Since the turn of the century Iran has experienced three major
political upheavals in the struggle to democratize her political
systems. The last revolution inaugurated an era of unprecedented
turmoil and instead of fulfilling its democratic aim, paved the way
for an even more despotic theocracy. To put the revolution in a
proper perspective, some attempt is made to explain the reasons for
Khomeini s success in acquiring first, the symbolic leadership of
the anti-Shah revolution, and then, the monopolistic control of
power in Iran. How and why the other claimants to power were
shunted aside and later brutally repressed is a further theme for
discussion. The domestic and external ramifications of the
revolution are examined in detail; in particular the rise of the
anti-American feeling which culminated in the hostage crisis. In
conclusion, an analysis is offered of the instrumentalities of
power available to the Islamic Republic, and several scenarios are
explored in which Iran s competing forces may converge to determine
whether this third revolution will finally succeed in subordinating
political authority to popular democratic consent.
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