IRDC.IR: January 16th, 1979, Muhammadreza Pahlavi and Farah left Iran for good.
In an hour or so, Iran was filled with happiness and joy to hear this news. UK and US ambassadors and agents memories of the day Muhammadreza ran away is so interesting, as they describe people's reactions and also Shah's humiliation.
What comes next, is about the day Muhammadreza ran away, according to US last ambassador in Iran, William Sullivan, General Robert Huyser and UK ambassador Antoine Parsons' diaries:
William Sullivan, says how Shah was begging him asking: "where should I go?" And he describes: "Shah left Iran and as soon as the news spread, Tehran was full of unexampled excitement and enthusiasm. The trucks had young men on board and they dropped them off in Takhet-e-Jamshid street. The celebration lasted for 3-4 hours with people rallying and cars blowing horn. With Shah being gone, Shapour Bakhtiar was responsible for the government.
Robert Huyser says: "There were a lot of people all over the streets and when Shah was gone, and when they were told that Shah had left Iran, they all reacted together. We went on the balcony, people in the cars were blowing horns, and demonstrators had come to the streets and the whole city were celebrating. This was hard to explain. People's spontaneous celebration lasted for 2-3 hours. We got reports that people had started to take down statues of Shah and his family. Across from the telecommunications office in Sepah square, there was a big beautiful statue of Reza Shah on horseback that people took it down. We were told that 5-6 other decades-old statues were destroyed. Actually they were killing Shah symbolically.
Antoine Parsons, UK ambassador, also pictures Iran's status after Shah ran away: "Bakhtiars cabinet and his plans were confirmed by the council in January 16th and they left Iran the same day. My wife and I,with other embassy staff and their families were in the yard. Suddenly the whole city exploded with happiness and relief. Cars were moving with their lights on and drivers blew horns. People were stomping and shouting in the streets and kissing soldiers! High circulation of newspapers were distributed and statutes of Shah and his father were taken down from city squares. These are what I remember of that long afternoon and nation's infinite happiness.
We were standing at embassy front door. People waved at us and gave us the newspaper with the headline: "Shah is gone."
Embassy security soldiers were wise enough to smile and let people climb their armored vehicles to chant slogans, while the gun barrels was blocked with flowers. I had never seen such a thing.
Translated by: Roya Jalali