Irdc: On 1 February 1979, Imam Khomeini returned to Iran after 14 years. The welcoming ceremony was so glorious, surprising the whole world. US embassy covered the ceremony in several confidential reports.
Imam Khomeini's heroic return to Iran
On 31 January 1979, Washington wrote to diplomatic deputies: "Iran is waiting for [Imam] Khomeini. The time-honored revolutionary will return from 15 years of exile, tomorrow at 9:00 am local time. Only 50 chosen people have the right to welcome him at the airport" the report also mentioned the broad protests and disorder among the martials.
The embassy report from 1 February 1979 mentioned: "As planned, Ayatollah Khomeini entered Mehrabad airport at 9:00. So many people, more than the allowed 50, were at the airport (almost 1000 people)".
Cyrus Vance, then US Secretary of State, wrote in a report to diplomatic deputies: "A huge crowd are standing at both sides of the path from Mehrabad to Behesht-e-Zahra. People are celebrating on the packed streets, the auto horns honked furiously. This could be heard all around the embassy. Ayatollah attracts a lot of people everywhere he goes.
A political intelligence report from the embassy to Washington mentioned that his car was moving very slowly, finding its way through the welcoming people, heading to the cemetry of Tehran. Imam Khomeini had cancelled his plan of a short speech in front of the University of Tehran. He intended to say his prayers in the cemetery, and give his speech to the people afterwards.
US embassy in Tehran, talks about the welcoming ceremony in his diaries: "On 1 February 1979, Imam Khomeini entered Iran with some reporters, on a 747 Air France plane. A huge crowd welcomed their religous leader, from the airport to the cemetery which many revolutionaries were buried in. The TV finally had acceped to fully cover the ceremony under pressure. It seemed that Bakhtiar Administration was collapsed and some of the authorities had already left the country. Although Bakhtiar kept giving speeches and having interviews, but every the eyes were on Ayatollah Khomeini. He said he would appoint the administration, and he did so in a few days, introducing Bazargan as the head of his government.
His speech drove attentions from all around the world, and was in news headlines immediately. The US embassy reporter, started his report from Imam's speech with this statement: "We are at the end of the monarchs era"