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Iranian of the century

 Write for The Iranian

Reza Shah
Internet survey

January 5, 2000
The Iranian

Reza Shah got the third highest number of votes (11%) in The Iranian survey. Voters, most of all, applaud him for trying to turn Iran into a modern state. See comments from voters below.

Back to the Iranian of the century main index.

- Will of a nation
- Liberating women

- Less harm

- Made Iran
- Modern
- 20th century

- Development
- Persian dignity

- Did so much
- Greatness
- Civilization
- Character
- Unparalleled
- First steps
- Father of modern Iran
- Veresk bridge

- Irony
- Major reform
- Savior
- On the map

- Finger prints
- Pride
- Mihanparast
- Insuring soverignity
- Consolidation
- Courage

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Will of a nation

* No one Iranian in any position, common or high station, examplefied the will of a resolute nation to modernize and in the process to solve its own problems by itself in an unprecedented fit of nationalism and self-reliance. Brutish, perhaps, but in retrospect not different from those who preceded him or those who folowed him. Guive Mirfendereski

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First steps

* Establishing Persian rule for a Persian state, nationalizing most aspects of the country and taking the first steps towards modernization. All this in a time when the counrty had no foundation to build on, no government to speak of and no international or national prestige, pride or power -- other than its rich history. Cam Dadgar

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Liberating women

* For liberating our women from the chador. M. P. Akbar Zadeh

Father of modern Iran

* Clearly, no single Irannian has the kind of legacy that Reza Shah has. He is undeniably the father of modern Iran, in the same category as Jinnah of Pakistan, Kemal of Turkey, or Ben-Gurion of Israel. Virtually everything that Iran deals with today, good or bad, can be traced in some way to his years in power. Whether one loves him or hates him, the level of deep and lasting social change he attained is unrivaled by the only other plausible candidates for Iraninan of the century, Mohammad Reza Shah, Mossadegh, and Khomeini. For better or worse, he single handedly changed the course of Iraninan history. Reza Shaeri

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* I vote for Reza Shah and Ayatollah Khomeini together because they have had a big impact on shaping Iran's unique secular-religous culture. The irony is that none were able to attain their full visions. Reza Shah wasn't able to create a Turkey-like fully secular Iran, and it is becoming increasingly clear that Ayatollah Khomeini failed to create the theocratic Iran of his dreams. So I vote for this very unlikely pair as Iranians of the century. By the way, if I was going with my heart, I would have voted for Dr. Mossadegh, but unfortunately I have to put him in third place. Ron Siahpoosh

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Made Iran

* Because he made Iran what it is, or was. He brought Iran out from the dark ages to the 20th century. If we are here it is because of him. Ahmad Vaziri

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Major reform

* The Qajar leadership at the turn of the 20th century was weak, lacked vision and, after the victory of the constitutionalists, proved ineffective. Reza Shah combined progressive ideas with a strong leadership and initiated transformation of Iran into a modern state. His son perhaps had good intentions but was an ineffective and weak leader. The 1979 revolution has neither shown achievements in practical matters -- e.g. improving the life of the Iranian people -- or matters of ideology -- an alternative model to the Western democratic nation state. Thus, in sum, the one person who deserves credit for initiating major reform and getting results is Reza Khan. Iraj Saniee

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* He brought Iran on the map of the modern world and enabled the infrastructure on which the country functions even today. Babak Nabili

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* He saved the nation from dwindling into oblivion or worse yet, becoming another Russian Republic; modernized the nation, and gave all Iranians a sense of national pride. Bottom Line: Iran may not have remained a country to see the end of the 20th Century. Faraz Farzam

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On the map

* He kept Iran a geographical entity as it is today. Omid Nodoushani

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20th century

* For bringing Iran from the 6th century to the 20th.

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* Because he started the developing engine of the country. If he had not, we would have been far behind the 20th century, let alone the 21st! Peace be upon him and his son. -- the pioneers of modernization in industry, civilization, culture and much more. Tooradj Ghoochani

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Finger prints

* He delivered Iran to a position in which her move toward a modern civilization and ultimately controling her own journey in the realm of history was inevitable. The good, the bad and everything in between tomorrow's Iran has Reza Khan's finger prints all over it.

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Persian dignity

* Reza Shah is the father of modern Iran. After many years under the rule of the Qajar dynasty, Iran was in total ruin. He is greatly overlooked, mainly due to his son; yet he ignited the flame of nationalism and rekindled Persian dignity. Shervin Ansari

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* Because of him things in Iran improved. He brought about Iranian nationalism. He revived our pride. But unfortunately his good work did not continue after him. M. Ghoraishi

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Final answer

* Although I am not a monarchist, I believe Reza Shah deserves to be the man of century based on all the changes, and reforms (good and bad) he had made in cultural and economic fields as well as in the lifestyle of Iranians. Reza Shah is my final answer, and I do not need to call a friend. Arasta

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Did so much

* I think history is a good judge. This man has done more for his country our beloved Iran than any single man this century, considering the short time he was in power. He laid the foundation of new Iran, and every Iranian should be fair enough and give him credit. The present regime after 22 years is not even able to complete the metro project given all their revenue from oil, natural gas and may more yet his government paid for the railroad by raising tax on sugar. People to this day use the railway in Iran everyday. God bless his soul Sassan

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* shoorbakhtaaneh beh andisheye man do irani va mihanparast hastand keh baa jaan-o del-e khod baraaye keshvar-e kohan-e maa iran kamar beh kaar va kooshesh bastand va iran-e maa raa az naaomidi va fanaa beh omid, aazaadi va shokooh-e pishineh va az beyn rafteh resaanidand. banaa bar in nemitavaanam tanhaa beh yek nafar basandeh konam. nokhost Reza Shah-e bozorg va pas az oo farzand-e mihanparastash Shahanshaah Aryaamehr mohammad reza Shah. Chenaancheh fard-e digari raa ham betavanam naam bebaram tanhaa yek naam-e fadaakaar va az khodgozashteh beh damaagham miresad, aan ham sardabir-e hafteh-naameh-ye "Payam-e Ma Azadegan" keh dar saal-e 1996 (2704 aryaayei) beh soorat-e asafbaari beh dast-e naamardaan-e irani jaan bedar daad. rooh-e hamegiye in bozorgmaneshaan shaad va saayeye in ensaanhaaye raastin az iran hich gaah kam nashavad. Tirshid (chaahaarshanbeh), sevom-e aazar-maah-e 2707 aaryaayei, DJ Shah

P.S.: omidvaaram yek vaght napendaarid keh man nasionaalist yaa chize digari hastam. joloye hameye farhang-haa sar forood mi-aavaram. vali farhang-e iran raa hamaareh joloye chashm khaaham daasht, cheraa keh migooyad: pendaar-e nik, kerdaar-e nik, goftaar-e nik.

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* His contributions to the rebuilding and achieving greatness for our wonderful and beautiful country, Iran, surpasses any other person in the 20th century. Fereidoon

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Insuring soverignity

* He singlehandedly took a Persian society divided along tribal-ethnic divides and forged a homogeneous nation-state. Unfortunately, Iranian historian and commentators have focused on some of his less palitable qualities instead of recognizing the fact that he was responsible for insuring Iranian sovreignity and furthering his nation's prestige. Amir Arsalan Afkhami

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* Consolidation of power modernization efforts. Siavash Beik

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* He brought Iran out of the dark ages & into civilization.

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* Because of his character and power which no other leader has ever had. Kavoos Amuzegar

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Veresk bridge

* Okay, don't get me wrong, I am not a monarchist and I don't think Reza Shah was a perfect leader. In fact, I do critisize him for a lot of things he did but each time I go back to Iran and see the fine paved roads, watch the train passing over the Veresk bridge and look at students as they pass through the entrance of Tehran University, I think to myself "Man, Reza Shah did so much for this country." Ramin Rabii

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* Because he had enough courage to make a change and go against the old, negative traditions and bring what's truely right for our country. Hesam

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* The progress that he initiated during his reign, is unparalelled to this day. He was a great man with very high ambitions for Iran in the 20th century global arena. Ali Kouros

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Less harm

* I will vote for Reza Shah as someone who did the country more service than harm in this century and paid for it too. A Hessami

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