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In November 4, 1979, Iranian students broke into the US embassy for a sit-in. They held the US embassy staff hostage exactly 444 days until the day Reagan entered office.
Previous to this situation, the CIA had overthrown the democratically elected Prime Minister Mossadegh after he nationalized US and British oil company property in Iran in 1953. BP and Shell lobbied the US government to reinstate the Shah and regain the lost oil properties.
For years, Iranians stewed on this misfortune and were further enraged by the CIA, which trained the hated secret police Savak to keep public order.
Khomeini had protested for years the rule of the Shah and orchestrated his return from Europe, which picked up via International news his disturbing of the peace in Iran. Additionally, he stressed no mercy for the old regime and once in power, no openness to ideas from the liberals. It was his way or the highway regardless. He was quoted as saying, "I shall kick their teeth in. I appoint the government."
On his return the free press was disbanded and overtaken. Popular song writers and musicians were banned to be played. Dissenters were jailed. Religious police were formed. Traditional clothing for women was strictly enforced.
Then the students overtook the US embassy. It was surprisingly popular across multiple sectors of the Iranian population. This event help cristalize the power of the Imans over the other liberals that had protested in the street. So Khomeini conviently played out this drama as long as possible to strengthen his hand.
After this "success", Khomeini decided to go to war against Iraq. Both powers wanted to liberate each other of theocracy or secularism. The US gave WMD to Saddam to be used against Iran. Saddam used the chemical weapons on Iran as well as his own people.
Three decades later, protesters in Iran stood up to the fraudulent reelection of President Ahmadinejad. The government responded by using motorcycle gangs with chains to terrorize students and protesters. Protesters were even shot, like the case of Neda, who became a martyr of the protests.
Now that Iranians are seeing the long-term damage caused by allowing such brutality and anti-US approach to politics, they are reconsidering the direction of their internal politics.
In 2012, Argo was released by Ben Affleck. It was a nail-biter movie of the surprise escape of 6 of the embassy staff via Canadian embassy and CIA help. This film became an underground black-market hit inside Iran. The people of Iran saw the same tactics recently used against its own citizens.
Size: 24 x 48 inches
Frame: Frameless, ready to hang
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ColorSnap: Sherwin-Williams wall paints to match this painting