In Iran, the 25th anniversary of the return to power of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi has been celebrated although the country remains tense following recent civil unrest.
In Iran, the 25th anniversary of the return to power of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi has been celebrated although the country remains tense following recent civil unrest. The recent spate of disorder has included riots, demonstrations, and arson, including the burning of a cinema, causing one of the worst cinema tragedies in history. The authorities are still seeking those responsible for the deaths of more than 400 people reported killed in the Rax Cinema in Abadan. Military law and curfews have been imposed in some areas, but the Shah returned from holiday to witness celebrations of the anniversary of his return to power in 1953.
SYNOPSIS: The Shah has blamed communists and religious fanatics for the recent unrest, while the army remains one of the stanches mainstays of his regime. Thee futile attempt to oust him in 1953 which is being marked by the military parade, is said by the Shah to have been communist inspired. He says the latest violence has the same origins, but he, Iranian patriots and the armed forces, will see that they again fail.
Although the army and the riot police have been important again recently in maintaining order in Iran, there have been reports of some discontent among the younger officers that could affect the amount of confidence that can be placed in the army in maintaining the fragile state of law and order in the country. But on his return from holiday to attend the celebrations, (19 August), the Shah referred several times to the armed forces as a reason why attempts to overthrow him would fall. he said his reform programme aimed at social justice and more freedom would continue.
Oil revenues have increased prosperity in the market place, and they have also allowed the purchase of the most sophisticated military equipment. Twenty percent of Iran's budget it devoted to the defence of the country which is in a strategically important position. One question being asked is whether SUCH expenditure remains justified.