Iran is marking the 40th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution that toppled the shah and ended centuries of monarchy in the country.

1979, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned from France after 14 years in exile to become the supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Across Iran sirens blared at 9:33 a.m. – the exact time Khomeini’s plane touched down at Tehran’s international airport 40 years ago.

Known as the Ten Days of Dawn, the anniversary ends on February 11, the date Mohammad Reza Pahlavi’s government collapsed, bringing hard-line Shi’ite clerics to power.

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