Recalling the Ayatollah's return
It was one of the key events of the 20th century. Thirty years ago, religious leader Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Iran from exile and launched an Islamic revolution. The BBC's John Simpson was on the plane that flew the Ayatollah to Tehran.
When the revolutionary disturbances of 1978 broke out, Ayatollah Khomeini was being kept under tight control as an exile in the Shia holy city of Najaf, in Iraq.
Iraq was already being run by Saddam Hussein. Then the Shah of Iran asked Saddam to expel him.
It was a catastrophic misjudgement. The Ayatollah flew to France, and could suddenly speak to the entire world.
When the Shah eventually left Iran, in January 1979, the way was open for the Ayatollah to fly home and overthrow the imperial system.
Then we landed, and the Ayatollah was greeted by what some say is probably the largest crowd in human history.
The Islamic Republic was duly established in Iran; Muslim opinion around the world was galvanised; and a major new focus of opposition to Western liberalism took shape.
comments powered by Disqus
- Poll: Majority Of Americans Say Obama Is Mixed Race, Not Black
- New technology helps paleontologists see Ice-Age bee in intricate detail
- History textbooks in crosshairs of Australia's curriculum wars
- Archaeologists' findings may prove Rome a century older than thought
- 150 years of medical journals to go online
- She Came All the Way from Melbourne to Attend the OAH
- The 7 Most Popular HNN Videos from the 2014 OAH
- U.Va. Historian Alan Taylor Wins 2014 Pulitzer for Book on Slaves and War -- His second Pulitzer!
- UW Professor Stephanie Camp, 46, feminist historian, dies
- Italian forces in WW2 were not soft and Mussolini wasn't a clown, British historian claims