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Black Friday (Persian: جمعه سیاه / Jome-ye Siaah) is the name given to September 8, 1978 (17 Shahrivar 1357 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 Shah's rule mounted during the spring and summer of 1978, the Iranian Government declared martial law. On September 8th, thousands gathered in Tehran's Jaleh Square for a religious demonstration, despite the fact that the government had declared martial law the day before. The soldiers ordered the crowd to disperse, but the order was simply ignored. When it became clear that the crowd would not disperse the soldiers opened fire, killing and seriously wounding a largely number of people.
According to the anti-government sources, the military of Iran used tanks and helicopter gunships, to break up the largely peaceful demonstration. Opposition and Western journalists reportedly claimed that the Iranian army massacred protestors and left between 95 and 3,000 killed.    The clerical leadership announced that "thousands have been massacred by Zionist troops."
Black Friday is thought to have marked the point of no return for the revolution, and led to the abolition of Iran's monarchy less than a year later. It also demonstrated how quickly a situation could spin out of control and turn a demonstration into a massacre. Factors playing a role in the excessive bloodshed include the Shah-centered command-structure of the Iranian military, and a lack of training of security forces to confront civil unrest.
Black Friday, is believed to play a crucial role in further radicalizing the protest movement, uniting the opposition to the shah and mobilized the masses. The appearance of "government brutality" also alienated the Shah's allies abroad as well.
The events triggered protests continued for another four months. The day after Black Friday, September 9, 1978, Hoveyda resigned as minister of court. 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, and led ultimately to the flight of the Shah from Iran in January 1979, clearing the way for the Iranian Revolution, led by Ayatollah Khomeini.
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.
"Black Friday" in art 
In 1978 shoertly after the massacre, the Persian musician Hossein Alizadeh set Siavash Kasraie's poem about the event to music. Mohammad Reza Shajarian sang the piece "Jaaleh Khun Shod" (Jaaleh [Square] became bloody). The documentary maker Shahed Azad Soltani in 1980 made a documentary called Rooz-e Khodaa (Persian for Day of God).
Nastaran Akhavan, one of the few survivors, wrote the book Spared about the event. The book explains how the author was forced into a massive wave of thousands of angry protesters, who were later massacred by the Shah’s military 
See also 
References and notes 
- Abrahamian, Ervand, History of Modern Iran, Cambridge University Press, 2008, pp. 160–1
- "A Question of Numbers".
- "Islamic Revolution of Iran".
- "Black Friday".
- Taheri, The Spirit of Allah (1985), p. 223.
- Moin, Khomeini (2000), p. 189.
- The Persian Sphinx: Amir Abbas Hoveyda and the Riddle of the Iranian Revolution By Abbas Milani, pp. 292-293
- Seven Events That Made America America, By Larry Schweikart, p.
- The Iranian Revolution of 1978/1979 and How Western Newspapers Reported It By Edgar Klüsener, p. 12
- Cultural History After Foucault By John Neubauer, p. 64
- Islam in the World Today: A Handbook of Politics, Religion, Culture, and Society By Werner Ende, Udo Steinbach, p. 264
- The A to Z of Iran, By John H. Lorentz, p. 63
- Islam and Politics By John L. Esposito, p. 212
- Taheri, The Spirit of Allah (1985), p. 223.
- E. Baqi, `Figures for the Dead in the Revolution`, Emruz, 30 July 2003, quoted in Abrahamian, Ervand, History of Modern Iran, Cambridge University Press, 2008, pp. 160–1
- Book's page in Amazon