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other failings of the Shah, and others

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in response to reader comment: The Shah's Failings

Submitted by Kepha Hor (United States), Dec 26, 2013 at 23:39

I also understand that one of the great crimes of the Mohammed Riza Shah Pahlavi was that in his courts, a Sunnite, Jew, Christian, Zoroastrian, or Bahai in a civil case against an Ithna'ashariyya Shi'ite might actually have a chance of winning! And, horror of horrors! The Shah might actually appoint a non-Muslim to a responsible position (I think of the Bahai especially). It was Mohammed Riza Shah Pahlavi whose mild rule convinced Iran's better-off Jews to stay while their poorer coreligionists decamped for Israel along with the rest of the Mizrahim.

As for the brave nationalist Mossadegh, he was a lion with British oil concessions, but a crippled mouse when it came to Soviet ones (which his Tudeh friends felt obliged to leave untouched, out of "international solidarity"). Further, this was at a time when Moscow had clearly attempted to detach southern Azerbaijan and Kordestan. This sort of thing makes me think that Pahlavi was the real patriot and Mossadegh a demagog ready to sell out his country to a truly threatening power.

If the Shi'ite clergy once supported Muhammad Riza Pahlavi against "progressive" forces, it was probably because with so many of them being Azeri Turks, they knew too much what would happen to them if Mossadegh's Communist friends had their way.

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