Abadan, Iran

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Exploded tank, remains as symbol of Iran–Iraq War (1980–1988).

On 19 August 1978—the anniversary of the US backed pro-Shah coup d'état which overthrew the nationalists and popular Iranian prime minister, Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh—the Cinema Rex, a movie theatre in Abadan, Iran, was set ablaze by four Islamic Revolution sympathizers in an attempt to help the cause of Iran's Islamic Revolution. The local Abadan police had taken notice, and became suspicious of Hossein Takbali-zadeh and his accomplices, and had started following the arsonists as they were entering Cinema Rex. The police decided to continue their surveillance and track the group after they left the movie theater. This incident ended up led to the Cinema Rex Fire, where over 350 people perished. At the trial, Hossein Takbali-zadeh stated that his three accomplices by the three names Faraj, Falah, and Yadollah had all burned in the fire. The reformist Sobhe Emrooz newspaper in one of its editorials revealed that the Cinema Rex was burned down by the radical Islamists. The newspaper was shut down immediately after.

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