The Pahlavi dynasty was founded by a brave military officer, Reza Khan, in 1925. In Pahlavi period, Iran underwent different changes. The international connections and consequently the influence of the western countries got even more than in Qajar period.
Reza Shah and his son and successor, Mohammad Reza shah, wanted to make a Europe out of Iran, while the majority could not stand the sudden changes that were mostly in contrast with their religious beliefs. Although Reza Shah did so much for improvement, modernization, and construction of iron, his cruelty and dictatorship raised the public anger and dissatisfaction.
During World War II, although Iran was declared as neutral by Reza Shah, it did not remain safe from the invasions of Britain and Russia. Reza Shah tried to eliminate the influence of Britain and Russia in Iran, but as they had already gained enough dominance in the domestic affairs of Iran, the sent him to exile and made his son the Shah (king) of Iran in 1941. Mohammad Reza shah was just a puppet king and despite his father, he had no power by himself. As he succeeded the throne, a nationalistic lawyer, Mohammad Mosaddeq, who had been a minister before Reza shah’s sovereignty, joined the parliament and started his efforts to nationalize the oil company which was then the absolute monopoly of Britain, granted to them in Qajar period. Finally, in 1951 he could force Shah to declare the nationalization of the petroleum industry and afterward, Mosaddeq was appointed the prime minister. Mosaddeq was a political activist all during Mohammad Reza’s sovereignty; but by the plots of the foreign elements, he was recognized as patricide. Consequently, he was trialed and imprisoned and finally died in 1967.
One of the policies of Mohammad Reza shah was the increase of connections with the US that led to more foreign interference in affairs of Iran and obviously this was not welcomed by the majority and the Majlis. Shah decided to repeal the Majlis to avoid oppositions and to repress the internal rebels he had already instituted the organization of national security and intelligence (SAVAK), supported by CIA and Israel’s Mossad.
One of the most important events during the Pahlavi dynasty was the white revolution in 1963. It was a social and economic program suggested by shah and objected by the most popular clerical figure in the history of Iran, Ruhollah Khomeini. Shah arrested Khomeini but was forced to free him from prison because of the worldwide reaction that it brought about. Since then, Ruhollah Khomeini was exiled several times, several massacres happened by the order of shah, and the ever increasing cruelty of Shah and SAVAK (the security and information organization) pushed the country towards a revolution that was led by Imam Khomeini. The sparkles of the revolution were let from the very beginning of Pahlavi dynasty as a result of public dissatisfaction. After Shah left Iran under the public pressure, the revolution was gloriously concluded and the Islamic republic of Iran was established.