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That's not exactly true. People tout those photographs of "liberated" women in Iran in the 70's but that was a tiny slice of a female urban lifestyle restricted to a small number of elite women. That was not representative of the lives of the overwhelming majority of Iranian women.

Iran was still far more liberal in general before the cultural revolution, no? Women don't have to be in nice clothes in urban areas to not be repressed by clerical rule backed by state rule... There may have been societal pressure but it's significantly different when it's backed by government security services and religious police.

Yes, the Shah of Iran pushed a massive modernisation program [aka liberal agenda] to westernise Iran. The pushback from conservative elements was one of the driving forces of the revolution.

The interference from western powers to prop up the Shah did not help matters.

At least this was the impression I got from my time in Iran and visiting the tourist sites.

Actually, and this is forgotten by most non Iranians, the revolution against the shah was NOT Islamic.

It was a coalition of factions that took him down including socialists and communists. The ayatollah and his followers seized the country within a few years though and turned it into an Islamic republic.

I'm aware of that. Everyone from socialists to islamists banded together to overthrow the shah, and the from this chaos the ayatollah and his followers seized the country.

> The pushback from conservative elements was one of the driving forces of the revolution.

The other driving force being the CIA.

I thought CIA installed the Shah? They didn't also depose him, did they? I mean I know they have always been really short-sighted about this sort of thing, but that would take the cake...

You are right. I had my history mixed up and was thinking of the coup, not the revolution.

Oh ok, thanks for the correction.

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