Fanack Home / Iran / Past to Present / The Islamic Revolution

The Islamic Revolution

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returns from exile in France at Mehrabad Airport in 1979
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returns from exile in France at Mehrabad Airport in 1979

As the Shah’s regime became increasingly repressive, popular discontent grew, and mass demonstrations erupted in 1977. Diverse opposition groups came together in opposition to the Shah. In September 1978 riots, strikes, and mass demonstrations developed into a state of virtual civil war, and martial law was imposed.

After months of escalating protests and bloody repression, the Shah announced on 16 January 1979 that he would leave the country for a short time. A government headed by Prime Minister Shapour Bakhtiar assumed control, but he did not win the support of Khomeini and the main opposition, who were committed to the overthrow of the monarchy and the establishment of a new political order.

On 1 February 1979, Khomeini arrived in Tehran from exile in Paris. Millions of his followers awaited the ayatollah at Tehran’s Mehrabad airport. Ten days later, on 11 February, after guerrillas overwhelmed troops loyal to the Shah in street fighting, Iran’s military declared itself neutral. On 1 April 1979, following a referendum, the Islamic Republic of Iran was proclaimed.

The Islamic Revolution in pictures

Female Iranian demonstrators islamic revolution
Female Iranian demonstrators holding pictures of Ayatollah Khomeini
Iran's Women Protest 1979  islamic revolution
Iran’s Women Protest 1979
 Iranian demonstrators  islamic revolution
1979 Iranian demonstrators holding Khomeini’s picture
Iranian demonstrators 1979 islamic revolution
Iranian demonstrators 1979
Riots islamic revolution
Riots in the center of Tehran
Demonstrator holding a Khomeini photo
Demonstrator holding a Khomeini photo
Demonstration in Tehran 1979
Demonstration in Tehran 1979
Protests and clashes in Tehran 1979
Protests and clashes in Tehran 1979
Iranian demonstrators islamic revolution
Iranian demonstrators on a tank
1979 Iranian demonstrators islamic reovlution
1979 Iranian demonstrators
Ayatollah Khomeini islamic revolution
Ayatollah Khomeini welcomed by the crowd
1979 islamic revolution
Clerics and soldiers in 1979 revolution

We would like to ask you something …

Fanack is an independent media organisation, not funded by any state or any interest group, that distributes in the Middle East and the wider world unbiased analysis and background information, based on facts, about the Middle East and North Africa.

The website grew rapidly in breadth and depth and today forms a rich and valuable source of information on 21 countries, from Morocco to Oman and from Iran to Yemen, both in Arabic and English. We currently reach six million readers annually and growing fast.

In order to guarantee the impartiality of information on the Chronicle, articles are published without by-lines. This also allows correspondents to write more freely about sensitive or controversial issues in their country. All articles are fact-checked before publication to ensure that content is accurate, current and unbiased.

To run such a website is very expensive. With a small donation, you can make a huge impact. And it only takes a minute. Thank you.