Ayatollah Ruhullah Mosavi Khomeini was the founder of the Islamic Republic and the leader of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which put an end to centuries of autocratic rule in Iran. People believe the scale of Imam Khomeini’s impact transcends Iran’s boundaries.
Imam Khomeini passed away in 1989 at the age of 86, almost a decade after the victory of the Islamic Revolution, which saw the overthrow of the US-backed Pahlavi regime in Iran, headed by Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, known as the ‘Shah’.
Imam Khomeini spent many years in exile in Iraq, Turkey, and France, from where he led a swelling grassroots movement, which ultimately ousted the Shah and led to the formation of the Islamic Republic.
He laid the foundation of the Islamic Republic following a referendum held in 1979 when more than 98 percent of Iranians voted ‘yes’ to the Islamic Republic.
Imam Khomeini is remembered as the pioneer of a new era in Iran’s history. An era that put centuries of monarchy behind and upended the Shah’s domestic and foreign policies, replacing them with a political system that tries to rule the country based on the motto of independence from the west.