The Iranian Islamic Revolution refers to events involving the overthrow of Iran's monarchy(Pahlavi dynasty) under Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the king of Iran,and its replacement with an Islamic republicunder Ayatollah Khomeini, the leader of the revolution. In 1961, Iran initiated a series of economic, social, agrarian and administrative reforms to modernize the country that became known as the Shah's White Revolution. Shia cleric AyatollahRuhollah Khomeini, the leader of the Iranian revolution, first came to political prominence in 1963 when he led opposition to the Shah and his program of reforms known as the "White Revolution".
Khomeini declared that the Shah had "embarked on the destruction of Islam in Iran" and publicly denounced the Shah as a "wretched miserable man." Following Khomeini's arrest on June 5, 1963, three days of major riots erupted throughout Iran, with Khomeini supporters claiming 15,000 were killed by police fire. Khomeini was detained and kept under house arrest for 8 months. After his release he continued his agitation against the Shah, condemning the regime’s close cooperation with Israeland its "capitulations" — the extension of diplomatic immunity to American government personnel in Iran. In November 1964 Khomeini was re-arrested and sent into exile where he remained for 14 years until the revolution.
Several events in the 1970s set the stage for the 1979 revolution:
The 1971 2,500th anniversary of the founding of the Persian Empireat Persepolis, all Iranians were required to join and pay dues to a new political party, the Rastakhizparty, the death of Khomeini's son Mustafa, Abadan cinema fire, black Friday and its aftermath, general, Muharram protests so during this decade many more were arrested and tortured. These events helped to escalate the speed of Islamic revolution victory in 1979.
On January 16, 1979 the Shah and the empress left Iran. On February 1, 1979 Ayatollah Khomeiniwho had been exiled in 1964 returned to Tehran in a chartered Air France Boeing 747 .On February 9 about 10 pm a fight broke out between loyal Immortal Guardsand the pro-Khomeini rebel Homafaranelement of the Iranian Air Force, with Khomeini declaring jihad on loyal soldiers who did not surrender. Revolutionaries gained the upper hand and began to take over police stations and military installations, distributing arms to the public. The final collapse of the provisional non-Islamist government came at 2 pm February 11 when the Supreme Military Council declared itself "neutral in the current political disputes…
This period, from February 1 to 11, is celebrated every year in Iran as the "Decade of Fajr." February 11 is "Islamic Revolution's Victory Day", a national holiday with state sponsored demonstrations in every city.