Shah’s departured homeland

On 3 November a SAVAK plan to arrest about 1,500 people considered to be leaders of the revolution was submitted to Mohammad Reza, who at first tentatively agreed, but then changed his mind, disregarding not the only plan, but also dismissing its author, Parviz Sabeti.

On 5 November 1978, Mohammad Reza went on persian television to say “I have heard the voice of your revolution” and promise major reforms. In a major concession to the opposition, on 7 November 1978, Mohammad Reza freed all political prisoners while ordering the arrest of the former prime minister Amir-Abbas Hoveyda and several senior officials of his regime, a move that both emboldened his opponents and demoralised his supporters.