Iranian Revolution of 1978/9 Introduction In this critical and analytical essay, I would discuss and evaluate modern revolution theories in connection with the Iranian revolution of 1978-79 brought by the masses in the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini. The Iranian revolution may be termed as the most successful, long term and lastingly effective and brought a real change in the whole socio-economic and political spheres of Iran. The entire Middle East experienced a revival of Islamic militancy in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s. The increasing tensions in the Persian Gulf brought Iran and the United States to the brink of war in the summer of 1988.
The killing of hundreds of Iranian pilgrims in Mecca by Saudi security forces in the summer of 1987 severely damaged the fragile relationship existing between the two countries. Lebanon is torn by religious and factional strife in which the revival of Islam plays a significant role. Kuwait—a relatively prosperous and stable country in the Gulf region—has been the target of occasional bombing since 1983, and in 1985 there was an assassination attempt against its leader, the Emir Sheikh Jaber Al-Sabah.
Bahrain barely escaped an attempted coup d'état that threatened to create an Iranian type of Islamic republic in December of 1981. For the analysis of the topic and evaluate the theory of revolutions with its illustrations, it is necessary to discuss and examine revolutions occurred in various parts of the world. I think the most influential of the current era revolutions is that of Iran that happened in 1978. That same year President Anwar Sadat of Egypt was assassinated by a Muslim fundamentalist group. Saudi Arabia, which was purported to be "monotonously stable, " has experienced occasional demonstrations by the Shi'ite population in its eastern province.
The highlight of the growing opposition to the Saudi regime culminated in an armed rebellion and the seizure of the Grand Mosque of Mecca by a group of Sunni Muslim fundamentalists in the autumn of 1979. The late General Zia Al-Haq of Pakistan deemed it necessary to implement Islamic law, the Shari'a, and to revive the Islamic code of justice in the face of the rising tide of Islamic fundamentalism.
Afghan Muslim rebels are continuously challenging the Soviet-backed regime in Kabul. I affirm at this very initial stage and declare that the new Islamic challenge has not been confined to the Middle East alone. From the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand to Morocco and Tunisia to Yugoslavia and Bulgaria, the Muslim minorities are becoming more assertive in opposition to their respective secular regimes. Although significant in themselves, these events are only a partial manifestation of a broader Islamic Revival for which the Iranian Revolution was a major catalyst. The emergence of this Islamic Revival has been the source of much theoretical debate and has induced numerous political conclusions.
Demythification of the ideological composition of the Islamic movement in Iran is the key to the comprehension of this revival. This is especially true when seen in light of the fact that the two major sects of Islam, Sunnism and Shi'ism, have converged in recent times.