The Iranian Revolution also known as the Islamic Revolution or the 1979 Revolution; refers to events involving the overthrow of the Pahlavi dynasty under Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, who was supported by the United States and its eventual replacement with a National republic under the Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the revolution, supported by various leftist and Islamic organizations and Iranian student movements. Demonstrations against the Shah commenced in October 1977, developing into a campaign of civil resistance that included both secular and religious elementsand which intensified in January 1978. Between August and December 1978 strikes and demonstrations paralyzed the country. The Shah left Iran for exile on January 16, 1979, as the last Persian monarch, leaving his duties to a regency council and an opposition-based prime minister. Ayatollah Khomeini was invited back to Iran by the government, and returned to Tehran to a greeting by several million Iranians.
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