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US photojournalist compares fall of Pahlavi dynasty to ongoing protests in Iran

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An American photojournalist, who covered the fall of the Pahlavi dynasty, draws parallels between the 1979 revolution to the ongoing protests in Iran an op-ed published in the New York Times.

In his article, published on Tuesday, David Burnett compared images from 1979 to the demonstrations that erupted on November 15 after Iran increased imposed petrol rationing and raised pump prices by at least 50 percent.

The protests come amid rising anger over economic conditions in the country that have become increasingly difficult following the US imposing sanctions on the sales of oil in May 2018.

The Pahlavi dynasty was the last monarchy in Iran before being replaced by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Burnett compares how the Iranian government “attacked protestors with brutality” in stark resemblance to the events of 1979, when a member of the then-Shah’s office was pulled from his car and violently beaten over similar acts of suppression.

Multiple images littered the op-ed, capturing moments of celebration, defiance, violence, and the expression of individualism.

In a 1979 photo, thousands of Iranians fill the frame protesting against Pahlavi near Tehran University. Another photo from 1979 showed women participating in the mass demonstrations.

Burnett ends his piece with a word of caution, stating, “It is unlikely there will be a change in leadership, but it is always a bad idea to underestimate the power of the people in the streets.