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Iran: Internal Security
Country Study > Chapter 5 > National Security > Internal Security


The Islamic Revolution destroyed the structures on which the shah's internal security policies depended. Mohammad Reza Shah had not tolerated dissent, had reacted strongly when challenged, and had relied on an elaborate internal security police force to enforce his absolute authority. Over the years, Khomeini had vigorously condemned the shah's secret police operations and continually called on Iranians to rise against a perceived tyrannical ruler. By the late 1970s, the shah's internal security organizations were in disgrace because of their abuses. In early 1979, the revolutionary regime dismantled existing security organizations and called on loyal citizens to protect the Revolution. Yet, like the shah, the revolutionary regime faced clear opposition to its authority.

Data as of December 1987

Last Updated: December 1987

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Iran was first published in 1987. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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