Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini
|Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini|
|Date and place of birth|| May 17, 1900|
Khomeyn, Persia (now Iran)
|Parents|| Mustapha Musavi|
Hajieh Agha Khanum
|Claimed religion||Shia Islam|
|Children|| Mostafa • Zahra|
Sadiqeh • Farideh
|Date & Place of Death|| June 3, 1989 (age 89)|
|Manner of Death||Series of heart attacks|
|Country||Islamic Republic of Iran|
|Highest rank attained||Supreme leader|
|Date of dictatorship||December 3, 1979|
|Wars started|| Iranian Revolution|
|Number of deaths attributed||Between 400,000+ - 1,000,000+|
The Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini (May 17, 1900 - June 3, 1989) was a Shiite Muslim who took control of Iran as its de facto dictator after a revolution overthrew in 1979 one of the twin pillars of Western cooperative security arrangements in the Persian Gulf, the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. President Reagan criticized Khomeini as "a maniacal fanatic who has slaughtered thousands and thousands of people calling it executions."
The Ayatollah came to power as part of US President Jimmy Carter's "Human Rights" policy. William Miller, chief of staff on the US Senate Intelligence Committee, said America had nothing to fear from Khomeini since he would be a progressive force for human rights. U.S. Ambassador William Sullivan compared Khomeini to Mahatma Gandhi.”
In 1979, the Ayatollah Khomeini created the Basij Mostazafan a mass movement of young people under 17 years of age. When the Iran-Iraq War started in 1980, Khomeini issued a fatwa and promise of paradise and they were incorporated into the Iranian military. The Iranian clergy took over command from the regular military leaders in mid-1982. In July 1982 Iran launched Operation Ramadan near Basra. The clergy used "human-wave" attacks calling for the young people from age 9 years old and up to move forward in human wave attacks to clear minefields so the regular Army could follow. Matthias Küntzel quotes an Iraqi officer's description of one such encounter in the summer of 1982.
- “They come toward our positions in huge hordes with their fists swinging...You can shoot down the first wave and then the second. But at some point the corpses are piling up in front of you, and all you want to do is scream and throw away your weapon. Those are human beings, after all! 
Other reports appeared in the Iranian daily newspaper Ettelaat and later an eyewitness gave an account to the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine in 2002. Some 100,000 were killed this way.
On April 5, 1984, US President Ronald Reagan issued a National Security Decision Directive (NSDD 139), saying the U.S. needed to stress
- "the urgent need to dissuade Iran from continuing the ruthless and inhumane tactics which have characterized recent offensives." 
This played a large part in the humanitarian basis of Reagan's decision to help put the end of the Iran-Iraq War by the Iran-Contra affair and reestablish relations with an old longtime ally, Iran.
The Ayatollah held American hostages until President Carter, who had admitted the Shah into the United States for medical treatment, left the presidency on Jan. 20, 1981.
In 1989, Ayatollah Khomeini ordered a fatwa (Islamic decree) to murder Salman Rushdie, after publishing his book criticizing Islam 'Satanic Verses'. On Aug 12, 2022, an Arab-Muslim Hadi Matar, with sympathies toward Iranian government was arrested after stabbing Salman Rushdie. Described by eyewitnesses as viciously stabbing, repeatedly.
Activists accused Iran of responsibility for attack. Adding "that a bounty of over 3 million dollars for Rushdie's life offered by Iran's 15 Khordad Foundation remains on offer."
Khomeini died June 3, 1989. He held power in Iran until his death.
“Every aspect of a non-Muslim is unclean”-Ayatollah Khomeini
- The Second 1984 Presidential Debate
- Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), Iraqi Retreats, 1982-84, Globalsecruity.org, retrieved 20 March 2007.
- Ahmadinejad's Demons: A Child of the Revolution Takes Over, Matthias Küntzel, The New Republic, 24 April 2006 .
- NSDD 139, 5 April 1984.
- Jennifer Schuessler, Stabbing of Salman Rushdie Renews Free Speech Debates, The New York Times, August 15, 2022.
Two years ago Salman Rushdie joined prominent cultural figures signing an open letter decrying an increasingly "intolerant climate" and warning that the "free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted." It was a declaration of principles Mr. Rushdie had embodied since 1989, when a fatwa by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Supreme Leader of Iran, calling for his murder, made him a reluctant symbol of free speech…. In the West, the defense of Mr. Rushdie was hardly universally robust. Former president Jimmy Carter, writing in The New York Times in 1989, denounced the fatwa but charged Rushdie with "vilifying" the Prophet Muhammad and "defaming" the Quran.
"While Rushdie’s First Amendment freedoms are important," he wrote, "we have tended to promote him and his book with little acknowledgment that it is a direct insult to those millions of Moslems whose sacred beliefs have been violated and are suffering in restrained silence the added embarrassment of the Ayatollah's irresponsibility."… Some who weighed in said the stakes are simply too high — and too personal. After the attack, Roya Hakakian, an Iranian American writer who in 2019 was warned by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that she had been targeted by Iran, took to Twitter on Saturday to assail what she said was a lack of swift condemnation from U.S. government officials…. In an interview on Sunday, Ms. Hakakian, who came to the United States as a refugee in 1984, said that the heart of the Rushdie case is "being able to say that we, as writers, as novelists, as thinkers, can absolutely take on any issue we want in our works — and that includes Islam." But "nobody is saying that," she said. Instead, "people are paying lip service to free speech." In his recent autobiographical novel "Homeland Elegies," the American writer Ayad Akhtar reflects on the complex meanings of the “Satanic Verses” controversy for Muslim readers and writers, including himself. In an email on Sunday, Mr. Akhtar, who is PEN America’s current president, said the attack on Mr. Rushdie is "a reminder that ‘harms’ of speech and the freedom of speech do not, cannot, hold equal claims on us." "While we may rightly acknowledge that speech can harm," he said, "it’s in the terrible culmination of Salman's dilemma that we see the paramount value, the absolute centrality of freedom of thought and the freedom to express that thought.” For many, defending Mr. Rushdie and "The Satanic Verses" against his would-be assassins may be easy, Mr. Akhtar said. But the defense also "has to apply where we have less unanimity, where we are more implicated.""That’s what it means," he said, "for it to be a principle."
- Joe Marino and Evan Simko-Bednarski, NJ man, Hadi Matar, with sympathies toward Iranian government ID’d as suspect in Salman Rushdie stabbing, NYPost, August 12, 2022.
Hadi Matar, 24, was arrested after he stormed the stage at the Chautauqua Institution in Western New York and allegedly stabbed the author in the neck.
- Salman Rushdie in surgery after being stabbed onstage; suspect arrested, AFP, Aug 13, 2022.
Carl LeVan, an American University politics professor attending the event, told AFP he saw the suspect run onto the stage where Rushdie was seated and "stabbed him repeatedly and viciously."
- Activists accused Iran of responsibility for Rushdie attack, AFP, France 24. Aug 13, 2023.
While the fatwa issued by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini over Rushdie's novel "The Satanic Verses" has for some time not been part of daily discourse in Iran, the clerical leadership under his successor Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also did nothing to indicate it no longer stood and on occasions underlined the decree was still valid. The multiple stabbing of Rushdie at an event in New York comes at an intensely sensitive time for Iran, as it considers an offer by world powers to revive the 2015 deal on its nuclear programme which would ease sanctions that have battered the economy. During a period of relative thaw between Tehran and the West under former president Mohammad Khatami, ex-foreign minister Kamal Kharazi had in 1998 pledged that Iran would not take steps to endanger the life of Rushdie, who for years was in hiding.
But an answer posted to a question on Khamenei's website Khamenei.ir in February 2017 said that the fatwa was still valid. "Answer: The decree is as Imam Khomeini issued," it said. The @khamenei_ir Twitter account, which repeats Khamenei's views and activists have repeatedly said should be suspended, in 2019 posted that the fatwa was "solid and irrevocable". Activists also insist that a bounty of over 3 million dollars for Rushdie's life offered by Iran's 15 Khordad Foundation remains on offer.
'Real Islamic republic'
“Whether today's assassination attempt was ordered directly by Tehran or not, it is almost certainly the result of 30 years of the regime's incitement to violence against this celebrated author," said the Washington-based National Union for Democracy in Iran (NUFDI).The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), an opposition group outlawed in Iran, said that the attack had taken place at the "instigation" of Khomeini's fatwa.
- Grinter, Dr. Lawrence E. Avoiding the Burden: The Carter Doctrine in Perspective Vol. XXXIV, No. 2 (January–February 1983): 73–82.
- Global Security.org Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988)
- Winton, Emanual E., Abomination: The Sacrificing of Children, Tzemach, 17 July 2001.
- Küntzel, Matthias, A Child of the Revolution takes Over, The New Republic, April 4, 2006.
- D'Souza, Dinesh,Giving radical Islam its start, January 29, 2007