Khazi Revolution

Khazi Revolution
Tir Revolution
Part of Zorasani unification
AlKharadjiandGharazi.png
KRRC leader Mustafa al-Kharadji (L) with Ali Sayyad Gharazi following the King's death
Date11 July 1952 - 12 November 1952
(4 months, 1 day)
Location
Caused by
  • Discontent with the King's rule
  • Economic stagnation
  • Social injustice
  • Pan-Zorasanist influence
GoalsOverthrow of the Abdulkarimite monarchy
Unification of Khazestan and Pardaran
Methods
Resulted in
Parties to the civil conflict
Lead figures
Casualties
2,583 protesters and loyalists killed
2,800-4,000 protesters injured

The Khazi Revolution (Badawiyan: ثورة العرفانية; Thawrah al-Kaṣiyyah), also known as the Tir Revolution in Pardaran (Pasdani: انقلاب تیر; Enqelâbe Tir) was a series of events that led to the overthrow of the Abdulkarimite monarchy and the establishment of an interim government led by the Khazi Revolutionary Resistance Command and the unification of Khazestan and Pardaran in December 1952 and the division of the country. The overthrow was aided by a several leftist groups and movements and by a military invasion by neighboring Pardaran.

Opposition to the King escalated with the emergence of the Khazi Revolutionary Resistance Command in 1948 as the most prominent anti-monarchist group. By 1950, the KRRC was receiving significant materiel aid from Pardaran, enabling it expand its bases of operations and its network across Khazestan. In the summer of 1952, food shortages led to bread riots and eventually mass demonstrations against the monarchy, which now began to respond with violent crackdowns. Influenced by the KRRC, the mass protests grew rapdily and spread to every major city in the country, drawing the involvement of numerous leftist groups. Between July and October, the KRRC worked to use its network within the military to under the King's authority, culminating in the Army's declaration of neutrality on November 1. On November 5, in support of the KRRC, Pardaran invaded Khazestan and seized the capital, Faidah on November 10. The following day, the King and most of his family were captured outside the capital and executed. Within hours, the KRRC under Mustafa al-Kharadji proclaimed a provisional government. During this time, significant numbers of royal court members and loyalist army units fled to the north, leading to the proclamation of the Second Kingdom of Khazestan and the country's formal division.

The revolution led to the formation of the Union of Khazestan and Pardaran and is widely considered the first major event of the Arduous Revolution, which would result in a series of major conflicts and political upheveal before directly leading to the unification of Zorasan into the Union of Zorasani Irfanic Republics in 1980. The revolution also proved the viability of Sattarism among Badawiyan anti-monarchist elements, much to the concern of Badawiyan states, who would go on to form the Mubaraz Pact in 1953.

Origins

The Khazi Revolution’s causes can be traced back to the immediate founding of the nation in 1946, through the Treaty of Ashcombe, which dissolved the Etrurian Colonial Empire in wake of the Solarian War. Much like its Badawiyan neighbours, Khazestan was granted independence under the leadership of the most prominent and popular figures, who went on to form monarchies, owing to their prior roles as tribal leaders. Upon its independence, Khazestan came under the rule of Hussein ibn Majid, the leader of the Al-Suwaydi tribe. This form of government was received poorly among most educated Khazis who failed to recognise the legitimacy of the Al-Suwaydi tribe as national leaders.

This lack of legitimacy fed into the general failure of the monarchy to develop a fully coherent national identity. Like most post-Solarian War monarchies, there was an aversion to fostering a Badawiyan identity, through fear that doing so would undermine their reigns or limit any possible patriotism with the monarch at the head. As historian Said Khan noted, “the Post-Solarian Zorasani monarchs worked tirelessly to evoke identities of their nations around them and their families, to be Khazi was to be a subject of King Hussein.” Not only did this fail to cement national solidarity or unity, owing to the previously mentioned lack of legitimacy in the eyes of powerful circles, it left open space for the influence of Pardarian Pan-Zorasanism. The other disadvantage was that until 1946, none of the Post-Solarian states had existed historically, for the region being dominated by successive Pardarian empires and dynasties for over a millennia. Their borders were defined by Etrurian colonial maps, as well as the provincial boundaries of the pre-colonial Gorsanid Empire, denying any nationalism a geographical anchor from which to emerge.

In Khazestan’s case, these weaknesses were crippling for the monarchy. The Al-Suwaydi tribe had poor relations with its neighbours and rivals in Khazestan, while many ordinary Khazis saw the King and his family as over opulent, wealthy and corrupt, even before they assumed power in 1946. Khazestan’s historic role as the “second pillar to Pardaran within its empires” led to an innate and close socio-political and cultural relationship with its larger neighbour. The shared trials and suffering under Etruria also bridged the two states on an emotional level. The weakenesses would further fuel general disconent over a series of other grieviences, over food shortages, economic failure and social injustice.

Economic stagnation

Khazestan suffered considerable damage during the Solarian War, being a major theatre of conflict between Etruria and CN forces between 1944 and 1946. The new kingdom, although possessing oil and gas fields discovered by the Etrurians in the 1920s and 1930s, failed to rebuild infrastructure adequately or evenly. Despite most cities being physically rebuilt by 1952, many homes and businesses were housed in rudimentary and poorly constructed buildings. The monarchy also focused much of its resources and revenues on rebuilding and modernising regions within the historic territory of the Al-Suwaydi tribe.

The historian Said Khan described it, “the towns on Al-Suwaydi land saw electricity, gas and roads. To Khazis they were the glittering images of the future, easily seen from the war torn and decrepit regions they lived in.” Despite making Faidah, the capital of Khazestan in 1946, the northern city of Gharaf had the largest population, the Kingdom’s failure to restore electricity or introduce running water despite promises established Gharaf as a hotbed for republican agitation by the late 1940s.

The devastation left millions unemployed, while the Etrurian efforts to urbanise the population in the early 20th century had left the monarchy a significant urban population whose livelihoods were left destroyed. By 1952, unemployment had reached 39% of the national labour force. Rural areas faired better from the Solarian War, but many regions were left isolated through the destruction of roads, rail and bridges. The urban population’s destitution and joblessness led to the rise of radical groups, the two most prominent being the Khazi Revolutionary Resistance Command and the Khazi Section of the Worker’s Internationale.

Between 1946 and 1952, the Kingdom rebuilt damaged oil facilities with Euclean assistance. However, rather than utilise the growing revenues from oil, the monarchy would utilise the capital for personal use. It is estimated that between 1946 and 1952, the Al-Suwaydi family seized up to 44% of oil revenues, what remained was then invested into tribal lands. The immense wealth and cronyism of the monarchy led to immediate economic stagnation, financial bottlenecks and the continued devastation in other parts of the country.

King Hussein

King Hussein (C) with Estmere's Foreign Secretary, TBD in 1951. His outreach to Estmere and Werania caused concern in neighbouring Pardaran, enticing greater support for the KRRC.

Insecurity and chaos created after the Solarian War led to the rise of Hussein ibn Majid, a prominent tribal leader who had links to various guerrilla groups during the Solarian War. Prior to the war, he had played a significant role as a mediator between the Etrurian colonial authorities and other tribal leaders. In the pursuit of viable post-independence government, the Community of Nations highly influenced by Estmere and Werania, who had opened communications with Al-Majid in 1944, recognised his influence and placed him as head of the short-lived Khazi provisional government. Al-Majid immediately proclaimed himself King over an absolute monarchy.

There were few but consequential social, economic, and political laws and reforms introduced during his reign and a number of these reforms led to public discontent which provided the circumstances for the Khazi Revolution. Particularly controversial was the replacement of several Irfanic laws with Euclean ones and the legal establishment of the Al-Suwaydi tribe over all others. The introduction of a "royal tax" on souk merchants, the replacement of Irfanic clothing with traditional tribal garments and the limiting of Irfanic clerical influence alarmed both traditional and religious peasants and middle-class merchants alike.

The king's personal greed, opulence and corruption became widely known by 1952, with his lavishing of immense sums of money on banquets, weddings and parties for his children and relatives roiling many across all society. The king's rejection of any need for popular input on governmental matters or national decision making also alienated the moderate constitutional movement. Hussein's inherent mistrust of the general populace would later fuel the heavy handedness and violence during crackdowns on protests, becoming more reliant on extravagantly paid soldiers in the Royal Army and Royal Guard to quash dissent.

Khazi Revolutionary Resistance Command

In 1947, a collection of Khazi partisans who fought with the Pardarian Revolutionary Resistance Command during the Solarian War, established the Khazi Revolutionary Resistance Command in the southern city of Abassiya. Inspired by Sattarism and through a rejection of both the monarchy and the government's growing ties to Euclea, they eventually came to be the sister-movement to the PRRC in ideology, aims and operation. Its widely noted that the KRRC had adopted Pan-Zorasanism before it was officially adopted by the PRRC. In wake of the revolution, many of the KRRC's leaders would rise to serve important posts in the future Union of Khazestan and Pardaran.

Following the stern advice of their Pardarian counterparts, the KRRC initially operated in secret, establishing cadres in numerous influential positions. Its leader, Mustafa al-Kharadji, a veteran with the PRRC, rose to become a general in the Khazi Royal Army by 1949, alongside many of the KRRC’s leading figures. The KRRC’s political cadres infiltrated many of the country’s cities, aided by growing resentment over unemployment and food shortages, quickly supplanted the leftist movements as the main agitators against the monarchy.

Mustafa al-Kharadji was a charismatic and popular commander in the Khazi Royal Army, he would prove instrumental in establishing the KRRC and its vast network in secret. He would go on to serve as First Minister of Khazestan from 1952 until 1968, as well as a series of national-level positions in the government of the Union of Khazestan and Pardaran.

Between 1948 and 1950, the KRRC’s influence spread with aid of the PRRC. Its wide use of radio broadcasts in both Pasdani and Badawiyan enabled its message to reach beyond Pardaran. Many of the millions of disaffected Khazis turned to Pardaran and Sattarism as a viable alternative to the languishing situation under King Hussein, where many were wary of the atheism of the leftist movements. The PRRC’s secularism, though radical for the Irfanic world in itself, still provided an influential position for religion in “Zorasani society.” The demise of the Pardarian Shah further enflamed anti-monarchist tensions in Khazestan and emboldened the KRRC.

With the PRRC’s victory in 1950, the new Pardarian government began to provide materiel support for the KRRC, including arms, money and supplies. Still operating in relative secrecy, the KRRC moved to arm and bribe the support of various groups and gangs across Khazestan in the intention of amassing a sizeable “popular movement” to overthrow the monarchy. In 1951, the monarchy discovered the KRRC and its plot, expelling or arresting hundreds of members in the army and law enforcement. Al-Kharadji and the most senior figures in the military fled to Abassiya, where they went underground in their opposition to the King. Although the discovery and subsequent purges were a blow, many of these officers retained influence over entire regiments of soldiers, as well as strong relationships to senior commanders.

In early 1952, the KRRC leadership rejected the plan for a mass armed uprising, instead they sought to ferment popular revolts against the monarchy, through which the KRRC could emerge as the natural leader, owing to its network of cadres and organisational skills. This would prove deeply consequential with the outbreak of mass protests and riots later in the year over bread shortages. This resulted in a new focus on establishing cadres at the local level, with hundreds established in Mazars, Souks, universities and social places. The widespread and popular Clubs of the Jobless, proved breeding grounds for KRRC political cadres and were the primary places for the dissimenation of propaganda and anti-monarchist lectures.

According to recent studies, by 1952, the KRRC had established over 200 political cadres in as many towns and cities and had over 500,000 members by the time of the revolution.

Radical leftist movements

The second most powerful anti-monarchist movement was centred around the Khazi Section of the Worker's Internationale. Comprised mostly of colonial-era exiles to Swetania, like Said Ali Mubarak and Bavram Haftar, the KSWI grew rapidly throughout the late 1940s. The party capitalised on growing discontent toward the monarchy over the state of the economy, growing authoritarianism and the chronic corruption of the government. The KSWI also boasted supported from Swetania and benefited from the monarchy's late focus on combatting the rise of the KRRC.

With the KRRC operating mostly in secret, the KSWI took a more public role in agitating against the monarchy. However, the movement was hampered by its overt atheism and rejection of any clerical influence over government or society. Many in the KSWI saw the Irfanic clergy as an extension of the new Pardarian government, which had ruthlessly destroyed the far-left during and immediately after the Pardarian Civil War. The KSWI also faced an uphill battle in obtaining mass support against the KRRC over the lack of an established union movement or a unified labour force. The KSWI however, by 1951 had sought to attract and rely upon the rural peasant class for its base of support. The KSWI by the time of the revolution had established a stronghold among the most deprived rural regions, advocating an agrarian uprising against the King and the tribal leaders.

The KSWI’s promises of land reform and the nationalisation of the Khazi-Weranic Oil Company proved highly popular. However, the KSWI’s failure to expand its support to key institutions such as the army or police conceded much needed ground to the KRRC. By the time mass protests erupted in the summer of 1952, the KSWI would play a key role in the mass mobilisation of society against the King.

Revolution

In late June 1952, Khazestan was facing chronic shortages of both food and goods. The government’s inept handling of the economy, the vast seizure of oil revenues by the royal family and the increasing share of the profits held by Werania further deepened the shortages, with the denial of much needed capital to fund the import of needed goods and materials. While much of rural Khazestan had survived on basic subsistence living since the Great War, the knock-on effects were being felt by a greater section of the rural population.

The killing of the Irfani cleric, Ashavazdah al-Safwani resulted in a dramatic expansion of protest against the monarchy.

On 11 July 1952, over 30,000 women marched in protest over food prices in the city of Gharaf. Dubbed the “Starving Mothers’ March”, the protest inspired thousands more to pour onto the streets. On 23 July, over 800,000 people marched against the monarchy in Gharaf. In response, King Hussein ordered the deployment of both armed army units and the gendarmerie, claiming the protests were a “radical conspiracy.”

On 1 August, Irfani cleric, Ashavazdah al-Safwani was shot dead by a gendarme in the port-city of Bashaer. His death turned the clerical establishment against the monarchy, who, inspired by the Pardarian clerics denunciation of the Shah in 1947 issued a series of proclamations against the monarchy. Over the course of a week, up to 300 people would be killed in riots that tore through Bashaer and its surrounding towns. The government’s violent response inspired further mass protests, strikes and civil resistance across the rest of the country.

As the violent repression of protests cost more lives, many in the government failed to recognise the link between the death of protesters and the fuelling of further opposition. On August 19, the King declared martial law and ordered a general mobilisation of the Royal Army and Royal Guard. The next day, the capital of Faidah saw its first major protests.

The KRRC emerged from hiding with its armed followers capturing the city of Abassiya from loyalist army units. The KRRC then called on its members in the armed forces to defect and rebel against the King. This led to sporadic clashes between loyalist and defector units in the Royal Army.

On 8 September, over 100 protesters were killed in Faidah when the Royal Guard opened fire. Following a public funeral procession for the dead, over 150,000 took to the streets to resume protests against the King. Despite the widespread protests and crippling strikes, the King refused to abdicate or negotiate. His Chief Minister, Ghassan ibn Abdulazziz attempted to do so behind the King’s back but found that no group would take leadership of the protests, with the KRRC waiting until the right moment to seize control over the revolution. The lack of a formal opposition denied the government any peaceful route out of the crisis, it was in wake of this realisation, that many of the King’s allies began to flee for Hejjnah, the third largest city.

Throughout September, the Pardarian military began to amass up to 50,000 soldiers on the border in conjunction with the KRRC. The same month saw mounting defections among regular army troops, forcing the King to rely on the Royal Guard and highly paid members of the gendarmerie to quash the protests. These loyalists proved uncontrollable, with many believing that violence would deter and spread enough fear to dampen the protests. Unable or unwilling, the monarchy failed to halt violent excesses and atrocities committed by loyalist forces.

Aftermath of the 8 October massacre.

On October 8, 88 people were killed when loyalist soldiers opened fire on protests in Gharaf. The massacre led to the effective disintegration of the regular Royal Army, with thousands defecting and attacking the Royal Guard in various locations throughout Khazestan. The massacre also failed to deter further mass protests, it also led to a series of incidents that sabotaged the country’s main oil refining facility in Bashaer, inflicting serious losses on the Khazi-Weranic Oil Company.

On 1 November, what remained of the Royal Army officially declared neutrality, with many officers ordering their units to return home or to barracks. The same day, the KRRC officially emerged from hiding to proclaim leadership of the revolution. Across the country, KRRC cadres emerged with weapons and explosives and began arming protesters. This led to a general exodus of loyalists from Faidah to Hejjnah, where it was hoped, the monarchy could reorganise and make a last stand.

Pardarian invasion and overthrow of the monarchy

On 5 November, the Pardarians invaded western Khazestan with 60,000 soldiers and 800 tanks. Pardarian aircraft buzzed the cities of Faidah, Bashaer and Safwan. The Pardarian force, backed by KRRC cadres and Royal Army defectors reached Faidah by 10 November. Over the next few days, thousands of loyalists would be imprisoned and killed by the KRRC and their Pardarian allies. The KRRC leadership entered the royal palace and seized for their own use.

On 12 November, King Hussein and most of his immediate family were captured in the village of Saradat. The local KRRC cadre then proceeded with a swift mock trial and executed the King and his relatives by firing squad. News of the King’s death was followed by the official proclamation of a provisional government by Mustafa al-Kharadji. The mass exodus of loyalists toward Hejjnah continued and expanded to include thousands of civilians who feared reprisal by the KRRC.

On 13 November, King Hussein’s cousin, Fahd ibn Majid proclaimed himself King. The death and overthrow of the monarchy resulted in a joint deployment of military forces by the Emirate of Irvadistan and the Riyhadi Confederation into northern Khazestan. Fearing an all-out war against its Badawiyan neighbours and wanting to restore the economy to working condition, the provisional government and its Pardarian allies desisted from crushing the resurgent monarchy. This would lead to the formal division of Khazestan in December, with the unification of southern Khazestan and Pardaran.

Aftermath

KRRC government

Following the proclamation of an interim govenrment, the KRRC with the assistance of Pardaran established a military junta, comprised of the KRRC’s leadership and several key defector commanders. Within days of the King’s death, the KRRC and the Pardarian armed force began a systematic purge of loyalists and leftists across KRRC-held Khazestan. Between 3,000 and 10,000 people were killed in the wake of the revolution, most of them being supporters or members of the Khazi Section of the Worker’s Internationale.

On November 20, interim leader, Mustafa al-Kharadji secured the KRRC’s backing in formally beginning the process of uniting Khazestan with Pardaran. Despite being in the final stages of his fatal cancer, Pardaran’s leader, Mahrdad Ali Sattari had set in stone his wish to see the countries unite, despite domestic opposition. Ali Sattari placed Ali Sayyad Gharazi in charge of the unification project. The announced by al-Kharadji was followed by the deployment of a further 35,000 Pardarian soldiers, who began the systematic destruction of tribes across KRRC-held Khazestan.

The destruction of tribalism in Khazestan would have a lasting effect on Khazi society. Owing to tribalism inherent incompatibility within Sattarism, thousands of tribal leaders and traditionalists would be imprisoned, and hundreds would be killed. While bloody, the role of tribalism in the monarchy’s demise saw widespread support for the abandonment of tribal identity.

Unification of Khazestan and Pardaran

From its inception, the interim government’s primary goal was to facilitate the union of Khazestan with Pardaran. Owing to Khazestan’s economic weaknesses, the process was swift and decisive in nature. The near complete lack of any formal customs or tariffs system, the economic integration was relatively simple. The first act of the interim government was the nationalisation of the Khazi-Weranic Oil Company, which was immediately absorbed into the larger Pardarian State Oil Company, being rebranded as the Union State Oil Company (USOC) on 29 November.

On December 1, the structure of the new state was released to the public, a 400-member unicameral legislature would be established, with the seats split evenly between Pardaran and Khazestan. All politicians, civil servants and military officers would be required by law to join the Revolutionary Masses Party, ostensibly expanding Pardaran’s single-party state to Khazestan. The KRRC would merge with the PRRC, to establish the Central Command Council, which would form the executive of the new union. The CCC would be again expanded and split evenly between Khazi and Pardarian members. The two nation’s militaries would be merged into forming the Zorasani Revolutionary Army, with an equal distribution of command posts. Between December 2 and December 10, Khazestan adopted a slew of Pardarian economic laws and regulations, including the formal adoption of the Toman as its currency.

On 10 December 1952, the two countries officially unified as the Union of Khazestan and Pardaran, officially marking the start of Zorasani unification and establishing a major regional power in northern Coius.

It was later revealed that several prominent regime officials in Pardaran saw Al-Kharadji as a viable successor to the ailing Mahrdad Ali Sattari and sought to secure his candidacy at the inevitable General Command Congress following Ali Sattari’s death. Despite their efforts, Al-Kharadji refused and instead backed Ali Sayyad Gharazi – Gharazi would be elected Supreme Leader of the Union on 20 April 1953.

Division of Khazestan