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Iran Finds Its Revolutionary: Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini on Law and Politics

Posted on 10/20/2016

Ruhollah_Khomeini_speaking_to_his_followers_against_capitulation_day_1964.jpgHe ended a 2500-year monarchy in his country, deposing Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in the process. He coined the term “Great Satan” in response to American intervention in Iran. Under his regime Iranians stormed the American Embassy, taking (and ultimately releasing) 52 hostages in 1979-1981. He was Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” in 1979. He issued the fatwa calling for the death of Salman Rushdie, and he invited Soviet President Gorbachev to consider Islam as an alternative to communism. Khomeini was clearly a man of strong opinions who was not afraid of the spotlight.

In the selections below from the Translations on Near East and North Africa series in Joint Publications Research Service (JPRS) Reports, Khomeini appears in a more distilled form, no less zealous but further from the barricades. His firebrand rhetoric is still here, but his early writings especially show him to be a serious legal and religious scholar, devoted to his people and his faith.

Islamic Government, by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeyni

No. 1897. (Publication data not given. Arabic, [1969-1970]) 78 pages

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Collection of Speeches, Position Statements by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeyni

No. 1902. (From the Papers of Imam Khomeyni against Imperialist Zionist and Reactionist Powers. Arabic, 1977) 34 pages

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Khomeyni Interview on Islamic Revolutionary Movement

No. 1909. (Beirut, Lebanon: Al-Safir. Arabic, 18-19 January 1979) 28 pages

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Imam Khomeyni versus Imperialism, Zionism, Reactionism

No. 1920. (Editions Abudar. French, 1977) 20 pages

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For more information about Joint Publications Research Service (JPRS) Reports, 1957-1994, or to request a trial for your institution, please contact

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