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Date:January 1978 - April 1, 1979 ...(Show more)Location:Iran...(Show more)Key People:Ruhollah KhomeiniMohammad Reza shaman Pahlavi...(Show more)

Iranian Revolution, additionally called Islamic Revolution, Persian Enqelāb-e Eslāmī, well-known uprising in Iran in 1978–79 that brought about the toppling that the monarchy ~ above February 11, 1979, and led to the facility of an Islamic republic.

Prelude come revolution

The 1979 revolution, which carried together Iranians across many various social groups, has its roots in Iran’s long history. This groups, which consisted of clergy, landowners, intellectuals, and merchants, had actually previously come with each other in the Constitutional revolution of 1905–11. Initiatives toward satisfactory reform were continually stifled, however, amid reemerging society tensions and foreign treatment from Russia, the joined Kingdom, and, later, the joined States. The united Kingdom aided Reza shah Pahlavi develop a monarchy in 1921. Together with Russia, the U.K. Then thrust Reza Shah right into exile in 1941, and also his son Mohammad Reza Pahlavi take it the throne. In 1953, amid a power struggle between Mohammed Reza Shah and Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh, the U.S. Central Intelligence agency (CIA) and the U.K. Secret Intelligence organization (MI6) orchestrated a coup against Mosaddegh’s government.


Years later, Mohammad Reza shah dismissed the parliament and launched the White Revolution—an wild modernization regimen that upended the wealth and also influence the landowners and also clerics, disrupted rural economies, led to rapid urbanization and Westernization, and prompted comes to over democracy and also human rights. The regime was economically successful, however the services were not dispersed evenly, despite the transformative effects on social norms and also institutions were commonly felt. Opposition to the shah’s policies was accentuated in the 1970s, when world monetary instability and also fluctuations in west oil consumption seriously intimidated the country’s economy, still command in huge part towards high-cost projects and programs. A te of extraordinary economic growth, heavy government spending, and also a boom in oil prices resulted in high rates of inflation and also the stagnation of Iranians’ buying power and also standard of living.

In enhancement to mounting economic difficulties, sociopolitical repression by the shah’s regime raised in the 1970s. Outlets for political participation were minimal, and opposition parties such together the national Front (a loosened coalition of nationalists, clerics, and also noncommunist left-wing parties) and also the pro-Soviet Tūdeh (“Masses”) Party were marginalized or outlawed. Social and political protest was frequently met v censorship, surveillance, or harassment, and also illegal detention and torture to be common.

For the an initial time in much more than half a century, the secular intellectuals—many the whom were fascinated by the populist very nice of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, a previous professor of approach in Qom who had been exiled in 1964 after ~ speaking out harshly against the shah’s current reform program—abandoned their aim of reducing the authority and power of the Shiʿi ulama (religious scholars) and argued that, v the aid of the ulama, the shah can be overthrown.

In this environment, members of the national Front, the Tūdeh Party, and also their various splinter teams now joined the ulama in wide opposition come the shah’s regime. Khomeini ongoing to preach in exile about the evils of the Pahlavi regime, accusing the shaman of irreligion and also subservience to international powers. Countless tapes and print duplicates of Khomeini’s speeches were smuggled ago into Iran throughout the 1970s as an increasing variety of unemployed and working-poor Iranians—mostly new migrants native the countryside, that were disenchanted through the social vacuum of modern urban Iran—turned come the ulama for guidance. The shah’s dependence on the united States, his close ties v Israel—then engaged in extended hostilities with the overwhelmingly Muslim Arab states—and his regime’s ill-considered economic policies served to fuel the potency of dissident rhetoric with the masses.

Outwardly, through a swiftly expanding economy and also a quickly modernizing infrastructure, every little thing was going fine in Iran. However in little more than a generation, Iran had adjusted from a traditional, conservative, and also rural society to one that was industrial, modern, and also urban. The feeling that in both farming and sector too much had actually been attempted too soon and that the government, either through corruption or incompetence, had failed to deliver all that was promised was shown up in demonstrations versus the routine in 1978.


In January 1978, incensed by what they taken into consideration to it is in slanderous remarks made versus Khomeini in Eṭṭelāʿāt, a Tehrān newspaper, thousands of young madrasah (religious school) students took to the streets. Castle were adhered to by thousands much more Iranian youth—mostly unemployed recent immigrants indigenous the countryside—who began protesting the regime’s excesses. The shah, dilute by cancer and stunned through the sudden outpouring of hostility versus him, vacillated in between concession and also repression, suspect the protests come be part of an worldwide conspiracy against him. Many people were eliminated by government pressures in anti-regime protests, serving only to fuel the violence in a Shiʿi country where martyrdom played a fundamental role in spiritual expression. Fatalities were complied with by demonstrations come commemorate the customary 40-day milestone that mourning in Shiʿi tradition, and further casualties emerged at those protests, mortality and also protest propelling one one more forward. Thus, regardless of all government efforts, a bicycle of violence began in i m sorry each death fueled more protest, and all protest—from the secular left and religious right—was subsumed under the cloak of Shiʿi Islam and also crowned through the revolutionary rallying cry Allāhu akbar (“God is great”), which might be heard in ~ protests and also which issued native the rooftops in the evenings.

The violence and also disorder ongoing to escalate. On September 8 the regime enforced martial law, and also troops opened fire versus demonstrators in Tehrān, death dozens or hundreds. Mainly later, federal government workers began to strike. Top top October 31, oil workers additionally went on strike, pass the oil market to a halt. Demonstrations ongoing to grow; on December 10, numerous thousands of protesters took to the roadways in Tehrān alone.

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During his exile, Khomeini combination this upsurge of opposition—first native Iraq and after 1978 native France—demanding the shah’s abdication. In January 1979, in what was officially defined as a “vacation,” the shah and also his family fled Iran. The Regency Council established to operation the nation during the shah’s lack proved can not to function, and Prime Minister Shahpur Bakhtiar, hastily appointed through the shah before his departure, to be incapable the effecting compromise through either his former National Front partner or Khomeini. Crowds in overabundance of one million prove in Tehrān, proving the large appeal that Khomeini, who arrived in Iran between wild rejoicing top top February 1. Ten work later, top top February 11, Iran’s armed forces asserted their neutrality, successfully ousting the shah’s regime. Bakhtiar entered hiding, ultimately to uncover exile in France.