The Role of the Azerbaijani Clerics in the Contemporary Socio-Political Events

The Role of the Azerbaijani Clerics in the Contemporary Socio-Political Events

Dr. Mohammad A. Parghou and Rahim Nikbakht

By the dominance of Shiite in Iran, religious authorities held very important position in Iran. In the Safavid period, many efforts have been conducted by the clerics to establish a state base on the Shiite jurisprudence, but in the time of the Qajar dynasty, they were the main protects of Iranian and religious identity and culture. As Azerbaijan has played a special role in the history of Iran, by the appearance of the Safavid dynasty, Azerbaijan became the center base to spread the ideas of Shiite. So, Shiite clerics obtained a special position in cultural affairs of the country. Therefore, this research surveys the attendance of these clerics in political and social occurrences by emphasis on the historical and strategic place of Azerbaijan and clerics endeavors to protect of Shiite cultural boundaries. This research, also, examines key subjects such as the first conflict between the Azerbaijan clerics and the Qajar dynasty, the role of the Azerbaijan clerics in the Constitutional Revolution and the struggles with Reza Shah. Moreover, the clerics activities to oppose with the Azerbaijani Democratic Party and Tudeh Party, participation in Nationalization Movement of the Iranian Oil Industry and contribution in Imam Khomeini’s Movement have been considered in this research.

Keywords: Shiite, Clerics, Iran, Azerbaijan, Political Struggles, Foreign Intervention.