Today in Middle Eastern history: Khomeini returns from exile (1979)

For some period of time leading up to February 1, 1979, it can plausibly be argued that the most popular person in Iran wasn’t in Iran. That person, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, took a while to reach that level of fame. Khomeini had been critical of modernization (which he identified with Westernization) since the 1940s, when… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: Khomeini returns from exile (1979)

Today in Middle Eastern history: Khomeini returns from exile (1979)

For some period of time leading up to February 1, 1979, it can plausibly be argued that the most popular person in Iran wasn’t in Iran. Ruhollah Khomeini had been critical of modernization (which he identified with Westernization) since the 1940s, when he came into his own as a scholar and teacher. But it wasn’t… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: Khomeini returns from exile (1979)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Iran Hostage Crisis begins (1979)

It hasn’t even been 40 years since a group of Iranian students from an organization called “Muslim Student Followers of the Imam’s Line,” possibly with the pre-approval of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, stormed the American embassy in Tehran and took 66 US citizens hostage. Thirteen of them would be released within three weeks, and another was… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Iran Hostage Crisis begins (1979)

Conflict update: January 9 2017

Apologies; normally I like to keep things more active around here, but I’m working on a big piece for LobeLog and it’s taking a while to get through it. It’s a long Q&A with a couple of respected foreign policy analysts about the Obama foreign policy legacy. And while you might think that sounds easy,… Continue reading Conflict update: January 9 2017

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Iran Hostage Crisis begins (1979)

Originally posted on and that's the way it was:
It’s only been 36 years since a group of Iranian students from an organization called “Muslim Student Followers of the Imam’s Line”, on their own volition though possibly with the approval of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, stormed the American embassy in Tehran and took 66 US…

Today in Middle Eastern history: Khomeini returns from exile (1979)

For some period of time leading up to February 1, 1979, it can plausibly be argued that the most popular person in Iran wasn’t in Iran. Ruhollah Khomeini had been critical of modernization (which he identified with Westernization) since the 1940s, when he came into his own as a scholar and teacher. But it wasn’t… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: Khomeini returns from exile (1979)