Who was Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Ayatollah Khomeini (Ayatollah is a religious title, not a name) was the leader of Iran from 1979 until his death in 1989.

The Ayatollah Khomeini was a very important religious leader in Iran by the early 1960s.  At that time, he started to speak out against the government of the country.  The country of Iran was ruled by a monarch called the Shah of Iran who was supported by the United States.  The Shah's government was very repressive and eventually forced Khomeini into exile in 1964.

By the late 1970s, people in Iran were getting very upset with the Shah's rule.  The critics of the Shah were led by Khomeini from his exile.  When the Shah was finally overthrown in 1979, Khomeini returned to Iran to take power.

Khomeini is best known in the US for having led Iran during the Iran Hostage Crisis of 1979 to 1981.

jaylissa | Student

Ayatolla Ruhollah Khomeini was a Iranian religious leader, politician and also the leader of the 1979 Iranian revolution