Iran Sword of a Relentless Revolution

Ayatullah Ruhollah Khomeini: 1900-1989

He came to symbolize everything the West found incomprehensible and baffling about the East: his intense, ascetic spirituality and air of otherworldly detachment; his medieval, theocratic mind-set, which drew its parallels and precedents from the Islamic world of the 7th century; the mystical certitude that he spoke in the name of God, his country and Muslims everywhere.

Yet when Tehran Radio announced early this week that the Ayatullah Ruhollah Khomeini, Iran's revolutionary zealot, was dead at 89, millions of his countrymen mourned the loss. They did so even though the movement he led plunged them into a devastating war with Iraq...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!