Ruhollah Khomeini's return to Iran

Last updated
Part of a series on the
History of the
Iranian Revolution
1979 Iranian Revolution.jpg
Ettela'at Newspaper titling Tomorrow Morning at 9, Meeting with the Imam (Khomeini) in Tehran. Newspaper title Iranian revolution.jpg
Ettela'at Newspaper titling Tomorrow Morning at 9, Meeting with the Imam (Khomeini) in Tehran.

Sayyid Ruhollah Mūsavi Khomeini (24 September 1902 – 3 June 1989), known in the Western world as Ayatollah Khomeini , [1] was an Iranian Shia Muslim religious leader, philosopher, revolutionary and politician. [2] 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.

Western world Countries that identify themselves with an originally European shared culture

The Western world, also known as the West, refers to various nations depending on the context, most often including at least parts of Europe, Australasia, and the Americas, with the status of Latin America disputed by some. There are many accepted definitions, all closely interrelated. The Western world is also known as the Occident, in contrast to the Orient, or Eastern world.

Ayatollah high-ranking title given to Usuli Twelver Shī‘ah clerics

Ayatollah or ayatullah is a high-ranking Usuli Twelver Shī‘ah cleric. Those who carry the title are experts in Islamic studies such as jurisprudence, Quran reading, and philosophy and usually teach in Islamic seminaries. The next lower clerical rank is Hujjat al-Islam.

Iran Islamic Republic in Western Asia

Iran, also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. With over 81 million inhabitants, Iran is the world's 18th most populous country. Its territory spans 1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq mi), making it the second largest country in the Middle East and the 17th largest in the world. Iran is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the northeast by Turkmenistan, to the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, and to the west by Turkey and Iraq. Its central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, give it geostrategic importance. Tehran is the capital, largest city, and leading economic and cultural center.

Contents

Exile

At the age of 61, Khomeini found the arena of leadership open following the deaths of Ayatollah Sayyed Husayn Borujerdi (1961), the leading, although quiescent, Shi'ah religious leader; and Ayatollah Abol-Ghasem Kashani (1962), an activist cleric. The clerical class had been on the defensive ever since the 1920s when the secular, anti-clerical modernizer Reza Shah Pahlavi rose to power. Reza's son Mohammad Reza Shah, instituted a "White Revolution", which was a further challenge to the Ulama. [3] Khomeini was arrested and was exiled from Iran for opposing the Shah's actions (Iran's ruling system). Khomeini was a marja ("source of emulation") in Twelver Shia Islam, a Mujtahid or faqih but he is primarily known for his political activities. He spent more than 15 years in exile for his opposition to the last Shah. Mostly in the holy Shia city of Najaf, Iraq. At first he was sent to Bursa, Turkey on 4 November 1964 where he stayed in this city hosted by a colonel in the Turkish Military Intelligence named Ali Cetiner in his own residence. [4] In October 1965, after almost eleven months, he was going to move to Najaf, Iraq, where he stayed until 1978, when he was encouraged to leave by then-Vice President Saddam Hussein. [5] By this time discontent with the Shah was becoming intense and Khomeini went to Neauphle-le-Château, suburb of Paris, France.

White Revolution

The White Revolution or the Shah and People Revolution was a far-reaching series of reforms in Iran launched in 1963 by Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and lasted until 1979. He reform the program which was built especially to weaken those classes that supported the traditional system. It consisted of several elements, including land reform, sale of some state-owned factories to finance this land reform, construction of an expanded road, rail, and air network, a number of dam and irrigation projects, the eradication of diseases such as malaria, the encouragement and support of industrial growth, enfranchisement of women, nationalization of forests and pastures, formation of literacy and health corps for rural isolated areas, and institution of profit sharing schemes for workers in industry. In the 1960s and 1970s the Shah sought to develop a more independent foreign policy and established working relationships with the Soviet Union and eastern European nations. In subsequent decades, per capita income for Iranians skyrocketed, and oil revenue fueled an enormous increase in state funding for industrial development projects.

Marja highest clerical rank in Usuli Twelver Shia Islam

In Shia Islam, marjaʿ, also known as a marjaʿ taqlīd or marjaʿ dīnī, literally meaning "source to imitate/follow" or "religious reference", is a title given to the highest level Shia authority, a Grand Ayatollah with the authority to make legal decisions within the confines of Islamic law for followers and less-credentialed clerics. After the Qur'an and the prophets and imams, marājiʿ are the highest authority on religious laws in Usuli Shia Islam.

Twelver Type of Shia Islam

Twelver or Imamiyyah is the largest branch of Shia Islam. The term Twelver refers to its adherents' belief in twelve divinely ordained leaders, known as the Twelve Imams, and their belief that the last Imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi, lives in occultation and will reappear as the promised Mahdi. According to Shia tradition, the Mahdi's tenure will coincide with the Second Coming of Jesus Christ (Isa), who is to assist the Mahdi against the Masih ad-Dajjal.

Preparing for travel

Khomeini decided to return to Iran after Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran, fled on 16 January 1979. A welcoming committee was formed on 21 January 1979, to organise and ensure Khomeini's return. [6] Kayhan and Ettela'at papers announced that Khomeini would return from Paris the other day. The news led to the flow of millions of people from different cities to Tehran. [7]

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi the last shah of Iran

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, also known as Mohammad Reza Shah, was the last Shah of Iran from 16 September 1941 until his overthrow by the Iranian Revolution on 11 February 1979. Mohammad Reza Shah took the title Shahanshah on 26 October 1967. 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.

<i>Kayhan</i> newspaper

Kayhan is a newspaper in Iran. It is considered "the most conservative Iranian newspaper."

<i>Ettelaat</i> Persian language daily newspaper

Ettela'at is a Persian language daily newspaper published in Iran. It is among the oldest publications in the country, and the oldest running Persian daily newspaper in the world. The paper has a conservative stance and focuses on political, cultural, social and economic news.

It was originally planned that Ayatollah Khomeini would enter Iran on January 26, but Prime Minister Shapour Bakhtiar announced that the airports would be closed. From Paris Khomeini declared that he would return as soon as the airports were reopened. The closure of the airports led to widespread protests and strikes. In Tehran alone 28 people were killed. On January 29, the airport was reopened on the orders of Bakhtiar and Khomeini stated a new return date of 1 February. [8]

Prime Minister of Iran former a political post in Iran

The Prime Minister of Iran was a political post in Iran that had existed during several different periods of time starting with the Qajar era until its most recent revival from 1979 to 1989 following the Iranian Revolution.

Shapour Bakhtiar Iranian politician

Shapour Bakhtiar was an Iranian politician who served as the last Prime Minister of Iran under the Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi. He and his secretary were murdered in his home in Suresnes, near Paris by agents of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The flight

Video of the descent of Ayatollah Khomeini from the airplane stairs
Arrival of Ayatollah Khomeini on 1 February 1979 Imam Khomeini in Mehrabad.jpg
Arrival of Ayatollah Khomeini on 1 February 1979

On 1 February Khomeini flew to Iran in a chartered Air France plane as flight 4721. He was accompanied by supporters as well as 120 international journalists. The presence of journalists was in part to ensure the safety of the plane from being attacked. [9] [10]

Air France, stylized as AIRFRANCE, is the French flag carrier headquartered in Tremblay-en-France. It is a subsidiary of the Air France–KLM Group and a founding member of the SkyTeam global airline alliance. As of 2013 Air France serves 36 destinations in France and operates worldwide scheduled passenger and cargo services to 168 destinations in 78 countries and also carried 46,803,000 passengers in 2015. The airline's global hub is at Charles de Gaulle Airport with Orly Airport as the primary domestic hub. Air France's corporate headquarters, previously in Montparnasse, Paris, are located on the grounds of Charles de Gaulle Airport, north of Paris.

Journalist Peter Jennings asked Ayatollah Khomeini how he felt about returning to Iran after fifteen years. Khomeini famously answered: "Hichi" (Nothing). [11] Khomeini's statement attracted much attention, and its meaning has been heavily disputed. [12] Some amongst Khomeini's critics have claimed his response demonstrated apathy towards Iran and its people. Others have interpreted his response as inspired by Ibn Arabi's philosophy of the Perfect Man, and Shia mysticism, arguing that Khomeini was attempting to reach a perfect emotionless state, like that of the Mahdi. [13] .

Peter Jennings Canadian-American broadcast journalist

Peter Charles Archibald Ewart Jennings was a Canadian-American journalist who served as the sole anchor of ABC World News Tonight from 1983 until his death from lung cancer in 2005. Despite dropping out of high school, he transformed himself into one of American television's most prominent journalists.

Ibn Arabi Arab Andalusian Sufi mystic and philosopher

Ibn ʿArabi, full name Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad ibn ʿAlī ibn Muḥammad ibnʿArabī al-Ḥātimī aṭ-Ṭāʾī, was an Arab Andalusian Muslim scholar, mystic, poet, and philosopher, whose works have grown to be very influential beyond the Muslim world. Of the over 800 works which are attributed to him, 100 survive in the original manuscript. His cosmological teachings became the dominant worldview in many parts of the Islamic world.

Mahdi the prophesied redeemer of Islam

The Mahdi is an eschatological redeemer of Islam who, according to some Islamic traditions, will appear and rule for five, seven, nine, or nineteen years before the Day of Judgment and rid the world of evil.

Arrival and visit to Behesht-e Zahra

At 9:27 am on February 1st 1979 Khomeini arrived in Iran and received a welcome from millions of Iranians. This event is celebrated as a public holiday in Iran. After delivering a speech at the Mehrabad International Airport, he traveled to the Behesht-e Zahra cemetery, where many people who were killed during the revolution were buried. Millions of supporters lined on the path cheering his name, and hundreds of thousands gathered at the cemetery to listen his speech. [14] Khomeini declared that Shapour Bakhtiar's cabinet was illegal and he said he would appoint his own. [15] [16] He declared: "I will appoint the government! I will strike the present government on the mouth! With the support of the people, I will appoint the government! I will do this, because the people approved me!" [17]

Government collapse

On February 5th, Ayatollah Khomeini chose Mehdi Bazargan as Prime Minister of the interim government. [15]

On February 8th, Iranian air force officers went to Khomeini's home and promised their loyalty to the revolution. [18] Two days later, people[ who? ] were armed by the revolutionary personnel of the air force.[ citation needed ] Bakhtiar's government announced a curfew that Ruhollah Khomeini urged people to disregard. Revolutionaries subjugated police stations, prisons and governmental centers. [19] On February 11th, senior military commanders announced that they were neutral in conflict between Bakhtiar's government and revolutionaries. Because of this, they pulled their troops from the streets. [18] Bakhtiar resigned and went to Paris. Revolutionaries gained a victory on this day. [20] The ten days between Khomeini's arrival and revolutionary victory are celebrated in Iran as the Fajr decade.

See also

Related Research Articles

Ruhollah Khomeini 20th-century Iranian religious leader and politician, founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Sayyid Ruhollah Mūsavi Khomeini, also known in the Western world as Ayatollah Khomeini, was an Iranian politician and cleric. He was the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, which saw the overthrow of the last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and the end of the 2,500 year old 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.

SAVAK

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.

Iranian Revolution Revolution in Iran to overthrow the Shah replace him with Ayatollah Khomeini.

The Iranian Revolution, also known as the Islamic Revolution or the 1979 Revolution, was a series of events that involved the overthrow of the last 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.

Hassan Pakravan Iranian politician

Hassan Pakravan was a well-known diplomat and minister in the Pahlavi pre-revolutionary government of Iran. He is not only notable for his political involvement with the Mohammad Reza Pahlavi government and SAVAK, but also his relationship with Ruhollah Khomeini.

Mohammad-Reza Mahdavi Kani Iranian politician

Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani was an Iranian cleric, writer and conservative politician who was Acting Prime Minister of Iran from 2 September until 29 October 1981. Before that, he was Minister of Interior and Minister of Justice in the cabinets of Mohammad-Ali Rajai and Mohammad-Javad Bahonar. He was the leader of Combatant Clergy Association and Chairman of the Assembly of Experts and also founder and president of Imam Sadiq University.

Mohammad Kazem Shariatmadari Iranian Shia faqih

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.

Mohammad Mofatteh Iranian politician

Mohammad Mofatteh was an Iranian philosopher, theologian, and political activist, born in Famenin, Hamadan, Iran. After he finished his primary education in Hamadan, he left for the Islamic Seminary in Qom, where he was taught by reputable teachers such as Ayatollah Muhammad Hujjat Kuh-Kamari, Ayatollah Sayyed Hossein Tabatabei Borujerdi, Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ruhollah Mūsavi Khomeini, Ayatollah Mohammad-Reza Golpaygani, Ayatollah Marashi, and Allameh Tabatabie. He continued his studies at seminary and at the same time studied philosophy at Tehran University, where he earned his PhD and became a professor and a dean of colleague.

Mahmoud Taleghani Iranian Ayatollah

Mahmoud Taleghani was an Iranian theologian, Muslim reformer, democracy advocate and a senior Shi'a cleric of Iran. Taleghani was a contemporary of the Iranian Revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and a leader in his own right of the movement against Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. A founding member of the Freedom Movement of Iran, he has been described as a representative of the tendency of many "Shia clerics to blend Shia with Marxist ideals in order to compete with leftist movements for youthful supporters" during the 1960s and 1970s. His "greatest influence" has been said to have been in "his teaching of Quranic exegesis," as many later revolutionaries were his students.

Secularism in Iran

Secularism in Iran was established as state policy shortly after Rezā Shāh was crowned Shah in 1924. He made any public display or expression of religious faith, including the wearing of the headscarf (hijab) and chador by women and wearing of facial hair by men illegal. Public religious festivals and celebrations were banned, Islamic clergy were forbidden to preach in public, and mosque activities were heavily restricted and regulated.

Timeline of the Iranian Revolution

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.

Reza Shahs mausoleum Iranian national heritage site

Reza Shah's Mausoleum, located in Ray south of Tehran, was the burial ground of His Imperial Majesty Reza Shah Pahlavi (1878-1944), the penultimate Shahanshah (Emperor) of Iran. It was built close to Shah-Abdol-Azim shrine.

Organizations of the Iranian Revolution

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.

Interim Government of Iran government of Iran from February to November 1979

The Interim Government of Iran was the first government established in Iran after the Iranian Revolution, and the first nominal republic established in Iran after 2,500 years of Persian monarchy. The regime was headed by Mehdi Bazargan, one of the members of the Freedom Movement of Iran, and formed on the order of Ruhollah Khomeini on 4 February 1979. From 4 February to 11 February, Bazargan and Shapour Bakhtiar, the Shah's last Prime Minister, both claimed to be the legitimate prime minister; Bakhtiar fled on 11 February. Mehdi Bazargan was the prime minister of the interim government and introduced a seven-member cabinet on 14 February 1979. Ebrahim Yazdi was elected as the Foreign Minister.

Events from the year 1979 in Iran.

<i>The Enigma of the Shah</i> film

The Enigma of the Shah is an Iranian historical drama directed by Mohammad Reza Varzi. The story focuses on Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran, and the events leading up to the 1979 Iranian revolution which led to the abolition of the monarchy.

Fajr decade Iranian multi-day holiday

Fajr decade is a ten-day celebration of Ruhollah Khomeini's return to Iran in 1979. The annual celebration is held between 1 and 11 February. Its beginning coincides with the date of Khomeini's arrival and its ending with the Iranian Revolution; a day called Islamic Revolution's Victory Day or 22 of Bahman.

Ruhollah Khomeinis life in exile

Ruhollah Khomeini's life in exile refers to the period that Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini spent from 1964 to 1979 in Turkey, Iraq and France, after Mohamed Reza Shah Pahlavi had arrested him twice for dissent from his “White Revolution” announced in 1963. Ayatollah Khomeini was invited back to Iran by the government,and returned to Tehran to a greeting by several million Iranians.

In 2016, the BBC published a report which stated that the administration of United States President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981) had extensive contact with Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and his entourage in the prelude to the Iranian Revolution of 1979. The report was based on "newly declassified US diplomatic cables". According to the report, as mentioned by The Guardian, Khomeini "went to great lengths to ensure the Americans would not jeopardise his plans to return to Iran - and even personally wrote to US officials". According to the report, in turn, Carter and his administration helped Khomeini and made sure that the Imperial Iranian army would not launch a military coup.

References

  1. "Ayatollah Khomeini (1900–1989)". BBC – History. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  2. "Ayatollah Khomeini (1900–1989)". BBC – History. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  3. "Encyclopedia of World Biography on Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini, Ayatollah". Bookrags.com. Retrieved 19 March 2010.
  4. Sciolino, Elaine (27 August 2000). "nyt.com The People's Shah". New York Times. Retrieved 19 March 2010.
  5. (Iran and Iraq would fight a bitter eight-year war 1980–1988 only a year after the two reached power in 1979)
  6. "Oral History of the welcoming committee of Imam Khomeini" . Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  7. "11 Bahman 1357, tomorrow morning at 9, visiting Imam in Tehran".
  8. Abrahamian, Ervand (1982). Iran between two revolutions. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. ISBN   069100790X.
  9. My century BBC
  10. Jerome, Carole (1 September 1980). "Back to the Veil". New Internationalist (091). Retrieved 3 August 2013.
  11. "12 Bahman: Khomeini Returns". PBS. 1 February 2009. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
  12. Unpaved Road: An Iranian Girl's Real Life Story of Struggle, Deception and ... By Niki Bahara]
  13. Axworthy, Michael (2007). Iran : empire of the mind : a history from Zoroaster to the present day. London: Penguin. pp. 265–6. ISBN   014103629X.
  14. "On This Day: Ayatollah Khomeini Returns From Exile". 2011. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  15. 1 2 Iran Country Study Guide Volume 1 Strategic Information and Developments. Lulu.com. 2012. p. 65. ISBN   9781438774626.
  16. Heather Lehr Wagner (2010). The Iranian Revolution. Infobase Publishing. p. 13. ISBN   978-1-4381-3236-5.
  17. Gölz, "Khomeini's Face is in the Moon: Limitations of Sacredness and the Origins of Sovereignty.", In Sakralität und Heldentum. Edited by Felix Heinzer, Jörn Leonhard and von den Hoff, Ralf, 229–44. Helden - Heroisierungen - Heroismen 6. Würzburg: Ergon, 2017, p. 243.
  18. 1 2 Int'l Business Publications (2005). Iran: Country Study Guide. p. 124.
  19. Hosseini, Mir Masood. "Bakhtiar Becomes Prime Minister". fouman.
  20. "1979: Victory for Khomeini as army steps aside". bbc.