Human Rights and Comparative Foreign Policy

By David P. Forsythe | Go to book overview

8
Iran and human rights
Zachary Karabell

I. Historical introduction

At the height of the Cold War, Iran allied itself with the Western bloc. The Shah of Iran, Muhammed Reza Pahlavi, owed his throne in no small measure to the assistance of the US Central Intelligence Agency and the British Secret Service, which in 1953 had helped him organize a coup against the nationalist leader Muhammad Mossadegh. 1

The Shah saw himself as the heir to a thousands-year-old tradition of Persian monarchy. He desperately wanted Iran to become a modern, industrial state, with an educated populace, but he resisted the notion that Iran should democratize. 2 Over the years, various American administrations pressured him to open up the political system, allow for political opposition and elections, and loosen the laws of land ownership. The Shah periodically made gestures in that direction but refused to make more substantive changes, claiming the West failed to appreciate the challenges of Iranian society. If ever the pressure became too great, the Shah would subtly remind Western diplomats that any changes that might result in upheaval could jeopardize the stability of Iran and thereby undermine Western influence in the “Northern Tier.”

In the late 1970s, however, the Shah faced internal challenges brought on by rapid urbanization and inflation. His response was often to crack down on opposition, using the security service SAVAK as one of his pri-

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Human Rights and Comparative Foreign Policy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents v
  • Tables and Figures vii
  • Acknowledgements viii
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • Notes 18
  • Part I - Some Liberal Democracies of the Oecd 19
  • 2 - Us Foreign Policy and Human Rights: the Price of Principles after the Cold War 21
  • Notes *
  • 3 - Trials and Errors: the Netherlands and Human Rights 49
  • Notes *
  • 4 - British Foreign Policy and Human Rights: from Low to High Politics 87
  • Notes *
  • 5 - Japan's Foreign Policy towards Human Rights: Uncertain Changes 115
  • Notes *
  • Part II - Some Other States 147
  • 6 - Russian Foreign Policy and Human Rights: Conflicted Culture and Uncertain Policy 149
  • Notes *
  • 7 - India's Human Rights Diplomacy: Crisis and Transformation 178
  • Notes 204
  • 8 - Iran and Human Rights 206
  • Notes *
  • 9 - Human Rights and Foreign Policy in Central Europe: Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Poland 224
  • Notes 245
  • 10 - Human Rights and Foreign Policy in Post-Apartheid South Africa 250
  • Notes *
  • 11 - Latin American Foreign Policies and Human Rights 276
  • Notes 307
  • 12 - An Overview 310
  • Notes *
  • Postscript: the Kosovo Crisis 335
  • Contributors 342
  • Index 343
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