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From The Archives: Khomeini's Return To Iran

The return of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to Iran on February 1, 1979, after 14 years of exile marked a turning point in Iranian history. Millions of Iranians turned out to greet Khomeini as he arrived from Paris. Iran's ruler, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, had left the country two weeks earlier. In March 1979, Khomeini became the country's supreme leader with the passage of a new constitution.

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini shortly before leaving Paris on February 1, 1979
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Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini shortly before leaving Paris on February 1, 1979

Khomeini leaving the Air France Boeing 747 jet that flew him back from exile. On his chartered flight, 120 journalists accompanied him.
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Khomeini leaving the Air France Boeing 747 jet that flew him back from exile. On his chartered flight, 120 journalists accompanied him.

Crowds estimated at up to 5 million people gather in Tehran to show support for Khomeini on the day of his return.
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Crowds estimated at up to 5 million people gather in Tehran to show support for Khomeini on the day of his return.

Khomeini addresses adoring crowds with his son Ahmad on February 1, 1979.
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Khomeini addresses adoring crowds with his son Ahmad on February 1, 1979.

Khomeini gives his first speech at the Behesht Zahra cemetery after his return on February 1, 1979.
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Khomeini gives his first speech at the Behesht Zahra cemetery after his return on February 1, 1979.

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and his son Seyed Ahmad Khomeini
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Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and his son Seyed Ahmad Khomeini

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