Monday, January 16, 2017

1979: Iran and the day that the Shah left


Iran was in the news for much of 1978 but everything hit the fan in 1979. 

First, the Shah fled and US diplomats were taken hostage later in the year.

We recall today the day that the Shah fled:

"On September 8, 1978, the shah's security force fired on a large group of demonstrators, killing hundreds and wounding thousands. Two months later, thousands took to the streets of Tehran, rioting and destroying symbols of westernization, such as banks and liquor stores. 

Khomeini called for the shah's immediate overthrow, and on December 11 a group of soldiers mutinied and attacked the shah's security officers. 

With that, his regime collapsed and the shah fled.
The shah traveled to several countries before entering the United States in October 1979 for medical treatment of his cancer. 
In Tehran, Islamic militants responded on November 4 by storming the U.S. embassy and taking the staff hostage. With the approval of Khomeini, the militants demanded the return of the shah to Iran to stand trial for his crimes. 
The United States refused to negotiate, and 52 American hostages were held for 444 days. 
Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi died in Egypt in July 1980."
The Shah's departure was quite a blow for the US and our interests in the region.   

He was our ally in the region.  He wasn't perfect but did not invade his neighbors or start wars.  



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