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HIS 100 - Perspectives in History

Tulsa Massacre, Wounded Knee Occupation, Stonewall Rebellion, Haitian Independence, Philippine Revolution, Iranian Revolution, The Great London Smog, Creation of Earth Day, Chernobyl, Creation of the UN, Act Prohibiting Slavery, Founding of NATO

Iranian Revolution

(Please note, encyclopedias/tertiary sources should NOT be cited in your assignment. Scroll down for primary and secondary sources).

The Iranian Revolution, also called Islamic Revolution, Enelāb-e Eslāmī (in Farsi), was a popular uprising in the Muslim majority country of Iran in 1978–79 that resulted in the toppling of the authoritarian government led by the Shah of Iran, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, on February 11, 1979. Islamist revolutionaries opposed the western secular policies of the Shah which led to the establishment of an Islamic republic after the revolution under the Leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini (also known as Imam Khomeini).

Primary Sources

Note: For help with citing primary sources properly, check out this FAQ and be sure to reach out to your instructor with any questions you may have. For help citing interviews such as Reconstructed Lives (below), click here

This is a powerful gallery of photos and commentary by photographer David Burnett from his arrival in Iran on December 26, 1978, initially unaware of the degree of political unrest as he would go on to document protests, killings, confrontations between soldiers/police and protestors, funerals, departure of the Shah and his family and the arrival of Khomeini in Tehran. These photos also appear in his book, 44 Days: Iran and the Remaking of the World.

This edited interview transcript by the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Dialogue radio program host and producer George Liston Seay with former Iranian journalist, Haleh Esfandiari, author of Reconstructed Lives: Women and Iran's Islamic Revolution, discusses the interviews she conducted with Iranian women “whose careers were either begun or redefined under the Islamic Republic” formed by the Iranian Revolution.

Secondary Sources

Written by a professor at the University of St. Andrews, this fully illustrated and readable article describes the rise of the Ayatollah Khomeini and the fall of Mohammed Peza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran covering events beginning in 1953 through the Iranian Revolution.

This article explains the role of the Iranian Revolution in inspiring Islamic activism by creating the first Islamic state. Established in Shia Iran it had the effect of encouraging Sunni Muslims to organize as they feared the Revolution was designed to strengthen Shiism at their expense. The authors explain how the Revolution antagonized problems within the Islamic world and with its relationship to the West.