Former Iranian President Abolhassan Bani-Sadr attends an interview with Reuters in Versailles, near Paris, France, January 31, 2019. (REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer)
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Abolhassan Bani-Sadr, a sworn opponent of Tehran's spiritual rulers ever since being driven from office and fleeing abroad in 1981, recalled how 40 years ago in Paris, he had been convinced that the religious leader's Islamic Revolution would pave the way for democracy and human rights after the rule of the Shah.Khomeini fled Iran in the mid-1960s, fearing a crackdown on his teachings by the Shah, eventually settling in a modest house in a village outside Paris from where he fomented unrest in Iran and nurtured the future Islamist revolution.Bani-Sadr was elected president on Feb. 5, 1980, in a popular vote, but under the new Islamic Republic's constitution, Khomenei wielded the real power – a situation that has continued since his death in 1989 under his successor, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
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