The Islamic Revolution of 1979 Global Studies Mr. Birkmeier
Overview • The Islamic Revolution of Iran was: • A widespread uprising in 1978-1979 • Islamic fundamentalists overthrew the Shah of Iran • Revolution was led by Ayatollah Khomeini • Islamic Republic of Iran established
The Shah • In 1963 began a series of social, economical and political reforms known as the “White Revolution”
The White Revolution • Resulted in: • More freedom to women • Increased Secular (non-religious) Education • Decreased religious education • Took away power and moral authority of religious leaders
Also affected by the “White Revolution” • Students and Intellectuals: • frustrated by his autocratic rule and the corruption of his royal family. • They wanted a form of Democracy • Traditional Middle Class: • Received little benefit from revolution nor the countries rapid owl fed growth ($$$) • Traditional Middle Class and Fundamentalist Muslims: • Disapproved of Iran’s growing ties with “the West”
Ayatollah Khomeini • Ayatollah = “holy man” • Fearless leader • Only Islamic cleric to speak out against the “white revolution” • Appealed to the Middle Class • Spoke to help the down trodden • Used Religion to Spark Revolution
Khomeini Banned • The Shah feared Khomeini’s rising power and banished him out of Iran in 1964 • Khomeini continued to send revolutionary tapes to Iran while exiled
The Islamic Revolution Begins • In 1978 the opponents of the Shah had several bloody encounters. • On Black Friday several hundred people were killed by the Shah’s troops in Tehran • Two months later young people in Iran burned all signs of the West • Banks, shops, liquor stores and other symbols of “western corruption”
Shah’s Collapse • On two of the holiest days of the Shia Muslim Calendar a group of soldiers rebelled and attacked the shah’s imperial guards. • This forced the Shah to flee Iran in January 1979
Khomeini Returns • Khomeini returned to Iran on February 1, 1979. • The Islamic Republic of Iran was established.
US HOSTAGES • In November 1979, after the shah had been allowed entry to the United States for medical care, hundreds of Iranians overran the U.S. embassy in Tehran and took the staff hostage. (hostages kept until 1/1/81) • Khomeini refused to release them until the United States apologized for its support of the shah and met other demands.
Back to the Way things Were • Conducted a purge of all “un-Islamic” elements from universities, newspapers, and other cultural institutions. • Social freedoms that were earned during the White Revolution were again stripped from the people. • Islamic Codes reestablished.