This week marks 40 years since the Islamic Revolution in Iran. A series of events in 1979 saw the overthrow of the Shah and his replacement with an Islamic republic under Ayatollah Khomeini. The revolution was highly notable for its surprise and the speed at which a pro-Western authoritarian monarchy was replaced with an anti-Western totalitarian theocracy.
Back in the late 1970s, Iran was closely aligned with the West and the country was relatively prosperous. It still had major problems back then, as the following infographic shows. It used data from the World Bank and several other sources to show how Iran has managed to increase literacy, reduce poverty and improve life expectancy. Inflation has also fallen since the days of the Shah, though it remained a relatively high 10.5 percent in 2017.
This chart shows key economic/social data about Iran.
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