Imam Khomeini returned Iran after 14 years of exile

Imam Khomeini , the founder of the Islamic Republic, returned to Iran on February 1, 1979, after 14 years of exile imposed by the then-Iranian monarch (Shah) Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

ID: 51934 | Date: 2018/02/06
Only two weeks after the Shah fled Iran on January 16, 1979, Imam Khomeini returned to Iran triumphantly, on Thursday, February 1, 1979, invited by the anti-Shah revolution which was already in progress.

Estimates put the welcoming crowd of Iranians at least three million. When Imam Khomeini was on plane on his way to Iran after many years in exile, a reporter, Peter Jennings asked him: "What do you feel?" and surprisingly Imam Khomeini answered "Nothing!"

In a speech given to a huge crowd on the first day of returning to Iran, Imam Khomeini attacked the government of Shapoor Bakhtiar, the puppet regime installed by Shah. 

On February 11, Imam Khomeini declared a provisional government. 

On March 30, 1979, and March 31, 1979, the provisional government asked all Iranians sixteen years of age and older, male and female, to vote in a referendum on the question of accepting an Islamic Republic as the new form of government and constitution. 

 Through the ballot box, over 98% voted in favor of replacing the monarchy with an Islamic Republic. Subsequent elections were held to approve of the newly-drafted Constitution.