Magazine March 11, 2019, Issue

Be Careful What You Revolt For

An Iranian passes a poster of the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in front of Tehran University. (REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl//File Photo)
Forty years after Khomeini took power, Iranians are still suffering for their revolution

The 40th anniversary of the Iranian revolution has sparked the usual lamentations from many Iranians. They revolted for democracy only to have the Machiavellian mullahs hijack their revolution and squash its liberal aspirations.

Such soothing revisionism is the wont of Persians, especially those who now live in the West and routinely contort history to fit their preferred narrative. The uncomfortable truth: In 1979, the vast majority of Iranians wanted an Islamic government. They may not have understood all the dimensions of the theocracy that Ruhollah Khomeini was contemplating, but they certainly wanted their spiritual leaders to oversee the temporal realm.


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In This Issue



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