, Taylor argue s, Ignoring the differences in the intersubjective meanings can be disastrous to th e science of comparative politics, namely, that we interpret all other societie s in the categories of our own.37 I argue that the main body of literature on Iran has failed to explain the changing meaning of key words, such as development, 33 Ibid. 34 Ibid., pp. 32-33. 35 Ibid., p. 34. 36 Ibid. 37 Ibid., p. 55.

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26 security, and law because it has applied conceptual categories constructed in the West to describe Irans competing social realities. Second, Taylor focuses on m eanings as social phenomena that are intersubjectively interpreted as reality for subjects, of things in pa rticular fields, and in relations to other words, things concepts, images, and narratives Taylor emphasizes that social reality is an interpretation of Self as a group, of the material and social world, and of the intersubjective vision in relationa l terms, for example, Self in relation to others. The third characteristic of Taylor is his at tention to transformative changes: My principal claim is that we can only come to grip with this phenomenon of breakdown [transformative changes] by trying to unders tand more clearly and profoundly the common and intersubjective meanings of the society in which we have been living. For it is there which no longer hold us, and to und erstand this change we have to have an adequate grasp of these meanings. But this we cannot do as long as we remain with the ambit of mainstream social science, for it will not r ecognize intersubjective m eanings, and is forced to look at the central ones of our society as though they were the inescapable background for all political actions.38 For Taylor, historical changes in common meanings or intersubjectivity transform social reality. Accordingly, social re ality is embedded in the knowledge of the present but built upon the past, as they were understood. Citing th e case of immigrant groupsembedded in two contrasting social realities of thei r past and present, he states that new identities are sealed in the blood of the old.39 Finally, the fourth characterist ic of Taylors interpretative approach is to show that competing social realities can a nd do coexist. Taylor strongly re jects the notion th at politics is about the perennial struggle of making distinction between, for example, the correct political perception and its opposite ideological, misperception, irrationality, false 38 Ibid., p. 64. 39 Ibid.

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27 consciousness, traditional, and so forth.40 For Taylor, there are comp eting interpretations of social realityintertwined yet distinct from one another. For example, he writes that the common meaning of the American Way, or fr eedom as understood in the U.S.A. is differently articulated by different groups. This is the basis of the bittere st fights in a society.41 On the one hand, what is expressed, for example, as the American Way is closely interwoven in the common meanings of diffe rent groups living in the United States. On the other hand, each group might intersubjectively interpret the American Way differently. In short, Taylor argues that humans interpret Self, things, and Others as they construct competing social realities embedded in the particularity of their intersubjectivity. Inspired by Taylors interpretative approac h, I also argue that conceptual changes are inevitable, as changes in meanings constitute tr ansformations in concepts, theories, ideologies, and rationalities. My dissertati on, therefore, takes the changing nature of social meanings seriously. The dissertation attempts to trace changes at the surface, as well as transformative or interruptive changes in the meani ngs of key political concepts in the history of modern Iran. On the one hand, the success of the endeavor to clarify what has been ambiguously described depends on demonstrating how meanings of key polit ical concepts in Irans modern history have indeed changed in time.42 On the other hand, the success depends upon showing how competing interpretations of Self, things, and Others in relational terms constituted competing social realities. I aim to trace the contending meani ngs embedded in competing political images of Irans modern history. 40 Ibid., pp. 55-60. 41 Ibid., p. 54. 42 Later in this section, I will explain that by key political concept, I mean what Foucault names governing statements.

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28 In the same vein, the empiri cal survey of Ido Orens book, Our Enemies and US: America's Rivalries and the Ma king of Political Science (2003), succeeds in tracing competing meanings of social reality by tracing changes in how American political scientists interpreted Self, things, and Others. Summar izing how American political sc ientists interpreted Imperial Germany, Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, and Stalin s Soviet Unionbefore and after wars with the United StatesOren states that: [T]he current images of Imperial Germany, Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, and Stalin's Soviet Union in American political science differ markedly from those presented before the regimes became America's enemies. Im perial Germany was transformed from a progressive constitutional state into a reactionary auto cracy; Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, and Stalin's Soviet Union metamorpho sed from legitimate laboratories of social or administrative experimentation into embodiments of tot alitarian evil.43 Oren demonstrates a particular pattern in the field of American political science. Despite the claim to scientific neutrality, American polit ical scientists closely mirrored official state policies, practices, and ideologies because th ey were unconsciously embedded in the social reality of their time.44 Oren explains his methodological affinity.45 Quoting Bourdieu and Wacquant (1992, p. 36), he contends, The primar y target [of reflexive analysis] is not the 43 Ido Oren, Our Enemies and Us: America's Rivalrie s and the Making of Political Science (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2003), p. 9. 44 The mainstream approach in political science often emphasizes the importance of the individual to establish, produce, and reproduce the belief system of the actor. For example, see Martin Hollis and Steve Smith, Explaining and Understanding International Relations (Oxford, England; New York: Clarendon Press; Oxford University Press, 1990), p. 74. The literature is, however, ambiguous as to the genesis of concepts, themes, logics, choices, conceptual structures and does not explain changes, transformations, and interruptions in the meanings, such as democracy, security, class analysis, development, liberalism, governance, and so forth. One of the reasons the positivist literature focuses on individuals, individualizes gr oups, or constructs structural analyses structure is methodological expediency. See Richard Little and Steve Smith, Belief Systems and International Relations (Oxford, UK; New York, NY: B. Blackwell in association w ith the British International Studies Association, 1988), p. 17. In the words of Steve Smith, The central claim [is] that positivism's importance has not been that it has given international theory a method, but that its empiricist epistemology has determined what could be studied because it has determined what kinds of things existed in international relations." See Steve Smith, Ken Booth, and Marysia Zalewski, eds., International Theory: Positivism and Beyond (Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996), p. 11. 45 Oren, "Political Science as Hi story: A Reflexive Approach."

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29 individual analyst but the social and intellectual unconscious embedded in analytic tools and categories.46 Focusing on how presupposition unconsciously built into concepts, themes, strategic choices, logic of arguments, and instruments of analysis, Oren aims to clarify the changing meaning of democracy in the democratic peace literature.47 In his hermeneutic approach, Or en applies the four thematic characteristics of Tayloris interpretative approach: (a) He criticizes mainstream political science for ignoring the changing meaning of political concepts; (b) he considers meanings constitutive of social reality; (c) he shows that changes in social cont ext transform the social content of political concepts, such as democracy; and (d) he illustrates that there ar e competing social realities in time and space, each with a particular interpretati on of what Taylor calls the co rrect political perception, which is unconsciously counterpoised to misperceptions, irrational, ideological, traditional, and so forth. In short, Taylors interpretative approach presumes that humans are self-interpreting subjects embedded in their own intersubjective socio-ethico-histo rical world of reality. Taylor calls this intersubjective reality experiential re ality, which, he claims, is always understood in relational terms. As Taylor puts it, The mean ing of a word depends, for instance, on those words with which it contrasts, on those which defines its place in th e language (e.g., those defining determinable dime nsions, like color, shape).48 For example, a particular shade of gray color is understood only in terms of its degree of equivalence and difference or 46 Ibid; brackets in original. 47 Oren, "Political Science as Hi story: A Reflexive Approach." 48 Taylor, "Neutrality in Political Science," p. 33.

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30 linkages and differences to black and white colors.49 It is, therefore, reasonable to assume that an interpretative inquiry attempts to discov er how words, images, myths, and narratives of experiences are identified in terms of their rela tional linkages and differences expressed in the language. The language, therefore, becomes the medi um that mirrors, reflect, or constitute the changing nature of social reality. Also, it is reasonable to assume that language is the medium that represents the existential re alities throughout time, so it is constitutive of not only social reality but also changing social reality. The interpretative focus of this dissertation is the language of the state-elites in Iran, so I adhere to the view of Michel Foucault whose commitment to interpretative epistemology based on language stands out among contem porary social theorists. The primary focus of Foucaults interpretation is not on ly the general language ( langage ) as the medium of social communication but also the particularity of languages as the medium for competing discourses mirroring competing experiences of social reality.50 For Foucault, on the one hand, language ( langue ) is a semantic field of shared meanings that make communication possible via highly structured sign systemsFrench, English, German, and so forth. On the other hand, languages ( langages ) are particular fields of shared knowledge that constitute a particular understand ing of social realityeconomics, medicine, psychotherapywhich he calls a discourse. 49 For an informative explanation of the logic of equivalence and differenc e, see Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics (London: Verso, 1985). For the application of the logic of linkages and differences, see Lene Hansen, Security as Practice: Discourse Analysis and the Bosnian War (London; New York: Routledge, 2006). 50 Foucaults works can be divided into at least two phas esearly and late works. The first phase of Foucault, reflected in the 1972 Archaeology of Knowledge, focuses on the role of discourses. In his Archaeology of Knowledge, Foucault proposes his theoretical framework for the exploration of the concept of discourses. This dissertation draws upon some elements of Foucaults archaeological works. For more information, see Hubert L. Dreyfus and Paul Rabinow, Michel Foucault, Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982).The second phas e, reflected in his genealogical wo rks places emphasis on institutional practices rather than the autonomy of discourses.

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31 Foucault defines a discourse as the group of st atements that belong to a single system of formation in the common language interwoven with other related sy stems of discursive formations.51 In some ways, Foucaults interpretation of the distinction between common language ( langue ) and particular languages ( langages ) or discourses is similar to how Taylor defines the intertwining relationship betw een common meanings in the language and intersubjective meanings shared by partic ular groups communicating in a common language. The distinction is between the common language a nd the particular understanding of discourses, for example, in economics, natural history, psychology, and sociol ogy. As the discourse of economics, for instance, is a regime of truth and knowledge for a particular group of experts, and it is articulated in terms of shared understanding of presuppositions that frame its concepts, themes, and rationalities, and so is the official political discourse of a state in a given period. In this dissertation, I refer to that particular language or di scourse of the state-elites as the state political discourses. For Foucault, unlike the propert y of the natural language ( langue ), which is ahistorical, discourses are essentially histor ical and can be analyzed within the time in which they occurred.52 A discourse is a particular language [ langage ] of power, authority, position, knowledge, and relations. Foucault contends that the language of our know ledge, at any given time and space, is the structure that enables us to analyze so many other languages [discourses], that language which, in its historical density, we regard as irreducible.53 According to Foucault, It is on the basis of that langua ge, with its slow genesis, and the obscure development that has brought us to the present state, that we can speak of other discourses in terms of structures. In 51 Michel Foucault, The Archaeology of Knowledge (New York: Pantheon Books, 1989[1972]), p. 107. 52 Ibid. 53 Ibid., p. 201.

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32 Foucaults words, [I]t is that language which has given us the possibility and the right to do so. [those particular languages] forms the blind spot on the basis of which things around us are arranged as we see them today.54 In sum, Foucault defines discourses as a gr oup of statements made up of a limited number of statements for which a group of conditions of existence can be defined.55 The assumption is that language is an active medium and itself a part of how social reality is collectively constructed and intersubjectively understood.56 Foucault argues that discourses create conditions of possibility for the pr oduction of presuppositions, truths, preferences, interests, rationalities, and c ontextual knowledge that creates a space in the language for what would be possible, communicable, a nd socially valued or devalued.57 For the purpose of this dissertation, which is concerned with the Ir anian stateelites imagination of an ideal nation-state, I will attemp t to interpret the language of the official state discourses in modern Iran. I will analyze the slow genesis and obscure development of contending discourses of the stat e-elites as the way they projected their discursive practices onto the society, which produced, reproduced, a nd reified conditions of possibility for the construction of the political di scourse of Islamic Republicanism.58 54 Ibid. 55 Ibid., p. 117. 56 To my knowledge, Foucault does not use the term intersubjectivity in Archaeology of Knowledge. I use it because the term has become a generic word that refers to collective, unconscious, an d subjective meanings shared by groups of people. 57 For the purpose of this dissertation, I mention Foucault for his insight into the role of discourses and the hierarchic formation of historical discourses into condition of ex istence. I am aware that there are methodological and epistemological differences between Taylor and Foucault. While Taylors emphasis is hermeneutics and interpretative meanings, Foucaults focus is the opposite. He attempts to avoid all interpretation and departs from the goals of hermeneutics and truth in meanings. But this does not mean that Foucault denounces interpretative meaning. For him, meanings depend on the historical discursive formations. For the purpose of this dissertation, I mention Foucault for his insight into the role of discourses and the hierarchic formation of discourses. 58 Ibid., p. 117. By discursive practice, Foucault means th e way in which discourses ar e projected onto society.

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33 Foucault argues that within a discourse, th ere are interior hierarchies which are organized based on governing statements.59 Depending upon the exis tential conditions of possibilities within a given discourse, governing statements maintain regularities in concepts, themes, and rationalities. They also allow for the alteration of the most discrete or the most banal rules within discourses.60 As with the hierarchic relatio n between a tree and its roots, trunk, and branches, concepts, themes, and ra tionalities embedded in a given discourse are linked together in a series of hierarchical relations. At th e root of this hierarchy are governing statements that govern and reveal the most gene ral and most widely applicable form.61 Accordingly, these governing statements become the starting point for how other objects, concepts, rationalities, and strategic choices or mode of rationality may be formed.62 At the ends of the branches or trunk of this metaphorical tree, a group of statements are less general and whose domain of applications are more concrete.63 To illustrate the int erior hierarchy of discourses, Foucault mentions the discourse of N atural History as an example. He contends that the governing statement of th e discourse of natural history defines the general condition of possibility, but other group of statements describes discoveri es, techniques, organizational principles, and categorical classification in ways that are more concrete.64 In Foucaults metaphorical tree of interwoven discourses, the whole shapes the meanings of its parts, and governing statements shape, subordinate, a nd permeate the meanings of other concepts, 59 Foucault, The Archaeology of Knowledge p. 146. 60 Ibid., p. 147. 61 Ibid. 62 Ibid. 63 Ibid. 64 Ibid.

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34 themes, and rationalities embedded in subordina ted discourses. Accordingly, in a series of relational linkages and differences, a basic signi fier forms hierarchic relational linkages with other subordinated signifiers. A pa rticular formation of this tree-l ike, hierarchic combination of a basic signifier with other signifiers constitute the formation of a discourse. The importance of Foucaults theoretical cont ribution is that discourses are hierarchic structures. At the highest level of abstraction, discourses provide the framework for the formation of intersubjectivity, concepts, them es, and mode of rationality by providing a particular condition of conceivab ility that shape what is imaginable, desirable, possible or impossible. At lower levels of abstraction, disc ourses and their related subordinated discourses provide the condition for adaptati on and change. Discourses incorporate and adapt to concrete changes at social levels.65 However, changes at lower levels of abstraction do not necessarily change the meaning of governing statements. For example, changes from liberal to socialist economic policies do not necessarily change th e discourse of development, whose governing statement is related to a series of words, imag es, myths, and narratives that value progress, economic development, modernization, and so fo rth. In short, Foucaults metaphor of tree as a hierarchic conceptual structure is a way of demonstrating both regul arities at structural levels but also openness or flexibilities at the level of s ubordinated or sub-discourses discourses. The hierarchic characteristic of discourses is relevant in analyz ing Irans contending political discourses for two interrelated reasons. First, discovering the hi erarchic formation of political discourses requires the identification of governing statements of a given discourse. Given that governing statements consist of a comb ination of words, the task is to identify the 65 Ibid., pp. 145-148.

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35 signifying word of a given governing statemen t. I call the signifying word of a governing statement its basic si gnifier. For the purpose of this dissertation, I cons ider a basic signifier as the most central element of a governing statement in a discourse.66 My historical examination will reveal that as the result of Irans encounter with the West, four new basic signifiers entered into the political language. These basic signif iers were development, law, people, and class. These four basic signifier s plus two traditional signifierssecurity and Islamhave given meanings to the contending political discourses th roughout Irans modern history. Related to the hierarch ical formation of a basic signifi er is the concept of hegemony. Antonio Gramsci describes hegemony as a hegemonic formation--blocin which a particular understanding of econo mic, social, cultural, and histor ical forces have converged to form a particular understanding of social, historical, and mate rial reality. Accordingly, the convergence of these forces creates a fluid understanding among the masses, which Gramsci calls a hegemonic block within wh ich national politics takes place.67 Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe invert Gramscis interpretatio n of hegemony on its head. They argue: 66 I am aware that mentioning basic signifiers might make Foucault only of secondary importance. As a point of clarification, I am following some elements of Foucaults concepts such as hierarchies, and discourses. My definition of basic signifiers is influenced by Ernesto Laclaus concept of empty signifiers, which he describes as the conceptual construction of universalizing wh at is essentially a particular identity, which is void of its own social content, and is recognized only in terms of other words, images, demands, and practices. See Ernesto Laclau, On Populist Reason (London; New York: Verso, 2005), pp. 71-76. According to Laclau, an empty signifier is the sign or the label without which we cannot recognize conceptual construct, such as populist, democracy, Islam, Christianity, socialism, liberalism, and so forth. They are the linguistic necessities f or unifying a multiplicity of heterogeneous demands in equivalencies chains. See Laclau, On Populist Reason p. 154. In other words, to create a singular image out of the inherently competing meanings, for example, of a nation, or of a particular religion, we need empty signifiers. Just as a container might be solely identified by its label on the outside, so does an empty signifier that identifies Self as, for example, Iranians, Muslims, intellectua ls and other inherently heterogeneous groups as one. A Self, which is primarily identifie d by a sign, but is inherently divided inside. 67 For the concept of hegemonic bloc, see Antonio Gramsci, Prison Notebooks (New York: Columbia University Press, 1992), p. 151.

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36 For Gramsci, even though the diverse social elements have a merely relational identity achieved thorough articulatory prac ticesthere must always be a single unifying principle in every hegemonic formation, and this can only be a fundamental class. [and] this is the inner essentialist core which continue s to be present in Gramsicis thought. 68 In this dissertation, I refe r to hegemonic bloc or histo rical bloc as the convergence of consensus Second, analyzing changes in political discou rses means the examination, exposition, and exfoliation of the hierarchic formation of signifi ers embedded in them. On the one hand and at the highest level of abstraction, if basic signifiers are identified, then th e general rules and principles for the conditions of possibilities for providing pres uppositions, truth, and preferences are also identified. Relatedly, the framework fo r the formation of regularities embedded in concepts, themes, and mode of rationalities can be recognized. On the other hand, if the hierarchic relations between basic signifiers and other signifiers are identified, the flexibilities at concrete levels of a given di scourse can also be analyzed. From this analytical perspective, the exam ination of texts can reveal the distinction between general principles that basic signifiers govern, but also concrete practices that other (subordinated) signifiers govern. While the basic signifiers creat e regularity for a given period, subordinating signifiers are open to changes. The identification of the hierarchy in a given discourse also reveals the pattern in which wo rds, concepts, and narratives are valued or devalued, privileged or muted, pleasant or offens ive, and imaginable or not. For example, if security is the basic signifier in a given discourse, then securit y frames the meanings of all other signifiers intertwined in a given discourse. If a discourse privileges security over development, a general discursive practice in the case of Iraq w ould articulate as follows: We must establish security in Iraq first before we at tempt to begin the process of development. On 68 Laclau and Mouffe, Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: To wards a Radical Democratic Politics

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37 the other hand, if a given disc ourse privileges development over security, a corresponding representation would contend: We must dev eloped Iraq in orde r to secure it. In short, drawing upon elements of Foucaults articulation of discourse s, this dissertation will trace the historical rise and collapse of the official state discourses and their hierarchic formations in Irans modern history. It will argu e that depending on the hierarchic formation of the basic signifiers, which are embedded in key concepts or governing statements, the Iranian state-elites had competing images of an ideal na tion-state. It will further discuss how competing official state discourses constituted the power and knowledge for producing a particular ideal type nation-state that devalued and muted other contending imaginations of Iran. To sum up, in this section, I have criticized the main body of the literature on Iran for treating concepts, themes, and rationalities related to modernity and traditional as fixed and immutable ideal typical models in opposition to each other. I havere captul ated the criticism of mainstream political science for ignoring the changing meaning of political concepts articulated by Charles Taylor, who argued that meanings ar e constitutive of social reality. Following Taylors contention, I mentioned th at changes in social context tr ansform the social content of political concepts, such as democracy as was i llustrated by Orens empiri cal survey of history of political science in the United States. More over, I cited theoretical arguments for the coexistence of competing social re alities in time and space, each with a particular interpretation of social reality. Taylor argued that these competing social real ities are usually represented in binary oppositions between correct political pe rceptions and misperceptions, irrational, ideological, traditional, and so forth. To make sense of this inherent and dominant feature in expressions of meanings, Taylor argued, The meaning of a word depends, for instance, on those words with which it contrasts, on those which defines its place in th e language (e.g., those

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38 defining determinable dime nsions, like color, shape).69 In other words, social reality understood in terms of signs or words in the natural language (English, French, German, etc.) imposes structural constraint on the social under standing of reality. That is, signs in a language, which represent social reality, are differentiate d from each other in terms of their relational linkages and differences. Changes in the meani ng of language, therefore, become the medium that mirrors or represents competing social realities with a shifting and contradictory understanding of intersubjectiv ities, concepts, themes, a nd mode of rationalities. This characteristic of langua ge brought me to Foucaults archaeological works, which made a distinction between language ( langue ) as a semantic field and discourses as the competing languages ( langage ) of power and knowledge. Foucault described discourses as a group of statements that provide conditions of possibility for the production of presuppositions, truths, preferences, interests, ra tionalities, and contextual knowl edge expressed in the language.70 He further argued that discourses have interior hierarchies, which are organized based on their respective governing statements in their relational linkages with other sub-discourses. I have argued that basic signifiers, in turn, govern the conceptualiz ation of governing statements. Finally, I argue that Foucaults concepts of the hierarchic formation of discourses and the governing statements of particul ar discourses provides the analytic al tool for identifying basic signifiers in their relational linkages and differences with other signifiers. More importantly, the hierarchic formation among basic signifie rs and other signifiers allow accounting for regularities and flexibility within a given discourse, as well as transformations and changes. Tracing the historical changes a nd transformations in contending political discourses in Iran, 69 Taylor, "Neutrality in Political Science," p. 33. 70 Foucault, The Archaeology of Knowledge p. 117.

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39 therefore, can shed some light on how the Irani an state elites had different intersubjective imaginations of an ideal nation-state in Iran. Challenges and Issues The conduct of this research ra ised three interrelat ed challenges. First, how do I identify the official state discourses, th eir corresponding basic signifiers, and their respective hierarchic formations in their relational linkages, differences, and oppositions? Second, how do I identify the source materials? Third, how do I provide the necessary histori cal context for my analysis of the contending discourses in Irans modern history? First, to identify the offici al state discourses, I needed to identify their governing statements based on the identification of their basic signifiers. I, therefore, conducted an extensive research in pre-modern texts as well as modern ones. With an interpretative theoretical mindset and a Foucaultian understanding of di scourses, I read these texts for identifying recurring voices of subjects, themes, concepts, and modes of rationality that constituted meanings, policies, and practices in politics. In my analysis of pre-modern texts, I identified two basic signifiers, Islam and security, which cons tituted the official st ate discourse. The two signifiers provided the conditions of possibility for governing Iran rather cohesively for centuries without fundamental changes in the pattern of governance. The careful examination of texts produced after the 1870s, however, revealed that four more signifiers had entered into the language: law, development, pe ople, and class. By the early 1900s, the four modern signifiers, along with th e two traditional signifiers, showed up in all political texts, each attached to a different set of meanings in terms of a tree like formation of security, development, law, democracy or people, class, and Islam. I have called these sets of meanings the contending political discourses, ea ch with a different imagination of an ideal nation-state.

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40 To analyze how each political discourse interpre ted its relation to Self, things in a field, and Others, I first had to identify the basic signifiers that governed the regularity in the discourse, as well as identifying the hierarchic relation between a basic signifier and other signifiers. In finding the basic si gnifier of a particular discourse and its hierarchic relational linkages and differences to othe r signifiers, I could examine wh at were valued or devalued, privileged or muted, idealized or demonized, cons idered Self or Others, and constituted Iranian or Foreign. Moreover, I could examine the conceptu alization of what were considered security, development, lawfulness, democracy or people, Is lamic, and class just counterpoised to their opposites. In doing so, I could draw a narrative of how differen t official state discourses idealized contending images of state-building, nation imagining, and conducting of foreign policy. The second challenge was selection and reading of texts and text-ana logues. The selection of source material was relatively easy and conventional. Identifying conte nding political discourses included texts that speak from the pos ition of truth and authority, for example, policy statements, partisan newspapers and journa ls, speeches, debates, o fficial records, party platforms, and written and oral memories. In the case of oral memories, the audio collection titled Oral History at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University was a very useful source. I also selected texts produced by non-state actors, for example, newspapers, historical books, fictions, films, poetry, comics songs, anthems. I have cited some of these source materials throughout this di ssertation, but not all. The criterion for reading texts was a difficu lt task because the criterion could not be predetermined. For identifying the basic signifiers, analyzing the re lational linkages and differences among them, and finding their hierarchic formations, I needed historical texts and

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41 texts-analogues to compare regularities and f lexibilities within contending discourses, as well as finding interruptions and transformati ons among discourses. But I did not know which signifiers or what hierar chic formations I should be looking for in reading of the texts. The only knowable criterion for the r eading of texts, at first, was an attempt based on the principle of reading contending viewpoints expressed in text s and text-analogues. Questions about which signifiers existed or what hierarchic formati ons they had only came along gradually. In other words, rather than having a set of questions fi rst and then looking for the appropriate answers, the questions and answers of which signifiers an d what formations came together. The answers and questions came together through a l ong and careful reading of texts. As Ido Oren argues, The endeavor to answer research questions based on a close reading of texts is essentially an exercise in hermeneu tic interpretation, which is an attempt to make sense of what is otherwise unclear.71 In this spirit, my first reading of texts looked for contending viewpoints expressed in texts and text-analogues. I identified basic signifiers and their hierarchic formation, and then the phase of narration and analysis began. In short, the criterion for reading texts was a process-oriented, subjective, a nd interpretative attempt to look for contrasting and contending visions expressed in text and text-analogues. Once the basic signifiers and their hierarchic formations were identified and conceptualized, then the focus of the research shifted on to the critical events, in terruptions, and transforma tions in the political history of Iran.72 71 Oren, "Political Science as History: A Reflexive Approach," p. 224. 72 I have focused on texts written during and about the Tobacco Uprising, the 1906 Constitutional Revolution, World War I, the British 1919 Agreement, the 1921 British-back ed military coup, the 1926 establishment of Pahlavi Dynasty, the 1927-1933 politicization of dress codes, the 19 41 Allied invasion, the rise and fall of Mussadiq, the 1953 coup, the 1961 rebellion, the 1963-1964 land reform, and finally the consolidation and collapse of Mohamad Reza Shah in 1979. Th rougout this disseration, I cite some of these events.

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42 The third challenge for th is interpretative i nquiry was how to balance between a description of historical events and the analysis of concurrent political discourses. On the one hand, the attempt to analyze contending discourses without describing the context in which they occurred would have been an analysis void of context. On the other hand, the approach to describe without analyzing would have been a historical description void of analysis. My solution to the balancing of thes e two criteria was to do both. Ho wever, because it was important for me to describe the emergence of contending political discourses, I paid more attention to the making a narrative of the emergence of political discourses than deep textual analysis, especially in Chapters 2, 3, and 4. In my description of th e emergence of contendining discourse, I used the concept of hegemony to describe political sp aces in which the differences in contending discourses were pushed to the background, and they united around a particular basic signifer.73 The balancing between describi ng and analyzing allowed me to explain how the state-elites understood themselves. Beginning with the state-elites encountering and embracing the West in the 1800s, and ending with a majority of the elit es and the people confro nting and rejecting the West in 1979, I make a historical narrative that show the emergence of contending discourses in Iran. In this narrative, as I tra ce, describe, and analyze the cont rasting viewpoints of the state73 Gramsci describes hegemony as a historic or ideolo gical bloc For Gramsci, a hegemonic formation is the convergence of consensus about understanding of social, cu ltural, economic, and historical reality. Accordingly, the convergence of these forces creates a fluid understandi ng among the masses, which Gramsci calls a hegemonic, historic, or ideological bloc w ithin which national politics take s place. See, Antonio Gramsci, Prison Notebooks p. 151. Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe invert Gramsc is interpretation of hegemony on its head. They argue, For Gramsci, even though the diverse social elemen ts have a merely relational identityachieved thorough articulatory practicesthere must always be a single unifying principle in every hegemonic formation, and this can only be a fundamental class. [and] this is the inner essentialist core which continues to be present in Gramscis thought (Laclau and Mouffe, Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics p. 69.) In addition to departing from Gramscis cl ass-based analysis, Laclau and Mouffe argue that a hegemonic formation is a temporary conjectural political space w ithout a center (p. 36-37). They argu e that a hegemonic formation is a political space in which the co nditions and the possibility of pure fixing of differences recede; every social identity becomes the meeting point for a multiplicity of articulatory practices, many of them antagonistic (p. 137-138).

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43 elites in Irans modern history from 1926 to 1979. This narration and analsyis will show that the categorization of modernity versus tradition has little analytical va lue because it arbitrarily places concepts, themes, and rationalities associated with competing social realities ideal type conceptualization of modernity a nd tradition. I contend that afte r Irans encount ered the West, the state elitess interpretation of social reality changed, so di d their policies and practices. I argue that those policies and practices could not be attributed to historical mistakes, misunderstandings, flawed ideology, or false consciousness. Neither could th ey be attributed to misudernstanding of modernity or tradition. They were, instead, competing interpretations social reality reflected in contending pol itical discourses in Iran. I c ontend that without understanding the contending political discourses, descri bing and analyzing Ira ns modern political development that resulted in the establishmen t of the Islamic Islamic Republic would be difficult, if not, an impossible task. I summarized this section by way of an example. In the 1920s, Hassan Taqi-zadeh, reflecting the dominant thinking of the time, ad mired the West and Western modernity as the model to be emulated. He wrote: First, the adoption and promotion, without condition or reservation, of European civilization, absolute submission to Europe, a nd the assimilation of the culture, customs, practices, organizations, sciences arts, life, and the whole att itude of Europe, without any exception save language; and the putting aside of every kind of self-satisfaction, and such senseless objections as arise from a mistaken, or, as we prefer to call it, a false patriotism.74 In the 1960s, Jalal Al-e Ahmad, re flecting the dominant social thinking of his time, labeled the West and Western modernity as a disease and wrote: 74 Hassan Taqizadeh was an influential intellectual during the 1906 Constitutional Revolution. During World War I, he was a pro-German journalist. Duri ng the reigns of Reza and Mohammad Reza Shah, he served as a diplomat, minister, and senator. Edward Granville Browne, A Literary History of Persia Classics of Persian Literature; 4 (Bethesda, Md.: Iranbooks, 1997), pp. 485-486. Also, see Jalal Al-e Ahmad, Gharbzadegi = (Weststruckness) (Lexington, KY: Mazd Publishers, 1982), p. 11.

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44 I say that Gharbzadegi [afflicted with Western modernity] is like cholera. If this seems distasteful, I could say its lik e heatstroke or frostbite. But no. Its at least as bad as sawflies in the wheat fields. Have you ever seen how they infest wheat? From within. Theres a healthy skin in place, but its only a skin. Just like the shell of a cicada on a tree. In any case, were talking about a disease. A disease that co mes from without fostered in an environment made for breeding diseases. This Gharbzadegi has two heads. One is the West the other is [S elf] who [is] Weststruck. 75 These contrasting views of two influentia l political actors treated modernity and traditionalism as fixed concepts, as the main body of literature on Iran has done. While Taqizadeh valued modernity as an inevitable ev olutionary path culminating in Westernization, Al-e Ahmad devalued it as a devolutionary c ourse imposed upon Iranians by the West. A close and careful reading of Irans modern history, howev er, illustrates that both Jalal Al-e Ahmad and Taqizadeh valued key political concepts that were essentially modern beca use those concepts did not exist in pre-modern history of Iran, and if they existed, their meanings were fundamentally different. For example, key political signifiers, such as national security or sovereignty, development or modernization, law-based govern ance or constitutionalism, peoples rights to political participation or democr acy, class equality or socialism, and shared visions of national sentiments, did not exist in pre-modern texts. But they were prominent in both Taqizadeh and Al-e Ahmads texts. Al-e Ahmad could, therefore, be labeled as a radical modernist who also valued Shiism as the soul of an Iranian-I slamic Self. He was indeed both modern and traditional. In the same way, as Taqizadeh praised the West as an ideal type model for Iran to become sovereign, modern, lawful, democratic and equal with secular and scientific nationalism, he favored, legitimized, and reinforced the centralization of power in the hands of Reza Shah and then Mohamad Reza Shah. In othe r words, Al-e Ahmad idealized moving away 75 For a review of Jalal Al-e Ahmads conceptu alization of these concepts, see Reza Bigdelu, Bastan Gra-I Dar Tarikh-E Moaser-E Iran [Ancient Orientation in Iran's Modern History] (Tehran: Nashr-e Markaz, 1380/2001). For more information on Hassan Taqizaed, see Abrahim Safai, Rahbaran-E Mashrut-Eh [Constitutional Leaders] (Tehran: Javidan 1363/1984).

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45 from the West by returning to an Islamic-Iranian Self, but Taqizadeh did the opposite. Taqizadeh equated security, law, developmen t, equality, and social ethics with Westernization. In contrast, Al-e Ahmad equated Westernization with a diseas e that retarded Irans security, development, law, democracy, and equality while it corrupted th e Iranian traditional ethics. Similar to the main body of literature on Iran, although history is the source of knowledge for both actors, each has a different conceptualization of so cial reality of the past and pr esent. Although their respective social reality can be analyzed comparatively, thei r claim to the truth of that reality cannot be tested or verified based on some objective or tangible measure outside the particularity of their respective languages. As explained, inspir ed by elements of Foucaults archaeological works, I call these competing uses of language s contending political discourses, which produce and reproduce their own socio, et hico, and political realities.76 To say that contending discour ses produce competing realities is not to deny the existence of material reality. It to emphasi ze that material reality cannot speak for itself, and the realness of any reality is the way it is understood socia lly because we are incapable of accessing any reality independent of discourses. From this perspective, Taqizadeh and Al-e Ahmads understanding of two competing real ities are consistent with the Ta ylor's interpretive approach. Meanings constitute social, meanings of concepts changes in time, and competing social realities exists. Also, with the elements of Foucault ian understanding of di scoursesconditions of possibility and hierarchic formation of governi ng statement or key concepts signified by basic signifiers. First, Taqizadeh and Al-e Ahmads understandin gs of social reality were sociohistorical phenomena, not personal mistakes, misunderstand ings, flawed ideology, or false consciousness 76 See Jalal Al-e Ahmad, On the Intellectuals (Dar Khedmat and Khianat Roshanfekran) (Tehran: Ravaq 1356/1978).

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46 particular to any individual ac tor. Many shared Taqizadeh or Al-e Ahmad claims to knowledge of the difference between Self and Others. In Ta qizadehs social reality, Self was one endowed with the knowledge to adopt and submit to We sternization without condition or reservation. The Other was one who lacked the true Know ledge. One was depicted as senseless, mistaken, and fanatic with a false claim to patriotism. In contrast, in Al-e Ahmads social reality, Self is one endowed with the tru e knowledge to reject the West, and the Other is one who lacked the knowledge to fight agains t the decaying disease of the West. In other words, Taqizadeh and Al-e Ahmads social real ities were two imaginations of nationalism. 77 Change is the second characteristic of Taqi zadeh and Al-e Ahmads contrasting social realities. As time and conditions of existence changed, so did soci al values and the knowledge of both the present and the past. In fact, Jalal Al-e Ahmads argument in the 1960s would not have made any sense during Taqizadehs time. Simply, it would not have been possible. The same is true for Taqizadehs argument In the words of Foucault: [H]istorical descriptions are necessarily ordered by the pr esent state of knowledge, they increase with every transformation and never cease, in turn, to break with themselves. the most radical discontinuities are the breaks effected by a work of theoretical transformation which establishe s a science by detaching it from the ideology of its past as ideological. What one is seeing, then, is the emergence of a whole field of questions, some of which are already familiar, by which a new form of history is trying to develop its own theory.78 In other words, as social realities of the presen t change, so do their respective histories. The third characteristic of Taqizadeh and Al-e Ahmads social realit y was the particularity of competing meanings. As conditions of existen ce and thus social reality changed, so did the meaning of basic signifiers. For example, for both Taqizadeh and Al-e Ahmad, Irans 77 Different histories are discovered from th e perspective of the pr esent, see Foucault, The Archaeology of Knowledge p. 5. 78 Jacob Torfing, New Theories of Discourse: Laclau, Mouffe, and Zizek (Oxford, UK; Malden, Mass.: Blackwell Publishers, 1999), p. 119.

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47 encountering the West transformed Iran. For Taqizadeh, Irans encount er with the West awakened Iran to Western enlightenment, but for Al-e Ahmad, the encounter contaminated Iran with poison. While both referred to political concepts that di d not exist previously, each interpreted those concepts differently. For example, Al-e Ahmad interpreted development in relational linkage to class equali ty, but Taqizadeh understood it in relational linkage to the state power. Similarly, other basic si gnifierssecurity, law, peopl e, equality, and Islamwere interpreted differently as their hierarchic form ation changed from one disc ourse to the next. In sum, reality is socially constructed and it changes in time, and so does the very meaning of concepts, themes, choices, and mode of rationali ties expressed in the language. However, as changes occur and concepts, themes, and logics break away from their previous meanings, they maintain traces of the past in them. In sum, a comparative analysis of Al-e Ah mad and Taqizadeh can reveal how contending discourses could have constituted the politics of nation-state building in Iran during the Pahlavi Dynasty. Although the focus of my dissertation is on the rise and fall of the Pahlavi dynasty, I contend that without understanding these discourses, explaini ng both the 1979 Iranian Revolution and the Islamic Republic of Iran is a difficult task, if not an impossible one. The Plan of the Dissertation and Preview of My Findings In Chapter 2, I will begin with a brief histor ical background that illu strates the effects of Irans encounter with the West. The chapter will examine the political discourse of absolute monarchism ( Saltanat-e Mutlaq ) in which the state (houkumat) is represented as a divine political order bestowed upon kings. Accordingly, God is regarded as the absolute sovereign, and a king is considered as Gods authoritative delega te and thus the absolute sovereign on earth. In this political discourse, texts represent monarc hic absolutism as good and in accord with the interest of the public ( maslahat umomi ). The representation of Iranian monarchic absolutism is,

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48 however, different from Hobbesian absolutism, which assumes the inevit ability of a social contract out of fear of anarc hy. In contrast, Iranian monarchic absolutism is represented as a divine political order, according to the teaching of Quran. For many centuries, competing parallel structures of authority simply accepted a nd adhered to these practices despite the mosaic of diverse local, religious, and tribal identities in Iran. Specifically, Shii clerical authorities reinforced the legitimacy of this institutional practice.79 When Iran encountered Western modernity, it s once stable political order, which had endured many centuries, was permeated with subversive meanings. What was previously revered as a divine political order for the people as well as the state and religious elites changed to mean the absolute source of all evil and corruption in Ira n. In a land where political revolution or even a political alternative for monarchic absoluti sm was non-existent, many contending political discourses appeared, and each one with a partic ular understanding for building an ideal nationstate. By tracing the shifting of positions in texts during the late 1800s and early 1900s, six different basic signifiers appear ed in various texts. Most sign ificantly, these signifiers defined different images of an ideal pol itical order in which the sovereign is charged with maintaining order and security, enforcing the law or const itution, modernizing or developing, creating class equality or justice, adhering to Islamic values or laws, and serving the interest of the people. For the past century, these signifiers have been a part of all contending politic al discourses in Iran. 79 In the empirical, positivist literature, the concept of legitim acy has been articulated and operationalized in terms of trust, participation, political e fficacy, institutional power, and so fo rth. For example, see M. Stephen Weatherford, "Measuring Political Legitimacy," American Political Science Review 86, no. 1 (1992). In political theory, the question of what constitutes political legitimacy has been articulated in terms of right and wrong, moral and immoral, good an d evil, impartial and impartial, just and unjust rule, and so forth. However, the question is not settled yet. For example, see Thomas Nagel, "Moral Conflict and Political Legitimacy," Philosophy and Public Affairs 16, no. 3 (1987). For the purpose of this dissertation, I simply define legitimacy in terms of how the ruled identify with a ruler in terms of their shared meanings in socio-ethico, historical and political values.

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49 By the 1900s, the Iranian people wanted to establish a government based on law. Narratives associated with law or legal-rati onal norms permeated the meaning of security, development, democracy, class-justice, and even Islam. The basic signifier for constitutionalist was law, which subordinated other signifiers. Constitutionalists imagined law as the basis for a civilized, modern, and just Islamic nation, and imagined international agreements as the basis for having relations with other states. In other words, the meaning of a law-bound state permeated and subordinated the meanings of other signifiers. By the 1920s, however, the discourse of constitutionalism collapsed and constitutionalists became disreputable personalities associated with foreigners ( kharejian ). Security combined with development became the two basic signifiers of a political discourse, which I will call modern absolutism. Chapter 3 will review the rise and fall of the discourse of modern absolutism. First, Reza Shah was represented as the absolute and divine sovereign over the people and the state. In this discourse, the divine sovereignt y was de-linked from Islam and be gan to be linked with ancient Persian monarchies. Second, the state began to pu sh for a particular imagination of Iranian nationalism, which was supposed to be Western-lik e, ironically, by a return to a collective Self that was imagined as Persians rather than Muslim s. Third, the official state discourse represented Islam in an oppositional relation with Iran by representing Islam as traditional, local, and against Persians. Fourth, modern absolutism represented the state as the absolute law unto itself. Thus, the state attempted to eliminate local, tribal, a nd religious institutions. The change in governance made rules under modern absolutism even more arbitrary than under the personalistic rules of ancient regimes. Finally, modern absolutism represented class-based identities as antidevelopment, anti-Persian, anti-Iranian nationa lism, and a Russian conspiracy. At the time,

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50 Iranian nationalism idealized the German race as its closest kin, and the state policy reflected this sympathy. With World War II raging, Iran declared neutra lity. Suspicious of Reza Shahs sympathy with Germany, the Allied forces invaded Iran in 1941 and forced Reza Shah to abdicate. Consequently, the official state discourse collapsed. Once again, the Iranian contending discourses began to compete for hegemonyto b ecome the official state discourse. From 1941 to 1951, constitutionalists and monarchists shared cont rol of the state while Islamists, socialists, and nationalists struggled to take over the st ate. Chapter 4 will examine this period. By 1949, it appeared that Mohamad Reza Shah ma naged to re-officialize the identity of modern absolutism, but he began to lose the coll ective imagination of the people. At the time, the intense hatred for British ownership of the Iranian oil industry became the symbol under which the fragmented body of the nation united. Muhammad Mussadiq led this mobilization and eventually took over the state in 1951. The basi c signifier for Mussadiqs discourse was the people, which was linked to concepts, such as the peoples sovere ignty, independence, citizenship rights, democracy, and representati ve government. During his tenure, a particular meaning of the peoples sovereignty permeated and subordinated the meanings of law, modernization, class, Islam, and the people. First, by the representing the people as a singular sovereign in struggle against foreigners, a particular Iranian nationalism wa s constructed that defined its si ngular Self in terms of a long historical struggle against foreign domination. At the time, Iranian nationalism became defined in terms of its struggle agains t the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. This particular nationalism drastically differed from that of the official na tionalism during the leadership of Reza Shah or Mohammad Reza Shah. Second, the law was interpreted differently. Unlike constitutionalists

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51 who considered laws as the sovereign between th e state and society, or modernists who imagined laws as the embodiment of the will of the shah-c entered state, democratic nationalists imagined laws as subordinated to the will of the people. Muhammad Mussadiq said, The law was for the people and not the people for the law. Third, development was described as economic selfreliance, which led to purs uing policies of economic autarky rather than economic interdependence and Westernization as Mohamad Reza Shah wanted to pursue. Fourth, Islam was valued as the peoples shared vision of good against evil in perpetuity and not as a traditional norm versus modernity as Reza Shah or Mohamad Reza represented. Fifth, class was described in terms of the boundary between good and bad rules, not workers and capitalists. For example, for democratic nationalists, class sy mbolized a relational opposition between the poor and the rich, the just and unjust, the Iranians and the foreigners. In the United States, as well as the court in Iran, Iranian anti-British nationalis m was represented as pro-communism. Chapter 5 will review this period. In 1953, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) backed a mili tary coup that toppled the regime. Once again, a new political discourse became the official state discourse. I call this discourse monarchic modernism because it was personalistic a nd also modern. Although this new imagining of Iran had traces of Reza Shahs modern absolutism, it was a new interpretation of an ideal state. Chapter 6 will examine this period, which covers Iranian political development from 1953 to 1979. In Chapter 6, I will discuss how the official st ate discourse alienated the state from its own society and provided conditions co nducive for constructing a hegem onic bloc against it. Chapter 6 will consist of four successive eras of restoration, reform, consolidation, and collapse of Mohamad Reza Shahs regime. I interpret how the di scursive practices of the state delegitimized

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52 it and thus provided the conditions of conceivabi lity for the construction of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979. Despite the states having an absolute monopoly over the resources and institutions of the country, it lost its discursive power in the sens e that it could no longer produce shared meanings, values, and knowledge. It could not, therefore, produce consent or fear. I have divided Chapter 6 into four eras. The first era be gins with the restoration of Mohamad Reza Shah by the CIA. During this era, the discourse of monarchic modernism lost much of its representation power and communicated by fear rather than buildi ng consensus or legitimacy. In contrast, contending discourses succ eeded in representing the shah as an illegitimate agent of the United States. Contending discourse s also devalued the states developmental projects as a form of Western domination.80 The second era began in 1961 and ended in 1964. The impetus for the 1953 CIA coup had begun with the shift of power from the Truman administration to the Ei senhower administration. The reform era also began with the shift of power from the Eisenhower administration to the Kennedy administration. During this era, fearing a revolution in Iran, the Kennedy administration pressured Mohamad Reza Shah to be less obsessed with security and show more interest in economic and political reform. As a resu lt of this shift, the shah reluctantly appointed Ali Amini, whom Kennedy preferred, to lead a reformist government in Iran. Eventually, Aminis government failed, but the shah adopted some of Kennedys reformist agenda and presented the agenda as his own. However, the shahs reform delegitimized th e state even further. In addition to the opposition by the nationalists and socialists, even conservative clerics and landed elites (the 80 For the purpose of this disseration, I define legitimacy as shared meanings in social values, norms, practices, and expectations between the state and the people. In a Foucaudian sense, legitimacy is when rulers and ruled are embedded in the same political discourse.

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53 shahs traditional supporters in modern Ira n) began to oppose the state. Instead of deconsolidation of power, the reform resu lted in increasing the size of the state and concentrated even more power in the hands of the shah and a small circle of his cronies who controlled all the states res ources and institutions. By 1964, once again, U.S. policy on Iran shifted from economic reform back to security co ncerns. So the reform era ended, and the era of consolidation of power began in a shah-centered state backed by the United States. The third era began when state revenues increas ed to the extent that the state no longer needed foreign aid or loans. During this era of absolute consolida tion of power, the shahcentered state practices a nd policies began to be interpreted according to, and associated with, two different webs of meanings. In the official state discourse, the shah was represented as the provider of security, law, progress, justice, and ethics, but also as the divine embodiment of the Persian-Aryan nation. The shah was also the key player for Irans alliance with the West in general and the United States in particular. However, for a great majority of the people, the shahs language, policies, and practices were in terpreted as the means of foreign domination and the source of fear. In this era, the shah ruled by instilling fear, and the people lived with this fear as a natural part of the existential reality. As a result, there was a sense of societal quiescence, but not necessarily consensus or agreement with the state. But the state failed to repress the voices of secular or religious intellectual community whose common language of resistance represented fearing the state as unpatriotic, un-Islamic, and antihistorical. Political activists represented the shah-centered state as the S ervant of American imperialism. American imperialism was represented as a crumbling empi re, not to be feared, but at the time, the meaning of imperialism differed from one cont ending discourse to another. For Islamists, imperialism meant an imperial non-Muslim power. For socialists, imperialism meant a capitalist

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54 power and thus an anti-working class state. For nationalists, imperialism meant a non-Iranian dominator. Nevertheless, the asso ciation between the shah and U. S. imperialism was articulated in the same phrase: The shah was the agent of imperialism. Mohamad Reza Shah and American were represented as though they were one. The fourth era of collapse bega n at the height of the shahs power. A hegemonic bloc consisting of contending di scourses began to communicate with a common language of resistance against the U.S.-Iran alliance. In other words, a discursive hegemony was being constructed. In this hegemony, contending discours es glorified a life-and-death struggle against the shah and the United States. In this hegemony, acquiescence to the power of the shah or the United States was devalued as anti-Iranian nationalism, un-Islamic, and an ti-historical. On the other hand, the struggle against them became a sign of social honor. Write rs, poets, moviemakers, actors, and religious clerics imprisoned by the shah became the role model for resistance against the regime. The language that political activists had articulated for decades pe rmeated the common language of the people. Accordingly, values, concepts, themes, and rationalities asso ciated with resisting, fighting, and dying for a common cause of overt hrowing the regime became a part of the language. In this hegemony, while the differences among socialists, nationalists, and Islamists were muted, the ideal for struggling against the regime was privileged. In this hegemony, material and institutional resources available to the state were interpreted differently. Unlike previous eras during which the state s monopoly of means of coercion, surveillance, control, discipline, and regulation were interpreted as omnipotent, fearsome, and indestructible, suddenly the same re sources and institutions were interpreted as impotent, benign, and fragile. In the hegemonic di scourse of resistance, the states tanks, guns,

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55 and soldiers turned into toys for young people in the street, and contending discourses began to represent the unity of the people as omnipotent, fear some, and indestructible.81 From then on, the state could not produce legitimacy or fear. The people had once quietly accepted M ohamad Reza Shahs representation and enforcement of developmental projects, law, class ju stice, and social norms as natural realities of the time, but now they suddenly no longer accepted th em as such. In fact, what was accepted as inevitable reality began to anger them as uneth ical norms that had to be stopped. Moreover, the shahs signification of providing security for the country was unde rstood in terms of insecurity for the people and security for foreigners. In sum, the shah-centered state lost its productive power to discipline or punish and to regulate or control the people. It also lost its ability to create legitimacy. Once the state lost its power to rule, the violent overthrow of the regime appeared inevitable. As Mohamad Reza Shahs regime was collapsing, Islam became the primary signifier under which a great majority of people united w ith one voicethe shah must go, and Khomeini ought to rule. But in this unison, a multiplicity of voices, values, and rationalities arose which had previously been constructed in contending di scourses in Iran. Neverthe less, for a particular moment in time and space, in the collective imag ination of an overwhelming number of Iranians, there appeared a monolithic voice that identified Self in an opposition relation with the shah as its main Other. The result was the collapse of the regime. In sum, this dissertation is an attempt to offer an interpretation of the history of political development during the Pahlavi dynasty by fo cusing on how contending discourses in Iran constituted the politics of nati on-state building in Ira n during the Pahlavis dynasty. By making a 81 However, this unity formally disappeared only 24 days after the establishment of the Islamic Republic when the state ordered all female employees to wear Hejab (Islamic dress code).

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56 historical narrative of the emer gence of political discourses in modern Iran, and by understanding the official state discourses, Irans political de velopment can be described and explained from angles that have not yet been described. This dissertation desc ribes how the meaning of state building, nation-imagining, and relations with othe r states changed from one era to another. I maintain that without understand ing the contending discourses in Iran, neither the past nor the present of Iran can adequately be explained. By interpreting the hierarchic formation of Irans contending discourse s, I conclude that the Islamic Republic of Iran incorporates ideals previously constructed in modern discourses. Those ideals were incorporated into Islamic Republic and were represented as the most democratic, most class-just, most independent, and most developed Islamic state. In other words, an ideal-typical utopia was constructed and the people actually treated th at utopia as a real alternative. The utopia of the Islamic Republic di d not, however, take more than a few months to shrink to the size of its constituentsa small but cohesive portion of Iranians. For Iranian scholarship, however, the utopia of an ideal-type Western modernity continues, so does the binary representation of Iran for many in the West and some Iran. This dissertation has argued that analyses based on reduc tionistic, fixed, and immutable representations reveal a certain de gree of Self as they hide much more about others within. This is what happened to Reza Shah and Mohamad Reza Shah. They both muted the voices of others in Iran at a cost, and, as it turned out, with no tangible outcomes. Tracing the multiplicity of voices from the past into the present facilitates understanding of what might fit within the realm of possibility or not. In the case of Iran, realiz ing what is possible or not can minimally help avoid costly confron

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57 CHAPTER 2 THE EMERGENCE OF THE IRANIAN NATION-STATE Introduction If the shah believes in his divine duties, he m u st realize that all peopl e are equal before the eyes of God. If the shah wants to be the Shepard of his flock, he must serve them diligently. While the shah may want foreigne rs as his masters, let him be the slave, but we the people do not, and will not allow foreigners to enslave us. If the shahs ministers want to sell the country in the name of Islam, we will not allow them. The shah must not think that we are afraid of him, we are Fadaian [those who would sacrifice their lives for the good of others], who sacrifi ce Self for the manifest ation of justice on earth. Excerpts from Roohul-Qudos a daily paper pu blished in 1907.1 In the 1920s, Iran began to build a modern nation-state accordi ng to a particular imagination of Self in relation to its internal and external Others. This chapter attempts to provide a brief historical bac kground for how that imagination was constructed. First, I will discuss the fall of the state offi cial discourse, which constituted how various tribal dynasties, at least since the Shah Abbas regime in the 16th century, understood and related to their surrounding world.2 Then I will explain the embedded values and concepts in the official state discourse of monarchic absolutism in Iran. Next I will show how Irans encountering the West in the 1800s resulted in the shifting of values, co ncepts, images, and myths associated with Irans political order. Accordingly, in the 1800s, the state-elites, re ligious authorities, and local governors glorified the Iranian monarchic absolutis m as a divine Islamic order that provided security and peace for the Muslim Iranian subjects. By signifying security and Islam as the two basic components of Irans political order, the shah exercised his power indirectly, the Shii 1 Nasrolah Falsafee, Zendagan E Shah Abbas Aval (History of Shah Abbas I) 5 vols. (Tehran: Tehran University 1965/1344), v. 3, p. 121. 2 In this dissertation, I do not capitalize the word shah, which simply means king, when I am using the word as a generic name. However, I capitalize the word when it is a part of a proper name, for example, Shah Abbas, Reza Shah.

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58 clergy implemented Islamic jurisprudence through their network, and local or tribal authorities governed on behalf of the shah. However, begi nning in the mid-1800s, the state, religious, and local elites began to represent the shahs absolu tism as the cause of the peoples insecurity and acquiescence to the threat of Britain and Russia as the threat to Islamic Self. Constitutive of these drastic shifts were the articu lation of new demands based on pr eviously non-existing concepts, such as law-based governance or constitutionalism, development or progress, national or peoples rights, and class justice or socialismcon cepts that had entered into the language as the result of Irans encountering the West. Finally, by briefly examining the Tobacco Uprising of 1890-1891 and the 1906 constitutional revolution, I will explain the construction of a hegemonic bloc. This bloc was united in its opposition to the presence of British foreigners. ` The Political Discourse of Monarchic Absolutism ( Saltan at-e-Motlaq-eh ) From the reign of Shah Abbas Safavi d (1587-1629) until the 1906 constitutional revolution, the discourse of mona rchic absolutism had been the o fficial state political discourse. Despite changes in tribal dynasties since Shah Abba s I, all monarchs more or less followed the basic tenets of the discourse in the way Shah Abbas had exercised power. Once Shah Abbas consolidated his power by eliminating or reducing his military reliance on any one tribe, especially his own Qizilbash tribe, he drew military resources from Persian and Tajik populations, as well as non-Muslim forces, such as Armenians and Georgians, into his military. He sold trading and territorial rights to the highest bidders rather than to local and tribal authorities. He broke an y tribe or family that became too wealthy or powerful. He outsourced revenue rights and appointed ad ministrative rights and concessi on rights to local and tribal authorities. He banned Sufism a nd other religious movements that appeared subversive to the state official religionShiism. He built a strong administrative and bureaucratic infrastructure ( dar-bAryan ). He also co-opted high-ranking clergy w ho could explain the ju stification for the

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59 shahs political positions and practices to the people. These policies created a sort of division of labor between the official and non-official ulama who, at times, mitigated the abuse of power by the courtiers.3 On foreign policy, Shah Abbas tried to create a balance of power by siding with Christian and European powers against the Ottoman Empire. Shah Abbass official political discourse (monarchic absolutism) continued to be the official state discourse of va rious tribal dynasties in Iran un til the 1906 constitutional revolution. In this discourse, power flowed downward from kings into parallel, hierarchic, and interdependent structures of authority within the court, religious institutions and tribal, rural, and urban authorities. Intertextually, the shah was depicted in binary re presentations, such as sovereign-subjects, patriarch-ch ildren, master-slaves, and shep ard-flock. Similarly, until the early 1800s, the absolutism of m onarchs was represented as th e manifestation of the kings power, glory, greatness, and the extent to wh ich they could protect the country from the possibility of external threats and prevent loca l, religious, and ethnic c onflicts. Religious texts represented monarchic absolutism and the provid ence of Gods will on earth, which made justice on earth possible. In the official state discourse of Saltanat-e-Motlaqeh (monarchic absolutism), kings of Iran were the absolute protector of religion ( din ) state ( dulat or houkumat ), and the people ( mellat ).4 In other words, the kings of Iran embodied the power vested in the state and exercised their power through three competing st ructures of authorit ystate, religious, and local authorities. The court appointees represented the shah or the states interest. Ulama (religious authorities) 3 Ervand Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions Princeton Studies on the near East (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1982), pp. 9-49. 4 In older Persian texts, the distinction between the state ( houkumat) and government (doulat ) does not exist, and the distinction between the meanings of people mellat and nation does not exist. Both of these distinctions are embedded in Western discourses of national sovereignty.

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60 represented the interest of the Shii establishment, a nd they appointed judges, operated seminaries and schools, managed endowed lands, supe rvised religious ritual s, interpreted Sharia law, and acted as trustees, scribes, and advisors for the people often before the court officials. On local levels, tribal, urban, a nd rural authorities governed and enforced rules based on local customs and expectations, provided physical security, and collected taxes. However, in this form of governance, concepts such as development, legal/rational norms, citizenship rights, or socioeconomic justice did not exist, and no one expressed outrage for th e countrys state of underdevelopment, lack of law, justice, or human rights. In these pyram id-like structures of authority, power flowed downward, from the shah to his courtiers, from c ourtiers to local and tribal authorities down to the people, and from ulama to their followers.5 In the discourse, kings had absolute au thority over lives and properties of his mellat (people), and mellat included tribal, rural, and urban pe opleMuslims and non-Muslims alike. Although kings in Iran were not considered infa llible or divine, their rules, however, were considered divinely approved. As such, ulama represented the institu tion of monarchy as a divine and legitimate Islamic order, whic h helped maintain the public interest ( maslahat ommomi ) and ensured the enforcement of Gods laws ( Sharia ).6 In other words, in the premodern political discourse of Iran, Iranian kings were at the apex of power and authority, and their power flowed downward to the state officials, local, and religious authorities. As such, while the shah was not considered divine or holy, the order was represented as divine, Islamic, and holy. Hence, following the absolute authority of the shah was a religious duty, and questioning his wisdom was not supposed to be knowable to the pe ople. The presumption, 5 Nikki R. Keddie, Iran, Religion, Politics and Society (London: F. Cass, 1980), p. 12. 6 The tenets of the discourse of monarchic absolutism were first proposed and to a certain degree practiced by the Shiite prime minister of the two of Saljuk Tribal dy nasty, Nezam Al-Mulk-e Tusi (1018-1092).

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61 production, and reproduction of the divine right of sovereignty served not only the interest of the state, but also the interest of religious and local authorities. Accordingly, for ulama, the absolute power of kings was deemed necessary for the prevention of internal disintegration by local conflict or external occupation by non-Muslim or non-Shii rulers. For kings of Iran, the autonomous power of ulama was deemed necessary. Ulama legitimized the absolutism of monarchs sin ce Shii institutions provided working rules, norms, and ethics that assured the reproduction and reinforcement of the system. For local authorities, receiving support from the shah-centered state assured their property rights, as well as secured their concessionary rights to collect re nts and taxes on behalf of the statea profit in its own right. Reciprocally, kings relied on lo cal authorities for receiving revenue and troops from local authorities. However, for this mutual inter dependency to work, kings had to maintain a delicate balance between two opposing needs. One need was to have the pres ence of strong local authorities on behalf of the shah. The other was to ensure that no local authority would be or seemed to be stronger than the shah was. Hence, in outsourcing concessions rights to the highest bidders, kings picked the strongest tribal chiefs or wealthy local families to rule, and purposely pitted local authorities against each other. As expected, local authorities were always forced to some degree to attend to the need s of their local constituents in order to maintain their power against their local competitors. In brief, the existence of parallel structures of competing authorities served the interest of the state by main taining control at local levels, but leaving local authorities to govern according to local needs and necessities. This system of governance proved very stable for centuries.7 7 Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions pp. 9-49.

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62 In tribes, villages, towns, and cities, the people were always at the bottom of these pyramids of power structures, but th at is not to say that local authorities could exercise power as they wished. Most Iranian communities were geographically dispersed, economically selfsufficient, ethnically-homogenous, and inward-looking. Therefore, despite the arbitrariness of rule at the apex of the power structure, lo cal authorities had to rule by consensus among competing authorities and respective constituencies.8 Otherwise, local resistance or uprisings would diminish the power of local authority and would force the shah to appoint new valis (local representatives of the state). While the shahs rule was absolutist in name, in practice and at local levels, rules were negotiated to fit the needs and necessities of the locality. However, the stability of the system began to fall apart when these pr actices, policies, customs, and norms began to change. By the mid-1850s, texts had already begun to represent monarchic absolutism as the sign of the states weakness, religious corruption, and local conflict. After the two Russo-Persian wars of 1813 and 1826 forced Prince Abbas Mirza (1789-1833) to accept the two Treaties of Golestan and Turkaman-chay, a clear shift began in texts, policies, and practices of the state, religious, local authorities.9 Texts, originating within the court, began to devalue monarchic absolutism as a corrupt order that needed to be replaced with what was termed as nezam-e-jadid (the new order). Irans first serious experience with mode rnity was its military confrontation with Russia. Its first attempt to modernize began from and wi thin the state structure. The court began to modernize its military. Prince Abbas Mirza (17891833) sent the first group of Iranian students to Western countries, hired Western advisers, im ported military technology, and helped train the 8 Guive Mirfendereski, A Diplomatic History of the Caspian Sea: Treaties, Diaries, and Other Stories 1st ed. (New York: Palgrave, 2001). 9 For more information on treaties of the wars in 1813 and 1828, see Nikki R. Keddie and Yann Richard, Modern Iran: Roots and Results of Revolution (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2003).

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63 first generation of bureaucrats. The devaluing of the old order had begun by merely changing existing policies and practices. Texts originating from some of the religious authorities also began to represent monarchic absolutism as the sign of state corruption not as the providence of Gods will on Earth. These religious authoritie s portrayed monarchic absolutism as un-Islamic behavior. Religious scholars began to represent monarchic absolutism as religious corruption that had resulted in the defeat of omat-e-islam (nation of Muslims) at th e hands of the Russians. Locally, monarchic absolutism was no longer the source of order but that of disorder. By the 1870s, Irans experience with modern ity was one of military defeats by the Russians in the north and economic and political do mination by the British forces in the south. In other words, as the result of Irans encounter with Western modernity, the dominant political discourse of Iran began to weaken and eventually collapse. For the first time in Iranian history, concepts such as development, law, nationalism, class-justice, and security entered into the language of politics. It was in this co ntext that the Tobacco Uprising occurred.10 10 For this section, I have been partly informed by the following scholarly works in addition to re-reading some of their references. For example: Sayed Javad Tabatabai, Ta'amoli Dar Bareyeh Iran: De ebacheh-Ey Bar Nazariahey Anheta't E Iran. (a Collection in Decline of Political Theory) vol. 1 (Tehran: Nashre Mo'ser, 2001/1380). Sayed Javad Tabatabai, Zaval E Andeesheh Syasee Dar Iran (the Decline of Political Theory in Iran) (Tehran: Kavir 1998/1377). Also, Edward Browne, A Year among the Persians (London Black Company, 1950). Keddie and Richard, Modern Iran: Roots and Results of Revolution Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions Ann Katharine Swynford Lambton, The Persian Land Reform, 1962-1966 (Oxford: Clarendon, 1969), Ann Katharine Swynford Lambton, Landlord and Peasant in Persia: A Study of Land Tenure and Land Revenue Administration 1st ed. (London,: Oxford, 1969), Ann Katherine Swynford Lambton, State and Government in Medieval Islam: An Introduction to the Study of Islamic Political Theory London Oriental Series; V. 36 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1981). Homa Katouzian, The Political Economy of Modern Iran: Despotism and Pseudo-Modernism, 1926-1979 (New York: New York University Press, 1981), Katouzian, State and Society in Iran: The Eclipse of the Qajars and the Emergence of the Pahlavis John Foran, Fragile Resistance: Social Transformation in Iran from 1500 to the Revolution (Boulder, Colorado Westview Press, 1993).

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64 The Tobacco Uprising In 1890, in exchange for ,000, Naser Al-d in Shah (who reigned from 1831-1896) handed over the complete control of the pr oduction, purchase, sale, and export of Iranian tobacco to the British Rege company.11 With this concession, a massive campaign against the shah began. Merchants refused to deal with the British company. Sayed Jamal Afghani (18391897) began a letter campaign to convince the Shi i clerical establishment to use their pulpits ( manbars ) to mobilize the people against the con cession. Ayatollah Mirza Hassan Shirazi, a respected religious scholar ( Mujtahed ) in Najaf issued a fatwa (religious edict) that banned the consumption of all tobacco products. People from all occupations, including wives of the shah, obeyed the fatwa and a national political movement was born. The shah had no choice but to cancel the concession and pay damages to the British company, which also included future profits. The Tobacco Uprising was a historical turn ing point that demarcated traditional political discourses from modern discourse s. During the Tobacco Uprising, for the first time, Iranians articulated concepts that were unprecedented in the way the re lationship between the ruled and rulers was represented in at least four different ways. Nezam Al-mulk, Politics (Seeya'sat Nameh) ed. Abdul Rahim Khalkhali (Tehran 1936/1310). Abdul Hussein Zarin-kub, Dar Jeztejoya Tasvof Dar Iran (a Survey of Sufism in Iran) vol. 2 (Tehran: Amir Kabir, 1376/1997). Jacob Edward Polak, Persian, Das Land Und Seine trans. Kikavus Johndari (Bowohener: Ethnographische Schilderugen, 1865). Polak, Persian, Das Land Und Seine Additionally, a great deal of understanding can be deduced from the reading of European travelers to Iran, as well as Iranian travelers to Europe. For example see Suroosh Irfani, Iran's Islamic Revolution: Popular Liberation or Religious Dictatorship? (Lahore, Pakistan Vanguard Books Ltd., 1983), p. 22. 11 Irfani, Iran's Islamic Revolution: Popular Liberation or Religious Dictatorship?

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65 First, during the Tobacco Uprising, the very conc ept of the shahs abso lute divinity was rerepresented as the cause of in security among the people and lack of Irans sovereignty rather than security and absolute sovereignty of the shah. This was a discursive shift. Second, the Tobacco Uprising was an urban-base d mass movement that shared a vision of a national rather than a tribal or local communit y. For the first time in centuries, the concept of a shared vision of an Iranian national community was being formed. Unlike previous eras when the shared vision of a community centered on parochial and familial interests and visions, the shared vision of the community in this era centered on an emerging imagined community of Muslim Iranian people. Third, the primary demand of the people during the uprising was for the establishment of a House of Justice ( Khanah Edalat ). It was not, however, clear as to whether the House of Justice would be based on Islamic or secular laws. As it turned out, this question was not and has not yet been settled. However, the essence of establishi ng a House of Justice wa s proof of the weakening of the official state discourse and the permea tion of new concepts into the language. Finally, the emergence of Iranian modern nationalism was mainly mobilized, organized, and led by the Shii clergy in the name of the nation of Muslim Iranian ( Melat-e Musalman-e Iran).12 As it turned out, the clerical leadership in Iran again became a vanguard for mobilizing people in different episodes of Irans modern history. The majority of the Shii clergy were using a familiar language of the nation of Muslims or ( umma ), which discursively was in relational opposition to non-Muslim nations. Using the familiar language of the nation of the Iranian people ( Melat ) was, in some sense, in re lational opposition to the state ( Dolat ). In this discourse, the people were interpreted as a unified body of Iranians and Muslims in their relational 12 Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. For the concept of imagined community, see Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions pp. 58-61.

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66 opposition or differences to the state and non-Mus lims. The interpretation of the people also meant the emergence of a particular Iranian nati onalism that imagined Self in opposition to an enemy with two faces. One face of this enemy was the court and the other face was foreign powers increasingly controlling the affairs of th e court and the shahBritain or Russia. Irans modern nationalism thus emerged by imagining Se lf in opposition to in ternal and external enemies manifested in the court and intertwi ned with governmental policy and practices. The conceptualization of the court as a nest of foreigner powers conti nued to play a role in shaping Irans modern history. The construction of a nation-state took place within the context of an intense colonial competition between Russia and Br itain over the territorial, econom ic, and political control of Iran. Irans first serious experi encing of Western modernity was its two military defeats of 1813 and 1827 by Russian armies. These defeats weakened the states economic and political sovereignty and opened the way for further Russia n interventions and the gradual loss of Iranian sovereignty. The situation deteriorated when Br itain also entered into Iranian politics. In a competitive race to expand its im perial power, Britain began buying concessions and revenue collection rights from the court in addition to import-rights. Gr adually, British goods flooded the local markets, which resulted in the weakening of traditional manufact uring bases of Iran mostly local and small manufacturing bases. Br itain also managed to impose a favorable tax advantage for its goods. By 1920, Britain was in control of many aspects of political, economic, and foreign policy decision-making.13 These imperial competitions shaped the formations of Iranian nationalism through which Iranians began to see themselves as perpetual victims of the 13 Katouzian, State and Society in Iran: The Eclipse of the Qajars and the Emer gence of the Pahlavis p. 167. Also see Fereydoon Adamiat, Freedom and Thoughts and the Setting of Constitutional Movement (Fekr Aza'dy Va Moqademeh Yeh Neza't Moshroeya't) (Tehran Entesharat-e-Sokhan 1961/1340), p. 54.

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67 both Russia and Britain. In this dichotomization between Self a nd Others, most texts valorized resistance against foreigners, although the meani ng of foreignness changed from one era to next and from one contending discourse to the next. Moreover, texts valorized the struggle against the corruption in the state, although what was now pe rceived as corrupt were the routine business practices of patrimonial politics of the past. The representation of the West was not, how ever, always negative. In the 1800s, in addition to experiencing Western colonial practices, Iranian elit es simultaneously learned about the emancipatory and modern aspects of the West Iranian elites admired the West for its rich philosophy, science, technologies, and governance, which the stateelites found to be the reason for the West being superior to Iran. Texts written during the second half of the 1800s illustrate that elites already had become very familiar w ith the Western philosophers, such as Voltaire, Rousseau, Descartes, Montesquieu, Spencer, Darwin, Mill, Bantam, and Tocqueville. State-elites were also repeating the aspi ration of the French Revolutio nLibert, galit, fraternit By 1905, the state-elites had become familiar with the differences between the Russian, Japanese, Germany, and British models of state-build ing, and, depending on their perspectives, development had become a value intertextu ally, albeit in different interpretation.14 The state-elites desired to modernize the c ountry based on Western models. In his memoir, Mehdi-ih Mokhber al-Duleh, a prominent minister and constitutionalist, wrote that everyone who struggles to establish a constitutional government has a book about the French Revolution and yearns to play the role of Dante, and they are hot with fiery words.15 The result of these 14 For a list of some of these elites and their familiarity with the Western political thought, see Mehdi Quli Hedayat, Khaterat Va Khatarat (Memories and Dangers) (Tehran: 1950/1329), p. 9. For a complete review of the Constitutional Review, see the special edition of Political & Economic Ettelaat, v. 227-230, Nov. 2006. 15 Hamid Dabashi, Iran: A People Interrupted (New York: NEW PRESS, 2007), p. 69.

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68 multiple experiences of Western modernity was the devaluing of traditional discourses and the emergences of new discourses, and each with a different way of imagining Iran. Collapse of the Discourse of Monarchic Absolutism By the late 1800s, W estern modernity had deeply penetrated the tradit ional institutions of the court and the Shiis inst itutions in unexpected ways.16 The result was the weakening and eventual collapse of the traditional discourses of monarch absolutism, which was based on security and order imposed by the shah. First, Irans encounter with th e West seriously undermined th e courts existential relations not only with its own elite class, but also with the local as well as re ligious authorities. As previously explained, since the Shah Abbas reign (1587-1629) and until the early part of the 1906 constitutional revolution, the official state discourse ( Saltanat-e Motlaq-eh ) valued the shah as the absolute personification of power of the state, and th e shah ruled indirectly through parallel structures of local au thorities. Accordingly, the shahs absolutism was articulated in terms of a divine political design that was necessary for maintain ing peace, order, and security. However, after the Tobacco Uprising, some stat e-elites and religious elites, as well as local authorities challenged the official state discourse. For example, after Mirza Reza Kermani assassinated Naser al-Din Shah during the shahs pilgrimage to the shrine of the Shah Abd alAzim, a Shii respected sanctuary in northern Tehr an, the interrogator po sed this question to Mirza: If you really care about the c ountry and as you say wished to protect the dignity of the nation, then why did you not worry about crea ting chaos and anarchy? Kermani responds: You are right. But if you look at the history of European countries, youll see that there is no great purpose that is not achieved through bloodshed.17 16 Shiite is a noun and Shii is an adjective. 17 Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions pp. 60-70.

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69 This text is a mere instance of two contending discourses in their strugg le for meanings. While both Kermani and his interrogato r understood the relation between the shahs life and the significance of order and peace, as opposed to chaos and anarchy, Kermani devalued them and preferred restructuring of the existing order as the Europeans had done in the past. Kermani was a new generation of roshanfekran or enlightened ones. The term had floated into the Persian language by the state-elites from the French language. However, what was more important than the word was the narrativ e that was associated with the word Roshanfekr. The narrative of enlightenment was associated with concepts, such as development, progressive history, laws, peoples right of c itizenship, class justice, and secu lar ethics. These concepts were, however, new in the language and practices of the state and the society. Relatedly, the very naming, knowing, and representing of these concepts were subversive because all of them were represented in relational differences to values concepts, and narratives associated with the official state discourse. By the late 1800s, various text s represented the shahs autocr atic power as the source of bad government. His absolutism was portrayed as a wicked design perpetuated by foreigners and enforced by lackey courtiers. These attitudinal shifts in the discourse translated into the weakening of authority on all levels of governance. First, the relationship between the court and the people changed. The extensive network of patrimonial relations that the Qajar dynasty (1781-1925) had built began to breakdown rather rapidly. On the one hand, the economic, military, and political superiority of the West was reducing the courts revenue rights, destroying the self-suffi ciency of local economies and

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70 creating social unrest.18 On the other hand, the emancipatory aspects of Western modernity were beginning to delegitimize the court from within and without. The weakening of the court continued to corru pt the very fabric of the court and its relationship with itself and the people. Even Naser al-Din Shah, who once saw himself as the shadow of God on earth, became infatuated with the glory of the West. In Iranian mythology, the shah of Iran was referred to as the Shahanshah, which literally means the king of kings. In the collective imagination of Iranians, the shah of Iran was in fact pe rceived as the king of kings in the same way he was depicted in the stone carving in Persepolis. According to these images and narratives associated with them, the shah of Ira n would annually receive kings, dignitaries, and governors of other states, who would come from n ear and far to show their respect, submission, and loyalty for the great Shahanshah of Iran. Accordingly, they would kneel in front of his majesty and submissively offer their expensive gift s. This representation of the shah of Iran, as the center of the world and the king of kings, had b een taken as inevitable natural facts of social reality for centuries, was now collapsing. The shah was no longer viewed as the king of kings, and Iran as the center of the world. Relatedly, the Shii clergy had helped legitim ize this image since the Safavid dynasty. On rare occasions, the clergy submissively had protested the abuses of kings appointees through private channels, but never did they question the absolute authority of kings over life, property, and liberty of the people. Neither did the clergy question the legitimacy of monarchic order. By the mid-1800s, this image of the shah of Iran had collapsed al ong with the mythical reverence for the institution of th e court and the Iranian monarchic order. In the discourse, the West had become the center of the world and the locus of power and glory, even for the shah of 18 Abrahamian argued that the standard of living began to decline in the 19th century. See Katouzian, State and Society in Iran: The Eclipse of the Qajars and the Emergence of the Pahlavis p. 286.

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71 Iran. For example, Naser al-Din Shah himself traveled to Europe thre e timesof course on borrowed money from Britain. The act of visitin g Europe had become prestigious, and for the state-elites as well as the shah, traveling to Europe or getting a West ern education became a distinguished honor. The West had become the Pr omised Land. In the colle ctive imagination of the people, the center of the world had shifted fr om Iran and the Iranian court to Europe and the European courts. Instead of Iranian kings receiv ing kings from other states, the shah of Iran wished to be received by European leaders. By the 1920s, the once powerful and proud Qajar dynasty was subsidized by Britain, and Ahmad Shahthe last of the Qajar dynastyhad no memory of what it meant to be the shah of Iran. In a letter, Sir Percy Loraine, the charg daffaires of the British Foreign Office in Tehran, reported to his superior, Lord Curzon in London: Ah mad Shah is so fearful [referring to Ahmad Shahs domestic opposition] that he has requested to pay another visit to Europe, and thus escape fresh and possibly final humiliations. Then Loraine expressed his regret for not being able to convince Ahmad Shah to remain in Tehran and defend his own crown.19 The narrative ends when the British granted Ahmad Shah pe rmission to leave Tehran with some pocket money. At the time, the people referred to Ahmad Shah as Ahmad alaaf which means Ahmad the loiterer. The representation of the shah of Iran as a street lo iterer was an indication of changing values as how Iranian imagines the sha h. In brief, as the result of Irans encountering the West, the discourse of monarchic absolutism collapsed and the shah of Iran was no longer understood as Gods shadow on earth. 19 Ahmad Movasghi, Modernization and Refrom in Ir an; from Theory to Practice (Tehran: Ghoomes 2006/1385), p. 172.

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72 The Shifts in the Discourse of Shiism The encountering of the West also began to change Shiism For many centuries, the institution of Shiismheaded by ulama enjoyed the support of faithful followers, had financial independence from the state, and they enjoyed a large network of mosques, schools, and seminaries inside and outside of Iran s territory. This relative autonomy gave ulama a certain degree of political immunity from the states coercive means. Previously, the Shii clergy had used its power to moderate to some degree the excessive abuses of the court while it simultaneously legitimized and reproduced the Iran ian monarchic absolutism as a divine political order.20 However, by the mid-1800s, the traditional role of ulama began to change. As the court began to lose its power, it also lost the overwhelming support of ulama. Ulama no longer could rely on the court to maintain the internal peace in the country or prevent the threat of external interventions. What had begun as a gra dual shift reached it s peak during the Tobacco Uprising. Ulama resented the court for capitulating to the British interventions. This resentment was in sh arp contrast with ulamas position at the begi nning of the 1800s. Ervand Abrahamian wrote about these shifting positions: Europeans, such as Quseley, Morier, and Sheil, freely attended mosque services, passion plays, and even Muharram flagellation cer emonies. Moreover, Christian missionaries freely opened schools, printing houses, and churches without encountering major hostility from either the government or the Muslim population. The mood, however, changed as the result of the foreign war, and part icularly after the humiliating Turkaman-chay treaty.21 20 The autonomy of Shiism became esp ecially relevant during Naser Al-din Shah when Ayatollah Morteza Ansari was able to unite all Shiite under his leadership ( marjaiat ). See Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions p. 71. 21 Nikki R. Keddie, Sayyid Jamal Ad-Din Al-Afghani: A Political Biography (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972).

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73 In short, as the result of Irans encountering th e West, its dominant polit ical discourse collapsed. While the court lost th e traditional support of ulama the established clerical began to lose its own legitimacy. For centuries, ulama were the sole epistemic community with an unrivalled role in the production of knowledge in Iran. However, as th e result of Irans encountering Western philosophy, science, technology, and modernity, ulama lost its monopoly over the production of knowledge. By the late 1800s, Western concepts permeated the language of Shiism with subversive effects. While some wanted to stop this permeation and confront the West, others wanted to adapt to it and reform Shiism.22 In other words, even the discourse of Shiism, which had not changed its narrative for centuries, be gan to change, although in advertently. Constitutive of these changes was the revi val of a methodological debate among Shii scholars. The debate created two new schools of Shii thoughtAkhbaris and Ussulis. Akhbaris (literalists or textualists) re lied on the literal meaning of Quran, Hadith, and other holy texts. Literalists understood Islamic texts as divine, perfect, and immuta ble. In contrast, Ussulis (principlists or interpretivists) insisted that the Islamic Holy Te xts are living documents and their meanings should correspond to the necessities of the time ( moqtaziat-e zaman ). In this debate, while the former would encourage a fixed reading of Islamic texts, the latter privileged an interpretive approach to the understa nding of Islam. Although by the mid-1800s, Ussulis had won this debate, the traces of these two methodological schools re mained in the political debate among Shii scholars. For Shii lite ralists, all aspects from the West had a corruptive effect on 22 For a reformist view of Islam, see Mehdi Ansari, Sheikh Fazlolah Nouri Va Mashrotiat; Rodaryi-E Du Andisheh (Sheikh Fazlolah Nouri and the Constitution; Confrontation of Two Thoughts) (Tehran: Entesharat-e Amir Kabir, 1997/1376). For a confrontationalist view, see Roxanne Leslie Euben, Enemy in the Mirror: Islami c Fundamentalism and the Limits of Modern Rationalism (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1999), p. 97.

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74 the Islamic way of life, so they rejected the West as a whole and suggested a return to an Islamic Self. However, others argued that for the Islamic Se lf to survive, it had to rationally adapt itself according to the necessities of time, that is to learn Western philosophy, science, technology, and governance. A prime example of an Islamic reformist was Sayed Jamal Afghani whose main argument was that the decay of the Muslim umma (community) and its manifest weakness in relation to European ascendance are inextricably tied to the ne glect of science and philosophy.23 In sum, the Tobacco Uprising represented a tu rning point when traditional discourse of monarchic absolutism began to fall apart, and th e values embedded in the political discourse of monarchic absolutism, which had not been contes ted for centuries, began to be opposed. In other words, what were previously valued became devalu ed, and concepts that di d not previously exist in the language entered the language. In the next section, I will examine these new concepts as they entered into the language during the 1906 constitutional revolution. The 1906 Constitutional Movement By the constitutional revolution of 1906, the di scourse of m onarchic absolutism had totally collapsed. By then, even the king, ministers, and many others in the court devalued the old order and valued a new law-based poli tical order similar to those of European governments. Law became the basic signifier of the discourse constitutionalism and the state adopted it. Majority of the clergy, the state-elites in and out of the c ourt, merchants, and urban masses constructed an alliance that became known as constitutionalist s. For constitutionalists, law was supposed to provide security and order, de velop and modernize th e country, and determine state relations with itself and its surrounding world. 23 Ali Reza Kashi, The Order and Trend of the Discourse of Democracy in Iran (Tehran: Gam-e No, 2006/1385), pp. 46-52.

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75 In 1906, constitutionalists succeeded in forcing Muzaffar al-Din Shah to sign a decree ordering the formation of a constitutional government ( houkumat-e Mashroteh). The primary demand of everyone involved was the establishmen t of a lawful government. In other words, a particular formation of discourse succeeded in be coming the official state discourse and thus the official policies and practices of the state, at least for a few months. In October 1906, the first national representative assembly ( Majlis Shoray-e-Melli ) opened and passed the first Fundamental Law of Iran. The Fundamental Law ( Qanun Assaasi ) quickly attempted to pass laws establishing a sove reign nation-state governed by laws. The Majlis quickly removed the principle of the shahs divi ne right of sovereignty and placed it with the representative assembly of the people in the Majlis. These policies and practices were constitutive of how law had ente red into the language as the so lution for the peoples security from the abuses of power by the state-elites, as well as the essential component for promoting Islamic justice and societal development. Texts written during the constitutional revolution have consensus on the necessity for establishing a sovereign nation-state governed by laws ( Qanun), that is, based on national interest derived from the general will of the nation led by the peoples representatives.24 Accordingly, the constitution granted equal rights and freedom before the laws passed by the Majlis. It declared the Twelve Im ami Shiism as the official religion, and appointed a body consisting of five grand Ayatollahs to assure that no laws passed by the Majlis would violate the 24 For example, rooz nameh qanoon, published by Mirza Malkum Khan in London. For a review of these publications, see Katouzian, State and Society in Iran: The Eclipse of th e Qajars and the Emergence of the Pahlavis pp. 25-84. For more information on the Constitutional movement in Iran, see Javad Sheikh-Islami, "Mohammad Ali Shah; Characteristics and Ending Political & Economic Ettela'at 20, no. 227-230 (2006).

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76 principles of Islamic laws.25 The Majlis also established the first Iranian National Bank to begin an independent development of Iran. Relatedly, it tried to reestablish control over its customs and import-export taxation. It removed the right of the shah to enter into trea ties, loan agreements, and other matters without the consent of the Majlis. It barred the shah from placing his close relatives in the cabinet and set budgetary limits on the courts expenditure It created a secular judiciary branch and vested all legislative, investigative, and budgetary power with the Majlis. It also tried to pass a bill of ri ghts the content of which becam e a contentious point between modernists and Islamists.26 In other words, by signifying law as the basis of the state sovereignty, development, law, justice, and Isla mic norms, constitutionalists attempted to build a modern nation-state. But as soon as constitutiona lists established a law-based government, their shared vision of community collapsed, and it was not again reconstructed until 1921, which will the subject of Chapter 3.27 25 During this era, another interpretation signified modernism more than law. Modernists published many anticlerical essays and promoted laicism as if they were in th e midst of an academic debate in an intellectual gathering in the West.25 26 Among these papers were Su-i Israfil and Habl al-Matin who were very critical of even Islamic reformists. 27 This section was partly informed by the following texts: Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions 49-101. Abrahim Taymouri, Iran before the Constitutional Revolution," Political & Economic Ettela'at 20, no. 227-230 (2006/1385): p. 11. Malek al-Shua'ra Bahar, Tarikh-I Ahzab-I Siyasi-Yi Iran (His tory of Political Parties in Iran) (Tehran: 1945). Kashi, The Order and Trend of the Discourse of Democracy in Iran pp. 46-52. Rooz nameh qanoon, published by Mirza Malkum Khan in London. For a review of these publications, see Katouzian, State and Society in Iran: The Eclipse of the Qajars and the Emer gence of the Pahlavis pp. 25-84. For Constitutional Movement in Iran, see Ansari, Sheikh Fazlolah Nouri Va Mashrotiat; Rodaryi-E Du Andisheh (Sheikh Fazlolah Nouri and the Constitution; Confrontation of Two Thoughts) Ahmad Kasravi, Tarikhe Mashrotiate Iran (History of Iran's Constitution) (Tehran: Amir Kabir, 1978/1357). Mashallah Ajoudani, Mashroteh Irani Va Nazaryeh Valayat-E Fagih (Iranian Constitutionalism; Backgrounds for the Theory of Guardianship of the Jurisprudent) (London: Fasl-e Ketab Publication, 1997/1367). Mashallah Ajodani, "Ejtema'eyon Amyon (Social Democrats)," Political & Economic Ettela'at 20, no. 227-230 (2006). Also Ahmad Roohul-Qudos, "Freedom Roohul-Qudos Jamad al-Sani 1907.

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77 At the time, Malek al-Shoara-ye Bahar, a radi cal democrat and famous poet, called for the revived unity that had brought the monarchic absolu tism to its knees. In a nostalgic tone for the unifying ideals of the constitutional revolution w hose origin was not far in the future, Bahar wrote: Agreed, we did not, to the br eaking of our own promises, To the losing of our own oneness, To the shattering of our own nation, And to the changing of our own minds. But agreed, we did, To the saving of our motherland for Gods sake, To the unity of our own people for Gods sake, And to the destroying of our own internal enemy for Gods sake.28 Although the poet assumed the oneness of the mot herland, the nation, and the internal enemy for all Iranians, no such oneness existed. Different im aginations of Iran had opposing notions of the motherland, the nation, and the internal enemy. Th ese internal divisions turned to the loss of faith on the part of the people about the constitutional movement, and even the word constitutionalism ( mashroteh ) came to mean killing and looting rather than how it had been previously valued as the univer sal ideal for goodness. According to Katouzian, Whenever anyone killed anyone an d anywhere was looted, they sa id it was constitutionalised (beh mashroteh-ash resi) .29 When World War I broke out, Irans inte rnal division was exacerbated exponentially. Although Iran declared neutrality, it did not have the power to enforce it. Thus, it became the Hosein Bashiriyeh, Mavanea Tosa'yea Syasi Dar Iran (Obsta cles to Political Development in Iran) vol. 5 (Tehran: Gam-e No 2001). Adamiat, Freedom and Thoughts and the Setting of Constitutional Movement (Fekr Aza'dy Va Moqademeh Yeh Neza't Moshroeya't) Mohammad Malekzadeh, History of the Constitutional Revolution of Iran (Tarikh-E Inqila'b-E Mashrutiyat-E Iran) 5 vols. (Tehran: Suqrat Press, 1949), v. 1, pp. 202-205. 28 For the Farsi text, see Katouzian, State and Society in Iran: The Eclipse of the Qajars and the Emergence of the Pahlavis p. 58. 29 Ibid., p. 71.

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78 battleground between the Allied and Central Powers Russia occupied the north; Britain occupied the south and began arming Bakhtiyaries, Khamse h, and Arab tribes. The Ottomans invaded the north and forced the Russians out of Azerbaijan. They also moved into the northwest and began arming the Kurds who fought the British and their Arab tribal proxies at the time. The Germans began to arm and advise the Bluchies, Qashqaie s, and Tangestanies tribes, who began fighting the British forces in the south. The pro-Germans members of the Majlis fled the capital and established a provisional government in Kermanshah in the northwest.30 In contrast, the proAllied government remained in Tehran.31 In other words, there were two governments and multiple fronts, and each front reflected an existi ng internal division exploited by external forces for their own interests. In short, the previously high hope of establishing a constituti onal government turned into despair. By 1918, the population was suffering from severe famine. At least one-quarter of the population in the north, which is th e most fertile part of Iran, starved to death; there are no existing records of the effects of the f ood shortage on the rest of the country.32 Reflecting the state of the country, words lik e chaos, anarchy, war, starva tion, corruption, and occupation described the conditions of the c ountry, and urgent calls for the restoration of order dominated the texts. After the war ended, Britain blocked Iranian e nvoys to the Versaille s Peace Conference in 1919. Simultaneously, the British Foreign O ffice Secretary in London, Lord Curzon, was pressing for an immediate passage of a mandate that would legally bring Iran under the formal control of Britain. He had approved the bribing of three key cabinet ministers in exchange for 30 William J. Olson, Anglo-Iranian Relations During World War I (London: F. Cass, 1984), pp. 45-46. 31 Keddie and Richard, Modern Iran: Roots and Results of Revolution p. 75. 32 Katouzian, State and Society in Iran: The Eclipse of the Qajars and the Emer gence of the Pahlavis pp. 91-116.

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79 their help to lobby other legislatures.33 By 1920, Curzon gave up his scheme, partly because Britain had even more of a problem in Iraq, which was under its mandate.34 Then he wrote, Persia is now paying the penalty for her own v acillation and folly, and, if she cannot extricate herself by the only legitimate means, namely by constitutional action of Majlis summoned for the purpose, no other expedien t can save the situation.35 Suddenly, it appeared that Britain was the country that wanted to help install a cons titutional government in Iran, but Iranians did not want it or could not handle it. These events ha d injurious effects on the emergence of Iranian nationalism, which had been born in the womb of colonialism, nurtured by internal division, and exploited by imperialist competition of Western powers. For example, Aref-e Qazvini (1882-1934) create d a literary genre at the time, which had a dark, racist, and xenophobic tone. Arefs poems are imbued in the culture of Shiis glorification of martyrdom, and his music and songs are pervad ed by religious and mourning tunes. In a song that Hamid Dadbashi called something of a national anthem for Ira nian revolutionary nationalists at the purest and most noble moments of their idealism, Aref wrote, From the blood of young people of this nation tulips have grown/In mourning for the fallen figures, cypress is bended.36 While Aref depicted the British as rapi sts, criminals, thieves, and vampires, he represented the Germans in a positive light Through hundreds of his songs and poems cited, sung, and acted, the image of dying for the ideo logy of an ambiguous Iranian nation has been burned into the collective conscious of Iranians. However, the glorification of dying for the 33 Rashid Khalidi, Resurrecting Empire: Western Footprints and America's Perilous Path in the Middle East 1st cloth ed. (Boston: Beacon Press, 2004), pp. 26-27. 34 In 1920, Iraq was in revolt against British forces. In Egypt, as well as Palestine, British forces were under guerilla attacks. See Herman Norman, "British Documents on Foreign Policy (1921), v. iii, no. 607. 35 Dabashi, Iran: A People Interrupted p. 103. 36 Movasghi, Modernization and Refrom in Iran; from Theory to Practice p. 203.

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80 nation is usually articulated in relation to the struggle against foreign others ( khareji ). The foreign others are always represented as enemie s inside working with foreigners outside of a presumably homogenous nation that has existe d only in words but practiced in deeds. Conclusion In this chapter, I briefly described the specif ic historical condition that resulted in the collapse of the century-old official state disc ourse of the Iranian monarchic absolutism. I described how previously valued concepts were devalued, and new basic signifiers entered the language. While in the pre-modern discourse of monarchic absolutism, the shah, who was signified as the absolute provide r of security for the Muslim-I ranian subjects, began to be represented as the cause of insecurity and the th reat to the Islamic way life. The meaning of the shah as the security provider collapsed. Rela tedly, the meaning of what was previously represented as a divine political ordered coll apsed. Meanwhile, four new signifiers gradually entered the language. Together with traditional signifiers, the ne w signifiers began to construct competing imaginations of Iran, which I have called contending discourses, each with a different image of an ideal nati on-state that is secure developed, lawful, democratic, class-just, and Islamic. I reviewed the Tobacco Uprising, which was the first urban-based mass movement that shared a vision of a national community united ag ainst the shah and against Britain. In 1906, that shared vision formed a unity among constitution alists who wanted to establish a law-based government. Soon after the establishment of the first Iranian constitutional government, the extreme internal division, exacerbated by the occ upation of foreign powers, forced the country into civil, local, and tribal conflicts, which ended only when Reza Khans British-backed coup resulted in establishing the first modern state Ira n. In Chapter 3, I will explain the formation of Reza Khans imagination of building a modern nation-state.

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81 CHAPTER 3 THE DISCOURSE OF MODERN ABSOLUTI SM (1922-1941) Introduction As explained in the previous two chapters Irans encountering the W est produced new collective imaginations, which I have called political discourses, and if one discourse is adopted by the state, I have called it the offici al state discourse. In Chapters 1 and 2, I demonstrated that Irans encounter with the West caused the collapse of th e discourse of Iranian absolute monarchism ( Saltanat-e Motlaq-e ) in which the state ( houkumat ) was represented as a divine political order bestowed upon kings. Acco rdingly, God was regarded as the absolute sovereign, and kings were considered Gods authorit ative delegates, thus th e absolute sovereigns on earth. Texts represented the absolutist political order of kings as a divine design for maintaining public interest ( maslahat umomi ) by providing order and se curity and preventing chaos and conflict, which was also consistent with the interest of the Islamic community or nation ( maslahat umat-e Islam ) at large. In other words, the legitimacy of the sovereign was inseparably linked to the ability of kings to ma intain an absolutist political order and provide security. In Chapter 2, I showed that for many centuries, rural, urban, religious, and tribal authorities simply acquiesced and adhered to this practice. Relatedly, since the Safavid dynasty (1501-1722), Shii clerical authorities, for the mo st part, reinforced the legitimacy of this political order. In Chapter 2, I examined the rise and fall the 1906 Constitutional Revolution, which marked the first time that law became the basic si gnifier that permeated the meanings of state building, nation imagining, and foreign policymak ing. For example, building a constitutional state was conceptually linked to modernizing, civilizing, and developing the nation. Imagining the nation was linked to instituting legal, rati onal, and administrative norms consistent with

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82 Islam, class, and the peoples local inte rests. However, during the 1906 Constitutional Revolution, the battle between the old and ne w political order continued. On the one hand, constitutionalists signified the primacy of law in establishing a legal, modern, class-just, and sovereign political order. On the other hand, mona rchists signified the primacy of security in order to modernize the country with out creating chaos, to maintain Islamic laws and traditions, to prevent class warfare, to prev ent revolution, and to protect th e national interest by creating a balance between Russia and Britain. Modernization vis--vis absolutism was the Japanese model that interested Iranians. Whereas constitutionali sts imagined a parliamentarian political model, monarchists imagined a Japanese or Ge rman model. Nevertheless, by the 1920s, constitutionalism failed and so did the state. Beca use of rampant insecurity, chaos, famine, civil war, occupation, and tribal conf licts, the primacy of providing security once again became the defining signifier for the state. I call this political discourse modern absolutism. I call it modern because the state began to signify and treat modernization projects as historical missions. I also call it absolutism be cause the shah eventually personified the state and essentially became the absolute sovereign ov er all aspects of social political, and economic life. Thus, the motto for Reza Shah s state-building project began with restoration of security ( amniat ) to the country. Once modern absolutism became the state o fficial discourse, it began to permeate the meanings of other signifierspolitical order, mode rnization, law, people, class, and Islam. First, the state wanted to modernize, centralize, militarize, and bureaucratize. This representation meant valuing a particular understanding of mode rnization and devaluing traditional mechanisms of governance. Second, the state signifierssecurity and developmentpermeated the meaning of people of Iran and constructed an offici al nationalism. Third, the state permeated the

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83 meaning of Islamic myths. The state began to re present Islam as traditional, local, and not originating in Persian myths, therefore antithet ical to the discourse of absolute modernism. Fourth, the state represented itself as the absolu te law unto itself. Thus, the state attempted to eliminate local, tribal, and religious customary laws. Representing the state as law unto itself made rules under modern absolutism even more arbitrary than under the personalistic rules of ancient regimes. Additionally, th e concept of a constitutional state became a performative instrument of reinforcing the absolutism of the shah and the state fused into one. Fifth, the state represented and understood class-ba sed identities as anti-Iranian and pro-communism. Sixth, the state aligned itself with the West against the so cialist East. This chapter will examine how the state began to build a modern state, to construc t an official nationalism, and to make relations with other states constitutiv e of political discourse. Establishment of a Modern Absolutist State Constitu tive of the political discourse of m odern absolutism was the desire for the restoration of order and security ( nazm va amniat ). By the 1920s, the meaning of a political order (a sovereign order) was attached to the buildi ng of a strong and central ized state that could provide order and security for the nation. In other words, order and security permeated the meanings and practices of constitutionalism, which had resulted in utter chaos and insecurity for the country from 1907-1921. Hence, the motto for Reza Shahs state-building project began with restoration of security ( amniat ) to the country. The restoration of order and security by th e state became the primary signifier of the official state discourse. Modern absolutists, or modernists for short, built an absolutist state, which was equipped with a well-disciplined military that enforced its order and its official nationalism. Modernists also bui lt a modern bureaucracy to admi nister the state developmental projects, and they instituted a judicial system to enforce the state official identity. During this

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84 transformation, modernists destroyed local or tr aditional structures of authority, administration, common law, and customs. In the next few sect ions, I will examine texts that illustrate how modernists forged a great transformation by de stroying traditional, local, and religious mechanisms of governance. Instead, modernists be gan to govern based on what they understood as Western models, which were represented and understood as progressi ve, efficacious, and legitimate. Based on these practices, m odernists adopted an eclectic set of governing templates modeled after various Western experiences. For example, the military was first modeled after the British and later after the German system. The gendarmerie (the rural police) was modeled after the French provincial police. The state bureaucracy was modeled after the Germans, and the judicial system was adopted from French le gal codes. Meanwhile, the prison system was administered according to Swiss codes, the educ ational system was copied from the French school system, and the Treasury Department was designed after the American system. In these transformative adoptions, the key concern was th e destruction of the tr aditional mechanisms of governance because they were understood to be back ward and thus illegitimate. But all models of mimicking Western governance we re viewed as signs of progress and therefore legitimate. In other words, the justification for measuring the legitimacy of governance was not an objective or tangible fact outside of the langauage. But the justification was indeed shaped by the very representation of what was considered modern or traditional. In other words, the legitimacy of modernization was counterpoised to traditionalism, localism, tribalism, and decentralism. While modernization was understood in te rms of its oppositional differences with traditionalism, localism, tribalism, and Shiism, the establishment of an absolutist order was understood in terms of its oppositional differences with chaos, insecurity, underdevelopment,

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85 class warfare, religious backwardness, fore ign occupation, and intervention. Accordingly, absolutism was valued and legitimized. Hence, violence, coercion, and fear were valued as necessary means to establish order. But th e use of dialogue, comp romise, negotiation, and consensus building was devalued as signs of the states weakness. The use of violence, coercion, and fear was in sharp contrast to the Webe rian concept of legitimate authority, which presupposes the least possible use of coercion an d violence as signs of modern legitimacy. During Reza Shahs modern absolutism, the frequent use of coer cion and violence was represented as the absolutist auth ority of Reza Shah. From this perspective, the building of a modern military, police, gendarmerie, and bureau cracy were understood as instruments of establishing an absolutist control over all aspect s of social life rath er than legitimizing institutions. In other words, the use of vi olence or coercion was legalized, regularized, bureaucratized, and normalized. Violence and coerci on remained as a legitimate instrument of maintaining and securing the state. In fact, R eza Shah fell from power as soon as the collective fear for the regime disappeared and the legitimacy of the use of force became illegitimate. In the next few sections, I will examine how modern ab solutism represented, u nderstood, and practiced the building of the state, the imagining of the nation, and c onducting relations with foreign powers. Militarizing and Bureaucratizing the State In this era, the m ilitary grew from 40 ,000 men to a force of 127,000 well-disciplined troops, controlled by a hierarchic command structur e. The army consumed thirty-three percent of the annual budget.1 To expand the manpower pool, Reza Shah instituted a mandatory conscription for all 18-year-old males. Islamists protested this m ove, but they were no longer any 1 Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions p. 136. Also see Hussein Makki, Tarikhecheh Jebhaya Melli (a Short History of the National Front) (Tehran: 1954), pp. 109-113.

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86 match for Reza Shahs regime. He established a military school for officer training in Iran and sent officers to France and Germany for additio nal military training. Besides the army, Reza Shah established a small airforce and navy. In shor t, the military became the primary pillar of the state-building project, and high-ranking military officers gradually became the most powerful among the state-elites. Equipped with the coercive means of violence, Reza Shah instituted a modern bureaucratic apparatus armed w ith legal codes and procedures His bureaucracy modernized governance by trying to destroy all forms of traditional governance, which was founded on familial, communal, and consensus. In this modern and bureaucratically-administered governance, the technology of cr eating and enforcing rule, orde r, control, discipline, and punishment differed in th ree fundamental ways. First, the reach of a brutal bureaucracy extended to the remotest part of the country. The people as well as bureaucrats obeyed rules, a nd violators received harsh punishment. For example, the state dictated migratory routes, fo rce-settled some tribes, and replaced local and religious authorities with bureaucratic ones. Th ese measures extended the reach of the central government beyond what any previous state in Iran had ever done. During this era, governance was indeed systematic, centralized, and bureau cratized. Governance was also more brutal, intrusive, and arbitrary than ever before because the system was constructed on insecurity. Fear was represented and understood as an inevitable but necessary evil fo r governing. Hussein Makki cited an occasion when Reza Shah ordered his ch ief of police, General Ayram, to find the anonymous writer of an offensive letter. In a verbal account to Ali-Akbar Davar, the head of the Judiciary, Ayram boastfully accounted for the bur eaucratic procedures he had followed to take the offenders confession of that heinous crime in one day. After Ayram finished his report and

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87 left, Davar regretfully confided to his frie nd about the unknowable plight of those innocent people whom the chief of police had falsely accu sed to take over their lands and simultaneously make himself appear indispensable to the shah.2 In this representation, it is obvious that fear was understood as an inevitable part of social reality. The shah fear ed a letter supposedly written by social enemies; the chief of police feared th e shah; the accused feared the state and even confessed to crimes they did not commit; and the chief justice of the country feared the system he had helped create. Moreover, th e arbitrariness of rule is concom itant with the strict adherence to bureaucratic procedures.3 Second, governance was rule-based, but rule making was as arbitrary as ever. Ervand Abrahamian states: [F]ew executions were carried out in these ye ars for the simple reas on that violent crime rapidly diminished once the state establishe d control over the highw ays and stamped out rural banditry. For the first time in histor y, the state was armed with the full machinery of modern governmenta central bureaucr acy, a standing army, and a national police force. In short, it had the Maxim gun and thus could dispense with the public gallows . The modern prison had come to Iran via the modified and more humanitarian systems of early-twentieth-century Western Europe. Like much else in Pahlavi architecture, ancient Iranian motives were grafted onto the building to give it an "authe ntic" look. The Western penitentiary had been Iranianized.4 A Swiss administer operated the prison system mo re or less according to European models and based on legislatively passed rules and procedures, but the shah decided to violate the rules. He could easily do so by ordering the rules to be tailored to his liking. In other words, although governance became ruled-based, modern, and bureaucratic, the rule-making remained as 2 Ervand Abrahamian and NetLibrary Inc., Tortured Confessions: Prisons and Public Recantations in Modern Iran (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999), pp. 26-27. 3 In a trip to Firouz Abbad, in the middle of the Qashqaye tribal territory, I encountered an old grave dating to Reza Shahs reign. According to local residents, the grave belonged to a state-hired engineer who had failed a road inspection. The engineer was allegedly placed under the tire of a military truc k and run over. While this particular story might be exaggerated or even fa lse, the perception of Reza Shah as a strict enforcer of rules has become mythical. Reza Shah, of course, was proud of his reputation. 4 Katouzian, State and Society in Iran: The Eclipse of the Qajars and the Emer gence of the Pahlavis p. 317.

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88 arbitrary, personal, and absoluti st as during the period of mona rchic absolutism. According to Taqizadeh, Reza Shahs favorite phrase was I de stroy you. He used these three words when he decided to eliminate many of his once loyal ministers, bureaucrats, and tribal chiefs.5 Third, rules and procedures of governance were embedded neither in the social fabric of the society nor in accordance with the existing social norms. Thus, ru les and procedures of governance were not understood and practiced because the state feared them On the contrary, in the traditional mode of governance rules, proced ures, punishment, and mediat ions were all social and local norms and thus understood and practiced accordingly. In other words, in the rush to modernize and centralize the c ountry, the state adopted rules and procedures modeled after European countries but with tota l contempt for all existing social and local norms and practices. As a result, for a great majority of people, modern rules and procedures we re obscure and hard to follow. As if the incompatibility of social and local norms and practices w ith imported rules and procedures was not enough, the inefficiencies of bureaucracy made sure th at bureaucratic rules and procedures remained without any mediati ng mechanisms. At least in the traditional governance, many layers of mediation were in pl ace for rule violators. For example, accused violators of rules could seek hol y sanctuaries, at least tempor arily, to provide a cooling-off period. In some cases, the family of an accused would solicit respected elders to lobby on the accuseds behalf. In other cases, respected clerks would provide a level of protection from the state. On the contrary, for an overwhelming majo rity of the people, no legal path existed to mitigate, mediate, or appeal false convictions, bureaucratic mistakes, and intended and unintended abuses of rules. Hence, the birth of the first modern state in Iran was concomitant 5 Bashiriyeh, Mavanea Tosa'yea Syasi Dar Iran (Obstacles to Political Development in Iran) Katouzian, State and Society in Iran: The Eclipse of the Qajars and the Emergence of the Pahlavis

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89 with the destruction of locally-b ased norms and rules and the cons truction of a disembedded state from the society.6 In short, during this era, Reza Shah establishe d a sovereign absolutist state. Equipped with military and bureaucracy, the state extended its reach into the remotest se ction of the country. Although governance was rule-based, rule-making re mained arbitrary. Additionally, for a great majority of the people, the bureaucratized, centra lized, and European-based rules and procedures were too obscure and without mediating mech anisms to soften their arbitrariness. Dominating the Polity Constitutive of the political discourse of mode rn absolutism was the drive to purify the political system from all other contending discou rses. In this transformation, modernists led by Reza Shah monopolized the political system. The Majlis abandoned its previous role of representing the people and adopted the role of representing the will of the shah, who had become the embodiment of the state. The Majlis gave up its plural identity and adopted a singular identity with a unified voice th at reflected that of Reza Shah. The Majlis changed from choosing the cabinets and running the government to merely receiving and conducting orders from the cabinet selected by the shah. In this transformative process of creating an absolutist state, parties were banned and their leader s were deported, impris oned, or killed. Gradually and methodically, the state banned all modern forms of freedom of expression as they had been practiced since the 1906 Constitutional Revolutionthe press, trade unions, strikes, protests, assemblies, political parties, and so forth. The state al so destroyed traditional 6 Most scholars argue that because of the arbitrariness of personalistic rule in Iran, the state has always been disembedded from society. For example, see Movasghi, Modernization and Refrom in Iran; from Theory to Practice Alamdari, Why Iran Lagged Behind and the West Moved Forward Hosain Makki, Tarikh-E Bist Saleh-E Iran (History of Twenty Years) 8vols. (Tehran Nashre Nasher, 1945/1324), v. 6, p. 375. This argument, however, assumes that there was always a centralized, controlling, and dominating state in Iran. However, evidence shows that the traditional state in Iran wa s very weak and decentralized.

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90 political authorities. By harsh and coercive m easures, the state discourag ed tribal and nomadic lifestyles. For example, the gendarmerie rest ricted access to, and the movement across, the traditionally recognized tribal territories. It exprop riated many tribal lands. Reza Shah also killed or deported tribal chiefs who we re not completely co-opted. In some cases, even some of those who were co-opted were killed after they coul d no longer fit into the states modernization projects. The state also changed the structure of traditional authorities in rural areas.7 Landowners, or in some cases the gendarmerie, appointed loca l authorities without the consensus of the locals. Moreover, the state ordered the privatization a nd expropriation of prev iously held communal properties. In these processes, large landholde rs, with access to the ne wly instituted State Registrar Offices, could and did register their holdings under thei r names. But local and small landowners, who were unfamiliar with the required legal formalities, lost legal rights to their land. In short, the state monopolized all political powers to the fullest extent possible. With this transformation, other contendi ng political discourses, whic h had become united by the signification of security, bega n to become a part of the opposition to the state. Commanding the Economy In addition to the m onopolization of political power, the state-elite s also monopolized the economic resources. During this era, property relations changed in favor of a new breed of large landholders whose acquired properties were the re sult of their military rankings, bureaucratic positions, or court patronages. No traditional landholders survived this transformation except those directly associated with the state. With an estimated holding of 15% of Irans arable lands, Reza Shah, by far, became the largest landholder in Iran. Additionally, Reza Shah appropriated 7 For the structure of traditional authority, see Chapter 4.

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91 some of the most lucrative monopolies in the co untry. The shahs wealt h, combined with the wealth of a relatively small number of landed military and state-elites constituted the largest portion of private wealth in the country. As though monopolizati on of private wealthto the extent that was possible or profitablewas not enough, the state be gan to control a substantial portion of economic production. Th is monopoly of wealth and power gave the ruling elites, led by the Pahlavis, unprecedented economic wealth and control. Accordi ngly, in a very short period, the state monopolized all means of coer cive, administrative, political, and economic power. With the power and instit utions of the state, Reza Shah went on to his state-building projects according to how modern absolutism represented and understood development. Development and Modern Absolutism Modernizing ( tosea ) was one of the constituting signifi ers for the political discourse of absolute m odernism. Identifying with modernis m was the desire to develop, progress, and civilize ( Tosea, Taraqi and Tamadon ) Iran according to an evolutionary image of a history in which the West led the way and Iran was forced to catch up along the same path. This evolutionary image of history was understood as natural and universal. Hossian Makis eightvolume history book, Tarikh-e Bist Saleh ( The History of Twenty Years 1921-1941), details Reza Shahs period, presupposing the naturalness of the law of development and growth. In one of many implicit and explicit references to this law, Maki wrote: One of the most fixed laws of nature is the law of growth and evolut ion. All things in the universe, from material things to human bei ngs and from microscopic creatures to planets and stars always and without interruption are progressing forward and incrementally evolving. Human societies, which are a part of the nature, follow this fixed law.8 However, all contending discourses shared this understanding of progr essive history, but each with a different interpretation. 8 Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions p. 148.

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92 For modernists, the interrelated levels of economic, political, and cultural development determined the level of civilization or lack ther eof. At the level of the economy, the criteria for measuring economic development were the scales of bureaucratizati on, industrialization, privatization, and capital accumulation. At the level of policymaking, the measuring rods for political development were the size, power, and cont rol of the state. At th e level of society, the criteria for measuring social development were the extent to which Iran looked Western-like. Understanding Economic Development At the econo mic level, the scale of projects and the role of the state were the criteria for measuring development. Accordingly, large-scale, state-led, and foreign investments were considered efficient, productive, and moder n, but small-scale businesses were understood as inefficient, unproductive, and local. Doing busines s on a large-scale basis meant that the states role in the economy changed from a previously n on-interventionist and/or non-existent policy to an intervention economic restructuring. As the revenue collection from oil, tariffs, royalties, state monopolies, and deficit spending in creased, the states ability to enter into gra nd developmental projects toward infrastructural and in dustrial building projects was enhanced.9 The state began to build the trans-Iranian railways, roads, the Nation al Bank of Iran, factories, the University of Tehran, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Health, and many more modernizing projects. Additionally, state-owned companies operated utilities, financ ial cooperatives, trades, and a host of institutional mechanisms that provided 20th century amenities and regulated the daily lives of Iranians.10 This modernism transformed the state into the largest investor, producer, consumer, educator, and employer in the country. 9 Mohammed Amjad, Iran: From Royal Dictatorship to Theocracy Contributions in Political Science, No. 242 (New York: Greenwood Press, 1989), p. 97. 10 For more information on these modernization projects, see Sirus Ghani, Iran and the Rise of Reza Shah: From Qajar Collapse to Pahlavi Rule (London; New York: I.B. Tauris, 1998), p. 295.

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93 Ali-Akbar Davar, perhaps one of the most important advocators of modern absolutism, insisted upon economic development as the so lution to Irans main problemunderdevelopment ( aqab oftadegi ). The following passage is an ex cerpt from Davars writings: The contemporary Western civilization is the re sult of the Industrial Revolution and the West is not stronger or superi or because it has more intellec tuals, schools, libraries, and scientists; all these are branch es, leaves, and fruits of the Western civilization. The root cause of the superiority of the ci vilization of others [the West] is their railroads as long as they [the West] worked with their hands as we did, and ca rried loads with horses as we did, their lives were not that much different from ours. But from the moment Europe drove on rails and began to control the nature wh ile our nation kept on riding donkeys, Iran was destined to live in destitution. While the industrial revolution was taking place, we [Iranians] were living in a wo rld of sleep-like ignorance. .Then when we woke up, we saw two uninvited European giants on either si de of our bed Although we recognized the intrusion, we did nothing. Now that we have a few years of experience before us, now that we have seen how Britain and Russia ha ve carved up Iran into their spheres of influence and have forced us to abject pove rty once again. .[How can we change?]. .What did Japan do forty years ago? Did they re sort to poetry? Did th ey use their prayer beads to develop their country? Did they curse their rulers and shout that foreigners stop them from developing their country? No, they built a railway system, they opened up schools and universities, hospitals and as l ong as we refuse to dedi cate ourselves to an economic revolution, as the Japanese have done we will move or change nothing. We will remain as a submissive nation of disaster-str icken, starved, and tatter ed cloaked beggars, we continue suffering even more as time goe s on. While it is true that we have sixthousand years of history, we cannot exchange that history for factories, railroads, hospitals, and schools.11 For Davar, who represented a great majority of the state-elites at the time, state-led developmental projects meant the differen ce between becoming Western or non-Western. Developmental projects, without th e absolute power of the state, appeared impossible for Davar. He wrote: For Iran, the establishing of an absolutist st ate is a patriotic mi ssion by which, as logic dictates, a strong-willed and co mpetent leader must lead this nation to its desired destiny [development]. The leader must impose upon the nation what is good for them, and must do what is necessary even if he has to use the force of whips.12 11 Bashiriyeh, Mavanea Tosa'yea Syasi Dar Iran (Obstacles to Political Development in Iran) p. 72. 12 Ibid., pp. 75-76.

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94 In these representationsanalogous to MarxistLeninist vanguards who assumed for themselves the burden of pushing history forward to a certai n desired destinyDavar also wanted to push the nation forward to a certain desired destiny. Th e problem was that the desired destiny was not for the majority of the people, but for the state-elites. The desired destinydevelopmentwas re presented as a patriotic mission, and its achievement was represented as the absolutism of the state. Hence, the state-led developmental projects were understood in terms of patriotic and historical missions that differentiated Iran from its underdeveloped, traditional, rural, primitive, savage, non-Western-like opposite. Even the way the state produced sta tistics reflected these represen tations and constructions. For example, statistical indicators that referred to the levels of industrialization, urbanization, bureaucratization, large capital investments, global trades, and the scale of the state intervening powers were represented and unde rstood as signs of developmen t and progress. In contrast, indicators that referred to agriculture, peasan try, tribes, small capitalists, merchant capitalists, small-scale enterprises, and traditional merchants ( bazzaaris ) were understood as the shameful signs of underdevelopment and tradi tional economyand thus devalued.13 As such, understanding development, led the st ate to pursue projects on a grand scale. By far, one of the grandest of a ll the state projects was the Iranian Railway System. According to Homa Katouzian, a well-known expert in the economic history of Ira n, the scale of investment in the railway system, as well as some other of Reza Shahs modernizing projects, did not justify its actual or potential bene fits to the country.14 In fact, the actual and potential benefits did not match, as Katouzian argued, the allocation of the national resources to the project. He concluded 13 Katouzian, The Political Economy of Modern Iran: De spotism and Pseudo-Modernism, 1926-1979 p. 79. 14 Ibid.

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95 that economic projects pursued during Reza Shah s era were more about showing off the construction of factories th an the actual benefits received from their operation.15 He wrote: Based on available documents, it is evident that the economic policies during Reza Shahs era resulted in expensive large-scale projects with low returns. This resulted in the wasting of national resources.16 Understanding Political Development The criterion for m easuring poli tical development was the scale and extent of state control over the means of production, distribution, and c onsumption. Thus, the concentration of all military, economic, and political power to the state, which was controlled by military and bureaucratic elites, was represen ted and understood as political de velopment. This way, the state became the epicenter of all powers and institutions. It offered the most lucrative posts, favors, and futures to those willing to serve it.17 The state enhanced the lives of those willing to submit to it, but it deprived those who could not or di d not submit to it. The state provided some modern amenities to its urban citizens, but deprived its rural and tribal citizens. In other words, to provide or deprive services, to invest or divest, and to facilitate or inhibit economic activities by the states bureaucratic regulati ons were not neutral economic decisions. They were value-laden political decisions, whic h were constitutive of how and what the state understood as legitimate services, good investments, and useful economic activities. Accordingly, the absolutist power of the state was valued as a developmental necessity. Thus, providing and investing in military personnel and bureaucracy were valued, as was providing and investing in Western-orie nted research and developmental and educational projects. As expected, 15 Ibid., p. 79. 16 Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions p. 137. 17 Ahmad Kasravi, Zendegani Man (My Life) (Tehran Bonyad 1944), p. 256.

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96 those who worked for the state were among the hi ghest paid and highly esteemed sector of the society, and almost all high-ranking stat e officials had a Western education. Conversely, the state deprived ru ral areas and small cities from state services. The state divested itself from small-busin esses, artisan production, the me rchant class, and agriculture. Also, the state inhibited tribal, nomadic, loca l, and traditional productions. These political decisions reflected how the state understood wh at constituted modern development versus traditional and thus underdevelopment ( aqab oftadegi ). Relatedly, those who worked in traditional productions found themselves with lower earnings and disadvantaged social statuses, that is, in contrast to those who worked for th e state and had a Western education. Understanding development as such created many dichotomies, for example, urban-rural development. In the representation of urban-rural relations, those who lived in Tehran were represented and understood as more educated, civilized, urbanized, and modernized than those who lived in rural areas. But a new meaning was attached to locality. In the pa st, those who lived in villages and cities identified wi th their localities as their countries (Vatan). In other words, local identities did not mean the stage of ones development, e ducation, or civilization. Ho wever, gradually this construction entered the language and has remained as part of the language ever since. For example, in the construction of an urban-ru ral hierarchy, words such as a villager ( Dewhati ) lost its previously neutral meaning and became a pejorative term that represented a negative image of a crude, uncivilized, uneducated, and base personan insult that plagues the language even today. In another example, the word amalea, which literally means a worker, was previously a neutral word, but it became associ ated with villagers working in the growing construction projects in Tehran and became a denigrating and offensive word. To be politically correct, in recent decades, construction workers are referred to by the literal description of their

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97 jobs since no noun has yet been coined that avoids the negative connotation of being a construction worker. Similarly, in the hierarchic c onstruction of urban-ru ral relations, peopl e living in cities other than Tehran were categorized as Shahrestanis (non-Tehranis). Alth ough not as negatively loaded as that of Dewhati, the word is pejorative, and the connotation remains in the language today. Understanding Social Development At the soc ietal level, the sole criterion fo r measuring social devel opment was the level of Westernization, which meant taking on a Western a ppearancemost of the time in form but not in content. Accordingly, the state represented Western education, Western lifestyles, and instrumental rationality as social developmen t. However, the state represented and understood traditional education, lifestyle, spirituality, fait h, religion, local customs, and local norms and practices as social underdevelopm ent or backwardness regardless of their substance or lack of substance. In the attempt to appear Western, the st ate focused on the project of transforming traditional ways to modern practices. Equipped w ith the administrative, coercive, political, and economic powers, the state prohibited the prac ticing of religious ritu als, gatherings, and ceremonies. It banned Sharia laws, took away traditional clothes, and eliminated the role of clergy as judges. Most signifi cantly, the state began to replace the clergy, who up to then administered various religious endowments ( Vagf ). As a result, the clergy benefited from an autonomous source of income for various Shiite institutions. For example, the largest property holder in Khurasan wasand still isthe Immam Reza endowment in Meshhad. Whereas the building of the Iranian Railw ay System symbolized a grand economic development, abolishing Shari laws symbolized the most significant social development. As a

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98 result, the Ministry of Justice, headed by Ali-Akbar Davar, a Swiss-educated lawyer, banned the practicing of the then common laws Sharia laws. In its place, Davar adopted the French civil, criminal, and procedural codes, which, according to Kasravi, Davar referred to as world-like laws ( Qanoon-e Donya Pasand ) as opposed to Iranian-like laws. For Davar, however, the world-like laws actually meant Western laws.18 But for most Iranians, these laws were alien, obscure, and, in many cases, incomprehensible. The rules were difficult, if not impossible, to follow in two ways. First, the people did not understand the rules because they were not compatible with their social practices and norms. Second, the state did not provide mediating mechanisms that could protect people from arbitr ariness of its rules. As an example, for many centuries, state authorities had recognized the sanctuaries of certain holy shrines where people would seek a temporary reprieve from the arbitr ariness of traditional rules. The state suddenly stopped this practice, but it did not simultaneously provide alternative mediating mechanisms. The state-led social transfor mation, however, went far beyond the mimicking of Westernbased laws and procedures; it extended into the state dictating clothing attire. Until 1928, the majority of male adults in urban areasclergy and non-clergy alikewore a variety of frocks ( Abba), cummerbunds (shawls ) and different headgear. Altho ugh the state had not officially attached Western-Eastern meaning to clothes, modernists had. Most mo dernists wore Western clothes, and Iranians associated the wearing of Western clothing w ith modernists. In his memoir, Kasravi wrote of an occasion in March 1927 when he had gone to Davar for a job in the newly instituted Ministry of Justice. Following the social norms of the day, Kasravi had worn his Abba, (shawl) and ammameh (turban).19 In the job interview, according to Kasravi, Davar bluntly told 18 Ibid., p. 255.

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99 me, I have a job for you, but it cannot be done with a turban. I responded, I have no particular attachment to my turban, sir. Then Davar nodded approvingly and said, If that is the case, get rid of the turban and then take a picture of yourself and send it to me. I responded, I will.20 In other words, even before Reza Shah ordered peop le to wear Western cl othes, state officials identifying with absolute modernism unofficially imposed Western-style clothes on the states employees. However, as the state became more pow erful, so did the attempt to make the nation uniformly Western in appearance. In 1928, while the state banned the wearing of traditional and ethnic clothes for adult males, it ordered them to wear Western-styled cl othes and a particular type of hat, known as a Pahlavi cap because Reza Shah wore one. The onl y conditional exemption to this edict applied to the clergy; they had to obtain a permit from th e state if they chose to wear their traditional clothes. Supposedly, with this act, the state wanted to make the nation appear modern. In 1934, in what Reza Shahs sycophants termed as the Emancipation of Women, Reza Shah outlawed the wearing of veils in public or any head-cover except the then fashionable European hats. The police were al so ordered to enforce the law. According to Mahmood Jam, the prime minister at that time, the shah had orde red the states high-ranking officials to attend a public gathering with their wivesunveiled for the first time in their lives. After the official speech, the shah consoled Jam for the unfashiona ble ways some women ha d attended. He then commented, They [women] will gradually learn how to follow fashions and wear pretty dresses. Now that we have broken their prison bars, they must use their freedom to build a beautiful house instead of a prison for themselves. 21 Of course, the first two pseudo fashion models for 20 Makki, Tarikh-E Bist Saleh-E Iran (History of Twenty Years) v.6, p. 267. 21 Mahmood Jams Memoir in, Ibid.

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100 Iranians were Reza Shahs own daughtersPrincesses Shams and Ashrafwhose public attendances and pictures set the tone for what was then considered fashionable. During Mohammad Reza Shahs rule, his three different wives took on the job of being the most fashionable models. Of course, none of them ever wore colorful clothes that, at the time, the majority of rural and tribal women wore. Ironi cally, Iran, which had not become a formal colony, lost a rich and colorful variet y in its local cloths. India, which was a formal British colony, did not lose its local and traditional cloths to the same extent that Iran did. Additionally, Reza Shah ordered high-ranking state officials, military personnel, and bureaucrats to take their wives to public ceremonies and gatherings. In short, in the name of the Emancipation of Women, the unveiling of women became another symbolic representation of the West. The unveiling of was, however, a ne w representation and t hus it produced many new meanings. Traditionally, the covering of womens bodies from the public eye was associated with social statuses of women rather than religious ethics. Women w ith the highest social status refrained from showing up in public. When in public men of lower social status would have to look down or away out of respect for these wome n. Public streets would be cleared in advance for the women of the court. Nevertheless, for the overwhelming majority of the population living in major cities and towns, these pretentious social ethics were luxuries unavailable and unaffordable. Moreover, almost all rural and tr ibal women, who at the time constituted the overwhelming majority of the female population, wo re their own local clothes, which was not at all uniform or Islamic. In any event, until the n, women went about their lives as they had done for thousands of years, bound by their communa l social normsjust as men were bound by these norms. Because of Reza Shahs edict, urban women with the lowest social status were hurt more

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101 than those who could either afford to buy th e relatively expensive hats (which were not manufactured in Iran at th at time) or stay home and be served or others. At the time, most cities did not have running water, hence, women gath ered around the nearest local water sources, usually a small stream running through each neighborhood, to do their washing Additionally, women were responsible for carrying dri nking water from local water houses (Aab Anbar), usually in open container on their heads. Women were also in charge of preparing food, which had to be purchased, gathered, and picked from va rious local sources on a da ily basis. Therefore, those who could least afford Reza Shahs fant asy of Westernizationvis--vis clotheshad to bear the heaviest burden. Under those conditions, women were exp ected to wear fancy European clothes and hats, as the state imagined, while ca rrying water buckets over their head or washing childrens dirty clothes or cleaning pots and pans on the side of local water streams. The state played a cruel joke on Iranian women. Interestingly, Reza Shahs fantasy of Westernization, as seen by its clothing, was the result of his trip to Tu rkey, where, at the time, Ata Turk was also in the process of modernizing his countrymens clothing. Reza Shahs policy of Westernization, however, collapsed with his regi me. What has remained of his regime is how meanings have been attached to clothing. From then on, how an individual dresses can offer much information about his political or religious identity. Thus, while the state intended to make all Iranians look uniformly Western, the result was that it instead infused religion into politics and clothing. In other words, even clothing became a political statement. In 1936, Reza Shah ordered all men to wear felt brimmed hatsthe European bowler hats ( kolah farangi ). These hats had become fashionable in Europe. According to Hedayat Mukhber al-Saltane, who had retired but st ill maintained contact with the court at the time, this forced

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102 fashion statement was another attempt to make Iranians look Western. In his memoir, Mukhber wrote: In a meeting, the Shah lifted my hat and asked, What do you think now? [referring to his latest civilizing attempt by changing the Pa hlavi Cap to the European hat], to which I responded, The old one [Pahlavi Cap] had a better name. Agitated, his majesty took some steps and retorted, All I am trying to do is for us to look like them [European] so they [Westerners] would not ridicule us. To which I replied, And, of course, this has been a thoughtful consideration of yours. Then I said to myself, what they [Westerners] ridicule us for is because of what is under th ese hats, which are the type of our virtueless emulations of them.22 Intended or not, for most people, the intent behi nd Reza Shahs decision to impose brimmed hats was understood as another attempt to prevent faith ful prayers to properly touch the ground with their foreheads, as it is required in Muslim prayer. These practices created a deep division between the state and society and caused resentme nt, riots, and protests. The result caused the loss of hundreds of lives and untol d number injuriesand did not tr ansform the society as Reza Shah had intended.23 Imagining the Nation Constitu tive of the political discourse of modern-absolutism was the way it represented the official Irani from his inte rnal and external other ( Khareji ). Iranian official nationalism was linked to three symbols or codes: history, langua ge, and race. This construction was formed by a selective meaning of the history of Persia, of the Farsi language, and of the Aryan race. The shah was the critical link connecting these codes to the state and the nation of the past to the present. This linkage was supposed to reinforce the stat e official identity. Thes e linkages are explicitly 22 Ibid., v. 6, pp. 263-267. However, the longer version of this text is interesting in another way. Although Reza Shah and Mukhber had a different understanding of what Westerners might ridicule, they both were conscious of the fact that Westerners ridiculed Iranians. In this text, and many other texts, the distinction between us/them, superior/inferior Westerners/Iranians is very clear to both Reza Shah and Mukber, a lthough their reactions are different. 23 M. Afshar, Ayandeh June 1925, p. 5-6.

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103 expressed in many of the modern ists texts during the Pahlavi dynasty. A great example of the linkage between the shah and the state is an editorial article in Ayandeh ( The Future ) published in 1925 by Mahmud Afshar, a European-educated political scientist, who wrote what was explicitly and implicitly expressed in many modern ist newspapers, academic institutions, official slogans, and policies. Our ideal is to develop and strengthen nati onal unity. The same ideal created the nationstates of Germany, Italy, Poland, and Rumania. The same ideal destroyed the multinational state of the Ottoman Empire. What do we mean by national unity? We mean the formation of cultural, social and political solidarity among a ll the people who live within the present borders of Iran. How will we attain national unity? We will attain [national unity] extending the Persian Language thr oughout the provinces; eliminate regional costumes; destroying local and feudal authorities; and removing the traditional differences between Kurds, Lurs, Qashqyis, Arabs, Turks, Turkmans, and other communities that reside within Iran. Our nation will continue to live in danger as long as we have no schools to teach Persian and Iranian history to the ma sses; no railways to c onnect the various parts of the country; no books, journals, and newspapers to inform the people of their rich Iranian heritage; and no Persian equivalent s to replace the many non-Persian place names in Iran. Unless we achieve national unity, nothing will remain of Iran.24 In this text, the author linked the land, the la nguage, and the nation to a pan-Persian view in which the Persians are the true Iranians and no n-Persians are not true Iranians. Historically, these linkages were non-existent. Even in toda ys Iran, Farsi-speaking people easily understand those who live in Afghanistan and Tajikistan bu t not those who live within the borders of Iran. Therefore, making linkages among the land, language, and nation was as arbitrary then as it is now. But that was how modernists imagined and understood the nation. Romanticizing History During Reza Shahs reign (1926-41), equipped with the state acade m ic and intellectual machineries, the romanticization of history of the Persian Empire took on new dimensions. 24 Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions pp. 124-125. Translati on by Morteza Saqeb-far, Shahnameh-E Ferdosi and Iran's Philosophy of History (Shahnameh-E Ferdosi Va Falsafeh Tarikh-E Iran) (Tehran: QatrehMoeyeen, 1998/1377).

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104 During Reza Shahs era, the glories of the Persian Empire were linked to the states modernization projects, and the majesties of its kings were linked to Reza Shahs absolutism. In these representations, as the Persian kings had been powerful and absolutist, so was Reza Shah. As the Persian kings had defeated the non-Iranians, so was Reza Shah. As the Persians people supposedly had revered their kings, so were the contemporary Iranians. In this practicepractice, history was divided into before the fall and after the fall of the Persian Empire. While the history of Iranian rule rs before the fall of the Sassanid Empire was romanticized as glorious and victorious, the hist ory after the defeat of the Sassanid Empire by the Arabs was represented and understood as the period of miseries, defeats, and non-Iranian rulers. However, some exceptions to this general re presentation occurred. Abu Muslim Khurasani (700755) had defeated the Abbasids Caliphate, and he was thus represented as an Iranian ruler. So, too, was the Shah Abbas (1571-1629) who had defe nded Iran from the Ottomans. The fact that Shah Abbas was a Turk and spoke Turkish in his c ourt did not disqualify him as an Iranian ruler. Nader Shah (1688-1747) was also represented as a great Iranian ruler and conqueror because he had defended Iran from the Ottomans, and he had defeated the Russians and had conquered India. Again, the fact that he was a Turk and spoke Farsi with difficulty did not diminish his stature as a great true Iranian ruler. Simila rly, Reza Shah was also represented as a great modern shahthe equal of Cyrus the Great, Dari us the Great, Abbas the Great, and, of course, Nader Shah the Great. Reza Shah was represente d as the man who was supposedly restoring the glories of the past by building a strong, sovereign, modern state, which, of course, could become as powerful as the Western states. Official Language Constitu tive of the sub-discourse of the Iranian-outsider ( Irani/Khareji ) was how Farsi became the official language of the state. O fficializing the language also reinforced the

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105 differential relations between Iranians and non-Iranians, Persians and non-Persians, urban and rural, and Tehranis and Shahrestanis. Farsi constituted a true Iranian language versus other langua ges. In officializing Farsi, the state organized and funded a Center for Cultural Iranian Studies, Farhangetsan, which, among other tasks, tried to purify the language of non-Persian words. It also turned Abol Qasem Ferdosi (935-1020) into the personification of Iranian official nationa lism. Ferdosis most famous book, Shah-Nameh, is a collection of poetic narratives describing the majesties of Persian kings in their wars with non-Iranians, su ch as Toranian, Aniran, and Devan (devils). For the celebration of Ferdosis millennium, which was proposed by the scholars of the Oriental Studies at the time, the state built a gr and memorial to Ferdosi. For centuries, the importance of Ferdosi as an Ira nian author has been what Homer is to the Greeksan oral history that is more than the f actual events of the past; it is a mythological narrative of the Iranian historical memory.25 Imbued with metaphors, myths, and mysticism, Ferdosis narratives are understood temporally in time and space, but in its entirety, Ferdosis Shah-Nameh consists of a collectiv e historical imagination that is kaleidoscopic in interpretation but unified in its form of delivery and presentati on. In this collective imag ination in form rather than content, the rhymes, rhythms, and melodies of the flowing words of Ferdosi have remained fixed in memories from one generation to the next But the interpretation of his words has varied from one moment in space and time to the ne xt. This collective imagination, however, was not just about Ferdosi. It was about Rumi, Saadi, Ha fez, and hundreds of other literary works, but in the officialization of lang uage, Ferdosi was privileged over other literary works. 25 Ahmad Kasravi, Sheikh Safi and His Descendants (Tehran: Amir Kabir, 1352).

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106 For centuries, Iranian poetry has been the sk in that covered the body of Iranian collective consciousness, the only collectiv ity that bound its otherwise fr agmented body. This collective imagination was not, however, just about Ancient Persia or its ki ngs. It was also about Islam, Erfan, Quran, and the experiencing of living a nd dying in ones time and space. These poems were not purely Persians. They were not anti-Arabic or anti -Turkic, and they in no way corresponded to the Pahlavi official nationalism. Ironically, not even Ferdosi was an anti-Arab or Turkic racist. After all, Shah-Nameh was written to be presented to Mahmood Ghaznavi (9981030), the shah of a Turkic dynasty (975-1187), l oyal to an Arab Calip hate (Abbasids 750-1258). Moreover, Ferdosis language was not pur ified of Arabic or Turkic words. For Iranians, regardless of their ethnic, reli gious, or geographic backgrounds, the poems of Ferdosi, Rumi, Hafez, and Saadi were not comp atible with the language of Iranian official nationalism. Rumi wrote in Farsi, Turkic, and Ar abic. The most famous Iranian poet, Hafez, had no reservation about using Arabic words, Qu ranic phrases, Islamic metaphors, and Shiite myths. If a true Iranian poet ever existed, Ha fez would certainly qualify as one. On the other hand, Saadi, who ranked as high as Hafez, was more concerned about the physical world than Hafezs metaphysical world. Saadi was, however, a traveling politic al philosopher, a storyteller, a poet, and an advisor to diffe rent courts. He wasand still isknown to Iranians, as well as Afghans and Tajiks. In other words, the language of Persian poe try, as a whole, had nothing to do with the language of official Iranian na tionalism. Nevertheless, a part icular reading of Ferdusis narratives became a part of the official myths of the state. In the same way a few of the Iranian kings represented an official history, a narrow reading of Fer dosi represented the official language of the nationsuppos edly a purified Farsi.

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107 Therefore, Farhangestan concocted Persianized words to replace Arabic and Turkic words. In a series of directives, Farhangestan ordere d the state bureaucracy to use Persianized words, phrases, titles, and even names. Accordingl y, the state changed the names of government ministries. For example, the name of the Ministry of Justice changed from Adleya to Daadgostary. The Treasury Department changed from Maliah to Daraee Besides, almost all well-known state officials changed their names a nd titles. For example, Adlol Mulk, once the speaker of the Majlis became Dadgar, Mushir al-Dewleh. Two esteemed brothers in the 1906 Constitutional Revolutions changed their last names to Pearnia Titles such as Mirza and Khan were dropped in official refere nces. The name of many of th e provinces and cities were Persianized. The southwestern province of Iran changed from Arabestan (home of Arabs) to Khuzestan Ironically, the majority of Arab tribes w ho had lived in southwest Iran for centuries did not call the region Arabestan, a Persian word. They called this region al-Hhozia which is also another deflected Persian word and the root word for the current name for the city of Ahwaza, the capital city in the pr ovince Khuzestan. The port city of Mahmareh was changed to Khoramshahr. Paradoxically, while local names were being Persianized, the most well-known Persian name of all, Persia, as Iran was then known to the world, was changed. In a 1936 directive to foreign embassies, th e name of the country was offici ally changed from Persia to Iran, which was the word natives used for the country. These rhetorical practices also penetrated into social practices. Arab ic and religious names that Iranians had used for many centu ries lost their linguistic neutra lities, and, in many cases, the naming of children became an exercise of repres enting a variety of political identitiesthe same way clothes had become a political expression. Fo r modernists, Persian names reflected the state

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108 official patriotism while some Arabic and Shiite names had religious connotations.26 However, with time, the politicization of Persian-Arabic na mes intensified not only for modernists, but also for other Islamists. In short, the purificati on of the language was linked to the official nationalism, and modernists texts clearly showed the linkage. Kasravis texts could show an example of this linkage. Embedded in the official nationalism, Kasravi, who was born in a Turkishspeaking Azerbaijani family, began to refer to Iranian Turks as Azaris (people living in Azerbaijan).27 In many of his writings, Kasravi made a bold claim: the people living in Azerbaijan and currently speaking Turkish were not and had never been Turks by race. They were indeed true Persians who had adopted the Turkish language after the invasion of Turk ic tribes beginning in the 11th century. However, Kasravi did not explain why many other ethnic languages survived the many centuri es of Turkic rule in Iran, but the Azaris did not. He made similar claims for the Arab-speak ing population living in Khuzestan and southern Iraq. In a se nse, Kasravi began to Persianize Azaris as well as other ethnicities. For example, Kurds were represen ted as belonging to a branch of the Aryan ( Aryaian ) ethnic groupthe Medes ( Madah). During the Palavi era, high school texts represented the Medes dynasty as a blood-relative of Ackaemenids and thus true Persians. The Kurdish language was represented as the language of Avesta, Zoroaster, and Gathas (the hymns believed to be written by those of Zoroaster). Ne vertheless, for modernists, the fact that Kurdish history and language were even more ancient than those of the Persians did not justify Kurdicizing Iran rather th an Persianizing it, as Kasravi tried to do. 26 While widely used names, such as Ali, Hassan, Hu ssein, and Mohammad, are politically neutral. Some have definite religious attachment, intended or not. 27 Makki, Tarikh-E Bist Saleh-E Iran (History of Twenty Years) v. 6, p. 206.

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109 Kasravis attempt to purify Farsi from its own historical experienceby detaching it from the present and then linking it to a dubious pastwas a typical unde rstanding of how the discourse of modern absolutism understood offi cial nationalism. Kasravis books and writings are full of creatively constructed words, which ma ke it difficult to follow an otherwise excellent historical account of the 1906 Constitutional Revolution. Nevertheless, as Kasravis purification of the language failed, so did the state Persianization policies, as expected More than 40% of words in Fa rsi are Arabic. Farsi is written in the Arabic alphabet, and any language is a so cial experience not easily amenable to political design.28 Separating Farsi from foreign words was as impossible attempt of an event as separating the English language would be from it Germanic, French, or Latin words. But much like the attempt to impose dress codes, the Persianization of the language had unintended consequences. In the short run, Persianization pr ovided a source of entertainment because some Farsi words created in the offi ces of Farhangestan had dual meanings and connotations. Even Reza Shah was aware of these situations. Once, he was so angered by the ridiculousness of a newly concocted word that he appointed himself as the final check before new words were officialized into directives. The situation was full of irony because Reza Shah was known for being almost illiterate.29 However, the lasting result of the language purification was the construction of internal othersTurks, Kurds, Arbas, Lurs, and so forth. For several millennia, people speaking different languages had lived on the Iranian plateau. The possi bility existed that so me of these languages have, or might have, common roots. But in prac tice, the Gilaks, Turks, Lurs, Kurds, Arabs, 28 In the1930s, a serious debate took place for changing the Farsi alphabet fro m Arabic to Farsi, as Ata Turk had done in Turkey, but the proposal failed. 29 Katouzian, The Political Economy of Modern Iran: De spotism and Pseudo-Modernism, 1926-1979 p. 177.

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110 Bluches, and Turcomans could not communicate with each other or with the Farsi-speaking population. These Farsi-speaking people constituted roughly half of the countrys population at the time, but the people living in different locatio n did not have to comm unicate with each other in the past. However, during Reza Shahs rule, the officialization of the Persian language was not successful. It did not create a unified national image, but in stead politicized history and language. An Official National Race Race also becam e an approved key word for official Iranian nationalism. Textual representation of true Iranians was that of a superior race.30 Aryan ( Aryaian ) was explicitly represented as being superior to Ar abs, Turks, and other ethnicities.31 Even elementary and high school textbooks stated that sa vage Arabs, Mongols, Tartar, Turks, Uzbek, and Afghans were counterpoised to gentle, highly cultured Iranians. Interestingl y, Iranian victories over other nations were represented as ci vilizing missions, For example, the invasion of India by Nader Shah matched, if not surpassed, the savagery of those who invaded Iran, but this savagery was represented as the greatness of Nader Shah. No Iranian invasion, however, was represented as savagebut savage was used to descri be the Arab invasion of Iran in the 7th century. One of the Persianized words Farhangestan coined for the word Arab was Tazi. The supporting argument for this coinage was that in the an cient texts, Iranians referred to Arabs as Tazian the plural form for Tazi. Although the historic cred ence of this claim is dubious at best, the current meaning of Tazi is that of a savage or the name for a type of hunting dog. Nevertheless, in official and literary texts Arabs were referred to as Tazian. Interestingly, to date, this word has 30 For the purpose of this dissertation, I refer to race only in its rhetorical practices and not in reference to any apparent or not-so-apparent physiological or cultural differences. 31 Aryan is a categorical race and la nguage designation attribute to the pe ople who shared an Indo-European mother language. The meaning of the word has gone through some changes of its own.

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111 never entered popular texts, but it has remained in modernists text s. In any event, these racist connotations entered into fictiona l literature where the imagery of Arab and Turkic savageries were truly noteworthy. In later decades, a par ticular literary genr e developed in Iran: Roman-e Tarikhi (romantic history) with three common them es in this genre. First, Iranians were victimized by the Arabs and later by the Turks. Second, the post-Arab invasion of Iran has been a struggle to defend the Iran ian civilization from savages. Third, early Islamic-Arab achievements in arts and sciences were actually the achievements of th e Persiansnot those of the Arabs. Academia also had a great role in the cr eation of this knowledge. In 1934, when the University of Tehran formally opened, many prom inent modernist figures helped establish a new fieldIranology ( Iran Shenasi ). Iranology was a bridge that connected Persian history, language, literature, and architec ture to Iranian official nationalism. Abdolhossein Zarinkoub, Zabihola Safa, and Badiozzaman Forouzanfar were three of the founders of Iranology. During this era, Allameh Dehkhoda published his 15-volum e Persian dictionary. Interestingly, Iranology had begun in 1903 at the University of Gtti ngen in Germany. Not surprisingly, during the 1930s, when Reza Shah admired Germany as an ideal Western developmental template, the University of Gttingen was at the apex of th e production of knowledge in the newly established field of Iranology. This new field produced academ ic and scientific knowledge for the Iranian official nationalism. The common theme among Ira nologists was to compar e the glories of the past to the miseries of the present. However, in this glory-misery dichotomy, the official nationalism related the glories of the past to the unity of God, the state, and the people. Not surprisingly, throughout the Pahlavi dynasty, the state motto was God, King, and Nation

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112 ( Khoda, Shah, Mehan ). This slogan was imprinted on mount ain-sides, billboards, lawns, and other visible places. Relations with Other States: Identities, Alliances, and Enemies As m odern absolutism became the official stat e discourse, it helped constitute the direction of Irans relations with other st ates. The identification of allies and enemies was ranked, based upon the extent to which the other reinforced or weakened the offi cial state discourse.32A foreign state would be ranked as an ideal ally if it helped reinforce the state official identity, but it would be ranked as a potential enemy if it threatened th e official state discourse. In this hierarchic construction of allies-enemies, us-them, and Irani-khareji, the Soviet Union was ranked at the top of the states enemies, and the Western states were considered potential allies. Nevertheless, not all states were ranked equally. While Germany a nd the United States ranked at the top of ideal allies, Britain was ranked at the bottom of the state allies. This hierarchic ordering of allies and enemies had come out of the Iranian experience of World War I, the Russian October Revolution, th e political disintegrati on of Iran during World War I, and the defeat of the 1919 Agreement.33 These experiences prepared the way for the construction of how Iran ranked the allies and enemies. But these experiences were not in accordance with some universally understood obj ective reality as the basis for making these decisions. Instead, the hierarchic ordering of allies-enemies was the result of how political discourses represented and understood Self in relation to others. Accordingly, the official state discourse re presented and understood Germany as an ideal ally that reinforced how the state represented its developmental model, race, and external others 32 See Chapter 3. 33 See Chapter 6.

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113 (Russia and Britain). The official discourse also represented the United States as an ideal ally that was disinterested in colonial competition. Thus officials attempted to solicit an a lliance with the United States despite the fact that the United States showed little or no interest in Iran until World War II. Hence, Iran gladly acquiesced in making an alliance with Germany or desired to do the same with the United States. However, Iran represented Britain as an ally that preserved Iran against the Soviet Union at the price of robbing Iran for its own interest. Thus, while it remained in a preservative alliance with Brit ain, it simultaneously resented, suspected, and resisted Britains influence. Relatedly, Iran represented and unde rstood the Soviets as the main external and internal threat to Irans sovereignty. In many ways, this hierarchic ordering of allies and enemies differs from the argument that economic interdependence reduces security concerns. In this case, Irans Anglo-Russo economic and polit ical interdependence was at a high level, but the Soviet Union was considered as an enemy and Britain as a suspect all y. In contrast, Germany and the United States, which started with no econo mic and political interest in Iran, were ranked as ideal allies. By 1941, Germany had become the most influential ally of Iran, but the United States had chosen to remain disengaged. Hence, Reza Shaw made the decision to enter into an alliance with Germany or the United States. The resentment to remain in a preservative alliance with Britain and to fearfully take a defensive position against the Soviet Union made sense only in the context of how the state unders tood itself in relation to others. Relations with Germany: Acquiescent Alliance During Reza Shahs reig n, Germany was represen ted as an ally because it reinforced the official state discourse by s upporting Irans absolutism, by cooperating in Irans developmental projects, and by reinforcing Irans official nationalism. When Reza Shahs regime began, Germany had no economic interests or political in fluence in Iran, but by the time Reza Shah was forced to abdicate in 1941, Germany had become the most important ally of Iran. In this alliance,

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114 with a determined and deliberate deference to Germany, Iranian elites made an alliance with Germany, which, to a certain extent was reciprocated. This acquies cent alliance turned out to be a strategic blunder by Reza Shah and the highly West ern-educated ruling class. During this time, Iran awarded Germany the contract for the constr uction of the Iranian National Railroad, which was the most emblematic developmental program during Reza Shahs reign. The railroad was viewed as an essential part of the moderniz ation program. The building of the railroad, on average, took 5% of the national budget from 1934 to 1941.34 Additionally, by 1940, Germany became Irans most important and respected tradi ng partner, and, to a certain extent, helped break the trading monopolies th at the Soviets and the British had maintained for decades.35 However, the German presence in Iran reflected mo re than an economic or security interest. At the time, the official state discourse represente d Germany as two nations of the same racethe Aryan race. Officials represente d Germany as reliable trading partners, worthy allies, neutral military advisors, honest government administrators competent industrial experts, and superior architects, as evident in the construction of government buildi ngs of the period. Moreover, the representation of German brand names as reli able products increasingl y made those products desirable in Iran. The German educational system was also admired. More students were sent to Germany to study than all other European stat es combined. Even in popular street rhymes, Germany was praised as an emerging pow er that could defeat the British.36 However, this acquiescent alliance was not th e result of an objective analysis of Irans domestic and international environment following rational adap tation. Instead, it had emerged 34 Makki, Tarikh-E Bist Saleh-E Iran (History of Twenty Years) v. 6, p. 222. 35 Katouzian, State and Society in Iran: The Eclipse of the Qajars and the Emer gence of the Pahlavis p. 271. 36 Baloon to hava khoda khodash-e/frangee mordeh-e vo Alman bejash-e, This rhyme equated the technological advancing of Germany in the air and referred to how the British were dying and the Germans were replacing them.

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115 out of the formation of a particular understand ing of Self in relation to others. In this representation, Germany reinforced how stateelites understood themselves. The official discourse reinforced Irans stat e-building projects, nationalism and foreign relations. Although making an alliance with Germany might sound like an irrational decision now, it was a perfectly rational decision within the context of the offi cial state discourse that constituted the state collective preferences. Relations with Britain: Preservative Alliance Com pared to Germany, Reza Shahs era began with Britain having the most economic interests in Iran. Nevertheless, Britain was ranke d at the bottom of the hierarchic ordering of Irans allies. In contrast to the Iran-Germany a lliance, the Iran alliance with Britain was not an alliance reached by acquiescence. Instead, Brit ain had imposed on Iran, and Iran had no other choice but to go along. During Reza Shahs rise to power, state survival depended upon making a preservative alliance with Britain. The choice was a simple one. After Britain lost its bid to take the administrative control of Iran by way of the 1919 Agreement, it decided to instead prop up a pro-British regime headed by Colonel Reza Khan This strategy suited the majority of the contending identities in Iran because the count ry was on the verge of collapse by internal disintegration and external thr eats. This reluctant acceptance of and continued resistance to, British rule was constitutive of Iranian national id entity. This identity emerged as an imagined community of an otherwise fragmented Se lf in relation to the foreign others ( Irani/khareji ). As in the case of the 1919 Agreement when Vosuqs cabinet had reluctantly accepted but continually resisted its passage, Iran reluctantly accepted but continued resisting Britain during Reza Shahs reign. However, as the power of the state increased, so did the resentment toward Britain, which undermined not only the states o fficial identity, but also othe r contending signi fierspeople,

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116 class, Islam, and the law. First, the stat e resented Britain b ecause it undermined its conceptualization of an absolutist and modernizin g order. The mere association of Britain with the state undermined the image of an absolutist king of kings ( shahanshahs ), whose divine rule was supposed to free Iran from foreign powers and modernize it. Sec ond, it also undermined popular nationalism because Britain had already been represented as the Iranian historic other since the Tobacco Uprising in 1876. This image had been reinforced only by many events, including World War I and the 1919 Agreement. Thir d, socialists resented Britain as the primary imperialistic and colonial other. Fourth, Islamists identities hated Britain for destroying the Islamic and traditional way of life. Finally, constitutionalists resented Britain for undermining the legal basis of Irans constitutional government and supporting a military regime. In short, the hatred for Britain was almost universal, but the state remained in a preservative alliance with Britain while resenting, suspecting, and resisting it. In othe r words, the alliance simultaneously maintained and undermined the state and created tension. This tension put Reza Shah in a precarious position. As someone who had come to power with the help of the British, he consciously went out of his way to point out that he was a true independent nationalist. Thus, he harshly punished those suspected of having the slightest contact with the foreign powers in Iran. On one occas ion, in front of some not able elites, he said, I know the British brought me to power, but I have served my country well.37 In other words, he badly needed to show himself as independent from British control. Therefore, he never allowed British advisors to take part in his st ate-building projects, and never funded students to go to Britain for an education. 37 Pahlavi Mohammed Reza, Answer to History (New York: Stein and Day, 1980), p.124.

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117 Reza Shah also suspected the British as bei ng the mastermind behind many conspiratorial schemes. This suspicion cost the lives of many of his most loyal supporters and created mass suffering and misery. Reza Shah construed even the slightest criticism as yet another British conspiracy to overthrow him. However, representing the British as the mastermind behind all political and non-political issu es had by then become a hege monic and pervasive understanding in Iranian politics. Elites as well as the common people construc ted incredible narratives about how the British controlled every behind-the-scenes situation. In this atmosphere of suspicion, official or non-official contact s with foreign powers, especially those with the British and the Soviets, were deemed as potential conspira cies against the state. Mohammad Reza Shahs memoir contains many references to how his father was suspicious of Mohammad Mussadiqs being an agent for Britain.38 The atmosphere of suspicion deeply influe nced the way diplomatic relations were conducted. For example, a complimentary comment in The Daily Mirror published in London caused an uproar in the country and endangered th e lives of many of Qajar descendants living in Tehran.39 On another occasion, some French newspa pers published articles referring to the dilapidated conditions of Iran and its corrupted leaders. Upon reading these derogatory articles, Reza Shah abruptly broke off diplomatic relations with France. Relations were reestablished only after the French president wrote a letter and aske d Reza Shah to reconsider his position. In his response, the shah blamed the French newspa pers for not really knowing about Iran and expressed his hope for reestablishing mutual trust between the parties ( ravabet bar asas-e mohkam va moetamedanea ).40 In other words, the state understood Western criticism as a form 38 Katouzian, State and Society in Iran: The Eclipse of the Qajars and the Emer gence of the Pahlavis pp. 320-321. 39 Makki, Tarikh-E Bist Saleh-E Iran (History of Twenty Years) v. 6, pp. 410-412. 40 Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions p. 162.

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118 of conspiracy against the regimea theme that was repeated many times. This perspective resulted in the policy of banning any direct or indire ct contacts with foreign governments unless approved by the shah. In addition to the atmosphere of suspici on, Anglo-Iranian relations were imbued with resentment. For example, in 1934, Britain sold the rights for explor ation and subsequent production of the oil fields and oil production in Ba hrain to Standard Oil of California. Bahrain was formally recognized as a part of Iranian te rritory, but it had been under British occupation since 1861. Once the sale became public, Iran announ ced that the transaction was illegal. However, it had to quietly swallow its pr ide and submit to the reality on the ground. Another point of resentment was complete British control of th e Iranian oil industry. Britain determined the level of production, ma naged the distribution routes, marketed the petroleum products, and even chose the accounting practices, which cheated Iran of its already meager revenue share. Additionally, Britain would not hire Iranians for its managerial positions, and clearly discriminated against Iranian labo rers. The housing quarters for Iranian and British staff varied significantly. In fr ont of the British residential quarters, a sign was posted: No Iranian Allowed. Britain, in most cases, dealt with oil workersby far the largest segment of the Iranian industrial wo rking classvery poorly. An exam ple of this harshness follows: On May Day 1929, eleven thousand workers in the oil refinery struck for higher wages, an eight-hour day, paid annual vacations, co mpany housing, and union recognition. Although the oil company granted the wage demands the British navy dispatched a gunboat to Basra, and the Iranian authorities arrested ov er five hundred workers. The British foreign minister formally congratulated the shah fo r his speedy and effective handling of the incident.41 41 Makki, Tarikh-E Bist Saleh-E Iran (History of Twenty Years) v. 6., p. 156.

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119 While the people resented the discriminatory po licies of the oil compa ny, the state resented Britain because it was at the mercy of the Anglo -Iranian Oil Company for its revenue. Therefore, the tension between the two states was always very high. In 1932, for example, Britains deliberate lowering of the oil production in Iran reduced Irans revenue. Frustrated by the lack of control over the state budget, Reza Shah ordered the sudden cancellation of the oil concession.42 The popular media celebrated the move, but after more than a year of negotiation, the shah had to once again submit to a modified version of the original oil concession, which had been agre ed to under dubious circumstances. The 1933 oil agreement increased the duration of the concessi on from the remaining 27 years to 60 years. Additionally, it changed the flexible revenue share of Iran from 16% of the profit to a fixed share of four shillings per barrel. This was a clear defeat for Iranand the shah resented it.43 Upset with this defeat, Reza Shah punished those who negotiated the agreem ent. Timour-tash, chief negotiator of the agreement and one of the most loyal supporters of the state, lost his life on the accusation that he had angered Britain by also entering into negotiati on with the Russians. The Iranian signatory to the agreement, Hassan Taqizadeh, who had served the state for many decades, was deported for his part and his reputation was ruined. In short, Britain imposed an alliance on the state, and Iran reluctantly submitted to it for the sake of its survival. This preservative alliance was not, however, a sustainable one because almost all other identitie s understood Britain as their foreign other. 42 The concession was originally granted to a British subj ect named William Darcy in 1901. In 1909, the concession was taken over by the Anglo-Persian Oil Company. In 1914, when the British government converted its navy from coal to oil, it decided to nationalize the comp any by acquiring 51% share of the company. 43 For example, Taqizadeh, who was involved with the nego tiations, thought that the new contract was a defeat.

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120 Relations with the Soviet Union: Defensive Confrontation Constitu tive of the discourse of modern absolutism was the representation of the Soviets as a threat to the very survival of the absolutist state, its development projects, and its official nationalism. Given the historical experiences of Iranians, understanding the Soviet Union as the main external threat might have been expected. Iran feared the Sovi et Union as a potential occupier. Iran also feared the Soviet Union as a revolutionary force. Understanding the Soviet Union as the primary external th reat constituted Irans foreign relations with the Soviet Union. While Iran cautiously treated the Soviets concerns on trade, ec onomic, and political issues, it remained committed to the alliance with Britain, and Iran entered into new a security agreements with its neighboring countries for defense against the Soviets. The treaty of Saad Aabad was one of th ese measures. In July 1937, after serious concession on Irans part, the Saad Aabad Pact was signed. Turkey, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran agreed to a collective non-aggression pact in which an attack on either one of those countries could constitute an aggression on all. For the suc cessful conclusion of this pact, in its relation with Iraq, Iran gave up substantial revenue rights in Shat al-Arab. Ir an also gave up its territorial rights to some of the richest oil fields in west ern Iran, which is now Iraq. In its alliance with Turkey, Iran gave up its claim to some of the strategic territories in Ararats mountaintops. In its alliance with Afghanistan, Iran accepted the bord ers that the British had imposed on Iran in the 1850s. Reza Shah felt these concessions were sma ll prices to pay for securing Iran from the Russian-Soviets. For instance, General Arfa, who was charged with surveying the borders between Iran and Turkey, wrote about a brief mee ting with Reza Shah. In the meeting, Arfa tried to explain the strategic significance of various mountaintops. The general wrote that Reza Shah angrily snapped back at him and said:

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121 It is obvious that you have not understood wh at I mean it is not important which location is better or worse, higher or lower. The important thing is that after a few hundred years of division between Iran and Turkey [they must] become friends against our common enemies [the Russians who] defeated Abbas Mirza in 1928 while Turkey remained silent then in 1829, Russian troops attacked the Turks. Obviously, if both countries were friends then Ru ssian troops would not have at tacked Iran first and then Turkey next.44 As this text clearly shows, Reza Shah did not make a distinction between the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union. For him, the Soviets re mained the primary enemy as the Russians had been for more than a century. For modernists, th e Soviet Union was unders tood as an old threat to Irans sovereignty and identity, and it was also a new threat to Irans Western-oriented identity with development. In most texts, the Soviet Union was referred to as Russian-Soviets ( Russiye Shuravi ). The phrase invoked the Russian body of the re gime rather than its socialist face. The Soviet Union had dramatically ch anged its behavior toward Iran, fr om the perspective of official Iranian nationalism and also for the majority of the population. The Soviets invoked two images, which were deeply embedded in Iranian social understanding. The Soviets were viewed as a brutal occupying state and also as a sour ce of civil war, chaos, and revolutions. Relations with the United States: A cquiescent Alliance In the early 1900s, the United States was repr esented and admired as a great non-colonial power. For example, in 1911, in what came to be known as the Shuster affair, Iran hired Dr. Morgan Shuster to modernize its treasury depart ment, but it was forced to fire him because Russiawith the British consentinvaded Iran.45 In other cases, Woodrow Wilsons Fourteen Points, first presented in January 1918, had been widely published and understood as the U.S. 44 Memoirs of General Arfa who had been charged with surveying boundaries between Iran and Turkey, W. Morgan Shuster, The Strangling of Persia; a Story of the European Diplomacy and Oriental Intrigue That Resulted in the Denationalization of Twelve Million Mohammedans, a Personal Narrative (New York,: The Century Co., 1912). 45 See Chapter 6. Also see Amir-zia Gafari, Nagsh-E America Dar Iran: Sadeh Capitalisyoon (the Role of America in Iran: The Century of Capitulation) (Tehran: Amir Kabir 1380/2001), p.106.

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122 position against Britain. Additionally, to the dismay of the British Foreign Office in Tehran, the U.S. objection to the 1919 Agreement had also been widely published in Iran. These representations of the United Stat es raised its stature as the di sinterested defender of Iranian sovereignty. During Reza Shahs rule, the positive representation of the United States continued. These positive representations depicted the Unit ed States as an ideal counterweight against British imperial designs. Additionally, in popular texts, the representa tion of Americans almost matched that of German ideal. Americans were viewed as sincere, ethical, and hardworking people. This was in sharp contrast to the negative re presentation of the Russians as brutes and the British as sneaky. For example, in 1909, Howard C. Baskerville, a t eacher in a missionary school in Tabriz, joined the constitutional revolutionaries and fought many ba ttles on behalf of Iranian constitutionalists. In one of these battles, the loya list troops surrounded Baskervill e and eleven of his comrades-inarms. To save his comrades, Baskerville char ged the troops and he was killed. Thousands of people attended his funeral and buried their American national hero.46 In the funeral, prominent revolutionaries compared Baskervilles decency to the indecencies of the Russians and British. Two years later, this positive image of American s was reinforced when Morgan Shuster tried to reform the Iranian Customs. In his attempt, he offended the Russians but invoked the admiration of Iranians as an honest and ethical American. Unlike Britain and Russia, prior to World War I, the representation of the U.S. involvement in Iran centered on the concern for the safety of American missionaries.47 In other words, Iranians had positive images of both America as a state and Americans as a people. 46 Ibid. 47 U.S. State Department, (1910-21), Decimal File 891.801A, March 830, 1921.

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123 During Reza Shahs reign, the st ate went out of its way to en gage the United States in Iranian politics. For example, in 1921, Iran form ally wanted to employ ten American advisors. 48 Iran specifically wanted to rehire Shuste r as the head of the Iranian Central Bank.49 In 1922, the U.S. State Department agreed to the hiring of Dr. Arthur Mi llspaugh as the head of Irans Treasury General. In 1927, Reza Shah fired Millspaugh because the shahs vision of a centralized and growing government did not co rrespond with that of Millspaughs vision of small and efficient government. However, the firi ng of Millspaugh did not diminish the status of America or Americans. Additionally, Iran tried to solicit American-based companies to invest in the Iranian oil industry. In 1921, Iran first offered a generous oil concession to the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey.50 Then, in 1922, Iran reoffered it to the Sinclair Oil Company. Nevertheless, the policy of engaging the United Stat es and its companies failed for four reasons. First, unlike Britain and Russia, the United States had a hand s-off policy over its oil companies. Second, to avoid competition, Britain entered into separate contracts with these possi ble concessionaires and offered to buy their rights for a fast cash profit. This was a deal breaker for Iran because it would increase the influence of the British Oil Co mpany and not decrease it as Iran had intended.51 Third, the Soviet Union declared that it would no t allow the transport of Iranian oil over its territory, thus making the cost of transportation prohibitive. Finall y, the Soviets, citing previous treaties, effectively protested that Iran had no ri ght to give concessions to a third party in its 48 Ibid., Decimal File 891.801A, April 810, 1921. 49 Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions p. 131. 50 Makki, Tarikh-E Bist Saleh-E Iran (History of Twenty Years) v. 6., p. 334-338. 51 Majid Sharifi, "A Historical Review of the Caspian Sea ( Bahsee Dar Mored Daryai Khazar Va Dor Namay Aan) Azadi no. 30 (2003/1382).

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124 northern territories, which were in the previous Russian sphere of influence. The Soviets argued that the cancellation of its right s gained under the tsars was con tingent upon those rights not to be given to a third party.52 The Soviet objection resulted in the 1922 Treaty of Friendship between Iran and the Soviets, which clarified some of these ambiguities.53 However, Irans intention to engage the Unite d States had failed. Conclusion The rise of Reza Shah to power becam e possi ble when restoration of order and security became the signifier under which otherwise contending identities united. Backed by Britain, a military coup brought Reza Shah to power and most political forces acquiesced. The state began to restore order and security by militarizing, bureaucratizing, and centralizing the government. Once the state consolidated it pow er, it began to push for state building, national imagining, and conducting foreign policy. I have called this political identity modern absolutism. I have called it modern because the state began to signify and treat modernization projects as a historical mission bestowed upon the state by a di vine design. I have also called it absolutism because the shah eventually pers onified the state and essentially became the absolute sovereign over all aspects of social political, and economic life. The motto for Reza Shahs state-building project began with restoration of order and security ( nazam va amniat ) to the country, and it ended up consolidating its po wer by forging a particul ar image of Iranian nationalism by which a true Iranian was differen tiated from its intern al or external nonIranian Other. 52 Mirfendereski, A Diplomatic History of the Caspian Sea: Treaties, Diaries, and Other Stories 53 Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics 2nd ed. (London; New York: Verso, 2001).

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125 In this section, I argued that the official id entity of the state constituted its policies and practices. Moreover, the state discourse formation permeated the meanings of order, development, law, Islam, and class. By 1920s, the meaning of political order ( nezam ), social order (nazm ), public security ( amniat umoomy ), and public interest had become attached to the building of a modern, centralized, and bureaucratized state that was absolute and divine and thus law unto itself. In contrast, during the 1906 Constitutional Re volution, law was the primary signifying identity of the stat e. Law was imagined as the f oundation for political and social order, as well as the basis for providing public security and interest. Hence, law or the constitution was imagined as being sovereign unto itself and thus the state. Furthermore, law permeated the meanings of development, Islam, class, and people. However, during Reza Shahs rule, order permeated the meanings of other signifiers. Accordingly, the official state discourse constituted how the st ate understood an ideal political order, developmental projects, and offici al nationalism by forging a particular official patriotism, history, language, and race. The state discourse constituted the direction of Irans relations with other states. The ranking of allies and enemies was based upon the extent to which a state reinforced or weakened the official state discourse. In 1941, when Allies invaded Iran for the sec ond time in less than 40 years, the regime collapsed and neither elites nor the people rushed to rescue it. Instead, some of the most ardent supporters of the state discourse turned into its outspoken critic s. Once again various contending identities began to compete for hegemony. Chap ter 4 will examine this competition from 1941 to 1951 when constitutionalists and modernists contro lled the state and other contending discourses struggle to establish their own hegemony. The consequence of this competition was the emergence of Iranian democratic nationalism, which is the subject of Chapter 4 and 5.

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126 CHAPTER 4 THE FALL OF REZA SHAH AND THE SHARING OF T HE STATE (1941-1951) Introduction In this chapter, I will rev iew how the fa ll of Reza Shahs regime provided a condition conducive to the re-emergence of free political expression by contending discourses. Each discourse was struggling to establish its respec tive political hegemony in a context in which Britain, the Soviet Union, and th e United States were also co mpeting to control the state.1 This created a condition favorable to an unprecedente d level of freedom of expression concomitant with shifts in policies and pr actices. Nevertheless, with the end of the occupation 1947, the discourse of monarchic modernism began to largely constitute stat e building, the nation imagining, and conducting foreign policy. In this chapter, I will discuss events and discourses from 1941 to 1951. Then I will review Irans state building, nation imagining, and c onducting foreign policy in this era. Events (1941-1951) The Fall of Reza Shah and the Sharing of the State On August 25, 1941, dissatisfied with Reza Shahs declaration of neutrality, Soviet f orces from the north and British forces from the south invaded Iran. The state collapsed in less than a month. For the most part, Iranians had no idea of the turmoil that was to befall them. Three days after the invasion, Reza Shahs milita ry spun into disarray. Generals in Tehran released thousands of soldiers from their duties, while other soldiers escaped to their villages. Reza Shah was confused and indecisive as to whet her to surrender or resist. His confusion sent conflicting signals to the Allies and exacerbated the British loss of confidence in Reza Shahs 1 For a discussion of political hegemony, see Makki, Tarikh-E Bist Saleh-E Iran (History of Twenty Years) v.vii.

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127 loyalty.2 On the fifth day of the invasion, Reza Shah appointed Mohammad Ali Furuqi (Zaka alMulk) who accepted the conditional surrender of Irani an sovereignty and negotiated the terms of Reza Shahs abdication. By the third week, the previously irrelevant Majlis began to demand more control over the cabinet.3 In short, within a few weeks from the invasion, the myth of Reza Shahs invincibility was shattered. For 16 years, Iranians had experienced and understood Reza Shah as the personification of a man on a historic mission to lead his nation of Persians to its rightful place among civilized Western states. But in less than a month, both th e mission and the dictator had failed. Reza Shah agreed to the dictated terms of his abdication, which allowed his son, Mohamad Reza, to save the Pahlavi dynasty. Soon after the invasion, the British Broadcas ting Company (BBC) began to broadcast an unprecedented radio campaign against Reza Shah. Th e common theme of these messages was to characterize Reza Shah as a cruel, corrupt, a nd illegitimate leader of Iran who had stolen property from the people, mismanaged the economy, and murdered innocent citizens.4 However, the shift from supporting Reza Shahs autocratic ru le for two decades to i nvading Iran in alliance 2 Before the invasion, in a speech to graduating officers, Reza Shaw cancelle d their customary vacations and warned them of the imminent threat to the country. Sixteen days after the invasion, Itiallat published an article titled The People are Sadden ( Tasor-e Mordom ). The article, which was picked up by the international press, sent the signal to the effect that the shah might intend to mobilize the masses against the Allied invasion. 3 See Ali Dashtis speech in the Twelve Majlis. "Foreign Re lations of the United States 1941 ", ed. The Near East and Africa The British Commonwealth (United Stat es Government Printing Office, 1959). 4 Although the pretext for the occupation was the presence of the German fifth column in Iran, the occupation occurred because London and Moscow did not trust Reza Shah to remain neutra l if Germanys military advances on the Eastern Front continued. The Allies also wanted to have a secure access to southern and northern oil fields in Iran in addition to a secured road and railway system from the Persian Gulf to the northern borders. The pervasive sympathy for Germany in southern tribes could have cau sed serious trouble for the Allies as it had during World War I. Moreover, in March 1941, Rashid Gilani, an Iraqi nationalist, had overt hrown Abdullahs pro-British government in Iraq. Although the coup in Iraq eventua lly failed and Gilani escaped to Tehran, it alarmed Winston Churchill into preventive actions in Iran. For more, see corr espondence between the United States Council in Tehran and Washington from June to September 1941, in volume iii, Pahlavi Mohammed Reza, Mission for My Country, 1st ed. (New York,: Mc Graw-Hill, 1961), 75.

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128 with the Soviet Union and attempting to teach Iranian democracy only reinforced the already existing perception that Britain, with the full cons ent of the Soviet Union, had installed Reza Shah as they wished and deported him when they both pleased. The negative image of foreigners reinforced the idea of a weak Self in opposition to the great powers of foreigners. This perception was further validated when the cabinet recognized the Allies de facto sovereignty over the occupied territori es in the south and north, agreed to cooperate with the Allies, and declared war against Germany, Italy, and Japan.5 With the fall of Reza Shahs regime, the official state discourse began to compete with other contending discourses for reestablishing its previous hegemony. It formed an alliance with the United States without alienating Britain or directly confron ting the Soviet Union. From 1941 to 1951, Iran went through premiers, 31 cabine ts, and 148 ministers as various discourses competed to establish their respective ideali zed nation-states. The intense competition among contending discourses caused soci o-political chaos. Bur it also popularized the six Iranian basic signifierssecurity, development, law, people, class equality, and Islamamong the masses.6 As in previous periods, during this era, the state understood itself and behaved in accordance with, and in response t o, how it related to ot her contending discourses. From the fall of Reza Shah until the 1953 CIA coup, for the most part, modern absolutists controlled the court and military, constitutionalists held on to the Majlis and Islamists, socialists, and democratic nationalists became the opposing discourses. From 1951 until the 1953 CIA coup, Mussadiq 5 Years later, in an effort to reconstruct history to reinforce his rule, despite the fact that the Allies had imposed this alliance on Iran, Mohamad Reza Shah claimed that this trip artite alliance was not merely inevitable but also highly desirable. See Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions p. 170. 6 Frances Bostock and Geoffrey Jones, Planning and Power in Iran: Ebtehaj and Economic Development under the Shah (London, England; Totowa, N.J.: F. Cass, 1989).

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129 managed to control the state by uniting the opposi ng identities against Britain. I will discuss that era in Chapter 5. The Building of a New State Economic Development In the sam e way Germany had produced a state-centered developmental knowledge for Reza Shah, the United States produced a liberal and market-centered developmental knowledge for Iran, which Mohamad Reza Shah attempted to adopt. This was a clear shift from the previous era. Speaking from the position of modern absolu tism, the head of Irans central bank in December 1942, Abul Qasim Ebtehaj, argued th at Irans development depended not only on financial assistance, but also on an ec onomic template from the United States.7 It was inconceivable that Iran could de velop independently of foreign powers. Now that Germany had been eliminated, the United States became the source of knowledge for developmental model for Iran. The plan for Irans development was not, however, designed according to Irans socioeconomic needs or conditions. Instead, the plan was a global temp late designed at New Hampshires Bretton Woods Conference in July 1944. By 1949, the Bretton Woods discourse of development had become a one-size-fits-all model that the United States and Britain adopted for all the countries in the Middle Ea st. Essentially, the plan became a regime of truth that called for economic development by privatizing state-ow ned industries, by getting rid of nepotism and bureaucratic inefficiencies, and by promoting ope n trade. Britain wanted the plan because it allowed Britain to maintain and consolidate its financial holdings in the Middle East. The United States promoted it because it would allow expans ion into Middle East markets. But the Soviet 7 George Benedict Baldwin, Planning and Development in Iran (Baltimore,: Johns H opkins Press, 1967).

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130 Union rejected the plan as a capitalist devel opmental design. Neverthele ss, Iranthe subject of the planhad no voice in making the plan, so it acquiesced to it. In addition to the epistemic knowledge for the developmental plan in Iran, the details of the plan were produced and proposed by an American engineering firm, Morrison Knudsen of Boise, Idaho, which had prepared it in less than four months of surveying in Iran. The plan gave priority to modernization in agriculture, transportation, education, h ealth, and security. As expected, Mohamad Reza Shah liked the security and the transportation segments of it, but opposed or ignored the rest. Based on this pl an, Iran applied for a $250 million loan from the World Bank (WB), which in turn demande d another expert evaluation of Iran.8 An engineering group, Overseas Consultants, Inc. (OCI), which was recommended by the U.S. State Department, pr ovided the evaluation report.9 In 1949, after only four months of surveying Iran, OCI, which was a ssociated with both the U.S. o il industry and the newly-formed Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), presented a plan. The Majlis passed the plan enthusiastically and immediately, for the plan represented an objective survey of Iran, it showed the pathological and abnormality of Irans economic structure, and it prescribed a scientific method to fix the problem. Kermit Roosevelt, who was also one of the principal planners of the 1953 CIA coup, wrote the final draft of the plan, which became the firs t development plan in Irans modern history. In later years, the plan became the basis for esta blishing the Plan Organi zation (PO), which, until 1979, constituted the organization for produci ng knowledge in stat e-building projects.10 8 Bostock and Jones, Planning and Power in Iran: Ebtehaj an d Economic Development under the Shah pp. 94-99. 9 Ibid., p. 107. 10 Keddie and Richard, Modern Iran: Roots and Results of Revolution p. 122.

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131 As expected, the framework of the plan was in accordance with the American discourse of development in those years. The plan emphasized four points: (a) invest in technology and education; (b) privatize state ownership of industries; (c) fo cus on light rather than heavy industries; and (d) improve profit incentives in order to advance management quality, increase production, and raise productivity.11 This plan contrasted with alternative ep istemic knowledge that the Soviet Union was producing at the time, and it was sharply diffe rent from the knowledge that Islamic and democratic nationalists we re producing. Hence, the knowledge produced by the Plan Organization was competing with other knowledge produced by the United States, each one with a different objective and rationality. For exam ple, while American developmental models focused on small and mid-size projects, the Soviet developmental model prioritized large stateowned heavy industries. The communist Tudeh Party devalued the liberal model of industrialization and call ed it the light assemb ly industrialization ( sanat-ih muntag ), arguing that the designed was to benefit the West rather th an Iran. In contrast, th e Tudeh Party valued the Soviets model, which called for heavy or mother industries.12 In other words, light industrialization was considered bad, but heavy was good; assembly industries were bad, but mother industries were good. Interestingly, this is the language that Reza Shah, his son, the Tudeh, and the Islamic Republic shared, that is, mother industries ar e considered real and good, but assembly and light industries ar e the code words for economic weakness and dependence. 11 Ibid, Ali Moarefi, "The Iranian Seven Year Plan and Its Monetary Effects" (Thesis--Georgetown University, 1950). 12 For more information, see Keddie and Richard, Modern Iran: Roots and Results of Revolution p. 122.

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132 However, the plan was doomed from the star t because it privileged security over other contending signifiers. Accordingly, although both Reza and Mohamad Reza Shah valued economic development, they wanted absolute cont rol over state resources. Hence, the plan was doomed for its internal contra dictions. Ironically, Mohamad R eza Shahs regime valued the rhetoric of liberal economic deve lopment, but the state-elites practiced state-centered economic politics. Nikki Keddie argues, The Plans scant accomplishment during its first year brought criticism.13 While those with political connections to Mohamad Reza Shah and Majlis largely supported and benefited from the plan, some constitutio nalists, Islamists, and socialists criticized the plan by blaming the United States and Brita in for backing men who cared little for Irans economic development.14 Additionally, socialists in the Tude h attacked the plan and its foreign advisors for the Tudeh understood the plan as a means to further penetration of American imperialism into Iran.15 In less than a year, the pl ans failure became obvious. The Overseas Consultants, Inc. blamed the fa ilure on the old, corrupt forces operating in Iran. This, representation should have been expect ed since the image of Iranians as corrupt and incompetent, as opposed to the objective, hone st, and competent Americans, was a prevalent feature of these discussions. But the OCI did not blame itself for aiming to liberalize the economy without liberalizing the polity, for it feared the spread of communism.16 In this context, security signified the meaning of, and criteri on for, how developmental planning was designed. This securitization made it impossible for planners to conceive the possibility of dismantling the 13 Ibid. 14 Ibid. 15 Ibid., p.23. 16 Bostock and Jones, Planning and Power in Iran: Ebtehaj an d Economic Development under the Shah P. 102.

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133 institutional legacy of modern absolutism inhe rited from Reza Shahs era and continued to operate in the country. As a re sult, the attempt was made to liberalize the economy without tackling the issue of polity. In ot her words, since security was the governing statement for U.S.Iran relations, it shaped thw wya various aid packages were designed. In his 1949 trip to Washington, through hi s envoys, Mohamad Reza Shah communicated that he was more interested in military than economic aid. According to Frances Bostock and Geoffrey Jones, the Shahs preference caused confusion in Washington and consternation in Tehran.17 But the confusion in Washington disapp eared when Eisenhower became president and securitized Iran even further. In later year s, Mohamad Reza Shah began to blame the failure of the plan on Mussadiq, which was a different source of corruption than the OCI had blamed. Mohamad Reza Shah argued that Mussadiqs negative policies led straight to the sort of political and economic chaos which foreign agents [Tudeh members] found ideal for their purposes. In other words, the shah did not concei ve of the possibility of failure because of the institutional legacy of modern absolutism,18 but he blamed Mussadiqs policy of nationalizing the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC). However, Keddie correctly rejected these repr esentations and concluded, It is often said that the cutting off Anglo-IOC r oyalties finished the Plan, but its de facto demise was assured before oil nationalization.19 Keddie argued, The assumption th at development was possible and desirable without a basic change in social [pol itical] structure fundament ally weakened planning [economic development] in Iran.20 17 Mohammed Reza, Mission for My Country 126. 18 Keddie and Richard, Modern Iran: Roots and Results of Revolution 19 Ibid. 20 Mohammed Reza, Mission for My Country 126.

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134 However, what Keddie saw as the necessity of economic and political liberalization and/or democratization, Mohamad Reza Shah perceived as the threat of nationalism and communism. Mohamad Reza Shah articulated his thought in late r years: Nationalism, like imperialism, is a tricky notion. In its true form, nationalism can le ad a country to greatness. For example Americas notable progress, and my fathers amazing achievements which was due to the pure spirit of nationalism instinctive to our [Iranian] people.21 He then argued that while his father had eradicated imperialism and promoted a true Iranian nationalism, Mussadiqs irrational, emotional temperament had provi ded conducive conditions for communism and an immature nationalism when we [Iranians] were in an irrationa l phase of our history.22 Mohamad Reza Shah continued linking his brand of nationalism, which prioritized security, as true nationalism and patriotism. In sum, security permeated the meanings of how the state development was imagined, designed, and practiced. In a rati onalistic world, it would have been expected that because the shah had experienced the fragile nature of his fathers absolutist stat e, he would not have continued the process of otheri ng local and national forces while increasing his reliance on the coercive forces of the state equipped and fina nced by the United States. However, in the imagined world of reality, he did what his fath er had done and failedthe securitization of the state at the expense of othering a ll other competing identities. Political Development Moham ad Reza Shah represented and understood political development in terms of consolidation of power, which he personified. The Shah vigorously guarded his absolute control 21 Ibid., 109. 22 Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions 246.

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135 over the military. He acquiesced in an alliance with the United States and strengthened the military. He also pardoned officers who had de serted their posts during the Allied invasion, lobbied to preserve military spending, solicited military aid from the United States, and even spent some of his own inherited fortune to please military officers. As expected, security signified the basis of an ideal political order and the focus of an obsession for building a loyal military. As such, any political development that w ould weaken the Shahs personalistic control over the state military and/or bureaucracy would be interpreted as a threat against the shahcentered state. This drive to consolidate power picked up speed as the Cold War began. By 1950, Mohamad Reza Shah nearly reestablished the absolutist control that his father had once enjoyed. For example, Khandaniha, a weekly digest, printed the picture of Mohamad Reza Shah appearing in public: Once in 1942-46; once agai n in 1943-1944, twice in 1944-45; twelve times in 1945-46; and eighteen times, seventeen of them in military uniform, in 1947-1948.23 In other words, as the state was consolidating its pow er, Mohamad Reza Shah was taking more personal control of the state. After the Russians wit hdrew their forces in 1946, Irans social and economic problems intensified, as did soci al conflicts and foreign interference.24 But Mohamad Reza Shah pushed to complete his control and command of the state intensified. By the end of October 1949, to the dismay of both the United States and Britain, Mohamad Reza Shahs control and command over the state was as absolute as that of his father, Reza Shah. By then, he had achieved it by th e same meansviolating the cons titution, breaking legislative 23 Keddie and Richard, Modern Iran: Roots and Results of Revolution p. 110. 24 Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions p. 249.

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136 precedents, manipulating elections, using legal and illegal means, and utilizing the military and police to intimidate, deport, imprison, and kill opponents.25 More interesting, however, was the way these practices were c onstructed as the threat of international communism, fanatical Islamism, and immature nationalism by the shah-centered state. For example, in February 1949, a faile d assassination attempt became the platform for representing the shah-centered state against inte rnal and external enemies. Mohamad Reza Shah represented the event as a conspiracy with thr ee connections to Islamists, communists, and the British. In the officially-approved newspapers, such as Ettellaat and Kayhan, the story of assassination was portrayed as: (a) the event was a conspiracy planned by the Tudeh as the agent of international communism; (b ) the would-be assassin was an ignorant agent of the most backward religious fanatics; and (c) the Britis h were involved because the girlfriend of the would-be assassin was the daught er of the gardener that worked in the British embassy.26 This event became the platform for further securi tization of the state, which resulted in the implementation of a series of repressive acti ons. Mohamad Reza Shah declared martial law, closed major newspapers, arrested Islamic, na tionalists, and communist leaders, outlawed the Tudeh party, deported Ayatollah Kashani to Beirut and forced Mussadiq to remain at his villageestate. According to Abrahamian: The shah acted quickly to crush all the oppos ition. He declared martial law throughout the country, closed down all the main newspapers critical of the court, outlawed the Tudeh, deported Kashani to Beirut, confined Mussadiq to his estates, and tried to implicate even Qavam [prime minister in 1950] in the cons piracy. What is more, the shah promptly convened a Constituent Assembly. Elected under martial law, the assembly unanimously 25 State Department to the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, 1 February 1949, Foreign Relations of United States (Washington, D.C., 1949), 6, 476; also quot ed in Mohammed Reza, Answer to History PP. 57-59. 26 Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions p. 249.

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137 voted to create a Senate, half of whose me mbers would be nominated by the monarch, and granted the shah the right to dissolv e Parliament whenever he wished.27 All of these actions, once again, were done in th e name of establishing order and security.28 By 1949, the drive to absolutism alarmed even the U.S. State Department, which felt that the shah ignored the [U.S.] military advisors, hastily changed the constitution, was obsessed with tanks, and unrealistically dreamed of $500 million in economic aid and $200 million in military aid to fina nce an eventual army of 300,000.29 In October 1949, the shah was prepared to travel to the United States duri ng a time when U.S. support for him was waning while his appetite for more military aid was growing.30 At this time, voices of dissent in the United States were beginning to criticize the shahs increasingly autocratic rule while questioning the usefulness of increasing Americ an military and financial aid. Attuned to American political currents more than political dissent in his own country, the shah represented the threat of communism, Islami c fanaticism, and nationalism as a way to convince his American audience as to why he desperately needed more military aid than economic assistance. On February 10, 1950, The New York Times reflecting the consolid ation of power in the hands of the shah, wrote, Circumstances surrounding the session of the newly elected Parliament that opened yesterday indicate that th is Parliament's attitude will decide whether Iran is to have a dictatorship.31 Despite these debates in the United States, the shah continued to 27 Ibid., p. 251. 28 For example, see the pro ceeding reports of the 15th Majlis in February and March of 1949. 29 Walter H. Waggoner, "Iran's Shah to Ask Assistance in U.S.; Monarch, Du e on Wednesday, Expected to Express Need for Millitary, Economic, Aid," The New York Times Nov., 13, 1949. 30 Albion Ross, "Iran Parliament Faces Power Test; Pack ed by 1,000 Families,' Its Attitude Will Determine If Dictatorship Is Set Up," The New York Times Feb. 11 1950. Also see, Ross, "Iran Parliament Faces Power Test; Packed by 1,000 Families,' Its Attitude Will Determine If Dictatorship Is Set Up." 31 Editorial, "The Fire Is Rekindled," The Fire (Atash) 1946.

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138 receive full U.S. support, for both the United States and the shah, security from the threat of communism, Islamism, and Iranian democratic nationalism permeated the meaning of economic and political development. Meanwhile, the shah was beginning to lose the collective imagination of Iranians to another security threatthe cons truction of the common threat of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, which is the subject of Chapter 5. In sum, the economic and political developmen ts were driven by th e fear of communism, Islamism, and nationalism. In this era, the Un ited States produced the knowledge for Irans developmental plan, and the shah-centered state a dopted it without actually liberalizing either the economy or politics. Nevertheless, the United St ates went along with Mohamad Reza Shahs modern absolutism and his consolidation of power. For both the United States and Mohamad Reza Shah, security from communist constituted th e main signifier in their political discourses. While the construction of a common threat made the Irans acquiescent alliance with the United States possible, it made compromise with socialist, Islamist, and nationalist opposition impossible. To compromise or enter into a dial ogue with these contending discourses meant the deconstruction of the very signifier (security) that made the shahs policies and practices meaningful. Imagination of the Nation W ith the fall of Reza Shah and the temporary loss of absolutism, the nation that Mohamad Reza Shah imagined remained much the same as the one his father had imagined. But some shifts also occurred. Unlike his father, who represented himself as a no-nonsense, tough, and disciplinarian patriarch, the son represented hi mself as Western-educat ed and a progressive democrat, who respected law, adhered to Islamic norms, and sympathized with the plight of what he called my people, which in the discourse of modern absolutism mean t being the subject of the shah. However, much like his father, his id eal typical model of nati onalism was an abstract

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139 model of Western-like nationalism. In a seri es of conceptual linkages and differences, nationalism was linked to Persian glories: the Pers ian glories to Persian nationalism, the Persian nationalism to the naturalization of a historical mission assumed by all leaders and the shah, the mission to a divine design, the divine design to Shiism, Persian monarchism, and so forth. These relational linkages were then counterpoised to another series of linka ges such as Irans backwardness that was linked to words, such as Arabs, non-Persians, Russians, communists, bad Muslims, and nationalists. Ac cording to this logic, in this era, a citizen subject was imagined as one who revered the king ( Shah Doost ), worshiped Iran ( Iran Parast ), glorified Persian heritage and language, and wanted to revive Irans ancient glory to match the developmental stages of Western countries. An Irani was considered a devout but modern Muslim. Relatedly, a Khareji was represented as one who was anti-shah and thus did not properly revere the 2500-year hi story of Persian monarchy. As Reza Shah had previously done, Mohamad Reza Shah imagined a historic nation of Persians against non-Persians. Texts embedded in modern absolutism were imbued with references to the glories of Persian empire s, the sweetness of the Persian language, the superiority of Persian ethics, and the perseverance of Persia n culture. This body of knowledge had entered the official language during Reza Shahs era, and it remained in texts as uncontested historical facts. Embedded in this body of knowledge, even o pposing identities utilized the glorification of ancient history to illustrate the weakness and corrupt nature of the present.32 Indeed, in some circles, questio ning the glory of the past was in terpreted as an anti-Iranian ( zed 32 See Queen Suraya, "New Year Messages," Ittial'lat Mar. 28, 1953, p. 12.

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140 Irani ). Similarly, many of the nationalists also identified with the sub-discourse of Pan Persianism.33 I will discuss this point further in Chapter 5. In this era, Muslims were classified into two categories: Good Muslims were considered as pro-development, Western-like, Westerndressed, pro-shah, and anti-communist; bad Muslims were considered as fanatical, anti-d evelopment, and anti-shah. Bad Muslims were represented as close-minded, superstitious, crude, and pre-modern people. Phrases and words, such as fallen-behind ( aqab uftad-ih ), fanatical ( fanatic ), traditional ( sunati ), superstitious ( khurafati ) and religious dogmatism (khushk mazhab ) described bad Muslims. Additionally, bad Muslims were re presented as Arab-like rather than Iranian or Western-like. This logic of differentiation and categorization between good and bad Muslims continued throughout the reign of the second Pahlavi, Mohamad Reza Shaw. This differentiation between good and bad wa s very prominent thr oughout the reign of Mohamad Reza Shah. In this dichotomization, good clerics visited the shah, supported the shahs anti-communist campaign, and refrained from po litical activities. Chapte r 5 will discuss this phenomenon further. The dichotomization of good and bad Mus lims also included women. Good Muslim women remained unveiled and Western-like in a ppearance, but weak and Eastern-like in their behavior. Mohamad Reza Shah promoted this vi ew of women throughout his reign. For him, the 33 For example, the Pan-Iranist Party, which was first led by Mushin Pizishkhpoor and Dariysh Furuhar, primarily identified with the identity of Persianism. Historically, the party was a pro-German party, but between 1941 and 1951, its main objective was fighting the Tudeh Party an d communism through the representation of communists as kharejian. When Mussadiqs oil nationalization struggle became the primary national issue differentiating the Irani/Khareji, the party became a pro-Mussadiq Party. However, Mussadiq was gradually re-represented as procommunist, and thus a Khareji, the partys position changed again. Then, Pizishkhpoor, who led the party, became an ardent supporter of the shah absolutism even though it was a known fact that the sh ah was receiving help from both the United States and Britain. But Furuhar deviated fr om the Pan-Iranist party line and continued identifying with Mussadiq as an Iranian nationalist and constitutionalist. In 1997, Furhar and his wife were stabbed to death by some agents in the Information Ministry of the Islami c Republic of Iran. The accusation was that Furhar was associated with Kharejian.

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141 model for modern Muslim women was a particul ar image of a woman best portrayed by his various queens. They all were multilingual, had upper-level degrees from Western educational institutions, lived and grew up in Europe, kne w various dignitaries, and frequently attended political, social, and cultural events. For exampl e, in March 1953, on the occasion of celebrating the Iranian New Year of 1332/1953, in a series of events, the king and the queen Suraya represented ideal images of good and modern Mu slim Iranians. They returned from their vacation to Tehran to attend various New Year ceremonies, and they both addressed the nation. The queens address was particularly modern yet it would have been impossible in previous eras when Iranian queens were not heard or seen in public. Besides, at any given time in Iranian history, the king had too many queens so addr essing the nation by hundreds of queens would have been unimaginable. Nevertheless, the queen a ddressed the nation as if this has always been a natural and historical act: My dear compatriots, from th e bottom of my heart, I cong ratulate this magnificent and ancient holiday, which is the cherished memory of our ancestors. One of the good deeds of this beloved heritage is what our forefather s have taught us. They taught us that after thanking the blessing of God, we must renew our commitment to our God. Then, with Gods willing, kindness, and blessing, we must clean our conscious from impurities and renew our desire to begin a Ne w Year while we obligate ourselv es to give to the poor, care for the sick, aid the disabled, assist each other, and participate in the social welfare of the country. If we do these good deeds, then God w ill bless us and help us unite the country for a good and happy New Year, which will be waiting for the inte lligent nation of Iranians.34 In this text, while the queen reminds the nation of their beloved Iranian heritage, an idealized version which never existed, her multiple references to God are deeply embedded in Islamic understanding of God. She includes herself as a part of we the people, that is, these people are empowered, modern, intelligent, and ethical. These people can renew, commit, and obligate themselves. These people are good to others and thus good for the social welfare of the 34 Suraya, "New Year Messages."

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142 country. After both the shah and the queen addre ssed the nation, the royal couple visited a girls vocational school in Tehran and donated 360 school uniforms. This act was not only an Islamic act of benevolence, but also an act of a mode rn patriarch, as was expected of him. For the occasion, the shah also took his private plane to the holy shrine of Imam Reza in Mashhad. Out of respect for Islamic scholarship, the shah also received some of the grand ulama in his Marble Palace. The photographs of all th ese public appearances were widely published in major daily papersthe shah and the queen were modern, Muslim, and Irani an patriots who interpreted Islam in accordance to their own individual be liefs and discretions. Although they sought worldly pleasures, plentitude, progress, and high so cial status, they remained the blessed servants of God in a holy mission to modernize the country.35 In short, the shah and the queen were good, modern Muslims, and this was a clear shift in the modernists representation of Islam. In other words, the discourse of modern absolutism was defining the meaning of Islamic values. One of these shifts in meaning was in the way charity was represented and understood. In Islamic discourses, charity was a virtuous value associated with men, done in private domain, and performed inconspicuously. However, all of the shahs queens did their charity works conspicuously and publicly. In fact, in contrast to Islamic charitie s, the queens striking beauty combined with careful stagecraft, emphasized the performative aspects of charity. In these practices, modernism had permeated the Islamic di scourse of charity. In other words, Iranian queens were represented as good Muslims, but also modern, Western, beautiful, and fashionable. These practices were repeated in commercial ad vertisements in which Iranian housewives looked more like the shahs wives than Eastern l ooking Iranian housewives normally did. Through a review of hundreds of advertisements in various newspapers, I did not find even one commercial 35 "The King and Queen Visit a Girl School Ettelaat March 28, 1953.

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143 advertisement that depicted a veiled Iranian womanas if they did not exist even as consumers.36 The same trend could be seen in the gr owing movie industry. According to Hamid Dabashi, Not until the advent of the Islamic Revolution and the active Islamization of the cinema, did women appear ve iled in motion pictures.37 The general texts showed unveiled women as educated, modern, and articulate. In contrast, veiled women were represented as traditional, motherly, and inarticulate. Moreover, it was unthinkable to imagine that a female employee of the state or even a private firm would have veiled women employees. In fact, working women were equated with being mode rn, mobile, fashion-conscious, Western-like, educated, and wealthy. Conversely, being a traditional woman was equated with being veiled, homebound, religious, uneducated, and traditional. Nevertheless, in the discourse of modern abso lutism, women remained as weak, irrational, and emotional to be protected by their respective patriarchs. In a passing statement referring to Mussadiq, his greatest rival before Ayatolla h Khomeini, Mohamad Reza Shah suggested, Mussadiq and his followers cried like wo men and indulged in hysterical tirades.38 In an interview with Oriana Fallaci, he suggested that women were created to be beautiful, charming, and comforting to men, for they do not have the ab ility to become Michelangelo, Bach, or even a great chef.39 36 Dabashi, Iran: A People Interrupted p. 20. 37 Mohammed Reza, Mission for My Country p. 126. 38 Oriana Fallaci, Interview with History 1st ed. (New York: Liveright, 1976), pp. 270-272. 39 Mohammed Reza, Mission for My Country p. 298.

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144 Foreign Relations The Foreign in Foreign Policy During the colonial competition in Iran, all politics began in f oreign embassies, and all local politics had a foreign policy dimension. Since that time, all contendi ng political discourses in Iran have identified their enemies as for eigners, and this era was no exception. In other words, in the existing political spaces in Ir an, it was inconceivable to imagine politics independent of foreign intervention. In the discourse of modern absolutism, the United States and its West ern allies constituted Self, and communists, democratic nationalists, and Islamists constituted the Other. As Reza Shah had imagined Germany as a Self-like Aryan na tion and thus a natural ally, the young shah perceived the United States as a Self-like Wester n nation and thus a natural ally. Referring to America, Britain, Canada, and France, he wrot e, Our cultural relations with the Western democracies go back many centuries; our ties with those people are no sudden growth. Culturally, the West has borrowed extensively from us, and by choice, we have absorbed much that is Western. Today, we have the same basic goals.40 Additionally, as natural allies are supposed to do, the shah expected the United States to protect his state from the threat of what he called the threat of internationa l communism. He argued that fo r developing countries such as Iran, security is their first essential for advancement,41 and the Middle East needed not only a Marshal Plan, but also a secur ity shield comparable with NATO. If a country fails to secure its defenses, the Co mmunists play with it as a cat does with a mouse.42 In other words, for the young shah, the communists were both domestic and international enemies, and the 40 Ibid., p. 296. 41 Ibid., pp. 293, 296. 42 Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions pp. 173-176.

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145 United States was Self-like and thus a natural ally. For the shah, the U.S. Self-likeness was historical and cultural; for his father, the German Self-likeness was racial. In other words, neither geographical nor political interv ention constituted the meaning of foreign in foreignness. Instead, the foreignness of foreigners was conc eptualized and constituted as a relational difference in which the Self was represented, understood, and behaved in opposition to the Other. Relatedly, it was, and st ill is, natural to label ones po litical opposition as foreign or foreign agents. However, classifying ones political opposition as foreigner was a particular representation that every generation of Ira nians since the constitutional revolution had experienced vis--vis occupation, domination, a nd intervention. This era was no exception. The end of Reza Shahs regime was the beginning of occupation, domination, and/or intervention into Iranian politics by Britain, the S oviet Union, and the United States. With the occupation and intervention of the Allies, the body politic of Iran, which was kept together by the absolutist power of Reza Shah for sixteen year s, fragmented into pieces. Tribal, religious, and ethnic factionalism returned once again. Tribal chiefs began to seize their c onfiscated tribal lands and reestablish their previous authorities.43 Tribal and provincial forces began to challenge, and, in some cases defeat, the military. Once more, the Democratic Party of Azerbaijan ( Ferqeh-yi Demukrat Azerbijan ) was established, as was the Democra tic Party of Kurdistan. The demands for these two parties ranged from wanting total independence to calling for a certain degree of local autonomy. Additionally, an unprecedented nu mber of political organizations, representing various identities, sprung up. 43 Amjad, Iran: From Royal Dictatorship to Theocracy p. 53.

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146 In this chaotic situation, three coaliti on forces converged to shape Iranian politics Britain, the Soviet Union, the United Statesand th eir respective internal actors. Britain and the Soviet began fostering groups sympat hetic to their respective intere sts, and they arrested, killed, and deported individuals opposing their respecti ve interests. Meanwhile, the United States invested in the shahs military and police. On the one hand, Britain began supporting th e Fatherland Party led by Sayed Zia, a known pro-British politician. Saye d Zias appealed to his bazaaris and hooligan constituents by representing the threat of the Tudeh Party and communism, the threat of the shahs military dictatorship backed by landed elites, and the threat of Western intellectualism to Islam.44 On the other hand, the Soviet Union supporte d the Tudeh Party and the Azerbaijan and Kurdistan democratic parties. These parties represented the shah, the landed elites, Sayed Zia and their respective foreign supporte rs as the threat to socia lism and self-determination. In the meantime, the United States began to invest in Mahd Reza Shahs military, and the Shah was very eager to reciprocatea natural alliance that was born then and continued until the fall of Mohamad Reza Shah. By 1944, the U.S. a dvisory position in th e military, the economy, the police, and gendarmerie (rural police) was a prominent feature of Iranian politics.45 General Hassan Arfa, Irans former chief of staff, explai ned why the shah wanted to involve the United States. He wrote, Our policy was to bri ng as many Americans as possible to Iran46 The goal was to deter the Soviet Union from interf ering in the internal affairs of Iran. 44 For example, Sayed Zia al-Din Taba-Tabai, Reza Shahs ally in the 1921 coup, was a pro-British activist who helped organized the Party of Justice ( Hezb-e Edalat ) and the Party National Will ( Hezb-e Eradeh-ye Meli ). He tried to mobilize the masses by utilizing politics of hate, his base was the bazzaris his ethos was Islamic, but his messages were anti-communism, anti-intellectualism, anti-tax re forms, anti-court, and anti-shah and anti-Soviet. 45 Hassan Arfa, Under Five Shahs (New York,: W. Morrow, 1965), p. 272. 46 "Asnadi Az Asl-I Chahar-I Turuman Dar Iran (1325-1346 H.Sh.) = Documents on Truman's Point Four in Iran (1946-1967)," (Tihr*an: Vizarat-i Farhang va Irshad-i Islami, 1382).

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147 In other words, contending discourses interpre ted their foreign enemies and their domestic agents according to their own self-referential conditions of conceivability. For Sayed Zia the Mohamad Reza Shah and communists were agents of the United States and the Soviet Union. For the communists and separatists, Sayed Zia a nd Mohamed Reza Shah were agents of Britain and America. For Mohamad Reza Shah and mo dern absolutists, Sayed Zia, the Tudeh, nationalists, and Islamists were ag ents of foreigners. Meanwhile, the meaning of foreign in foreignness had a varied impact for different pe ople. The notion that a domestic opposition must have some kind of connection with a foreign power still pervades Iranian politics. Foreign Policy During W orld War II, Iran had no foreign policy because the Allies dict ated it, but as the war ended, the competition to steer Irans fore ign policy toward the three main foreign contenders and their respective domestic coalitions began. Reflecti ng the convergence of foreign and domestic interests during the war, the cabinet, the Majlis, and the court participated in the conduct of foreign policy. When the war ended, th e court, in alliance w ith the United States, began to become the most important actor in shaping Irans foreign policymaking until 1951, when Mussadiq took over the govern ment for 27 months (see Chap ter 5). Nevertheless, during this era (1941-1951), a majority of constitution alists, democratic nationalists, and even some Islamists supported the Iran-U.S. alliance, for it was inconceivable to imagine the United States as a foreign state and thus an enemy. In the co llective memory of Iranians, the United States, unlike the Soviet and Britain, wa s not associated with any of the known local or traditional political actors or parties. A dditionally, except for the Tudeh Party, President Trumans Four

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148 Point Program, which offered economic aid to Ira n, created a political space in which imagining the United States as a belligerent foreign enemy was not possible.47 Moreover, unlike Britain and the Soviet Uni on, the United States did not have political infrastructure on the ground, so it primarily invested in the Mohamad Reza Shahs military and police, and the Shah reciprocatedand an acqui escent alliance with the United States was created. This alliance was so vital to the survival of the Shah that he became an extension of the U.S. foreign policymaking in the region. In other words, the combination of rhetoric, policies, and practices constituted the making of an acquiescent alliance between the Shah and the United States, which was not initially contested by the other contending discourses. However, in later years, this alliance took on a life of its own and turned into the basis for differentiating the Shah and the United States on one side and all other co ntending discourses on the oppos ite side. In this era, both the United States and Mohamad Reza Shah signified the Soviet Union as a security threat, and this did not contradict how Islamists, natio nalists, and constitutionalists securitized the Soviet Union, albeit with a differe nt interpretation. Thus, th e securitization of the Soviet Union was linked in a series of other relational links, for example, separatism to nonPersianism, non-Persianism to communism, communism to atheism, and atheism to immorality, chaos, and foreign enemies.48 In 1945, the first battle of the Cold War took place within the context of multiple political spaces gathered into two camps. On one side of this camp were the Soviet Union, the Tudeh Party, the Democratic Party of Azerbaijan, the Democratic Party of Kurdistan, and their respective constituents. In this camp, the Soviet Union refused to pull its troops out of Iran, as was required by the Tehran Treaty of 47 For more information on the Point Four Program, see Barry Buzan, "Rethinking Secu rity after the Cold War," Cooperation and Conflict 32, no. 1 (1995). 48 For the concept of securitization, see Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions pp. 226-260.

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149 1943, in the name of wanting to protect democra tic movements in Kurdistan and Azerbaijan. The Soviet Union supported the Tudeh Party as the ma in voice of Iranian people, and it claimed the right for having an oil conce ssion for the northern fields.49 On the other side of this camp were Br itain, the United States, Mohamad Reza Shah, Islamists, nationalists, and their respective consti tuencies who feared the Soviet Union and the growing influence of the Tudeh. In fact, the most critical threat to the British interest until 1946 was a strike led by Tudeh in the southern oil fiel ds, which seriously threatened British interests.50 Britain began to consolidate its military assets in the south and started mobilizing Bakhtiyari tribes. It brought more troops to the Persia n Gulf and threatened to land its troops. Concomitantly, the United States intensified it s supply of arms to Mohamad Reza Shah and put pressure on Prime Minister Qavams government.51 All these practices were represented as the reaction to the threat imposed by the Soviet Union vis-a-vis its proxy, the Tudeh Party. For Iranians, however, these representations were the same old politics of foreign competition for the control of Irans resources Qavams cabinet followed what had been traditionally understood as the policy of positive equilibrium ( muvazeneh musbat ), which meant playing the interests of one pow er against the othera text born out of, and embedded in, the context of colonial competition in Iran. Followi ng this policy, Qavam appealed to the Russians by allowing and encouraging the Tudeh Party to freely participate in its political activities. Qavam went as far as arresting some of th e Tudehs right wing opposition. He entered into negotiation with the separatists by promising them a certain degree of local autonomy, for 49 Mostafa Elm, Oil, Power, and Principle: Iran's Oil Nationalization and Its Aftermath 1st ed., Contemporary Issues in the Middle East (Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracu se University Press, 1992), ch. 3. 50 Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions 51 Ibid., pp. 225-231.

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150 example, allowing education in local languages. More importantly, he signed an agreement to grant the Soviet Union the concession of oil fields in the north subject to the Majlis confirmation.52 While offering the Soviets and oil c oncession, Qavam tried to reassure the Americans by proposing to them an equivalent concession in the southeast and by renewing the U.S. military mission.53 However, immediately after the So viet troops pulled out of Iran, the government troops brutally repressed the sepa ratist movements. The government banned the Tudeh Party, and the Majlis never approved the oil concessions.54 Moreover, in 1947, with the help of Qavam and Mussadiq, the Majlis passed legislation that barred the government from entering into any negotiation for givi ng concessions to foreign governments.55 In the end, Qavam claimed, and many people agreed, that he had played off the threat of the Soviets against that of the British and had won the game. Meanwh ile, the shah also claimed victory. Nevertheless, the representation and interpre tation of these events differed among various identities. The shah represented the 1947 Soviet troop withdrawal as a military victory brought about by his prudent military alliance with the Un ited States. Until 1979, the shah celebrated this move as a historical victory for Iranian sovere ignty. He claimed that the victory was on account of his military power, which implicitly legitimized the United States as a reliable military alliance. This victory was represented as a mil itary victory that had re stored order, security, and sovereignty to the country. The shah claimed that he had saved Azerbaijan and thus the 52 Ibid., p. 228. 53 Ibid. 54 Elm, Oil, Power, and Principle: Iran's Oil Nationalization and Its Aftermath 55 Mohammed Reza, Mission for My Country p. 124.

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151 fatherland from foreign tr aitors and communist spies.56 This victory day was celebrated with much fanfare until the fall of the Pahlavi dynasty. In contrast to the Shah, constitutionalists and nationalists in the Majlis represented the victory as a legal victory. They argued th at the victory had become possible by Qavam convincing the Soviets th at he would lobby the Majlis on their behalf. This maneuver would have been impossible wit hout a legal and functional Majlis constitutionalists argued. Moreover, they argued that Qavam had cleverly utilized the Majlis to make a positive equilibrium ( muvazen-ya musbat ) between the British and the Soviets. Accordingly, constitutionalists believed that having a functional Majlis in charge of making treaties gave legal sanction to ruling elites to pit one power against th e other. Qavam made this point in a 1949 letter from Paris to the shah as the shah was in the midst of his most aggressive move to reduce the role of the Majlis In his letter, Prime Minister Qavam reminded th e shah that the 1946-1947 negotiation with the Soviets would have failed had it not been for the Majlis and the constitution. He strongly advised against further weakening of the constitution, urging that it would not only threaten the national interest but also endanger the Pahlavi dynasty. Fo r that advice, the shah took away Qavams title ( ashraf or eminent), which he had given to him for negotiating the Sovi et withdrawal in 1947.57 However, as power shifted from the cabinet and the Majlis to the shah, foreign policy shifted from the concept of positive equilibrium to what the shah, in later years, called the policy of positive nationalism, which essentially m eant the shahs acquiescent alliance with the United States and its allies. Nevertheless, the articulation of the shahs concept of positive nationalism was possible only in the context of Mussadiqs foreign policy of negative 56 Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions pp. 225-231. 57 Mahmood Mamdani, Citizen and Subject : Contemporary Africa and the Legacy of Late Colonialism Princeton Studies in Culture/Power/History (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1996).

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152 equilibrium, which meant non-alignment and was c ounterpoised to the trad itional doctrine of positive equilibrium. In fact, the doctrine of positive nationalism was the mirror image of the Tudeh Partys acquiescent alliance for the Soviet policy. But the Tudeh called its foreign policy internationalism, which presupposed an acqui escent alliance with the Soviet Union. In short, through policies and practices, the discourse of mo dern absolutism constructed the foreign in foreign policy. In this era, with the consolidation of power in the hands of Mohamad Reza Shah, the discourse of modern absolutism linked communists, nationalists, and Islamists together as foreigners. Conclusion In this era (1 941-51), the Allies invaded Iran and forced the abdication of Reza Shah. As Reza Shahs regime of modern absolutism fell apart, various discourses once again struggled for state building, nation imaging, and conducting fo reign relations. While constitutionalists and modernists mainly dominated the state, Islamist s, socialists, and nati onalists opposed the state and competed to establish their own ideal politic al order. Although this era was marred by chaos, disorder, and conflict, it was also the only era in modern Iranian history when freedom of expression was not and could not be suppressed. In this era, cont ending discourses were able to construct values that have remained in the language (see Chapters 5 and 6). For example, in state-building, had it not been for the discourse of development in Iran, it would not have been possible for the Shah to imagine the United States as a natural ally that could have helped his country to develop. Had it not been for the American produced power and knowledge, it would not have been possible for th e construction of an acquiescent alliance between Mohamad Reza Shah and the United States (as will be disscussed in Chapter 6 ). In nation imagining, had it not been for the discourse of Islam, it would not have been possible for Mohamad Reza Shah to represent hi mself as a good Muslim as opposed to bad

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153 Muslims whose ignorance would threaten Iran, Is lam, and historical development (Chapter 6). Furthermore, had it not been for the discourse of Shiism, it would not have been possible for the Mohamad Reza Shah to represent himself as a devout Shiite and a modern king (Chapter 6). developmental model. Had it not been for the discourse absolutism, it would have been impossible for the shah to represent himself as the linkage between Iranian instinctive nationalism and security of the fatherland. In foreign policy, the articulatory practice of the Shahs acquiescent alliance with the United States would not have been conceivable, had it not been for the construction of the threat of communism. Relatedly, the ar ticulatory practice of imagini ng the Soviets as a communist threat would have been inconceivable, had it no t been for the logic of relational linkages. For example, discursively, the linkages among communi sm and the Soviets; the Soviets with the Russians; the Russians with colonialism; the col onialism with interventions; the intervention of the Soviet Union with the Tudeh; the Tudeh with separatists; the separa tists with non-Persians; the non-Persians with foreigners; and foreigners with the Soviet Union.58 In this tautological circle, the Persian Self unders tood itself in its opposition to its non-Persian foreign other associated with existential narratives in the langu age. In other words, in the discourse of modern absolutism, we the Persians was understood in opposition to those communists, but both the we and them could be understood only in the context of contending discourses in Iran. Moreover, the articulatory practice of imagining th e Soviets as an atheistic threat would not have been possible, had it not been for Iranians li nking Soviets with Russians, Russians with Christianity, Christianity with non-Muslim ru le, non-Muslim rule with colonialism, and colonialism with un-Islamic rule of others. In this tautology, the Muslim-Iranian Self understood 58 For more information of indirect rule and colonialism, see Homa Katouzian, Musaddiq and the Struggle for Power in Iran (London; New York: I.B. Tauris 1990), p. 66.

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154 itself in opposition to the non-Muslim foreign Ot her. In Chapter 5, I will discuss how the discourse of democratic nationalis m prioritized people rather than security, which gave meaning to how security, development, law, class, and Islam were interpreted.

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155 CHAPTER 5 DEMOCRATIC NATIONALISM (1951-53) Introduction In this chapter, I will narrat e the rise and fall of the Mussa diq era (1951-1953). The official state discou rse in this era became the discourse of democratic nationalism. This chapter will also examine the formation of the basic signifiers in the discourse of democratic nationalism. Through examination of texts, I wi ll demonstrate how the shift in official state discourse was represented, understood, and practiced. I will de monstrate how a particular formation of peopleas a primary signifier of this discoursepermeated the meaning of security, development, law, class, and Islam. The states projects of state build ing, nation imagining, and conducting foreign policy reflected the values constituted within the discourse. Finally, I conclude by suggesting that the tr aces of the discourse of democr atic nationalism permeated not only the discourse of modernists, but also Is lamists (will be discussed in Chapter 6). Events In 1949, as Moham ad Reza Shah was consolid ating his power, he began to lose the collective imagination of the people to an issue that symbolized the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) as all that was wrong with Iran. The issue was the once celeb rated 1933 Oil Agreement between Iran and the AIOC.1 Mohamad Reza Shah and his Anglophile deputies, who held a majority in the Majlis at the time, planned to rubber stamp the modification to the agreement, but their plan backfired and the issue changed from an ordinary trade issue into a national struggle for independence from foreign powers. In a matte r of weeks, Mohamad Reza Shahs supporters could not help but criticize the compensatory shortcomings of the proposal, while the opponents of the agreement began to question the legality of the 1933 agreement, calling it a violation of 1 Ibid., p. 69.

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156 Irans sovereignty, high treason committed by si gnatories to the 1933 agreement, and freedom from foreign domination.2 Simply put, a hegemonic discourse was constructed by symbolizing the AIOC as the manifestation of foreignness linked to domination intervention, occupation, weakness, backwardness, misery, and indignity of Self in a relational opposition to Britain.3 In this hegemony, supporting the Nationalization Bill propo sed by National Front (NF) equated to nationalism, and opposing it meant being a foreigner or foreign agent ( Muzduran Khareji ).4 Even the chief negotiator of the Supplementary Agreement, Jahangir Gulshahiyan, meekly asserted that he could have reached a be tter deal, had it not been for the pressure from abovethe court.5 As a result, a small coalition of de puties easily postponed the bill for the 16 Majlis .6 The control of 16 Majlis became the battle between two forcesthe shah, Mussadiq, and their respective supporters. At the heart of the battle, however, we re two different discourses for the nation-statemodern absolutism versus demo cratic nationalism. While modern absolutists relied on the states coercive power supported by the United States, democratic nationalists relied on the power of the street. 2 Mohammad Musaddiq, Musaddiq's Memoirs trans. Homa Katuzain (London: JEBHE, National Movement of Iran, 1988), V. ii, chapter 8. In fact Musaddiqs memoir is replete with th e assertion that Anglophiles and Reza Shah conspired to extend the Darcy Concession for another 30 years, e.g., Musaddiq, Musaddiq's Memoirs p. 312. Also see Katouzian, Musaddiq and the Struggle for Power in Iran p. 67. According to Mussadiqs memoir, Dr. Hussein Fatemi first suggested that the nationalization of Iranian oil industry was a good strategy for Iranians because it made it no longer necessary to prove the invalidity of th e 1933 Agreement. 3 By hegemonic identity, I mean that contending discourses were temporary unified by identifying with one sign. In this case, it was Iran against the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. 4 National Front (NF) was a coalition made up of nationa lists, Islamists, and the democratic socialists. 5 See M. Fateh, Panjah Saal Naft-E Iran/Fifty Years of Iranian Oil (Tehran: Chehr Press, 1956/1335), pp. 385-411. Also see Elm, Oil, Power, and Principle: Iran's Oil Nationalization and Its Aftermath Also see, 6 See Ross, "Iran Parliament Faces Power Test; Packed by 1,000 Families,' Its Attitude Will Determine If Dictatorship Is Set Up."

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157 When the 16 Majlis began on February 10, 1950, The New York Times reflecting the ongoing struggle between the two different politi cal discourses, wrote: Circumstances surrounding the session of the newly elected Parliament that opened yesterday indicate that this Parliament's attitude will decide whet her Iran is to have a dictatorship.7 A few days before the shahs 1949 trip to the United States, Mussadiq protested, claiming election frauds, and led a large group of prom inent national leaders to take sanctuary ( bast ) in the yard of one of the shahs palaces. Protesters demanded a free press, free elections, and the lifting of martial law. The shah was caught off guard by the boldness of Mussadiqs move at a time when the shahs demand for U.S. military aid was being debated.8 He backed off and publicly promised to hold free elections.9 When the 16 Majlis began in February 1950, the National Front did not have a majority, but it had the power of mobilizing the people.10 With this move, there was a shift in the practices of both forces. Suddenly, Mohamad Reza Shah who had shown no respect for the constitution, began to invoke the supremacy of constituti onal laws, legislative precedents, and legal procedures. Mussadiq, a lawy er and a professional bureaucrat, admonished the Shah for breaking precedent and began to invoke the peoples rights and devalue laws that did not serve the inte rests of the people.11 Public support for Mussadiq was extensive and deep. It was extensive because various associations of lawyers, engineers, ulama, bazaaris and journalists supported him. Moreover, a 7 Waggoner, "Iran's Shah to Ask Assistance in U.S.; Monarch, Due on Wednesday, Expected to Express Need for Millitary, Economic, Aid." 8 Ross, "Iran Parliament Faces Power Te st; Packed by 1,000 Families,' Its Attit ude Will Determine If Dictatorship Is Set Up." Also see Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions p. 252. 9 Makki, Tarikhecheh Jebhaya Melli (a Short History of the National Front) 10 For more information on the National Front and its core members, see Ibid. 11 Ibid.

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158 large majority of the people simply identified with Mussadiq. His support was deep because political parties, such as Irans Party, the Party of Toilers of Iran, the Tudeh Party, the Party of Democrats affiliated with Qavam, the Society of Muslim Warriors ( Jamaya Mojahedian Islami ), and the Devotees of Islam ( Fadaian-i Islam ) supported him. 12 Sensing the popularity of Mussadiqs movement, Mohamad Reza Shah needed a strongman to settle the oil issu e and appointed General Ali Razm ara to be the prime minister. This choice backfired; Razmara tried to make a coalition of the pro-Soviet Union Tudeh Party and Sayed Zias pro-British party. Razmaras coal ition began not only to s care the Shah, but also Islamists in the NF, who were not against th e Shah at the time but against Razmara whom Islamists perceived as a British stooge. Ayatolla h Kashani encouraged all sincere Muslims and patriotic citizens to fight against the enemie s of Islam and Iran by jo ining the nationalization struggle. Finally, the Fadaian-i Is lam authorized one of its member s the scared mission of assassinating that Bri tish stooge, Razmara.13 The public rejoicing over Razmaras death left no doubt as to the intensity of the hatred for anyone represented as an Anglophile. The shah appointed Hussein Al a as prime minister. However, Alas government fell in less than tw o months when the Tudeh Partys organized strike in the AIOC refinery in Abadan was turn ing into a revolution that drew British gunboats to the Persian Gulf. The strike also alerted the sh ah of the strength of the Tudeh organizational power. It became obvious that the National Fron t and Tudeh Party overwhelmingly controlled the popular imagination, and each was infiltrati ng the military, the police, and the state 12 Katouzian, Musaddiq and the Struggle for Power in Iran pp. 71-77. Also see Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions p. 254-255. For a list of members, see Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions p. 266. People such as Mussadiq, Kashani, Maki, Haari-zadih, Bagai, Sanjabi, Shaiygan, and Fatemi were among some of the most effective orators. 13 Elm, Oil, Power, and Principle: Iran's Oil Nationalization and Its Aftermath ch.5.

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159 bureaucracy. To avert a social revolution, the shah and the Majlis sided with the nationalists and agreed to Mussadiqs nine-point plan for nationa lization of the oil industry as a precondition for him to form a new government.14 Relying on his public support, Mussadiq nationa lized the AIOC. Britain reacted with fury not only at the loss of its most valued prize, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, but because of the blow to its Middle Eastern th e imperial prestige and possessions. Anthony Eden, the British prime minister, called for confronting Iran for the return of stolen property and prevention of the spread of Mussaddiqism in the Arab Middle East.15 As Britains effort to defeat Mussadiq intensified, so did Mussadiqs popularity16 On July 16, 1952, Mussadiq ratcheted up the pressure. In effect, he told the shah that either he must give up his post as the military commander-in-chief or Mussadiq would turn in his resignation. Considering the imme nse popularity of Mussadiq at the time, that meant a possible revolution.17 The shah initially refused and nominated Qavam as the prime minister whom the British favored to form a new government.18 On July 21, 1952 ( Siya Tir ), the revolutionary uprising, which was organized by nationalists led by Mussadiq, Is lamists led by Kashani, and socialists led by the Tudeh, began to mutiny in the military. The generals ordered soldiers back to their barracks, and protestors began to control the streets. By 5 p.m., news of the victory of 14 Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions pp. 261-266. Also, Katouzian, Musaddiq and the Struggle for Power in Iran pp. 117. 15 Katouzian, Musaddiq and the Struggle for Power in Iran p. 122. 16 Britain first referred Iran to the International Court of Justice in The Hague and later to the National Security Council, but it lost its cases. Britain also began to use its various embassies throughout Iran as the basis for fomenting opposition, but Mussadiq closed all of them. Then the British economic blockade worsened the economic conditions of Iran, but it was not enough to bring down Mussa diqs government. Finally, Britain resorted to military means by lobbying for a military coup. See Katouzian, Musaddiq and the Struggle for Power in Iran 122-25 17 It appears that Mussadiq was content to retire. In his me moir, he alludes to his fatalistic desire to go back to retirement. Also see Mohammad Mussadiq, "Public Letter of Resignation," Ittial'lat July 17, 1952. 18 Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions p. 270.

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160 Mussadiqs supporters was triumphantly broadcasted from the state radio.19 From that point, Siya Tir (July 21) entered into the language as a mythical day when people defeated the state.20 The day after the uprising, Mussadiq effectively used his unmatched popularity to form his second government with the promise of freedom for th e people and independence from foreigners. Once Mussadiqs control of the state was co mplete, the coalition of the contending discourses that had helped him take over the government began to collapse. First, Britain was represented as a defeated power. Hence, what had unified people with contending discourses in their opposition to Britain disappeared. In a number of speeches, Mussadiq attempted to refocus the attention of his opponents back to the Britis h question, but he was not able to do so as Ayatollah Khomeini successfully would do some 37 years later by allowing Americans to be held as hostages.21 In a total reversal of position, Isla mists broke away from Mussadiq and represented him as the enemy of Islam.22 Constitutionalists represented him as a dictator who was in violation of the scared constitution.23 Ironically, Mohamad Reza Shah and modernists 19 The account of how many people were killed or seriously injured ranges from 29 to 750. Abrahamian suggests that 250 were either killed or seriously inju red See Ha'er-zadeh, "Parliamentary Proceedings, 17th Majlis (May 19, 1953). 20 The headline in Ettelaat, July 22, 1952 21 After the 1979 revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini appeared to have understood that he needed to maintain America as the symbol of unity. 22 Haerizadeh, a prominent member of the Majles stated: Mussadiq was out to destroy our country with class conflicts. See, Fateh, Panjah Saal Naft-E Iran/Fifty Years of Iranian Oil 23 The right wing of the National Front was comprised of well-known individuals such as Ayatollah Kashani, by then a member of the Majlis; Bager Kazemi a respected non-clerical Muslim devotee; Mehdi Bazargan, a new breed of highly educated Muslim devotees, the head of the Islamic Society. For reversal of the National Front fortune, see Mohammed Reza, Mission for My Country Mohammed Reza, Answer to History

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161 represented Mussadiq as a Britis h agent and an anti monarchist.24 Finally, the Tudeh represented him as an American stooge trying to serve the interest of U.S. imperialism rather than Britain.25 However, despite the collapse of the hegemonic coalition build by Mussadiq and counterpoised to Britain, Mussa diqs popular support surpasse d the support of all other contending discourses combined. Up to the day of his fall from power, Mussadiq maintained the support of some of the most respected public in tellectuals, journalists, lawyers, politicians, ulama, younger generation of military officers, a nd clearly the majority of the press.26 However, external events once again sealed whatever fate Irans democratization might have had. After the 1953 CIA-backed coup succeeded and Mussadiqs gove rnment fell, the discourse of modern monarchism became the official state discourse for the next 27 years. I will discuss the construction and collapse of that discourse in Chapter 6. Political Identity of Demo cratic N ationalism (1951-1953) By signifying people, the discourse of demo cratic nationalism constituted the meanings of order and security, development and modern ization, law and civilizat ion, Islam and ethics, 24 Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions p. 321. 25 The Tudeh perceived Mussadiq in two ways. The old generation of Tudeh represented and understood Mussadiq as the representative of the national bourgeois in a pr ogressive struggle against the shahs feudalism and British imperialism. The younger and more radical wing of the Tudeh, closely following the Soviet line, represented Mussadiq as the representative of the comprador bourgeois linked to American imperialism. The pages of Be-su-ya Ayandih ( Toward the Future ), which officially reflected the views of the Tudeh Party Ce ntral Committee, is full of texts representing these two approaches. This ambiguity in the Tudehs position toward the National Front resulted in a fatal blow not only to the discourse of democratic-nationalism in Iran, but also to the Tudeh that bore the brunt of the Shahs repression after the CIA coup of 1953. In sh ort, the Tudeh primarily identif ied with the class-analysis, and thus its support for Mussadiq was contingent upon how it interpreted the state of cap italism in Iran. However, as the Mussadiqs grip on the co ntrol of the state became str onger after the event of July 21, the Tudeh became more oppositional toward Mussadiq because it was gaining more co nfidence that after Mussadiqs fall, it could easily take over the states. The Tudeh Party had proven that it had the ability to mobilize more than 300,000 people. See "Mussadegh, the Politics of Oil, and American Foreign Policy" (Upper Montclair, New Jersey, Oct. 30, 1992). For a review of why the Tudeh did not mobilize, see the General Discussion of a conference held by some of the most well-known Iranian experts, "Protest in Baharestan Circle," Ettelaat August 17, 1953. 26 The morning after the initial coup, which appeared to have failed, thousands of people gathered in Bahrestan to protest the coup. People brought down many of Reza Shah and Mohammad Reza Shah statues. See Said Fatemi, "To End the Pain of Hunger, a Man Hunged Himself," Bakhtar Emrouz June 1949.

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162 and class and justice. Through a particular signification of pe ople, democratic nationalists imagined an ideal nation-state in which the people were represented as a unified body with no distinction made between Persia ns and non-Persians, capitalists and workers, civilized citizens and savages, Muslims and non-Muslims, and mo dern and traditional. In other words, the people became the basic signifier that linked a series of images, words, and practices to construct a political space in which differences in Self disappeared to constitute a unified body called the people conceptualized as the absolu te sovereign; therefor e, the provider and the beneficiary of order or security, law, development, justice, and ethics. However, transforming the fragmented body of the nation into a unified Self needed a historically available and socially understood sign or symbol in the language. That sign was Kharejian (foreigners), which was already related to how Iranians imagined themselves in relation to others. Since the 1906 Constitutio nal Revolution, the word foreigner ( Kharejian ) had signified weakness, poverty, misery, insecurit y, and domination of Self by arrogance, power, and wealth over others. Yet Kharijian had exited into the language in many forms. To transform this heterogeneity into homogeneity needed anot her available, possible, and imaginable sign in the language. That sign was the AIOC, which linke d Britain. Foreigners re flected all that was imagined wrong with Iranno independence, no freedom, no law, underdevelopment, class injustice, and unethical practices In effect, this discourse re presented Iran as a collective body threatened by the AIOC and Britain. In the discourse on democratic nationalism, Iran was represented as a biological body whose very surv ival was threatened by Britain. Through this practices, the people were motivated and mob ilized as though they were a singular body threatened by Britain. In the next section, I will discuss how rhet oric, policies, and practices in the discourse constructed a political space in which people were turned into the absolute

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163 sovereign and thus the legitimate provider of security, development, law, democracy, equality, and social ethics. Imagining the Nation Motivating, Unifying, and Mobilizing the People Representing people as the absolute soverei gn discursively construc ted a singular body of a nation in opposition to foreign powers and their Iranian agents. The binary representation of people opposing foreigners translated into the struggle for pe oples motivation and mobiliza tion. Articulating this representation we re individuals such as Khalil Maleki, Ali Shayigan, Ahmad Razavi, Jalal Naini, Rahmat Mustafavi, and Hussein Fatemi. The latter three men edited a daily paper titled Bakhtar-i Emruz ( Todays East ), which became the official organ of the National Front. However, as the NF fragmented, the paper remained a loyal promoter of Mussadiqs discourse of democratic nationalism until the fall of his government. By representing the people as a unified body in a life-and-death struggle, Bakhtar-i Emruz motivated the people to take the state away from foreign usurpers of power and establish the peoples sovereignty ( hukumat-i mardumi ). For example, in its first is sue in 1949, the headline read, To End the Pain of Hunger, a Man Hung Himself.27 The piece is not, however, about the plight of a man; it is about the body of the nation that is dying because of corrupt and incompetent stateelites who pursued their own self-inter est and the interests of foreigners ( Kharejian ), but ignored the horrible socio-political conditions of the nation. The paper stat ed that if the el ites were of the people, the suffering would end. The paper therefore argued that the only solution for ending the suffering was for the people to establish the peop les sovereignty, free from the contamination of 27 "Commemorating Imam Hussein's Birthday," Bakhtar Emruz May, 9 1950.

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164 Kharejian and their Iranian agents. In other words, the paper represented a man as a dying embodiment of a nation that had to esta blish its own peoples sovereignty. This was done by representing peoples sovereig nty as a natural fact of history embedded in both Persian and Islamic myths. For example, for the occasion of commemorating Imam Husseins birthday, Bakhtar-i Emruz compared th e present with the past by suggesting, despite all odds, that Imam Hussein struggled against the unjust rulers and thus created an epic example of valor for resisting unjust rule and promo ting freedom and justice for people. The text represented Imam Hussein as a contemporary nationa list in a struggle to bu ild a state free from foreign domination and/or intervention. 28 In other words, signifying the people as the absolute sovereign not only motivated and mobilized peop le, but also drew upon the meaning of Islamic and Persian myths. Signifying the people as the source of governing was how Mussadiqs government came to power and maintained it for 27 months. For example, a year after Mussadiqs governme nt had been in power, he decided to place the military and police under civilian rule. The shah refused to give up his most prized authority, and the matter was settled in the street. On th e anniversary of the upr ising in July 21, 1952 ( Si-ya Tir), Bakhtar-i Emruz described the ideals of democratic nationalism in which people are represented as a unified body resurr ected in a great Jihad to achi eve the peoples sovereignty and thus freedom, independence, law, de velopment, justice, and ethics.29 The text argued: In that historical day with words and blood we call for freedom and understood that freedom is not a gift.30 This representation util izes Islamic myths to 28 "Si-Ya Tir, the Day of National Resurrection," Bakhtar Emruz Monday, July 20, 1953/1332. 29 As a reminder, Si-ya Tir is the day of the showdown between Mussadiqs government and the shahs appointed, Qavams government. Mussadiq won this battle. 30 Fatemi, "Si-Ya Tir, the Day of National Resurrection."

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165 invoke the Marxist language of historical struggle, not agains t class enemies, but against Kharejian and their historically de termined fates. The text then represented the people as the legitimate source of laws. It stated: We have waited to see a constitutional gove rnment; now, we will build one by ourselves. We will first level your palaces and then construct our nation on their rubbles. We will free ourselves from centuries of misery and slavery, and we will build a government of the people, by the people. We will break all idols and idolatries, and we will demand our rights and freedom.31 The text also represented the people as the legitimate interpreter of the law: The government uselessly invoked the constitution, rules, procedur es, and laws; all that it had already been corrupted.32 Moreover, the text represented the p eople as a historically united body: We the people shared a divine unity [inherited] from our forefathers whose voices came from within us, we want to destroy this shameful des potism and restore the spirit of our constitution, we want freedom for our people and fighting us is as if you are fighting the words of God.33 While the people were represented as a singular body with a common history, faith, blood, will, and leadership, their religious, tribal, class, and historical differences were muted. Moreover, the peoples enemy was al so represented as a historical entity their fathers had fought but had not won yet. The text ar gued that we Iranians had not ye t cut the hands of foreigners and the backstabbing traitors, a nd by relying on the infinite po wer of the people led by our beloved leader, Mussadiq, we will soon establish our sovereignty fully.34 Discursively, in the historical and religious struggle between the people and their foreign enemies, the very life of the nation is threatened by internal and external enemies. Moreover, the 31 Ibid. 32 Ibid. 33 Ibid. 34 Jamal Emami, "Parliamentary Proceedi ngs," (1951), 16th Majles, Nov. 13.

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166 people were represented as the absolute sovereig n and thus the source of security, development, law, equality, and Islamic ethics. As such, Mussad iq always threatened to go to the people, and his opponents used to deride hi m for using street politics.35 In a fiery speech to the Majlis (Parliament), Jamal Emami proteste d, Statecraft has degenerated in to street politics. It appears that this country has nothing better to do than hold street meetings.36 According to Emami: Is our premier a statesman or a mob leader? What type of premier says, I will speak to the people every time he is faced with a political question? I always considered this man to be unsuitable for high office. But I never imagined, even in my worst nightmare, that an old man of seventy would turn into a rabble -rouser. A man who constantly surrounds the Majlis with thugs is nothi ng less than a public menace.37 Indeed, for democratic nationalists, motiva ting, unifying, and mobilizing people created a political space in which imagining people as the absolute sovereign was conceivable, and that conceivability permeated the meaning of how law, development, social or class justice, and Islamic and Persian ethics were interpreted. Moreover, for democratic nationalists, what remained constant before and after Mussadiq s takeover of the government was how the nation saw itself in terms of its historical str uggle against foreigners embodied in Britain. Imagining People as the Source of Law As discussed in the p revious chapters, law has been one of the basic signifiers in the shaping of Iranian contending discourses iden tities. Since the 1906 C onstitutional Revolution, law, constitution, civilization, and the West had been discursively constructed in their relational differences to despotism, lawlessness, and absolutism in the East in general and Iran in particular. These relational linkages and differe nces remained in the language practices of 35 Ettelaat, June 20, 1951. 36 See Fateh, Panjah Saal Naft-E Iran/Fifty Years of Iranian Oil p. 580. 37 Quoted in Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions p. 267-268. Translation in, Said Fatemi, "Either Freedom or Death ( Ya Marg, Ya Azadi )," Bakhtar August 18, 1949.

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167 democratic nationalists. They sh aped how the West was signif ied as being lawful, civilized, and industrialized democracies where freedom, justic e, and ethics flourished. This representation was constructed in opposition to the East. Said Fatemi, one the founder of Bakhtar, wrote : In the West, the level of civilization and develo pment of a country is measured in terms of a political environment in which freedom, justice, and good governance flourish. In the East, after many generations of struggle to achieve freedom and justice, we do not yet understand the meanings of these concepts. We cannot even contemplate that there is another world out there [the West], where people do not suffer from despotic tyranny, invasion, force, and despotism. But out be yond our grassless, waterless, and desolate deserts, there is a world called the West A world where people do not fear from government-owned bayonets; where people do not a dulate their leaders by force or for the sake of their survival; and where elites do not betray their own people to succeed in politics. However, under this colonial rule we call the Ea st, people cannot decide for themselves, people are not sovereign, and peopl e live as animals do in the state of nature the state of nature where only th e fittest and st rongest survive.38 In this representation, the East-W est is catergorized as the civ ilized West in opposition to the state of nature in the colonized East. The text then makes a clear differentiation between the West and foreigners. In other words, the We st is not a concrete geographic location or homogenous concept. Instead, the West is dic hotomized: the West where people are sovereign and states are lawful, civilize d, industrialized, and democratic, and the West where foreigners, colonizers, and despots and their supporters originate.39 In this country, leaders sell their beliefs for pennies; legislatures pride themselves for their association with foreign embassies, but feel hum iliated to stand up for the interest of the people. While the government suffocates pa triotic writers and citizens, it rewards sycophants and traitors.40 In short, the signifier for democratic nati onalists was the people in opposition to Western foreigners, colonizers, despots, and corrupt leaders, all of whom the discourse labeled as 38 Fatemi, "Either Freedom or Death ( Ya Marg, Ya Azadi )." 39 Ibid. Bakhtar is another name for various versions of Bakhtar Emruz, which was repeatedly suspended by the government, and it was republished under different versions of the same name. 40 Musaddiq, Musaddiq's Memoirs p. 354.

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168 Kharejian (foreigners). However, Kharejian were not yet equated to the West as a whole. Instead, the West was glorified as the place wh ere people were sovereign, and the West where foreigners came from. Discourse of Developing the State Freedom, Independence In this interp retation, the relational opposition between Irani and Khareji shaped how freedom and independence were represente d, understood, and practiced. For democratic nationalists, peoples freedom m eant independence from foreign powers in economics, politics, and foreign relations. Mussadiq wr ote: For me and men like me, a foreigner is a foreigner whatever his aims and ideology. What can anyone do when every clique of foreign agents seeks the dominance of its own master, and the dest ruction of men like me in this country?41 In this rhetorical practice, nationalism and nationalizing are equated to independence from foreign powers. This articulatory practice was concei ved as good because it linked the peoples sovereignty to nationalizing the AIOC: (a) pur suing economic autarky, (b) subordinating the military to civilian rules, (c) forcing the shah to reign rather than rule, (d) constructing history accordingly, and (e) following a policy of non-alignment. Political Development Representin g the people as the absolute s overeign meant construc ting relational linkages between people as being the legitimate source of constructing a political order and establishing security. Representing the people as the provid er of security and development was in sharp contrast to how modern absolutists represented political development, which was embodied in the shah. When Mohamad Reza Shah formed the Senate, Mussadiq declared it as illegal and 41 Mohammad Mussadiq, Speeches by Dr. Mussadiq 2vols. (Tehran: Bee Jaa, 1979/1348), v. 2, p. 14.

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169 illegitimate because it did not re present the people. In all thes e arguments, Mussadiq represented people as the legitimate source of laws. To de value criticism that Mussadiq was not following the law, he would occasionally argue that the constitution was for the nation, not the nation for the constitution.42 In contrast, he would criticize his opponents for not paying attention to public opinion.43 Mussadiq argued that if Mohamad Reza Shah ruled as an English monarch does instead of an absolutist despot, his fathers fate would not be awaiting himdying in exile alienated from his people and without the support of his foreign allies.44 He often said: The king of England is highly respected because he stands outside politi cs and avoids the dirty business of appointing and dismissing ministries, deputies, and governors.45 Classifying people as the absolute sovereign created the possibility of reclassifying the shah as a historical institution and not the embodiment of the state as modern absolutists depicted him. For example, on the ninth anniversary of Moha mad Reza Shahs rule, the editorial column of Bakhtar-i Emruz referred to the shah as the young, kind, and democratic shah of Iran. Referring to the Soviet occupation, the paper admire d the patriotic role the shah had played in returning Azerbaijan and Kurdistan back to th e fatherland. The piece argued that the shahs Western education was a positive attr ibute that gave him the necessa ry insight to care about the deplorable conditions of Iranians and compassion for his people. The piece stated: Without any doubt whatsoever, if all those who are responsible fo r the affair of this country cared to perform their national duties as consciously as the shah did, then, these gloomy conditions would cease to 42 Ibid., p. 22. 43 For example, his rhetoric ag ainst Razmara, see Musaddiq, Musaddiq's Memoirs 44 Ibid. 45 "The Ninth Anniversary of His Reign ," Bakhtar Emruz Sep. 5, 1949.

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170 exist.46 In other words, the text differentiated th e shah from the corrupt state-elites. This representation of the shah c ontinued until the 1953 coup became apparent. From then on, the shah was never again represented as democratic, progressive, or a part of the people. In fact, for all the contending discourses, the shah b ecame the symbol of foreign domination and intervention. Following this logic, in 1952 Mussadiq form ally requested the subordination of the military to the civilian rule, which would effectivel y force the shah to reign rather than rule. On the other hand, the shah viewed himself as the absolute sovereign and saw the military as his personal inheritance, the relinquishment of which w ould mean the fall of the state, so he refused to give up his post. Mussadiq resigned, but his resignation set off the event of Si-ya Tir, which could have blown into a full-scale revolution. Thus, the shah was forced to give up his role as the commander in chief of the military and police. Additionally, Mussadiq legally barred the sh ah from negotiating with foreign diplomats without the knowledge of the Majlis or the presence of a cabinet member at all meetings. Nevertheless, the United States and Britain main tained their direct cont act with the shah, the military, and some of the deputies in the Majlis. Since democratic nationalists perceived people as the sovereign, the perceived freedom, independence, and development in a relational opposition to foreigners was embodied in Britain and, to a lesser extent, the Soviet Union. In effect, during this era, two government s existed, each with a different vision of independence from foreigners and thus political order and development. Modern absolutists viewed the shah as the sovereign. They ther efore saw Mussadiq as th e embodiment of anti46 Mussadiq, Speeches by Dr. Mussadiq p. 22.

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171 Iranian monarchic nationalism and the correspondi ng ways of perceiving economic and political development.47 Economic Development The key to econom ic development for democrat ic nationalists was its independence from foreign powers. In contrast to modern absoluti sm supporters, who wanted rapid, large-scale, and state-led growth in alliance with a supportive great power, demo cratic nationalists wanted a gradual, middle-sized, and locally-based deve lopmental program. Interestingly, Mussadiqs economic plan was very similar to the British eco nomic plan at the time, and it did not deviate from the economic principles of the Plan Orga nization proposed by the United States. However, neither one of these powers saw Mussadiqs eco nomic plans for its objectives, which was to promote domestic economic growth by small and mid-size industries, diversification, and uprooting the old and corrupted forces in operati on in Iran, as the American consulting firm, the Overseas Consultants Inc. (OCI) had advised. Thus, the intransigencies on behalf of Britain and Iran were less about the substantive conten t of economic policies than the articulatory practices of them. On one hand, Britain refused to accept Irans rights to nationalize properties even though Iran had agreed to pay a fair market valu e for the AIOC. Fakreddin Azimi contends: Refusing to believe that the movement for the nationalization of the oil industry was anything more than spurious, the British dism issed Mussadegh as a Lunatic, impervious to reason, unable or ill-equipped to identify, understand or safeguard the interests of his country. Perceiving their privileg ed position to be beneficial to Iran, if not part of the natural order of things, they were determined to save Iran from itself, and purportedly from communism, by whatever means necessary.48 47 Fakhreddin Azimi, "Mussadegh, Iranian Nationalism and O il (paper presented at the Mussadegh, the Politics of Oil, and American Foreign Policy Oct 30, 1992), pp. 24-25. 48 Ibid., p. 24.

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172 On the other hand, Mussadiq perceived anythi ng less than the explic it recognition of the nationalization of oil industry as a defeat of national as piration and conc omitantly the undermining of democratic objectives.49 Alternatively, the World Banks formula for settling the dispute between Iran and Britain could have been acceptable, had it explicitly recognized Irans sovereign rights as the Internationa l Court of Justice in The Hague had done.50 The oil nationalization issue was about identity issues rather than objective and disinterested economic issues for Iranians. According to Hussein Ma ki, before Baghai became an ardent enemy of Mussadiq, he had declared that I rans oil resources should be dest royed by an atom bomb rather than remain in the AIOCs hands.51 In other words, the understanding of economic development was not based on some objective econo mic criteria independent of the politics of identity, which linked nationalization to Iran s independence. As such, nationalization was represented as the only way to cure Iran s underdevelopment. Mussadiq would occasionally reiterate, There would be no way to assure Ira ns freedom and independen ce unless all of its oil industry is nationalized.52 Interestingly, the legal term that the government used to describe the oil nationaliza tion policy was Khal-i Yad, which literally means hands off. This term invoked the oppositional relation between a prop erty owner and a thief. Conve rsely, Britain branded Iranian oil sold to third parties during the dispute as stolen property.53 49 Musaddiq, Musaddiq's Memoirs PP. 334-354. 50 For information on how Mussadiq felt about this issue, see, Katouzian, Musaddiq and the Struggle for Power in Iran p. 137. 51 Mussadiq, Speeches by Dr. Mussadiq v. 1, p. 109. 52 Katouzian, Musaddiq and the Struggle for Power in Iran pp. 122-125. 53 Ibid., p. 141.

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173 In other words, both economic and political development were represented, understood, and practiced in terms of i ndependence from foreign powers.54 That is why even negotiation with foreign powers appeared suspicious, unpatr iotic, and conspiratorial. Conversely, economic independence, self-sufficiency, and self-reliance appeared patriotic and good. This articulatory practice justified the nationalization of the AI OC and the non-renewal of the Soviet Union fishing concession in the Casp ian Sea. It also justified other economic policies pushed by Mussadiqs government. Mussadiq argued that if Iran denied the nationalization of the AIOC, other countries, which implied the Soviet Union, would not have an excuse to demand favorable concessions.55 Mussadiqs government encouraged domestic economic growth by reforming civil, criminal, press, administrative, tax, and labor laws, and by reducing the military budget concomitant with increasing export and decreasing import.56 Pursuing these policies under economic sanctions was challenging, but Mussa diqs government was gradually overcoming them.57 On the other hand, marketi ng oil directly to buyers wa s beginning to diminish the effectiveness of Britains naval blockade and the U. S. refusal to buy Iranian oil. It appeared that the government was on its way to recovering from the initial shock of the oil nationalization project. 54 Katouzian also made this argument, that is, establishing a sovereign state was more important to Mussadiq than immediate economic development; see, Mussadiq, Speeches by Dr. Mussadiq p.116. 55 Ibid., p. 13. 56 James Bill and Roger Louis, eds., Mussaddiq, Iranian Nationalization and Oil (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1988), p. 223. 57 "Carrying Iranian Oil to Japan Is a Great New Loss for England.," Ettelaat April 14, 1953.

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174 For example, news of Japanese and Italia n oil tankers arrivin g, loading, and leaving Abadan was enthusiastically reported as if Iran had alrea dy defeated Britain.58 In a sense, the government began to treat the oil issue as if it had already won the bat tle, and all indications pointed that way. According to Katouzian, On purely economic grounds, the fall of Mussadiqs government was by no means inevitable.59 In short, the discourse of de mocratic nationalism constructed a political space that made a particular representation, description, and ra tionalization of economic development as the only way to assure Irans aspiration for freedom, independence, and development. All other alternatives or possibilities were represented as bad, foreign-driven, and detrimental to Irans survival. Even history was reconstructed to pr ove the point. Mussadiq argued: I was opposed to oil concession ever since the 9 Majlis when the 1933 Agreement was concluded [and] I was certain that, as long as fore ign powers operated Irans oil resources, this country would never see the face of freedom independence and development.60 Foreign Relations De mocratic nationalists imagined the nation as a singular body unite d in a historical struggle against Kharejian. This dichotomization of Iran vers us foreigners permeated into the conduct of foreign policy. Patr iotism meant standing up to Kharejian and betrayal meant supporting foreigners. For example, in his memoir, to prove that he has always been a patriot, Mussadiq wrote: 58 For example, a front page title read, Carrying Iranian Oil to Japan Is a Great New Loss for England. In a celebratory tone, another title on the same day read, Loading the Twenty-Thousand-Ton Japanese Tanker Finished and It Left Abadan Today; Tomorrow Loading the Five-Thousand-Ton Italian Tanker Begins. See Bill and Louis, eds., Mussaddiq, Iranian Nationalization and Oil p. 225. 59 Mussadiq, Speeches by Dr. Mussadiq 60 Musaddiq, Musaddiq's Memoirs pp. 280-281.

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175 It bears witness to the fact that, in the enti re period of my premiership, I had no insidious dealings with any foreign power which plays an important rule in Ir anian politics, be it England or the Soviet Union. It shows that I have put the interest of my country above everything else, including my own life, and all my words and deeds have been in the service of the Iranian people. It also provides that the blow ag ainst me was due to the plans drawn up by foreign powers, and executed on th e orders of some of my fellow countrymen [that is, the shah].61 The text counterpoised Iran and foreign interests. The formation of this particular construct translated into the foreign policy of what democratic nationalists called negative equilibrium ( Muvazeneh-Manfi ) as opposed to positive equilibrium ( Muvazeneh-Musbat ), which had been the dominant discourse in Iranian foreign policy for decades. The phrase Muvazeneh-Mosbat (positive equilibrium) is revealing. It is the Farsi translation of the term balance of power, which had essentially entered political texts from the West. In the context of Iranian politics, positiv e equilibrium meant playing the interest of the Soviets or Russia against Britain by auctioning off major concessions to one or the other party. This policy had grave economic and political costs for Iran that, as a weak power, was always a loser whether the two powers competed or c ooperated. During the competition between the powers, each power negotiated various deals with Iran to reinforce its ow n position in relation to the power of its competitor, which always w eakened Irans position. During cooperation between the two powers, both negotiated with one another as how to divide Iran without even bothering to negotiate with Iran, for example, the 1907 Agreement between Britain and Russia. However, the concept of negative equilibrium was not a Western concept. Jawaharlal Nehru first articulated the concept of non-alignm ent in 1947, which essentia lly rejected the EastWest or the communist-capitalist bifurcation, and encouraged the policy of non-alignment, which called for independence from domination, intervention, and riva lry of great powers. 61 Hussein Kay Ustovan, Siyasat-I Muvazaneh-I Manfi Dar Majlis Chardahum (the Politics of NegativeEquillibrium in the 14th Majlis (Tehran: Muzafar, 1950), v. 1, p. 193.

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176 Nehrus doctrine of non-alignment had great intellectual traction in Iran. In fact, it coincided with the split in the generally pr o-Soviet position of the Tudeh Party and the eventual rise of the Third Force, which became the intellectual engine for representing the ideals of the discourse of democratic nationalism. Members of the Third Fo rce were among the most loyal supporters of Mussadiq.62 In other words, negative equilibrium entered the texts as the opposite of positive equilibriuma concept that alrea dy existed and was perceived as a failure in dealing with British and Soviet-Russia. Despite these distinctions, however, the two c oncepts were not exac tly antonyms. Negative equilibrium had much broader political, economic and foreign policy implications. It meant independence from foreign powers, and the c oncept entered the language as an opposite of positive equilibrium, which signified the opposition to the dominant discourse of foreign policy in Iran. Mussadiq articulated ne gative equilibrium in terms of independence from foreign powers manifested in his attitude toward Br itain and the Soviet Union. In the 14th Majlis he argued: Those who insist on pursuing the policy of positive equilibrium in effect argue that we must also give up the rights to our northern oil fields for the next ninety-two years [referring to the British 1933 Agreement] in or der to make a positive balance. This flawed logic is similar to the logic of asking a man, who has lost one of his arms, to cut his other arm for the sake balancing his body.63 The understanding of negative equilibrium would have been impossible without counterpoising it against positive equilibrium, which was inevitably linked to the role of Britain and SovietRussia in Iran, though it was not linked to the role of the United States. In other words, although the doctrine of negative-equilibrium was supposed to apply to all fore ign powers, it actually 62 The discourse of the Third Force, especially the pos ition of neither East nor West, eventually permeated the language of all opposition against the shah and his acqui escent alliance with the West, which included both the Soviet and the United States. 63 George C. McGhee, "Recollection of Dr. Muhammad Mussadiq," in Mussadiq Iranian Nationalization and Oil ed. James A Bill and WM. Roger Louis (Austin: University of Texas, 1988).

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177 applied to Britain and the Soviet Union, but not the United States. In fact, Mussadiq wanted to engage the United States in Iran, and he never cr iticized the increasing role of United States in the military, the Plan Organization, and the court. The United States was not identified a foreign power until the post-coup era. Relations with the United States, Britain, and the Soviet Union: During this era, 19511953, the United States was not considered an insi dious foreign power. In fact, it was represented as a democratic and friendly stat e. Mussadiqs trust in the United States was reflected in his belief that the United States (a) would understa nd Irans position against the AIOC, (b) would not stop buying Iranian oil, (c) would not block Irans request for a loan from the World Bank, and (d) would facilitate private inve stment in Irans oil industries. Mussadiq relied upon the know ledge that the United States wa s, in fact, a democratic and friendly state. In Mussadiqs visit to the Unite d States in 1952, his le tter to President Harry Truman, and his appeal to the American people, he tried to convince Amer ica of the democratic characteristics of his government. For Mussadiq, it was inconceivable that the United States would throw in its lot with Britain against the de mocratically elected government in Iran. In fact, when Mussadiq received an invitation from Pr esident Truman, it gave him the false impression that Truman would sympathize with Irans position.64 According to George McGhee, Mussadiq understood the United States as a fr iendly state and could not concei ve of the possibility that the United States would take the side of the shah and Britain to the detr iment of his government. McGhee argued that Mussadiq was confident th at the United States took the threat of 64 Ibid., pp. 302-304.

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178 communism seriously enough not to allow his government to fall.65 Even during the CIA coup, the United States was not identified as an enemy state. For example, on the afternoon of August 16, 1953, when it appeared that the coup had failed and the shah had escaped to Italy, pe ople began to converge in front of the Majlis By 3 p.m., in the burning heat of August in Tehran, th ousands of people were shouting death to the coup makers, long live the nation, and hang the coup makers. Addressing the crowd were some of the most prominent state officials such Hussein Fatemi, Jalali, Shaygan, and Razavi. In their addresses, no one mentioned the United States or its role.66 It was not yet conceivable that the United States would overthrow or se riously oppose Mussadiqs government. At the time, the dominant discourse was th at Mussadiqs government benefited the United States. This discourse was not only prominent among nationalists but also among socialists, although in two hierarchic formations. Demo cratic nationalists perceived Mussadiqs government as a democratic alternative against the pro-Soviet Tudeh party and, therefore, a natural ally of Western democr acies led by U.S. socialists. On the other hand, the democratic nationalists portrayed Mussadiq as a liberal democrat standing against the cause of international communism. They accused Mussadiq of paving the wa y for the United States to replace Britain. For example, on July 14, 1952, when President Trum an sent Averell Harriman to mediate Irans dispute with the AIOC, the Tudeh party represente d the trip as proof of a complete sell-out to the United States, and it organized one of the largest and bloodiest demonstrations aimed at discrediting the government.67 Although from two different point s of view, both nationalists and socialists perceived Mussadiq as a natural ally of the United States. 65 "Protest in Baharestan Circle," pp. 1-4. 66 Katouzian, Musaddiq and the Struggle for Power in Iran p. 116. 67 Mohammad Mussadiq, "The Prime Minister Raido Message to the Nation Et-iha'lat April 6, 1953.

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179 At the time, for democratic nationalists, the conditions of conceivab ility for understanding the United States as an enemy did not yet exist. A ccording to Said Fatemi, the personal translator of Mussadiq and the nephew of Hussein Fatemi Irans foreign minister at the time, Mussadiq was occasionally told of British spies inf iltrating the government, but Mussadiq would confidently respond, Let them be so th ey know what it is that we are doing.68 To Mussadiq, the British conspiracy against him and Iran was an act of British nature, but the United States was not yet imagined as an enemy. In his radio speech after the failed February coup in 1953, which turned out to be a practice run for the August coup, Mussadiq reported the deta ils of what had occurred without mentioning one word about the American involvement. But his speech was full of references to the role of Britain. He said: Colonial governments are adaptiv e to their conditions; they ha ve always misused any type of internal differences for their own sinist er end. For the last 150 years, whoever has struggled to defend the interest our nation, they have eliminat ed them with treachery and duplicity. From the 1921 coup until now, the British have wanted to see me in despair and defeat.69 Then he reminded the people of his suffering, impr isonment, exile, and at least two assassination attempts perpetrated by the British. He concluded: The February event was yet another instance of our national enemy conspiring against our people. However, the people of Iran were awar e of the truth and, once more, they did not allow the enemies of Iran to defeat our national movement.70 In the text, which is typical of the official texts during the months leading to the coup, Britain is the main enemy of Iran, Mussadiq is the savior of Iranian nationalism, and true Iranians are those who oppose Britain, disengage from the Soviet Union, and support Mussadiq. In other 68 Sa d F temi, Mussadiqs Challenges, Speech for Iranian Cultural Society of South Florida, unpublished. 69 Mussadiq, "The Prime Minister Raido Message to the Nation ". 70 Bill and Louis, eds., Mussaddiq, Iranian Nationalization and Oil p. 222.

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180 words, democratic nationalists represented thei r friends and foes acco rding to a particular identity formation that reinforced the perception of Self in relation to Others. Conclusion This chapter dem onstrated how Mussadiq came to power by captivating the collective imagination of the nation by unifying them agai nst the AIOC, which symbolized the British colonial policies. In a seemi ngly routine trade negotiation, th e once celebrated 1933 Agreement, like a ghost from the past, began to haunt Britai n, the shah, and their allies while it loosely connected otherwise competing discourses. In a relatively short period, democratic nationalists represented British ownership of Irans oil industry for all its ills, for example, poverty, corruption, and intervention and/or domination of foreign powers. This promotional practice unified the otherwise competing identities into an ideological bloc agai nst Britain. This bloc became the source of power for democratic nationa lists to impose their identity on the state. Once in power, constitutive of the state identity, policies of st ate building, nation imagining, and foreign policymaking were pursued accordingly. After a year in power, as the government app eared to be winning its struggle against the AIOC, Mussadiqs ideological bloc began to collapse, and vari ous contending discourses once again began to pursue their resp ective idealized nation-state. However, had it not been for the military interference of the United States, Mussadiqs government would have survived. In fact, on February 28, 1953, Mussadiq embarrassed Mohamad Reza Shah when he easily foiled a coup attempt against his government. He arrested some of the same state-paid hooligans who had been released from prison on August 19 so they could beat, injure, and kill opponents of Mohamad Reza Shah and attack Mu ssadiq and his supporters.71 In the weeks preceding the August coup, 71 One of the better known figures who led the February 28 coup was Shaban Jafary, also known as Bee-Mukh (the Brainless or the Bully). On February 28, he led his street gang, intent on murdering Mussadiq as he was coming out

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181 Mussadiq was very well aware that a coup was be ing planned, but he could not imagine that the United States would get involved with an illegal and undemocratic act.72 Indeed, Mussadiq did not see the United States as an enemy. Hence, he was confident that his government would survive any possible coup attempt by Britain. He was so overconfident that as the August coup was well under way, he mistook the initial setback by the coup makers as another success. Thus, to prevent bloodshed, he did not mobilize his popu lar support. According to eyewitnesses, up to 3 p.m. on the afternoon of August 19, the street protests in Tehran looked as normal as any other day. Although various opposing iden tities intensely competed to ta ke over the state, had it not been for the U.S.-backed coup, the chances for Mussadiqs government survival would have been high, for no other identity had the bread th and the depth of Mussadiqs popular support.73 After the coup, once again, the people were re presented in a relational opposition to the foreign others, which turned out to be the United States and Mohamad Reza Shah. I will illustrate these practices in Chapters 6. of an arranged meeting with the shah, but Mussadiq escaped. Ironically, when the shahs brother was questioned about the security of the palace or lack thereof, he responded: People are free to demonstrate anywhere they want. Notwithstanding the irony of this statement after the bloody and repressive years of the coup, on August 19, once again, Shaban the Brainless, escorted by military personnel carriers, led his gang to Mussadiqs house. Again, for the purpose of killing him. 72 A personal interview with Dr. Said Fatemi, nephew of Dr Hussein Fatemi, and the offi cial translator of Mussadiq during the hearing in the International Court of Justice. Florida International University, conference arranged by the Iranian Cultural Society, 1999. 73 For politics of interventions, see Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions p. 419.

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182 CHAPTER 6 THE CONSTRUCTION AND COL LAPSE OF MODERN MONARCHISM (1953-1979) Introduction This chapter discusses h ow the state official discourse alienated itsel f from its own society and provided a conducive condition for constructing a hegemonic bloc against the state. This chapter reviews four successive er as of restoration, reform, conso lidation, and collapse of the shah by demonstrating how the official state practices delegitimized the regime and facilitated the establishment of an Islamic state. The pro cesses of delegitimization of the state occurred despite the states having an absolute monopoly over all the means of vilolence and repression. In this era, the states pactices and policies did not produce the legitimacy the state sought, nor did they convey the messages the state intended. First, I will explain how th e restoration era began when the CIA overthrew Mussadiqs government and ended as the Kennedy administration came to power in January 1961. During this era, the discourse of mona rchic modernism lost much of its representational power. For a majority of the people, the states discourse became the language of domination rather than productive means for producing legitimacy and build ing consensus. Accordingly, the state failed to project onto the society its interpretation of legitimacy. In contrast, contending discourses succeeded in representing the shah as a delegi timate agent of the United States, a country depicted as an imperialistic power. Conte nding discourses also devalued the states modernization as Western domination and the state social norms as unacceptable and corrupt. Second, the era of reform began 1961 and ende d in 1964. As the impetus for the 1953 CIA coup had began with the shift of power from the Truman administration to the Eisenhower administration, the reform era also began w ith the shift of power from the Eisenhower administrations to the Kennedy administration. During the early 1960s, fearing a revolution in

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183 Iran, the Kennedy administration pressured the shah to be less obsessed with security and military build-up and instead be more interested in investing in economic and political reform. As a result of this shift, the shah reluctantly appointed Ali Amini, a man Kennedy preferred to lead a reformist government in Iran. Eventu ally, Aminis government failed, but the shah adopted some of Kennedys reformist agenda. However, the shahs reform delegitimized the state further, even among conservative clerics and landed elitesthe shahs traditional supporters in modern Iranin addition to his previous opposition by nationalists and socialists. The reform resu lted in increasing the size of the state with concentrating its power in the hand s of the shah and a sma ll circle of his cronies who controlled all state resources and institutions. By 1964, once again, the United States Iran policy shifted from economic reform back to secur ity issues. So the reform era ended, and the era of consolidation of power began in a shah-centered state back ed by the United States. Third, the era of absolute cons olidation of power began when the state revenues increased to the extent Iran no longer needed foreign aid and loans. During this era, the shah-centered states representation of its pr actices and policies began to be interpreted according to, and associated with, two different webs of meanings In the official state discourse, the shah was represented as the provider of secu rity, law, progress, ju stice, and ethics, but he was also seen as the divine embodiment of the Persian-Aryan nation. In addition, he was viewed as the key player for Irans alliance with the West in general and the United States specifically. However, for a great majority of Iranians, the shahs language and practices were interpreted as the means of foreign the social reality of do mination and quiescence. In contrast to apolitical Iranians, for political activists who were embedded in the di scourses of democratic nationalism, socialism, and Islamism, a common language of resistance was being formed. Increasingly, political

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184 activists represented the shah-centered state as the hired-hand or the Servant of American imperialism, although for each group of activists the meaning of imperialism differed. For Islamists, imperialism meant an imperial non-Muslim power. For socialis ts, imperialism meant a non-proletarian power. For nationalists, im perialism meant a non-Iranian sovereign. Nevertheless, the association betw een the shah and U.S. imperia lism was articulated by the same words, images, and even associated with the sa me narrative of experiencesthe 1953 CIA coup. Fourth, the era of collapse bega n at the height of the shahs power. A hegemonic bloc of contending discourses began to communicate with a common language of resistance against the Iran-U.S. alliance. This hegemonic discourse glorified a life-and-deat h struggle against the Mohamad Reza Shah and the United States. Accordingly, a shift occurred in the rationality constructed in the language. In this shift, acquiescence to the power of the shah and the United States was devalued, and in contrast the struggle against the shah and the United States became a respectable social value. Writers, poets, movie-makers, actors, and religious clerics whom the shah had imprisoned became the role models of resistance against the unjust regime. In other word s, the language that political activists had articulated for decades permeated into a common language of the people. Accordingly, values, concepts, and rationalities associated with resisting, fighting, and dying for the common cause overthrowing the regime, becam e a part of the language. In this hegemony, while the differences among socialists, nationalists, and Islamists were totally muted, the ideal of struggling against the regime was privileged. In this hegemony, material and institutional resources available to the state were interpreted differently. Unlike previous eras during which the state s monopoly of means of coercion, surveillance, control, discipline, and governance were interpreted as omnipotent,

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185 fearsome, and indestructible, suddenly the same re sources and institutions were interpreted as impotent, benign, and fragile. Instead, contending discourses represented the unity of the people as omnipotent.1 In contrast to previous eras, in these shifts, the people no l onger feared the shah and his coercive means, and they did not imagine the United State as a powerful state. Previously, Iranians had quietly accepted the shahs representa tion of development, law, class-justice, and social norms as a natural reality of the time, but suddenly they no longer accepted them as such. In fact, what was accepted as social reality began to anger them as unethical norms that had to be stopped. Moreover, the shah providing security for the country was understood in terms of insecurity for the people. In sum, the shah-centered state lost its produc tive power to discipline and punish, regulate and control, naturalize power re lations, create quies cence among people, and construct consensus and shared beliefs. The shah-centered state lost its legitimacy. At that po int, the condition of conceivability for imaging anything else but a violent overthrow of the regime became impossible. As the shahs regime was collapsing, Islam became the primary signifier under which a great majority of people united with one voicethe shah must go and Khomeini must rule. But in this unison, a multiplicity of voices, concepts, values, and rationalities arose, which were previously constructed in conte nding discourses in Iran. Neverthele ss, for a particular moment in the time and space of the collective imaginati on of an overwhelming number of Iranians, a monolithic voice appeared that identified Self in an opposition relation with the shah as its main 1 However, this unity formally disappeared only 24 days after the establishment of the Islamic Republic when the state ordered all female employees to wear Hejab (the Islamic dress code).

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186 Other. The result was the collapse of the regime. In brief, this chapter is about the construction and deconstruction of the official state discourse from 1953 to 1979. Part I: Restoration of the Discourse of Modern Monarchism (1953-1979) After the coup on August 19, 1953, the state bega n a two-prong policy of elim inating its opposition and simultaneously building its particul ar vision of the state. Considering U.S. economic and military aid, the granting of various loan packages, and the lifting of the embargo on Irans oil export, all of which had followed im mediately after the coup, the state gained the material power to physically re press its opposition and pursue its particular vision of statebuilding, nation-imaging, and conducting foreign po licy. However, while the state succeeded in eliminating its opposition and somewhat muting the voices of opposition, it failed to influence, shape, or permeate values, concepts, and rationalities embedded in, and expressed by, contending discourses. It seemed that the state spoke in one language and the society mistranslated it into several other languages. In this divide, the state represented itself as a modernizing state headed by the shah as the provider of security a nd the embodiment of law, nationhood, equality, and Islamic ethics. However, a great majority of th e people interpreted the state as an omnipotent foreign entity to be avoided if possible, but to be accepted as necessitated by social reality. In this social environment, while the Iranian soci ety in general acquiesced in the omnipotency of the state, subversive voices of contending discourses appeared in the heavily censored nonofficial texts. In this section, I compare values concepts, and rationalitie s produced by the state with the subversive voices of discontent comi ng from the contending discourses and devaluing the state language as one of deceit, threat and domination. Building and Securitizing the State After the 1953 coup, in a seri es of relational linkages a nd dif ferences, the state was represented as the embodiment of the shah threatened by internal a nd external enemies. With this

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187 relational logic, the shah began to appropriate the largest portion of the states budget to build up a military that was too small to oppose the Soviet Unions supreme conventional forces and too big and blunt for crashing internal unrest or uprisings. Nevertheless, having internal and external enemies for the regime constituted the logic behind the states securitization policy. Constitutive of this securitization was the fu ll backing of the Eise nhower administration, which helped the shah eliminate his opposition a nd begin to build a police state personified by the shah, who represented the em bodiment of progress, law, people, justice, and Islamic norms. The shah began to represent communists, nationalists and Islamic fanatics as threats to the state monarchic order, Persian-Aryan nationalis m, and Irans alliance with the West. From the day after the coup, the state began a brutal round of execu tions, imprisonments, and deportation of many of the well-known l eaders of the opposition. It also banned these leaders organizations and muted their voices.2 In these practices, the communist Tudeh Party paid the heaviest price because the threat of communism was the defining enemy for the states articulatory logic. By the end of 1953, at least 2,300 members of the Tudeh Party were arrested.3 In addition to communists, nationalists were also rounded up. Mussadiq spent three years in prison and then was put under house arrest until his death. Hussein Fatemi, whose newspaper articles, speeches, and actions had turned him into a heroic figure for nationalists, was executed by a firing squad. He was put to death because of his fiery speeches against the shahs illegal acts against the government and his allian ce with the CIA and Britain. In the official state discourse the shah was represented as the embodiment of the state and the people. Constitutive of this representation was the logic of the shahs campaign to represent 2 Jame A Bill, The Eagle Adn the Lion: The Tragedy of American-Iranian Relations (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988), pp. 98-100. 3 Pahlavi Mohammed Reza, "The Shahanshah Message to the Nation Ettelaat August 23, 1953.

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188 the coup as a the peoples resurrection, peopl es revolution, or the shah and peoples uprising.4 However, for three days preceding the coup, the narrative attached to the coup was different. In newspapers, the shah had escaped from Tehran, fearing his people. Additionally, for hundreds of thousands of people who had been mobilized in support of Mussadiq during the tumultuous years preceding the coup, the shahs representation of the 1953 coup as the peoples uprising appeared to be a hollow campaign of re pression and empty words because, in this case, the states representation did not match the exis tential experience of mo st people. Therefore, from the first days of restoring the shahs regi me, two different narratives were linked to the same eventofficial and non-official. For a grea t majority of the people, the coup represented foreign domination headed by the shah. For the stat e, the coup meant the peoples resurrection, supported by Self-like Western allies against enemies of Iran and Western democracies. While the states official narrative c ontinued until the regime fell in 1979, the societal unofficial version lived on despite the passage of time and the states tremendous power to try to propagate its vision. In other words, although the state succeed ed in the physical repression of opposing persons, groups, organizations, and political parties, it failed to eliminate their voices in the language. The result was the construction of tw o languages: the language with which the state represented and understood itself and the language with which the people understood the state. In this section, I will explai n the official discourse of the stat e and then I will review the language of resistance to the state. 4 For example, see major headlines of Etteaalat an d Keyhan during the first month after the coup.

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189 Imagining the Nation The Shah as the Embodiment of the Nation-state On August 22, 1953, Moham ad Reza Shah attach ed a new narrative to the coup upon his return from Rome to Tehran. By addressing th e nation via state nationa l radio, Mohamad Reza Shah thanked the nation for rising up in his support: My dear people, how can I thank you for your resoluteness in wanting to preserve your national ideals and your shah by willing to sacrifice your own lives and becoming martyrs for my nation. As you know [referring to previous assa ssination attempts on his life, which he claimed were signs of divi ne protection extended to him by Shii Imams], I have done the same in the past. I was also ready to die for my nation a few times and why should one refuse the honor of sacrificing self for the people who readily give up their lives for me; indeed, I would give up my life for them.5 In this representation, the peope l demonstrators and agitators whom the CIA organized were represented as the people. However, those who were being rounded up while Mohamad Reza Shah was speaking did not constitute the people.6 Moreover, the previous assassination attempts on Mohamad Reza Shahs life were represented as voluntary acts of self-sacrifice for the people in the same way people sacrificed themse lves for him. Althouhg no known supporter of Mohamad Reza Shah lost his life during the coup, he represented them as imagined people who sacrificed their lives for him thus for the nation in the same way the Shah would have sacrificed his life for the people had he not be en protected by some divine power.7 In other words, in the discourse if the state, the Shah and people were united in both body and spirit; each would die to save the other and neither could live without the other. Moreover, what is interesting in this 5 Mohammed Reza, Mission for My Country 6 For the lack of 7 For the shahs contention that he was being protected or guide d, see Pahlavi Mohammed Reza, White Revolution (Iran National Bank/ bank-e meli-i Iran 1966/1345), Mohammed Reza, Answer to History Mohammed Reza, Answer to History

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190 representation was Mohamad Reza Shahs appeal to the Shii myth of martyrdom and selfsacrifice. By classifying the shah and the people in to a singular body and spirit, Mohamad Reza Shah became the embodiment of the peoples body and mind and thus the sovereign, the law, and the nation. Note that he referred to the people and the nation as my people and my nation in an authoritative tone that obviously pointed out his relationa l position as a proprietor of both. This tone and theme was a typical re lational position Mohamad Reza Shah took even when he lost his thrown.8 By referring to his near-death experien ce, Mohamad Reza Shah invoked the Islamic concept Shahadat (martyrdom) and the Shii concept of Shifaat (request for protection) to represent himself as a faithful Islamic-Shii leader. In other words, he would be ready to sacrifice self for the divine cause of the nation. The logic of being under the protection of, or being favored by, Imams is a Shii concept ( Shafaat ) that roughly means the pe ople, who are presumed to be natural sinners and thus fallible. The people can appeal to the naturally innocent and infallible Imams who could possibly grant them their wishes or protect them from hazardous situations. It is not, however, clear whether Imams are the mediators between the peopl e and God, the granters or protectors of the forgiven sinner themselves. This concept is one of the bases for the Shii ritual of visiting the holy shrines of Imams, a concept that was repeatedly invoked by Mohamad Reza Shah. To reinforce that he was a faithful Islamic leader in addition to being a modern one, Mohamad Reza Shah used to make periodic pilgrimages to Mecca, Karbala, Qum, and Mashad. These frequent pilgrimages represented Mohamad Reza Shah as a faithful Muslim ruler whom 8 Mohammed Reza, Mission for My Country

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191 Shii Imams protected and guided.9 Moreover, by allowing prominent religious leaders, especially Ayatollah Bourujerdi Ayatollah Behbahni and the Imam Jome-eh of Tehran to continue easy access to the court, he reinforced these images.10 During weekly radio broadcasts, Ayatollah Falsafi, the able religious preacher, was given a weekly [program] on the state radio in which, for many years, he did not merely de liver religious sermons and counsel, but also engaged in biting polemics against materia lists, Mussadiq and the Popular Movement.11 These practices seemingly contradicted the logic of being an ultra modern man. But they made sense in the state discourse of modern m onarchism, which symbolized the singularity of Mohamad Reza Shah as not only a modern monarc h of a Persian-Aryan nation, but also a Sultan of a nation of Muslims with the divine blessing of God upon his thrown.12 This was the theme Mohamad Reza Shah set for his regime after the coup, that is, he was supposedly the absolute and divine sovereign whose unity with the peop le protected the nation, modernized the country, and maintained Irans alliance with the West ag ainst the threat of in ternational communism. The People: The Official Representation of Civil Society W ith the restoration of the regime by the stat e, the state began to represent itself as a democratic monarchy, which had a mandate from its active civil society a nd civil organizations. This rhetorical practice made sense because du ring Mussadiqs era, the concept of peoples sovereignty had become a hegemonic concept. After the coup, the state was compelled to value what had entered the language as peoples righ ts. After all, the coup was represented as the 9 For the shahs contention that he was being protected or guided, see White Revolution Mohammed Reza, Answer to History Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions p. 421. 10 Katouzian, The Political Economy of Modern Iran: De spotism and Pseudo-Modernism, 1926-1979 p. 193. 11 Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions Keddie and Richard, Modern Iran: Roots and Results of Revolution Katouzian, Musaddiq and the Struggle for Power in Iran 12 This representation was an added nuance that was no t prominent during Reza Shah although Reza Shah also represented himself as a religious Muslim believer who cared a bout the spirit of Islam and not its traditional rituals.

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192 resurrection of the people. Discur sively, therefore, it would make sense to have an officially formed civil society. Why did the state feel compe lled to represent itself as being democratic and responsive to the peoples mandate? After all, du ring Reza Shahs reign, the concept of having a mandate from the people or civil society did not exist in Mohammad Reza Shahs logic. In previous chapters, I noted that during the discourse of monarchic absolutism in premodern Iran, the logic of the relation between the state and the people was based on the state being the protector of the peoplenot their repres entative. In modern Iran, this relational logic began to shift from one discourse to another. In the discourse of constitutionalism, the people continued to be represented as the securitized su bjects of the state, and the state was represented as the embodiment of the law. Thus, the law turned into the securing agent of the state. During the discourse of modern absolutism practi ced by Reza Shah, the people continued to be represented as the securitized s ubjects of the shah-centered stat e and the state as the securing agent, as well as modernizing one. However, after the fall of Reza Shahs regime in 1941, competing discourses of socialism, Islamism, and nationalism began to mobilize mil lions of people by representing the people as active participants in th eir respective civil societies, although the content of civil society differed according to contending discourses. Socialists (the unions of workers and their voices), Islamists (the faithful Muslims), and nationalists (Iranian citizens) constituted the social content of the various forms of civil society.13 Nevertheless, no dominant disc ourse represented the people as the passive subjects of the state, as it had been done previously. 14 In contrast, contending discourses, including the state discourse, represented the people as active participants in state13 For competing groups, unions, and parties, see, Mohammed Reza, Mission for My Country p. 173. 14 See chapter 5.

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193 building, nation-imaginings, and decision-making in foreign relations. Cons tructing an official approved society was an inversion of the relational logic between the people and the state, and the state was compelled to follow this logic by di scursively changing it. In this inversion, the state became the object of the peoples desire fo r sovereignty, development, law, justice, and enforcing social norms rather than the people be ing represented as the passive subjects of the state. After the coup in 1953, this mode of ra tionality continued, and the state continue its repressive policies, but always in the name of the people. From the perspective of this relational logic, the state represented itself as a modern democratic Persian-monarchy backed by a series of civil society organizations, comprised of loyal citizens to the shah and thus to the state This representation pract ice created a paradox for the state. On the one hand, the state felt compelled to cons truct an active, supportive civil society. On the other hand, the state felt compelled to make sure that the civil society remained loyal to the state and thus l oyal to Mohamad Reza Shah. For example, Mohamad Reza Shah wrote, As we Persians see it, the human values inherent in true pol itical democracy merit whatever price we have to pay for it. He state d, In free countries everyw here, parties must be created by leaders who enjoy support.15 He then rejected those who criticized the state for forming parties: [As being] from the top rather than rising fr om the rank and file of the people. Some cynics even claim that the parties are mere puppets of the Government or the Crown. That of course misses the whole point a bout how you can foster parties in a newly developing country such as Iran.15 This rhetorical relation between the people and the state meant that the raison dtre for the state was supposed to be a mandate by the people, but guided by the state, which was Mohamad Reza Shah. In contrast, during Reza Shahs era, the state raison dtre was 15 Bashiriyeh, Mavanea Tosa'yea Syasi Dar Iran (Obstacles to Political Development in Iran) p. 72.

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194 represented as historically determined, not mandat ed from the people. In fact, mandates from the people was represented as illogical. For example, Ali Akbar Davar, the Minister of Justice during Reza Shahs reign, suggested. A s logic dictates, a strong-wille d and competent leader must lead this nation to its desired destiny [devel opment]. The leader [Reza Shah] must impose upon the nation what is good for them, and must do what is necessary even if he has to use the force of whips.16 Unlike Reza Shah, who muted the 1921 British-backed coup his son felt compelled to flaunt the 1953 coup as the resurrection of the people.17 For example, on August 24, 1953, the Society of August 19 Resurrection, a previously unknown group and perhaps associated with one of the CIA organized mobs, widely distributed and published its first declaration, which followed the same argumentation as those of Mohamad Reza Shah and Zahedis addresses, but with the voice of the people: Our dear compatriots, the August 19 Resurrection succeeded because Muslim toilers and citizen patriots sacrificed their lives and freed themselves from the terror of Mussadiqs government, whic h had become the horrific house of foreigners and Bolsheviks a government that spoke of democratic nationalism but wanted to depose our innocent and beloved shah. People must now be aware that the Justice, Education, and Labor Departments are still under the contro l of foreigners. People must not take their silences for their submi ssions. These hired hands of foreigners are like poisonous snakes lying in their hidden dens and rea dy to strike our country and contaminate our environment. [Therefore] it is not enough that our national her o, General Zahedi, has saved the nation from their fangs. We have now the obligati on to obey the decrees issued by of our innocent and beloved shah and follow his vision in his purpose to secure us from the internal and extern al threats [so that the shah] can improve our security, wealth, and fortunes.18 16 "The First Declaration of the So ciety of August 19 Resurrection Ettelaat 1953. 17 Despite the weight of evidence detailing all aspects of the 1953 coup, the shahs loyal supporters still refer to the 1953 coup as the day of national uprising ( rouz-e qyam-e mardom or mellat ). 18 "The Daily Current Ettellaat 1953, Sep. 3, 4, 5, 8, and 9 Emphasis added.

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195 This text, although blatantly frank, was a typical representation of how the state tried to construct a performative and officially approved civil soci ety, which represented the unity of the shah, state, people, and Islam. In this text, Moha mad Reza Shah is represented as an absolute sovereign intent to secure Iran and develop his nation. The text makes no conceptual distinction between the shah and concepts such as sove reignty, development, nation, law, and national interest or norms. In other words, the shah em bodies all those concepts as Self, and what he opposes is the embodiment of Othersthe fo reigners. The people are represented as a homogenous singular body of Iranian citizen-subjects obligated to follow the shahs command as the natural law of the nationa nation whose security and fortune depended upon the shahs success to secure and develop it. In this text, besides representing Mohamad R eza Shah as a modern Iranian monarch linked to ancient Persian kings and thus Iranian-Ar yan nationalisma construction that had become prominent during Reza Shahs era, he is also re presented as a Shii Sultan. By referring to Mohamad Reza Shah as an innocent and beloved Muslim leader, the text invoked the traditional logic of the divine sovereignty of Sultanate em bedded in pre-modern texts. In other words, Mohamad Reza Shah is represented as the legiti mate ruler of the nation of Islam and for Shiites until the return of the innocent, infallible, and the ultim ate terrestrial sovereign of all Muslims, Imam Mahdi. While the text tries to gloss over Mohamad Reza Shah with shades of divine Islamic and Shii sovereignty, it bestows upon him a mandate issued by Iranian citizens and Muslim toilers of Iran. This seemingly paradoxical practice, which now plays a prominent role in the practices of the Islamic Republic, continued until 1979.19 19 This is paradoxical because the regime tries to exercise the right of citizenship through the concept of divine sovereignty, but, at the same time, it recognizes the right of citizenship and political participation.

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196 In accordance with this logic, civil society organizations, such as the media, academia, unions, parties, and individuals, re produced a particular language that was easily recognized as the official state language. This language ha d a monotonous theme and tone used immediately after the coup, and it conti nued throughout the regime. For example, Ettellaat began publishing a series of fr ont-page editorial pieces. These editorials, which ran for a few months, were samples of how the officially approved civil society reproduced the language of the state. For instan ce, in its September 3, 1953, issue, the editorial entitled, The Governments First Step argued th e importance of settling disputes with Britain and reestablishing a strong and secured alliance with the West. In its September 4 issue, the editorial entitled, The Economy after Establishing Security represented Mohamad Reza Shah as the provider of security without whom the economic life of the nation would suffer. Again, in the September 5 and 6 issues the titles read, A mericas Immediate Aid to Iran and Economic Reform: A Step by Step Process. These two pi eces explained that the economic restructuring was possible only if the United States invested in, and backed, Iran in its economic recovery. While September 8 editorial titled Respect for Law represented law as the foundation for the building of an orderly and just society. It argu ed for a strong leader to enforce the law. The starting point for the September 9 editorial ti lted Economic Equality for All was the governments intention to improve the economy. Th e September 18 editorial titled, This Years Quiet and Orderly Commemoration of Imam Husse in argued that true Islamic rituals are peaceful and respectful of law and order.20 Other revealing titles included: Foreign Investments, Twelve Years of Monarchic Rule How to Understand Iran, Cleansing the 20 Mustafa Zamani, Jalal Al-E Ahmad's Culture (Tehran: Nashr-e Muaser 1982/1362), p. 158.

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197 Culture, Fighting Corruption, and Equality under Law.21 In short, the theme of this particular newspaper, which had the highest circulation, continued to reflect the official language of the state. Meanwhile stat e censorship muted voices of the opposition. Jalal Al-e Ahmad, a famous Iranian essayist, political activi st, and literary critic, observed: From 1953 onward, we have had many colorful pape rs that appeal to, and aroused the best of our animal instincts, but they are a ll vacant of any spirituality, virtuosity, and righteousness. Meanwhile, none of them sp eaks of any serious problem. Worse than anything else, they all speak with one language. A language that is vacant of any identity and value [referring to the main newspapers in Iran], you can read the page 38 of one paper and then begin reading the page 39 of anothe r paper without ever losing track of their content.22 This oppressive monotony in the official langua ge of the state began to become the only language that could be expressed freely. The Majlis and cabinets lost their previous legislative autonomies and began to speak in the official la nguage of the state. The two legal political parties, the Melioon Party and Party of Mardum (National and Peoples parties), became what Mohamad Reza Shah called the loya l and the loyal opposition parties.23 And except for their differences in jockeying for posts by adulating Mohamad Reza Shah, no substantive differences existed between the two parties.24 The state gradually began to ba n all unions and associations and formed state-sponsored ones. Moreover, the state banned street protests, mass rallies, and strictly monitored and regulated religious rituals, a practice that began to alienate clerics who were otherwise supportive of the regime. Meanwhile the state began to organize mass rallies on various state-sponsored a nniversaries or when Mohamad Reza Shah attended grand openings or 21 See Ettelaat from August 20 to the end of the 1953 year. 22 Mohammed Reza, Mission for My Country p. 172. Emphasis added. 23 Also see, Habib Ladjevardi, ed., Memoris of Jafar Sharif-Emami; Prime Minister of Iran (1960-61 & 1978) (Iranian Oral History Project, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University, 1999), p. 188. 24 For competition to get closer to the shah, see General Zahedi, "Premier Zahedi Radio Message," Ettelaat August 23, 1953.

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198 visited different locations. Occasionally, school pr incipals felt compelled to cancel classes and accompany their students to these rallies. To ma ke certain that students would not skip these rallies, class attendance was taken at these o fficially-approved rallies. In short, during the restoration period (1953-1961), the state tried to represent the pe ople as active pa rticipants in loyal civil society organizations. Security as a Disciplinary Practice: The Language of Repression W ith the restoration of Mohammad Reza Shah to power, the state language of repression began to become a part of the official state langua ge and remained as such until a year before its fall. On August 24, 1953, for example, after Mohamad Reza Shahs address to the nation, General Fazlulah Zahedi, the new CIA-appoint ed prime minister, addressed the nation: My dear compatriots, as drinking water can sa tiate thirst, I hope that his majestys words satiated your thirst for healing this thir ty-month old injury [referring to Mussadiqs government], which was caused by a few who neglected our nati onal interests and misunderstood their patriotic obligations. Howe ver, considering the current dangers and threats to our country, I, who strictly follow his majestys command and am now in charge of our national interest s, first and foremost I demand the peoples cooperation and then expect their endurance in years to come.25 In this text, General Zahedi set a repressive t one, a tone that demanded obedience of the people to the absolute command of Mohamad Reza Shah. Zahedi represented the act of obedience to Mohamad Reza Shahs command as the national ob ligation and moral duty of everyone. He also expected quiet obedience if possi ble, and implied enforcement of obedience if necessary. In this representation, the difference be tween Self and Other is th e difference between quiescent obedience and resistance to the command of the shah and thus the command of the state. In this typical representation of the state, the CIA inst alled General Prime Minister labeled Mussadiqs government as injurious and negligent of Irans national interests. Zahe di argued that Mussadiq 25 Ibid. Katouzian, The Political Economy of Modern Iran: Despotism and Pseudo-Modernism, 1926-1979 p. 196.

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199 was the violator of his national obligation becau se of his disobedience to Mohamad Reza Shahs command. The repressive tone of othering contin ued to appear in various forms. Ironically, Zahedi also became the victim of the same repr essive tone. In 1954, because of his disagreement with Mohamad Reza Shah, he was forced to resi gn his post and leave the country. As Zahedi was being escorted out of the countr y, he turned to his friends and said, Poor Dr. Mussadiq was right after all! 26 A form of repression was how the state bui lt the National Intelligence and Security Organization (SAVAK), which was equipped with highly advanced inte lligence gathering mechanisms and training techniqu es provided by the United States.27 This organization acted as the eyes and ears of the shah, which was tr aditionally a well-understood concept in the language, but never to the extent of trying to classify people into loyal citizens and disloyal foreigners. William Sullivan, the last U.S. ambassador to Iran, argued, After considerable organizational effort by the CIA, the United Stat es government devised for shah a framework of a modern intelligence system and helped him establish it.28 Accordingly, the states secret police was structured to operate as most Western intelligence organizations do, that is collecting intelligence on other countries, but it operated according to a different mode of rationality. Its main task was to investigate disloyalty to the shah-centered state by acting as Mohamad Reza Shah s private eyes, ears, and swords in charge of monitoring, regulating, and disciplining the loyal civil society organizations and punishing and terrorizing the disloyal ones. The power of SAVAK grew as the resources increased. 26 Katouzian, The Political Economy of Modern Iran: De spotism and Pseudo-Modernism, 1926-1979 p. 196. For example, see William H. Sullivan, Mission to Iran 1st ed. (New York: Norton, 1981), p. 96. 27 James A. Bill, The Eagle and the Lion: The Tragedy of American-Iranian Relations (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988), p. 9. 28 Sullivan, Mission to Iran pp. 95-96.

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200 SAVAK agents were embedded in places ranging from factories to student organizations to government agencies, the military, the press, politi cal parties, and so forth. In monthly, quarterly, and annual reports, SAVAK would report the details of political activities. It also speculated about the extent of threats and loyalty to the regime.29 In a SAVAK document on the file it kept on members of Irans Party (Mussa diqs defunct party), the officer in charge of the operation wants to know about the intenti on of the leaders of the Party of Iran. The officer poses two questions to the embedded agent: Why do the lead ers of the Iran Party seem to agree with Mohamad Reza Shahs proposal? Do they have some sinister intention of showing that they are close to the government?30 Reflecting Mohamad Reza Shahs obsessive preoccupation with internal threats from disloyal enemies of the state, SAVAK terrori zed the people. William Sullivan wrote: There was a sort of reign of terror in Iran. Most prominent politicians, many westernized families, and persons from all over the realm were affected by it. There were many mysterious murders generalized use of torture in the prisons. The quality of intelligence we [U.S.] received from our relations with [SAVAK] was [poor] Washington analysts usually considered it of the Chicken Little variety. A Communist sky was always falling on our joint interests.31 However, for a great majority of the people, th e perception of SAVAKs si nister eyes and ears everywhere created a political sp ace in which the people knew what the government expected of them to do or to say. They knew what was consid ered as cooperative or interruptive (Ekhlaal Gar) behaviorpolitical correctness or incorrectness. A scant review of speeches, editorials, essays, official and non-official proclamations published in major newspapers or broadcast over the national radio at the time fi nds a monotonous theme and tone in these texts. In this oppressive 29 For example, see SAVAK documents in the Center for Islamic Revolution Documents. 30 Siavash Yari, The Iran Party According to the Documents (Tehran: Center for Islamic Revolution Documents 2005), p. 199, document No. 159. 31 Sullivan, Mission to Iran pp. 97-99.

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201 monotony of political correctness, the heterogeneous voices of contending discourses are completely absent. Instead, these voices began to speak in a different genre that became as distinctly recognizable as that of the official language of the state. In contrast to the state official language, which was brutally straightforward, this contentious language of the oppos ition was, however, indirect abstract, suggestive, and extremely subversive. Nevertheless, the oppos ition had the ability of communicating the message it intended. That language was the la nguage of discontent expressed by public intellectuals such as Ahmad Shamlo, Husha ng Golsheery, Jalal Ale-Ahmad, Samad Behrangi, Ali Shariati, Ayatollah Mutahri, Ayatollah Tale qani, and hundreds of other public intellectuals. This era was the beginning of a literary genre called the committed literature.32 Later on, this language began to permeate into music, films, and short stories. In the next section, I discuss the construction of this language from the perspective of modern Islamists. Economic Development In this era, the knowledge em bedded in U.S. economic discourse of liberalism permeated the official language, policies, and practices of the state, not in its original liberal form, but as shah-centered policies. Preaching liberalism but ac ting despotic meant that while Mohamad Reza Shah preached economic liberalism, the state practi ced it according to the o fficial state discourse, which could only imagine a shah-centered economic planning and development approach. During the 1950s, the epistemic knowledge for th e states theory of economic development was based on liberal economic theories, which advocated separating economics from politics. The liberal policies promoted by the United Stat es encouraged privately owned and operated 32 See Hamid Dabashi and NetLibrary Inc., Theology of Discontent: The Ideological Foundations of the Islamic Revolution in Iran (New York: New York University Press, 1993). Also, Mohmad Mukhtari, Practicing Tolerance (Tehran: Entesharat Vistar, 1377/ 1998). Also, Aliquli Alikhani, ed., The Complete Notes of Assaddollah Alam (Yad Dasht-Haay-E Alam) 5 vols. (Tehran: Maziar, 1385).

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202 developmental projects and devalued state-owned and state-operated i ndustries. The assumption of this body knowledge was that by liberalizi ng the market, the political system would automatically liberalize politics. In other words, the logic of the liberal economic discourse was based on the relational opposition be tween the concepts of the state and economic development. The logic of monarchic modernism, however, wa s based on the relational equivalence between the concept of the stat e and economic development. The differences in the relational logic between these two discourses resulted in disa ppointing the advocators of economic liberalism in three different ways. First, liberal economic models did not liber alize the economy. Second, these models did not change the shah-centered polic y of Iran. Third, they did not improve the lives of the people; instead, they widened the economic, political, and so cial divide between th e state and society. In other words, rather than arti culaiting the political from the economic, as economic liberalism does, the state politicized the economy to a greater extent than previous eras. The state became the primary holder of the means of production, distribution, and investment. But, most importantly, the state also became the arena in which political and economic actors competed. In this shah-centered polity, various personalities in the court, cabinets, and ministries competed for gaining or maintaining the trust of Mohamad Reza Shah. This competition constructed a different relational logic from those of liberal economic theories. In this relational logic, developmental projects, policies, and practices we re valued in terms of how they glorified the shah-cente red state. Therefore, the state-elites competed for gaining and maintaining Mohamad Reza Shahs trust and atte ntion. This arena of competition produced losers and winners according to its own internal logic. Unlike an ideal lib eral economic model in which the productivity of a given project indicates its success or failure, in the shah-centered

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203 economic model, the measure of success or fa ilure was how a given project would please Mohamad Reza Shah. The state-elites intensely co mpeted against each other, not for productive efficiency, but for pleasing Mohamad Reza Shah.33 In other words, although the liberal economic theories of modernization had permeated various contending disc ourses in Iran, they were interpreted, understood, and practiced in accordan ce to the internal logic of the official state discoursemonarchic modernism. The next three sections expl ain this relational logic. Representation of Nationalization After the coup in 1953, while the state c ontinued to value its own version of nationalization, it represented Mussad iqs dispute with Britain in a different relational logic. The state represented Irans oil dispute with Britain as the betrayal of the c ountrys national interest because it d amaged Irans alliance with the West. The strategy to improve the public images of Britain in Iran, the state represented Britain as a pa rt of the Western allian ce and thus an ally of Iran, not the owner and operator of Irans oil industry or a power that had attempted to colonize Iran. Moreover, Britain was represented in terms of its peop le and not its government. For example, Mohamad Reza Shah wrote: The free Western peoples have shown a willi ngness to extend to us much economic and technical aid, and at the same time, they have in recent years rarely meddled in our affairs. For example, in proportion to her population, Britain now provides more assistance than any other country in the world, and we are happy to be among the recipients. 34 In this text, Britain is represen ted as a part of the Western worl d, but not as a colonizing state. The British are represented as re spectful of Irans sovereignty, and, most importantly, they now help the people of the world, including Iran. By transformation the image of Britain from a colonizing state to aiding Iranians, the negotiation over the oil dispute became possible and even 33 Alikhani, ed., The Complete Notes of Assaddollah Alam (Yad Dasht-Haay-E Alam) v.2, p. 83 34 See Mohammed Reza, Mission for My Country p. 298.

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204 desirable. In practical terms, the negotiation re sulted in recognizing the sovereign right of Iran over its oil resources. Meanwhile, Iran accepted a 50-50 profit sharing scheme, and it agreed to compensate the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIO C) million for its losses. Additionally, the state agreed to the formation of a consortium of oil companies, whic h paid more than $600 million to British Petroleum (BP) for 60% of its share. In short, the result of the coup transformed not only Iran-U.S. relations by bringing about an economic bonanza for eight American oil companies that ended up owning 40% of the former AIOC, but it also guaranteed oil supplies for Britain. Meanwhile, Iran mainta ined its performative control over its oil resources, which the regime represented as a national victory and the contending discourses depicted as a national defeat. 35 Although the image of Britain wa s being reconstructed, the st ate could not avoid values attached to the concept of nationalization, whic h had become a national value during Mussadiqs government. Therefore, the state valued nationalization while it discursively subverted the meaning of nationalizing. Ali Amini, Irans chief negotiator in the settlement of the oil disputes in 1954, referred to this national value, that is, nationalization, as an unavoidable national disease that everyone had to adhere to.36 The national disease that Amini refers was a trace from the past. Anything labeled foreign-owned or foreign-operated wa s understood as being against the Iranian national interest. Accordingly, Mohamad Reza Shah adopted Mu ssadiqs language of nationalization. He not only began to take credit fo r the nationalization of oil industries, which he had once opposed, but he started a new round of nationalization. Du ring his land reform in 1963, he ordered the 35 Keddie and Richard, Modern Iran: Roots and Results of Revolution pp. 136-137. 36 Habib Ladjevardi, ed., Memoirs of Ali Amini: Prime Minister of Iran (1961-62) (Iranian Oral History Project, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University, 1999), p. 85.

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205 nationalization of Irans water res ources, natural fisheries, forest communal, and pastoral lands. However, in contrast to Mussa diqs nationalization plan, these resources were already communal properties and neither foreigners nor any individuals claimed th em. Nevertheless, because the concept of nationalization ha d entered the language as the patriotic value of disowning foreigners of Iranian-owned properties, Mohamad Reza Shah used that language to transfer the previously understood communal properties into the state-owned national property.37 In other words, the conceptual value, which was previo usly constructed in Mussadiqs era, made it possible, desirable, and imaginable for Moha mad Reza Shah to labe l his monopolization of communal properties as nationa lization. The opposition, however, did not see these practices as true nationalization. Official Representation of Economic Liberalism After the 1953 coup, the United States pr oduced the knowledge for Irans econom ic development, but Iran practiced economic libera lism according to logic different from that of U.S. economic liberalism. Although the Iranian state-elites represented economic liberalism as the solution for all of Irans problems, they violated the tenets of liberal economics.38 In this era, the epistemic community associated with liberal international institutions, such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as well as American institutions such as the Ford Foundation, Harvard Graduate School of Public Administration, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and at l east 30 American consulting firms, began to advise Iran on how to develop the economy.39 The primary concern of this body of knowledge was to take politics 37 Mohammed Reza, White Revolution 38 Habib Ladjvardi, "Abolhassan Ebtehaj," in Iranian Oral History Project | Harvard University Center for Middle Eastern Studies (Iranian Oral History Project | Harvard University Center for Middle Eastern Studies, 1960). 39 Based on Khordad Farmanfarmaian interview at http://w ww.fas.harvard.edu/~iohp/firou z.html, The Iranian Oral History Project at Harvard University. Also quoted in Baldwin, Planning and Development in Iran, pp.22-40.

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206 out of economics by designing an autonomous political institution th at was mainly run by economists, bankers, project managers, engineers, and field specialists. Fr om this perspective, the defunct Plan Organization (PO) at the end of Mussadiqs era was reformed and re-staffed with Americans or American-educated staff. In 1954, Abdul Hassan Ebtehaj, a respected economist and a British-trained banker, who ha d been closely involved with the Overseas Consultants Incorporated (OCI) before Mussadiqs cabinet, left his post as the director of the IMFs Middle East Department to head the Plan Organization. 40 The very design of the PO was to depoliticize economic development because polit ics was too corrupt and personalistic, and the society was disabled, di scontent, and poor. According to George Baldwin, one of the seve n original members of the Harvard Advisory Group, most of the educated and younger generation expected the imminent fall of the regime because the Tehran-centered government was ov erburdened with inefficiency, corruption, and low morale. He gave a bleak but rea listic assessment of the situation: [While the government plays] a sort of perpetua l musical chairs of pe rsonal politics there is no strongly felt social ethic, no ideological yeast at work in society. Public policies, administrative decisions and national development plans all have to be made with unreliable information [or] sources of information [such as] libraries and files, annual reports or profe ssional societies and journals.41 Baldwin reasoned that U.S. experts designed th e Plan Organization to immunize developmental projects from the corrupt and pe rsonalistic politics in Iran. Notwithstanding the irony that the U.S. government had overthrown Mussadiqs regime to bring the personalistic rule of Mohamad Reza Shah to power, the experts succeeded in organizing the PO to be functionally and financially a government within a government. However, they failed to depoliticize it from 40 See Bostock and Jones, Planning and Power in Iran: Ebtehaj an d Economic Development under the Shah, pp. 111-122. Ladjvardi, "Abolhassan Ebtehaj." 41 Baldwin, Planning and Development in Iran p. 4.

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207 Mohamad Reza Shah, who appointed Ebtehaj as th e head of the PO with the consent of the United States. But Mohamad Reza Shah kept Ebteha j in his post as long as Ebtehaj went along with the Shahs insistence on increasing th e military budget even during economic crisis.42 During the 1950s, Ebtehaj, was deeply influe nced by Walt Rostows concept of staged development. Rostow believed that economic grow th, vis--vis various developmental projects, would automatically lead to a higher living standard and change the sociopolitical consciousness of the people. According to Dr. Khodadad Farman farmaian, a close associ ate of Ebtehaj and the head of the Harvard Advisory Group, Ebtehaj believed: Once you raise the standard of living of people through deliberate ec onomic development, all these political problemscorruptions, inefficiency, jealousies, etcetera will be wiped out from their awareness, from their c onscious, from their character if you will. And as the standard of living went up, people would become more straightforward, more cooperative, and that you would get true social, political cha nge from the development of the development of the country.43 Ebtehajs liberal prescription for economic development was a typical representation of what Foucault called a regime of truth, which the U.S. epistemic community represented as a universal developmental model for everywhere. Its basic tenets were simple: (a) increase private consumption and expenditure, (b) decrease tari ffs on imports, (c) export products that are comparatively profitable, and (d) encourage investment by increasing capital security and profitability. From 1952 to 1962, Ira n received more than $1.135 b illion from the United States out of which $225 million was in loans, $504 million was for military assistance, and the 42 Bostock and Jones, Planning and Power in Iran: Ebtehaj an d Economic Development under the Shah pp. 151154. 43 Ibid., p. 92. Habib Ladjvardi, "Interview with Khordad Farmanfamaian in Iranian Oral History Project | Harvard University Center for Middle Eastern Studies (Iranian Oral History Project | Harvard University Center for Middle Eastern Studies, 1982 ), tape 3.

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208 remainder was for various economic programs. This aid, combined with in creasing oil revenues and other income, produced a sum of $3.407 billion from 1955 to 1962. 44 With this impressive amount to spend on private and public expenditures, and combined with lowering tariffs, which Prime Minister Munucheher Iqbal (1956-1960) called the Open Door Policy, the country was flooded with consumer goods. Ali Ansari quoted Elwell-Suttons description of Iran in 1957: Financially, Persia is heavily and irrevocab ly indebted to the United States. Large American missions of officers and men advise the Armed Forces and the police. American advisers are attached to every ministry and American World bank officials watch carefully over the activities of the Plan Organization. All the internationa l agencies are at work, and semi-official concerns like the Near East Foundation add their quota. More than 100 American officials work in the huge new Poin t-Four building in Tehran. Americans have reorganized the educational system. American cars, cosmetics and refrigerators fill the shops. Even the Seventh Day Adve ntists have opened a large church in a fashionable quarter of Tehran.45 By 1960, this so-called Open Door Policy drastically increased cheap imports and decreased non-oil exports as e xpected, but the policy also de stroyed the local economy that provided subsistence living for the largest port ion of the population. This portion of the economy was not taken into account. As a result, while th e open market policy caused a severe shortage of balance-of-trade and balance-of-payment, it also created unemployment and under-employment out of a portion of the self-su fficient portion of the population.46 These policies were in sharp contrast to Mussadiqs era when the country had achieved a balance of payment with a non-oil economy. A serious attempt was made to improve the efficiency of the traditional economy without destroying it. 44 Katouzian, The Political Economy of Modern Iran: De spotism and Pseudo-Modernism, 1926-1979 pp. 204-211. 45 Ali M. Ansari, Confronting Iran: The Failure of American Foreign Policy and the Next Great Crisis in the Middle East (New York: Basic Books, 2006), p. 41. 46 Katouzian, The Political Economy of Modern Iran: De spotism and Pseudo-Modernism, 1926-1979 p. 201.

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209 While the traditional economy was on the verg e of collapse, the landed property became even stronger than it had ever been since 1921.47 In 1955, Mussadiqs 1953 land tax reform, which had imposed a 20% tax on absentee landholders half of which to be allocated as income subsidized for peasants and the other half for rural deve lopment, was reduced to 7.5%.48 With Mussadiq out of the way, as Mohamad Reza Shah rescinded land-tax, he began to sell some of his own land his father had coercively acquired. Mussadiq had charged that stolen property could not be sold legally, and worse yet, be represented as a cheap land reform.49 Nevertheless, Mohamad Reza Shah did bothrescinded the land ta x and sold his own property to cultivating farmers. In short, the pursuit of open door policies did not li beralize the economy or politics because of the shah-centered political rationality in Iran. Representing Shah-centered Development In contrast to the presupposition of liberal economic models of the 1950s, which assumed free competition among multiple actors, the state offi cial discourse represented development as a shah-centered state model. Accordingly, Moha mad Reza Shah was valued as the necessary strongman needed to act as the guide, the arbite r, and the interpreter fo r economic development. The state-elites reproduced this image of M ohamad Reza Shah as each went along with this narrative of the necessary evil of a strongman.50 In a revealing descri ption of how Mohamad 47 Ibid. 48 Keddie and Richard, Modern Iran: Roots and Results of Revolution p. 139, foot note 134 49 Mohammed Reza, Mission for My Country pp. 323-324. 50 Notwithstanding their differences the common theme among personalities involved with Mohammad Reza Shahs regime is their consensus on the centrality of the role of the shah in all aspects of decision-making. See Iranian Oral History at Harvard University @ http://ted. lib.harvard.edu/ted/deliver/home. The exemplary case of how the state-elites in Iran believed in a shah-centered state is Assadolla h Alams memoir, see Alikhani, ed., The Complete Notes of Assaddollah Alam (Yad Dasht-Haay-E Alam)

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210 Reza Shah found himself as the source of guidance, he described how he chaired the Council of Ministers in three successive occasions: I never use gavel, but control things merely by the look in my eyes and by my facial expression and tone and voice. I explained the great import ance of a documentary film for informing the people of the progress on our developmental programme. I expressed the guiding consideration for the allocation of oil revenues for our developmental programme. I gave instructions on guiding the production of tea and sugar.51 In describing his duty in these three meetings he used the word I 27 times to refer to himself as the direct or indirect source of authority. In other words, although the state adopted liberal economic models, it practiced them accordi ng to a shah-centered po litical rationality in which Mohamad Reza Shah commanded the macro-economic policies and his trustees executed his directives. This shah-guided economic rationality was neither a liberal concept nor a concept previously constructed in the discourse of modern absolutism by Reza Shah. The policies were a blend of both. This economic rationality was liberal because it opened up the domestic market to foreign imports and investment, it deregulated cu rrency exchange, and it maintained a relatively high currency value. It was illiberal because the state extracted and spent most of the available resources and ended up possessing the larges t portion of the m eans of production and distribution. This illiberal liberalism was in contrast to Reza Shahs economic planning when the state strictly regulated import, export, and currenc y exchange through numerous state monopolies. These monopolies included primar y agricultural products such as wheat and barley, the main food staple at the time. In other words, Reza Shah had followed a protectionist policy, which essentially subsidized the indus trializationon the backs of the peasantsof Tehran and a few 51 Katouzian, The Political Economy of Modern Iran: De spotism and Pseudo-Modernism, 1926-1979 pp. 75-137.

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211 major cities where most state-owned factories were located.52 In contrast, Mohamad Reza Shah, the son, opened up domestic and local industry. Ne vertheless, both the father and son pushed a state-centered economic development. For example, Mohammad Reza Shah wrote: In modernizing a nation, just as in conducting a military campaign, you need a plan of action, which meant a plan of action by Mohamad Reza Shah.53 This representation of economic development was contrary to the liberal view of American economists on the state payroll. Alluding to economists who disfavored Mohamad Reza Shah-centered developmental policies, Mohamad Reza Shah retorted: Some American and European economists and engineers have peculiar ideas on how we should go about Westernizing an economically less-developed country [Iran]. I profoundly disagree. Because of the shorta ge of technicians and managers and because private investors were timid about entering th e industrial field, the Government had to do much of the pioneering. This was true in my fath ers time, and in some fields, it is still the case today. The Government owns and opera tes industrial enterpri ses in many parts of the country now.54 Mohamad Reza Shah, however, was not alone in his resentment of economists because the state paid to receive their advi ce. For example, Ebtehajs resent ment of American and European economists was similar to that of Mohamad Reza Shah. In response to warning issued by economists at the World Bank, Ebtehaj said: The way to develop a country is not to listen to economists, who always say, No, dont do this, dont do anything. If America in her early years had economi sts she would never have developed. If a patient will surely die unless he has a se rious operation, and he might not survive the operat ion, is there any sensible person who would say: Dont operate? That is Irans position.55 52 Mohammed Reza, Mission for My Country p. 138. 53 Ibid., pp. 133-155. 54 Bostock and Jones, Planning and Power in Iran: Ebtehaj an d Economic Development under the Shah p. 115. 55 Ibid., pp. 153-160.

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212 In other words, the state-elites valued a sh ah-centered state politic al economy, which had its own rule of measuring economic development. The logic of these ru les, however, was based on the official state discourse That is why economic policies were liberal in some sense and illiberal in others. Measuring Economic Development As in any political economy, the m etrics for measuring economic gains and losses are embedded in the political discourse that constitute s not only what is considered interests or goals of the game, but also the rules by which those goals or interests are measured. In this shah-centered political economy, the metrics for measuring what was considered developmental goals and how the players interacted to achieve them rested, on the one hand, the relationship between Mohamad Reza Shah and the state, a nd on the other hand, the relationship between the shah-centered state and the elites. In other words, the mode of rationality between the state and the state-elites followed a particular logic that was inherent in the particularity of their relations, a logic by which the state-elite s understood their developmental goals and competed with one another to achieve them. In this relational logic, since the state a nd Mohamad Reza Shah had become one and the same as the sha set the rules of the game in whic h state-elites competed and picked the losers and winners. For example, Ebtehaj believed that oil revenues should be appropriated only to developmental projects and be maintained under the control of the Plan Organization (PO), a position that liberal international institutions sup ported. But various ministries competed to keep oil revenues in the general budget. Meanwhile Mohamad Reza Shah prioritized military spending over other developmental projects. In this competition for resources, Mohamad Reza Shahs priority set the goals among the state-el ites. In 1959, when Ebtehaj requested to have budgetary autonomy for the PO, as it was origina lly designed, he also ex pressed his displeasure

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213 with increasing military spending at a time of wo rsening economic crisis. Mohamad Reza Shah had him arrested, and had it not been for Ebtehajs support by the U.S. government, perhaps his stay in prison would have been longer than a few weeks.56 If one were to believe Mohamad Reza Shahs own rhetoric of balancing the states security needs with the developmental needs, then he should have followed Ebtehajs suggestion.57 However, Mohamad Reza Shah made up his own rules, and the state-elites rushed to glorify whatever decision he madegood or bad. Moreover, the logic of this game dictated th e behavior of the stat e-elites. As such, the state-elites competed to pleas e and glorify Mohamad Reza Shah, and developmental projects were means to achieve their goals. Based on this relational logic, while the state-elites valued projects that looked impressive, required big investment, and produ ced fast results, they ignored projects that brought no glory to Mohamad Reza Shah and thus to them. As a result, grand and showy projects were valued, but badly n eeded downstream factories and numerous infrastructural missing links, which required ma ny small investments and could have produced sustainable development, had no advocate.58 For example, in regard to improving water resources, Nikki R. Keddie, a respected histor ian of Iran, first alluded to Mohamad Reza Shah egomania and the corruptive competition among elites. She argued: Most dams have been poorly planned and wast efully expensive; more seriously, the stress has been overwhelmingly on the dams themselves, which are showy and spectacular, and on power generation. Often the subordinate local irrigation systems, without which the dams serve no agricultural purpo se, were not built for years, if ever, nor have the areas 56 Ibid., p. 153. 57 For examples of liberal rhetoric professed by Moha mad Reza Shah, see his writings previously cited. For information on Ebtehajs assessment of the situation, see Amjad, Iran: From Royal Dictatorship to Theocracy p. 66. Ladjevardi, ed., Memoris of Jafar Sharif-Emami; Prime Minister of Iran (1960-61 & 1978) For an example of how various ministers tried to convince Mo hamad Reza Shah, see Keddie and Richard, Modern Iran: Roots and Results of Revolution p. 128. 58 The literature on Iran, in most part, refers to Moha mad Rezs Shahs focus on grand projects as a case of egomania, and invidious competition among the state-elites as a case of political corruption, but the logic of these behaviors is constitutive of the shah-centered political discourse of monarchic modernism.

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214 been adequately studied to see if the planne d types of irrigation and field allotment are suitable to the region.59 In the same vein, George Baldwin, who was a part of the economic advisory committee in the PO, pointed out that the stat es pitfalls in designing a steel and petrochemical company were that the state invested money for industry, whic h had a narrow market limited to Iranbut they were showy. Even in education, Baldwin argued that the states large investment in educational system, which produced mostly diplomas or certifi cates while ignoring the practical needs of the economy, was essentially showy and useless.60 While water dams, industrial projects, and e ducational systems were grand, showy, and unproductive, urban planning or lack thereof de stroyed the traditional means of production, distribution, and lifestyle. Urban development, which is a misnomer for what happened in Iran, valued the showy cases, for exampl e, of building five-star hotels or a modern airport, but ignored the basic infrastructural needs of its rapid unplanned urbanization. In major cities, urban industrialization destroyed surrounding farms a nd gardens that traditionally had supplied seasonal vegetables and fruits for their respec tive urban populations. Th e conversion of suburbia into industrial zones was done to build industria l parksbut without ade quate roads and other infrastructural supports. These pol icies changed the once beautiful suburbia of major cities into barren, over-populated, and polluted places where millions of rural migrants came to build and live. The unplanned migration to industrial zo nes turned into industrial parks into mixed commercial and residential zones. Even in today s Tehran, one routinely sees a polluting factory near homes, offices, schools, and hospitals. To ma ke the situation worse, on the periphery of these industrial zones, even poorer migrant workers built shantytowns. Tehran became a 59 Baldwin, Planning and Development in Iran 60 Sayed Mohsen Habibi, Intellectual Trends in the Contemporary Iranian Architecture and Urbanism (1979-2003) (Tehran: Cultural Research Bureau 2005/1384), pp. 9-19.

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215 showcase of this ugly, inefficien t, and unhealthy urbanization. In response to this urbanization, the Ministry of Urban and Housing Development was formed. However, the ministry was also embedded in the same relational logic which pr omoted grand and showy projectsbut ignored the basic needs of the city. In brief, Tehran, wh ich was the focal point of economic development, represented a model case of a grand and s howy developmental project with unintended consequences that continue to make the city an exemplary case of planning or lack of planning.61 Ironically, Mohamad Reza Shah romanticized this unplanned planning. He represented a lingering beauty of the past mixed with the progre ssive move toward the future, a future that has not yet arrived in Tehran. In 1960, he wrote: Today my country is a show window for the ble nd of ancient and modern. Just outside of Tehran, you can still see camel caravans go by, bringing goods from afar into the city. (Lucky is he who can see a caravan and hear its camel bells, as it passes under a full moon). [In contrast,] as you go to meet a friend at Tehrans big new jet-age international airport, you pass along broad boulev ards lined with modern shops, and ablaze with neon lights, where some of the women w ill be wearing the most daring Paris fashions, and others still be veiled.62 The shahs romanticization of these visibly sharp contrasts in Tehran was, however, an interpretation that could have possibly amused a foreign tourist of Iran, an d not an Iranian living in it. At the time, socialists, nationalists, and Islamists were particularly not amused by these contrasts. They respectively represented these contrasts as class ine quality between those who lived in northern Tehran and those who lived in shantytowns. Nationalists represented these contrasts as the sign of foreign domination a nd exploitation of Irani an dignity. Islamists represented these contrasts as the promotion of un-Islamic more s by the state. Most of these 61 For an example of how the discourse of modernization affe cted the planning or lack of planning major cities in Iran, see Mohammed Reza, Mission for My Country, p. 28. 62 Zamani, Jalal Al-E Ahmad's Culture p. 70

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216 discontents expressed themselves in literary work s, poems, essays, parodies, and short stories. For example, Jalal Al-e Ahmad, a famous essayist, wrote: In the past, our architects worked with local materials th at they knew well and shaped according to the existing human conditions and needs of the time. With those materials, they made, shaped, and built inspiring structur es that exceeded anyones individual ability but reflected our human conditions in its continuity. Centuries later, the magnificence of these standi ng structures in cities such as still inspire us, because they embody our spirits in time. In them, we see the genesis of our presence and the significance of our eternity. They are the embodiment of our souls, and that is their significance. Nowadays however, the imported materials sh ape the inferior stricken minds of our architects and engineers. They build apartm ents similar to chambers of a beehive; these holes confine the body, but more importantly do minate the human soul. The same goes for our dams and high-rises. These structures are designed to dominate the human soul and break our continuity with the past, and that is their significance [domination of the West].63 Because SAVAK focused on censoring texts that directly criticized Mohamad Reza Shah, it did not comprehend the subversive nature of Al-e Ahmad s rejection of modernity equated with Westernization and modernization. Al-e Ahma d represented Western modernity as a plague striking the soul and minds of Iranians. This was a transformative shift in the language. In sum, after the coup in 1953, the state seemingly adopted American produced knowledge of economic development, but the state unders tood and practiced that body of knowledge in accordance with the relational logic that constitute d the behavior of Mohamad Reza Shah as the embodiment of the state. Moreover, the states de velopmental interests an d how the state-elites competed to achieve them were constitutive of the state official discourse. Foreign Relations Representing Relation s with Others: Constitutive of the di scourse of monarchic modernism was how friends and foes were classi fied into a dichotomous world of good versus 63 Jalal Al-e Ahmad, Karnameh-e Seh Saleh, pp. 29-30, Also quoted in, Mohammed Reza, Answer to History

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217 evil, a practice that continued until the fall of th e regime when foes and friends juxtaposed their positions. In this discourse, while the West in general, and the United States in particular were represented as trustworthy alli es, the Soviet Union was repres ented as the primary foe. In this representation, unlike Reza Shahs ra ced-based rationale, which equated Iranian with Aryans and Germans, Mohammad Reza Shahs logics for his alliance with the United States and his opposition the Soviet Union were based on security. Accordingly, U.S. policies and practices were split into two cat egories. The good part of Am erica included its conservative people, realists, and security-conscious elites. Th e bad part of America consisted of liberal elites whom Mohamad Reza Shah represented as naive, dangerous, and an uninformed minority. In this representation, Mohamad Reza Shah referred to Eisenhower, Nixon, Kissinger, and Johnson as his old friends. But he implied th at Kennedy, Carter, and th e other Americans who criticized Iran were misinformed about the r eality of Iran and the sp ecial bond that existed between the shah and the people. He blamed th e liberal-oriented journa lists for misinforming Americans. He argued that American liberals ina dvertently promoted the cause of international communism by criticizing the security-conscious policy of Mohamad Reza Shah and his conservative allies in the United States.64 Based on this relational logic in the discourse, the conservative America was to be trusted, and the liberal America was to be suspected with ambiguous motives.65 In the discourse, the Soviet Union was al so dichotomizedgood and bad. The good part of the Soviet Union was its Russian people, and it s bad part was its state. Iran represented the Soviet state as an evil entity th at threatened the lives and freedom of the Russians as well as the 64 For example, see Ibid. 65 Mission for My Country p. 306.

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218 Iranians. Mohamad Reza Shah repeatedly represented Russians in an oppositional relation with their own state. He wrote: I have the kindest regard for the Russian peopl e as whole. The ordinary citizens of Russia realize better than do their leaders that no freedom-loving country [referring to Iranian people] can accept aid from a regime that show s clear signs of wanting to dictate its neighbors foreign policy.66 In other words, the people of Iran and Russi a naturally shared a certain value, but the Soviet state violated that value. Based on this relational logic in the discourse, Mohamad Reza Shah represented the Soviet state as a threat to freedom of people in no t only Iran, but also the West. In other words, discursively, Mohamad Reza Shah had become the defender of the Western freedom and democracy, although his ow n polity was not similar to any Western democracy. Accordingly, in 1955, the state enthusiastically entered into a U.S.-British-backed security agreement named the Baghdad Pact, which had a sim ilar logic with that of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The Baghdad Pact wa s a security pact among Pakistan, Turkey, Iran, and Iraq against the Soviet Union. However, Mohamad Reza Shah tried to maintain a cordial relation with th e Soviet Union. In 1956, following this policy, the shah visited Moscow and began to negotiate a non-aggr ession pact between Iran and the Soviet Union. However, the 1958 military coup in Iraq, which dethroned th e British-backed king Abul-lah, along with a foiled military coup in Iran, provoked the shah to enter into a mutual defense pact agreement with the United States. The Baghdad Pact was revi sed (a) to first reflect the absence of Iraq and (b) to strengthen the shahs regime. The Baghda d Pact was, therefore, renamed the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO). W ith CENTO in full force. Mohamad Reza Shahs regime and 66 Habib Ladjevardi, "Shahpour Bakhtiyar," (Iranian Oral History Project, Harvard University Center for Middle Eastern Studies, 1984).

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219 its conduct became even more entangled with U.S. policies. For contending discourses, however, entering a security agreement with the United St ates was interpreted as the relinquishing of Irans sovereignty to the United States.67 However, in the official disc ourse, the state represented and understood itself as an equal partner with the West, receiving economic aid, loan s, grants, and advice from the United States, all of which were represented as economic inte rdependence in contrast to Mussadiqs policy of economic isolation. Moreover, Irans security pa ct with the United States was represented as exercising balance of power against the threat of the Soviet Union, as opposed to Mussadiqs policy of non-alignment, which supposedly pr epared the way for a communist takeover. According to this relational logic, Mussadiqs policy was labeled as negative nationalism in contrast to what Mohamad Reza Shah labeled as positive nationalism. Mohamad Reza Shah wrote: When Mossadegh and his followers cried like women and indulged in hysterical tirades against the British, I tried to think of the larger national interest. Mossadeqhs negative nationalism not only provided the Co mmunists with their ideal opportunity but, paradoxically, allowed the British more influe nce over Irans national policies than ever before. Mossadeghs policy was of course one of negativism, not nationalism in any valid sense; nevertheless, the term positive nationalism I think helps distinguish between his conduct and that of the true patriot.68 In this text, the state official nationalism is represented as positive, logical, anticommunist, and patriotic. In contrast, Mussadi qs nationalism is repres ented as the opposite. Simultaneously, Mohamad Reza Shah argued that B ritish imperialism has ceased in Iran and outmoded capitalistic imperialist exploitation is giving way to new co-operative relationships.69 Based on this relational logic, Mohamad Reza Shah argued: 67 For example, see Mohammed Reza, Mission for My Country p. 126. The difference in spelling in the original. 68 Ibid., p. 130. 69 Ibid., p. 131.

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220 Just as a man has some friends upon whom he would especially rely on in any crisis, so too have we. We remain always ready to enlarge the circle of those most entrusted; at the same time we remain vigilant to join with our friends in resisting any form of imperialism.70 In other words, while the state constructed friends out of the conservative America, it made foes out of the Soviet Union. In this relational logic, the state represented U.S. economic and security dependence as a natural outcome of an alliance among friends and against their common foes. Meanwhile, contending discourses represented U.S.-Iran relations as a loss of Irans sovereignty. In other words, in the cont ext of contending discourses in Iran, U.S.-Iran relations became attached to a different narrat ive that was associated with the 1953 coup, British colonialism, and then U.S. imperialism. But fo r Mohamad Reza Shah, both the United States and Britain were associated with words such as trust, friendship, alliance, and cooperation. However, Mohamad Reza Shahs representation of the United States as a friendly ally began to change during Kennedys presidential campaign in 1960. Part II: Crisis and Reform (1960-1964) Representing Economic Underdevelopment as Security In 1961, as power shifted in W ashington under th e rubric of the Progress for Alliance, the Kennedy administration shifted its foreign pol icy focus from military assistance to economic development. Kennedy argued that underdevel opment provides conditions conducive for a revolution. Peaceful economic and political devel opment was, therefore, necessary to secure freedom and stop communism. Kennedy warn ed, Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.71 As such, revolutions were classified into peaceful or good ones and violent or b ad ones. While liberal revolutions were 70 Joseph Grunwald, "The Alliance for Progress," Proceedings of the Academy of Political Science: Economic and Political Trends in Latin America 27, no. 4 (1964). 71 Bill, The Eagle and the Lion: The Tragedy of American-Iranian Relations

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221 represented as good, peaceful, and democratic, co mmunist revolutions were represented as the opposite. This was, however, a shif t in the logic of security from the Eisenhower era to the Kennedy era. Following the policy of containm ent in Iran, Eisenhower emphasized building Mohamad Reza Shahs military as the bulwark against communism, but Kennedy focused on economic development and political reform as th e way to contain the spread of communism. As expected, when Kennedy became president in January 1961, a shift occurred in U.S. policy in Iran. Phillip Ta lbot, the Assistant Secret ary of State for Near Ea stern Affairs, suggested the following U.S. plan: (a) push for a land reform, (b) decrease its military assistance, (3) increase economic assistance, and (d) push for political reform without endangering Mohamad Reza Shahs system.72 Finally, Talbot recommended Ali Amin i, the then-Iranian Ambassador to the United States, to head a reformist government. Despite his initial resistance, Mohamad R eza Shah appointed Amini as a reformist premier. Once in power, Amini set out to reform the system along the lines that Talbot had outlined. Notwithstanding differences in nuan ce with Mohamad Reza Shah, Amini identified with the official state discourse rather than co ntending discourses. For socialists, nationalists, and Islamists, Amini was an American stooge who had negotiated the Iran-B ritain oil dispute on behalf of the coup makers.73 In Aminis view, the leaders of the opposition were not realistic. Thus, Amini did not, in any measurable way, tr y to co-opt the opposition into the government. Aminis reform was, however, more focused on economic and political reform, but not fundamental changes. Aminis policies were, howe ver, compatible with the Kennedys foreign policy articulated in the Alliance for Progress, which showcased economic and political reform 72 Keddie and Richard, Modern Iran: Roots and Results of Revolution pp. 143-144. 73 For the dispute settlement, see Ladjevardi, "Shahpour Bakhtiyar." For an example of how Amini Nationalists depicted Amini, see, Ladjevardi, ed., Memoirs of Ali Amini: Prime Minister of Iran (1961-62)

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222 as a way of preventing the spread of communism. In other words, with the aim of securing Iran from the threat of is own people, Amini went to work to implement Kennedys plan of making economic and political reform as the gateway for improving the conditions of life and thus preventing the spread of communism. Amini did not, however, aim to fundamentally reform the system by co-opting the opposition. He like other state-elites, considered the opposition as dangerous to the system. He, therefore, started a technocratic approach to economic and political reform. Amini tried to restore the power of the prem iership by shifting power away from the court to the cabinet, a move that frightened M ohamad Reza Shah. He removed many of Mohamad Reza Shahs sycophants from their post s, including dismissing the pro-shah Majlis. Instead, he appointed liberal, reformist-minded technocrats to govern. For example, he appointed Hassan Arsanjani, a former Tudeh sympathizer, as the Minister of Agricultur e. Arsanjani proposed a land reform strategy that could have potentially broken the power of tribal, aristocratic, military, and clerical landholders. His cabin et also included another former member of the Tudeh Party and National Front as the ministers of Justi ce and Education. As a trained economist, Amini agreed with the IMF-proposed stabilization plan, which the prev ious government had agreed to but had failed to implement. The refusal to implement the IMFs recommendations had resulted in its retaliatory by freezing a badly needed $35 million in emergency credit. With Amini in power, IMF released the $35 million emergency credit. Also, the United States issued an $85 million cash grant to help his government avert default on its foreign payment.74 As expected, the IMF stabilization plan included recommenda tions for reducing government expenditure and 74 Ladjevardi, ed., Memoirs of Ali Amini: Prime Minister of Iran (1961-62) pp. 125-128. In the language, the people refer to nepotism as having a party which means having a connection with an authority in the government. This practice has a legacy of the traditional fo rm of governance that was familial, local, and consensual for the most part.

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223 fighting corruption. Subsequently, Amini cut 15% of the budget for various ministries, but he could not cut the military budget, which made up the largest portion of the budget. 75 Aminis reform plan also called for fighti ng bureaucratic and commercial corruption. To deal with bureaucratic corruption, he enfo rced a tough disciplinary regime on mid-level bureaucrats and attempted to stop the rampant nepotism, which was a normal way of doing business in Iran.76 This policy further alienated th e state-elites who treated govern mental institutions as their private property. To deal with high prices, he blamed the traditional merchants ( Bazaaris ) for hoarding goods and he prosecuted some of them. Ho wever, these policies alienated the court, the landed elites, the bureaucracy, the Bazaaris and the conservative clergy. Meanwhile, the rhetoric of democratic reform heard from both the United States and Amini energized the opposition to regr oup and call for democratizing th e existing system. Mussadiqs secular loyalists, who had maintained thei r support among the general population, including university students, began to reactivate the Se cond National Front (SNF). On the other hand, Mussadiqs religious sector formed the Nati onal Freedom Movement. Moreover, the Third Force, which had social democratic tendencies with a strong support among intellectualsalong with a new generation of the Tudeh Party, began to campaign for democratic reform. Confident of their popularity, the opposition was called for a new election, but Amini refused to hold one. He was confident that a new election would bring the Second National Front to power, and this appeared intolerable for Amini as well as Mo hamad Reza Shah. In his interview with Habib Ladjervarid, Amini contended: 75 Helmut Richards, "America's Shah Shahanshah's Iran," Middle East Research and Information Project 40, no. Sep. (1975): p. 16. 76 Ladjevardi, ed., Memoirs of Ali Amini: Prime Minister of Iran (1961-62) pp. 123-124.

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224 The people still do not unders tand the very meaning of freedom or its limitation. This cannot continue. We must first tell the people you are only free to do things within a certain boundary; gradually, we can expand th at boundary. Beyond that boundary, they must censor themselves. This means that journa lists could ask about foreign policy but before they write they must also ask us, should we write this or not, is this in our national interest or not, after all, this is how it is in every free country in the world. And this is the only way to manage the country. You ask about election! But everyone knows that as soon as I begin one, every province will be in chaos. At this point in time, our priority is economic conditions.77 In this text, Amini sounds just like the shah. A dditionally, discursively, the relationship between the state and the people is very clear. The stat e is responsible for de marcating and teaching freedom; the people have the duty to follow it. Moreover, the relati onal linkage between economic and political development is also clear. Similar to the official state discourse, Amini favors economic over political development. In this interview, Amini blamed Mohamad Reza Shah for not allowing a free election, but a comparative analysis of Aminis text at the time reveals that more often than not he sided with the Shah. Thus, his quarrel with the Shah was over the differences of style, personalities, and positio ns in the state, but not in their embeddedness in the official state discourse. For example, simila r to the states official civil society, which consisted of paid hooligans participating in pr o-state demonstration or attacking anti-state protests, he states that the National Front leaders were too inexperienced to realize that our people and SAVAK agents constituted a large por tion of their protestors. Regardless of the trustworthiness of this statement, the utterances of such statements, which occurred often, meant that the state not only demarcated the meaning of freedom, but also the meaning of the people, civil society, and political par ticipation. For Amini, the people meant those who worked for the state, and their people mean t the rest of Iranians. 77 Yari, The Iran Party According to the Documents

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225 Obviously, Aminis words were not able to permeate the values, concepts, and images embedded in the language of contending discourses and they were not able to attach a new narrative to the peoples existential economic and political experien ces. Although the AminiKennedy rhetoric of reform provided a breathing pa use of hope, they failed to reconstitute their reality in any measurable way. In other words, as Amini alienated some of the state-elites, he pushed the opposition even further away. His polic ies ended up helping the shahs consolidation of power as SAVAK agents actively pursued discrediting Aminis government between both state-elites and before the opposition.78 By 1962, the clerical establishment led by Ayatollah Khomeini considered Aminis reforms as another American-Western conspiracy to enslave Iran.79 The merchant class did not like Amini for his anti-corr uption campaign, which unfairl y targeted the Bazaaris.80 The opposition did not like Amini because he actually repressed their leader more than previous governments did. For example, Aminis governme nt lasted fifteen months, and Shahpour Bakhtiyar, the leader of the Second National Front spent eleven months of that time period under arrest. Nevertheless, the most potent threat to Aminis government was the combination of the shah, the military elites, and the SAVAK. On January 21, 1962, in a peaceful demonstratio n, students at the University of Teheran demanded free parliamentary election, which was th e main slogan of the National Front. Despite the repeated call for leadership, students began to chant, Long live Muss adiq, death to Amini, 78 Ali M. Ansari, Modern Iran since 1921: The Pahlavis and After (London; New York: Longman, 2003), pp. 153155. 79 Ladjevardi, ed., Memoirs of Ali Amini: Prime Minister of Iran (1961-62) 80 See, Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions p. 423.

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226 and death to the shah.81 The protest provided an ideal opport unity for Mohamad Reza Shah to discredit Amini, raise the threat of a communi st revolution, and push back Kennedys reform. The next day the military brutally attacked the university. Ahmad Farhad, the university chancellor, resigned in protest. In his letter of resignation to Amini, Dr. Farhad wrote: Many of the students have been beaten to the po int of death. I have never seen or heard of so much cruelty, sadism, atrocity, and vandali sm on the part of Government forces. Some of the girls of the University were criminally attacked in the classrooms by the soldiers. Not even the University Hospital was out of bounds to the soldiers. Many of the nurses and patients were either beaten or wounded.82 Turning a peaceful demonstration into a bl oody war on students achieved its purpose. The military closed the university and began a massi ve round of arrests. The SAVAK arrested and charged leaders of the opposition with the usual charge of disturbing the peace and threatening the states security.83 Meanwhile, Amini was stuck in a budget crisis, which needed more help from the United States or a cut in the m ilitary expenditure, neither one of which was forthcoming. In June 1962, Amini turned in hi s resignation and the shah appointed Assadullah Alam, one of his most loyal sycopha nts, as the new prime minister. In short, in the battle to break the shah-cen tered state, the Kennedy-Amini alliance lost to Mohamad Reza Shah. Both Kennedy and Amini returned to their default positions, which was supporting the shah rather than je opardizing the system. In his offer of resignation, Amini said to the shah: 81 Richards, "America's Shah Sh ahanshah's Iran," p. 16. 82 Ibid. 83 It is argued that the head of SA VAK, Timour Bakhtiyar, wh o wished to replace Amini as the prime minister, instigated the attack on the University of Tehran. For example, see Ladjevardi, ed., Memoirs of Ali Amini: Prime Minister of Iran (1961-62) p. 123.

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227 I want to leave before you kick me out. Unfortuna tely, this is the reality of this country, the shah is the center of stabili ty. Governments can come and go, but the people always want to rely on a center of stability.84 Hence, he did not want to rock the boat, and in a Machiavellian approach, Amini insisted: The shah must remain above politics to main tain an air of divinity. After all, it is understood that the shah is indeed the shadow of God, to maintain th is idea, one should treat the shah with ceremonial protocol instead of treating hi m as disposable napkins rather than him being everywhere and used for anything.85 Put differently, Aminis differences with the sh ah were not about meaningful political reform. They were about how to stabi lize the system to prevent th e possibility of a communist revolution. Kennedy concurred and the shah remain ed the default player in the U.S. policy on Iran. With Amini unable to break the monopoly of the shahs power, Kennedy tried to push his reform by the shah, a policy that consolidated the pow er of the shah instead of reforming it. Representing a Shah-centered Reform and Revolution Although the Kennedy-Am ini reform failed to achi eve its goals, the rh etoric of peaceful revolution, economic reform, and political develo pment permeated the di scourse of monarchic modernism. The shah began to re-articulate the same representation by re-labeling Kennedys rhetoric of peaceful revolution as the White Re volution, that was supposed to restructure the economy and reform the political system. In a ri gged referendum, the shah helped pass a sixpoint reform bill with 99.8% of the people supposed ly voting for it. The shah referred to this performative act of reform as the re volution of the shah and the people.86 From then on, the state represented itself as a revol utionary and reformist government. 84 Ibid., p. 126. 85 Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions p. 424. 86 For voting percentages, see Mohammed Reza, Answer to History pp. 101-129, Ansari, Modern Iran since 1921: The Pahlavis and After For democracy as the shah saw it, see, Richar ds, "America's Shah Shahanshah's Iran," p. 22.

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228 The word revolution, which the shah ha d previously devalued and detested, was suddenly valued. Previously, socialists and democr atic nationalists had represented the shah as an anti-revolutionary force and a vestige of a dying feudal system. In contrast, the shah had represented communists as revolutio nary forces out to destroy Iran s heritage of monarchism that had supposedly helped the nation survive its historical ordeals. In other wo rds, in the official state discourse, revolution was devalued as the language of Others, and when Kennedy had referred to the Alliance for Progress as a re volution, it had disturbed Mohamad Reza Shah. In a 1962 interview with Mohamad Reza Shah, David Lilienthal wrote: The Shah reiterated his bewilderment at so me of the campaign speeches about furthering revolution and such things. [I n that interview, the shah said ], I was concerned that the President [Kennedy] was surrounded by some me n who were professors and might not be realistic about what revolution means out he re, about how evil subve rsion by the Soviets can be.87 To which Lilienthal responded, These expressions about revolution did not mean in America what they might mean when used in Iran.88 In another section of th e interview, Lilienthal assured the shah that Kennedys use of the word revolution had actually meant social revolution toward higher living standards.89 Additionally, Julius C. Holmes, Kennedys Ambassador to Iran (1961-1965) recalled that he had to assure Mohamad Reza Shah that Kennedys references to revol utions in his speeches m eant only social revolutions.90 In the shahs language, the word revolution was considered as the language of the Others. Moreover, in the offici al state language, words such as feudalism, land reform, class justice, workers rights, womens rights, p rofit sharing, health rights, 87 Richards, "America's Shah Shahanshah's Iran." 88 Ibid. 89 Ibid. 90 Mohammed Reza, Answer to History

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229 educations rights, and Islamic nationalism we re assumed as the inflammatory language of contending discourses. Suddenly, how ever, the Shah began to incor porate the same words as if he had invented them. In 1963, the shah introduced a bill focuse d on six points: (a) land reform, (b) nationalization of forests and pasturelands, (c ) workers profit shari ng in privately owned factories, (d) privatization of state factories, (e) womens suffr age, and (f) rural education by conscripted Literacy Corps. This bill had hitherto been a part of the articulatory practices and social demands of various conten ding discourses. However, the shah began to represent these ideas in by incorporating signifi ers, which had become meaningf ul in the contending discourses against the shah-centered statepeop le, class-equality, Islam. First, the state held a refere ndum which was represented a demo cratic way of the people to revolt against their oppressors and remain in support of their protectorMohamad Reza Shah. Previously, the Shah had either rigged elections or refrained from holding them, so this was another shift in representing a shah-led referendum as democratic participation. However, the language of the referendum had belonged to Mussad iqs discourse of democratic nationalism. Second, the state represented land reform as a shah-led modernization plan. However, the language of land reform, profit sharing, unive rsal education, universal suffrage, and nationalization were values constructed in the di scourse of socialists. For example, since the 1940s, the communist Tudeh Party had promoted peasant rights to profit from the land they worked on, workers rights to own the surplus va lue (profit) they produc ed in privately owned factories, peoples ri ghts to universal educati on, and womens right to vot e. But while socialists articulated these rights in term s of a historical struggle for a revolutionary overthrowing of the

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230 state, Mohamad Reza Shah rearticulated them as the new raison dtre for a divine mission bestowed upon him. Third, by appealing to Quranic texts, Mohamad Reza Shah was representing land reform, a profit sharing plan, and nationalization as if they were sanctioned by Islamic texts.91 In the manifesto for the White Revolution, which beca me a part of the hi gh school curriculum, Mohamad Reza Shah wrote: It is obvious that I have enjoyed Gods merciful blessing in this endeavor because this was a revolution that was based on the principles of justice and human equality in accordance with the most virtuous Islamic teaching. Naturally, in this endeavor, I had Gods divine approval, and certainly this revolution has been in accordance with principles and ideals inherent in the Iranian civilization for many millennia.92 In this text, Mohammed Reza Shah invoked the Islamic-monarchic language of divine sovereignty to re-represent t he principle of justice and hum an equality, although with a different interpretation from pre-modern texts.93 For centuries, in the Islamic-monarchic discourse, the concept of divine sovereignty had been linked to providing physical security and thus establishing peace and justice, but the concept of human equality was linked to equality before God. Justice was about providing physical security, an d equality among men or by men did not exist in the discourse. In Mohammed Reza Shahs manifesto, however, the repeated references to the principle of justice and human equality were the borrowed language of socialists and nationalis ts that were retrofitted into th e official state languagemonarchic modernism. In this representa tion, Mohammed Reza Shah began to borrow class-justice, human equality, and divine sovereignty and mixed these terms with the language of Islamic and Persian nationalism. 91 White Revolution pp. 3-4. 92 Ibid. Emphasis is added. 93 Ibid., pp. 6-7.

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231 Values and concepts previously constructed in different discourses were now being linked to new and different series of relational linka ges, differences, and oppositions. For example, Reza Shahs raced-based Persian Nationalism, which had been constructed in oppositional relation with the Shii concept of divine sovereignty, was now be ing linked to it. This linkage would have been improbable during Reza Shahs reign. Nevertheless, Mohammed Reza Shah represented them as mutually inclusive concepts.94 Fourth, by borrowing the intertextual language of Irani-Khareji, which had become a prominent value in the language of democratic nationalists during Mussad iqs oil nationalization struggle, Mohammed Reza Shah classifies his dyna sty as the manifestation of a true Iranian nationalism in an oppositional relation with foreigners. He declared: Although Reza Shah had secured the country by establishing a disciplined military, building roads unveiling women, codify ing uniform clothing fo r men, and doing many other important things in th e shortest possible time, he never had the opportunity to modernize the social foundation of Iran or uprooting puppets of foreign powers.95 Relying on the premise that his father had fought foreigners, Mohmad Reza Shah represents his dynasty as a bulwark against foreigners and his opposition as the puppets of foreigners. Referring to Mussadiq and the Tudeh Party as foreigne rs and foreign agents, the shah wrote: Those who pretended to be anti-foreigners we re, in fact, according to credible documents and reasons, used to take direct orders from foreigners. [And] the only thing they all shared was their opposition to the Pahlavis mo narchic power [and] they did that by promoting pessimism and suspicion in the nation.96 94 As was explained in Chapter 5, the official state discourse of modern monarchism created a boundary between good and bad Muslims. Good Musl ims were represented as Persian nationalists, but bad Muslims were represented as anti-shah, anti-Iran, and fanatics who no t only opposed the modernization of Iran, but also misunderstood the true teaching of Islam. 95 Mohammed Reza, White Revolution pp. 8-10. 96 Jalal Al-e Ahmad, The Curse of the Land (Nefrin-E Zamin) 2 ed. (Tehran: Ravaq, 1357/1978), p. 278.

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232 In this text, Mohamad Reza Shah tried to inve rt Mussadiqs anti-foreign position. However, the fact that the shah felt compelled to do so is the constructed value of Irani versus Khareji, which is intertextually understood as a universal truth. In all contending discourses, foreigners and their agents were a part of the political language, even for a regime like that of Mohammed Reza Shah, which argued against Mussadiqs brand of nationalism for being negative toward foreigners. According to this relational logic, the state-elites repeated the rhetoric of a shah-centered revolution of the people against foreigners. The official state radio, television, newspapers, and even celebratory state-sponsored functions spread similar messages.97 Although the state used the language of Iranians versus foreigners ad nauseam it did not consider it possible that the people might perceive the increasing presence of Americans in ev ery level of the government as the presence of foreign powers. Fifth, Mohamad Reza Shah borrowed not only Kennedys language of social, democratic, and peaceful revolution in his representation of th e White Revolution, but also Kennedys idea of the Peace Corps initiative. The shahs White Revol ution included the formation of the Education, Health, and Religion Corps. But there were f undamental differences between Mohamad Reza Shahs corps and Kennedys Peace Corps. Kenne dys Peace Corps mobilized, organized, and energized idealistic young Americans to volunt arily commit to providing people-to-people developmental, educational, and medical assistance for some of the poorest people in the world. In contrast, the members of the shahs corps di d not volunteer for providing their services and most of them resented going to the countryside as much as most country people resented having some strange, inexperienced city dwellers right out of high school telling them how to live their 97 For example, the pages of Ettellaat and Keyhan in this era are filled with refe rences to the state-led reform.

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233 lives. Because of the state-imposed censorship, these resentments were expressed only in alternative media. An example of this resent ment reflected in Jalal-e Al Ahmads book titled The Curse of the Land. In a fictional dialogue between an E ducational Corps and a local wise man, Al-e Ahmad wrote: The young man constantly worried about peoples lifestyle here. He asked, Why do they live in mud houses? Why dont they have towels? Why dont they press their clothes? Why do they sleep on bare grounds? Why do they eat with their dirty hands? I tried to explain to him the ridiculousness of his inquiries. But he would not understand.98 Finally, Mohamad Reza Shah re presented his revolution as a diplomatic achievement. He boasted that Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon had praised him for his social, democratic, and peaceful revolution.99 After Aminis reform failed, even Kennedys administration gave up its ambition to push for a democratic reform in Iran, and shortly after the transfer of power to Lyndon Johnson, the United States reverted to a shah-centered state policy, a policy that continued until months before the Shahs regime fell in 1979. According to Kenneth Pollack, U.S. officials knew the inadequacy, inefficiencies, and contradictory tenets of the Shahs While Revolution at the time. But after Aminis govern ment proved ineffective, no one cared to push for a substantive reform duri ng the Johnson or Nixon administrations because the Shah was considered a bulwark agains t the threat of communism.100 Hence, the United States acquiesced to a shah-centered foreign policy. As expected, the shah interpreted this acquies cence as having the full backing and trust of the United States. He once bragged: 98 Mohammed Reza, Answer to History pp. 8-10. 99 Pollack, The Persian Puzzle: The Conflict between Iran and America, p. 89. 100 See, Mohammed Reza, Answer to History pp. 16-17.

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234 My friendship with Richard Nixon dates back to 1953 and when he became president we both agreed that a nation must search for alliance with natural al lies, countries with which it will remain allied by virtue of common and permanent interests.101 In sum, in representing a shah-led revoluti on, the state borrowed the languages of its own contending discourse, as well as Ke nnedys language of social re volution, to communicate with its society and the United States. However, the Shah s language, policies, and practices of reform convinced successive U.S. administrations that a shah-centered policy was the most realistic policy for Iran, but it failed to convince his opposition.102 Consequences of the White Revolution In the sam e way developmental projects were big, showy, and shah-centered, so was the White Revolution. First, the most important com ponent of the revolution was the land reform. Its speedy implementation irreversibly changed the land-tenure rural property relations by eliminating the vestiges of trad itional governance at local levels and replacing them with the omnipotent power of the state.103 From then on, the state became the primary source of distributing credit, land, water, seeds, fertilizer, equipment, and access to markets vis--vis government-organized cooperatives.104 According to Eric Hooglund, who is an authority on land reform in Iran, the reason for land reform was a political decision by the shah to (a) extend the states power into rural areas, (b) please the Kennedy administ ration, and (c) expand his social base.105 Hooglund argued that while the shah succee ded in his first and second objectives, he 101 Richards, "America's Shah Sh ahanshah's Iran," p. 22. 102 Mohama Reza Shah spent a large amount of money in the U.S. media and lobbyists to create a positive image for himself. See Helmut Afsaneh Najmabadi, Land Reform and Social Change in Iran (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1987), pp. 101-102. 103 Ibid. 104 Eric J. Hooglund, Land and Revolution in Iran, 1960-1980 1st ed. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1982), p. 50. 105 Richards, "America's Shah Shahanshah's Iran."

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235 failed in the third objective. In other words, the shah lost the support of the landed elites without expanding his social base.106 The second controversial component of the White Revolution was the enfranchisement of women, which was represented in term s of Emancipation of Women ( Azady-e Zanan ) the same phrase that Reza Shah had used to force the unveiling of women back in 1934. This was also a showy and performative act. In a country wh ere the shahs secret police created fear to manage discontent, or in a nation with no semb lance of free and fair elections, enfranchising women did not appear as a genuine reform to socialists or nati onalists who otherwise would have supported it. However, the act alienated the most conservative clerical elites who linked and represented it as another attempt to revive Reza Shahs unveiling.107 In his 1941 essay, Kashf alAsrar, Ayatollah Khomeini had devalued Reza Shah by writing that they [the state-elites] regard the civilization and adva ncement of the country as dependent upon women going naked in the streets, or to quoting their own idiotic word s, turning half of the population into workers by unveiling them.108 Khomeinis 1941 sentiment was again expressed in 1963. Islamists rerepresented the shahs Emancipation of Women in the same termsan attempt to corrupt them. Other components of Mohamad Reza Shahs White Revolution, such as the workers right to profit sharing or nationalization of water, forests, and grazing lands, were grand and showy without any substantive resear ch or surveys done on them.109 106 For more information on the shahs land reform, see, Hooglund, Land and Revolution in Iran, 1960-1980 Also, see Najmabadi, Land Reform and Social Change in Iran Nima Nattagh, Agriculture & Regional Development in Iran (Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, England: Middle East & North African Studies Press, 1986). Baldwin, Planning and Development in Iran pp. 71-98. 107 Ruhollah Khomeini, Islam and Revolution: Writings and Declarations of Imam Khomeini (Berkeley, Calif.: Mizan Press, 1980), pp. 171-172. 108 Baldwin, Planning and Development in Iran 109 See Pollack, The Persian Puzzle: The Conflict between Iran and America pp. 89-90.

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236 In sum, the representation of policies and prac tices of the state-elites alienated socialists, Islamists, and nationalists. While the state valu ed the U.S.-Iran relations as a natural alliance between two sovereign states, co ntending discourses devalued th e alliance as a master-slave relationship. While the shah valued his reform as a revolutionary unity between the shah and the people, contending discourse represented it as a U.S. design. In other words, the official state language was widening the gap between state and society rather than communicating with the society. In a 1963 public opinion po ll taken by a West German research group, 85% of Iranians considered the White Revolution and American aid to Iran as an American design: [T]o make the rich richer. and only 8 percent thought that it as improving the standard of living of the many. Half of thos e polled said that the United St ates is too much on the side of having things remain as they are. Fina lly, 33 percent saw America as aggressive, compared to 19 percent who t hought the same of the USSR.110 In a qualitative comparative analysis of literature written in that era, Ahmad Karim-Hakkak analyzed the spirit of the time: [As] the monarchical state and Iranians pursu e fundamentally different visions and ideals, many Iranian poets and writers began to artic ulate their impression of this difference in their literary works in one form or another of opposite entities, positioni ng themselves with increasing self-consciousness against the state power structure. As the state gradually consolidated its sway over the society through the la te 1950s and early 1960s, the dominant mood vested in literary works turned from one of forceful resistance to one of pessimistic despair. Such ideals as liberty, de mocracy, and social justice were portrayed as precious pieces of an identity being cruelly trampled in an inevitable collision between the people and the politic al power structure.111 In brief, the consequence of the White Revol ution was the further consolidation of power of the shah on the one hand, and the increasi ng alienation of his opposition on the other. 110 Ahmad Karimi-Hkkak, "Revolutionary Posturing: Iranian Writers and the Iranian Revolution of 1979," International Journal of Middle East Studies 23, no. 4 (1991): p. 508. 111 Ali Rahnema, An Islamic Utopian: A Political Biography of Ali Shari'ati (London; New York: I.B. Tauris, 1998), p. 215.

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237 Consequently, by 1964, policies and practices of the state were inte rpreted differently from those intended or understood by the state. Classifying the Other In the official langu age of the state, a hierarchical construc tion occurred of the imagined enemies of the state. The state represented so cialists and Mussadiq as the highest security threats against the state. Accordingly, the stat e used its repressive means to first target communists, then nationalists, and lastly Islamistsdespite th e rising power and prestige of Islamists. Constitutive of this classification was the states self-interpretation rather than some tangible threat that socialists posed but nationalists or Islamists did not pose. The state monitored, interrogated, and jailedif not killedthose accused of being communist, associating wiht comm unist, or reading communists texts. The state, however, allowed Islamic intellectuals to operate so mewhat freely because SAVAK speculated that Islamists are naturally anti-communist. The perception that Islamists were naturally anticommunist was the case of how the state percei ved Ali Shariati, who was one of the most influential public intellectua ls. He popularized a political Islam whose content combined socialism, democratic nationalism, and Isla m among thousands of his loyal followers. Ali Shariati was indeed the symbol of the rise of a modern Islamic discourse. In 1963, SAVAK arrested and then released Shar iati for lecturing. Shariati 1963s letter of confession is revealing. In this letter, Shariati argued that his lectures were against the communist Tudeh Party and communism and did not target the shah whom he respected.112 Although this confessional letter was written by Shariati, it reveal ed what the state-elites in general and SAVAK directors desi red to hear. In the letter, Shariati praised SAVAK agents for 112 Ladjevardi, "Shahpour Bakhtiyar," pp. 212-215.

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238 treating him well and thanked them for providing him a comfortable c ondition under which he could freely speak his mind. Then he convincingl y wrote that his Impe rial Majesty, Mohamad Reza Shah, had indeed introduced a revolutionary idea for the social transformation of Iran to the extent that was possible. Shariati then theorized that the shah-centered state is a Bonapartist state in which the shah is a supra-class figure, fr ee of all class attachments. Therefore, all classes could conceivably benefit from fundame ntal transformations without resorting to violence and engaging in revolutionary activity.113 Shariati was writing in the official language of th e state and the senior officer in charge of his case recommended his release under surveillance. While this game of arrest and release was repeated for years, Shariati became one of th e most influential public intellectuals whose speeches at Husseini-e Ershah (The Center of Guidance for Husseins Followers) attracted thousands of young people. His books were reprinted many times and his speeches and lectures were tape-recorded or transcribed and distributed. I attended a few of these meetings in the early 1970s. The atmosphere was electrified with revo lutionary ideas, and middle class looking young men and women, who wore fashiona ble clothes and hairstyles, atte nded. For most attendees, it was inconceivable to hear Shariati and think of him as less of a threat to the state than communists or nationalists, but SAVAK continued to rank him as such. For SAVAK, it was inconceivable that Shariati was more of a threat to the state than communi sts. This condition of conceivability prevented SAVAK from assessing or predicting the danger of Islamists to the state until it was too late for the regime.114 113 Zonis, The Political Elite of Iran p. 315. 114 As it turned out, the CIA did not predict the rise of Islamists in Iran either.

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239 The logic behind classifying Islamists as th e least threat and communists as the most threat to the state was embedded in the official state discourse. In its representation, the state classified religion and religious ideologies as fanaticism and thus anti-progress and development. A statistical survey conducted by Marvin Zonis at the time fou nd that two-thirds of the highranking state officials thought religious leaders were unprogressive and unhelpful in modernizing the country.115 The logic behind this interpretation was ba sed on another set of interpretation that showed history as linear, progressive, and evol utionary. And the perception that the time for religion as expired was a dominant representation at the time. The very nature of proposing a linear, progres sive history dictates its own logic. By conceptualizing a linear history, what is placed in the past cannot belong to the future. And this is how the state-elites categorized Islamistsbel onging to the past. It was impossible for them to imagine that an Islamic movement could have the potential to mobilize young, educated, urban, and an increasing middle class population. Zoniss st atistical survey did not even bother to ask whether or not the state-elites perceived Islamist s as a security threat. Based on this logic, the state did not rank Islamists as a revolutionary threat. The a ssessment of continuing to rank Islamists as less of a threat to the state than socialists was desp ite the fact that in this era Islamists were calling for the ove rthrow of the regime, while so cialists and nationalists were advocating coexistence with the re gime of Mohamad Reza Shah. In the 1960s, for example, secular nationalis ts led by Shahpour Bakhtiyar, socialists associated with the Tudeh Party, and democratic socialists connected with Khalil Maleki (the Third Force) were all calling for the state to hold a free and fair election. This was the extent of their demand. Their internal de bates centered on how to force th e government to adhere to the 115 Ladjevardi, "Shahpour Bakhtiyar."

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240 existing constitution and allow them to participate in the government. Hence, the aim was not to antagonize the regime. In other words, the secula r opposition had agreed to tone down its antiAmerican, anti-shah, and anti-Israel rhetoric in public so that th e regime could co-op them. They essentially advocated what Bakh tiyar described as a minimalist demand for holding a semifree election.116 But the state would not allow nationalists or communists to participate in the election because they were percei ved as threats to the state. The Discourse of Modern Islam: Polit ical Islam and Return to Self By 1960, Islam ists had begun to represent a wo rldview that was both evolutionary and revolutionary. It was evolutionary because it in corporated all the basic signifiers previously constructed in both modern and tr aditional Iranian discourses. It was revolutionary because it called for the overthrow of the regime as a symp tom of Iranian Self-hate, alienation, and Western domination. A revolutionary and evolutionary Is lam was represented by de-linking development from Westernization. In other words, Islamists began to represent development in terms of returning to an Islamic-Iranian Self rather than emulating the Western models of development. Most significantly, however, was ho w Islamists retrieved Islamic, Shii, and Sufi historical texts to represent a supposedly true Is lamic ideology for life both he re and hereafter. Accordingly, this modern Islamists constructed a new political ideology that represen ted traditional clerical conservatism and quietism as un-Islamic. Instead, they offered an altern ative Islamic ideology. In contrast to a compromising call on the pa rt of socialists and nationalists, by 1960, Islamists were demanding a systematic and revol utionary change. They called not only for a violent and revolutionary overthrow of the regime but also a modernizing vision of Islam that devalued Islamic or Sufi quietism, religious c onservatism, and any other compromises with the 116 Interview with Dabash i and NetLibrary Inc., Theology of Discontent: The Ideological Foundations of the Islamic Revolution in Iran.

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241 regime. For example, Mehdi Bazargan, who became the prime minister of the provisional government after the fall of the regime, became very popular for representing Islam as a modern and modernizing ideology that was represented as both divine and scientific. In the same vein, Ayatollah Taleqani represented Islam as a socialistic religion concerned with class justice while he criticized the Marxian interpretation of hist orical materialism and Soviet-style socialism. Ayatollah Motahri represented Islam as both a rational philosophy and faithful theology. Ali Shariati began to represent Islam as a modern, soci alist, democratic, scientific, and revolutionary ideology that appealed to young, educated, and urban people. Even Jalal Al-e Ahmad, who had started his political writings as a socialist, bega n to advocate Islam as a cultural dimension of an Iranian Self versus the Wester n Other, a dimension whose loss, he argued, had created all the miseries Iranians had suffered since Iran had encountered the West. Ayatollah Khomeini, a disciple of Ayatollah Bourujerdi who had advocated quietism, also began to call for the overthrowing of the regime by advocating an Islamic state that was modern, modernizing, Islamic, socialist, and democratic.117 Most importantly, modern Islamists were not necessary from the clerical establishment. For example, although Mehdi Bazargan, Ali Shariati, and Jalal Al-e Ahmad had a strong affinity for Islamic th ought, all of them had a European education and had done extensive traveling and living in the We st, as well as having in -depth contacts with well-known Western intellectuals. In other words, modern Islamists were familiar not only with the Islamic school of thought, but also with the West and Western philosophy. For a brief understanding of the modern Islamic thought, which became the main contender of the regime, I will now review the interpretation of three important figures. 117 For example, Hamid Dabashi, Theology of Discontent: The Ideological Foundations of the Islamic Revolution in Iran (New Brunswick Transaction Publishers 2006).

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242 Mehdi Bazargan In the 1930s, Mehdi Bazargan was among the first group of students whom Reza Shah had sent to Eu rope for receiving education. Upon his retu rn to Iran, he began to teach at the School of Engineering at Tehran University in 1940. He was not, however, known for contributing to the field of thermodynamics, which was his field of sp ecialty. From an ideological perspective, he was instead known for representing an Islamic id eology that denounced Sufis quietism, Shii ritualism, and the established cler ical institutions. In various text s, he valued what he called a progressive, modern, scientific, and revolutionary Islam. Bazar gan scathingly criticized the established Shii clergy for adhering to a ritualis tic and irrational view of Islam. Interestingly, Bazargans criticism of the cler gy was similar to those of Ahmad Kasravis views, but from a modernist perspective. Kasravi was assassinated for being anti-Islam, but Bazargan was praised for promoting a scientific view of Islam. Bazar gan called for an Islamic revolution to establish an Islamic state based on an Islamic ideology. By 1964, when the shah charged Bazargan with th reatening the states security, Bazargans vision of Islam had entered the languageit no longer belonged to his close circle of intellectuals and political activists.118 Much like Khomeini, Taleqani, Motahari, Jalal Al-e Ahmad, and Shariati, Bazargan showed true Isla m as being modern, scientific, lawful, democratic, just, and in accordance with Islamic ethics, which was both evolutionary and revolutionary. Bazargans articulatory logic wa s that of an Islamist who pr omoted class justice and made class analysis in accord with socialism. He was a socialist who emphasized modernism, a 118 As a middle school student in the small city of Shiraz, I personally used to attend meetings that schoolteachers used to organize for Quranic reading and interpretation. Many young people attended. The dominant theme in these discussions was that Islam was a scientific theology, a rational philosophy, and a revolutionary political ideology that could purify Self from the eve r-increasing cultural contamination designed to maintain Western domination of Iran.

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243 modernist who advocated Mussadiqs brand of de mocratic nationalism, a nationalist who valued constitutionalism. Above all, Bazargan was a man who envisioned an Islamic state based on a progressive Islamic ideology that was familiar in Islamic law or Shariat and Islamic Sufism or Tariqat.119 Similar to modernists, Bazargan believed in a progressive, determined, and evolutionary view of history, but based on a different articulatory logic fr om those of modernists. While modernists logic of a progressi ve history was based on positi ng mans relation with nature, Bazargans logic of an evolu tionary history was based on ma ns relation with God. While modernists viewed the relationship between man a nd nature as primarily a physical or material relation between man and nature, modern Islamists interpreted th e relationship between man and God as primarily a metaphysical relationshi p between man and Gods consciousness. For modernists, human history is a progressive path toward domination of man over nature. From a different logic, Bazargan proposed that human history is a progressive path toward God as the perfect universal consciousness. But Bazargan was not the only one with this interpretation of historical progress. Notwithstanding their differe nces, Ali Shariati, Ayatollah Morteza Motahari, Sayed Mohammad Taleqani, Allameh Hussein Ta batabai, and Ayatollah Khomeini shared Bazargans view of a progressive history, with which they all identified and signified by the word Tohid. In Islamic traditional texts, Tohid meant the belief in monotheism, but in modern 119 Traditionally, Tariqat, which was highly apolitical, was represented in an oppositional relation with Shariat that was highly political. Notwithstanding the differences among various Islamic schools of thought as to what constitutes the content of Shariat and Tariqat, the methodological differences between the two schools had been translated into Shariat as a political, prescriptive, formal, and reproduced through the clerical institution, and Tariqat as apolitical, highly individualistic, intuitive, informal, an d reproduced by devout followers on their own free will. But the modernist Islamic discourse both have come togeth er as though they have been an integral part of each other. Ali Shariati was the best known articulator of this combination.

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244 Islamic texts, while Tohid maintained its old meaning, it was also linked to the concept of a progressive path toward unity with God as the only perfection of universal consciousness.120 However, Bazargans reference to Tohid, as a progressive unity between man and God, was a familiar concept of Vahadt (unity of consciousness), which was similar to the language of Islamic mystics, such as Rumi, Hafez, and hundr eds of other literary works. In other words, Bazargans articulation of Tohid had traces of Islamic mysticism, which had traditionally interpreted and practiced Islam with a different methodological approach known as Tariqat (methodological path). Tariqatists practiced an Islamic theology that was ascetic, antiestablishment, anti-political, and interpretative As such, it was extrem ely individualistic. For Tariqatists the progressive path to unity with Go d was one of personal love, commitment, devotion, intuition, and interpretation and not necessar ily text-based rituals, prayers, and clerical prescriptions. This methodological difference had traditionally pitted Tariqatists ( Sufis and Arefs ) against the Shii clergy ( Shariatists or Mullahs and Mujtaheds ) whose methodology focused on Sunna (tradition) which was text-based, prescriptive, and rationalistic. Its interpretation was limited Maraj-e taqlid (the qualified sources of im itation or emulation). But modern Islamists were bringing these two opposing traditions together as if they had always been mutually inclusive. Bazargan articulated his interpretation of pr ogressive histories into two familiar Islamic sub-discourses ( Sharia and Tariga). This new interpretation was both Tariqatist and Shariatist without being either one. The discourse had tr aces of both in it. On the one hand, Bazargan articulated his arguments in the authoritative Quranic, Islamic, and Shii texts, myths, and 120 In addition to various writings, see Mehdi Bazargan, Pa Beh Pa-Ya Vahy (Step by Step with Revelation: An Interpretation of Qur'an) 2 vols. (Tehran Daftar Nashr Farhang Islami, 1377/1978).

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245 common laws of Sharia to represent a political Islam that was prescriptive in its teaching.121 On the other hand, he was appeali ng to individualistic love, devo tion, commitment, and asceticism of Tariqatists to represent Islam as a path to progressive consciousness toward ( Tohid ) or the unity of man with God. Discursively, this was a great interpretative shift. Traditionally, Islamic-Iranian mys tics followed a seven-step path ( Tariqat ) toward a progressive move in the dire ction of unity with God ( Vahdat ). For reaching Vahdat, an individual gathered his will, love, commitment, and gave up bodily needs or desires to achieve that unity, which was deemed unreachable but progress toward it was possible.122 Therefore, the Tariqatist discourse was highly apolitical anti-materialist, and indivi dualist. However, modern Islamists in general and Bazargan in particular were highly political, materialists, and collectivists. They struggled against the unjust dist ribution of wealth in the society, as well as the erosion of Islamic mores. Nevertheless, modern Islamists re -articulated the notion of a progressive path to perfection. This path to pe rfection was seen in terms of the struggle of individuals to improve their polit ical, social, and material cond itions by attaining an Islamic collective consciousness.123 This new way of thinking Islamic was represented as the struggle to improve consciousness through understanding and practicing ones religio us responsibility to Self, the community, and God, which was supposed to be the path toward the unity with God. The path to unity (Tohid ) was no longer perceived as refraini ng from worldly a ffairs. It was 121 Zarin-kub, Dar Jeztejoya Tasvof Dar Iran (a Survey of Sufism in Iran) 122 Mahdi Bazargan, Bazgasht Beh Qur'an Chap-i 1. ed. (Tehran: Bungah-i Tarjamah va Nashr-i Kitab, 1360), Mahd Bazargan, Inqilab-I Iran Dar Du Harakat Chap-i. ed. (Tehran: s.n., 1964/1363), Mahdi Bazargan, HukumatE Jahan-I Va Hid Navishtah-Ya Mahdi Bazargan Chap-i 2 ed. (Tehran: Shirkat-i Sahami, 1965), Mehdi Bazargan, Muslim: Social and Global (Musalman: Ejtema-I and Johan-I) (Tehran: Ershad, 1965/1344), Mahdi Bazargan, Khanah-E Mardum (Tehran: Shirkat-e Sahami, 1967), Mahdi Bazargan, Bisat Va Idulugi (Tabriz,: Ilmiyah, 1968), Mahdi Bazargan, Mahdi Bazargan Pamphlets (1976), Mahdi Bazargan and Muhammad Mahdi Jafari, Bad Va Baran Dar Qur'an (Tehran: Shirkat-e Sahami-ye Intishar, 1974). 123 Bazargan and Jafari, Bad Va Baran Dar Qur'an

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246 rather about the worldly affair s of serving self and the community. Hence, while Bazargan rejected quietism and pure spiritualism, he was promoting active participation along with personal love, devotion, and commitment to God s work, all for achieving both material and spiritual perfection for the individual, as we ll as collective mate rial improvement and improvement of consciousness. Bazargan used the language of Tariqatist to represent a progressive history of collective consciousness. He also valued materialism and activ ism. In fact, he quoted Marx to express that the material conditions of life have historically corresponded w ith the progressive collective consciousness of mankind. He stated that the manifestation of any collective consciousness in a given time and space is different political ideologies, such as fe udalism, capitalism, socialism, and communism. In many ways, Bazargans argument was utilizing a Marxian class and dialectical analysis to represent its interpretati on of progressive history, but by incorporating the familiar languages of Tariqatists and Shariatiss instead of the unfamiliar language of socialists or nationalists. Bazargan idealized an Islamic state, which, he argued, would become possible only if Iranian collective consciousness would progr ess to the point of attaining an Islamic ideology. In this interpretation of Islam, the relationship between Shariat and Tariqat became complementary rather than opposing. As such, th e previously considered personal and private became political, religious, and public. The Tariqatists interpretative and individualistic love, commitment, and devotion to God became the public and political way of devotion to political participation aimed at establishing Islamic rules, laws, and norms. Bazargan promoted an Islamic ideology that viewed political part icipation in terms of acting: bot h rationally and spiritually, Self

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247 governing politically and religious ly, improving Self materially a nd spiritually, and viewing Self as an individual and a collective. Bazargans Islamic ideology c onsisted of three components: Sharia Laws, Shii clerical establishment, and personal-politic al-religious devotion. He argued th at Sharia law, which can be summed up as Islamic laws, norms, rules, customs, and consensus according to the holy Quran and traditional texts and practi ces during the reign of prophet Mohamad, was the only reliable source of guidance. From this representation, consensus ( ijma ) of Shii Mujtahedean (Islamic scholars) was the most qualified source of interpreting divine laws according to the exigencies of any given time and space. Bazargan argued that Shi ites are obliged to follow the most learned living mujtahed to progress with the changes and development in the world.124 He argued in favor of academic, theological specialization so unity could occur between universities and seminaries, a unity that would combine modern natural and social sciences, as well human and divine laws. To achieve these goals, Bazargan argue d in favor of scientific interpretations of Quran, which he contended would reveal the mo st advanced technological innovations. For example, in one of his essays, Wind and Rain, Bazargan argued that the science of meteorology was already written in Quran but it had not been unders tood yet. However, it is not clear whether Bazargan urged hi s readers to master interpretive skills to discover scientific knowledge by a careful reading of the holy text, or his readers s hould first master a particular discipline, as he did, and then try to find it in Quranic verses.125 Nevertheless, his texts are full of analogies taken from his e ngineering field of thermodynamics which gives credence to the 124 Dabashi, Theology of Discontent: The Ideological Foundations of the Islamic Revolution in Iran pp. 340-345. 125 Bazargan, Bazgasht Beh Qur'an Bazargan, Inqilab-I Iran Dar Du Harakat Bazargan, Hukumat-E Jahan-I Va Hid Navishtah-Ya Mahdi Bazargan Bazargan, Muslim: Social and Global (Musalman: Ejtema-I and Johan-I) Bazargan, Khanah-E Mardum, Bazargan, Bisat Va Idulugi Bazargan, Mahdi Bazargan Pamphlets Mehdi Bazargan, Az Khoda Parsti Ta Khoda-Parasti (Huston: Book Distribution Center 1976/1355), Bazargan and Jafari, Bad Va Baran Dar Qur'an

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248 notion that Islam, science, modernization, and de velopment are not opposed to each other as the regime had represented them to be. Finally, Bazargan emphasized that the intended purpose for religious ri tuals, prayers, and obligations is political, and reli gious leaders who advised their followers to abide by religious rituals or prayersjust for the sake of bei ng saveddid not understand religion or politics. One of his examples was the ritual of going to Mecca. He argued that the purpose for this mandatory pilgrimagefor those who could afford to make the long journeyis a polit ical act to unify the nation of Islam. His interpretati on of the call for colle ctive Friday Prayers, fasting, and other Shii rituals was in the same vein. He argued that these religious responsib ilities without political purposes were mindless acts of ir rationality and therefore a path away from progressing toward the collective consciousness or ge tting close to God. Notwithsta nding their differences, modern Islamists had the same view of what they called Islamic ideology, which was a shared understanding or a new interpretation on which the 1979 revolution was constructed.126 Bazargans ideal state did not differ in its basic signifiers from other contending discourses. It was an ideal st ate that could provide securit y, human economic development, freedom, equality, justice, and democracy. Accord ingly, this ideal state must not discriminate based on race, status, and knowle dge. Women must be equal to men and have the right to participate in the administrati on of the government. The state mu st educate all its people, and through public education and Islamic ethics, the st ate must and will eradicate corruption. Finally, he described an ideal Islamic nation as well. An ideal nation is an inclusive collectivity that recognized the peoples right to form group associations. But thes e ideas were not particularly 126 Mehrzad Boroujerdi, Iranian Intellectuals and the West: The Tormented Triumph of Nativism 1st ed. (Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse Univer sity Press, 1996).

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249 Islamic. They were certainly values that were represented, understood, and constructed within the Iranian contending discourses, albeit with different hierarchic formation. In other words, values, which were expressed in Bazargans discourse of modern political Islam, incorporated the traditional basic signifie rs, such as security, development, law, people, and justice. They were expressed in terms of Islamic Sharia laws, Shii cleric al interpretation, and Sufis individualistic devotion. By 1963, while Bazargans articulation of an ideal Islamic state remained somewhat controversial among some in the clerical es tablishment and obviously among socialists and nationalists, his revolutionary pos ition against the state was hi ghly valued among all contending discourses that opposed the regime. At the time, any rhetorical representation, which devalued the Mohamad Reza Shah, delegitimized the pres ence of the United States, demonized Israel, equated capitalism to imperialism, and attributed the moral corruption of the country to Western liberalism was a shared value among all Iranian contending discourses excep t the official state discourse.127 These shared values were beginning to become the unifying signifiers under which a hegemonic discourse was being constructed against the state. Bazargan wrote: What the Iranian nation wants is just one word Freedom. This word is not Hebrew that for understanding it you [Mohamad R eza Shah] need to hire advisors from Israel. We say that the Shah does not have the right to establish law, to install [or] dismiss government according to his views a nd will, and yet he be [considered] sinless, unaccountable, with a sacred, even everlasti ng position. This is reactionary, this is despotism, and this is dictatorship.128 At this time, as the leaders of secular nationalists and socialists were wishing for the regime to allow them to participate in a s emi free election, the Freedom Movement, led by Bazargan, openly called for the violent destruction of the Pa hlavi regime: Down with the 127 For example, see Boroujerdi examines the works of public intellectuals whose works inspired the growth of a particular nativist view of perceiving Iran as a nation dominated by the West and desiring to be free from it. 128 Dabashi, Theology of Discontent: The Ideological Foundations of the Islamic Revolution in Iran p. 336.

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250 Shahs despicable regime. Death to Israel, the sh ahs monstrous master! Salutation to the blessed spirit of the shroud-bloodied martyrs of the Iranian people!129 These types of texts represented the shah as a heretic who claime d divine sovereignty. While Bazarga n muted a large part of Shii and Sunnis legitimation of monarchic rules, he argued that the concept of divine monarchic sovereignty was un-Islamic. Meanwhile, his reve rence for Khomeinis leadership was no less than viewing him as a divine pol itical leader. For example, in J une 1963, when the state arrested Ayatollah Khomeini for one of his fiery spee ches against the regime, Bazargan stated: In Iranian history, this is the first time when exalted position of the supreme deputyship of Imam Ali, peace be upon him, is insulted and the source of exemplary conduct, His Highness Ayatollah Khomeini is kidnapped and imprisoned.130 In this text, representing Khomeini as the supreme deputy of Imam Ali has a constitutive logic that represents Khomeini as the divine appointee of Imam Ali and the inheritor of Alis political leadership. Additionally, Bazargan maintained that the Shii clergy has always kept its independence from monarchic rulers and resi sted tyranny and despotic absolutism. But Bazargans representation of the role of Shiis clergy was a new interpretation of history. At least since the Safavid dynasty, the Shii clergy had coope rated with the monarchs. In short, the social content of Bazargans Islam was filled with valu es constructed in modernist, nationalist, and socialist discourses, but articulated in the familiar language of Sharia, Tariqa, and Shii words, images, myths, and narratives. Jalal Al-e Ahmad As Bazargan, Al-e Ahmad represented Moham ad Reza Shahs revolution as another U.S. design to subjugate Iran. But Al-e Ahmad was an essayist rather than a political activist. 129 Ibid., 336-337. 130 Dabashi and NetLibrary Inc., Theology of Discontent: The Ideological Foundations of the Islamic Revolution in Iran p. 339. Also quoted in Ahmad, On the Intellectuals (Dar Khedmat and Khianat Roshanfekran) p. 330.

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251 Nevertheless, his embedded values were similar to Bazargans values, as well as other modern Islamists. For example, on the shahs revoluti on, he wrote: These da ys everything, including revolution, is bureaucratic, performative, and showy.131 On the shahs referendum, he claimed that in the old days landlords used to bus thei r subject-peasants to ballot boxes. These days, however, it is the ballot boxes that have been move d in front of ministries for subject-bureaucrats to cast their votes in exchange for their next months salary.132 Regarding land reform, he sarcastically wrote: To avoid military coup organi zed by retired colonels, they [the regime] evicted Turcoman, for example, and then gave those lands to m ilitary colonels to cultivate cotton, wheat, and watermelons, and now one can certainly boast about all the cotton and watermelon crops we enjoy! How good they are!133 On a different occasion, he criticized the land reform for being too little too late: Converting landless peasants to small farmers could have been useful 200 years ago. Now we should create large mechani zed cooperatives instead.134 On the Education Corps, he wrote: I have worked with and taught some of these Corp s conscripts, while some try to get along with villagers, most want to educate them not to have bad table manners, mud houses, and native clothes.135 However, Al-e Ahmads most subversive contention, which entered into the language as a clear and concise concept, was his call for a return to an Iranian-Islamic Self, a Self that was supposed to be purified from the contamination of Westerners and Western-like modernizers. 131 Jalal Al-e Ahmad, Gharbzadegi (Westoxication) (Tehran Ravaq, 1344/1962), p. 172. 132 Ahmad, The Curse of the Land (Nefrin-E Zamin) p. 254. 133 Gharbzadegi (Westoxication) p. 162. 134 Jalal Al-e Ahmad, Three Year Accomplishment (Karnam-Eh S-Eh Saleh) 3ed. (Tehran Ravaq, 1357/1978), p. 169. 135 Bostock and Jones, Planning and Power in Iran: Ebtehaj an d Economic Development under the Shah p. 115.

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252 Return to Self During this era, th e interpretation of the concept of Irani-Khareji (Iranian-foreigners) began to shift from perceiving external or physi cal enemies to internal and metaphysical enemyforeigners. In the discourse, Kharejian (foreigners) were no longer me rely linked to the physical presence or domination of Ameri cans, British, or Russians. They were instead represented as Western-like others within. Iran was represented as a sick body afflicted w ith a Western disease that was debilitating the Iranian mind and body. This pathological analogy was similar to how modernists had described Iran since the 1906 const itutional revolution a dying pait ient whose survival depended upon adopting Westernization, which was equated to modernization in modernist discourses. In contrast, by 1960, modern Islamists represented Iran as a dying patient w hose survival depended on rejecting Westernization but not modernization, which they equated with a return to IslamicSelf.136 For modern Islamists, the linkage between We sternization and modern ization broke apart. They began to devalue both capitalism and socialism as Western-style modernism, which had enslaved Iran. Eventually, public intellectuals, su ch as Al-e Ahmad and Ali Shariati, began to challenge the regime without di rectly confronting it. In much more confrontational ways, however, modern Islamists directly challenged socialists and na tionalists by devaluing them as soulless, cultureless, and they alienated Iranian s in their monkey-see-monkey-do attitude toward the West. Meanwhile, they also blamed the es tablished Shii clergy a nd their conservatism, 136 If a patient will surely die unless he has a serious operation, and he might not survive the operation, is there any sensible person who would say: dont operate? That is Irans positions, said Ebtehaj. See Ahmad, Gharbzadegi (Westoxication) Ahmad, On the Intellectuals (Dar Khedmat and Khianat Roshanfekran)

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253 quietism, ritualism, and fanaticism as Iranian backwardness in relati on to Western powers.137 In other words, modern Islamists began to challenge values previously repr esented and constructed as Western modernism or Eastern traditionalism. Instead, they advo cated a return to an IranianIslamic Self. This conceptualization of Self was, however, much different from the Self projected by nationalists, socialists, and the monarchic modernists. For example, Al-e Ahmad argued that the West had not only taken Iran s wealth, but also its pride, spirit, and traditional Islamic-local wisdom. The argument was that Iran had been afflicted with the debilitating plague of modern ism of which the monarchic regime was just one of its symptoms. He named this disease garbzadegi, a compound term consisting of garb (West) and zadgi (beaten, struck, afflicted, infatuated, or possessed) .138 This term invoked the idea that Iran was afflicted with a disease like that of the black plague ( taun-zadegi) struck by a natural disaster like an earthquake ( zelzeleh-zadegi ), possessed by mythological devil-like creatures ( jenzadegi ), or mindlessly infatuated with the West ( garb-zadegi ).139 In other words, discursively, the West was being linked to negative narratives, such as such plagues, natural disasters, evil spirits, and mindlessness. When Jalal Al-e Ahmad coined the term garb-zadegi, which has been translated into the English language as West oxication or West-struc k, his audience could immediately understand what he meant.140 137 Rahnema, An Islamic Utopian: A Political Biography of Ali Shari'ati Boroujerdi, Iranian Intellectuals and the West: The Tormented Triumph of Nativism pp. 63-65. 138 Al-e Ahmad claimed that he first heard the term garb-zadegi from Ahmad Farid, who taught Western philosophy at the University of Iran and was one of the original mentors for devaluing Western modernity. For more information on Farid, see Darius Ashuri, Us and Modernity (Ma Va Moderniat) 3 ed. (Tehran: Mua'seseh Farhangya Saraat 1384/1995). 139 In myths, Jens are human-like creatures who live in a parallel unive rse with the people and at times take over their minds and bodies. 140 Words such as Farangi nema (Western look-alike), fokokli or a person who wore a bowtie, gigolo or its Farsi version geegul referred to a person wanting to look or act Western. In some Iranian movies, for example, Abrahim

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254 Garbzadegi was the act of naming an existential and familiar concept embedded in the sub-discourse of Irani-khareji, although the Khareji in this interpretation was no longer merely external or physical; instead, it was internal and metaphysi cal. In this emerging interpretation, the familiar concept of Iran-Khareji was being re -represented as Khareji taking over the mind of an Iranian. As a reminder, the West had been dichotomizedthe West as a foreign colonizer and the West as a humanist ideal. The Westhome to foreigners, colonizers, and their Iranian agentswas linked to Britain, Russia, and, after the 1953 coup, America. The other West was a conceptual ideal in which science, philosophy, and technology, democracy, civilization, and industrialization flourished. This ideal West was s upposed to be emulated. For modern Islamists, this boundary between the West as foreign colonizer and the We st as an ideal disappeared the West became a dark physical and metaphysical place.141 Its physical presence was linked to Britain, the Soviet Union, and Am erica, and its metaphysical ent ity was linked to those Iranians who admired its idealness. In this way, the fa miliar language of labeling opponents as agents, stooges, spies, hired hands or puppets of foreign powers was extended to mean those who simply valued Western modernity as progre ssive human achievement rather than means of domination, alienation, and Self-h ate. From this perspective, the new genre of committed literature was created.142 This literature, depicted the West (Garb), which literally means where the sun sets, as a place where foreigners have always tried to invade the East ( Sharq ). The East Goes to New York, derided this stereotype. One of the oldest narrative of this stereotype is, however, Muhammad Ali Jamal-zadehs satirical short story, Farsi Is Sweet, which was written in the 1920s. 141 For the debate between Darius Ashuri, who advocated modernism but an opponent of the regime and modern Islamists, such as Al-e Ahmad and others who posited th e West in an oppositional relation with the East, see the collection of Ashuris essays, Ahmad, Gharbzadegi (Westoxication) pp. 149-150. 142 This genre included secular and Islamic literature. For example, people such as Ahmad Shamlu, Hushang Gulsheri, and Khosru Golsur khi became famous for writing in this genr e. For further information, see Majid Sharifis non-published paper, The Discourse of Kharejian in the Committed Modern Iranian Literature

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255 literally means where the sun rises and life begins In other words, the West-East dichotomy was translated into a Manichean world of good and evil, and this was also a familiar concept in both Islamic, Shii, and Persian myths. Thus, wh en this worldview was coined by Ale-Ahmad, it appeared as if this foreignness within has been there since eternity. Howe ver, this worldview was in sharp contrast to previous literary works. For example, during the rule of Reza Shah, the dominant theme in unofficial literature portr ayed the West as good and the East as evil, backward, and primitive.143 Al-e Ahmad wrote, A West-struck person always obsessively and mindlessly pays attention to Western voices and gestures.144 Ayatollah Khomeini repeated the same sentiments: A West-struck person even knows himself from the perspective of Orientalists, who are true expertise for promoting Colonialism, although in their deceptive and treacherous ways, and by pretending their love and devo tion for the knowledge of Islam and the East, they have constructed a thick veil of ignorance in front of you, the young generation. Behind this thick veil, they have hidden the t rue dimensions of Islam. Now, however, all you who have been enlighten ed with the light of Islam must wake up those who have been afflicted with this West-struckness.145 Similarly, Ali Shariati represented Iran in an oppositional relation with the West in the same way: When I say, we, I mean we the Easterners, we the Muslims, we the Iranians who have experienced terrifying events and witnessed how the treacherous conspiracies perpetuated by our own Iranian Left and R ight in cooperation with the brutal and violent forces of foreign powers that together have tried to up root all traces of our national identity. As a terrified bird in captivity, we are captured by so many isms, such as anarchism, Marxism and modernism. The essence of these isms negate our heritage, cause us to be the mindless emulators of the West, and encourage us to passively submit to 143 In Chapter 3, Modernism in the Literature, I discuss how modernism was valued and traditionalism was devalued. 144 Ayatollah Khomeini, Sahif-Eh Imam (Collection of Imam Khomeini) vol. 2 (Tehran: 1349/1970), p. 282. 145 Ali Shariati, Johan Beeni and Ideology (Ontology and Ideology) 5 ed. (Tehran: Enteshar, 1379/2000), pp. 147165.

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256 imperialism whose smallest sin is the exploitati on of the people and its greatest sin is the destruction of our religion.146 In other words, a shift occu rred in the sub-discourse of Irani-khareji. The emphasis was predominantly on returning to a purified Iranian-Islamic Self in an opposit ional relation with the West. Ayatollah Khomeini In response to Moham ad Reza Shahs refe rendum on 26 January 1963, seminary students in Qum began to protest the shahs revolution. In an attempt to prevent the movement from spreading, the regime continued its terrorizing tactic s. In a brutal attack, the military killed some protesting seminary students. On the 40-day memori al of those killed, which turned out to be a practice run for the 1978-1979 revolu tion, Ayatollah Khomeini calle d for the overthrow of the regime and establishing an Islamic state. Referring to Third Shii Imam, Hussein Ibn Ali, whom Shiites believes stood up to the usurpers of political power, Khomeini announced : It is now the aftern oon of Aushura and this tyrannical regime [that] ha s no other purpose but to fundamentally oppose Islam and the existence of the religious class.147 Then he equated the regime with the state of Israel, which discursively is posited as opposed to Islam. He said, As Israel stands against Islam and ulama, so does the Shah.148 Speaking as if both Iran and Israel we re ruled by one regime, he argued that Israel has assaulted you and your nation; it wishes to seize y our economy, to destroy your trade and agriculture, to appropriate your wealth by its agents.149 Israel will be disappointed, 146 Khomeini, Islam and Revolution: Writings and Declarations of Imam Khomeini p. 177. 147 Ibid. 148 Ibid., p. 177. 149 Ibid., p. 178.

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257 however, because ulama, students, and our Quranic knowle dge are blocking its path and will eventually eliminate it.150 After glorifying members of the cler gy as the real representatives of the people and Islam and the t rue contenders against Israel Mohamad Reza Shah, and the United States, he advised the Shah not to follow his fathers example. Mr. Shah, I advise you to desi st in this policy and acts lik e this. [Referring to the 1941 Allied invasion and the forced abdication of R eza Shah] I dont want the people to offer up thanks if your masters should decide one day that you must leave. I dont want you to become like your father remember how three foreign countries attacked us during World War II. But God knows that everyone was happy to see the Pahlavi had gone. You must reflect and learn from the lessons of your father. Those who are dictating to you will not rescue you when some uproar occurs. They are friends of dollars; they have no religion and no loyalty.151 Unlike Bazargan, Shariati, Al-e Ahmad, and other modern Islamists, Khomeini spoke in a straightforward language without trying to wrap his argument w ith so-called scientific or objective philosophies or theories. Instead, he passionately spoke in l ong, simple, and direct verses by appealing to Islamic and Shiis authorities and myth s. Nevertheless, Khomeinis representation of the regime resembled those of modern Islamists at its core. It depicted the regime as the manifestation of foreign, Western, and un-Islamic powers. He told his audience: We must collectively confront the West. We must get ri d of our Westoxification ( garbzadegi ). Even other Eastern governments must stand up to the West. Buddhist nations must also stand up to the West. We must force the West to retreat.152 In October 1964, Mohamad Reza Shah agreed to extend diplomatic immunity to all Americans working in Iran. Contending discours es represented the act as a new version of Capitulation Rights, which Russia and Brita in had imposed upon Iran during the Qajar 150 Ibid., pp. 177-180. 151 Sahif-Eh Imam (Collection of Imam Khomeini) Sep. 1964. v. 1961, p. 1384. 152 Islam and Revolution: Writings and Declarations of Imam Khomeini p. 189.

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258 dynasty. Reza Shah, with much of fanfare, had a bolished this act. At the time, the impression was that the Shah had agreed to exchange Iranian juridical power for a $200 million loan. Khomeini delivered a devastati ng speech, which resulted in his deportation, but it secured his leadership position as the most vocal and fearless opponent of the regime.153 Gradually, the key points of this speech became the central th eme among all contending discourses. For the occasion, he announced: I cannot express the sorrow I feel in my hear t. Iran no longer has any festival to celebrate. They [the regime] have turned our fe stivals to mourning. They have sold us. They have sold our independence. The dignity of Iran has been trampled underfoot. All American military advisors, together with their families and anyone in any way connected to them, are to enjoy legal immunity to any crime they may commit in Iran if some Americans servant assassinates your marja [source of guidance]. the Iranian police does not have the right to apprehend him.154 Khomeini said that this indignity is because the nation is represented by a foreign-installed regime that is not sovereign, cannot provide secu rity, has not helped Iran develop, has violated the constitution, is unjust, and most importantly, has corrupted Iranian Islamic norms. In other words, Khomeini utilized all the previously cons tructed signifiers to devalue the regime, and provote an Islamic theory of nation-state buildin g that would be independent of all foreign powers. He proclaimed that as far as Iran is conc erned, America is worse than Britain; Britain is worse than America, [and] the Soviet Union is wo rse than both of them. They are all worse and more unclean than each other! But today, it is America that we are concerned with.155 In sum, not only Khomeini but also all modern Islamists in the 1960s incorporated values, concepts, and rationalities prev iously constructed in Iranian contending discourses in a new 153 This was the beginning of a particular construction th at equated credibility, justness, and even correctness of a political position or leader by the ex tent to which a person suffered at the hands of Mohamad Reza Shah while continuing to resist. Hence, the l ogic of argument was not what one said, but how fearlessly he said it. 154 Khomeini, Islam and Revolution: Writings and Declarations of Imam Khomeini p. 185. 155 Afshin Matin-Asgari, Iranian Student Opposition to the Shah (Costa Mesa, Calif.: Mazda Publishers, 2002).

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259 discourse signified by Islam. Although these inte rpretations remained in the discourse until 1979, after the 1979 revolution, they turned into actual policies and practices of the Islamic Republic of Iran. For example, with regard to development, m odern Islamists rejected both capitalism and socialism and valued a particular developmental model under the rubric of an Islamic development plan. In regard to nationalism, while Islamists incorporated values and concepts constructed in the discourse of democratic nationalism, they defined the Iranian nation Islamic nation with citizenship rights a nd duties of religious rights and obligations With regard to foreign policy, the ideal for fore ign relations was a re-represent ation of Mussadiqs policy of Negative Equilibrium. It meant Islamists viewed the West in general and the Soviet Union, Britain, and America in partic ular as foreign others. But unlike Mussadiq who admired the humanist aspect of the West, modern Islamists believed that the humanist dimension of the West was a front for its colonizing policies. Therefore, unlike Mussadiq, their approach to the West sought a dual policy of isolation and confrontation. Externally, it wished to isolate itself from Western powers. Internally, it ai med to confront the West culturally. These ideals became the framework of Irans foreign and domestic politics after the Islamic revolu tion, although even this framework turned out to be a shifting one. In brief, in the discourse of modern Islami sts, traces of the past mixed in with new hierarchic formations of signifiers constituted the logic behind a series of related narratives posited in oppositional relations with those of the official state discourse. For modern Islamists, concepts, such as Islamic ideology, Islamic state, Islamic nation, religious-political duties and obligations, return to Self, and the West, were discursively represented in oppositional relation to narratives attached to the official state discourse and its constituti ng sub-discourses.

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260 Part III: Consolidation of Power (1964-1978) During this era, Irans oil revenues incr eas ed, the United States acquiesced in a shahcentered foreign policy, and Mohamad Reza Shah enhanced his personal power over the state and society. The result of this consolidation was the rapid transformation of the state according to a particular vision of security, modernization, law, people, justice, and ethics embedded in the official state discourse. Security In term s of security, while contending discour ses represented the shah as the servant of America ( nukar-e America ), the state represented itself as an equal partner in the struggle against the spread of international communism.156 Based on this logic, for example, the shah sent Iranian troops to fight against pro-Nasser forces in Yemen, armed Iraqi Kurds against the Sovietleaning regime in Baghdad, and became the only stat e in the Middle East with close ties to Israel. The shah gladly played the role of being th e regional gendarme in accord with the Nixon Doctrine of regionalization of s ecurity. Simultaneously, the United States acquiesced to the shahcentered state, for the most part discontinued pushing for political reform, and focused on persuading the shah to purchase more American products.157 Development In term s of development, U.S. media repr esented Mohamad Reza Shah as the agent of progress and moderniza tion in the Middle East.158 From the perspective of the United States, 156 The word nukar literally means a house servant, which also means being loyal to ones master. During this era, because of the state repressive measur es, the oppositions rhetorical campaig n against the Shah was mostly waged from outside of the country. For example, see Pollack, The Persian Puzzle: The Conflict between Iran and America p. 95. 157 Ansari, Modern Iran since 1921: The Pahlavis and After pp. 166-167. 158 Barry M. Rubin, Paved with Good Intentions: The American Experience and Iran (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980), p. 122.

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261 Irans average annual growth of 10% from 1963 to 1973 represented successful developmental projects forged by the Shah. This rate of growth became the metric for measuring Iranians satisfaction with the shah-centered state.159 Even Iranian experts such as James Bill argued that the rapid growth of the Iranian economy might overcome the societal resentment.160 In policies and practices, Iran shifted from being a receiver during the Kenne dy administration to the status of donor-state during the Johnson and Nixon presidencies. This shift reflect ed the consolidation of the Shahs position not only as an indispensa ble Western ally in security, but also as a stabilizing force for production and marketing of oil to the West and Israel. Moreover, the rise in oil prices helped make Iran an open market a ll sorts of military, commercial, and consumer products. The United States, along with Britain, France, and even the Soviet Union, found it difficult to resist the increasing oil revenues. For instance, The New York Times reported: The Defense Department hopes to ease its troublesome cost problems with a new Navy fighter plane, the F-14 Tomcat, by selling some of them to Iran and perhaps to allies in Europe such as West Germany.161 Some Pentagon official c onsidered the shahs insi stence on acquiring so much sophisticated military equipment as a psychologica l obsession rather than an actual security threat from either Irans Arab neighbors or the Soviet Union.162 As a result of the Shahs consolidation of power, a shift arose in the pe rception of Iran. In 1966, the Johnson administration went as far as d eclaring Iran a developed nation that no longer needed American aid.163 This representation became a dominant theme in the U.S. media. 159 Bill, The Eagle and the Lion: The Tragedy of American-Iranian Relations pp. 19-40. 160 John W. Finney, "Pentagon Hoping Iran Will Buy F-14sr: Able to Intrude," New York Times Thursday, July 19, 1973. 161 Pollack, The Persian Puzzle: The Conflict between Iran and America, p. 96. 162 Ibid., p. 95. 163 Zonis, The Political Elite of Iran pp. 18-79.

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262 For example, the title of a report in The New York Times read: Economic Reforms Are Transforming Iran: Officials Turn to Industry. The piece argued, Perhaps nowhere else in the Middle East have such broad, basic steps been ta ken in quest of economic progress as in Iran. This shift in the perception of Ira n also translated into policy cha nges. Iran was re-classified as a politically stable, developed, and progressive stat e. A year before the 197 9 revolution, President Carter announced that Iran was "an island of stability" in a troubled region. Constitutive of this classification was muting or ignor ing the widening gap between the official state representation and those of the contending discourses.164 The state-elites also believed that Iran was an island of stability and development. For example, Jahangir Amouzegar, Irans influentia l finance minister during the 1970s, published a book tiled titled Iran: An Economic Profile As the regime was deeply alienated from its own society and on the verge of a revolution, Amou zegar boasted about the unprecedented rapid growth and political stability in Iran, which he mainly attributed to the sound and determined policies of Mohamad Reza Shah: Irans remarkable economic growth, political st ability and social progress in recent years are considered one of the worl ds outstanding success stories. The record is particularly striking because of its short time span. In fact, in the 1960-1976 period, Iran [has] experienced what is likely to be recorded by fu ture historians as one of the most rapid and most fundamental socio-economic transformations in modern times. A fortuitous combination of farsighted leadership, intern al political stability, improved developmental planning, increasingly educated people, newly discovered and be tter utilized natural resourcesand the indispensable rise in oil revenues.165 In his book, Amouzegar argued, The national polic ies formulated within the framework of the 17-point Revoluti on of the Shah and the People ha ve produced equally interesting 164 For example, see Amuzegar, Iran: An Economic Profile ix-xiii. 165 Ibid.

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263 results.166 Next, he contended that in this new cultural and industr ial transformation, the shah has been the source of guidance for developing an economic democracy, redistributing the national income, providing fr ee education, subsidizing nutrition, and enfranchising women.167 Finally, he chronicled policies and programs for Irans recent achievements in economic development.168 Irans economic growth, represen ted as structural and positive changes, was improving the standard of living an d creating political stabil ity. Although structural changes were observed in Iran, they turned out not to be interprete d as positive or good by others. As for structural changes, the academic knowledgeproduced by many of the experts on Iranshowed the much rapid structural changes in Iran. For example, Afsaneh Najmabadi, who documented the consequences of the state land reform, argued that by the mid-1960s, the result of the shahs land reform caused irreversible institutional changes in the commercialization and monetarization of rural production, distributi on, and consumption. She demonstrated how peasants became paid workerswhether they migr ated to cities or remained in rural areas.169 She contended that capitalist rela tions of production penetrated deep into Irans remaining enclaves of traditional society. Moreover, Richard Elliot Benedict, who researched the capital markets in Iran, documented the transformation of traditional system of Bazaar-based credit and finance to state-controlled and regulat ed industrial credit ing and financing.170 In other words, the state became the major source of credit and financ ing, as well as the largest landowner, industrial 166 Ibid. 167 Ibid. 168 Najmabadi, Land Reform and Social Change in Iran pp. 101-102, p. 136, pp. 130-136 169 Richard Elliot Benedick, Industrial Finance in Iran; a Study of Financial Practice in an Underdeveloped Economy (Boston,: Division of Research Graduate School of Business Administration Harvard University, 1964). 170 Bill, The Eagle and the Lion: The Tragedy of American-Iranian Relations p. 3.

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264 and agriculture producer, and consumer. In add ition to becoming the largest employer in the country, the state became the larg est source of promoting educati on, the gatekeeper for receiving education, and decider in the c ontent of knowledge for the educa tional system. By the 1970s, the state financed 70,000 students in state-owned univers ities in addition to fi nancing even a larger number of students in various Western educati onal systems. In fact, among the Near Eastern countries, Iran sent a higher percentage of its st udent population abroad than any other country in the region.171 Additionally, while the stat e maintained its traditiona l economic monopolies, such as imports, exports, transportation, roads, airlines, cements, steel, tobacco, the state also began to tightly regulate and control licensi ng of small and large businesses. In short, notwithstanding their differences the media and epistemic community in the United States, as well as Iranian state-elites, agreed that the shah-centered policies were drastically transforming the lifes tyle of Iranians, but according to a particular vision that perceived the shah as the cause of not only re gional security but also domestic stability.172 Constitutive of knowledge was, however, a total disconnect between th e state version of realities and those interpreted and understood from the pr ism of contending discourses. These discourses represented Mohamad Reza Shah as the Servant of America. For socialists, the shah was serving the interests of capitalist America. For na tionalists, the shah was serving the interest of foreign powers, which by then happened to be Am erica rather than Britain. For Islamists, the shah was serving the interest of non-Mu slim America out to destroy Islam. During this time, Ayatollah Khomeini, who had been released from prison for calling the Shahs White Revolution un-Islamic and branding him as the cheap servant of America, once 171 Minister of Science and Higher Education, Statistics Concerning Iranian Students in Iran, (Tehran 1970), pp. 74-75. 172 Khomeini, Islam and Revolution: Writings and Declarations of Imam Khomeini pp. 181-188.

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265 more attacked the shah for selling Irans i ndependence to our masters, the Americans. Khomeini blamed the shah for destroying Iranian dignity, for reducing t he Iranian people to a level lower than that of an American dog.173 For this speech, the shah deported Khomeini. In less than three months, in January 1965, an Is lamic militant killed th e prime minister, Ali Mansur. In the same year, a faction of the banned National Front formed the Mujtahedin-e Khalq-e Iran (MKI), an Islamic militant group, whose aim was to overthrow the shahthat American servant.174 In April 1965, a socialis t militant attempted to assassinate the shah because the shah was serving the interest of American capitalism.175 In the same year, the Fadaian-e Khalq another group of Marxist militants, was formed. Its goal was to overthrow the Shahthat American Servant and the Hired Ha nd of Capitalists. Interestingly, the words Mujtahedin and Fadaian (fighters and devotees) are both rooted in the Islamic concept of jihad in a struggle of Self against the Othersthe non -believers, the foreign capitalists, and foreign dominators. Although the meaning of serving the interest of America fundamentally differed from one group to the next, a unity existed in both word s and deeds. The shah was represented as the Servant of America, a represent that continued until the fall of th e regime. In deeds, because of the states effective suppression of all voices of opposition, nationalists, socialists, and Islamists became united in their stand against the regime. Th ey all began to call for the violent overthrow of the regime. This was a fundamental shift. In the early 1960s, only modern Islamists were calling for the overthrow of the regime, the changing of the constitutional monarchy, and the 173 Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions pp. 489-491. 174 Bill, The Eagle and the Lion: The Tragedy of American-Iranian Relations pp. 161-163. 175 Ansari, Confronting Iran: The Failure of American Foreign Policy and the Next Great Crisis in the Middle East p. 59.

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266 return to Self. By 1965, all contending discourses were united in both words and deeds. This transformation was the beginning of the constr uction of a hegemony, which eventually caused the implosion of the regime. However, the Shahs construction of reality had already created a political space in which he failed to imagine, comprehend, or even give cr edence to the legitimacy of those who resisted his rule. Instead, he aggrandized his own power as absolute, invincible, and divine. He continued to physically repress his opponents brutally as if the physical repressi on or destruction of opponents would also destroy their social reality. He was unaware that the very act of repression helped create an image that symbolized vari ous degrees of forei gnness for contending discourses. In other words, the social reality for the state and contending discourses were different. While the state saw itsel f as a developed nation-state, c ontending discourses interpreted Iran as a state owned by foreigners. With time, this gap was widening despite Irans tremendous economic growth according to the official state metrics. In 1971, for example, the Shah celebrated th e 2,500 years of Iranian monarchy. Rather arbitrarily, he changed the Islamic-based calenda r and selected Cyrus as the founder of Iranian monarchy and set up a new monarchic-based calendar. As expected, this act offended Islamists, who represented this action as anot her sign of the regimes foreignne ss. Others argued that if the Iranian monarchy had begun prior to Cyrus, then why should Cyrus be the founder of Iranian monarchy? For the state-elite s and the Shah, the logic of selecting Cyrus was obvious. Intertextually, Cyrus was construed as a great Pe rsian conqueror, based on Greek historians such as Herodotus and not any known Iranian record or research. Ali Ansari put this reconstruction of

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267 history aptly: In starting the national clock from the Ancien t Persia (Ackaemenid) Empire, Mohammad Reza Shah was paradoxically paying lip service to a Western historiography.176 In addition to starting a new calendar, the Sh ah invited an impressive number of world leaders, including Vice President Spiro Agnew. According to Ansari, the occasion drew tremendous attention to the Shah and his econom ic, military, and political achievements in the foreign press along with the prying eyes of human rights groups and other non-governmental organization.177 In Iran, the representation of this cele bration was the same. While the official media declared that Iran had reached the Gat e of a Great Civilizati on, contending discourses represented the event as the travesty of justice. In the opening of his speech in front of a la rge gathering of world dignitaries, the Shah addressed Cyrus directly from a location not t oo far from Cyruss tomb. He declared, Cyrus, rest in peace because we [present Iranians ] are awake. The shahs statement assumed a continuing historical consciousness between Cy rus and Mohamad Reza Shah in particular, and the shah of Iran and the peopl e of Iran in general. But in contending discourses, the speech produced a variety of popular par odies and political texts that unde rmined the Shahs legitimacy. Additionally, reports of the Shah spending millions of dollars for flying food from Maxims of Paris while many Iranians were starving entered the common language.178 From 1971 to 1976, the Shahs alienation from his own society increased. On February 20, 1975, shifting from the representation logic of a two-party system, Mohamad Reza Shah banned the two officially sanctioned political partiesthe Peoples Party 176 Ibid. 177 Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions pp. 168-175. 178 Asgar Saremi Shohab, The Rastakhiz Party of Iranian Nation According to the Documents 2vols., vol. 1 (Tehran: The Center for Isalmic Revolution Documents, 2006/1386).

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268 and Party of New Iranand ordered the formation of a single party called Hizb-i Rastakhiz-e Melat-e Iran (Resurrection Party of the Iranian Nation).179 Previously, the Shah had boasted that Irans two-party system was similar to those of advanced democracies where one party ruled and the other one played the role of a loyal opposition. 180 He had once argued: So I consider that my role as King requires th at I encourage parties. If I were a dictator rather than a constitutional monarch, then I might be tempted to sponsor a single dominant party such as Hitler organized or such as you find today in Communist countries. But as constitutional monarch I can afford to enc ourage large-scale party activity free from the straitjacket of one-party ru le or the one-party state.181 However, in 1975, he began arguing that the ti me for performative puppet shows are over, and only those loyal to him are considered true Iranians: A person who does not become a member of this new political organization has two choices. Such a person belongs to either an i llegal organization or th e illegal Tudeh Party, both of which in other words mean such a person is traitor whose plac e is in one of Irans prisons. However, such a person can leave th e country and go anywhere he may want without even paying exit-taxes. Because such a person is not an Iranian and thus not a part of this nation, therefore his-her activities are illegal and punishable by law.182 In this text and similar texts, the Shah was beginning to demand not only loyalty, but faithful commitment to the regime. For example, the preamble of the Resurrection Party charter read: As our leader [Mohamad Reza Shah] has guided us, all Iranian adults who have faith in, and commitment to, the monarchic order, the constitution, and the people-shahs revolution can participate in th is Party, but all those with an ti-Iranian thought or sympathy or those who threaten the security and order of Iran cannot be a member of this Party or the nation.183 179 Mohammed Reza, Mission for My Country p. 172. 180 For an argument in favor of a two party system, see Ibid., p. 173. 181 Shohab, The Rastakhiz Party of Iranian Nation According to the Documents p. 35. 182 Mohammad Reza Shahs radio speech on February 23, 1975, quoted in Ibid., v. 1, p. 187, document No. 110. 183 Ibid., document No. 88, v.81, p. 85.

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269 Simply stated, the Shah construc ted a particular political space that defined the parameters of what were considered security or insecurity, lawful or unlaw ful activities, Islamic or nonIslamic, and divine or secular. However, the very nature of these classifications constituted the way they were interpreted and prac ticed. In my comparative analysis of these values for the state, there were two categories: the official categor y that the state enfor ced, and the non-official category that the state repressed. For example, in its repressive campaign to justify the official state party, the state frightened the people to join the Rastakhiz Party. According to the party record, by 1978, the party announced that it had 78,249 local chapters and more than 5 million members.184 To distinguish members from non-members, various ve rsions of coat pins were given to state employees, sycophants, and opportunists. Wearing pins became the performative act of loyalty and a sign of submission to the regime. Meanwhile, the act of joining was a delegitim izing act in the same way the wearing of European hats or clothing had once become a performative symbol of loyalty to the shahcentered state during Reza Shah. Ayatollah K homeini announced that this Party, much like previously state organized and funded parties, was an illegitimate, illegal, criminal, and an imperialistic design. Particip ation in it was therefore against Islamic values.185 Within the context of contending discour ses, the Shahs consolidation of power delegitimized him even more. The official stat e texts represented performative acts of showing loyalty to the regime as a symbol of loyalty to the divine authority of the Shah. But the 184 Ibid., p. 132. 185 Ayatollah Khomeinis speeches, vol. 2, 149-150, also quoted in Khomeini, Islam and Revolution: Writings and Declarations of Imam Khomeini p. 212.

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270 contending discourses re-represented his claim to the absolute divin ity as arrogance, despotism, and arbitrary rule of a monarch out of touc h with the realities of his own society. Of course, for nationalists and socialists, th e very idea of divine sovereignty was a premodern concept associated with despotism. Hen ce, they easily rejected it. But for modern Islamists who valued the concept of divine so vereignty, re-representing the Shahs claim to divine sovereignty was mo re sophisticated. Islamists first devalued secularism as an imperialistic design and then argued that the Shah was the ag ent of U.S. imperialism who falsely claimed divinity for himself. In other words, while the very concept of divinity was valued, the Shahs claim was re-represented as illegitimate and false. In a speech delivered in the city of Najaf in January 1978, Khomeini argued that the people have identified the Shah as the criminal agen t responsible for all the miseries of Iranian people.186 He then claimed that the Prophet Mohamma d had predicted that Qum would become the center of dissemination of the divine knowle dge for an Islamic movement. This divine knowledge supposedly would mobilize the faithful soldiers of Islam and would end all the suffering that we have suffered. Khomeini blam ed the leaders of those countries who have signed the Declaration of Human Rights, but at all times have denied man his freedom.187 Accordingly, The U.S. is one of those countri es [which] has committed crime against man. He listed these criminal acts and argued that on e of these criminal acts had been imposing this Shah upon us [who] has transformed Iran into an official colony of the U.S. What crimes he has committed in service of his masters!188 Having represented the shah as a U.S. servant, and the United States as a criminal international entity, Khomeini began to de value the very concept 186 Ibid., p. 213. 187 Ibid., p. 215. 188 Ibid., p. 219.

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271 of secularism in relation of the true human f reedom. He represented this true human freedom as both political and religious in opposition to U.S. imperialism. Referring to America, Britain, and the Soviet Union, he declared: The imperialists know full well how active religious scholars, and what an active militant religion Islam is. So for several centur ies they propagated that religion must be separated from politics. Some of our akhunds [Shii clerics] came to believe it and began asking, What business do we have with pol itics? The posing of the question means abandonment of Islam.189 In short, Khomeini first linked secularism with imperialism, colonialism, criminality, and the shah. Then he argued that Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Mohammad were divine political leaders, not merely religious preachers: Look at Moses (upon whom be peace). He was a simple shepherd: he stood alone with his staff against the Pharaoh who was claiming di vinity. These people, toothe Shah and his gangwould like to claim divinity for themse lves, but they reali ze there would be no takers for their claim. But if we were to re lax our vigilance, he too would say, I am your lord, the most high. There have always been people who made these absurd claims, and there always will be.190 In Khomeinis representation, the Shah was not onl y a criminal, but also an imposter claimant to divine sovereignty, and the depiction of the Shah as an imposter claimant was opposite to the representation of the state. By 1976, while the state internati onal power and prestige had reached its highest point, its power to communicate with its ow n society hit bottom. The official state language was different from what the state intended. In this era, while the Shah made the cover of the Time as the Emperor of Oil whom the editor compared w ith the greatness and th e power of Cyrus the Great, contending discourses understood Mohama d Reza Shah as the cause of dislocation, 189 Ibid., pp. 220-221. 190 Rubin, Paved with Good Intentions: The American Experience and Iran p. 142.

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272 unemployment, inflation, regressive taxation, hi gh prices, loss of morals, and shanty towns.191 Additionally, notwithstanding their differences contending discourses represented Mohamad Reza Shah as the loyal Servant of America and America as the main foreign enemy in Iran. Part IV: The Collapse of the State and the Rise of Modern Islam As the power and prestige of the state increased, s o did its repressive intolerance for all contending discourses. The intolerance of the regi me created a condition of conceivability in which all contending discourses imagined Mohama d Reza Shah as the reactionary Servant of America or its equivalent of hired-hand ( muzdour ), puppet, stooge, agent, and so forth. Within this political space were two opposing interpretations of so cial realties: the official and unofficial interpretations of the state policies and practices. So great was the divide between these two social realities that no event appeared to be occurring in the same temporal or geographic space. For example, in summer of 1978, a group of previously unknown militant groups set a movie theater on fire. More than 400 people died in that act of arson. Without any concrete evidence, the state immediately blam ed Islamic groups for the arson, while all contending identities did the opposite. For ex ample, Ayatollah Khomeini declared: I have not yet been informed of all the details, but what is cert ain is that this inhumane act, contrary to all the laws of Islam, cannot have been committed by the opponents of the Shah. Proof indicates, and the bereaved peop le declare, that the cinema in Abadan was set on fire by the criminal Shah and his government.192 Economic issues were also interpreted in the same way. For example, the oil shock of mid1974 caused a sudden reduction in Irans oil revenue as the prices of imported goods drastically 191 For displacement see Robert E. Looney, Economic Origins of the Iranian Revolution Pergamon Policy Studies on International Development. (New York: Pergamon Press, 1982). Also see Abrahamian, Iran between Two Revolutions p. 497. For rent increases, see Khomeini, Islam and Revolution: Writings and Declarations of Imam Khomeini, pp. 231-235. 192 Amjad, Iran: From Royal Dictatorship to Theocracy p. 92.

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273 increased. These events caused a credit shortage, unemployment, and inflation.193 The common theme among Islamists, nationalists and socialists was that the Shah and the United States had conspired and caused the advers e economic conditions in Iran.194 Ayatollah Khomeini declared: What happened to all that money? Is our count ry poor? Our country has an ocean of oil. It has iron; it has precious metals. Iran is a rich country. But those so-called friends of humanity [the Americans] have appointed thei r agents to rule this country in order to prevent the poor from benefiting from its riches.195 In contrast, the Shah blamed the economic crises on the merchant class and imposed a punishing price and income control on the middle class, which bore the brunt of the austerity measures the state imposed.196 Meanwhile, as the power of th e state to communicate its message waned, the shah began another round of reforms. His measures were however, too little and too late. From 1977, whatever the state did or did not do was interpreted in a negativ e light. He charged Amir Abbas Hoveyda with fraud and mismanagement. 197 Hovida had held the post of prime minister more than 12 years and was one of the most loyal sy cophants of Mohamad Reza Shah, an ideal yes man whom the Shah tolerated. But the firing of Hovida and talk of reform were understood according to an opposing social reality that re-repre sented the shahs effort to reform as another scheme devised by his new American master, Jimmy Ca rter, who wanted to deceive Iranians 193 For example, while Iran was a creditor from 1973 to 1974, it sought an international loan in 1977. See Ibid., pp. 81-102. 194 See Khomeini, Islam and Revolution: Writings and Declarations of Imam Khomeini pp. 223-224. 195 Looney, Economic Origins of the Iranian Revolution pp. 3-5. 196 Keddie and Richard, Modern Iran: Roots and Results of Revolution p. 217. Rubin, Paved with Good Intentions: The American Experience and Iran p. 131, p. 171, p. 270. Abbas Milani, The Persian Sphinx: Amir Abbas Hoveyda and the Riddle of the Iranian Revolution 1st ed. (Washington, D.C.: Mage Publishers, 2000). 197 Hoveyda was kept under arrest without a hearing until he was executed immediately after the revolution, see Habib Ladjevardi, Memoir of Fatemeh Pakravan, Iranian Oral History Project (Cen ter for Middle Eastern Studies of Harvard University, 1998; reprint, IBEX, Inc.), p. 123.

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274 with another campaign of human rights. By 1977, th e rhetoric of human rights in Iran was linked to a different narrative from those in the United States. Meanwhile, inflicted with cancer, Mohamad Re za Shah was loosening his personal grip. The Shah, who had previously boasted about his micro-management of affairs in Iran, began to delegate more authority and less involvement. It a ppeared that the core of the shah-centered state was disappearing. As the regime was collapsing, Fatemeh Pakravan, the wife of the chief counselor to the shahGeneral Hassan Pakr avan, complained, You know, we dont have one shah. We have at least twelve of them. And the weakest is the one who wears the crown.198 Indeed, as the shah began to appear weak to his own supporters as well as his opponents, the myth of the shah as an absolute and invincible rulerbacked by the United States as the most powerful nation in historybegan to collapse. The very narrow circle around the shah began to diminish rapidly. The best sign of this reduced in ner circle was how the state-elites began to send their families out of the country. Mrs. Pakrav an, whose husband had once headed the powerful SAVAK and had actually arrested and deported Khomeini back in 1964, was urging her husband to leave the country before it was too late.199 The free fall of the Shahs regime had begun. This free fall speeded up after the shah returned from a visit to the United States in November 1977. During the Shahs visit, the confederation of Iranian Students A ssociation organized a protest in front of the White H ouse. Duplicating what the state normally had done in Iran, that is, organizing state-sponsored demons trations while banning all other protests, the Iranian regime bussed in the Iranian military cadets studying in the United States to cheer the shahs arrival. The result was an inevitable clash between the pro-shah and anti-shah protestors in front of the White 198 Ibid. 199 Khomeini, Islam and Revolution: Writings and Declarations of Imam Khomeini p. 229.

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275 House. To restore order, the police had to resort to tear gas, which blew over to where Mohamad Reza Shah and President Carter, accompanied by their wives and dignitaries, stood before the press corps. With tears running down their faces, the press corps was busy taking pictures. Within a few hours, Mohamad Reza Shahs imag e, as he was wiping hi s tears off his face, reached Iran. The once seemingly invincible shah of Iran, whose secret police had scared people to submission, appeared to be a weak, feeble and frail man broken by a few hundred students. Suddenly, the aura of invincibility was totally gone.200 A few days later, the Association of Iranian Writers held a 10-day public event, wh ich attracted thousands of people. The mere holding of a public event was a turning point in the collapse of the regime. From then on, it appeared that the public no longe r feared the regime even though the regimes terror tactics had not yet changed. It seemed that the very nature of understa nding fear of punishment had disappeared. At the same time, Ayatollah Khomeini backed by the Shii clerical establishment and supported by nationalists, socialists, and individual activists, began to speak in a deterministic voice. In the discourse, Mohamad Reza Shah was represented as though he was already defeated. For example, in his message to the people of Tabriz, a city in nor thern Iran, Khomeini represented the Shah as a savage, a brute, a nd a criminal agent of America whose military, police, and secret police were not only beatable, but also weak He wrote: Now, after the criminal massacres and bloodshed that have ta ken place in Tabriz, a few SAVAK agents have been sent into streets in di fferent parts of the country.201 This representation of SAVAK is different from former representations. Previ ously, SAVAK was represented as an omnipotent 200 Eye-witness to the event of November 1977. 201 Khomeini, Islam and Revolution: Writings and Declarations of Imam Khomeini pp. 229-230.

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276 entity with eyes and ears everywhere. Now, SAVAK was being represented as an organization with few numbers and the Shah as weak and feeb le. After criticizing the Shah for his brutality, Khomeini declared: In any event, he [Mohamad Reza Shah] must r ealize it is too late; the people of Iran have chosen their path and they will not rest unt il they have overthrown these criminals and avenged themselves and their fathers on this bl oodthirsty family. The religious leader will hoist the banner of Islam to exact vengeance on the Zuhhak.202 In this text, Khomeini spoke from a position of strength. He promised vengeance as he became the natural leader of th e people. Similarly, socialists and na tionalists represented the Shah as a weak, feeble, and childish monarch whose main aim was to serve the interest of the United States and continue his illegitimate, unjust, and despotic monarchy. Ayatollah Khomeini repeated this theme in various speeches. His speeches were widely distributed throughout the country by cassette ta pes. When Khomeini simply announced, The king must go [the shah bayad baravad ], he sounded as though it woul d have been unnatural if Mohamad Reza Shah remained in power. By then, it had become unrealistic to imagine that the Shah could remain in power or even keep his crown. When the regime imposed a martial law, the move was represented as further weakness of the Shah, and defying the regime became a game When the military declared a night curfew, Khomeini ordered the people to go onto their rooftops and recite Allah-oh Akbar. Although this phrase means God is Great, and it had been mos tly used and understood as a call for prayer, it suddenly became a sign of defiance that invoked cal ling for justice, equality, independence, and freedom. It also invoked a sense of freedom from fear or a sense of eternal invincibility, which had nothing to do with organized re ligion or faith. In my in-depth interviews with participants, 202 Mehdi Mohsenian-rad, Revolution, Press, and Values (Tehran: The Organization for Documents and Records of Islamic Revolution 1375/1996), p. 197. By referring to the shah as the Zuhhak of the time, Khomeini invoked the Persian myth of an ancient unjust ruler who fed human brains to his two serpents grown on his shoulder. Accordingly, the people, led by Kaveh the blacksmith, revolted and avenged themselves.

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277 they all expressed a feeling of empowerment to hear thousands of voices defying what had been previously conceived as an invincible force w ith various means of terrorizing the people. This new meaning of God is Great became a social call for action, which was signified by Islam but it was not necessarily Islamic. Suddenly, the power to reproduce the state wa s reduced to almost nothing. By August 1978, the print media, which up to that point had reflected the official state discourse, went on national strike. The state could not broadcast its messages any longer. Even the state-owned National Radio and Television station went almost silent, and the military was forced to take over its operation. But the broadcasting media eff ectively remained silent because Khomeini ordered the people to turn off th eir radios and televisions for a time. Most people followed his order. As though that was not enough to mute the st ate, workers in charge of the electrical grid frequently triggered a blackout at exactly 8 p.m., which was the tr aditional time for the radio and television news hour.203 In contrast to the state, the representationa l power of the people increased. In repeated cycles of street demonstrations the previously muted voices of the people reduced the ominous power of tanks and troops into seemingly innocu ous toys chasing young boys in the streets. In a live or die game of hide and seek, tanks and troo ps, which had previously frightened the people, became entertaining tools for the young people. The environment was jubilant and festive.204 And most slogans and writing on the walls praised Ayatollah Khomeini while they denounced the shah.205 203 Ibid., p. 194. 204 In-depth interviews with participants. 205 Khomeini, Islam and Revolution: Writings and Declarations of Imam Khomeini p. 266.

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278 Upon his return to Iran on February 2, 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini addressed the largest crowd ever gathered in Tehran during any tim e in history. This gathering occurred when Khomeini had no official comma nd or control over any means of power except his words. And with words, he authoritatively belittled the government. He declared: I will slap this government in the mouth with the support of th e people and by virtue of the acceptance the people have granted me.206 While he was invoking the pe oplein the same way Mussadiq had donehe was presenting himself not as a M an of the People, as Mussadiq had done, but as a Man of God for the people. In other wo rds, Khomeini was a man chosen by the people, but he based his legitimacy not on the peoples will or laws but on Gods will and laws. On the occasion of the formal declaration of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which was held April 1, 1979, Khomeini announced: This day of Farfardin 12 is the first day of Gods government, and it is to be one of our foremost religious and national festivals fo r it is the day on which the battlement of tyrannical government crumbled, a satanic power deported forever and the government of the oppressed, which is the government of Godwas established in its place.207 In a referendum held April 2, 1979, the people were asked to vote on whether or not they wanted to establish an Islamic Republic. The overwhelmi ng majority of the people voted yes without knowing any details of what an Islamic state me ant or could do. But the overwhelming majority believed that it would be good because the new st ate-elites were promising it, and the people believed them. On December 5, 1979, the headline of Kayhan, the largest newspaper in Iran, read: The Government Will Transfer the Ownership of 70 Thousand Homes in 195 Cities.208 Some elites 206 Khomeinis first speech in Iran, delivered at Behsht-e Zahra. See Ibid., p.259. 207 Mohsenian-rad, Revolution, Press, and Values pp. 271-280. 208 Keyhan No. 10872 on 12/05/1979, p. 1

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279 were encouraging the people to take it upon themselves to redistri bute the wealth of the country, and some actually rushed to do so, mostly in forms of taking over lands, vacant homes, and rental homes. A week later, Kayhan quoted Ayatollah Khosrow-shahi: Do not Purchase any Houses, We Make Everyone Homeowner.209 In other words, the new state-elites were promising values previously constructed by socia liststhe distribution of wealthas a part of the Islamic state.210 In fact, wealthas a social symbol of power and prestigebegan to become an anti-value. The new state-elites, for exampl e, Mehdi Bazargan, the prime minister of the provisional government, refused to use the st ate-owned limousines. Instead, he took the extremely crowded city bus to go to his office. In his first official act as the chief editor of the Islamic Republic Newspaper Abul Hassan Bani Sadr, who eventually became the first president of the Islamic Republic, redecorated his office by ordering chairs, desks, counters, and stools to be thrown out. Journalists working in the first official state newspaper were forced to work on the floor. Interestingly, this act wa s interpreted as a sign of being humble and thus Islamic. In the first assembly of the state-elites in the constitu tional assembly held in the Majlis, Ayatollah Taleqani, who was considered the second highest ra nking official at the tim e, refused to sit on a chair, so he sat on the floor ne xt to the podium. The new state-el ites represented these practices as Islamic humbleness linked to th e oppressed, weak, and poor people ( mustazafin ), constructed in oppositional relation with the wea lth and arrogance of unbelievers ( mustakberian). Not surprising, the United States was referred to as the world arrogant power ( estekbar johani ). 209 Kehyan No. 10878 on 12/12/1979 210 As the result, a new wave of migration rushed to major cities. In less than a year, Tehrans population reached 6 million. The problem of unplanned urban development was exacerbated.

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280 Once again articles of clothing became a part of political iden tity. The state-elites refused to wear ties as the symbol of modernism association with garbzadegi (West-struckness). Although wearing Western-style suit s and pants remained as the standard norm for mens dress code, ironed pants, shined shoes, short sleeves long collars, expensive ma terials, shaved faces, shiny colors, or whatever else was deemed showy or fashionable became un-Islamic. The state also ordered all female employees to wear hejab (the complete covering of ones hair and body). Eventually, the order applied to all women in Iran, even to non-Iranian visitors such as foreign journalists. In addition to the dr ess code, alcohol, drugs, music, dating, theater, and all practices imagined as Western were banned as anti-Islamic values.211 In brief, with the collapse of the Shahs regime, modern Islamists officialized th e discourse of modern Islam. Modern Islam was embedded in all the existential values, concepts, and narratives previously constructed in the context of Iranian contending disc ourses, but in a new meaning. Conclusion During the tum ultuous period of 1953 to 1979, by si gnifying security and development, the official state discourse represen ted Mohamad Reza Shah as a divine sovereign who was expected to provide security, develop the nation, uphold the law, and enforce the will of the people, as well as spread justice and Islamic ethics. Consti tutive of the official state discourse was the significance of six sub-discourses that all modern Iranian politi cal discourses share, although each according to a different interp retation of an ideal nation-state and values. The shah-centered state represented itself (a) as the divine sovereig n who provided security fo r his people; (b) as the leader who modernized Iran to supposedly become as civilized as the West; (c) as the ruler who governed according to Western bureaucratic no rms and rationality; (d ) as the leader who 211 Khomeini, Islam and Revolution: Writings and Declarations of Imam Khomeini pp. 200-208.

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281 followed the peoples mandate as Western democracies did; (e) as the ruler who emphasized redistribution of wealth and land as socialist values; and (f) as th e shah who appealed to Islamic myths and narratives as a good Muslim would do. The logic behind these representations was, however, the relational linkages and and differences that existed in the language since the 1905 constitutional revolution. In other words, these six signifierssecurity, progress, law, democracy, socioeconomic justice, and Islamic ethicsconstituted the social content of all cont ending discourses, although each with a different interpretation of Iranian and its main Others. In the official state discour se during this era, the shah was construed as the embodiment of the Ir anian sovereignty or security, progress, law, people, justice, and good Islamic ethics. Constitutive of this Self was the construction of Other whom the state represented as international communists, negative nationalists, and Islam fanatics. In this chapter, I reviewed four eras in which the state represented and re-represented itself in shifting relations with its main Others. Accordingly, by signifying the threat of communism, the state terrorized the opposition into submissi on. Although the state succeeded in the physical elimination of the opposition, it failed to mute th eir voices of reform. Then the state adopted Kennedys reform as the revolution of the shah an d the people. While this act robbed socialists and nationalists of their agendas and consolid ated Mohamad Reza Shahs power, it energized modern Islamists to go into action. Next, the convergence of specific historical conditions produced by rising oil revenues, Irans structural transformati on, and the acquiescence of the United States, along with the shah-centered policie s, helped consolidate Mohamad Reza Shahs power. In the official state discourse, while th e shah essentially becam e the manifestation of power and glory, in the contending discourse, he became the embodiment of foreignness,

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282 although the very meaning of foreign differed for contending discourses. For socialists, the shah was a foreign agent of capitalists. For nationalists, the shah was the fo reign agent of foreign domination. For Islamists, the shah was th e foreign agent of non-Islamic oppression and domination. Finally, at the peak of Mohamad Reza Shahs apparent power, he began to lose his representational power. In a hege mony constructed in opposition to the Shah, he was devalued. In unison, the opposition to the Shah re-represented him as an illegitimate, despotic, unjust, unIslamic, and the servant of the United States. Even the Shahs most expensive institutional instruments, the military, police, bureaucracy, and media, began to reflect values embedded and constructed in the hegemonic representation of the Shah as a foreign agent. In sum, for the fifth time since the constitutional re volution, a fundamental social revolution occurred, and this one happenedas the rest didwhen a temporary he gemony was constructed against the official state discourse.

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283 CHAPTER 7 CONCLUSION I began this dissertation with a question. How did the Iranian st ate elites im agine, interpret, and practice the politics of nation-state building in modern Iran? I also asked a series of questions. Why did so many peoplewithin and outside of Iran, in and out of government dismiss the possibility of an Islamic revolution or the establishment of an Islamic state? Could it be that competing ways of imag ining Iran had produced competing so cial realities with different sets of presuppositions, preferences, interests, an d mode of rationalities? If so, what were the social content of these competing realities? Mo st significantly, if competing ways of imagining Self produced competing social realities, how did they shape the politics of Iran? These questions were at the heart of my dissertation, and answering them required a surveying of Irans political development from the pe rspective of its state elites. In this spirit, my dissertation made a historical narrative of political development in modern Iran. It reached back to texts written in the 19th century and compared with those wr itten later. It argued that four previously non-existent signifying wordsdevelopment, law, democracy, and classequalityentered the political language of the state elites. By the 1900s, these four words together with the two traditional words of security and Islam existed in competing political discourses. I have called these six words the basi c political signifiers in the politics of Iran because they have existed in not only the common political language of modern Iran, but also in its contending political discourses, and each basi c signifier has been signiassociated with a different set of meanings, concepts, themes, and modes of rational ities. Depending upon the hierarchic formation of these six signifiers into an official state discourse or discourses of those opposing the state, different inte rpretation of social reality and idealization of Iran were constructed. Each imagined Iran produced a pa rticular social realit y and the conditions of

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284 possibility for producing a set of presuppositions, preferences, interests, and mode of rationalities, and each set of soci al reality was incapable of fully interpreting the others. I argued that the main body of the literature on Iran interprets modernity and tradition as fixed categorical constructs. The literature inte rpret meanings, concepts, themes, and rationalities associated with the six basic signifiers of Ira n by first categorizing them into modern and traditional and then interpreting them according to Western conceptualization of modernity and tradition. This predominant ontological assumption, which assumes the particularity of Western political development as a universal model for all spaces and time, drives the presupposition of research designs that value either modernity or tradition. As such, theories are constructed to measure either success or failu res of modernity. The literature focuses on false consciousness, ideology, mistakes, misperception, irrationality, a nd misunderstanding of history to explain the political development of modern Iran. Embe dded in fixed and ideological framework, the literature was not able to describe, assess, or an alyze Iran as it was imagined by millions of the people. I argue that the same is true for describi ng, assessing, and analyzi ng todays Iran. In contrast, starting with Char les Taylors interpretative approach and inspired by some elements of Foucaults articulation of discour ses, I attempted to analyze Irans political development by interpreting how the state elites understood their own social realties in two different ways. First, I made a narration of political development in modern Iran. In this narration, I showed competing idealization of the state el ites in Iran. Second, I made some brief textual analysis of the state elites. In those analyses, I revealed some important aspects of the relational linkages and differences among basi c signifiers in contending offici al state discourses. I showed by understanding the social content of political discourses, the poli tics of nation-state building in

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285 Iran and how the state elites interpreted the mean ing of security, development, law, democracy, people, and Islam can be described and anal yzed. I described how contending political discourses constituted the interpretation of the politi cs of nation-state building in Iran during the Pahlavi dynasty. In my narration and analysis, with an eye on critical political events, social trends, and shifts in the changing meanings of concepts, themes, and rational ities, I examined a variety of political and non-political texts da ting from pre-modern to modern times. I identified six basic signifiers that have shown up in all contending political discourses in Iran, including the Islamic Republic of Iran, but with differe nt hierarchic formations. My analysis of pre-modern texts revealed th at for centuries the mode of governance was based on two basic signifiers of security and Islam. Each produced and reproduced its own respective institution and acted with a certain de gree of autonomy from one another. However, together, they formed the political discourse of monarchic absolutism whose formation did not fundamentally change, and the meaning of its policies and practices were interpreted as inevitable, natural, and divine. In the premodern political arrangement in Iran, Islamic jurists did not have a claim on the state or the government and preached that the monarchic political order was indeed a divine political order that prov ided security for Mus lims. Because of Irans encounter with the West, the discourse of m onarch absolutism collapsed, and the meanings, themes, and rationalities associated with it changed. My analysis of modern texts revealed that in addition to the tw o traditional signifiers security and Islamconstituting the Iranian discourse of monarchic absolutism, four new signifiers and many concepts, themes, and rationality associated with them entered the language. These signifiers were law or constitutionalism, modernism or development, people, democracy,

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286 citizenship, or nationalism, cla ss equality, socialism. Depending upon the hierarchic formations of these six signifiers, five st ate discourses became hegemonic. I narrated and analyzed these five discourses, although the primary focus was th e discourses during the Pahlavi dynasty (19261979). The first state discourse was the discourse of what I called constitutionalism, which signified law linked to legal, rational, and constitutional norms as its primary signifier. For example, constitutionalists defined Islam in terms of its adherence to legal-rational norms. From 1926 to 1941, the second discourse of modern absolutism then became the official state discourse. In this discourse, development and security became the two primary signifiers that gave meanings to other contending discourses. In this discourse, development was linked to education, science, evol ution, progressive history, and th e West. Security was linked to the state power embodied in Reza Shah. Nationalism was attached to a particular construction of Persian nationalism, which was based on percei ving Iranians as an Aryan race in relational linkage to Germans but differen ces with Turks and Arabs. From 1941 to 1951, contending discourses were vying to become the official state discourse, but none succeeded. From 1951 to 1953, the discourse of democratic nationalism became the third state discourse. The primary signif ier of this discourse was the people, which was linked to concepts, such as citizenship, peop les rights, peoples free will, and civic rights in relational differences with foreigners. At th e time, the word foreigner was the code for labeling the British and Russians, but not necessarily the Americans. With the 1953 CIA coup, the state discourse of democr atic nationalism collapsed. From 1953 to 1979, the fourth official state discourse emerged. By signifying development and security, the state tried to govern by making an officially approved civil

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287 society, political parties, history, and religion. From its emer gence in 1953, despite having a monopoly over the material and institutional reso urces of the country, the state nevertheless could not produce legitimacy for itself, so it ruled mostly by fear. However, by the mid-1970s, the state began to lose its representational power to its opponents. From the mid-1970s, the state could not instill fear or produce legitimacy for its rule. Discursively, Mohamad Reza Shah was turned into a symbol of American imperial domination, and resisting him became a symbol of patrioti sm. The interpretation of the shah, as one who invoked grandeur, fear, and the divine myth of the king of kings ( shah han shah,) was changed into a diminutive stature of a Servant of America. Even the oil boom of the 1970s delegitimized the regime despite the fact that the regime had raised the peoples standard of living. The military buildup fueled the people resent ment rather than producing national pride. An extensive array of modernizi ng projects and policies angered the people because they were interpreted as further decaying of the Iranian -Muslim Self, which had never existed. By 1979, the state collapsed. In sum, by a genealogical exploration of the state discourses during the Pahlavi dynasty, this dissertation has shown how different ways of imagining Iran produced different policies and practices, which facili tated some possibilities while barring others. The implication of this dissert ation is not just about unders tanding the past, but how the past has permeated the presentthe continuities and changes in how meanings of policies and practices of the current regime in Iran has traces of the past embedded in the exigency of the present. Despite the pervasive argument in the li terature, which represents the Islamic Republic as a failure in modernity, the Islamic Republic is a particular case of modernity embedded in social values previously constr ucted in the contending discourses of Iran. The discourse of the Islamic state in Iran wasand isa particul ar construction made possible by the existing

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288 signifiers available in the languagesecurity, de velopment, law, people, class equality, and social ethics. For illustrative purposes, I will briefly review five previous signifiers that have floated into the discourse of the Islamic Republic. First, similar to previous disc ourses, security is a part of the legitimizing practice of the state. As explained in previous chapters, in bo th traditional and modern Iranian monarchisms, providing security was associated the divine right of sovereignty and both words of security and sovereignty were metonyms in the language. Di scursively, the absolute right of kings was represented as a divine political order because ki ngs had the absolute power to provide security. Similarly, in the Islamic discourse, providing secu rity is still a legitim izing signifier for the supreme leader whose task is to secure Islam and Iran from physical a nd cultural threats from foreigners. Although the meaning attached to th e word foreigners has changed in the last twenty-nine years as it had cha nged many times over in previous discourses, the linkage between providing security and the divine right of sovereignty has rema ined the same as those during prior eras. What has changed from the past is the previous linkage between the sh ah as personification of the sovereign and the divine right of sovereignty. For many centuries, the Shii clerical establishment reproduced and reinfo rced this linkage. The clergy argued that the shah was indeed the personification of the sovere ign and therefore had the divine right of sovereignty. However, this linkage began to come apart in the 1960s, and by the 1970s, Islamists declared that the shahs claim to the divine right of sovereig nty was heresy. In a 1971 declaration, Ayatollah Khomeini articulated his opinion as to why monarchic order in general has been incompatible

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289 with Islam since the passing of Prophet Mohammad in the 7th century.1 For nationalists, however, this linkeage had been broken during th e Mussadiqs years. For socialists, the linkage has been between proletariat class, communist pa rty, security, and the sovereign. In the Islamic Republic discourse, as the linkage between the sh ah as the personification of the sovereign and the divine right of sovereignty embodied in hi m disappeared, a new linka ge was constructed The Shii clerical establishment became the new embodiment of the sovereign bestowed with the divine right of sovereignty. In other words, while the linkage providing security and having the divine right of sovereignty re mained unchanged, the embodiment of the sovereign changed from the shah to the Shii clerical institution headed by Ayatolla h Khomeini first and now by Ali Khamenei, the current supreme leader. However, fundamental differences have occu rred between the present and the past. In previous eras, the shah ruled independently of the state-elites, and in some cases, in competition with the state and tribal elites. In the Islami c discourse, the state rule s by consensus and is bound to strict institutional norms. In other words, un like the fragmented body of the state-elites in the previous shah-centered state, th e state-elites in the Islamic Repub lic are a unified body. They are deeply embedded in the discourse of Islamic Re publicanism. The new orde r of the elites, unlike the previous ones, can cohere ntly defend the system by ma king seemingly contradictory decisions. Most Western analysts mistakenly cate gorize the state-elites into a binary opposition between moderates and fundamentalists. But these bi nary representations ar e as useless as when analysts used to categorize Mohamad Reza Shah as the modernizing king of Iran counterpoised to his supposedly radical oppositi on from the left and the rights ocialists, nationalists, and 1In other words, for 1400 hundred years, from the perspective of Khomeini and also the state-elites, a legitimate Islamic order had not existed, and the Islamic Republic is only the second legitimate Islamic order to be established after the 13-year reign of Prophet Mohammad in Medina.

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290 Islamists. Although these binary re presentations reveal one dimensi on of any state, they hide or mute other aspects. Second, about the peoples ro le in the Islamic Republic, the state values democracy ( mardum salari ). But citizenship rights are defined in te rms of religious rights and responsibility rather than secular civic duties as defined in the West. This interpretation has multiple implications, and most of them cannot be explai ned by binary categorization, such as democratic or undemocratic, freedom or no freedom. Unlike Mohamad Reza Shahs regime, which did not have mobilization, institutional, and infrastruc tural power, the Islamic Republic can at times mobilize millions of people. It has command ove r a small but cohesive, loyal, and uncritical segment of the civil society whose members ar e motivated by Shii myth and a particular formation of Islamic-Iranian nationalism. Hen ce, although not democratic by Western standard, the regime is perceived as a legitimate and democratic order by its social base. Third, the Islamic state represents modernis m, progress, and development as universal values and therefore good. Previously, contending discourses represented Mohamad Reza Shahs developmental policies and practi ces as signs of foreign domi nation. In contrast, the Islamic state represents its developmental policies and practices as signs of Iranian self-reliance, progress, modernization, although the degree of Ir ans self-reliance is, at best, ambiguous. Fourth, in the discourse, the Islamic state values class analysis and devalues class inequality as socialists had expressed those in pr evious decades. This is in contrast to Mohamad Reza Shah, who devalued class analysis and ignore d the existence of class gap between the rich and the poor. The Islamic Republic politicizes cla ss inequality and repres ents it as unjust and unIslamic. Discursively, although workers are value d, they are not represented in an oppositional relation to capitalists. The state represents the people as mustazafin (the repressed, weak, poor,

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291 and faithful) in opposi tional relation with mustakberin (the decadent, arrogant, and unfaithful). While the state praises mustazafin as worthy citizens in the servic e of Islam regardless of their wealth, it demonizes mustakberin for using their wealth or labor in the se rvice of evildoers on earth. In other words, wealth, capital, social status, labor, and power are valued as being positive when committed in the servic e of Islam or for helping mustazafin, but are devalued if used in the service of evil or mustakberin. For example, the United States is represented as estakbar jahani (the global arrogance) which means having its wealth and power committed to the service of the arrogant rather than the weak and the meek. Fifth, Islamic-Iranian nationalism has traces of nationalism constructed in previous discourses. For example, it has incorporated socialist nationalism, which focused on class equality in oppositional relation to Western libera lism. It has adopted nationalism from Mussadiq by representing the people as polit ical participants. It has even taken up a part of the Persian nationalism privileged by the late shah, although the focus of the Islamic Republic is on the ancient Persian civilization rather than the Aryan race. Based on these previously constructed values, the state articulates Islamic-Iranian nationalism in terms of a particul ar interpretation of Islam that is supposed to unite the body of the nation in its historical st ruggle against foreign dominati on, underdevelopment, absolutism, and cultural corruption. This was th e initial ideal for building an Islamic nation-state. The first act of the Islamic Republic was to ask the peopl e to vote yes or no for establishing an Islamic Republic reflected the ideal of the peo ples sovereign, which had become a dominent social value during 1941-1953. That ideal was labeled as the Isl amic Republic, and the ideal was represented as the most democratic, classjust, independent, and developing because the state would be an Islamic state. A great majority of the people initially believed and voted for

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292 this ideal-typical model. The people actually tr eated the utopia of the Islamic Republic as a real alternative that would in corporate all good and reject all evil. The utopias of the Islamic Republic did not, however, take more than a few months to shrink to the size of its constituentsa small but cohesive portion of the population. At the time, the impossibility of the utopia of the Islamic Republic was not, however, imaginableits simple binary representation appeared to make sense despite its in ternal contradictions. This dissertation has argued th at analyses based on fixed a nd immutable political concepts might reveal certain aspects of politics, but hide much more about the in tricacies of man as a self-interpreting subject. Meanwhile, the act of ignoring the intersubjec tive voices embedded in competing social reality limits a better understandi ng of what might otherw ise be possible or not. This is what happened to Reza Shah and Moha mad Reza Shah. They both muted the voices of others within, and, as it turned out, with no tangible outcomes but tremendous cost. This research has argued that tracing the multiplicity of voices from the past into presents facilitates understanding of what might fit within the r ealm of possibility or not. In the case of Iran, realizing what is possible or not can minimally help avoid costly confrontation and maximally promote better dialogue between th e Iranian state and its own societ y as well as the international community.

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293 LIST OF REFERENCES Abraham ian, Ervand. Iran between Two Revolutions, Princeton Studies on the near East. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1982. Abrahamian, Ervand, and NetLibrary Inc. Tortured Confessions: Prisons and Public Recantations in Modern Iran Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999. Adamiat, Fereydoon. Freedom and Thoughts and the Setting of Constitutional Movement (Fekr Aza'dy Va Moqademeh Yeh Neza't Moshroeya't) Tehran Entesharat-e-Sokhan 1961/1340. Afary, Janet, Kevin Anderson, and Michel Foucault. Foucault and the Iranian Revolution: Gender and the Seductions of Islamism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005. Afshar, M. Ayandeh June 1925. Ahmad, Jalal Al-e. The Curse of the Land (Nefrin-E Zamin) 2 ed. Tehran: Ravaq, 1357/1978. Gharbzadegi (Westoxication) Tehran Ravaq, 1344/1962. Gharbzadegi = (Weststruckness) Lexington, KY: Mazd Publishers, 1982. On the Intellectuals (Dar Khedmat and Khianat Roshanfekran) Tehran: Ravaq 1356/1978. Three Year Accomplishment (Karnam-Eh S-Eh Saleh) 3ed. Tehran Ravaq, 1357/1978. Ajodani, Mashallah. "Ejtema'eyon Amyon (Social Democrats)." Political & Econom ic Ettela'at 20, no. 227-230 (2006): 180-201. Ajoudani, Mashallah. Mashroteh Irani Va Nazaryeh Valayat-E Fagih (Iranian Constitutionalism; Backgrounds for the Theory of Guardianship of the Jurisprudent) London: Fasl-e Ketab Publication, 1997/1367. Al-Mulk, Nezam. Politics (Seeya'sat Nameh) Edited by Abdul Rahim Khalkhali. Tehran 1936/1310. Alamdari, Kazam. Why Iran Lagged Behind and the West Moved Forward 10th ed. Vol. 1. Tejram: Shabak, 1990. Alikhani, Aliquli, ed. The Complete Notes of Assaddoll ah Alam (Yad Dasht-Haay-E Alam) 5 vols. Tehran: Maziar, 1385. Amjad, Mohammed. Iran: From Royal Dictatorship to Theocracy Contributions in Political Science, No. 242. New York: Greenwood Press, 1989. Amuzegar, Jahangir. Iran: An Economic Profile Washington: Middle Ea st Institute, 1977.

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304 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Majid Sharif i is a Ph.D. graduate from the Un iversity of Florida Department of Political Science where he also earned a Master of Arts degree in internationa l relations. In 2003, he graduated with a Master of Arts degree in polit ical science from the Department of Political Science, Florida International University. In add ition to his research program that started in fall 2006, he taught an introductory course in internat ional relations in the Department of Political Science, University of Florida. Sharifi was born in Iran. As a student activist, he experienced the pol itical environment of Iran before, during, and after the 1979 Islamic Re volution. Deeply influenced by the fast-paced changes of political currents in Iran, he decided to write this dissertati on about the shifting ideas, meanings, and rationalities of competing images of Iranian nationalism in its modern history. For more than 30 years, he has lived and worked in the United States, but he has never lost his connections to Iran. Sharifi chose to become a teacher for no better purpose than being impressed by his 10th grade teacher who wanted him to learn b ecausehis teacher had insistedthe very process of learning changes not only the le arner but also the world he lives in.