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Encyclopedia > Freedom Movement of Iran
Protestors take to the street in support of Ayatollah Khomeini.
Protestors take to the street in support of Ayatollah Khomeini.

The Iranian Revolution was the 1979 revolution that transformed Iran from an autocratic, pro-western monarchy, under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, to an Islamic, populist theocratic republic under the rule of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The revolution has been divided into two stages: the first stage saw an alliance of liberal, leftist, and religious groups oust the Shah; the second stage, often named the Islamic Revolution, saw the ayatollah's rise to power. Iranians revolt during the 1979 Islamic Revolution Photo courtesy of Vanderbilt University File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Iranians revolt during the 1979 Islamic Revolution Photo courtesy of Vanderbilt University File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Ayatollah Khomeini founded the first modern Islamic republic Ayatollah Seyyed Ruhollah Khomeini (آیت‌الله روح‌الله خمینی in Persian) (May 17, 1900 – June 3, 1989) was an Iranian Shia cleric and the political and spiritual leader of the 1979 revolution that overthrew Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the then Shah of Iran. ... This page refers to the year 1979. ... A revolution is a relatively sudden, and absolutely drastic change (a complete turn-around). This may be a change in the social or political institutions over a relatively short period of time, or a major change in its culture or economy. ... One of the worlds longest-lasting monarchies, the Iranian monarchy went through many transformations over the centuries, from the days of the Persian Empire to the creation of what is now modern day Iran. ... The King of Kings or Shah (in Persian: شاه), from the Old Persian or Indo-European word khshathra-pava (king), and popularly referred to as satrap by the Greeks, is the term for a Persian monarch and was used by the former rulers of Persia and the Persian Empire. ... Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi (in Persian: محمدرضا شاه پهلوی) (October 26, 1919 – July 27, 1980), Styled His Imperial Majesty, Shahanshah Aryamehr (Light of the Aryans), was the last reigning Shah of Iran to date, ruling from 1941 until 1979. ... Populism is a political ideology or rhetorical style that holds that the common person is oppressed by the elite in society, which exists only to serve its own interests, and therefore, the instruments of the State need to be grasped from this self-serving elite and instead used for the... The term theocracy is used to describe a form of government in which a religion or faith plays a dominant role The word theocracy originates from the Greek θεοκρατία (theokratia). ... In a broad definition, a republic is a state whose political organization rests on the principle that the citizens or electorate constitute the ultimate root of legitimacy and sovereignty. ... Ayatollah (Arabic: آية الله; Persian: آيت‌الله) is a high title given to major Shia clergymen. ... Ayatollah Khomeini founded the first modern Islamic republic Ayatollah Seyyed Ruhollah Khomeini (آیت‌الله روح‌الله خمینی in Persian) (May 17, 1900 – June 3, 1989) was an Iranian Shia cleric and the political and spiritual leader of the 1979 revolution that overthrew Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the then Shah of Iran. ...


The Shah had been in power since 1941, with a brief interruption in 1953; through the 1960s and 1970s he faced continued opposition, from religious figures as well as from urban middle classes, who were not among the wealthy elite benefitting from the Shah's extravagance, and who supported a constitutional democracy. The Shah enforced a strict regime, imprisoning hundreds of political activists, and enforcing censorship laws. While living conditions for most of the population were poor, there was little popular demand for constitutional reform. For the movie, see 1941 (film) 1941 (MCMXLI) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... 1953 (MCMLIII) is a common year starting on Thursday. ... The 1960s in its most obvious sense refers to the decade between 1960 and 1969, but the expression has taken on a wider meaning over the past twenty years. ... The 1970s in its most obvious sense refers to the decade between 1970 and 1979. ... Look up urban in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The middle class (or middle classes) comprises a social group once defined by exception as an intermediate social class between the nobility and the peasantry. ... Eccentric is from the Greek for out of the centre, as opposed to concentric, in the centre. ... The Constitutional democracy is Surinames political party. ... Activism, in a general sense, can be described as involvement in action to bring about change, be it social, political, environmental, or other change. ... Censorship is the control of speech and other forms of human expression, often by government intervention. ... Reform can refer to: Reform (think tank) Reform, Alabama Reform Judaism Reform movement Reform of an individual, from conditions stemming from crime, drugs, or physical maladies. ...


In 1978 a series of protests, triggered by a libelous story attacking Khomeini in the official press, created an escalating cycle of violence, until, on December 12, over two million people filled the streets of Azadi Square in Tehran to protest against the Shah. The army began to disintegrate, as conscripts refused to fire on demonstrators and began to switch sides. The Shah agreed to introduce a more moderate constitution, but it was too late for compromise. The majority of the population was loyal to Khomeini, and when he called for a complete end to the monarchy, the Shah was forced to flee the country on January 16, 1979. Khomeini returned to Iran (from France) on February 1, invited by the anti-Shah revolution already in progress, and Khomeini rapidly displaced the more moderate elements, creating an Islamic Republic with himself as Supreme Leader. 1978 (MCMLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (the link is to a full 1978 calendar). ... December 12 is the 346th day (347th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Azadi Tower in Azadi Square Azadi (Freedom) Square. ... Map of Iran and surrounding lands, showing location of Tehran Tehran (also transcribed Teheran) (تهران in Persian), population 9,000,000 (metropolitan: 14,000,000), and a land area of 254 square miles, the capital of Iran (Persia) and the center of Tehran Province. ... The Iranian Army is the national army of Iran. ... A demonstration is the public display of the common opinion of a activist group, often economically, political, or socially, by gathering in a crowd, usually at a symbolic place or date, associated with that opinion. ... A monarchy, (from the Greek monos, one, and archein, to rule) is a form of government that has a monarch as Head of State. ... January 16 is the 16th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... This page refers to the year 1979. ... February 1 is the 32nd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran. ...

Contents


Precursors to the revolution

History of Iran
edit

Pahlavi was returned to power in Iran after he had fled the country in 1953. This was achieved by overthrowing the democratically elected government of Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh with the aid of a CIA covert operation, codenamed Operation Ajax. Pahlavi maintained good relations with the United States, but experienced conflict with traditional Iranian Muslim views on alcohol, gambling, and pre-marital sex, all of which he refused to ban. The regime was renowned for its corruption and its brutal practices that, in response, witnessed protests in Iran and elicited criticism from many parts of the international community. Golden Rhyton from Irans Achaemenid period. ... Elam (Persian: ایلام) is one of the first civilizations on record based in the far west and south-west of what is modern-day Iran (in the Ilam Province and the lowlands of Khuzestan). ... The Medes were an Iranian stock, who lived in the western and north-western portion of present-day Iran. ... Achaemenid empire at its greatest extent The Achaemenid Dynasty (Hakamanishiya in the Old Persian (Avestan ??) language - transliterated Hakamanshee in Modern Persian) - was a dynasty in the ancient Persian Empire. ... The Seleucid Empire was one of several political states founded after the death of Alexander the Great, whose generals squabbled over the division of Alexanders empire. ... Parthian Empire at its greatest extent, c60 BC. The Parthian Empire was the dominating force on the Iranian plateau beginning in the late 3rd century BCE, and intermittently controlled Mesopotamia between ca 190 BCE and 224 CE. Parthia was the arch-enemy of the Roman Empire in the east and... The Sassanid Empire at the reign of Shapur II Official language Pahlavi (Middle Persian) Dominant Religion Zoroastrianism Capital Ctesiphon Sovereigns Shahanshah of the Iran (Eranshahr) First Ruler Ardashir I Last Ruler Yazdegerd III Establishment 224 AD Dissolution 651 AD Part of the History of Iran The Sassanid dynasty (also Sassanian... Tomb of Ghaboos ebne Voshmgir, built in 1007AD, rises 160 ft from its base. ... The Sāmānid dynasty (819-999) was a Iranian dynasty in Central Asia, named after its founder Saman Khoda. ... The Buwayhids were a Shiite Muslim tribal confederation from the southern shore of the Caspian Sea. ... The Ghaznavid Empire was a state in the region of todays Afghanistan that existed from 963 to 1187. ... The Seljuk Turks (also Seldjuk, Seldjuq, Seljuq; in Turkish Selçuklu; in Arabic سلجوق SaljÅ«q, or السلاجقة al-Salājiqa; in Persian سلجوقيان SaljÅ«qiyān) were a major branch of the Oghuz Turks... The Khwarezmid Empire (also known as the Khwarezmian Empire) was a Muslim state formed by Oghuz Turks in the 11th century in Khwarezmia that lasted until the Mongol invasion in 1220. ... Khanates of Mongolian Empire: Il-Khanate, Chagatai Khanate, Empire of the Great Khan (Yuan Dynasty), Golden Horde The Ilkhanate (also spelled Il-khanate or Il Khanate) was one of the four divisions within the Mongol Empire. ... The Muzaffarids were a Sunni Arab family that came to power in Iran following the breakup of the Ilkhanate in the 14th century. ... Timurids Map The Timurids were a mixed Turkic-Mongol and Persian (Turco-Persian) dynasty of Central Asia established by Timur (Tamerlane). ... The Safavid Empire at its 1512 borders. ... Tomb of Nader Shah Afshar, a popular tourist attraction in Mashad. ... Vakeel mosque, Shiraz. ... Mullahs in the court of a Safavid monarch, Iran. ... The Pahlavi dynasty was the ruling dynasty of Iran from 1925 to 1979, from which two Shahs were drawn. ... 1953 (MCMLIII) is a common year starting on Thursday. ... Mohammed Mossadegh (Persian: محمد مصدق‎) (May 19, 1882 - March 4, 1967) was prime minister of Iran from 1951 to 1953. ... The CIA Seal The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is an American intelligence agency, responsible for obtaining and analyzing information about foreign governments, corporations, and individuals, and reporting such information to the various branches of the U.S. Government. ... Covert operations are military or political activities that are not only clandestine (undertaken in a manner that disguises the identity of the perpetrators) but also covert, i. ... A code name or cryptonym is a word or name used clandestinely to refer to another name or word. ... Soldiers surround the Parliament building in Tehran on August 19, 1953. ... In general usage, alcohol (from Arabic al-ghawl الغول) refers almost always to ethanol, also known as grain alcohol, and often to any beverage that contains ethanol (see alcoholic beverage). ... Gambling (or betting) is any behavior involving risking money or property (making a wager or placing a stake) on the outcome of a game, contest, or other event in which the outcome of that activity depends partially or totally upon chance or upon ones ability to do something. ... This article is primarily about religious attitudes to sexual morality. ... The term international community can refer to either: All the lands represented in United Nations. ...


Strong opposition arose in many sections of society during the Shah's reign. Of particular importance in this respect were the religious figures that had long grown to be an important voice of opposition in Iran. Since the 19th century Tobacco Protests, the Ulema had been steadily growing in political as well as religious influence. The dominant theology in Iran was one that closely linked religious and secular concerns with a strong history of social activism. These included opposition to government brutality and a commitment to fight poverty. This activism was matched by a strong conservatism toward the maintenance of Islamic values. As this opposition grew, the Shah struck hard on dissidents. In 1963, for example, he attacked theology students who tried to stop the opening of a liquor store. Opposition may refer to a number of topics: astronomical opposition political opposition parliamentary opposition Opposition to a patent, see for instance Opposition procedure before the European Patent Office This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Tobacco Protest occurred in Iran in 1891. ... Ulema (Arabic: علماء) is the community of legal scholars of Islam and the Sharia. ... Theology is reasoned discourse concerning God (Greek θεος, theos, God, + λογος, logos, word or reason). It also refers to the study of other religious topics. ...

Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi
Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi

Ayatollah Khomeini was a leader of the opposition, who claimed that the Shah's reign was a tyranny. Following the arrest of Khomeini, and his subsequent exile from Iran in 1964, rioting among the cleric's followers increased. Pahlavi frequently chose to answer the riots with violence, arresting and killing demonstrators. It is unknown how many lives were claimed in this campaign; the Pahlavi government claimed it to be 86, while Iranian exiles have estimated it in the thousands. Image File history File links Mohammadreza_Shah. ... Image File history File links Mohammadreza_Shah. ... Ayatollah Khomeini founded the first modern Islamic republic Ayatollah Seyyed Ruhollah Khomeini (آیت‌الله روح‌الله خمینی in Persian) (May 17, 1900 – June 3, 1989) was an Iranian Shia cleric and the political and spiritual leader of the 1979 revolution that overthrew Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the then Shah of Iran. ... A tyrant (from Greek τυραννος) is a usurper of rightful power, possessing absolute power and ruling by tyranny. ... For the Nintendo 64 emulator, see 1964 (Emulator). ...


During 1963 and 1967, the Iranian economy grew considerably, due to a rise in the value of oil, as well as steel exports. Inflation accelerated at the same time, however, and the economic boom failed to better the lives of middle-class and poor Iranians. Instead, much of this wealth was siphoned off by the Shah and his allies into private reserves. The leaders in the Shah's regime, and those who acted as intermediaries with western companies, became extremely wealthy, indulging in conspicuous consumption that angered both those who were not sharing in the wealth, and the Islamic leaders who questioned its morality. The government also began to spend vast amounts of public money in purchasing modern weapon systems, primarily from the United States. 1963 (MCMLXIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Conspicuous consumption is a term introduced by the American economist Thorstein Veblen, in The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899). ...


Faced with growing opposition from the religious leaders, who were joined by small business leaders in 1975, the Shah launched a new effort to assert his control over Iranian society. This effort attempted to minimize the role of Islam in the life of the kingdom, lauding instead the achievements of pre-Islamic Persian civilization. Thus, in 1976, the lunar Islamic calendar was abolished from public usage and replaced with a solar calendar. Muslim and Marxist publications were also heavily censored. 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1975 calendar). ... Islām is described as a dīn, meaning way of life and/or guidance. Six articles of belief There are six basic beliefs shared by all Muslims: 1. ... 1976 (MCMLXXVI) is a leap year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar). ... The Islamic calendar or Muslim calendar (also called Hijri calendar) is the calendar used to date events in predominantly Muslim countries, and used by Muslims everywhere to determine the proper day on which to celebrate Muslim holy days. ...


The Shah's reform is known as the King's or White Revolution. It also abolished the feudal system (causing consequences such as breaking up property owned by some Shia clergy - which reduced their income) and it gave suffrage to women (which was protested by the clergy as being a plot to "bring the women to the streets"). The White Revolution was a far-reaching series of reform programs launched in 1963 by the last Shah of Iran, His Imperial Majesty Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. ...


Pre-revolutionary conditions inside Iran

The poorest section of the Iranian population tended to be the most religious and the most opposed to perceived foreign imperialism. The poor were largely rural, or inhabited slums outside the large cities, especially the capital Tehran. They wanted the basic Islamic lifestyle to return, in opposition to the Shah's efforts for modernism and progress, which they believed to be imperialism. They viewed the Shah's reforms as self-serving and his promise of providing "progress" to be false, based on the increased gap between rich and poor. In addition, many felt that much of the great wealth created by the oil industry was creating an increasing gap between the rich and the poor. Map of Iran and surrounding lands, showing location of Tehran Tehran (also transcribed Teheran) (تهران in Persian), population 9,000,000 (metropolitan: 14,000,000), and a land area of 254 square miles, the capital of Iran (Persia) and the center of Tehran Province. ...


As the Iranian middle classes became more urbanised, educated, and exposed to progressive and modern philosophies, many came to see the regime as being part of the problem. In addition in the years following his restoration in 1953, the Shah's position became increasingly perilous. This was due in large measure to his close ties to the West, unpopular reforms enacted during the White Revolution, internal corruption, and the despotic nature of his regime, especially its secret police known as SAVAK. 1953 (MCMLIII) is a common year starting on Thursday. ... The White Revolution was a far-reaching series of reform programs launched in 1963 by the last Shah of Iran, His Imperial Majesty Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. ... Despotism is government by a singular authority, either a single person or tightly knit group, which rules with absolute power. ... SAVAK (Persian: ساواک, short for سازمان اطلاعات و امنیت کشور Sazeman-i Ettelaat va Amniyat-i Keshvar, Organization for Intelligence and National Security) was the domestic security and intelligence service of Iran from 1957–1979. ...


In the early 1970's, as the price of oil continued its upward climb, many became increasingly angered by the regime's cronyism, internal corruption, and repressive nature. The internal decadence is well illustrated by the 2,500th anniversary of the founding of the Persian Empire. These celebrations consisted of a three-day party held at the site of Persepolis in October, 1971. Officially, the celebrations cost $40 million, but unofficial estimates were more in the range of $100-120 million.[1] The party included extravagances, such as over a ton of caviar, prepared by some of the two hundred chefs flown in from Paris. Meanwhile, many within Iran had insufficient food and shelter of their own. The Persian Empire is the name used to refer to a number of historic dynasties that have ruled the country of Persia (Iran). ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... 1971 (MCMLXXI) is a common year starting on Friday (click for link to calendar). ... Look up Caviar on Wiktionary, the free dictionary Caviar is the processed, salted roe of various species of fish, most notably sturgeon. ... The Eiffel Tower has become a symbol of Paris throughout the world. ...


In the 1970s, as the rise in global crude oil prices increased the gulf between rich and poor in Iran, the pressure for a change in government policies became more acute. Even pro-Western elements in Iran became disturbed by the increasingly autocratic style of government and increased use of the secret police. Many fled Iran before the Revolution, and others began to organize. At the same time, a broader populist movement found its source of organization in mosques, and in sermons that denounced the wickedness of the West and Western indulgences. The collision between a young and growing population, and a social structure which offered neither advancement in a modern state, nor the stability of a traditional society, created the conditions which were ripe for revolution. A sermon is an oration by a prophet or member of the clergy. ...


Early protests

In 1977, following human rights pressure from U.S. President Jimmy Carter (who threatened to cut arms shipments), more than 300 political prisoners were released, censorship was relaxed, and the court system reformed. This loosening of restrictions led to more campaigns from the opposition, where writers campaigned for freedom of thought, and people began to demonstrate. Also, the policy of land reform which the Shah implemented, and had also been caused by pressure from the Carter administration, infuriated the mullahs (who declared a holy war against the Shah), and contributed to the Shah's problems. For the album by Ash, see 1977 (album). ... James Earl Jimmy Carter, Jr. ... Freedom of thought (also called freedom of conscience) is the freedom of an individual to hold a viewpoint, or thought, regardless of anyone elses view. ...


This early opposition was led by Mehdi Bazargan and his Freedom Movement of Iran. It was a liberal, secularist group that was closely linked to Massadegh's movement of the 1950s. This group saw significant support in Iran and abroad in the West. Mehdi Bazargan (مهدی بازرگان In Persian) (September, 1907? - January 20, 1995) (also spelled Mahdi Bazargan) was head of Irans interim government, virtually Irans first prime minister after the Iranian Revolution of 1979. ... Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh (Persian: محمد مصدق‎) (May 19, 1882 - March 4, 1967) was prime minister of Iran from 1951 to 1953. ... // Events and trends The 1950s in Western society was marked with a sharp rise in the economy for the first time in almost 30 years and return to the 1920s-type consumer society built on credit and boom-times, as well as the the baby boom from returning GIs who...


More radical was Ali Shari'ati, who combined Marxism and Shia orthodoxy into a revolutionary movement inspired by the Cuban and Algerian revolutions. Shari'ati's alleged murder in London in 1977, which was blamed on SAVAK agents, greatly inflamed tensions. Dr Ali Shariati (Persian: علی شریعتی‎) (1933–1977) was an Iranian sociologist, well known and respected for his works in the field of sociology of religion. ... Marxism is the social theory and political practice based on the works of Karl Marx, a 19th century German philosopher, economist, journalist, and revolutionary, along with Friedrich Engels. ... Shiʻa Islam (Arabic شيعى follower; English has traditionally used Shiite) makes up the second largest sect of believers in Islam, constituting about 30%–35% of all Muslim. ... Part of the London skyline viewed from the South Bank London is the most populous city in the European Union, with an estimated population on 1 January 2005 of 7,421,328 and a metropolitan area population of between 12 and 14 million. ... For the album by Ash, see 1977 (album). ... SAVAK (Persian: ساواک, short for سازمان اطلاعات Ùˆ امنیت کشور Sazeman-i Ettelaat va Amniyat-i Keshvar, Organization for Intelligence and National Security) was the domestic security and intelligence service of Iran from 1957–1979. ...


The Ulema were divided, some allying with the liberal secularists, and others with the Marxists. Khomeini, who was in exile in Iraq, led a small faction that advocated the overthrow of the regime and the creation of a theocratic state. In late 1977, Khomeini's son Mostafa was found dead of unknown reasons; again the Shah security forces were blamed. Ulema (Arabic: علماء) is the community of legal scholars of Islam and the Sharia. ...


The various anti-establishment groups operated from outside Iran, mostly in London, Paris, Iraq, and Turkey. Speeches by the leaders of these groups were placed on audio cassettes to be smuggled into Iran. The speeches could then be listened to by the largely illiterate population. The Eiffel Tower has become a symbol of Paris throughout the world. ... For the meaning of cassette in genetics, see cassette (genetics). ...


Escalating protests

During the period up to 1978, the opposition to the Shah mostly came from the urban middle class, a section of the population that was fairly secular and would support a constitutional monarchy. It was the Islamic groups that first managed to rally the great mass of the population against the Shah. A constitutional monarchy is a form of monarchical government established under a constitutional system which acknowledges a hereditary or elected monarch as head of state. ...


In January of 1978 the official press ran a libelous story attacking Khomeini. Angry students and religious leaders protested against the allegations in the city of Qom. The army was sent in, dispersing the demonstrations and killing several students. Qom is famous for the shrine of Hazrat Masoumeh, first built in the late 8th century. ...


According to the Shi'ite customs, forty days after a person's death memorial services are held. In mosques across the nation, calls were made to honour the dead students. Thus on February 18, groups in a number of cities marched to honour the fallen, and to protest against the rule of the Shah. This time, violence erupted in Tabriz, and over a hundred demonstrators were killed. The cycle repeated itself, and on March 29, a new round of protests began across the nation. Luxury hotels, theaters showing "unethical movies", and other symbols of the Shah regime were destroyed; again security forces intervened, killing many. On May 10 the same occurred. February 18 is the 49th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... Tabriz City Hall, built in 1895, by Arfaol molk, with the aid of German engineers. ... March 29 is the 88th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (89th in Leap years). ... May 10 is the 130th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (131st in leap years). ...


The damage from the demonstrations, along with rampant inflation, further ravaged the Iranian economy. As a result, in the summer of 1978, the government introduced austerity measures that saw many public works projects shut down and wage freezes imposed. These measures created widespread unemployment and labour unrest, mostly among the poor labourers living in the slums around Tehran and other major cities. Increasingly, the working class joined the students and the middle class in the protests against the regime. Dorothea Langes Migrant Mother depicts destitute pea pickers in California during the Great Depression. ... Map of Iran and surrounding lands, showing location of Tehran Tehran (also transcribed Teheran) (تهران in Persian), population 9,000,000 (metropolitan: 14,000,000), and a land area of 254 square miles, the capital of Iran (Persia) and the center of Tehran Province. ...


Overthrow of the Shah

By September, the nation was rapidly destabilizing, with major protests becoming a regular occurrence. The Shah introduced martial law, and banned all demonstrations. On Friday, September 8, a massive protest broke out in Tehran, and in what became known as Black Friday, the regime used the full force of its weaponry to crush the protests. Tanks, helicopter gun ships, and machine guns killed hundreds. Martial law is the system of rules that takes effect (usually after a formal declaration) when a military authority takes control of the normal administration of justice. ... September 8 is the 251st day of the year (252nd in leap years). ... Black Friday occurred September 8, 1978 (17 Shahrivar 1357 AP) in Iran. ...


Black Friday succeeded in alienating much of the rest of the Iranian people, as well as the Shah's allies abroad. A general strike in October resulted in the collapse of the economy, with most industries being shut down. A general strike is a strike action by an entire labour force in a city, region or country. ...


The protests of 1978 culminated in December, during the holy month of Muharram, one of the most important months for Shia Muslims. Hundreds of demonstrators were killed each day, yet each day the protests grew. On December 12, over two million people filled the streets of Tehran to protest against the Shah. Muharram (Arabic: محرم ) is the first month of the Islamic calendar. ... December 12 is the 346th day (347th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...


The army began to disintegrate, as conscripts refused to fire on demonstrators and began to switch sides. Some soldiers turned on superior officers, killing them, and took over military bases.


The Shah agreed to introduce a constitution and appoint the moderate Shapour Bakhtiar as Prime Minister, but it was too late for compromise. The majority of the population was by this time loyal to Khomeini, and when he called for a complete end to the monarchy, the Shah was forced to flee the country on January 16, 1979. Khomeini returned to Iran on February 1, 1979, invited by the anti-Shah revolution already in progress. Shapour Bakhtiar Dr. Shapour Bakhtiar (1915-August 6, 1991) was an Iranian politician and, although for only 37 days, Prime Minister of Iran under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. ... January 16 is the 16th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... This page refers to the year 1979. ... February 1 is the 32nd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... This page refers to the year 1979. ...


Khomeini takes power

Ayatollah Khomeini was a leader of the opposition to the Shah.
Ayatollah Khomeini was a leader of the opposition to the Shah.

There was great jubilation in Iran at the ousting of the Shah, but there was also much disagreement over Iran's future path. While Khomeini was the most popular political figure, there were dozens of revolutionary groups, each with a differing view of the proper direction of Iran's future. There were strong liberal, secularist, Marxist, and anarchist factions, as well as a wide array of religious groups looking to craft the future of Iran. Ruhollah Khomeini, spiritual leader of Iran File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Ruhollah Khomeini, spiritual leader of Iran File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Ayatollah Khomeini founded the first modern Islamic republic Ayatollah Seyyed Ruhollah Khomeini (آیت‌الله روح‌الله خمینی in Persian) (May 17, 1900 – June 3, 1989) was an Iranian Shia cleric and the political and spiritual leader of the 1979 revolution that overthrew Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the then Shah of Iran. ... The King of Kings or Shah (in Persian: شاه), from the Old Persian or Indo-European word khshathra-pava (king), and popularly referred to as satrap by the Greeks, is the term for a Persian monarch and was used by the former rulers of Persia and the Persian Empire. ...


The military, economy, and foreign relations of the nation all were in turmoil. The early years saw the development of a government with two centres of power. Mehdi Bazargan became Prime Minister, and the Freedom Movement worked to establish a liberal secular government. The clerics led by Khomeini formed a separate centre of power, the Islamic Republican party. The groups tried to cooperate, but tensions grew between the two factions. Mehdi Bazargan (مهدی بازرگان In Persian) (September, 1907? - January 20, 1995) (also spelled Mahdi Bazargan) was head of Irans interim government, virtually Irans first prime minister after the Iranian Revolution of 1979. ... The Islamic Republican Party (IRP) was formed in mid-1979 to assist the Iranian_Revolution. ...


It was the theologians who were the first to bring order to the nation, as revolutionary cells became local committees. Becoming known as the Revolutionary Guards in May 1979, these groups soon were running local governments across Iran, and wielding most of the local power. They also gained control of the judicial tribunals that were passing judgment on the former officials in the Shah's security services and the military.


In June, the Freedom Movement released its draft constitution; it referred to Iran as an Islamic Republic, but gave no official role to the Ulema or Islamic law. The constitution was sent to the newly-elected legislature for review, dominated by allies of Khomeini. The chamber rejected the constitution, agreeing with Khomeini that the new government should be based "100% on Islam."


A new constitution was made that created a powerful post of Supreme Leader for Khomeini, who would control the military and security services, and could veto candidates running for office. A president was to be elected every four years, but only those candidates approved indirectly by the Supreme Leader (through a Council of Guardians) were permitted to run for the office. Khomeini himself became Head of State for life, as "Leader of the Revolution", and later "Supreme Spiritual Leader". Feeling powerless and disagreeing with the direction the nation was moving, Bazargan resigned as Prime Minister in November. Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran. ...


Opposition to the revolution

Western/U.S.-Iranian relations

That same month saw anger at the United States, which continued to support the Shah and was blamed for encouraging counter-revolutionary activity. That feeling peaked, as youthful supporters of Khomeini took a number of hostages at the American embassy, in what became known as the Iran hostage crisis. The students responsible would blame it on the United States for accepting the Shah into the country for cancer treatments, but the message was clear; they could defy the U.S. The Iran hostage crisis was a 444-day period during which the new government of Iran after the Iranian Revolution held hostage 66 diplomats and citizens of the United States. ...


Opposition by neighboring regimes

The leaders of Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States were also distressed by the Iranian revolution, as a shi'a minority exists among their nation (except in Iraq where shi'a are the majority) and it would stir a civil war. Ayatollah Khomeini was seen by the leaders of these countries as extreme not only that he encouraged the overthowing of the current oppressive regime in Iran but also the ones in the neighboring countries. Thus, in 1980, Iraq, with financial support from the other nations and the backing of the United States, invaded Iran in an attempt to destroy the revolution in its infancy. This began the eight year Iran-Iraq War that would see a huge cost in lives and resources. Gulf States refers to the United States states along the Gulf of Mexico: Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida. ... Ayatollah (Arabic: آية الله; Persian: آيت‌الله) is a high title given to major Shia clergymen. ... Ayatollah Khomeini founded the first modern Islamic republic Ayatollah Seyyed Ruhollah Khomeini (آیت‌الله روح‌الله خمینی in Persian) (May 17, 1900 – June 3, 1989) was an Iranian Shia cleric and the political and spiritual leader of the 1979 revolution that overthrew Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the then Shah of Iran. ... 1980 (MCMLXXX) was a leap year starting on Tuesday. ... The Iran-Iraq War, also called the First Persian Gulf War, or the Imposed War (جنگ تحمیلی) in Iran, was a war between the armed forces of Iraq and Iran lasting from September 1980 to August 1988. ...


The invasion by Iraq helped rally the people of Iran behind the new regime, and past differences were largely abandoned in the face of the external threat. In the same year, the new constitution was passed in a referendum by a large majority. For those who did remain opposed to the new regime, mostly the Soviet-backed leftist groups, the war became an excuse for harsh treatment that saw the new regime use torture and illegal imprisonments, just as the Shah had. A referendum (plural: referendums or referenda) or plebiscite is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal. ... State motto (Russian): Пролетарии всех стран, соединяйтесь! (Transliterated: Proletarii vsekh stran, soedinyaytes!) (Translated: Workers of the world, unite!) Capital Moscow Official language None; Russian (de facto) Government Federation of Socialist republics/ Communist state Area  - Total  - % water Largest on the planet 22,402,200 km² ?% Population  - Total  - Density 3rd before collapse 293,047,571 (July...


While Iraq was, in the end, unsuccessful at defeating the revolution, the Islamic revolution failed to spread beyond the borders of Iran. Thus the war patially fulfilled its goals and instead of the revolution spreading to other nations it was only maintained at Iran The significant Shi'ite populations of Iraq and the Gulf States did not embrace the new model even though they sypathise with the system and are often of Persian origin


The one area where Iranian influence was extended, was into the Lebanese Civil War, where Hezbollah became closely allied with the Iranians, fighting Sunni and Christian factions in Lebanon, and later the Israelis. This support for a group regarded as terrorists by much of the world, especially the United States, further ostracized Iran from the world community. Since the end of the civil war, Hezbollah has developed a significant domestic base and is no longer reliant on support from Iran, but relations between the two remain close. The Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990) had its origin in the conflicts and political compromises of Lebanons colonial period and was exacerbated by the nations changing demographic trends, Christian and Muslim inter-religious strife, and proximity to Syria and Israel. ... The Hezbollah flag Hezbollah (Arabic ‮حزب الله‬, meaning Party of God, for other designations or alternative spellings, see name part of this article) is a Shia Islamist group in Lebanon founded in 1982 to fight Israel in southern Lebanon. ...


Exile of previous regime

Upon the ascension of the new Shi'ite regime, scores of the Shah's secret police, the SAVAK, and other supporters of the Shah were executed (most importantly by Sadegh Khalkhali, the Sharia ruler). The Shah himself found political asylum in Egypt under Anwar Sadat. The Shah, already terminally ill with cancer, died in Cairo on July 27, 1980. Ayatollah Sadegh Khalkhali (صادق خلخالی in Persian) (1927? - November 26, 2003) was a hardline Shia cleric of the early years of the Islamic Republic of Iran. ... Template:Infobox President Mohamed Anwar Al-Sadat (محمد أنورالسادات in Arabic) (December 25, 1918 – October 6, 1981) was an Egyptian politician and served as the third President of Egypt from September 28, 1970 until his assassination on October 6, 1981. ... When normal cells are damaged beyond repair, they are eliminated by apoptosis. ... Although technically in Giza, The Great Pyramids have become a symbol of Cairo internationally Cairo (Arabic: القاهرة; transliterated: al-Qāhirah) is the capital city of Egypt (and previously the United Arab Republic) and has a metropolitan area population of approximately 15. ... July 27 is the 208th day (209th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 157 days remaining. ... 1980 (MCMLXXX) was a leap year starting on Tuesday. ...


Post-revolutionary impact

In the long run, the revolution did result in a lessening of foreign influence, which had tended to be imperialistic. The distribution of wealth also became far more equitable.


However, despite a fair degree of democracy in the post-revolutionary political structure (see politics of Iran for more depth), the violations of human rights during the theocratic regime have been of a similar level of brutality as during the monarchy. Torture, the imprisoning of dissidents, and the murder of prominent critics is commonplace. The oppression of women has been common since the revolution. So has the oppression of religious minorities, particularly the members of the Bahá'í Faith, which has been declared heretical. More than 200 Bahá'ís have been executed or killed, hundreds more have been imprisoned, and tens of thousands have been deprived of jobs, pensions, businesses, and educational opportunities. All national Bahá'í administrative structures have been banned by the government, and holy places, shrines and cemeteries have been confiscated, vandalized, or destroyed. The December 1979 constitution, and its 1989 amendment, define the political, economic, and social order of the Islamic Republic of Iran. ... Human rights are rights which some hold to be inalienable and belonging to all humans. ... The Iron Maiden of Nuremberg was an infamous torture device. ... ...


The revolution also left Iran isolated internationally, outcast from both the capitalist and communist worlds, with significant trade sanctions that continue to this day (by the United States).


On the other hand, the revolution also had the impact of allowing internal evolution of the political system, rather than evolution imposed by external pressures. For example, in 1997, reformist president Mohammad Khatami was elected, and the relatively high level (for the region) of Internet penetration (as of 2004, Iran had about 5 million internet users — [2], see also Iranian blogs) makes it difficult to stop this continued internal evolution of political thought and organisation. 1997 (MCMXCVII) is a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Order: 5th President of Iran First Vice President: Hassan Habibi (1997–2001), Mohammad Reza Aref (2001–2005) Term of office: August 3, 1997 – August 2, 2005 Preceded by: Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani Succeeded by: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Date of birth: 1943 Place of birth: Ardakan, Iran Political party: Militant Clerics Society Hojjat... 2004 is a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Blogging has opened a new horizon for self-expression in the traditionally mute Iranian society where individualism is less respected. ...


See also

The Persian Constitutional Revolution against the despotic rule of the last Qajar Shah started in 1905 and lasted until 1911. ... The White Revolution was a far-reaching series of reform programs launched in 1963 by the last Shah of Iran, His Imperial Majesty Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. ... The 1979 (or second) energy crisis occurred in the wake of the Iranian Revolution. ... Golden Rhyton from Irans Achaemenid period. ... The following is a comprehensive list of all Persian Empires and their rulers: // Early realms in Iran Elamite Kingdom, 3000-660 BC of the Persian/Median empire that later appeared. ...

Further reading

  • Afshar, Haleh, ed. Iran: A Revolution in Turmoil. Albany: SUNY Press, 1985.
  • Barthel, Günter, ed. Iran: From Monarchy to Republic. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 1983.
  • Daniel, Elton L. The History of Iran. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2000.
  • Esposito, John L., ed. The Iranian Revolution: Its Global Impact. Miami: Florida International University Press, 1990.
  • Harris, David. The Crisis: The President, the Prophet, and the Shah -- 1979 and the Coming of Militant Islam. New York & Boston: Little, Brown, 2004.
  • Hiro, Dilip. Holy Wars: The Rise of Islamic Fundamentalism. New York: Routledge, 1989. 334p. [Chapter 6: Iran: Revolutionary Fundamentalism in Power.]
  • Kapuscinski, Ryszard. Shah of Shahs. Translated from the Polish by William R. Brand and Katarzyna Mroczkowska-Brand. New York: Vintage International, 1992.
  • Kurzman, Charles. The Unthinkable Revolution. Cambridge, MA & London: Harvard University Press, 2004.
  • Legum, Colin, et al., eds. Middle East Contemporary Survey: Volume III, 1978-79. New York: Holmes & Meier Publishers, 1980.
  • Munson, Henry, Jr. Islam and Revolution in the Middle East. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988.
  • Nobari, Ali-Reza, ed. Iran Erupts: Independence: News and Analysis of the Iranian National Movement. Stanford: Iran-America Documentation Group, 1978.
  • Rahnema, Saeed & Sohrab Behdad, eds. Iran After the Revolution: Crisis of an Islamic State. London: I.B. Tauris, 1995.
  • Sick, Gary. All Fall Down: America's Tragic Encounter with Iran. New York: Penguin Books, 1986.
  • Smith, Frank E. The Iranian Revolution. 1998.
  • Society for Iranian Studies, Iranian Revolution in Perspective. Special volume of Iranian Studies, 1980. [Volume 13, nos. 1-4].
  • Time magazine, Jan 7, 1980. Man of the Year. [Ayatollah Khomeini]
  • U.S. Department of State, American Foreign Policy Basic Documents, 1977-1980. Washington, DC: GPO, 1983. [JX 1417 A56 1977-80 REF - 67 pages on Iran]
  • Yapp, M.E. The Near East Since the First World War: A History to 1995. London: Longman, 1996. [Chapter 13: Iran, 1960-1989]

(Clockwise from upper left) Time magazine covers from May 7, 1945; July 25, 1969; December 31, 1999; September 14, 2001; and April 21, 2003. ...

External links

World Service logo The BBC World Service is one of the most widely recognised international broadcasters of radio programming, transmitting in 43 languages to around 150 million people throughout the world. ... BBC Radio 4 is a British domestic radio station which broadcasts a wide variety of chiefly spoken-word programmes including news, drama, comedy, science and history. ...

Footnotes

  1. ^  Hiro, Dilip. Iran Under the Ayatollahs. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. 1985. p. 57.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Iranian Revolution - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3440 words)
The Iranian Revolution was the 1979 revolution that transformed Iran from an autocratic, pro-western monarchy, under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, to an Islamic, populist theocratic republic under the rule of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
The majority of the population was loyal to Khomeini, and when he called for a complete end to the monarchy, the Shah was forced to flee the country on January 16, 1979.
At the same time, a broader populist movement found its source of organization in mosques, and in sermons that denounced the wickedness of the West and Western indulgences.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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