40 years later, the many legacies of Iran’s revolution
Today, the Iranian government in Tehran completes their formal 40th anniversary celebration of the revolution that launched the current Islamic Republic. The celebration came with continued anti-American sentiment for the U.S. support of the Shah, although the country’s supreme leader noted that “death to America” chants do not mean “death to all Americans,” but only “death to Trump, John Bolton, and Pompeo…it means death to American rulers.” American rulers have continued to pressure Iranian rulers, describing the revolution in 1979 as a “betrayal” of the people who it has since oppressed, and accusing the government of financing terrorism around the world. The Iranian revolution in 1979 played a critical role in the following development in the Middle East, including the nascent growth of Shi’a terrorist movements. “The Iranian revolution affected the political thinking in the region in terms of introducing religion as a changing tool to fight oppression and corruption,” said one Palestinian historian. It has also been blamed as the source of an escalating sectarian clash pitting Sunni and Shia muslims against each other. In Saudi Arabia, the Crown Prince described the revolution’s contribution to strengthening orthodoxy and extremism across the Arabian peninsula. As Iran’s domestic problems rise to the surface, it remains unknown how more liberal elements across the country, elements who saw their revolution as hijacked by religious radicals, will push for a voice and for change.