The Iranian History 1978 AD


Alam Dies In New York

Apr, 14, 1978 AD

Iranian Asadollah AlamAsadollah Alam was a prominent figure during the Pahlavi 2 period. His father Ebrahim Alam became governor of Sistan and Baluchestan province after aiding Reza Shah in the coup of 1921. His father's influence gave him a jumpstart in the court of Pahlavi as Mohammad Reza's chamberlain. Then he became governor of Sistan and Baluchestan and minister of agriculture until the coup in 1951 when he played a key role in toppling Mosaddegh's government. After becoming the minister of interior affairs in April 1955, he changed governors in many provinces and presented the draft for foundation of SAVAK to the parliament. Alam founded the Mardom Party on May, 17, 1957. He was given the duty to present a cabinet of ministers in Summer of 1962. His term as prime minister did not last long and he resigned one year later and became the dean of the university of Pahlavi in Shiraz and served for 3 years. On Nov, 10, 1966 he became the minister of the royal court but he resigned after observing signs of cancer. He took several operations but he finally died in a hospital in New York on April, 4, 1978 at the age of 59. His body was brought to Iran and buried in Mashhad. (Updated: Feb, 26, 2008)

Tatcher And Reagan Visit Tehran

Apr, 26, 1978 AD

A welcome sign at the entrance of Tehran with a Canada Dry commercial adRonald Reagan arrived in Tehran two days before Margaret Thatcher. They both met with Mohammad Reza Shah, prime minister Jamshid Amouzegar, and other officials including Houshang Ansari the minister of petroleum. Thatcher became the Conservative party's new leader in 1975. In 1979 she became Britain's first female prime minister. Reagan who used to be a movie actor before entering politics became the 40th President of United States in 1981.Iran's relations with both countries were severed after the 1979 revolution, specially after the Israel embassy was shut down.
The real context of the meeting between these party leaders and Shah is still a mystery. It's known that Shah did not support democrats in the US as well as the labor party of England whose leaders were head of their states at the time. (Updated: Dec, 9, 2008)

Fire In Rex Movie Theatre Kills 377

Aug, 19, 1978 AD

The Rex Movie Theatre after burningA fire broke out at the Rex Cinema in Abadan at around 8:21 pm while hundreds of people were watching a movie called Gavaznha. From around 700 people watching the movie 377 burned alive. Controversial reports came after the incident, specially those statements made by the officials made people suspicious that the regime is responsible for this tragedy. It was reported that one of the reasons why people could not escape was that the doors were locked from the outside and survivors used the roof to escape. Additionally, none of the three tankers sent by the fire department had water and the police department only 100 meters away did not respond in a timely manner. The regime blamed the Islamic terrorists while the other side accused the regime of staging the incident to scare people on the anniversary of the military coup in 1964.
The Pahlavi regime was on the verge of collapse; public demonstrations, strikes and political pressure had taken away its abilities to function properly, therefore the people who were arrested and later confessed to be related to the incident did not change people's view as all dissidents including foreign media accused the Pahlavi regime of plotting another Auschwitz. But things became interesting after the regime change in 1979.
One of the people involved in the plot noticed his own photograph in the Javan magazine. The magazine described him as the SAVAK murderer who escaped the prison. He immediately presents himself to the authorities because he considered himself a revolutionary person who had fought for overthrowing Shah's regime under supervision from some hardliner Islamic fractions. But this fact was totally ignored during the court sessions that finally announced SAVAK as the plotter. A protest by the families of the victims that took place in Abadan from April, 18 until Aug, 2 1980 only caused them to be labeled anti-revolutionary. Some more arrests and executions were made and the revolution started to swallow her own children.
In the years preceding the Islamic revolution, many banks, cinemas, bars and restaurants were damaged or burnt to the ground. On the very same day that with Cinema Rex became the scene of a crime, another famous place in Tehran named Hatam restaurant burned in fire at 3:30 am. Gavaznha is a famous black and white political movie that depicted the story of a drug addict who helped his homeboy who participated in an armed uprising against the Shah's regime escape. (Updated: Dec, 9, 2008)

Black Friday-Demonstrations Turn Bloody

Sep, 8, 1978 AD

A soldiers looks on the scene after demonstrators were disperced during the 1979 revolutionThe Black Friday was one of important events that led to the 1979 revolution. Only a few days after the fire in the Rex Cinema, the cabinet of Jamshid Amouzegar was forced to resign. Mohammad Reza Shah ordered Jafar Sharif Emami to form a new cabinet of ministers. . Sharif Emami was the son of a clergyman and the head of the Senate. He was expected to succeed in forming a national unity government.
However, on Sep, 4, the Fetr Feast prayers in Gheytariyeh turned into mass demonstrations that continued every day.
On Sep, 8, General Oveisi announced military curfew at 6:00 AM. People who attended the Friday prayers were probably not aware of this announcement on the radio that banned gatherings of more than 3 people, and started demonstrating towards the Jaleh Square.
The commanding officers asked the demonstrators to disperse on the loudspeakers a few times, but when they faced resistance, soldiers opened fire that lasted for a couple of minutes, killing 87 people according to the governor of Tehran alongside 250 people injured The opposition leaders claimed the death toll at 4000.
This incident practically closed any doors for reconciliation between the opposition group and Shah's despot regime. After the revolution, the Jaleh Square was renamed to Shohada Square (Martyrs Sq). The real death toll is believed to be 64. (Updated: Feb, 8, 2010)

Kuwait Rejects Ayatollah Khomeini

Oct, 5, 1978 AD

People welcome car carrying Ayatollah Khomeini on Feb, 1, 1979After 13 years of exile in Iraq, Ayatollah Khomeini's house in Najaf was besieged by the Iraqi police and he was deported from Iraq on Sep, 4, 1978. Despite the fact that Khomeini had obtained a visa to Kuwait, he was denied entrance at the airport due to the fear from Mohammad Reza Shah. He then took off for France where he stayed for four months in a small village called Neauphle le Chateau. Iranian unrest increased until the shah fled to Egypt in January, 1979; Khomeini returned to Iran two weeks later and was eventually named Iran's political and religious leader. He established a system in which the clergy dominated the government, and his foreign policies were agonistic. During the first year of his leadership, Militant students seized the U.S. embassy in Tehran escalating tensions with the U.S. by creating a hostage crisis. Despite given promises of democracy, elimination of mainly nationalist forces from politics began. As early as August 20, 1979, 22 opposition newspapers were ordered closed. Crackdown on women to enforce Islamic dress code was another surprise fruit of the revolution which has been source of tensions among people and the armed forces.
Then a devastating war with Iraq began that continued for eight years. Shortly after the end of the war in 1988, Khomeini ordered execution of political prisoners who were given terms to fulfill. This happened just before he issued a fatwa calling for Salman Rushdie, a British writer's death which made him the media title again for some time until his death in June, 1989. One of the most disputed political heritages of Ayatollah Khomeini has been the Velayat Faghih or the government of the jurist in which the Supreme Shiite clergy assumes power or representation from the last hidden Shiite Imam to rule over people just like a monarch. This political and religious body or the leader, together with many other institutions that form a shadow state were part of a cynical strategy to guarantee the legitimacy of the regime by force rather than people's votes, a model that supposedly was formed in France. (Updated: Mar, 2, 2009)

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