Iran has been marking the 30th anniversary of its Islamic Revolution.
Beginning 10 days of celebrations, Iranian leaders paid tribute to Ayatollah Khomeini, the man who led the uprising. A large poster of the late cleric was placed by the doors of an Air France aircraft to remember the moment he stepped back onto Iranian soil 30 years ago. Visiting a shrine to the Republic’s founder, Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared the revolution is “alive and kicking,” adding “we are still at the beginning of the path of bigger developments to come.” Khomeini arrived in Tehran on 1 February 1979 after returning from exile in France. He had always refused to go back to Iran until the US-backed Shah had left. Then on January 16, 1979 the Shah, who had ruled for 4 decades, did leave for a holiday never to return. This allowed the cleric to make a triumphant homecoming. It would take another 10 days for the regime of the Shah to finally collapse. Becoming supreme religious and political leader, Khomeini would lead Iran until his death in 1989.