"Fellow soldiers! You have offered every possible sacrifice in the defense of the land of your fathers......But we have to confess that our loyalty has served merely to preserve the interests of a handful of traitors in the capital....(Qajar family). These insignificant men are the same treacherous elements who have sucked the last drop of the nation's blood"
The above was the Reza Khan's passionate speech to handful his fellow officers led two thousands men to the outskirts of Tehran on the evening of Feb 20, 1921. The fevor in camp was intese, and Reza, not a patient man, seized on it. Before dawn the next morning, his soldiers entered Tehran and arrested the prime minister and every member of his cabinet.
It was impossible for Reza Shah to pull his country out of the orbit of foreign powers, especially the all-powerful British, but after consolidating his power, he worked steadily to limit their influence. He accepted no loans from foreign financiers, banned the sale of property to non-Iranians, revoked a concession that gave the British-owned Imperial Bank of Iran the exclusive right to issue Iranian currency, and even forbade officials of his foreign ministry to attend receptions at foreign embassies. When the British insisted that he hire European engineers to build the rail line that was one of his grandest dreams, he did so on the conditions that the engineers and their families agree to stand beneath each bridge they built when a train passed over it for the first time.
Reza khan began by wiping out gang of bandits that terrorized many of parts of Iran. Then he embarked on a huge construction program that gave the country new avenues, plazas, highways, factories, ports, hospitals, government buildings, railroad lines, and schools for both boys and girls. He created the country's first civil service and the first national army it had known for centuries. He introduced the metric system, the modern calendar, the use of surnames, and civil marriage and divorce. Ever ready to scorn tradition, he restricted traditional clothing and forbade camel caravans to enter cities. He promulgated legal codes ad established a network of secular courts to enforce them.
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