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Observers differ on how many people died during the Iranian Revolution. The number of casualties suffered by protesters and revolutionaries at the hands of the Shah's monarchy during the revolution is either close to 60,000, or around 2,000, depending on whether the estimates used are those of Islamic government or from historians in Western countries. The number of protesters and political prisoners killed by the new theocratic republic after the fall of the Shah is estimated by human rights groups to be several thousand.
The Iranian Revolution was a series of events that involved the overthrow of the monarch of Iran, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, and the replacement of his government with an Islamic republic under the Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, a leader of one of the factions in the revolt. The movement against the United States-backed monarchy was supported by various leftist and Islamist organizations and student movements.
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, also known as Mohammad Reza Shah, was the last Shah of Iran from 16 September 1941 until his overthrow by the Islamic Revolution on 11 February 1979. Mohammad Reza Shah took the title Shahanshah on 26 October 1967 during his coronation ceremony. He was the second and last monarch of the House of Pahlavi. Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi held several other titles, including that of Aryamehr and Bozorg Arteshtaran ("Commander-in-Chief"). His dream of what he referred to as a "Great Civilisation" in Iran led to a rapid industrial and military modernisation, as well as economic and social reforms.
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the revolution, stated that "60,000 men, women and children were martyred by the Shah's regime,"and this number appears in the constitution of the Islamic Republic.
Sayyid Ruhollah Mūsavi Khomeini, known in the Western world as Ayatollah Khomeini, was an Iranian politician and marja. He was the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution that saw the overthrow of the last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and the end of 2,500 years of Persian monarchy. Following the revolution, Khomeini became the country's Supreme Leader, a position created in the constitution of the Islamic Republic as the highest-ranking political and religious authority of the nation, which he held until his death. He was succeeded by Ali Khamenei on 4 June 1989.
More recently, tabulation by Emadeddin Baghi, a researcher at the Martyrs Foundation (Bonyad Shahid) found a far lower number of casualties. Baghi found that between 1963 and 1979, there were 3164 dead among the anti-Shah movement.In Iran, the Martyrs Foundation, established after the revolution to compensate the survivors of fallen revolutionaries, could identify only 744 dead in Tehran, where the majority of the casualties were supposed to have occurred. The coroner's office and Tehran's main cemetery, Behesht-e Zahra, counted 895 and 768 dead, respectively.
Emadeddin Baghi is an Iranian human rights activist, prisoners' rights advocate, investigative journalist, theologian and writer. He is the founder and head of the Committee for the Defense of Prisoners' Rights and the Society of Right to Life Guardians in Iran, and the author of twenty books, six of which have been banned in Iran. Baghi was imprisoned in connection with his writings on the Chain Murders of Iran, which occurred in Autumn 1998, and imprisoned again in late 2007 for another year on charges of "acting against national security." According to his family and lawyers, Baghi has been summoned to court 23 times since his release in 2003. He has also had his passport confiscated, his newspaper closed, and suspended prison sentences passed against his wife and daughter. Baghi was rearrested on 28 December 2009 on charges related to an interview with Grand Ayatollah Hussein-Ali Montazeri. Baghi was released and then again rearrested on 5 December 2010.
Tehran is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With a population of around 8.694 million in the city and 15 million in the larger metropolitan area of Greater Tehran, Tehran is the most populous city in Iran and Western Asia, and has the second-largest metropolitan area in the Middle East. It is ranked 29th in the world by the population of its metropolitan area.
According to one collection of `martyrs of the revolution,`
When the military regime was installed in Mehr 1978, the number of deaths jumped to
The 9 January 1978 (Dey 19, 1356) protest in the holy city of Qom against a libelous story about the Ayatollah Khomeini was perhaps the first major protest of the revolution. The official death toll of monarchy was nine. U.S. diplomats first reported to Washington that 20 to 30 died, then fourteen. Rumors spread immediately that one hundred or more were killed, and "opposition estimates ranged up to 300." Public opinion at the time as reflected in "a small survey in Tehran the following week" found that "more people believed the opposition's casualty figures than the government's".
Qom is the seventh metropolis and also the seventh largest city in Iran. Qom is the capital of Qom Province. It is located 140 km to the south of Tehran. At the 2016 census its population was 1,201,158. It is situated on the banks of the Qom River.
But a list recently produced by the Center for Documents on the Islamic Revolution, a "pro-revolutionary institute" found five people died in the protest.
40 days later, on 18 February 1978, (Bahman 29), groups in a number of cities marched to honour the fallen and protest against the rule of the Shah. The state brought in "troops and tanks from nearby bases." This time, violence erupted in the northwestern city of Tabriz, were according to the opposition five hundred demonstrators were killed, ten according to the government. "A recent pro-revolutionary review of the event, however, have stated definitively that the total was 13 dead."
The clash between government and protestors that is said to have enraged anti-Shah forces and eliminated "any hope for compromise," occurred on 8 September 1978 (Shahrivar 17) in Tehran. The Shah introduced martial law, and banned all demonstrations but thousands of protesters gathered in Tehran. Security forces shot and killed demonstrators, in what became known as Black Friday.
The clerical leadership declared that "thousands have been massacred by Zionist troops,""Estimate of casualties on ... Black Friday, range from fewer than 100 to many thousands. The post-revolutionary Martyr Foundation could identify only 79 dead, while the coroner's office counted 82 and Tehran's main cemetery, Beheshte-e Zahra, registered only 40."
One explanation for the low number of casualties is the shah's reluctance to use force. The shah "frequently" insisted to "foreign emissaries" that he was "unwilling to massacre his subjects in order to save his throne." `"The instructions I gave were always the same: "do the impossible to avoid bloodshed."` While this claim was at odds with "the image of vast masses standing up to machine-gun fire" at the time of the revolution, various military officials have since "corroborated" it according to author Charles Kurzman
During the course of 1978, a martial law commander allegedly proposed to bomb Qom. An Air Force general supposedly offered to kill a hundred thousand protesters to quell the disturbances. A SAVAK general regaled a guest from the CIA `with some fairly bloodthirsty details of how he could have put an end to the demonstrations within a week if only the Shah had given him free rein.`The head of a neighboring country suggested the execution of 700 mullahs. .... The Shah vetoed all these plans.
Following the overthrow of the Shah's government on 11 February 1979 (22 Bahman 1357), members of the old regime, including senior generals, were executed by revolutionary leadership. For this aim, the Islamic regime formed komitehs (committees) in all provinces.Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani was the chief of the Central Provisional Komiteh for the Islamic Revolution. The komitehs were lack of necessary mechanism and legal procedure, leading to restructuring on 8 March 1979.
In the first couple of months, over 200 of the Shah's senior civilian officials were killed as punishment and to eliminate the danger of coup d'état.The first death sentences were approved by the Tehran court on four of the shah's generals on February 1979. They were Mehdi Rahimi, the military commander of Tehran, Reza Naji, the military governor of Isfahan, Nematollah Nassiri, the head of SAVAK, and Manuchehr Khosrodad, an air force general. All four generals were executed by firing squad on the roof of the then Ayatollah Khomeini's headquarters on 15 February.
On 7 April 1979, Amir-Abbas Hoveyda, former prime minister of Iran, was executed.Two days later on 9 April ten senior officials of the Shah, including two generals and a cabinet member, were executed in Tehran. Those killed included commander-in-chief of the air force, Amir Hossein Rabi'i. On 11 April, former foreign minister, Abbas Ali Khalatbari, and 10 more officials were executed in Tehran. On 8 May, a total of 21 former Iranian officials, including three former high-level politicians, were executed. They were Javad Saeed, former Majlis speaker, Gholam Reza Kianpor, former information minister, and Mohammad Reza Ameli Tehrani, former education minister. On 9 May, eight men, including the prominent Jewish executive Habib Elghanian, and former information minister, Abdul Hassan Saadatmand, were executed, raising the number of the executed people 119 since February 1979.
According to an IRI study, the high number of executions in the early phase of the revolution was partly a result of infiltration of the courts by members of Mujahedin-e Khalq of Iran who were driven by their deep grudges against the former regime. Ehsan Naraghi, an Iranian sociologist is quoted saying that if it was not for MKO infiltrators the number of executions would've not been so high. Due to an official order by Ayatollah Khomeini in mid March 1979 which urged temporarily suspension of the revolutionary courts, restriction of revolutionary courts' powers and the restructuring of the judiciary, a purge of MEK infiltrators followed.Subsequently, another order by Ayatollah Khomeini in May 1979 led to a reduction of death sentences. The order stressed that unless a defendant was proven to have committed murder, or ordered genocide, or involved in a fatal torture, no court had the right to rule executions. Violation of the criterion would be an offense punishable by death penalty. Also in a speech to a group of judges he said that courts must not follow the pattern of the Pahlavi regime, lest an innocent be condemned or a guilty overcharged. He also stressed that unless a former government official was proven to have had its wealth acquired illegally, his or her properties must not be confiscated.
On 23 July 1979, five more men were executed in the Khuzestan province.The death toll became 363 with these executions since February 1979. In August 1979, the courts began to try the members of the ethnic minorities in the country who participated in anti-government demonstrations, and the trials resulted in massive death sentences. By November 1979, the death toll was 550 and by January 1980, the number had reached at least 582.
Critics complained that the brief trials lacked defense attorneys, juries, transparency or opportunity for the accused to defend themselves,were held by revolutionary judges such as Sadegh Khalkhali, the Sharia judge. Those who escaped Iran were not immune. A decade later, another former Prime Minister, Shapour Bakhtiar, was assassinated in Paris, one of at least 63 Iranians abroad killed or wounded since the Shah was overthrown, although these attacks are thought to have stopped after the early 1990s.
The pace of executions then accelerated, leading to at least 906 executions between January 1980 and June 1981.After president Abulhassan Banisadr was impeached on 20 June 1981 (30 Khordad 1360), a concerted effort was made to find and prosecute the erstwhile supporters turned opposition, primarily leftists. Bloodletting became much worse. According to Shaul Bakhash,
The number who lost their lives will probably never be known with certainty. Amnesty International documented 2,946 executions in the 12 months following Bani-Sadr's impeachment. A list compiled the following year by the Mojahedin-e Khalq cited 7,746 persons who had lost their lives through executions, in street battles, or under torture in the short period from June 1981 to September 1983.
According to historian Ervand Abrahamian, revolutionary courts executed more than 8000 opponents between June 1981 and June 1985. These were mainly members of the Mojahedin-e Khalq, but also included
Fedayins and Kurds as well as Tudeh, National Front, and Shariatmadari supporters. ... Thus the toll taken among those who had participated in the revolution was far greater than that of royalists. This revolution — like others — had devoured its own children.
SAVAK was the secret police, domestic security and intelligence service in Iran during the reign of the Pahlavi dynasty. It was established by Mohammad Reza Shah with the help of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Israeli MOSSAD. SAVAK operated from 1957 until the Iranian Revolution of 1979, when the prime minister Shapour Bakhtiar ordered its dissolution during the outbreak of Iranian Revolution. SAVAK has been described as Iran's "most hated and feared institution" prior to the revolution of 1979 because of its practice of torturing and executing opponents of the Pahlavi regime. At its peak, the organization had as many as 60,000 agents serving in its ranks according to one source, and another source by Gholam Reza Afkhami estimates SAVAK staffing at between 4,000 and 6,000.
Black Friday is the name given to 8 September 1978 because of the shootings in Jaleh Square in Tehran, Iran. Between 84–88 people were killed in the incident and 205 were injured. The deaths were described as the pivotal event in the Iranian Revolution that ended any "hope for compromise" between the protest movement and regime of the Mohammad Reza Shah. The incident is described by historian Ervand Abrahamian as "a sea of blood between the shah and the people."
Mohammed Sadeq Givi Khalkhali was a Shia cleric of the Islamic Republic of Iran who is said to have "brought to his job as Chief Justice of the revolutionary courts a relish for summary execution" that earned him a reputation as Iran's "hanging judge". A farmer's son from Iranian Azeri origins was born in Givi in appearance Khalkhali was "a small, rotund man with a pointed beard, kindly smile, and a high-pitched giggle."
Sayyid Mohammad Kazem Shariatmadari, also spelled Shariat-Madari, was an Iranian Grand Ayatollah. He favoured the traditional Shiite practice of keeping clerics away from governmental positions and was a critic of Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini, denouncing the taking hostage of diplomats at the US embassy in Tehran. In 1982 he was accused of being part of a plot to bomb Khomeini's home and to overthrow the Islamic state, and he remained under house arrest until his death in 1986. His followers also opposed Ruhollah Khomeini.
Islamic Revolutionary Court is a special system of courts in the Islamic Republic of Iran designed to try those suspected of crimes such as smuggling, blaspheming, inciting violence or trying to overthrow the Islamic government. The court started its work after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
The Council of the Islamic Revolution was a group formed by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to manage the Iranian Revolution on 10 January 1979, shortly before he returned to Iran. "Over the next few months there issued from the council hundreds of rulings and laws, dealing with everything from bank nationalization to nurses' salaries." Its existence was kept a secret during the early, less secure time of the revolution, and its members and the exact nature of what the council did remained undisclosed to the public until early 1980. Some of the council's members like Motahhari, Taleqani, Bahonar, Beheshti, Qarani died during Iran–Iraq War or were assassinated by the MKO during the consolidation of the Iranian Revolution. Most of those who remained were put aside by the regime.
This article is a timeline of events relevant to the Islamic Revolution in Iran. For earlier events refer to Pahlavi dynasty and for later ones refer to History of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This article doesn't include the reasons of the events and further information is available in Islamic revolution of Iran.
Khomeinism is the founding ideology of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Impact of the religious and political ideas of the leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini include replacing Iran's millennia-old monarchy with theocracy. Khomeini declared Islamic jurists the true holders of not only religious authority but political authority, who must be obeyed as "an expression of obedience to God", and whose rule has "precedence over all secondary ordinances [in Islam] such as prayer, fasting, and pilgrimage."
On 28 June 1981, a powerful bomb went off at the headquarters of the Iran Islamic Republic Party (IRP) in Tehran, while a meeting of party leaders was in progress. Seventy-three leading officials of the Islamic Republic were killed, including Chief Justice Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti. The Islamic Republic of Iran first blamed SAVAK and the Iraqi regime. Two days later, Ruhollah Khomeini accused the People's Mujahedin of Iran. A few years later, a Kermanshah tribunal executed four "Iraqi agents" for the incident. Another tribunal in Tehran executed Mehdi Tafari for the same incident. In 1985, the head of military intelligence informed the press that this had been the work of royalist army officers. Iran's security forces blamed the United States and "internal mercenaries".
Many organizations, parties and guerrilla groups were involved in the Iranian Revolution. Some were part of Ayatollah Khomeini's network and supported the theocratic Islamic Republic movement, while others did not and were suppressed. Some groups were created after the fall of the Pahlavi Dynasty and still survive; others helped overthrow the Shah but no longer exist.
A number of observers, including the Shah, have written of rumours and allegations that the government of the United Kingdom has secretly supported "mullahs" in recent Iranian history, and in particular the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in his successful overthrow of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in the Iranian Revolution of 1979. It is alleged that the 1979 Iranian revolution is a Western response to the Pahlavi's White revolution which was intended to bring benefits to Iran and its people, but was unfavorable to the landlords, clergy and the United States and UK that feared that Iran will become independent, thus hampering their further involvement and control of Iranian petroleum. Khomeini rejected the charges, claiming it was the Shah who was a Western "agent" who had prevented the establishment of Islamic government in Iran until the revolution.
The National Democratic Front was a liberal-left political party founded during the Iranian Revolution of 1979 that overthrew shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and banned within a short time by the Islamic government. It was founded by Hedayatollah Matin-Daftari, a grandson of celebrated Iranian nationalist Mohammad Mosaddeq and a "lawyer who had been active in human rights causes" before the downfall of the shah and the son of the fourth prime minister and the jurist Ahmad Matin-Daftari. Though it was short-lived, the party has been described as one of "the three major movements of the political center" in Iran at that time, and its ouster was one of the first indications that the Islamist revolutionaries in control of the Iranian Revolution would not tolerate liberal political forces.
The Muslim People's Republic Party (MPRP) or Islamic People's Republican Party was a short-lived party associated with Shia Islamic cleric Shariatmadari. It was founded in 1979 during the Iranian Revolution as a "moderate, more liberal counterweight" to the theocratic, Islamist Islamic Republican Party (IRP) of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and disbanded in 1980.
The consolidation of the Iranian Revolution refers to a turbulent process of Islamic Republic stabilization, following the completion of the revolution. After the Shah of Iran and his regime were overthrown by revolutionaries in February 1979, Iran was in a "revolutionary crisis mode" from this time until 1982 or 1983. Its economy and the apparatus of government collapsed. Military and security forces were in disarray.
The Imperial state of Iran, the government of Iran during the Pahlavi dynasty, lasted from 1925 to 1979. During that time two monarchs — Reza Shah Pahlavi and his son Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi — employed secret police, torture, and executions to stifle political dissent. The Pahlavi dynasty has sometimes been described as a "royal dictatorship", or "one man rule". According to one history of the use of torture by the state in Iran, abuse of prisoners varied at times during the Pahlavi reign.
Parliamentary elections were held in Iran on 13 March 1980, with a second round on 9 May. They were the first elections to the Majlis since the overthrow of the Shah, and were contested to a considerable degree on a party basis.
The Iranian Revolution was a nationalist and Shi'a Islamic revolution that replaced a secular dictatorial monarchy with a theocracy based on "Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists".
Abbas Mohammad Montazeri was an Iranian cleric and military figure. He was one of the founding members and early chiefs of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. He was killed in a 1981 bombing in Tehran.
Sayyid Ruhollah Mūsavi Khomeini, known in the Western world as Ayatollah Khomeini, was an Iranian Shia Muslim religious leader, philosopher, revolutionary and politician. He was the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution that saw the overthrow of the Pahlavi monarchy and Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran. Following the revolution, Khomeini became the country's Supreme Leader, a position created in the constitution of the Islamic Republic as the highest-ranking political and religious authority of the nation, which he held until his death. On 1 February 1979 Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, returned to Iran after 14 years in political exile. Khomeini had been a prominent opponent of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, who had fled the country during the events of the Iranian Revolution. Upon his return, he was greeted by crowds of millions, and within 10 days the revolution would be successful. Khomeini's return and the 10 days following are now celebrated in Iran as the Fajr decade.