Jonathan Piron, Middle East Eye: ‘The Shah is gone’: Revisiting the Iranian revolution 40 years later
The memory of the Iranian revolution is key to understanding Iran’s current behaviour. The fall of the Shah was not caused solely by Shia religious men, but by an eclectic coalition of opposition forces, which the advent of the Islamic Republic ended
“Shah raft” (“The Shah is gone”). The same headline on the 16 January 1979 front pages of the Kayhan and Ettela’at newspapers marked the victory of the revolution. Minutes after the public radio announcement of the Shah’s departure, massive and exuberant crowds took to the streets of Tehran. The Pahlavi dynasty had just collapsed and with it, Iran’s imperial regime.
Though seemingly well-known, the history of the Iranian revolution has been distorted by its retrospective reconstruction. Instrumentalised or forgotten, the memories of the 1979 revolution reflect the contemporary positions and agendas of various actors.
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