The Iranian Revolution (kent as the Islamic Revolution or 1979 Revolution an aw; Persian: انقلاب اسلامی, Enghelābe Eslāmi or انقلاب بیست و دو بهمن) refers tae events involvin the owerthrow o Iran's monarchy (Pahlavi dynasty) unner Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi an its replacement wi an Islamic republic unner Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader o the revolution.
Demonstrations against the Shah began in Januar 1968. Atween August an December 1978 strikes an demonstrations paralyzed the kintra. The Shah left Iran for exile in mid-Januar 1979, an in the resultin pouer vacuum twa weeks later Ayatollah Khomeini returned tae Tehran tae a greetin bi several million Iranians. The ryal regime collapsed shortly efter on 11 Februar when guerrillas an rebel troops owerwhelmed troops loyal tae the Shah in airmed street fechtin. Iran votit bi naitional referendum tae become an Islamic Republic on Aprile 1, 1979, an tae approve a new theocratic constitution wherebi Khomeini became Supreme Leader o the kintra, in December 1979.
The revolution wis unusual for the surprise it creatit throughoot the warld: it lacked mony o the customary causes o revolution (defeat at war, a financial crisis, peasant rebellion, or disgruntled military); produced profoond chynge at great speed; wis massively popular; owerthrew a regime hivily protectit bi a lavishly financed airmy an security services; an replaced a modernisin monarchy wi a theocracy based on Guardianship o the Islamic Jurists (or velayat-e faqih). Its ootcome — an Islamic Republic "unner the guidance o an 80-year-auld exiled releegious scholar frae Qom" — wis, as ane scholar put it, "clearly an occurrence that haed tae be explained."
The revolution wis populist, naitionalist an later Shi'a Islamic. It wis in pairt a conservative backlash against the Wastrenizin an secularizin efforts o the Wastren-backed Shah, an a liberal backlash tae social injuistice an ither shortcomins o the ancien régime. The Shah wis perceived bi mony as behaulden tae — if no a puppet o — a non-Muslim Wastren pouer (the Unitit States) whose cultur wis impactin that o Iran.
The Shah's regime wis seen as oppressive, brutal, corrupt, an extravagant; it an aa suffered frae basic functional failures — an ower-ambitious economic program that brought economic bottlenecks, shortages an inflation. Security forces were unable to deal with protest and demonstrations; Iran wis an owerly centralized ryal pouer structure. The extraordinarily lairge size o the anti-shah movement meant that there "wur literally too mony protesters tae arrest", an that the security forces wur owerwhelmed.
That the revolution replaced monarchy an Shah Pahlavi wi Islamism an Khomeini rather than anither leader an ideology is creditit in pairt tae the spread o the Shia version o the Islamic revival that opposed Wastrenization, saw Ayatollah Khomeini as follaein in the fuitsteps o the beloved Shi'a Imam Husayn ibn Ali, an the Shah in those o Husayn's foe, the hatit tyrant Yazid I. An aa thought responsible wis the unnerestimation of Khomeini's Islamist movement bi baith the Shah's regime — who considered them a minor threat compared tae the Marxists an Islamic socialists — an bi the anti-Shah secularists — who thought the Khomeinists coud be sidelined.
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