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Imam Khomeini Undertook Untiring Efforts for Victory of Islamic Revolution

Imam Khomeini monitored the Islamic Revolution from exile successfully despite very tough challenges and circumstances. Only two weeks after the Shah fled Iran on January 16, 1979, Imam Khomeini returned to Iran triumphantly, on February 1, 1979, invited by the anti-Shah revolution which was already in progress.

Let’s have a glance at a period of more than a decade when the struggle under Imam Khomeini’s leadership gained strength and momentum.

Following Imam Khomeini’s public denunciation of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi as a “wretched miserable man” and his arrest, on June 5, 1963 (Khordad 15, on the Iranian calendar), three days of major riots erupted throughout Iran with nearly 400 killed. Imam Khomeini was kept under house arrest for 8 months and was released in 1964.

Also this was a turning point in political viewpoint of Islam. The clergies had supported Shia monarchy since establishment of Safavids and this was the main source of legitimacy of monarchs. Shia clergies had advised them to be just and obey Ja’fari jurisprudence.

 Also monarchs didn’t enforce religious rules which restricted or threatened religious life and institutions and defended the Shia territory of Iran. But Reza Shah transformed the Iranian monarchy into a modern dictatorship.

 The modernizing programs of Pahlavi dynasty restricted and threatened religious life and made clergies be against monarchy and finally Imam Khomeini decide to fight with them and build another state comparable to religious rules.

During November of 1964, Imam Khomeini made a denunciation of both the Shah and the United States, this time in response to the “capitulations” or diplomatic immunity granted to American military personnel in Iran by the Shah.

In Nov. 1964 Imam Khomeini was re-arrested and sent into exile.

Imam Khomeini spent over 14 years in exile, mostly in the holy city of Najaf in Iraq. Initially, he was sent to Turkey on 4 November 1964, where he stayed in the city of Bursa for less than a year.

He was hosted by a Turkish Colonel named Ali Cetiner in his own residence, who couldn’t find another accommodation alternative for his stay at the time.

 Later in October 1965 he was allowed to move to Najaf, Iraq, where he stayed until being forced to leave in 1978, after then-Vice President Saddam Hossein forced him out (the two countries would fight a bitter eight year war 1980-1988 only a year after the beginning of Imam Khomeini’s leadership in Iran and the start of Saddam Hussein’s term in Iraq) after which he went to Neauphle le Château in France.

Only two weeks after the Shah fled Iran on January 16, 1979, Imam Khomeini returned to Iran triumphantly, on Thursday, February 1, 1979, invited by the anti-Shah revolution which was already in progress.

Several millions Iranians welcomed Imam.   When Imam Khomeini was on plane on his way to Iran after many years in exile, a reporter, Peter Jennings asked him: “What do you feel?” and surprisingly Imam Khomeini answered “Nothing!”

In a speech given to a huge crowd on the first day of returning to Iran, Imam Khomeini attacked the government of Shapoor Bakhtiar promising “I shall punch their teeth in.” He also made a variety of promises to Iranians for his coming Islamic regime: A popularly elected government that would represent the people of Iran.

 

About Ali Teymoori

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