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The Rise of Islamic Fundamentalism in Iran Within the course of the last century, the Islamic Republic of Iran (formerly called Persia) has seen colonialism, the end of a dynasty, the installment of a government by a foreign authority, and just over three decades ago, the popular uprising and a cleric-led revolution. These events preceded what might be considered the world's first Muslim state, as politics and fundamentalist religion are inextricably linked in modern Iran. Considering Iran in the mid 1940's until the present day, one can trace the route that caused the growth of basic Islam in Iran in three distinct phases. The first is what started with the rise of secular nationalism and the decline of Islam. At the next, the secular, western-friendly government finally gave way to the Islamic revival in the form of a government takeover by hard-line clerics and disillusioned, fundamentalist childhood; equally motivated and led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Principle of Iran by these fundamentalist clerics then resulted in the creation of the fundamentalist Islamic theocracy that governs present-day Iran. The present government has some democratic looks, but all actual power is in the hands of the supreme leader, an Ayatollah who's chosen by the Assembly of Experts, a group of clerics chosen by the Guardian Council. Together with the Iranian Revolution, the political Islam has been born, with the fundamentalists holding the reins of power from Iran to the present day. Reza Shah Pahlavi's rise to power finished the 131-year reign of the Kajar dynasty and established the Pahlavi dynasty in 1925. Much to the chagrin of not just Muslim clerics, but also the overall population, Reza Shah Pahlavi leaned heavily towards geographic.