A Century of Struggle for Democracy
Iran Constitutional Revolution: Popular protests nationwide force
the Qajar king, Mozzaffar Od-Din Shah, to sign the constitutional
decree. Irans first parliament is convened.
The Qajar king puts parliament under siege, ordering its bombardment
by artillery fire. Leaders of the Constitutional movement are arrested.
Uprisings in Tabriz led by Sattar Khan and Bagher Khan spread to
Isfahan, Lar, Shiraz, Hamedan, Mashhad, Astar Abad, Bandar Abbas
and Bushehr within four months. Freedom fighters capture the Capital,
Tehran. The Parliament reconvenes.
Uprisings lead by Mirza Koochak Khan Jangali in northern Iran, Sheikh
Mohammad Khiabani in northwest Iran, Col. Mohammad Taghi Khan Pesyan
in northeast Iran against ruling dictatorship.
July 21 nationwide uprising brings Dr. Mohammad Mossadeq to power
forcing the Shah to flee Iran. Mossadeq had nationalized Irans
oil industry a year earlier.
In August, a CIA engineered coup successfully topples Dr. Mossadeq.
In December, three student leaders, Mehdi Shariat Razavi, Ahmad
Qandchi, and Mostafa Bozorgnia are murdered during student uprising
Dr. Hossein Fatemi, Foreign Minister during Mossadeqs tenure,
executed on the order of the Shah.
In September, the Peoples Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI)
is formed. Founding members Mohammad Hanifnejad, Saeed Mohsen and
Ali Asghar Badizadegan embrace a democratic Islam, rejecting
the mullahs fundamentalist interpretation of the religion,
and Marxist philosophy.
Members of the Peoples Fadayeen Organization clash with Security
Forces in Siahkal, northern Iran, marking the start of armed struggle
against the Shah.
Sweeping raids by SAVAK in August and September results in the arrest
of PMOI founding members, Central Committee and ninety percent of
Massoud Rajavis death sentence commuted to life imprisonment
in April, after intervention by Francois Mitterrand, Jean Paul Satre
and Amnesty International.
Muslim intellectual Dr. Ali Shariati tries to enlighten the masses,
particularly students in an effort to create social change. His
denunciation of fundamentalist views gained popularity among young
SAVAK raids eliminate Mojahedins Muslim leadership, enabling
Marxist elements to infiltrate and carry out a coup within PMOI.
The Marxists murder remaining PMOI Muslim leaders outside prisons,
declare the movement Marxist, and assassinate U.S. officers and
Massoud Rajavi, while in prison, denounces Marxists coup,
demands they release their hold on PMOI.
Khosto Golesorkhi and Keramatollah Daneshiyan, two renowned political
Several other leading political prisoners, including Bijan Jazani,
executed in Evin prison.
Anti-Shah uprising gains steam, forcing the Shah to flee Iran.
Ayatollah Khomeini returns to Iran. In the absence of democratic
leaders, he assumes the leadership of the revolution, calls for
the establishment of an Islamic State.
The Peoples Mojahedin boycotts vote on Constitution, declares
it undemocratic, despotic.
Massoud Rajavi is nominated as candidate for President. Khomeini
vetoes Rajavis candidacy despite earlier pledge not to intervene
in the election.
The Peoples Mojahedin takes part in parliamentary election.
Despite widespread government rigging and fraud, it receives 17
percent of vote nationally, compared to the ruling Islamic Republic
Partys 26 percent, but the regime prevents PMOI candidates
from taking their seats in Parliament.
Khomeini orders compulsory veiling for women, Mojahedin women rally
to denounce forced veiling, defend womens right to choose
their own clothing.
PMOI organizes half-a-million strong demonstration in Tehran against
dictatorship. Khomeini orders a crackdown. Revolutionary Guards
open fire. Dozens are killed, hundreds wounded and thousands arrested
and executed within days. The reign of terror begins.
Massoud Rajavi announces the formation of the opposition coalition,
the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in Tehran, and
flies to Paris to introduce the opposition coalition and expose
Irans rights record.
5,000 parliamentarians, government figures and dignitaries voice
support for NCRIs peace plan to end the Iran-Iraq war.
Rajavi leaves Paris to Iran-Iraq frontier after French strike deal
with Tehran to get their hostages released in Beirut.
National Liberation Army of Iran (NLA) is formed.
NLA liberates Iranian city of Mehran, takes 1,500 prisoners, $2
billion worth of war booty.
Khomeini drinks the chalice of poison of ceasefire with
Khomeini issues fatwa to massacre 30,000 political prisoners in
NLA launches Ethernal Light Operation, thrusts 170 km
to the gates of Kermanshah, largest city in western Iran.
NCRI votes to elect Maryam Rajavi as President for transitional
period after the fall of the mullahs. She flies to Paris to begin
a new political, diplomatic initiative.
Maryam Rajavi addresses 25,000 Iranians at Earls Court in
London, calls for an international front against fundamentalism.
Mohammad Khatami becomes president in Iran. U.S. State Department
designates the PMOI as terrorist as a goodwill gesture to Khatami.
A majority in the U.S. House of Representatives denounces blacklisting
of PMOI, calls on the State Department to revoke the designation.
Nationwide uprising in July by thousands of students and young people
in Tehran and other cities. Dozens are killed or wounded, and thousands
arrested by Security Forces.
NCRI reveals secret nuclear weapons sites in Natanz and Arak, central
U.S., British planes bomb PMOI bases in Iraq as part of a quid pro
quo with Tehran.
U.S. signs ceasefire, cooperation agreement with PMOI. U.S. 4th
Infantry Division Commander, Maj. Gen. Raymond Odierno calls for
review of PMOI status by the State Department.
U.S. acknowledges that a 16 months investigation of all PMOI personnel
found no basis to charge any of its members with the violation of
U.S. laws or links to terrorism, and recognizes their status as
protected persons under fourth Geneva Convention.
Maryam Rajavi addresses the European Parliament in Strasbourg, rejects
appeasement of Tehran, foreign military intervention, and calls
for third option to bring about regime change by Iranian people
and their organized resistance.