Ayatollah Taleghani, one of the leading clerical figures in the Iranian Revolution, died early on Monday (Sept. 10) 1979.
Ayatollah Taleghani, one of the leading clerical figures in the Iranian Revolution, died early on Monday (Sept. 10) 1979. His death was received with widespread public mourning and an official announcement that he had been head of the Council of Revolution in Iran, a body whose membership is secret yet which effectively rules the country. Only two days beforehand, the Ayatollah Taleghani had led a million Iranians in prayer at a remembrance ceremony for those who died at the start of the Revolution a year earlier.
More than a million people paraded in the streets of Teheran on Friday (Sept 7) to mark the first anniversary of the iranian Revolution. Their march was to commemorate "Black Friday" - September the eighth 1978, when material law troops opened fire on anti-Shah demonstrators in Teheran's Jaleh Square.
The marchers' destination was Beheshte Zahra cemetery, where prayers were held in memory of those who died in the Jaleh Square and in the subsequent bloody clashes between police and Islamic demonstrators.
Next day, (September 8) the crowds re-grouped for another commemorative march; this time the focal point was Jaleh Square itself, where according to the country's new Islamic rulers, as many as four thousand demonstrators were killed on "Black Friday" last year.
The Ayatollah Mahmoud Taleghani led the crowds in prayer at what was to be one of his last public appearances. Two days later, the 68 year-old Ayatollah died of a heart attack at his Teheran home. An official announcement revealed that the Ayatollah, known to be one of the most powerful although liberal religious figures in Iran, had also been head of the country's Council of Revolution. News of his death prompted a declaration of three days' national mourning throughout the country.