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Seda: Voices of Iran




Introduction of constitution which limits the absolutist powers of rulers.








Iran declares neutrality but is scene of heavy fighting during World War I.









Reza Khan, a military officer in Persia's Cossack Brigade, names himself shah of Persia after successfully staging a coup against the government of the Qajar Dynasty. He immediately launches an ambitious campaign to modernize the country. Among other plans, he hopes to develop a national public education system, build a national railroad system and improve health care.


Reza Khan becomes prime minister.






Ahmad Shah in the center of the picture

Ahmad Shah, the Qajar dynasty's final ruler, is deposed, and an assembly votes in Reza Khan (who had adopted the last name Pahlavi) as Persia's new shah.







Reza Khan Pahlavi is crowned, marking the beginning of the Pahlavi Dynasty. The shah's eldest son, Mohammad Reza, is named crown prince.  

Persia is officially renamed Iran. By the mid-'30s, Reza Khan's dictatorial approach begins to cause dissent.










Although Reza Khan declares Iran a neutral power during World War II, Iran's British-controlled oil interests are largely maintained by German engineers and technicians, and Khan refuses to expel German citizens despite a request by Britain. In September 1941, following British and Soviet occupation of western Iran, Reza Shah is forced out of power. His son, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, succeeds him on the throne.

An attempt on the shah's life, attributed to the pro-Soviet Tudeh Party, results in an expansion of the Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi's constitutional powers.


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