“The presence of SAVAK as a very fearful force was almost everywhere,

and everyone believed that ok, any dissent, any opposition, legal or

otherwise would not be tolerated by SAVAK and the people would be

arrested and would be tortured. That was the general perception.”

–Nasser Hadian-Iranian Political Scientist

SAVAK (Sāzemān-e Ettelā’āt va Amniyat-e Keshvar) literally “Organization of National Intelligence and Security” was one of the most notorious secret police agency of the Iranian regime under the Iranian Monarch Raza Shah Pahlavi. The agency was tasked to trace the opposition elements in the society, and keep strict surveillance on the potential agitators. Sometimes, the organization was involved in punishing the individuals by physical and mental torture. The agency was one of the most hatred institutes of the country.

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However, the body was shut down after the Iranian Revolution, and its agents were severely reprimanded. The fear of Shah’s regime and his spy agencies ended when the state used the most repressive tool at its shelf. On 8 September 1978, after the declaration of the Martial Law in the country, the armed forces opened fire at the civilians who were protesting against Shah’s regime at the Jaleh Square in Tehran. This incident brought the civil society and the regime to the point when any hope for the compromise between the both extinguished. Eventually, the Iranian society dethroned Raza Shah and made Ayatollah Khomeini as their supreme leader.

Armed revolutionaries attack one of the centers of the SAVAK, Shah’s much-feared political police.