- Black Friday (1978)
Black Friday was named after the protests that occurred on
September 8, 1978(17 Shahrivar 1357 AP) in Zhaleh Square Tehran, Iran. The Iranian Government declared martial lawin response to protests against the Shah's Rule. According to the anti-government sources, the military of Iran used deadly force, including tanks and helicopter gunships, to break up the largely peaceful demonstrators. Unsubstantiated reports at the time put the death toll at 88 to 89 demonstrators (including three women) cite web|url=http://www.emadbaghi.com/en/archives/000592.php#more| title=A Question of Numbers] cite web|url= http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761588431/Islamic_Revolution_of_Iran.html|title= Islamic Revolution of Iran] cite web|url= http://www.internews.org/visavis/BTVPages/Theislamicrevolution.html#Black_Friday|title= Black FridayThe 600 figure is not the confirmed number. It comes from the exaggerated reports of the revolutionaries at the time.] killed.
The clerical leadership announced that "thousands have been massacred by Zionist troops." [Taheri, "The Spirit of Allah" (1985), p. 223.] Official accounts dealing with the history of the Islamic revolution write of "15,000 dead and wounded". However the non-Persian-speaking troops were later reported to have been Iranian ethnic Kurds, not Israelis, who had been fired on by snipers. According to Emad al-Din Baghi, a former researcher at the Martyrs Foundation (Bonyad Shahid) hired "to make sense of the data" on those killed fighting the Shah's regime, 64 killed were killed in Jaleh Square on Black Friday, among them two females – one woman and a young girl. On the same day in other parts of the capital a total of 24 people died in clashes with martial law forces, among them one female. [ [http://www.emadbaghi.com/en/archives/000592.php#more A Question of Numbers Web: IranianVoice.org August 08, 2003 Rouzegar-Now Cyrus Kadivar ] ] In the mean time, the appearance of government brutality alienated much of the rest of the Iranian people as well as the Shah's allies abroad.
Protests continued for another four months. A
general strikein October shut down the petroleumindustry that was essential to the administration's survival, "sealing the Shah's fate". [Moin, "Khomeini" (2000), p. 189.] Support for the Shah, in Iran and abroad, dissolved clearing the way for the Iranian Revolution, led by Ayatollah Khomeini, which saw the abolition of the monarchyless than a year later.
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