A series of escalating protests broke out in major cities, and deadly riots broke out in Isfahan where protesters fought for the release of Ayatollah Jalaluddin Taheri. Martial law was declared in the city on 11 August as symbols of Western culture and government buildings were burned, and a bus full of American workers was bombed. Due to his failure to stop the protests, Prime Minister Amuzegar offered his resignation.
On 22 August 1978 the FSLN staged a massive kidnapping operation. Led by Éden Pastora, the Sandinistan forces captured the National Palace while the legislature was in session, taking 2,000 hostages. Pastora demanded money, the release of Sandinistan prisoners, and, "a means of publicizing the Sandinista cause."After two days, the government agreed to pay $500,000 and to release certain prisoners, marking a major victory for the FSLN.
Bryant was born in Philadelphia, the youngest of three children and only son of former NBA player Joe Bryant and Pamela Cox Bryant. He was also the maternal nephew of basketball player John "Chubby" Cox. His parents named him after the famous beef of Kobe, Japan, which they saw on a restaurant menu. His middle name, Bean, was derived from his father's nickname "Jellybean". Bryant's family was Catholic and he had always practiced his faith.
The Shah increasingly felt that he was losing control of the situation and hoped to regain it through complete appeasement. He decided to appoint Jafar Sharif-Emami to the post of prime minister, himself a veteran prime minister. Emami was chosen due to his family ties to the clergy, but he had a reputation of corruption during his previous premiership. Under the Shah's guidance, Sharif-Emami effectively began a policy of "appeasing the opposition's demands before they even made them".