Iran season
A special series of programmes on the 30th anniversary of the Iranian revolution.
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2009 08:16 GMT

On February 1, 1979, Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini returned from exile to Tehran, where he was greeted by millions of Iranians at the airport.

Days earlier the last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, had fled the country, a year after public demonstrations had begun against his rule.

His departure signalled the culmination of the Iranian Islamic revolution.

Thirty years on, Al Jazeera presents a series of special programmes analysing the political circumstances prior to the revolution and how Iranian society has been shaped by the events of 1979.

We hear from eyewitnesses who personally knew the Shah and the Ayatollah, dissect the anatomy of the revolution and report from Iran on how the country has changed.

Legacy of a Revolution

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It has been three decades since revolution transformed Iranian society.

Thirty years after the founding of the Islamic republic, the ideals that inspired the uprising continue to inform every day life in modern Iran.

So how has the revolution managed to sustain itself through war, international isolation, economic sanctions, and regional turbulence?

And how has Iranian society changed since the seismic upheaval of 1979?

Anatomy of a Revolution

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After decades of royal rule millions of Iranians took to the streets in a popular movement against a regime that was seen as brutal, corrupt and illegitimate.

Revolutionary forces under the leadership of Grand Ayatollah Khomeini, forced the Shah of Iran into exile; overthrowing his government and replacing it with a new Islamic order.

Anatomy of a Revolution tells the story of those days and the events that followed.

I Knew Khomeini

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Grand Ayatollah Khomeini - the architect and face of the Iranian revolution.

Rarely in modern history has a man who did not seek power come to wield so much of it. A leading religious scholar, he became the spiritual leader of the Iranian revolution.

Rageh Omaar recounts how he replaced the last Shah of Iran through those who knew him best.

I Knew the Shah

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"There was a paradox at the heart of the man," says Abbas Milani, the biographer of the Shah.

When Pahlavi fled Iran on January 16, 1979, never to return, it was an inglorious end for a man who was both a moderniser and an autocrat.

To his supporters he was a patriot, to his critics a Western puppet.

Rageh Omaar talks to those who knew him to find out who the self-proclaimed king of kings really was.

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