(Reuters) – The 1979 revolution toppled Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, a secular monarch allied with the West, and led to the formation of an Islamic Republic headed by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, a Shi’ite cleric.
These are key dates of the revolution and the rise of the Islamic Republic.
Jan. 9 – Several thousand people protest in the city of Qom, a center of religious scholarship, and security forces attack, killing at least five people.
Feb. 18 – Protests are held in a number of cities to commemorate the fortieth day after the death of the Qom protesters. A number of protesters are killed in Tabriz.
Jun. 7 – The Shah replaces the head of the SAVAK secret police in an attempt to appease protesters.
Aug. 19 – Hundreds are killed in an arson fire at the Cinema Rex in Abadan in southern Iran. Protesters and officials blame each other, kicking off another round of violence.
Sept. 8 – Martial law is imposed and security forces fire on protesters in Jaleh Square in Tehran, killing at least 100 people, a day which is named “Black Friday.”
Oct. 3 – Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein deports influential senior opposition cleric Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini from Najaf and he settles in the Neauphle-le-Chateau suburb of Paris.
Nov. 6 – After days of protests, the Shah broadcasts the message “I heard the voice of your revolution.”
Dec. 10-11 – Timed with a religious holiday, millions of Iranians protest around the country calling for the ousting of the Shah.
Dec. 29 – Shapour Bakhtiar, a long time opposition leader, is appointed prime minister by the Shah.
Jan. 4 – Bakhtiar officially becomes prime minister.
Jan. 12 – Khomeini forms a Revolutionary Council to oversee the Shah’s exit and transition to a new government.
Jan. 16 – The Shah and his wife, Empress Farah Pahlavi, leave Tehran and fly to Aswan, Egypt.
Jan. 22 – The Shah arrives in Morocco with his entourage. He spends three weeks in a palace in Marrakesh before going to the Bahamas.
Feb. 1 – Khomeini returns to Iran and is greeted by millions in Tehran.
Feb. 11 – Iran’s general staff declares the neutrality of the armed forces and troops are ordered back to their barracks, guaranteeing the Islamic Revolution’s success. Bakhtiar flees Tehran.
Feb. 14 – The U.S. embassy in Tehran is attacked and overrun but the crowds eventually leave the embassy grounds.
Feb. 16 – Iran’s revolutionary authorities start executions of leading supporters of the Shah and kill four top generals on the rooftop of a school housing Khomeini.
Mar. 5 – Iran resumes oil exports.
Mar. 30 – A referendum is held and approximately 99 percent of voters support the formation of an Islamic Republic.
Aug. 3 – Iranians elect members of the Assembly of Experts for Constitution to write a new constitution for the Islamic Republic.
Oct. 22 – The Shah arrives in the United States for medical treatment of lymphatic cancer, a disease he has secretly battled for several years.
Nov. 4 – Iranian students storm the U.S. embassy in Tehran and take 52 Americans hostage, demanding the extradition of the Shah in return for their release.
Dec. 15 – The Shah leaves the United States and travels to Panama.
Jan. 25 – Abolhasan Bani-Sadr is elected the first president of the Islamic Republic.
Mar. 23 – The Shah leaves Panama and goes to Egypt where he is granted asylum by President Anwar al-Sadat. He receives urgent medical treatment.
Jul 27 – The Shah dies in Cairo from lymphoma, aged 60. Sadat gives him a state funeral and he is buried in the Al-Rifa’i Mosque in Cairo.
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