The Iranian Revolution refers to the events that led to the end of the Pahlavi dynasty on April 1, 1979. The revolution led to the end of the Iranian monarchy that had been in power for around 2500 years. These events led the way for the beginning of the Islamic republic.
In 1953, the Shah was returned to power after the United State’s CIA helped overthrow the Prime Minister of Iran. Under the Shah, Iran’s economy grew and strides were made with women’s rights. In fact under his rule, women were not allowed to wear hijabs, were encouraged to work outside of the home, and attend university. Shah was known to imprison and torture his political opponents.
There were several underlying causes for the revolution. First, several years of economic growth created an environment of high inflection rates along with a leveling out of Iran’s standard of living. In 1975, the economy went into a recession. Protests began. During this time of activism, the son of Ayatollah Khomeini died and rumors blamed the SAVAK police. This causes even more people to begin protesting.
During this time, Shah was battling cancer. In January of 1978, an article was published that slandered Ayatollah Khomeini. Protests escalated and over seventy were killed over the course of two days. In February, young men gathered to march in response to those killed and this march soon turned in to a riot.
In August, the Rex Cinema was burned down and around four hundred people. It is believed that the fire was started by a group of Islamic students but it was blamed on the SAVAK. On September 8, another demonstration took place. Shah responded by having the military attack the protestors with guns, tanks, and helicopters.