Based on the changes that were made in Iran during recent decades, explain the positive and negative policies enacted by Mohammed Reza Pahlavi.

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brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Shah of Iran, also known as Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, ran Iran for decades, in times of relative prosperity and hardship.  Over the course of his rule, however, particularly in the 1970s, his government became more and more tyrannical, as his secret police force cracked down on religious dissenters and fundamentalist Islamists, trying to maintain his grip on the country and its oil supply.

While he opened the country up to trade, especially with the west and the US, and further developed its oil infrastructure, its hard to argue that this income reached all segments of Iranian society.  Tehran became a modern, western style capital city, but in smaller, more rural parts of the country, people lived tribally and traditionally as they always had, and were much more likely to be devout Muslims.

The economic mismanagement of Iran's economy since the 1979 Islamic Revolution highlights the Shah's more beneficial economic policies, but its all relative, for the reasons stated earlier.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

So you're asking how the Shah's policy look now in light of what has happened in the 30 years since he was deposed?

I think that his legacy looks kind of bad in retrospect because of what Iran has become.  You can argue that, if he had not been so authoritarian and anti-Islamic, Iran would be a better place right now.  You can say that the Revolution of 1979 that brought in the theocratic regime that they have was his fault because he gave the devout Muslims so many grievances due to how he ruled.

On the other hand, he must have done something right because Iran is still one of the more prosperous countries in that region.