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History of the Middle East

What was the role of Islamic fundamentalists in the overthrow of the Shah of Iran?


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October 01, 2013 10:12PM

Their role in the actual overthrow was minimal. There were some protests by Islamic Fundamentalists in late 1978 and 1979, but the majority of protests were from Communists, Women's Rights Groups, Secularists, Social Democrats, and other left-wing groups. It was after the departure of the Shah in January 1979 that Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Iran from his exile and proceeded to tell these groups that he could create a unity government. In October 1979, he created the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran which effectively solidified clerical rule and ended with the repression of the Communists, Women's Rights Groups, Secularists, and the Social Democrats who had actually started the Iranian Revolution.