Iranian Revolution

Iran Through the Looking Glass: History, Reform, and Revolution

n 1978, millions of Iranians risked their lives to protest against the shah. Marching in the streets, Iranians sought to end repressive rule, bring justice and opportunity to Iranians, and rid Iran of the influence of foreign powers - particularly the United States. But Iranians were not unified about how to achieve these goals. Nor were they sure what kind of government they wanted. With the departure of the shah in January 1979, a tremendous struggle began for the future of Iran. 

Iran Through the Looking Glass: History, Reform, and Revolution traces the history of Iran and then engages students in the choices considered during this period debate and uncertainty. Students explore Iran's cultural history, its efforts to establish a representative democracy in the twentieth century, and the role the great powers played in shaping events in Iran.

Part I: From Cyrus to Reza Shah

Part II: Mossadegh to Khomeini

1979: Iranians Debate Their Future

Epilogue: The Islamic Republic

Day One Lesson: Iran’s Constitutional Revolution: 1906-1911

Day Two Lesson: Iranian Oil Nationalization

Supplement to Day Two Lesson: U.S. Documents of the 1953 Coup

Day Five Lesson: Charting Iran’s Political Climate

Lesson: Women in Iran

Lesson: U.S. Policy Toward Iran Today

Featured Scholars

Joseph Cirincione photo
Ploughshares Fund
Mariam Habibi photo
New York University Paris
Shahla Haeri photo
Boston University
Jo-Anne Hart photo
Lesley University