The Iranian Revolution: Why It Still Matters Decades Later

PHOTO: The main entrance to the former U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran, is shown, Nov. 3., 2013.PlayMuhammad Lila/ABC News
WATCH The Iranian Revolution: Why It Still Matters Decades Later

On Feb. 11 each year, Iranians take to the streets in celebration of the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

The event marked a true turning point for the country after the people overthrew U.S.-backed Iranian King Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, and replaced the monarchy with an Islamic republic led by the Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

The revolution sparked a deterioration in Iran’s relationship with America and other western powers after protesters stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and took 52 Americans hostage for 444 days. Despite ongoing negotiations to rein in Iran’s nuclear program and a temporary roll back in sanctions, the tense relationship still echoes today as citizens chant “Death to America” in the streets during rallies.

To get a firsthand look at events on the ground during the revolution, watch the latest ABC News Global Affairs original video.