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The Life and Times of the Shah$
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Gholam RezaAfkhami

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780520253285

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520253285.001.0001

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(p.285) 13 Commander-in-Chief
The Life and Times of the Shah

Gholam R. Afkhami

University of California Press

At the time of the Islamic revolution, the Imperial Iranian Army was considered a formidable force, unrivaled in the Middle East except by Israel and vying to become a world-scale power. This army was the creation of the Pahlavi dynasty, and the shah's hold on the army transcended the constitutional provisions that defined his role as commander-in-chief with supreme authority over the military. In the Pahlavi military culture, the shah was at once symbol and commander. The military's motto was “God, King, and Country,” the king being the point of convergence. This military establishment was largely shaped along U.S. organizational, procedural, logistical, strategic, tactical, and weapons guidelines. Over the years, it became increasingly disciplined and professional, though, ironically, this professionalism, in stressing respect for the line of command, strengthened the ties between the military and the shah.

Keywords:   Islamic revolution, Iran, Imperial Iranian Army, Pahlavi dynasty, shah, Pahlavi military culture, supreme commander

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