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In the News A Clash That's Centuries Old

June 19, 2009

VIEW HERE: The roots of clerics' hold on power in Iran are in this event: November 4, 1979, the day militant Islamic students took 63 hostages at the U.S. embassy.

Americans remember it for the hostage taking. For Iranians, however, the event marked a dramatic showdown between moderate politicians and radical clerics.

The clip ends with sequences on Iran's young people -- curious about the outside world and questioning a theocratic government structure. The final images resonate: Footage of a July '99 student protest which, as our report notes, "could be a preview of what lies ahead."

And if you want an overview of Iran's power structure, this page offers it: the Supreme Leader, the Council of Guardians, the "virtuous and learned" Assembly of Experts, etc. It's all from our '02 report, Terror and Tehran.

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