Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD FIRST SOURSCE ( (c) Oxford University Press, 2013. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford FIRST SOURCE for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 31 July 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Sayyed Ruhollah Mostafavi Mosavi Khomeini, or Ayatollah Khomeini (1902–1989), was the leader of the Iranian revolution of 1979. After the downfall of the ruling Shah (King), Khomeini, who had been living in exile in Paris, returned to Iran and became the Supreme leader, the highest political and spiritual office in the country. He held this position until his death. Under his rule, the principle of Velayet-e-faqih—a Shi’a political concept that gave religious clerics political power—was enshrined in the postrevolutionary constitution. This excerpt from his Message puts the struggles in Iran in a global context, as many nations around the world were caught up in proxy wars between the superpowers of the Cold War, the Soviet Union and the United States. Trumpeting a new Muslim unity (tawhid), Khomeini depicts Muslim leaders who make deals with the “infidel” Americans as traitors, prefiguring the coming fundamentalist Islamic opposition to both superpowers, especially the Soviets in Afghanistan, but notably the resistance to American power in the Middle East.

From Jussi Hanhimäki and Odd Arne Westad, The Cold War: A History in Documents and Eyewitness Accounts. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004, pages 563–4.

Access to the complete content on Oxford First Source requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.