The Iranian nation toppled the US-backed Pahlavi regime in 1979, ending virtually 2,500 years of monarchical rule, and will see nationwide rallies on Feb. 11, the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. In the 36 years since mass protests deposed the monarchy in Iran, the country has struggled with immense challenges. After the Islamic Republic's establishment by way of a popular referendum, Iran endured a period of chaotic instability, with various armed factions seeking to undermine the nascent government.
Amid this volatility, Iran was invaded by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, whose army was supported by most global powers and against whose aggression Iranians of all walks of life defended their country. After the devastatingly costly war — during which hundreds of thousands of Iranians and Iraqis died, many under the barrage of Saddam’s chemical weapons — the country started the arduous process of attempting to rebuild.