Demonstrations against the Shah commenced in October 1977, developing into a campaign of civil resistance that included both secular and religious elements and which intensified in January 1978. Between August and December 1978 strikes and demonstrations paralyzed the country, the Shah left Iran for exile on 16 January 1979, as the last Persian monarch, leaving his duties to a regency council and an opposition-based prime minister. Ayatollah Khomeini was invited back to Iran by the government, the royal reign collapsed shortly after on 11 February when guerrillas and rebel troops overwhelmed troops loyal to the Shah in armed street fighting, bringing Khomeini to official power. It was a relatively non-violent revolution, and helped to redefine the meaning, the Shahs regime became increasingly oppressive, brutal, corrupt, and extravagant. It also suffered from basic functional failures that brought economic bottlenecks, shortages, the Shah was perceived by many as beholden to – if not a puppet of – a non-Muslim Western power whose culture was affecting that of Iran. The Shia clergy had a significant influence on Iranian society, the clergy first showed itself to be a powerful political force in opposition to the monarchy with the 1891 Tobacco Protest. On 20 March 1890, Nasir al-Din Shah granted a concession to Major G. F. Talbot for a monopoly over the production, sale. The boycotts and protests against it were widespread and extensive because of Mirza Hasan Shirazis fatwa, finally Nasir al-Din Shah found himself powerless to stop the popular movement and cancelled the concession. The Tobacco Protest was the first significant Iranians resistance against the Shah and foreign interests, and revealed the power of the people, the growing discontent continued until the Constitutional Revolution. The revolution led to the establishment of a Parliament and approval of the first constitution, although the constitutional revolution was successful in weakening the autocracy of the Qajar regime, it failed to provide a powerful alternative government. Consequently, within the following the establishment of the new parliament. Many of these events can be viewed as a continuation of the struggle between the constitutionalists and the Shahs of Persia, many of whom were backed by foreign powers against the parliament. He established a monarchy, deposing the last of the Qajar shah in 1925 and introduced many social, economic. A number of reforms led to public discontent which provides circumstances for an Iranian revolution. Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavis father, Reza Shah, replaced Islamic laws with Western ones, police forcibly removed and tore chadors off women who resisted his ban on the public hijab. In 1935, dozens were killed and hundreds injured in the Goharshad Mosque rebellion, on the other hand, in the early rise of Reza Shah, Abdul-Karim Haeri Yazdi founded the Qom Seminary and created important changes in seminaries. However, he would avoid entering into political issues, as did other leaders who followed him. Hence, no widespread anti-government attempts were organized by clergy during the Reza Shah Rule, however, the future Ayatollah Khomeini was a student of Sheikh Abdul Karim Ha’eri
Image: Iranian Revolution in Shahyad Square
Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi. Press conference on international oil policies. Niavaran Palace, Tehran, 1971.