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'''Black Friday''' is the name given to September 8, 1978 (17 Shahrivar 1357 [[Iranian calendar|AP]]) and the shooting of protestors in Zhaleh (or Jaleh) Square in [[Tehran]], [[Iran]]. The deaths and the reaction to them has been described as a pivotal event in the [[Iranian Revolution]] when any "hope for compromise" between the protest movement and the Shah's regime was extinguished.
As protest against the [[Mohammad Reza Pahlavi|Shah]]'s rule mounted during the spring and summer of 1978, the Iranian Government declared [[martial law]]. On September 8 a huge demonstration was held in Tehran. According to the anti-government sources, the [[Iranian Army|military of Iran]] used deadly force, including [[tank]]s and [[helicopter gunship]]s, to break up the largely peaceful demonstrators. Opposition and Western journalists reportedly claimed that the Iranian army massacred protestors and left between 88 and several hundred killed.
The clerical leadership announced that "thousands have been massacred by Zionist troops."
The appearance of "government brutality" alienated much of the rest of the Iranian people as well as the Shah's allies abroad. Protests continued for another four months. A [[general strike]] in October shut down the [[petroleum]] industry that was essential to the administration's survival, "sealing the Shah's fate". Support for the Shah in Iran and abroad dissolved, clearing the way for the [[Iranian Revolution]], led by [[Ruhollah Khomeini|Ayatollah Khomeini]], which saw the abolition of the [[monarchy]] less than a year later.
===After the revolution===
After the revolution official accounts dealing with the history wrote of "15,000 dead and wounded" on that day and the square's name was changed to the Square of Martyrs (''Maidan-e Shohada''). However the non-Persian-speaking troops were later reported to have been Iranian ethnic Kurds, not Israelis, who had been fired on by snipers. According to Emad al-Din Baghi, a former researcher at the Martyrs Foundation (''Bonyad Shahid'', which compensates families of victims) hired "to make sense of the data" on those killed fighting the Shah's regime, 64 killed were killed in Jaleh Square on Black Friday, among them two females – one woman and a young girl. On the same day in other parts of the capital a total of 24 people died in clashes with martial law forces, among them one female. Another source puts the Martyrs Foundation tabulation of dead at 84 during that day.
*[http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=qjg5CcXOgCM 17 Shahrivar massacre in Tehran, Sep 1978] accessdate=2006-01-13
*[http://www.bbc.co.uk/persian/iran/story/2008/09/080906_op-black-friday.shtml BBC Article on Black Friday (in Persian)] accessdate=2008-07-08