December 3, 1979: Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini Becomes Leader of Iran
On this day in 1979, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was made Supreme Leader of Iran during the midst of a hostage crisis with the United States. A month earlier, over 60 Americans were held hostage by a group of Iranian students after storming the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. The remaining 52 hostages were released in January 1981 after 444 days of captivity.
Read FRONTLINE’s “The Hostage Crisis, 30 Years On” article for a timeline of events and more details.
Photo: Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (PBS.org)
The official birthdate of our darkest period.
"What’s terrible is to pretend that second-rate is first-rate. To pretend that you don’t need love when you do; or you like your work when you know quite well you’re capable of better.”
Doris Lessing, born in Iran (then known as Persia) and brought up in the African bush in Zimbabwe, a Marxist-turned-Sufi novelist, playwright, poet, author of ”feminist bible” - The Golden Notebook, librettist, sci-fi writer, and the eleventh woman to ever receive the Nobel Prize in Lit, dead at 94.
"Those books subjected to censorship or denied permission to be published in the past will be reviewed again and new decisions will be made. Our approach towards freedom of the press and books, as well as relaxing the atmosphere for writers and thinkers, is different from the past and its results will gradually become apparent."
"Iranians have been making fun of Netanyahu’s ignorance about the realities of life in Iran after he said they were banned from wearing jeans. Picking up a little bit of Persian slang might help."
Banned Books week — September 22nd - 28th, 2013