"The Great Satan"The Great Satan is what certain Iranians call the United States of America. In between pairs of soldiers circling the compound, i did a quick fire off of this and a couple other shots of the now legendary murals on the walls of the long abandoned U.S embassy in Tehran, Iran. You may be aware of what happened here in 1979, it's certainly not the root of the U.S' problems with Iran, that's probably as much their own fault, but it was a turning point in the recent history of the middle east. The Iran-Iraq war which followed shortly would have been a whole different affair had the much wealthier Iran not lost international favour and the U.S hadn't bolstered Iraq's military. One million people dead, one egomaniacal Iraqi in power and one very proud but isolated nation later and you have the precursor to the shitstorm of this century. I had heard stories of people having cameras confiscated and film ripped out, but christ, how could i not take this? What a horrible, disgusting relationship expressed so brutally.
Commercial advertising designed to take advantage of the feelings of Americans toward IranÂ’s Ayatallah Ruhollah Khomeini are springing up all over Northern California. One is on San FranciscoÂ’s ninth street, just off busy Market Street Jan. 5, 1989. The sign speaks for itself. (AP Photo/PS)
Iranian people gather before the entrance of the United States Embassy compound in Tehran, Iran Nov. 6, 1979, on the third day of the occupation of the building. Iranian students took over the Embassy on Sunday and are still holding the staff hostage against the deportation of the former Shah of Iran from the United States. (AP Photo)
Iran in its anything-goes years: Amazing photos reveals how sex and fashion thrived before the Islamic revolution
From women sporting Farrah Fawcett haircuts at a party to a couple posing for photos in the snow, images of life across Iran in the 60s and 70s portray a vibrant kingdom on the brink of change.
The photos were all taken in Iran before the Islamic Revolution, which saw the ousting of King Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and the installment of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini - a shift that would have long-lasting and far reaching implications.
Compared to previous rulers, Pahlavi was revolutionary - he banned the hijab, saying it suppressed women, encouraged education for everyone and granted women the right to vote.
The Iranian women's rights movement was going strong in the 1960s and 70s, and many women joined the work force and mixed freely with men.
Images of young Iranians at parties and in magazine ads reveal the tension between modern and traditional influences tussling for supremacy.
At the time, actresses who were later banned from performing posed up in short skirts for magazines, while locals were photographed skiing and wearing swimsuits and Miss Iran contestants enjoyed paddle-boat outings.
Photos taken in Iran before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which saw the ousting of King Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, show what the vibrant Iranian life was like in the 60s and 70s. Pictured above is Persian actress Forouzan in 1974 (left) and 1975 (right). Forouzan was banned from performing after the 1979 revolution
The Iranian women's rights movement was going strong in the 1960s and 70s, and many women joined the work force and mixed freely with men. Pictured above left, Persian actresses Haleh and Mahnaz in the 1970s. Right, two women in fashionable 1970s clothing pose up for a magazine ad
All all-female Iranian pop group - dressed in crop tops and flared pants, posed for a promo shots ahead of a tour in 1974. The photos were all taken in Iran before the Islamic Revolution, which saw the ousting of King Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and the installment of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini - a shift that would have long-lasting and far reaching implications
The photos are a far cry at what women faced in the 19th Century, and vastly different from what life in Iran is like today. Pictured above, an Iranian music group at a party in 1970
Other images from magazines show all-girl pop bands, an actress posing with her director husband, and advertisements showcasing Western-orientated fashion aesthetic.
Iranian actress Forouzan is featured in several of the photos. She started out as a voice-over actress but eventually moved on screen and co-starred in some of the highest-grossing Persian films of the era.
When the revolution hit in 1979, she was banned from playing roles in films and grew more and more isolated until her death in 2016.
Other images show director Ali Hatami and his wife, Zari Khoshkam. He continued to make films and TV sereies after the revolution, and his daughter, Leila Hatami, is a famous actress in Iran.
Many singers, actors and other writers were exiled from Iran during the revolution, causing Iranian artists to seek refuge in the UK and United States, where they continued their careers.
The photos are a far cry at what women faced in the 19th Century, and vastly different from what life in Iran is like today.
After women faced having very few rights in the 19th Century, the Iranian women’s movement was established in 1910.
Nooshfarin, pictured left, was one of many Iranian artists to be exiled from the country following the 1979 revolution. She started her carreer as an actress before moving into singing. Upon her exile in the 1970s, she moved to Southern California to continue her career. Pictured right, a woman in shorts poses up for a magazine in 1970
Iranian actress Forouzan (left) is featured in several of the photos. She started out as a voice-over actress but eventually moved on screen and co-starred in some of the highest-grossing Persian films of the era. Iranian singer Mahasti (right) moved to the UK in 1978 ahead of the revolution and eventually migrated to California to continue her singing career
When the revolution hit in 1979, Forouzan (left in 1968) was banned from playing roles in films and grew more and more isolated until her death in 2016. Pictured right, an Iranian poses in her swimsuit at a beach in the 1960s
It was then that the first Women's Journal was published as the movement began to campaign for more rights and freedom.
By the 1930s, the movement took off as King Reza Shah Pahlavi came into power.
Pahlavi believed the headscarf suppressed women and banned the hijab, and granted women the right to vote and an increasing number joined the workforce.
The Family Protection Act gave women greater rights such as allowing divorce and banning marriage under the age of 15.
At the time, men and women mixed freely and education was encouraged for the entire population.
Under the Shah, Iranians enjoyed the luxury of new colleges, universities and libraries. Secondary schools were free for all and financial support was extended to university students.
The Shah also pushed the country to adopt Western-oriented secular modernization, allowing some degree of cultural freedom.
Director Ali Hatami and his wife, Zari Khoshkam, are pictured above in Weekly Etalaate magazine in February 1972. He continued to make films and TV sereies after the revolution, and his daughter, Leila Hatami, is a famous actress in Iran
When King Reza Shah Pahlavi came into power, he encouraged education - including higher education - for the entire population. Pictured above, students at Tehran's National University not long before the 1979 revolution
After women faced having very few rights in the 19th Century, the Iranian women’s movement was established in 1910. By the 1930s, the movement took off as King Reza Shah Pahlavi came into power. Pahlavi believed the headscarf suppressed women and banned the hijab, and granted women the right to vote and an increasing number joined the workforce. Pictured above, street fashion in Tehran in the 1970s
The Family Protection Act gave women greater rights such as allowing divorce and banning marriage under the age of 15. At the time, men and women mixed freely. Pictured above, Miss Iran 1978 contestants paddle on a lake at Donya-ye Khorram park in Tehran, Iran
Under the Shah, Iranians enjoyed the luxury of new colleges, universities and libraries. Secondary schools were free for all and financial support was extended to university students. Pictured above, a group of young people in Iran, circa 1970
However the Shah's determination to showcase an increasingly liberal and modern front to the world and ban on religious garments frustrated traditionalists in Iran.
Under Pahlavi, there was a widespread censorship of the press. He repressed political dissent - and the crackdown on communists and Islamists led to many being imprisoned and tortured.
People lived in fear of the Shah's secret police called SAVAK, which paralysed people from speaking out against the regime; such was the notoriety of their brutality.
These factors, along with the Shah being perceived as a puppet of the USA and economic uncertainty, culminated in the monarchy being overthrown.
The 1979 Iranian revolution saw the ousting of the Shah and the installment of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini - a shift that would have long-lasting and far-reaching implications.
The Shah also pushed the country to adopt Western-oriented secular modernization, allowing some degree of cultural freedom. Pictured above, Miss Iran 1978 finalists - it was the last of such pageants in the country
The Shah's determination to showcase an increasingly liberal and modern front to the world and ban on religious garments frustrated traditionalists in Iran. Pictured above, a couple dine in Tehran in the 1960s
After the Islamic revolution took place, the women’s rights movement regressed. Wearing the hijab was enforced, and many of the rights they had been granted were withdrawn. Pictured above, a group of people in Iran, circa 1970
After the Islamic revolution took place, the women’s rights movement regressed.
Wearing the hijab was enforced, many of the rights they had been granted were withdrawn and the Female Minister of Education in Iran, Farokhroo Parsa was executed by firing squad.
Since the mid-1990s, there has been a gradual relaxation in the dress code despite continued campaigns to enforce it.
But society has yet to revive the practice of showing off fashionable looks and the latest haircut, as seen in these pictures, on the country's streets.
In 2015, following a historic nuclear deal and the lifting of economic sanctions against Iran by the US, the UK, France, China, Russia and Germany, many travel industry experts pointed to the epic scenery and rich cultural attractions of the country as ripe for tourist exploration.
The 1979 Iranian revolution saw the ousting of the Shah and the installment of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini - a shift that would have long-lasting and far-reaching implications. Pictured above, skiers in Tehran in the 1970s
Under Pahlavi, there was a widespread censorship of the press. He repressed political dissent - and the crackdown on communists and Islamists led to many being imprisoned and tortured. Pictured above, a wedding photo in Iran in 1970
A mother was seen shopping for her young son in the children's section of a Tehran department store in 1971. Since the mid-1990s, there has been a gradual relaxation in the dress code despite continued campaigns to enforce it. But society has yet to revive the practice of showing off fashionable looks and the latest haircut, as seen in these pictures, on the country's streets
The Iranian football team (pictured above in the 1970s) first made an appearance in the World Cup in 1978. After the revolution, football was neglected and further suffered during the Iran-Iraq War during the 1980s
Oil tanker drivers join pro-Khomeini demonstration outside the U.S. Embassy in Tehran on Nov. 28, 1979 where armed Iranian students continue to hold about 50 Americans hostage, demanding the former Shah be returned to Iran from the U.S. for trial.
President Jimmy Carter and Wife Rosalynn Carter,visiting Mohamad Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran and Empress Farah in Teheran, January 1978.
More than a million supporters of an Islamic republic assembled around Shayad (Shah Memorial) monument in Tehran in a powerful show of strength against the civilian government left behind by Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Jan. 19, 1979. Similar demonstrations were held all over the country, most of them peaceful. (AP Photo/Aristotle Saris)
The ex-shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, with his wife, the Empress Farah Diba Pahlavi, vacation on the Panamanian Resort Conta Dora Island in Panama Saturday, Dec. 15, 1979. (AP Photo/Jassy)
Iranian women, some wearing the chador (traditional veil), pictured during their first demonstration for a general election in Tehran, Iran on August 13, 1963. The women carry portraits of the Shah and Empress Farah, and banners supporting the Shah’s reform which includes giving the vote to women for the first time in the country’s history. (AP Photo)
Iran TodayAmos Chapple is a travel photographer who made the following pictures over the course of three visits to the Islamic Republic of Iran between December 2011 and January 2013. The New Zealand freelancer said he "was amazed by the difference in western perceptions of the country, and what I saw on the ground... I think because access for journalists is so difficult, people have a skewed image of what Iran is -- the regime actually want to portray the country as a cauldron of anti-western sentiment so they syndicate news footage of chanting nutcases which is happily picked up by overseas networks. For ordinary Iranians though, the government is a constant embarrassment. In the time I spent there I never received anything but goodwill and decency, which stands in clear contrast to my experience in other middle eastern countries. I met an American special forces soldier in Kyrgyzstan last year who said when it comes to the Middle East, America has the wrong friends and the wrong enemies." Below is a selection of Chapple's recent photographs of Iran, captions provided by the photographer.
Palangan Village, in the mountains near the Iraq border. Palangan, illustrative of many of the country's rural settlements, has benefited handsomely from government support. Many villagers are employed in a nearby fish farm, or are paid members of the Basij, whose remit includes prevention of "westoxification", and the preservation of everything the 1979 Islamic revolution and its leader the Ayatollah Khomeini stood for, including strict rules on female clothing and male/female interaction. (© Amos Chapple)
A worker inside Vakil Mosque, Shiraz. The mosque now serves as a tourist attraction but sees only a trickle of visitors. Although tourism is on the increase, western tourists still make up only 10% of the total. One tourist guide said westerners are scared away by the bloodcurdling rhetoric of a government which is completely out of touch with ordinary Iranians. (© Amos Chapple) #
At the Sa'adabad Palace complex in northern Tehran, Islamic revolutionaries sawed a statue of the deposed Shah in half. Today schoolchildren are taken on group visits past the boots and into the palace to see the decadence of the former Shah's living quarters. (© Amos Chapple) #
Women in the hills above Tehran at dusk. Concealing clothing in the Islamic Republic, including head coverings, is mandatory for women, but the exact definition of "modest" is flexible, leading to a tug of war between young females and the authorities each spring. Outside metro stations female police can be seen regularly checking the passers by. If a woman's dress is considered "immodest" she is arrested and taken into custody. In 2010 a senior cleric in Tehran blamed the frequency of earthquakes in Iran on women who "lead young men astray" with their revealing clothing. (© Amos Chapple) #
A shepherd leads his flock out to pasture in the mountains on the Iran/Iraq border. (© Amos Chapple) #
View of central Tehran from inside a minaret in Sepahsalar Mosque. (© Amos Chapple) #
The Mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini in Tehran. Work on the unfinished building has dragged over 23 years. With growing economic chaos in the country, its completion is still nowhere in sight. (© Amos Chapple) #
A young worker walks through the light of a stained glass window in the Tehran Bazaar. Under Khomeini Iranians were actively encouraged to produce large families. By 2009 nearly 70% of all Iranians were under 30, but according to some reports, the country is the least religious in the Middle East. Instead of the "armies for Islam" Khomeini had called for, the youthful population is now seen as the biggest threat to the deeply unpopular regime. (© Amos Chapple) #
Detail of Persepolis, the seat of the Ancient Persian empire. The Arab conquest of Persia led to a an Islamification of Iran but Farsi, the Iranian language, has remained alive. The 11th century poet Ferdowsi, described as "Iran's Homer", wrote an epic in Farsi which was carefully crafted with minimal Arabic influence. The "Book of Kings" has been credited with helping preserve the Farsi language - one of the world's oldest. The Book of Kings ends with the Arab invasion, depicted as a disaster for Persia. (© Amos Chapple) #
Two young twins on the Tehran Metro. (© Amos Chapple) #
In Tehran, a collection of modern art valued at $2.5 billion is held by the Museum of Contemporary Art. In a little-publicized exhibition in 2011 the works, including pieces by Warhol (pictured), Pollock, Munch, Hockney and Rothko were put on display for the first time since 1979 when the owner of the art, Queen Farah Pahlavi was forced to flee Iran with her husband, the late Shah of Iran. (© Amos Chapple) #
Detail of Persepolis. After the Islamic Revolution, hardline clerics called for the destruction of the site, but official unease prevailed. "They realized this would unite the people against them," says an English teacher named Ali, quoted in National Geographic. (© Amos Chapple) #
A mural painted on the wall of the former American embassy in Tehran. Murals such as this are at odds with statistics showing that, despite American sanctions, and the American-led coup against a elected and popular prime minister, more Iranians feel positively about America than do Turks or Indians. (© Amos Chapple) #
A Kurdish man settles in for a night of guarding some roadworking machinery in the mountains near the Iran/Iraq border. The border is rife with smugglers who carry alcohol from Iraq (where alcohol is legal) into the villages on the Iranian side. From there it is transported by vehicle to the cities. In Tehran a can of beer on the black market fetches around $10 USD. (© Amos Chapple) #
Two soldiers being attacked inside the Tehran metro after an argument. The soldier was punched in the head at least four times by an angry crowd of mostly well-dressed young men. Both soldiers were forced to leave the metro at the next station. (Editor's note: Chapple, not fluent in Farsi, was unable to determine the exact cause of the scuffle.) (© Amos Chapple) #
Azadi ("Freedom") Tower, the gateway to Tehran designed in 1966 by a then 24 year old Hossein Amanat. As a practicing Bahai'i Hossein was forced to flee Iran after the Islamist government labeled followers of the religion "unprotected infidels". He now lives in Canada.(© Amos Chapple) #
A man in southern Tehran, the working class region of the city. In the past 14 months, tightened sanctions have nearly halved the value of Iran's currency and fueled soaring inflation (source). Life is becoming drastically difficult for ordinary Iranians but many feel powerless to change the situation. Said one Tehrani "we're not naive like the Arabs to think a violent uprising will magically fix everything. We've had our revolution... and things only got worse." (© Amos Chapple) #
A commemorative plate of the former Shah of Iran in an antique store in Shiraz. The Shah was given an Authoritarian hold on power thanks to an MI6 and CIA-backed coup in 1953 which deposed Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh and cost the lives of several hundreds of Iranian citizens. "Operation Ajax" was actioned after Mosaddegh nationalized the petroleum industry of Iran, thus shutting out British dominance of an industry they had controlled since 1913. That Mosaddeqh had been a democratically-elected leader, with wide popular support fueled resentment at the Shah, who many saw as a brutal puppet for the west. The anger at western intervention stoked strong initial support for the virulently anti-western Ayatollah Khomeini. (© Amos Chapple) #
Two shepherds lead Palangan's flock of communally-owned sheep out to pasture. The government's spending in some rural regions has bought them a network of loyal followers who can be scrambled at any time to crush trouble in the urban centers. Rural Basij were used as a part of the crackdown in 2009 which resulted in the deaths of seven anti-government protestors. (© Amos Chapple) #
A group of friends in the hills above Tehran. Many (every single one I met) young Iranians feel deeply embarrassed by their government, and the way the nation is perceived abroad. Zac Clayton, a British cyclist who will finish a round-the-world cycle on March 23 described Iran as having the kindest people of any country he cycled through. "I found most Iranians -- particularly the younger generation -- to be very aware of the world around them... with a burning desire for the freedoms they feel they are being denied by an out of touch, ultra-conservative religious elite." (© Amos Chapple)