White Revolution

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Social, economic, and legal reforms undertaken by Shah Reza Pahlavi in the 1960s and 1970s to modernize Iran. The benefits went largely to elites in urban environments; the reforms failed to achieve results in rural areas or among the more traditional sectors of society. Administration of the reforms was often corrupt. The presence of Western corporations and banks fueled concerns about Western economic imperialism. The government tried to control the ulama by controlling seminaries and religious schools and introducing state-trained, secular-oriented teachers into rural schools. Critical religious leaders and intellectuals were harassed, tortured, exiled, arrested, and sometimes killed. The reforms' failures fueled popular dissatisfaction, leading to the Islamic revolution of 1979.

Subjects: Islam.

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