The Khomeini Era: Iran Becomes a Theocracy

There is hope for peaceful change as the Ayatullah returns from exile

Patrick Chauvel / Sygma / Corbis

The chartered Air France 747 circled over the city and past the nearby Elburz Mountains three times before settling down gently on the tarmac of Tehran's Mehrabad Airport. As aides and reporters milled about, the frail old man, wearing a black turban and ankle-length robes, stepped out of the aircraft's door into the chill February morning. His back hunched, he clutched the arm of an Air France purser as he walked down the portable ramp to touch Iranian soil. After 15 years in exile, Ayatullah...

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