islamic revolution of iran


The palace of the last king of Iran, Reza Pahlavi Shah. Reza Pahlavi Shah was a puppet dictator who was overthrown by Iranian citizens due to his greed and corruption, but since he was favored by western countries, he was reinstated as the leader of Iran in a staged coup called Operation Ajax.

In this coup, the democratically elected and highly favored prime minister of Iran, Mohammad Mossadegh, was overthrown due to his desire of nationalizing Iran’s oil industry, which would cause Great Britain to lose money.

Once reinstated, Reza Pahlavi Shah was overthrown once more, which led to the rise of the new regime and the Islamic Revolution of 1979, creating the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Moral of the story: western intervention due to oil greed and installation of puppet dictators in Iran caused the creation of Iran’s new, and very unfavorable theocratic regime. Many people don’t know even know who Mohammad Mossadegh is or what Operation Ajax was.

A common theme in almost every country in the Middle East that western media love to dehumanize is western intervention, and these interventions fueled by oil greed are the cause of almost everything currently going on in the Middle East.

Tehran, Iran

Yusef Abad Synagogue (کنیسه یوسف آباد‎‎ בית הכנסת יוסף-אבד) - Tehran, Iran

One of the largest synagogues in Iran, it was built in 1965 & officially opened on Rosh Hashanah (Jewish new year). The synagogue is located on Palestine street in Yusef Abad neighbourhood, north Tehran.

In November 2003 the then president, Mohammad Khatami, visited the synagogue becoming the first president of Iran to visit a synagogue since the Islamic revolution. Chief Rabbi Yosef Hamadani Cohen recited prayers & led the opening of the Torah scroll ark

Female interns and law graduates, stage a sit-in which lasted for a week at Tehran central courthouse (1978)

The sit-in was done to protest the new Islamic government ban on female judges, which the new government considered it to be against Sharia law. Iranian women could become judges before the revolution but they lost that right after the revolution. The sit-in ended after a week when the government forced the participators out.

Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian nobel peace prize winner was one of the female judges who lost her job after the Islamic revolution.
Does Shiraz wine come from Iran?
Is there a link between the Iranian city of Shiraz and the wine of the same name found in supermarkets around the world?

Until the Islamic revolution, Iran had a tradition of wine-making which stretched back centuries. It centred on the ancient city of Shiraz - but is there a connection between the place and the wine of the same name now produced and drunk across the world?

“I remember my father bringing in the grapes and putting them in a big clay vat,” says California-based wine-maker Darioush Khaledi, recalling his childhood in pre-revolutionary Iran.

“I would climb on top and smell and enjoy the wine.”

Darioush’s family was from Shiraz, a fabled city in south-western Iran, whose name was once synonymous with viticulture and the poetry and culture of wine.

He remembers happy evenings when the family would gather, sipping wine from clay cups, and reciting lines from the 14th Century Persian poet Hafez.

“It wasn’t just about drinking wine,” he says. “It was an adventure.”

The world Darioush remembers came to an end in 1979 when Iran’s new Islamic rulers banned alcohol.

They shut down wineries, ripped up commercial vineyards and consigned to history a culture stretching back thousands of years.

An ancient clay jar has pride of place at the University of Pennsylvania museum in Philadelphia in the US.

It was one of six discovered by a team of American archaeologists at a site in the Zagros mountains in northern Iran in 1968.

The jars date back to the Neolithic period more than 7,000 years ago, and provide the first scientific proof of the ancient nature of Iranian wine production.

Chemical analysis on one of them revealed that a dark stain at the bottom was actually wine residue.

“This is the oldest chemically-identified wine jar in the world,” says Prof Patrick McGovern.

The first evidence of grape cultivation in Shiraz came around 2,500 BC, when vines were brought down from the mountains to the plains of south-west Iran, the professor says.

By the 14th Century, Shiraz wine was immortalised in the poetry of Hafez, whose tomb in the city is still venerated today.

“Last night, the wise tavern master deciphered the enigma,” he wrote. “Gazing at the lines traced in the cup of wine, he unravelled our awaiting fate.”

In the 1680s, a French diamond merchant, Jean Chardin, travelled to Persia to the court of Shah Abbas.

He attended elaborate banquets and recorded the first European account of what Shiraz wine actually tasted like.

“It was a very specific red,” says French historian and Chardin expert Francis Richards. “It was a wine with good conservation because generally the local wines very quickly turned to vinegar.”

But is there a connection between the “dark red wine that smells like musk” immortalised by Hafez, and the Shiraz wine drunk across the world today?

“Men in Iran are wearing hijabs in a display of solidarity with women across the country who are forced to cover their heads in public. Wearing a headscarf is strictly enforced by so-called ‘morality police’ in Iran and has been since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. 

Women who do not wear a hijab or are deemed to be wearing 'bad hijab’ by having some of their hair showing face punishments ranging from fines to imprisonment.  State-funded adverts appearing on billboards in Iran present those who do not cover their hair as spoiled and dishonourable. 

Women are also told that by not complying, they are putting themselves at risk of unwanted sexual advances from men. But women are leading protests against enforced hijab across the country and some have resorted to shaving their hair in order to appear in public without wearing a veil. 

Over the last week, a number of men have appeared in photos wearing a hijab with their wife or female relative next to them who have their hair uncovered. 

The images come in response to a call by Masih Alinejad, an Iranian activist and journalist living in New York, who is urging men to support her campaign against enforced hijab. “  



Marjane Satrapi (b. 1969) is an Iranian-born graphic novelist and film director, most famous for her two-volume work Persepolis, which document her childhood in her home country of Iran, and her coming-of-age in Europe. The books were adapted into a film which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, making Satrapi the first female director nominated in the category.

Both the book and the film were highly successful internationally, and served to illustrate life in Iran during and after the Islamic revolution. The author depicts the struggles of the new impositions women had to face, and her rebellious journey to go against them.

Trump to Iran's Rouhani: Better be careful - 11 February 2017

 US President Donald Trump said on Friday that Iran President Hassan Rouhani “better be careful” after Rouhani was quoted as saying that anyone who speaks to Iranians with threats would regret it.
Trump was asked in a brief appearance in the press cabin aboard Air Force One about Rouhani’s reported remarks to a rally in Tehran to celebrate the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.
Rouhani was quoted in media reports as saying Iran had shown in the 38 years since the revolution that “it will make anyone who speaks to Iranians with the language of threats regret it.”
“He better be careful,” Trump said.
Trump on Feb. 2 put Iran “on notice” over charges that Tehran violated a nuclear deal with the West by test-firing a ballistic missile, taking an aggressive posture toward Iran that could raise tensions in the region.
Trump made the comments about Rouhani while flying on the presidential jet carrying him and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for a weekend at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago retreat in Palm Beach, Florida.

Photography and interview by Samra Habib

Who: Samira, Toronto

I was born in Tehran, Iran. I have very faint memories from that time, some I would like to erase and some are irretrievable. I can tell you however that there were always people over at our house and there were always lively debates happening, usually centred around world affairs and politics. My parents ingrained in me a deep appreciation for social and political justice; from a very young age.

My parents’ relationship with Islam is tainted and tumultuous; revolution and the establishment of an Islamic republic in Iran has coloured their lens when they see Islam, and all religions. For them Islam is coupled with hangings, executions, fascism, misogyny and political power. For them, Islam does not mean peace. But that was not always their relationship with the religion.

My last name is Mohyeddin, which means revivifier of religion and I am trying to live up to my last name but I am on my own revivification quest which is intertwined very much with carving a place for the queer community, not just in Islam but in my native Iran where homosexuality is still punishable by death.

Islam has always been at the centre of my life but not as a worshipper or someone who submits to anything or anyone else’s will. I am aware of how it has affected my life, both mentally and geographically. The Islamic revolution in Iran resulted in my leaving the country; the subsequent taking of American hostages by Iranians resulted in me being taken hostage by my class mates; the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, resulted in me having extra security measures in place when travelling to the United States. Again, all these things have happened to me as a result of other people’s perceptions of Muslims. Perhaps that is why I was so determined to not hide my sexuality and to live my life out loud; I want to smash peoples perceptions. For most people, I am not Muslim enough or at all and for others, I am not queer enough, whatever that even is.  

I think that a lot of challenges queer Muslims face are also the same challenges Muslims face in general and a lot of that comes from other people’s perceptions. Becoming a face or spokesperson for something is a challenge. There is not just one type of Islam yet the community is often painted with the same brush. I think the queer Muslim community needs to avoid falling into the trap of having to provide answers to questions that supply a unifying message. Diversity is our strength and we should nurture that.


Neshat created the Women of Allah series between 1993 and 1997 upon returning from a trip to Iran after many years in exile during and following the 1979 Islamic Revolution. In this series, the veiled, gun-bearing women and the black-and-white photograph format suggest newspaper clippings showing Iranian women’s involvement in the Iran-Iraq War and Islamic Revolution. Handwritten verses over the body often act as an analogue to the spoken word and quote feminist poets and writers such as Furugh Farrukhzad and Tahira Saffarzada.

Shirin Neshat, Women of Allah

Photographer Abbas Chronicles ‘What People Do In The Name Of God’

In the late 1970s, photographer Abbas’ interest in bearing witness took him to his native Iran, during that country’s Islamic Revolution. He initially viewed the uprising in Iran as a revolt of the people, but gradually he saw it had been usurped by the mullahs. It was then that Abbas decided to focus his camera on the religions of the world.

“Before the Iran revolution I had no desire to photograph religion,” he explains. “But covering the revolution for two years I could see that the waves of passion [that were] raised by the revolution were not going to stop at the borders of Iran.”

Abbas spent seven years chronicling Islam, then he moved on to other faiths, such as Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Paganism and Shamanism.

“What I’m interested in is not only the personal belief, it’s what people do in the name of God — sometimes the great things, and sometimes the stupid and violent things they do in his name — that’s more interesting to me,” he explains.

Photo: Students of the Al Azhar college in Jakarta, Indonesia attend Friday prayer in the auditorium in 1989. Courtesy of Magnum