Iranian sports fans chant anti-regime slogans at a football game on April 27, at the Aryamehr (Azadi) stadium in Tehran: "Reza Shah, Rest in Peace!"
The journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski thought he had identified the precise psychological moment when the 1979 Iranian revolution against Mohammad Reza Shah began:
"The policeman shouts but the man doesn't run. He just stands there, looking at the policeman... he doesn't budge. Nobody runs though the policeman has gone on shouting: at last he stops. There is a moment of silence. We don't know whether the policeman and the man on the edge of the crowd already realize what has happened. The man has stopped being afraid--and this is precisely the beginning of the revolution... the policeman turns around and begins to walk heavily back toward his post." (Ryszard Kapuscinski. 1992. Shah of Shahs. Vintage Press.)
There is also that famous scene of the exact moment on December 21st 1989 when Romania's Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu is overthrown - around the 1 minute 20 second mark in this video clip. He thinks he is addressing just another stage-managed communist propaganda rally, when suddenly an eery screaming, shrieking sound emerges and gains in volume, almost as if it is being torn irresistibly from the breasts of a crowd that can no longer contain its misery and fury. The live TV feed is cut a moment later. Too late! The moment of psychological liberation has been broadcast all over Romania.
The scenes from Iran's Aryamehr stadium have a little of the feel of that sort of psychological moment, when people discover they are no longer afraid, and a revolution begins.
There's perhaps some irony in these Iranians chanting for the memory of the same Shah their parents and grandparents may have fought to overthrow in 1979. But I doubt if many today seek to replace the clerical dictatorship of the Islamic Republic merely for the Shah's pre-1979 dictatorship. The rising movement is not only for democracy, it is also nationalistic, anti-clerical and for modernity, and it's probably to these latter features of the Pahlavi monarchy that Iranians are looking.
"Yesterday, Iranians were chanting pro Pahlavi slogans in Iran's biggest football stadium. When Reza Shah became king he was aware that the clergy was the main reason that Iran was not advancing, so he tried to reduce their power as much as possible by taking the judiciary and education system away from them, as a result of that he was hated by the clergy who are in power today. Iranians who are tired of the current regime in Iran are realising that Reza Shah knew how destructive it would be if the clergy were in power and thus some of people's main anti regime slogans today are pro Pahlavi ones."