Feb. 01, 2011
In early 1979, when the news concerning Imam Khomeini’s decision to return to Iran spread, those who had followed his journey throughout the 14 years in exile shed tears of joy.
However, his followers were worried about his life, for the shah’s brutal government was still in power and martial law remained in force.
Therefore, some suggested the postponement of his return until conditions were more favorable, Tebyan reported.
A multi-million congregation of risen people, in the US’s view, meant the end of the monarchical reign in Iran. Rumors about the threat of sabotaging his aircraft or a coup attempt were voiced to make the Imam postpone his return. Even the French president of the time interceded.
However, Imam Khomeini had already decided and had told the Iranian people through a message that he wished to be among them in those decisive and fateful days.
The then government, in coordination with General Huyser, closed all airports to foreign flights. A huge crowd from all over the country poured into Tehran and millions of people took part in the demonstrations, demanding that airports be opened.
A number of clergymen and political personalities organized a sit-in in Tehran University’s mosque, pending the opening of the airports. After several days, the government, unable to resist, accepted the people’s demand.
Finally, in the morning of 1 February 1979, Imam Khomeini arrived in his homeland. The unprecedented reception by the people was so massive and undeniable that the western news agencies had to broadcast it and estimated the number of people greeting the Imam to be between 4 and 6 millions.
People lined the entire length of the route from the airport to Behesht-e Zahra--the burial site of the martyrs of revolution--to hear the Imam’s historical speech.
It was in this speech that Imam Khomeini raised his voice and said, "I will designate a government with the support of this nation.”
A few days later, Imam Khomeini declared Bazargan as the provisional prime minister of the revolutionary government.
Bazargan was a religious man with a record of opposition against the shah’s regime. He was involved in the movement for the oil industry nationalization and was recommended by the Revolutionary Council for the post of prime minister.
In his appointment decree, Imam Khomeini specified that the premier is tasked with making arrangements for the referendum and elections.
At that time, political groups, whose heads and members were freed from the regime’s prisons by the blessings of the people’s revolution at the threshold of the nation’s victory, voiced their support for Imam Khomeini and vowed to help set up a genuine Islamic republic.
Imam Khomeini faced many challenges on different fronts. On the one hand, he had to formulate guidelines that will shape the legal, political and administrative framework for establishing an Islamic Republic. This is while he had to confront a spectrum of demands and disruptions from those attached to the shah’s regime, former intelligence agents, Communists and political groups opposed to the Imam’s ideology.
On the other, foreign enemies were making all-out efforts to prevent the emergence of the Islamic system by imposing pressures from within and abroad.
However, Imam Khomeini succeeded in establishing the Islamic republic of Iran against all odds by relying on divine help and the wide support of Iranians. Iranians mark the Ten-Day Dawn ceremonies during Feb.1-11, which commemorate Imam Khomeini’s return from exile, which led to the 1979 victory of the Islamic Revolution.