Shah of Iran Card
Mohammad Rezā Shāh Pahlavi, Shah of Iran, Shah of Persia (26 October 1919 – 27 July 1980), ruled Iran from 16 September 1941 until his overthrow by the Iranian Revolution on 11 February 1979. He was the second and last monarch of the House of Pahlavi of the Iranian monarchy. Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi held several titles: His Imperial Majesty, Shahanshah (King of Kings, Emperor), Aryamehr (Light of the Aryans) and Bozorg Arteshtārān (Head of the Warriors, Persian: بزرگ ارتشتاران). Mohammad Reza Shah came to power during World War II after an Anglo-Soviet invasion forced the abdication of his father Reza Shah. During his reign, the Iranian oil industry was nationalized under Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh, and Iran marked the anniversary of 2,500 years of continuous monarchy since the founding of the Persian Empire by Cyrus the Great. The Shah's White Revolution, a series of economic and social reforms intended to transform Iran into a global power, succeeded in modernizing the nation, nationalizing many natural resources, and extending suffrage to women. A secular Muslim himself, the Shah gradually lost support from the Shi'a clergy of Iran, particularly due to his strong policy of modernization, secularization, conflict with the traditional class of merchants known as bazaari, and recognition of Israel. Various additional controversial policies were enacted, including the banning of the communist Tudeh Party, and a general suppression of political dissent by Iran's intelligence agency, SAVAK. Amnesty International reported that in 1978 Iran had as many as 2,200 political prisoners, a number which multiplied rapidly as a result of the revolution.