CAIRO — Forty years have passed since the Iranian Revolution in which the U.S.-backed government of Shah Mohammad Reza Pavlavi collapsed and the Islamic Republic was born. The events also saw the return to Iran of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini after 14 years in exile in France. Now, Iran's first elected president, who was later ousted by Khomeini, tells VOA that he and many of his fellow revolutionaries felt betrayed by the ayatollah, whom they never realized intended to set up a new dictatorship.
For those who remember Iran's 1979 revolution, the moment that Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's plane arrived in Tehran from Paris was the moment when the old monarchic regime of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi collapsed, giving way to the new Islamic Republic.
Abolhassan Bani Sadr, who became Iran's first elected president shortly thereafter, was on board that historic flight from Paris to Tehran, and recalls for VOA how he felt when the plane landed at Tehran's Mehrabad Airport.
He says that we were full of hope and almost completely convinced that the objectives and principles of the revolution, which were put forward by (Ayatollah Khomeini) would be achieved, and that (Khomeini) would be a barrier to all those forces seeking to return the country to the past.
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