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The Story of the Revolution

Part 3:
The Last Struggle
of the Army

Iran was paralysed. The country was torn between two powers and their supporters: the government appointed by the Shah with Dr. Shahpour Bakhtiar as the prime minister, and Ayatollah Khomeini's provisional government led by Mr. Mehdi Bazargan.
The reaction of the army was now the main concern of both sides.

Ayatollah Khomeini rejected the repeated demands made on him to order an armed confrontation.
Instead he attempted to woo the army into joining him:
Ayatollah Khomeini
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Dr Karim Sanjabi, the provisional government's Foreign Minister, was concerned that the army, the last remaining bastion of the Shah's regime would attempt a coup d'etat.
He believed that such a move would only lead to civil war:
Dr Karim Sanjabi
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But the military commanders, such as General Qarabaghi, believed that the orders left by the Shah were to avoid bloodshed at all costs.
He was concerned an attempted coup would have a bloody, inconclusive outcome:
General Qarabaghi

Ayatollah Khomeini was gaining support in the army.
His advisors had been in contact with some generals and senior officers for some time.
And some lower ranking officers, especially the Air Force cadets, had joined the revolution.
According to Admiral Ahmad Madani, the role of the cadets was critical:

Admiral Ahmad Madani

By the night of the 9th of February 1979 the tensions within the army could no longer be contained.
Armed conflict broke out at the Doshan Tappeh Garrison between the Imperial Guard and the Air Force cadets.
This was precisely the day when General Qarabaghi was meant to be inspecting the garrison:

Armed conflict breaks out
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News of the fighting in the army - which resulted in a number of deaths - brought the people on to the streets.
Curfew regulations were ignored and barricades set up.
The air was heavy with the smoke of burning tyres and rubbish.
There were sporadic explosions.
The army brought forward the curfew to late afternoon - fueling rumours of a possible coup.
Ayatollah Khomeini and his Prime Minister, Mr. Bazargan, urged their supporters to ignore the new curfew:
Mr. Bazargan
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Many people did ignore the new regulations and continued protesting into the night.
On February the 10th 1979 Dr. Bakhtiar met with the military commanders at the National Security Council to discuss the situation:
Protests
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Just a few hours later, fighting broke out in the machine-gun production plant.
General Qarabaghi was kept informed of developments:
Fighting breaks out
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Throughout the night there was chaos and confusion.
General Qarabaghi and Dr. Bakhtiar differ in their versions of what happened that night.
Dr. Bakhtiar asked for reinforcements:


Dr. Bakhtiar
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But under the orders of General Qarabaghi the troops returned to the barracks:
Troops returned to the barracks
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Part 1:
Ayatollah Khomeini returns
Part 2:
One country - two governments
Part 3:
The last struggle of the army
Part 4:
Revolution Day
Who's who..........
...... what they said...



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