President Jimmy Carter and the shah of Iran, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, at a state dinner in Iran in 1977. The United States provided Iran with its first nuclear reactor.Carter supported the Shah in Iran, allowing the Shah to live in America after he was overthrown. In retaliation Iranian students took hostages at the US Embassy in Tehran.It’s 1977 and Tehran is brimming with political dissidence. His kingdom faces threats from Islamists, Communists, and anti-monarchists, menacing the millennia-old Persian tradition of monarchy. The gap between the rich and the poor is widening, his people are starving in the streets, and the Shah’s extravagance is angering his people. Though he was  supported by the world’s largest superpower, the Iranian state was facing an existential crisis.

US had extensive contact with Ayatollah Khomeini before Iran revolution.The Iranian nation toppled the US-backed Pahlavi regime in 1979, ending virtually 2,500 years of monarchical rule, and will see nationwide rallies on Feb. 11, the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. In the years since mass protests deposed the monarchy in Iran, the country has struggled with immense challenges. After the Islamic Republic's establishment by way of a popular referendum, Iran endured a period of chaotic instability, with various armed factions seeking to undermine the nascent government.

Shah decided to seek the deportation of Ayatollah Khomeini from Iraq, the agreement of the Iraqi government was obtained at a meeting between the Iraqi and Iranian foreign ministers in New York, and on September 24, 1978, the Khomeini's house in Najaf was surrounded by troops. He was informed that his continued residence in Iraq was contingent on his abandoning political activity, a condition he rejected. On October 3, he left Iraq for Kuwait, but was refused entry at the border. After a period of hesitation in which Algeria, Lebanon and Syria were considered as possible destinations, Ayatollah Khomeini embarked for Paris. Once arrived in Paris, the Khomeini took up residence in the suburb of Neauphle-le-Chateau in a house that had been rented for him by Iranian exiles in France. From now on the journalists from across the world now made their way to France, and the image and the words of the Ayatollah Khomeini soon became a daily feature in the world's media.So while most opposition groups participated in the 1979 revolution, the clergy established hegemony over Iran’s new political system after the shah’s of Iran  ouster. First, Islamic revolutionaries ruthlessly eliminated their rivals. Second, the regime tapped into the popularity and legitimacy conferred by its call to Islam, a force rooted in Iran’s social history. None of the other revolutionary political factions benefited from the traditional legitimacy and social network provided by the Shiite clerical establishment.A range of political groups, from the far left to the far right, from secular to ultra-Islamic, were vying for political power, pushing rival agendas, and demanding immediate action from the prime minister. Clerics led by Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti established the Islamic Republican Party (IRP). The party emerged as the organ of the clerics around Ayatollah Khomeini and the major political organization in the country. Not to be outdone, followers of more moderate senior cleric Ayatollah Shariatmadari established the Islamic People's Republican Party (IPRP) in 1979, which had a base in Azarbaijan, Shariatmadari's home province.Moreover, multiple centers of authority emerged within the government. As the supreme leader, Ayatollah Khomeini did not consider himself bound by the government. He made policy pronouncements, named personal representatives to key government organizations, established new institutions, and announced decisions without consulting his prime minister. The prime minister found he had to share power with the Revolutionary Council, which Ayatollah Khomeini had established in January 1979 and which initially was composed of clerics close to Ayatollah Khomeini, secular political leaders identified with Bazargan, and two representatives of the armed forces.With the establishment of the provisional government, Bazargan and his colleagues left the council to form the cabinet. They were replaced by Ayatollah Khomeini aides from the Paris period, such as Abolhassan Bani Sadr and Sadeq Qotbzadeh, and by protégés of Ayatollah Khomeini's clerical associates. The cabinet was to serve as the executive authority. But the Revolutionary Council was to wield supreme decision- making and legislative authority.Differences quickly emerged between the cabinet and the council over appointments, the role of the revolutionary courts and other revolutionary organizations, foreign policy, and the general direction of the Revolution. Bazargan and his cabinet colleagues were eager for a return to normalcy and rapid reassertion of central authority. Clerics of the Revolutionary Council, more responsive to the Islamic and popular temper of the mass of their followers, generally favored more radical economic and social measures. They also proved more willing and able to mobilize and to use the street crowd and the revolutionary organizations to achieve their ends.

The Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini is welcomed at Tehran airport on 1 February 1979 on his return from exile in France.Iranian leaders have reacted with fury to reports that newly declassified US diplomatic cables revealed extensive contacts between Ayatollah Khomeini and the Carter administration just weeks ahead of Iran’s Islamic revolution.It was previously known that Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the Iranian revolution, had exchanged some messages with the US through an intermediary while living in exile in Paris.

In the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini severely curtailed rights of women had become accustomed to under the shah. Within months of the founding of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the 1967 Family Protection Law was repealed; female government workers were forced to observe Islamic dress code; women were barred from becoming judges; beaches and sports were sex-segregated; the legal age of marriage for girls was reduced to 9 (later raised to 13); and married women were barred from attending regular schools.

Even while attempting to put in place the institutions of the new order, the revolutionaries turned their attention to bringing to trial and punishing members of the former regime whom they considered responsible for carrying out political repression, plundering the country's wealth, implementing damaging economic policies, and allowing foreign exploitation of Iran. A revolutionary court set to work almost immediately in the school building in Tehran where Ayatollah Khomeini had set up his headquarters. Revolutionary courts were established in provincial centers shortly thereafter. The Tehran court passed death sentences on four of the shah's (Mohammad Reza Shah) generals on February 16, 1979; all four were executed by firing squad on the roof of the building housing Ayatollah Khomeini's headquarters. More executions, of military and police officers, SAVAK agents, cabinet ministers, Majlis deputies, and officials of the shah's regime, followed on an almost daily basis.The activities of the revolutionary courts became a focus of intense controversy. On the one hand, left-wing political groups and populist clerics pressed hard for "revolutionary justice" for miscreants of the former regime. On the other hand, lawyers' and human rights' groups protested the arbitrary nature of the revolutionary courts, the vagueness of charges, and the absence of defense lawyers. Bazargan, too, was critical of the courts' activities. At the prime minister's insistence, the revolutionary courts suspended their activities on March 14, 1979. On April 5, new regulations governing the courts were promulgated.The courts were to be established at the discretion of the Revolutionary Council and with Ayatollah Khomeini's permission. They were authorized to try a variety of broadly defined crimes, such as "sowing corruption on earth," "crimes against the people," and "crimes against the Revolution." The courts resumed their work on April 6. On the following day, despite international pleas for clemency, Amir Abbas Hoveida, the shah's prime minister for twelve years, was put to death. Attempts by Bazargan to have the revolutionary courts placed under the judiciary and to secure protection for potential victims through amnesties issued by Ayatollah Khomeini also failed.

Women protesting forced hijab days after the Iranian Revolution, 1979.On 8 March 1979, more than 100,000 women gathered on the streets of the Iranian capital to protest against the new Islamic government’s compulsory hijab ruling, which meant that women would henceforth be required to wear a headscarf when away from home. The protest was held on International Women’s Day, and the images show women from all walks of life  nurses, students, mothers  marching, smiling, arms raised in protest.Almost immediately women protested these policies. The Islamic revolution is ideologically committed to inequality for women in inheritance and other areas of the civil code; and especially committed to segregation of the sexes. Many places, from “schoolrooms to ski slopes to public buses”, are strictly segregated.

The committees often served the interests of powerful individual clerics, revolutionary personalities, and political groups, however. They made unauthorized arrests, intervened in labor-management disputes, and seized property. Despite these abuses, members of the Revolutionary Council wanted to bring the committees under their own control, rather than eliminate them. With this in mind, in February 1979 they appointed Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Mahdavi-Kani head of the Tehran revolutionary committee and charged him with supervising the committees countrywide. Mahdavi-Kani dissolved many committees, consolidated others, and sent thousands of committeemen homes. But the committees, like the revolutionary courts, endured, serving as one of the coercive arms of the revolutionary government.In May 1979 Ayatollah Khomeini authorized the establishment of the Pasdaran (Pasdaran-e Enghelab-e Islami, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or Revolutionary Guards). The Pasdaran was conceived by the men around Ayatollah Khomeini as a military force loyal to the Revolution and the clerical leaders, as a counterbalance for the regular army, and as a force to use against the guerrilla organizations of the left, which were also arming. Disturbances among the ethnic minorities accelerated the expansion of the Pasdaran.Khomeini was born on 24 September 1902   in the small town of Khomein, some 160 kilometres to the southwest of Qom. He was the child of a family with a long tradition of religious scholarship. His ancestors, descendants of Imam Mousa al-Kazim, the seventh Imam of the Ahl al-Bayt, had migrated towards the end of the eighteenth century from their original home in Neishapour (in Khorasan province of Iran) to the Lucknow region of northern India. There they settled and began devoting themselves to the religious instruction and guidance of the region's predominantly Shi'i population.Ayatollah Khomeini, who became a symbol of the Islamic Revolution, arrives in Tehran and immediately calls for the expulsion of all foreigners. "I beg God to cut off the the hands of all evil foreigners and their helpers," he says. The State Department evacuates 1,350 Americans on the day of the ayatollah's return. Khomeini would go on to take control of the country in March, installing a quasi theocracy that remains in power.

Threats to Iran have never been so real and so close to home, but the stability that once characterized their  nation’s status in the Middle East is but a distant memory. Democracy   will bring Iran into a new golden age. As the Imperial State of Iran crumbles in the hands of extremists.Iran's revolution in 1979 toppled the shah of Iran and ushered in an Islamic republic.

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