By: Mir M.Hosseini
Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini was born in the town of Khomein about 300 kilometers south of Tehran as the son and grandson of known clerics. Khomeini lost his father when he was still an infant. Educated in Arak then Qom, he became a distinguished religious scholar and started teaching in Feyziyeh. His work, published in 1941, was a factor in the assassination of Kasravi, a prominent historian. Khomeini launched a campaign against the Shah's regime in 1962 publicly denouncing him, attacked Shah's reforms known as the White Revolution for conflicting with Islamic values and issued a fatwa forbidding collaboration with his regime. He was arrested in the June riots of 1963, rearrested after anti-American agitation in 1964, then sent to exile in Iraq.
Khomeini became a charismatic figure who used the holy city of Najaf, an important Shiite center to launch a revolution to overthrow Mohammad Reza Shah. Militant followers recognized his charisma by calling him Imam Khomeini. In 1977, Khomeini issued a public fatwa deposing the Shah and abrogating the constitution.
He continued his campaign against Shah's regime by sending written and oral messages to Iranian nation. In Najaf Seminary, Khomeini taught political philosophy of Islamic government, Islamic Leadership and theology and trained many students.
Iran-Iraq relations were not good at the time, thus Khomeini found the support he needed to continue his campaign against Shah. After signing the Algiers Treaty in 1975, Iran-Iraq relations started to improve and as a result Khomeini was asked to leave Iraq in 1978. Although he had a visa to Kuwait, he was denied entry due to the fact that Shah was an influential person around the world. Khomeini's entrance to France came as a surprise to Shah. But the French president Giscard d'Estaing assured him that Khomeini was allowed to France as a tourist and was not engaging in political activities there. The truth was that in France he gained access to everything needed to overthrow the Pahlavi regime within a year and transform the Iranian Monarchy into a Theocracy in 1979.