Ruhollah Khomeini

Ayatollah Khomeini founded the first modern Islamic republic

Ayatollah Seyyed Ruhollah Khomeini (آیت‌الله روح‌الله خمینی in Persian) (May 17, 1900 – June 3, 1989) was an Iranian Shi'a Muslim cleric, and the political and spiritual leader of the 1979 Islamic Revolution which saw the overthrow of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran. Khomeini was considered a spiritual leader to many Shi'a Muslims, and ruled Iran from the Shah's overthrow to Khomeini's own death in 1989. In Iran, he is officially addressed as Imam rather than Ayatollah, and his supporters also adhere to this convention. Khomeini is considered by many as one of the most influential men of the 20th century, and was named Time Magazine's Man of the Year in 1979.

Life in exile

He was born in the town of Khomein as Ruhollah Mousavi (روح‌الله موسوی in Persian) in 1900. As a descendent of the prophet Muhammad, he was entitled to use the style Sayyid before his name. Khomeini was named an ayatollah in the 1950s. In 1964 he was exiled from Iran for his constant criticisms of the government of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. He was sent initially to Turkey, before later being allowed to move to Iraq, where he stayed until being forced to leave in 1978, after which he went to Neauphle-le-Château in France. According to Alexandre de Marenches (then head of the French secret services), France suggested to the Shah that they could "arrange for Khomeini to have a lethal accident"; the Shah declined the assassination offer, arguing that this would make him a martyr. After the murder of Ali Shariati, a prominent revolutionary philosopher, Khomeini became one of the most influential opponents to the rule of the Shah, being perceived as the spiritual leader of those fighting his rule. During his exile, Khomeini wrote a book titled Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists, which laid out his beliefs as such: that all laws in an Islamic society should be based on the laws of Islam, all laws and activities should be monitored by clerical authorities on Islamic law (guardians), there should be no monarch (that Islamic countries should become republics and not monarchies). Khomeini believed that the leader of an Islamic Republic should be a Faqih (Islamic Jurist), who should be selected by a group of clerics. This Faqih would have absolute authority, and could only be removed from power by that very same group of clerics. Though the public cannot vote for the Faqih, according to the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, a group of clerics called the Assembly of Experts is voted in by the citizens of Iran every eight years, and they select the Faqih. The leader of Iran is usually addressed as the “Supreme Leader.” The book provides an insight on the eventual political background of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Khomeini replaced the Shah's government with a religious system dominated by the clergy.

Return to Iran

Only two weeks after the Shah left Iran on January 16, Khomeini returned to Iran, on Thursday, February 1, 1979, invited by the anti-Shah revolution which was already in progress. Western media sources estimated that up to six million revolutionaries welcomed him. Khomeini declared a provisional government, with Mehdi Bazargan as its prime minister, on February 11. On March 30 and 31, 1979, the provisional government asked all Iranians sixteen years of age and older to vote in a referendum on the question of accepting an Islamic Republic as the new form of government. Over 98% voted in favour of replacing the monarchy with an Islamic republic. Subsequent elections were held to approve of the newly-drafted constitution. Along with the position of the Supreme Leader, the constitution also requires that a president be elected every four years, but only those candidates approved indirectly by the Council of Guardians may run for the office. Khomeini himself became Supreme Leader for life, as "Leader of the Revolution". On February 4, 1980 Abolhassan Banisadr was elected as the first president of Iran.

Hostage crisis

On November 4, 1979 a group of students, all of whom were ardent followers of Khomeini, raided the United States embassy in Tehran, and took as hostage 63 American citizens. Three additional hostages were taken at the Iranian Foreign Ministry. Thirteen of the 66 hostages were released within two weeks, and one more in July 1980. The remaining fifty men and two women were held for 444 days — an event usually referred to as the Iran hostage crisis. The hostage-takers justified this violation of long-established international law as a reaction to the American refusal to hand over the Shah for trial. Supporters of Khomeini named the embassy a “Spy Den”, and fifty volumes of official and secret documents were gathered from it. Khomeini stated on February 23, 1980 that Iran's Parliament would decide the fate of the American embassy hostages, demanding that the United States hand over the Shah for trial in Iran. President Jimmy Carter launched a commando mission to rescue the hostages, but the attempt was thwarted when the helicopters failed under unexpected desert conditions in Tabas. Some Iranians considered this to be a miracle. Many commentators point to this failure as a major cause for Carter's loss in the following elections to Ronald Reagan. See also October Surprise.

Iran-Iraq war

Shortly after taking power, Khomeini began calling for similar Islamic revolutions across the Middle East. Led by Saddam Hussein, the secular republic of Iraq, ambitious to occupy its oil-rich neighbor (particularly Khuzestan province) and believing Iran to be weakened and in a state of turmoil, invaded Iran, starting what would become the decade-long Iran-Iraq war. The Iraqi invasion of Iran, supported by the United States to contain the ideological spread of Islamic revolution in the oil-rich Persian Gulf states, ironically enhanced Khomeini's stature and allowed him to consolidate and stabilize his leadership. During the war, the people of Iran rallied around Khomeini and his regime, and his personal popularity and power became unmatched, as Khomeini urged Iranians to fight for their country and religion, against secular Iraq.

Life under Khomeini

Under Khomeini's rule, Islamic law was instituted, with the Islamic dress code being strictly enforced for both men and women. While freedom of speech and freedom of the press continued to be just as curtailed as it was under the Shah, the oppression by the "morality police" made life extremely difficult for those opposed to the veil (hijab). Khomeini became the center of a large personality cult, and opposition to the religious rule of the clergy or Islam in general was often met with harsh punishments. In the immediate aftermath of the Revolution, there were many allegations of systematic human rights abuses, including mass executions, and torture.

In early 1989, Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for the killing of Salman Rushdie, claiming that Rushdie's murder was a religious duty for Muslims, because of Rushdie's alleged blasphemy against Muhammad. The Satanic Verses, Rushdie's novel which examines the integration of Indian characters into modern Western culture, implies that the Qur'an was not properly preserved. Rushdie's book contains passages that some Muslims – including Ayatollah Khomeini – considered offensive to Islam and Muhammad. The issuance of the fatwa caused many Westerners, particularly those on the left who had generally been in favor of the Revolution against the Shah, to reconsider their support of Khomeini.

Death and funeral

After eleven days in a hospital for an operation to stop internal bleeding, Khomeini died on Saturday, June 3, 1989. During the funeral, Tehran fell into chaos, requiring cancellation of the funeral, and new plans for a second funeral. Khomeini's first funeral was aborted by Iranian officials, after a large mob stormed the funeral procession, nearly destroying Khomeini's wooden coffin in order to get a glimpse of his body. At one point, Khomeini's body actually fell to the ground, as the crowd attempted to grab pieces of the shroud. Over ten thousand people were said to have been injured.

The second funeral was held under much tighter security. Khomeini's casket was made of steel, and it was surrounded by heavily armed security personnel. It was said that a crowd of more than nine million supporters of Khomeini gathered around the burial location, which itself was not supposed to have been revealed at the time.

Political thought and legacy

Although considered a fundamentalist by the western countries, most Iranians believe that among Shia clerics, Khomeini was actually one of the reformists of his time. He made many reforms to the shia clerical ahkaam which were revolutionary in their own time, and many Iranian clerics were against him on those cases. His most famous fatwas are the ones allowing Muslims to play chess, allowing the Iranian Muslim TV to show women without hijaab, and allowing gender-change surgeries in hospitals (Iran has now become the only country in the region with the technology). It is even said that Khomeini was personally against the hijaab being compulsory in Iran, and it was done under the pressure of hard-liner pressure groups, some years after the 1979 revolution.

Throughout his many writings and speeches, Khomeini consistently promoted his vision of a technocratic Islamic society, guided by the morality and ethics of the clergy. He believed in a free market economy, with respect for private ownership, and that businesses and corporations should be encouraged to contribute to religious charitable foundations which would benefit the poor. He advised against allowing wealthy individuals to participate in the government, and that politicians should follow his example and live a modest, frugal lifestyle, devoid of elitism and excess.

He was strongly against close relations with Western and East bloc nations, and believed that Iran should strive towards self-reliance. He viewed certain elements of Western culture as being inherently evil, and a corrupting influence upon the youth. As such, he often advocated the banning of popular Western fashions, music, cinema, and literature. His ultimate vision was for Islamic nations to converge together into a single unified power, in order to avoid alignment with either side (the West or the East), and he believed that this would happen at some point in the near future.

Khomeini's ideas did not originally find favor amongst the orthodox Iranian Shi'a clergy of the time, most of whom did not oppose the monarchy. While such clerics generally adhered to widely-accepted conservative theological schools of thought, Khomeini believed that interpretations should change and evolve, even if such changes were to radically differ from tradition, and that a cleric should be moved by divinely inspired guidance. In contrast with clerical mores of the day, he led an ascetic lifestyle, being deeply interested in Sufism, and was against the accumulation of land and wealth by the clergy (despite the fact that land reform had been a major cause of the mullahs' anger against the Shah). Towards the 1979 Revolution, many clerics gradually became disillusioned with the rule of the Shah, and began supporting Khomeini's vision of an Islamic Republic.

While Khomeini had never been a major figure amongst leftist intellectuals and activists prior to the Revolution, many of his political and religious ideas were considered by them to be progressive and reformist. However, they did not support many of his other views which conflicted with their own, in particular those that dealt with issues of secularism, women's rights, freedom of religion, and the concept of velayat-e-faqih (Guardianship of the Clergy).

Many of the democratic and social reforms that he had promised did not come to pass during his lifetime, and when faced with such criticism, Khomeini often stated that the Islamic Revolution would not be complete until Iran becomes a truly Islamic nation in every aspect, and that democracy and freedom would then come about "as a natural result of such a transformation". Khomeini's definition of democracy existed within an Islamic framework, his reasoning being that since Islam is the religion of the majority, anything that contradicted Islam would consequently be against democratic rule. His last will and testament largely focuses on this line of thought, encouraging both the general Iranian populace, the lower economic classes in particular, and the clergy to maintain their commitment to fulfilling Islamic revolutionary ideals.

Some centrist and reformist politicians, such as Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mohammad Khatami, have instituted or advocated policies which have led to conflicts with the current Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the Judiciary, and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. While the hard-line Iranians consider these policies as being opposed to Khomeini's principles, the reformers, especially Mohammad Khatami, claim that they are in exact accordance with Khomeini's style, referring to his constant warnings against extremism, and his views about freedom of speech.

These policies have been viewed by some as having alienated the lower economic classes, allowing wealthy elites to dominate the government, promoting closer relations with the West, and potentially disconnecting Khomeini from the future evolution of the Islamic Republic. Such factors played an important part in the victory of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who adheres closely to Khomeini, in the 2005 presidential elections.

Family and descendants

In 1929, Khomeini married the daughter of a cleric in Tehran. They had seven children, though only five survived infancy. His daughters all married into either merchant or clerical families, and both his sons entered into religious life. The elder son, Mostafa, died in 1977 while in exile with his father in Najaf, Iraq. Ahmad, the younger son, died in 1995, under mysterious circumstances.

Khomeini's granddaughter, Zahra Eshraghi, is married to Mohammad Reza Khatami, head of the Islamic Iran Participation Front, the main reformist party in the country, and is considered a pro-reform character herself.

Khomeini's grandson, Hossein, is a high-profile cleric, who is strongly against the system of the Islamic Republic. [1] After the 2003 American-led invasion of Iraq, he relocated to the holy city of Karbala.


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[1] After the 2003 American-led invasion of Iraq, he relocated to the holy city of Karbala. By the time of his death in 1989 of prostate cancer, he was almost completely estranged from them, and his children are reported to have only learned of his death through the print media. Khomeini's grandson, Hossein, is a high-profile cleric, who is strongly against the system of the Islamic Republic. Shockley had a stormy relationship with his three children. Khomeini's granddaughter, Zahra Eshraghi, is married to Mohammad Reza Khatami, head of the Islamic Iran Participation Front, the main reformist party in the country, and is considered a pro-reform character herself. This caused Graham to broaden his criteria to allow distinguished and healthy looking men to donate, and 215 babies were born as a result.[4]. Ahmad, the younger son, died in 1995, under mysterious circumstances. No children were conceived with any of the Nobel Prize sperm, however, the publicity that came with Shockley's announcement created a demand for the material.

The elder son, Mostafa, died in 1977 while in exile with his father in Najaf, Iraq. The bank, called by the media the "Nobel Prize sperm bank," claimed to have three Nobel Prize-winning donors, though Shockley was the only one to come forward publicly. His daughters all married into either merchant or clerical families, and both his sons entered into religious life. Perhaps it was his beliefs about eugenics that led him to donate sperm to the Repository for Germinal Choice, a sperm bank founded by Robert Klark Graham in hopes of spreading humans' best genes. They had seven children, though only five survived infancy. Shockley's published writings on this topic, such as in Letters to the Editor of the Palo Alto Times, were largely based on the research of Cyril Burt. In 1929, Khomeini married the daughter of a cleric in Tehran. He thought this work was important to the genetics of the population, and came to describe it as the most important work of his career, even though it severely tarnished his reputation.

Such factors played an important part in the victory of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who adheres closely to Khomeini, in the 2005 presidential elections. Shockley believed that the higher rate of reproduction among African Americans was having a "dysgenic" effect, and expressed an interest in eugenics. These policies have been viewed by some as having alienated the lower economic classes, allowing wealthy elites to dominate the government, promoting closer relations with the West, and potentially disconnecting Khomeini from the future evolution of the Islamic Republic. (See also IQ:Genetics vs environment and Race and intelligence). While the hard-line Iranians consider these policies as being opposed to Khomeini's principles, the reformers, especially Mohammad Khatami, claim that they are in exact accordance with Khomeini's style, referring to his constant warnings against extremism, and his views about freedom of speech. He was subsequently attacked in the media, for eugenics had become unpopular after its manifestations under the Nazis in WWII. Some centrist and reformist politicians, such as Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mohammad Khatami, have instituted or advocated policies which have led to conflicts with the current Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the Judiciary, and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. News & World Report in 1963, he "fell into the trap of discussing race," as one biographer writes.[3] He noted that intelligence research shows a genetic factor in intellectual capacity and that tests for IQ indicate that African Americans have an average IQ 15 points lower than the population average.

His last will and testament largely focuses on this line of thought, encouraging both the general Iranian populace, the lower economic classes in particular, and the clergy to maintain their commitment to fulfilling Islamic revolutionary ideals. In an interview with U.S. Khomeini's definition of democracy existed within an Islamic framework, his reasoning being that since Islam is the religion of the majority, anything that contradicted Islam would consequently be against democratic rule. In 1963 he gave a speech at Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota suggesting that the people least competent to survive in the world were the ones reproducing the fastest, while the best of the human population was using birth control and having fewer children. Many of the democratic and social reforms that he had promised did not come to pass during his lifetime, and when faced with such criticism, Khomeini often stated that the Islamic Revolution would not be complete until Iran becomes a truly Islamic nation in every aspect, and that democracy and freedom would then come about "as a natural result of such a transformation". In his later life, Shockley began giving speeches on population problems, an issue that had interested him since his wartime trips to India. However, they did not support many of his other views which conflicted with their own, in particular those that dealt with issues of secularism, women's rights, freedom of religion, and the concept of velayat-e-faqih (Guardianship of the Clergy). A group of about 30 colleagues have met on and off at Stanford since 1956 to reminisce about their time with Shockley and his central role in sparking the information technology revolution, its organizer saying "Shockley is the man who brought silicon to Silicon Valley." [2].

While Khomeini had never been a major figure amongst leftist intellectuals and activists prior to the Revolution, many of his political and religious ideas were considered by them to be progressive and reformist. Shockley Semiconductor did not, however, make Shockley a fortune or even turn a profit. Towards the 1979 Revolution, many clerics gradually became disillusioned with the rule of the Shah, and began supporting Khomeini's vision of an Islamic Republic. This moment can be pointed to as the birth of silicon valley. In contrast with clerical mores of the day, he led an ascetic lifestyle, being deeply interested in Sufism, and was against the accumulation of land and wealth by the clergy (despite the fact that land reform had been a major cause of the mullahs' anger against the Shah). Other offspring companies of Fairchild Semiconductor include National Semiconductor and Advanced Micro Devices. While such clerics generally adhered to widely-accepted conservative theological schools of thought, Khomeini believed that interpretations should change and evolve, even if such changes were to radically differ from tradition, and that a cleric should be moved by divinely inspired guidance. Moore, who themselves would leave Fairchild to create Intel.

Khomeini's ideas did not originally find favor amongst the orthodox Iranian Shi'a clergy of the time, most of whom did not oppose the monarchy. Among the "Traitorous Eight" were Robert Noyce and Gordon E. His ultimate vision was for Islamic nations to converge together into a single unified power, in order to avoid alignment with either side (the West or the East), and he believed that this would happen at some point in the near future. In late 1957 eight of his researchers, whom he named the Traitorous Eight, resigned and joined Fairchild Camera and Instrument Corporation to form a semiconductor division. As such, he often advocated the banning of popular Western fashions, music, cinema, and literature. Meanwhile his demands to create a new and technically difficult device, now known as the Shockley diode, meant that the project was moving very slowly. He viewed certain elements of Western culture as being inherently evil, and a corrupting influence upon the youth. It was later demonstrated the cut was due to a broken thumbtack on the office door, and from that point the research staff was increasingly hostile.

He was strongly against close relations with Western and East bloc nations, and believed that Iran should strive towards self-reliance. In one famous incident he claimed that a secretary's cut thumb was an attempt to poison him, and he demanded lie detector tests to find the culprit. He advised against allowing wealthy individuals to participate in the government, and that politicians should follow his example and live a modest, frugal lifestyle, devoid of elitism and excess. "His way" could generally be summed up as "domineering and increasingly paranoid". He believed in a free market economy, with respect for private ownership, and that businesses and corporations should be encouraged to contribute to religious charitable foundations which would benefit the poor. Instead he started scouring universities for the brightest graduates to build a company from scratch, one that would be run "his way". Throughout his many writings and speeches, Khomeini consistently promoted his vision of a technocratic Islamic society, guided by the morality and ethics of the clergy. With his prestige and Beckman's capital, Shockley attempted to lure some of his former colleges from Bell Labs to his new lab, but none of them would come to join him.

It is even said that Khomeini was personally against the hijaab being compulsory in Iran, and it was done under the pressure of hard-liner pressure groups, some years after the 1979 revolution. In 1955, he joined Beckman Instruments, where he was appointed as the Director of Beckman's newly founded Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory division in Mountain View, California. His most famous fatwas are the ones allowing Muslims to play chess, allowing the Iranian Muslim TV to show women without hijaab, and allowing gender-change surgeries in hospitals (Iran has now become the only country in the region with the technology).
Eventually he was given a chance to run his own company as a division of his Caltech friend's successful electronics firm. He made many reforms to the shia clerical ahkaam which were revolutionary in their own time, and many Iranian clerics were against him on those cases. Shockley was a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in physics in 1956, along with Bardeen and Brattain. Although considered a fundamentalist by the western countries, most Iranians believe that among Shia clerics, Khomeini was actually one of the reformists of his time. He resigned from Bell Labs in 1953 and moved back to the California Institute of Technology.

It was said that a crowd of more than nine million supporters of Khomeini gathered around the burial location, which itself was not supposed to have been revealed at the time. Shockley wanted the power and profit he felt he deserved. Khomeini's casket was made of steel, and it was surrounded by heavily armed security personnel. His abrasive management style caused him to be passed over for executive promotion at Bell Labs, which correctly felt he was a greater asset as a research scientist and theorist. The second funeral was held under much tighter security. Bardeen eventually quit, while Brattain refused to work with Shockley further. Over ten thousand people were said to have been injured. Shockley later blocked the two from working on the junction transistor.

At one point, Khomeini's body actually fell to the ground, as the crowd attempted to grab pieces of the shroud. This further infuriated and alienated Bardeen and Brattain. Khomeini's first funeral was aborted by Iranian officials, after a large mob stormed the funeral procession, nearly destroying Khomeini's wooden coffin in order to get a glimpse of his body. Shockley was a popular speaker/lecturer and was often consulted by Washington (DC) and the military. During the funeral, Tehran fell into chaos, requiring cancellation of the funeral, and new plans for a second funeral. The ensuing publicity generated by the "invention of the transistor" limelighted Shockley. After eleven days in a hospital for an operation to stop internal bleeding, Khomeini died on Saturday, June 3, 1989. He obtained a patent for this invention.

The issuance of the fatwa caused many Westerners, particularly those on the left who had generally been in favor of the Revolution against the Shah, to reconsider their support of Khomeini. This would lead to the junction transistor, invented by Shockley on July 5, 1951. Rushdie's book contains passages that some Muslims – including Ayatollah Khomeini – considered offensive to Islam and Muhammad. He also conceived of the possibility of minority carrier injection that led to his concepts for a sandwich transistor weeks later. The Satanic Verses, Rushdie's novel which examines the integration of Indian characters into modern Western culture, implies that the Qur'an was not properly preserved. During this time Shockley worked out the critical ideas of drift and diffusion and the differential equations that govern the flow of electrons in solid state crystals. In early 1989, Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for the killing of Salman Rushdie, claiming that Rushdie's murder was a religious duty for Muslims, because of Rushdie's alleged blasphemy against Muhammad. Shockley's name was not on the resulting patent.

In the immediate aftermath of the Revolution, there were many allegations of systematic human rights abuses, including mass executions, and torture. Although the patent appeared breakable, Bell Labs decided it could not risk the chance of its patent being rejected, and therefore based its patent application only on the Bardeen-Brattain design. Khomeini became the center of a large personality cult, and opposition to the religious rule of the clergy or Islam in general was often met with harsh punishments. Bell Lab attorneys soon discovered that Shockley's field effect principle had been anticipated and patented in 1930 by Julius Lilienfeld. While freedom of speech and freedom of the press continued to be just as curtailed as it was under the Shah, the oppression by the "morality police" made life extremely difficult for those opposed to the veil (hijab). At the same time he secretly continued his own work to build a different sort of transistor based on junctions instead of point contacts; he expected this kind of design would be more likely to be viable commercially. Under Khomeini's rule, Islamic law was instituted, with the Islamic dress code being strictly enforced for both men and women. He made efforts to have the patent written in his name only and told Bardeen and Brattain of his intentions.

During the war, the people of Iran rallied around Khomeini and his regime, and his personal popularity and power became unmatched, as Khomeini urged Iranians to fight for their country and religion, against secular Iraq. Even so, Shockley thought he should have the patent, since the team's work was motivated by Shockley's idea using field effects. The Iraqi invasion of Iran, supported by the United States to contain the ideological spread of Islamic revolution in the oil-rich Persian Gulf states, ironically enhanced Khomeini's stature and allowed him to consolidate and stabilize his leadership. December of 1947 was Bell Labs' "Miracle Month", when Bardeen and Brattain succeeded in creating a point-contact transistor -- without Shockley. Led by Saddam Hussein, the secular republic of Iraq, ambitious to occupy its oil-rich neighbor (particularly Khuzestan province) and believing Iran to be weakened and in a state of turmoil, invaded Iran, starting what would become the decade-long Iran-Iraq war. Shockley insisted on working alone, leaving his two researchers by themselves, occasionally dropping by to direct their work. Shortly after taking power, Khomeini began calling for similar Islamic revolutions across the Middle East. In the mid 1940's, Shockley's group, consisting of Bardeen and Brattain, sought a solid-state alternative to fragile glass vacuum tube amplifiers.

See also October Surprise.. Davisson at Bell Labs in New Jersey, and began moving up the management ladder. Many commentators point to this failure as a major cause for Carter's loss in the following elections to Ronald Reagan. C.J. Some Iranians considered this to be a miracle. After receiving his doctorate, he immediately joined a research group headed by Dr. President Jimmy Carter launched a commando mission to rescue the hostages, but the attempt was thwarted when the helicopters failed under unexpected desert conditions in Tabas. Notably, the title of his doctoral thesis was Calculation of Electron Wave Functions in Sodium Chloride Crystals..

Khomeini stated on February 23, 1980 that Iran's Parliament would decide the fate of the American embassy hostages, demanding that the United States hand over the Shah for trial in Iran. Born in London, England, to American parents, and raised in California, he received his Bachelor of Science degree from the California Institute of Technology in 1932 and his doctorate from MIT in 1936. Supporters of Khomeini named the embassy a “Spy Den”, and fifty volumes of official and secret documents were gathered from it. In his later life, Shockley was a "superb" professor at Stanford.[1]. The hostage-takers justified this violation of long-established international law as a reaction to the American refusal to hand over the Shah for trial. His attempts to commercialize a new transistor design in the 1950s and 60s led directly to the creation of Silicon Valley. The remaining fifty men and two women were held for 444 days — an event usually referred to as the Iran hostage crisis. William Bradford Shockley (February 13, 1910 – August 12, 1989) American physicist, eugenicist and co-inventor of the transistor with John Bardeen and Walter Houser Brattain, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics.

Thirteen of the 66 hostages were released within two weeks, and one more in July 1980. It's an experience which I've remembered since, and advised people not to be stopped at the first point." -Shockley. Three additional hostages were taken at the Iranian Foreign Ministry. I argued with some clerical person in the administration office, and was stopped there. On November 4, 1979 a group of students, all of whom were ardent followers of Khomeini, raided the United States embassy in Tehran, and took as hostage 63 American citizens. And the rule was that if you had an incomplete in anything, you were not allowed to take an overload. On February 4, 1980 Abolhassan Banisadr was elected as the first president of Iran. Because I'd sprained my ankle I had an incomplete in gym, phys ed.

Khomeini himself became Supreme Leader for life, as "Leader of the Revolution". I was not allowed to take spherical trigonometry because I'd sprained my ankle. Along with the position of the Supreme Leader, the constitution also requires that a president be elected every four years, but only those candidates approved indirectly by the Council of Guardians may run for the office. "I had one experience which gave me some slant on the way large organizations run. Subsequent elections were held to approve of the newly-drafted constitution. "I am overwhelmed by an irresistible temptation to do my climb by moonlight and unroped." Shockley, 1947. Over 98% voted in favour of replacing the monarchy with an Islamic republic.

On March 30 and 31, 1979, the provisional government asked all Iranians sixteen years of age and older to vote in a referendum on the question of accepting an Islamic Republic as the new form of government. Khomeini declared a provisional government, with Mehdi Bazargan as its prime minister, on February 11. Western media sources estimated that up to six million revolutionaries welcomed him. Only two weeks after the Shah left Iran on January 16, Khomeini returned to Iran, on Thursday, February 1, 1979, invited by the anti-Shah revolution which was already in progress.

Khomeini replaced the Shah's government with a religious system dominated by the clergy. The leader of Iran is usually addressed as the “Supreme Leader.” The book provides an insight on the eventual political background of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Though the public cannot vote for the Faqih, according to the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, a group of clerics called the Assembly of Experts is voted in by the citizens of Iran every eight years, and they select the Faqih. This Faqih would have absolute authority, and could only be removed from power by that very same group of clerics.

Khomeini believed that the leader of an Islamic Republic should be a Faqih (Islamic Jurist), who should be selected by a group of clerics. During his exile, Khomeini wrote a book titled Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists, which laid out his beliefs as such: that all laws in an Islamic society should be based on the laws of Islam, all laws and activities should be monitored by clerical authorities on Islamic law (guardians), there should be no monarch (that Islamic countries should become republics and not monarchies). After the murder of Ali Shariati, a prominent revolutionary philosopher, Khomeini became one of the most influential opponents to the rule of the Shah, being perceived as the spiritual leader of those fighting his rule. According to Alexandre de Marenches (then head of the French secret services), France suggested to the Shah that they could "arrange for Khomeini to have a lethal accident"; the Shah declined the assassination offer, arguing that this would make him a martyr.

He was sent initially to Turkey, before later being allowed to move to Iraq, where he stayed until being forced to leave in 1978, after which he went to Neauphle-le-Château in France. In 1964 he was exiled from Iran for his constant criticisms of the government of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Khomeini was named an ayatollah in the 1950s. As a descendent of the prophet Muhammad, he was entitled to use the style Sayyid before his name.

He was born in the town of Khomein as Ruhollah Mousavi (روح‌الله موسوی in Persian) in 1900. . Khomeini is considered by many as one of the most influential men of the 20th century, and was named Time Magazine's Man of the Year in 1979. In Iran, he is officially addressed as Imam rather than Ayatollah, and his supporters also adhere to this convention.

Khomeini was considered a spiritual leader to many Shi'a Muslims, and ruled Iran from the Shah's overthrow to Khomeini's own death in 1989. Ayatollah Seyyed Ruhollah Khomeini (آیت‌الله روح‌الله خمینی in Persian) (May 17, 1900 – June 3, 1989) was an Iranian Shi'a Muslim cleric, and the political and spiritual leader of the 1979 Islamic Revolution which saw the overthrow of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran.

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