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By Stephanie Cronin (auth.)

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Extra info for Soldiers, Shahs and Subalterns in Iran: Opposition, Protest and Revolt, 1921–1941

Example text

The growing discontent with the Pahlavis in the 1960s and 70s produced a spate of attempts to rescue from obscurity figures who could be claimed as precursors of the opposition movement. 3 Yet Colonel Pasyan remains an enigma. There has as yet been no attempt to integrate the Mashad revolt into the overall history of the period. During the Pahlavi period the opposition’s perception of the army as a bastion of monarchism resulted in a general lack of interest and sympathy towards military officers among these elements, while the attitude of the Islamic Republic towards Pasyan has remained distinctly ambivalent.

Such violations, however, were still conceptualized as deviations, and the custom continued to embody a right in popular perception. During the 1920s the new state refused to acknowledge this customary right, either in theory or in practice. At first, the right of sanctuary was denied to army personnel, soldiers entering mosques to drag out deserters. Then, in 1924, Riza Khan used his troops to disperse the anti-republican 38 Soldiers, Shahs and Subalterns in Iran crowds in bast in the Majlis grounds, while in 1928 Taymurtash dragged Ayatullah Muhammad Taqi Bafqi from the shrine of Hazrat Masumah in Qum following an alleged insult to ladies of the court.

The broadsheet expressed a wide range of grievances against the local military commander, General Jan Muhammad Khan Davallu, particularly denouncing the general’s role in the conduct of the elections to the sixth Majlis, then in progress in Mashhad. It complained that, although the shah had declared that the elections would be free, the general had suppressed this freedom. It went on to say that all the candidates in this election were nominees of the general, and that no one had the power to offer opposition or “to utter a word”.

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