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Ruhollah Khomeini returns to Iran from his exile

Ruhollah Khomeini returns to Iran from his exile

On this day, 1 February 1979 CE, the leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Ruhollah Khomeini returned to Iran after more than 14 years of exile. After 10 days on February 11, the monarchy of the Pahlavi dynasty was overthrown and abolished as a result of the Iranian Revolution. On April 1, Khomeini declared Iran an Islamic republic.

Arrival of Ayatollah Khomeini on 1 February 1979 | Photo: Wikimedia

During the early 1960s, the Shah of Pahlavi dynasty, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi suspended the parliament and launched an aggressive westernisation program known as the White Revolution. It was Khomeini who became an outspoken critic of the shah’s program, for which he was imprisoned in 1963. After a year’s imprisonment, Khomeini was forcibly exiled from Iran on November 4, 1964.

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and his wife, Farah Pahlavi leaving Iran before 1979 Iranian Revolution | Photo: Wikimedia

In January 1979, in what was officially described as a “vacation,” the Shah and his family fled Iran. On February 1, Ruhollah Khomeini returned from France and led the foundation of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

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