IRDC.IR: Following the offensive article published by Etelaat newspaper January 7 1979, with the title "Iran and Red and Black Colonization", protests started all over the country and the leading point was the January 9 1979 uprising in Qom.
Antoine Parsons, UK ambassador in Iran believes that this uprising was the result of Pahlavi regime's fatuity and says: "A couple of days after president Carter left Iran, the government unintentionally lightened the gunpowder that caused a great explosion, an explosion which overthrew the Pahlavi dynasty in almost a year. It had been a while that governors were worried about the destructive effects of the cassette tapes of [Imam] Khomeini's speeches on the public mind. On January 1, it was decided to discredit [Imam] Khomeini... . A detailed article was published in one of the country's most important and high circulated newspapers, including detailed accusation of [Imam] Khomeini about his personal background, manner, honor and religious competence and identity."
Parson analyzes this move in his diaries: "Many believe that this was a personal decision made by the the intelligence minister, Dariush Homayoun, but due to the hierarchical structure of Pahlavi regime, this decision could've been made by Shah, SAVAK or the whole cabinet. But it's enough to mention that the way they'd chosen to make this move, was a great foolishness."
The UK ambassador expresses this action and the massacre ordered by agents of the regime: "This article being published in a time that country was facing an unprecedented religious a political unrest, caused immediate reactions. On January 9, people started a large protest in Qom, the holy city which was [Imam] Khomeini's moral home. Things got out of control of the local police. For the first time since 1963, the armed forces were inducted and they opened fire on people as it was planned before or to create panic among people. A number of people were killed, less than 10 according to the government and almost 100 according to the adversaries. The whole country were shocked by the incident. The crisis was intensified between the government and the religious Muslim leaders. Several mosques were shut in Tehran and the religious leaders had announced that the ceremony for the 40th day of people murdered in Qom was going to be held."
US embassy report about the uprising of January 9 1979
The 9 January epic represented Iranian nation's deep interest in Marja-i Taqlids (sources of emulation) and specifically Imam Khomeini. Furthermore, this movement revealed the role of religious forces in people's awakening and uprising. US embassy had noticed this and it's written in embassy report to Washington: "In the past two weeks, specially after what happened on January 9 in Qom, the religious opposition's ideas are just clear. Qom incident made religious characters be more specific about organisational situation. Iran's diffused and religious structure might be the only suitable area for opposition activities in an extensive network. If things related to the religious society takes place, religious interests will provide a huge human source for the protests and rallies.
Translated by: Roya Jalali