The Iranian History 1963 AD


Iranian Jets Bomb Katanga Airport In Congo

Jan, 16, 1963 AD

24Esfand Square which changed name to Enghelab (revolution) Square 1963 with the Universal Cinema in the backgroundAfter a request by the secretary general of the United Nations, six Iranian jet planes took off for a mission in Congo where a local separatist rebel had seized control of Katanga. Because of rich diamond mines, some foreign states including Germany were supporting rebel groups for their own interests.
The bombing of the Katanga airport took place in accordance with similar operations that paved the way for UN forces to arrive and take control. Iran later took the title "Gendarme of the Middle East" as a puppet regime. On the other hand, Africa has been scene of many genocides, discrimination, and it seems the resource rich but poor continent will not easily be able to get rid of centuries of colonization. (Updated: Jan, 16, 2008)

Referendum On White Revolution

Jan, 26, 1963 AD

Iranian Women Voting. During what the Pahlavi regime called the referandum on White Revolution in 1963, Iranian women experience their right to vote for the first time on major issues such as land reforms.Iranians participated in a referendum to approve social and economic changes that was called the White Revolution. This was the first time that Iranian women were exercising their right to vote. These changes included land reforms, labor benefits, acknowledging women rights to vote, etc. These reforms were initiated by advices from the U.S. The administration in Washington was trying to establish a model in Iran to counter Soviets Union's influence in the Middle East. John F. Kennedy sent his congratulations for the reforms.
Socially, the platform granted women more rights and poured money into education, especially in the rural areas. The Sepah Danesh (Literacy Corps) was also established, which allowed young men to fulfill their compulsory military service by working as village literacy teachers.
The White Revolution consisted of 19 elements that were introduced over a period of 15 years, with the first 6 introduced in 1963 and put to a national referendum on January 26, 1963. Official ceremonies celebrating the event took place every year.
What Mohammad Reza Shah did not expect was that the White Revolution led to new social tensions that helped create many of the problems the Shah had been trying to avoid. The Shah's reforms more than quadrupled the combined size of the two classes that had posed the most challenges to his monarchy in the past—the intelligentsia and the urban working class. Their resentment towards the Shah also grew since they were now stripped of organizations that had represented them in the past, such as political parties, professional associations, trade unions, and independent newspapers. Land reform, instead of allying the peasants with the government, produced large numbers of independent farmers and landless laborers who became loose political cannons, with no feeling of loyalty to the Shah. Many of the masses felt resentment towards the increasingly corrupt government; their loyalty to the clergy, who were seen as more concerned with the fate of the populace, remained consistent or increased. (Updated: Jan, 27, 2008)

The 15 Khordad Uprising

Jun, 5, 1963 AD

Visitors perform prayers inside the Imam Khomeini Shrine in Tehran's Behesht Zahra Cemetery. Imam Khomeini was the leader of the revolution in 1979 and founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Posters of his sons hang on the wall.Almost ten years after the CIA backed coup in 1953, the 15 Khordad uprising on June, 5, 1963 was the incident which actually ignited the Islamic Revolution in 1979. From the early hours of the day, people took their anger to the streets of Qom to protest Imam Khomeini's arrest. He was taken arrested after he made a speech against the regime on the day of Ashura despite strict orders which asked the clerics not to criticize Shah, not to talk against Israel, and not to mention that Islam was in danger.
On the same day, other demonstrations took place simultaneously in Shiraz, Mashhad, Tehran and Varamin. Protestors chanted anti-Shah slogans in support of Imam Khomeini.
Armed forces opened fire on unarmed civilians. Thousands of people were killed but demonstrations continued for a few days. One of the most dramatic incidents was the massacre of farmers of Varamin who were marching towards Tehran. They became martyr at the Bagherabad Bridge.
After the protestors were silenced, Shah accused them with having ties to foreign countries specifically Jamal Abdolnaser, the revolutionary Egyptian leader at the time. Prime Minister Alam threatened supporters with military tribunals and execution.
Imam Khomeini was freed from prison after two months and Alam was dismissed from duty on March, 7, 1964. Alam became the scapegoat to put all the blame on. Khomeini returned to Qom on April, 7 but he was quick in clearing the propaganda that made people believe he had made a compromise for his liberty. In his speech he made 3 days later on April, 10; he said that he was not the kind of Mullah to sit in silence or lead ceremonies on Sundays like Pope. He made it clear that he aimed to continue his fight against the Shah's regime. Under his leadership, Iran transformed from monarchy to Islamic Republic. (Updated: Oct, 7, 2010)

Shah Censors Israel Relations

Jun, 29, 1963 AD

Tehran Mosalla Quran exhibition: A poster mocking the famous brand Coca Cola which is supposed to support a pro-Palestine cause.On June, 29, 1963 The Iranian Ministry of Foreign affairs was ordered to keep relations with Israel secret and not to publish any related news or reports about Iran-Israel relations at the media. This decision was taken 3 days after Shah announced in an interview on July, 23, 1960 that Iran-Israel relations date back to its formation. This announcement created outrage among Arab countries especially Egypt.
On March, 14, 1950, Iran recognized the state of Israel; as De Facto, one year after its creation during Saed government. But Dr. Mosaddegh cut ties with Israel on July, 7, 1951, knowing that the Zionist state was a tool of the British government against nations in the Middle East. The British embassy and officials were evicted from Iran in October 1952. After the CIA backed coup of 1953, diplomatic relations with Britain and her illegitimate child re-started and Mohammad Reza Shah entered a close relationship with Israel, especially in terms of weapons and intelligence. Iran purchased a $500,000,000 worth of arms from Israel per year and exported petroleum even at the time of OPEC embargo.
Iranians were sensitive towards the Palestinian issue. Israel was known for apartheid and discrimination against native residents of Palestine. Therefore Shah wanted to keep their relations secret.
On Feb, 19, 1979, only a week after the Islamic Revolution, in its first official response to the issue, the Revolutionary interim government stated that Iran-Israel relations were to be cut completely. Imam Khomeini declared every last Friday of Ramazan as the Qods Day in support of oppressed Palestinians.
The Israel embassy was shut down and it was dedicated as the Palestinian embassy. Iran’s support for Palestinian resistance groups and Lebanese Hezbollah and close ties with Syria are parts of her official long-term policy that has resulted in pressure from US and its satellite countries. Although the cost has been high, Iranians seem to have embraced staying besides the oppressed rather than cheering international arrogance and ignorance. (Updated: Jul, 23, 2010)

Soviet Leader In Tehran

Nov, 17, 1963 AD

Mohammad Reza Shah and his wife Farah Diba meet Leonid Brezhnev in Moscow in 1965. Relations between Russia and Iran started in 1592, with the Safavids in power. Since then, mutual relations has not been in Iran's best benefit.For years Soviet transmitters beamed a propaganda barrage against neighboring Iran, including appeals for insurrection against Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi. Then Moscow's line became more seductive than destructive. Soviet Chief of State, Leonid L. Brezhnev on a state visit arrived in Tehran on Nov, 17, 1963.
Relations between Iran are USSR took a bitter turn in 1950s when Iran and USA signed a military agreement. The Soviet criticized Shah in every way especially on land reforms of the White Revolution. But on Sep, 15, 1962 Shah's excellent decision to turn down American request for missile bases in Iran did not go unnoticed. USSR sent a high-level envoy in Dec, 1963 to pave the way for normalizing bilateral ties seeking cooperation in cultural, economic and technical fields.
During his visit, Brezhnev as the highest ranking Soviet official accelerated solving key border and customs issues. Agreements and memorandums were signed and uncommon cheers for his royal majesty by a Soviet leader signaled a turning point in the relation between the two countries. The Soviet leader's friendly attitudes surprised most Iranian officials who had only heard the barking sound of the Tas news agency other than Western propaganda against them. Brezhnev promised to build Iran a steel-mill and help Shah's ambition to industrialize Iran but probably his biggest surprise for the Pahlavi family's was when he talked about his belief in God, easing away all prejudice about the Soviets as a atheist state.
During Reza Shah's reign (1925-1941), Germans had started constructing a steel-mill factory but the Allied Powers invaded Iran in 1941 and Reza Shah was overthrown. Germany lost the war and all the equipments were left to rot at the site near Karaj. After the end of World War II, both UK and US were only interested in selling weapons in return for cheap oil and did not show any interest in infrastructural development of Iran. Iranian politicians had to play the East and West blocks against each other using a delicate policy without leaning too much towards any side.
The next visit by Brezhnev to Tehran took place on Oct, 6, 1974. Many things had changed by then; the Zobahan steel-mill had been operational in Isfahan for four years and the Soviet leader was offering the Shah to consider buying weapons from the USSR but Shah was more interested in obtaining the Western technology over the Soviets.
The Iran-Soviet relations became bitter-sweet after the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and subsequently after the collapse of the USSR in 1991 but then gradually Russia evolved as a key player in the region and put its weight on Iran to counter-balance the hegemony of the US which had became a hostile state breaking diplomatic ties with Iran since 1979. (Updated: Nov, 6, 2011)

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