Photos of chapter five Chapters: One - Two - Three - Four - Five - Six - Seven - Eight - Nine - Conclusion

Chapter Five - Ideological Revolution - Date 1985 - 1987

 

            On 17 March 1985 we were summoned to the council room for a meeting with Sister Tahereh, masoul of the society. We were surprised. It was Wednesday and council meetings were held on Fridays. I thought the extraordinary session must be to discuss the public meeting we were to hold on the next day to celebrate the Iranian New Year.

            Our council room was a narrow, austere place. The only furniture was a large rectangular table flanked on both sides by two long benches which were so uncomfortable that before each meeting we would all scramble for a seat by the wall so that we could ease the back-ache brought on by our usual lengthy sessions.

            Once all twelve or thirteen members of the council were present, someone brought tea and biscuits. “Let’s eat something sweet, I have very good news for you,” said Sister Tahereh. Obviously something important had happened. Perhaps there had been a victorious operation inside Iran; perhaps Khomieni had died, perhaps . . . As our minds ran quickly through the possibilities, Tahereh stood up to read the message she had brought with her. Then her deputy got up as well, a clear signal for us to follow suite. We all stood to attention like soldiers, listening intently. “In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful. In the path of God and the people, willingly and with satisfaction, we have accepted an ideological and organisational imperative, which is the will of God and the Iranian people’s new revolution. Observing all religious customs and requirements . . . we have decided to marry each other. Signed: Maryam Rajavi and Masoud Rajavi.”

             In a very loud voice, Sister Tahereh said “MOBARAK BASHAD” (congratulations) and started clapping. Unable to understand what was going on, we joined in. There was a deathly silence. “What’s happened?” asked Sister Tahereh. “Why are you all as stiff as planks? Don’t you have anything to say?” She turned with a questioning look to her deputy Fazeleh who had obviously already heard the news, and then rapidly focused on the person sitting next to her and demanded to know what he thought. As confused and stunned as the rest of us, he smiled limply and said: “Well I don’t know what’s going on, but since Brother Masoud has made this decision, I am sure it is very good news.” “Won’t you offer your congratulations?” she said. “Well of course,” he replied and with the smile still fixed on his face he said “congratulations” loudly. “Have you any questions?” she asked. “Excuse me, who is Sister Maryam Rajavi?” came his rather foolish response. Tahereh laughed even louder and said: “Don’t you know? Sister Maryam Rajavi is co-leader of our organisation.” He swallowed hard: “But Sister Maryam Azodanlu was…”Tahereh finished his sentence for him: “the wife of Brother Mehdi (Abrishamchii).” He said, “Yes” She laughed again: “Why are you stammering? Why has your face gone white? Has something snapped in your mind? Have your male prejudices been offended? Don’t worry. No religious principles have been violated, they divorced a few weeks ago, before this news was announced.” She was silent for a few moments. Then she asked him if he still wanted to offer congratulations. “Well, I still don’t understand, but yes, of course, congratulations, many congratulations.”

            Before asking the next member what he thought, she read the message again. “Of course congratulations are in order,” he said. “I’m sure that whatever decision the organisation makes is for the good of the people and the revolution.” Then she put the same question to all the council members, one by one. Some offered their congratulations without hesitation. Others, less cautiously, protested that they had not understood the news fully, but would still congratulate the newly-weds. The more conservative elements like me said: “I don’t know, I will have to think about the news to understand it fully.”

            Then Tahereh read us a message from the politburo and the central committee. It was very long and because I was sitting on the bench that had no support, I had to stand up every so often to rid myself of back pain. It began with a sentence from the Quran, “Those who relay messages of God, and are afraid of God, and are not terrified of any body except God. And this is enough to consider God as sole judge and the one who paves the way.” Then came the usual opening passage of Mojahedin communiqués, only this time in addition to ‘in the name of God and the heroic people of Iran, in the name of martyred Mohammed Hanif-Najad [the founder of the organisation] . . . ’ the politburo had added, for the first time, ‘in the name of Maryam and Masoud Rajavi’. The only living people who had ever in the past been named in the title of Mojahedin messages were Khomieni and Taleqani.

            The message continued with a long list of Rajavi’s achievements: how he had saved the organisation from a Marxist coup in 1975, how he had fought against right and leftwing tendencies in the organisation, how he fought Khomieni and revealed his true nature to people. We had believed that all important organisational decisions has been made collectively, but we were now told that it was Masoud who founded our militia, it was he who stood up to the Tudeh party’s sedition, carried out in the name of the fight against ‘liberals and reactionaries’, and had chosen the correct tactics against them, while other organisations fell into the Tudeh’s trap and lost everything, It was he who had reorganised the Mojahedin over the past two years and had stood against those who wanted to destroy them … . The message declared that: ‘while the organisation was scattered around the world and under immense pressure, under the shadow of Masoud’s leadership we were saved from splits … and became more united than ever.’ The signatories of the letter claimed on behalf of the members that: “we in the organisation laugh at those who accuse us of hero worship, and look at them as a wise man looks upon the foolish’. A few sentences about Masoud’s personal sacrifices followed. He was the first Mojahed to have volunteered for a ‘suicide mission’, only to be rejected by the organisation; it was he who, in prison under the Shah, had inspired his fellow prisoners to resist their gaolers, and it was he who had inspired thousands of Mojaheds to go to prison and to accept martyrdom in the fight against Khomieni.

            Masoud was also portrayed as a champion of women’s rights. It was as a result of his leadership that the Mojahedin had appointed Maryam as co-leader, the highest position a woman could gain within a revolutionary organisation. The message went on to say that, “Mehdi Abrishamchii and Maryam were in love and had no problem in their marriage, but they volunteered to divorce in order to pave the way for the union of Masoud and Maryam. The marriage had been advised by the politburo and central committee in order to deepen the ‘great ideological revolution’ and to avoid the ‘difficult contradictions’ between the leader and co-leader, who, although ‘NA MAHRAM’, [an Islamic term for those who must not touch or see each other] had to work closely with each other. Their joint leadership without marriage would have been ‘mere bourgeois formalism’. Had Masoud not been divorced from his wife, the Mojahedin would have had no option but to accept the disadvantages of the joint leadership of the unmarried Masoud and Maryam. But since Fyrozeh Banisadr, Masoud’s previous wife, had divorced him there was no reason for the organisation to deny itself the advantages, which could be gained by this marriage. The idea was inspired by a sentence from Quran about the marriage of the Prophet Mohammed to the recently divorced wife of his adopted son. Furthermore, although Mehdi and Maryam had made a supreme sacrifice by divorcing while they were still in love, Masoud had, in accepting this marriage, made even greater sacrifices. His was described as ‘much more than a heroic action … Had Masoud not been able to accept this marriage, he would have demonstrated that he did not have the capacity to lead the organisation

            We realised from the message that this incident is going to happen just once and only on the top of the organisation.

            Hence there was no need for us to worry that we are not married to those whom we were working closely every day!

 

 

 

The last remark dispelled my disquiet as it assured me that nothing is going to happen to my own marriage. Since my return to the society I had trained myself not to think much about organisational relations and news. They were of relevance to me only if they affected my daily work. But when Sister Tahereh first announced the marriage I was deeply concerned. By this time I knew perfectly well that sex, love and marriage meant little to the organisation. I thought that it might have decided to order couples to separate and re-marry whenever the organisation believed that the change would serve its interests. If it had, what would happen to my own marriage and my relationship with Anna?

             I was almost sure that Tahereh would turn to me first for a reaction to the Politburo’s message and I had to find something to say. I was right. “Well,” I began, “I’m now in a position to offer my congratulations. I now understand that this is one of those rare and unusual actions taken by those who are vanguards of the people to open a new way and direction for the evolution of mankind.” Then I offered few examples. I was ignorant of the example given in the message about the Prophet, but it didn’t matter. I repeated it and added the examples of Imam Hussein’s departure from Mecca during the Hajj (it was customary to stay there during the pilgrimage), and the story of Ashab Kahaf, who went with a dog (which is ‘NAJASS’, dirty) to a cave and slept there for hundreds of years as a result of which the dog was blessed. These examples saved not only me, but others who had to speak after me.

            Having found adequate logical and religious reasons for the marriage I decided that I didn’t need to think about it any more. But how naive and childish I was. This news was just marked the beginning of a new era in the organisation called the ‘ideological revolution’.

            While Tahereh was reading the message, her deputy Fazeleh had been crying hard. Her tears astonished us, but they did not seem to trouble Tahereh. Once she had finished asking us about our understanding of the message, she turned her attention to Fazeleh who started saying things that were utterly strange to us. I wondered how on earth she could learn so much from the message, and how stupid I could be. Still weeping, Fazeleh explained how the divorce and marriage had changed her completely and launched into a catalogue of unreserved self-criticism. Fazeleh, who could never acknowledge even her most obvious mistakes, was suddenly telling us about her most secret wrongdoings. She spoke of her selfishness and her pride and how they had affected everyone in the organisation.

            When her confession was over, Tahereh, showing no mercy or affection, said to Fazeleh: “but you know that you are still far from a complete revolution and from changing into a new person. You know that you still have long way to go and will have to work very hard . . . ’ We wondered what she meant. For the first time I felt pity for Fazeleh. I had often disliked her for selfishness and pride, but I never wanted to see her humiliating herself in front of us all. If I could, I would have hugged and kissed her as my sister and praised her courage and modesty. I was still thinking about her when Tahereh looked at us and said: “You, all of you, have to revolt as well, you all have to kill your old self and become a new person. Either you revolt and change yourself completely or you leave the organisation …” From now on our only concern would be to forget everything else and think and dream about the ‘ideological revolution’. Our immediate task, she said was to go away and think and then write a report about our past, or as it was code-named, our ‘old’ self. That evening the same scenario was repeated, this time at a meeting for all members where another sister, a council member, criticised herself publicly.

            I realised that something serious was afoot which would change everything in the organisation and I was no longer at ease. But I couldn’t imagine what it might be. I couldn’t relate the changes in Fazeleh to the news of Masoud’s marriage, and the more I tried to solve the puzzle, the less I was able to understand it. When Anna asked me to help her to understand I had to admit that I was bewildered and told her that she would have to rely on her instinct: ‘apparently this revolution is about the freedom of women,’ I said, ‘perhaps as a woman you will be able to understand it better than me.’

            Over the following weeks, it was rare to see anyone with a smile on their face or to hear laughter. At our New Year celebrations the next day our supporters had staged a comedy. Many of the audience were laughing. But whenever I looked around, I could see those who were members of the organisation deep in thought with a bitter smile on their lips, which did not hide their sad faces.

            We no longer worked very hard. Our supporters did much of the SW work and almost all the cooking. Those of us who tried to work made so many mistakes that the job usually had to be re-done. I found it very difficult to be myself anymore; the hardest part of my job was being responsible for ten to twenty supporters. I had to look after them, keep them cheerful and answer their questions . . . How difficult was to behave normally and be cheerful, encouraging and understanding whenever I had to visit their base? I guess only God knows it.

            One night after returning from the supporter’s base, I was told that another council meeting had been called. I soon discovered that this was not a council meeting but the first of a great many bizarre gatherings that came to be known as ‘revolutionary meetings’. When I arrived, I saw that Anna and few other sisters were present. The men sat along one side of the room and the women along the other with Sister Tahereh in the middle. Everyone was crying hard including the young man, a council member, who was talking loudly about his sex life. Sex was a great taboo for us and in the past we had never spoken of it except to our masoul, and especially not in the presence of ‘sisters’ in a public meeting. But no one was trying to stop him. He was admitting that he was attracted to Sister Tahereh. I couldn’t believe my eyes or ears. I could never imagine, still less accept, that any of us men had sexual feelings towards our ‘sisters’, not only because of the strict morals observed in the organisation, but also, to be honest, because of the way they dressed and their behaviour, which was much rougher than any man. But he seemed to be serious and honest.

            When he finished another member jumped from his seat, rushed towards him and slapped him hard in the face. He showed no reaction although his loud crying continued, as it had throughout his confession. A satisfied, affirmative smile appeared on Tahereh’s face. She told him to sit and asked him to write down what he had said later. Then she looked at me.

            “Why are you so surprised? Do you think you’re better than him? You’re worse, each one of you is worse than the other.”

            She asked me if I had any thing to say. I replied that I had written whatever there was to say down for her. I said this honestly as I had recently given her a report containing all my secrets, including my thoughts when I saw the videotape of Yaghobie, my feelings when I was not member of the council and….

            “Rubbish! You have said nothing, what you have written is naïve and childish. Many simple members and even supporters, who have no need for this revolution, have criticised themselves more severely than you … you have to work very hard … do you know that Anna has revolted and has gone further in the revolution than you?”

            She knew where to point her arrow and she did it skilfully. She knew how much I am in love of my wife and how worried of loosing her. If Anna had revolted and I had not, then she would remain in the organisation and I would have to leave. It would mean loosing everything, including my private life and my dear wife. Looking back I think that this was what she wanted to hear from me, but I could not see it at the time. I just sat there trying hard to search my memory for something untold about myself that would be accepted as a revolutionary revelation.

 

As soon as Tahereh felt that I was desperate to revolt, she left me alone and asked another man about his revolution. He started to talk about his wife and tell us how he was humiliating her. When he let drop that she was bony, Tahereh’s face clouded with anger. She stopped him.

            “What a pity your wife is not here, otherwise I would ask her to give you a few slaps.” She looked around. “Are none of you zealous enough to teach him a lesson and give him few slaps? But why should I bother asking? You’re all alike. You all think of women as a sex toys.” Then she ordered one of the younger members, who were supervised by the man who was confessing, to stand up and slap his face as hard as possible. He obeyed.

            As people got up one after the other to make their confessions, Tahereh watched my reactions and from time to time directed remarks at me. Soon I was no longer myself. My temperature seemed to rise and I was unable to think. I was desperately embarrassed. It was as if I was sitting there naked with everybody watching me. Tahereh pounced: “What’s happening Masoud? Is your icy logic melting away? You always thought you were clever and talented! Do you see your real self now? Do you see that when it comes to ideology you’re just dumb?” She was right; at that moment I was like a two year old. All my logic, all my powers of understanding, all my facility with words were gone. I wished I had something to tell her, that I could confess that I was attracted to a woman. Anything. That way I could save myself. But the harder I searched my memory for some untold offence, the less I could recall.

            Tahereh asked me yet again whether I had anything to say. Suddenly I began to cry loudly. My words were garbled, but I was begging her not to throw me out of the society, I was telling her that I couldn’t live alone, and would rather kill myself. I was talking about my childhood and how lonely I felt without my mother and how painful it was, and how terrified I had always been of loneliness. I could feel and see everybody, including Anna, watching me strangely and perhaps with pity. At the time, I only could see myself in that pathetic situation, while every body else if not worse than me were almost in the same awful situation.

            She stopped me and asked me not to do anything but to think and write.

 

 

            You have to burn, die, and born again!

            A few days later we received a videotape of the New Year’s celebrations at the Rajavi residence. There were almost 200 people present. The first to speak was? Reza’i, the mother of five martyred children

            “When I was summoned to a gathering to receive important news, I thought I would hear of another martyrdom, this time of my youngest son, Mohammed. I was preparing myself to say ‘God bless him’… When I was told of the marriage of Masoud and Maryam, my heart almost stopped, I moved violently . . . I blamed myself for not having the same power of sacrifice as they have. Five of my children have been martyred, I can see all of them in the existence of Masoud, I want to congratulate you Masoud and Maryam and Mehdi, for your ability to sacrifice . . . ”

             When she had finished Masoud got up. He spoke first at length about the history of the organisation, under the Shah, during the revolution and under Khomieni. How correct the organization’s prediction about people and events has been in different juncture. He said: “Divorce and Marriage!? Is madness, amazing, radical, imprudent and unwise, this is like many other actions of Mojahedin, like when we stood against Khomieni, while everybody was advising us to compromise with him. Like when, against advice of many, we met the foreign minister of Iraq in the same place as we are now. Today you are astonished again, it is like pouring boiling water at high pressure onto our head! Yes that is right, this was some sort of experience for testing you all, as we want to have steel. we are looking for new standard of power and capacity and work. Every body including our far-reaching supporters has to be cleansed of all reactionary tendencies and demagoguery. If you are in, you have to make it clear with firstly yourself then with the organisation. . There are many who claim they have feeling for people and freedom and independence of our country, but how can it be measured? Yes it can be measured according to the level of sacrifices of each person. Yes organisation has been shaken violently. We want to prepare ourselves for next ten years. If we do, then we are prepared about what we have in front of ourselves in next two years, namely overthrow of Khomieni regime. Those Mojahedin members who pass through this furnace, are more steadfastness, more steel like person, and have more future in the resisting . . . .” Then he showed two wedding rings, the rings that had belonged to Maryam and Mehdi Abrishamchii, and said: “These are the most complete and highest symbol of sacrifice. Can any heart see these rings and not weep? . . . Pity to you if you put any price for those rings. can you put any price for feelings and love?.”

            He then began to discourse on the freedom of women. “As long as even one woman remains in (the) prison (of her sex), all men are in prison too. The freedom of women is the freedom of the whole society.’’ “Whatever has happened,” he continued, “is not Maryam’s problem or mine. It is everyone’s problem. You all have to have answer for it.” Then he read few sentences from the Quran about the story of Mary and the marriage of the Prophet to the divorced wife of his adopted son.

            Soon it was Mehdi Abrishamchii’s turn to speak. He began by congratulating Masoud and Maryam, “with all my cells, skins and blood vessels …” . Then he said: “if it were not for Masoud, we would all have strayed and deviated and have been lost for ever … I wish each one of us had hundred lives to sacrifice in their path, not just one.” Then he referred to Masoud’s past sacrifices, adding that “whenever I met Masoud, I would wonder what kind of sacrifices are left for him? Not execution, nor torture are entanglement or hard for him, as he has seen them all in the prison. On June 20 he prepared us all for another ‘ASHURA’, (all of us being killed like Imam Hussein and his followers). He lost his wife, and enemy captured his child, he had to marry his last wife to keep Banisadr in the NCR, and then to divorce her. When this [marriage to Maryam] was suggested to him, I found my answer, he had to face the allegations and malicious accusations of counter-revolutionaries. But that was not all.” Then he faced the crowd and said: “OK be honest, say what passed in your heart? Did you understand what has he done? Did you not curse him? Did you not swear at him? Did you not want to kick him? Be honest, tell the truth. Be courageous, say what you thought. Then you can know yourself. . . . I know you will start to cry, you feel you are going to be forced upside down, this is an ideological move, we all have to pass through this furnace and melt away all our filthy parts, moving forward and leaving them behind. Then we can find ideological brightness. Then all will become true members of the Mojahedin. “

            Everyone wept as he spoke, including many of those watching the videotape. As usual Tahereh surveyed us carefully for our reactions. When Abrishamchii’s speech was over one of the ‘sisters’ stood up and said: “I know what discipline is and I respect it. I know I am not supposed to speak just now. But after hearing Masoud and Mehdi I felt a storm well up inside me and I can’t keep myself quiet.” Then she began to read a poem: “I am a sparking light, a flash from the storm, I am a storm, a storm in all of you, Maryam you have created a storm. Before [the wedding] that I was a small bush, but I broke my surrounding, as I was not able to be placed there any more. You are like sun, and I am like a spark radiant from you…” As she read her poem the crying got louder.

 

Ideological Revolution, a prevention for internal outcome of military and political defeats.

            While we were deep in the battle with ourselves, or as Moslems call it ‘JIHAD AKBAR’ (the great holy war), our external war was on the rise as well. Apart from our fight with the regime, which by now was mostly in Kurdistan, we were locked in a political battle with ‘anti-revolutionaries’ and leftist organisations outside the country. The newspapers published by the Iranian community in exile, were all discussing the marriage. Some made a joke of it, others condemned it as ‘immoral’, ‘dishonourable’ and ‘shameful’. Even leftist groups, who were supposed not to care much about Islamic values, criticised the Mojahedin in exactly the same terms. They also, because of the recent support of members of the United States Congress for the organisation, accused us of collaborating with imperialism – the same imperialism, as they reminded us, that we had been so much against in the past.

            On another front, after a series of defeats in Kurdistan, the Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran, and the Mojahedin who had fought alongside them had to withdraw from almost all the cities and most of the villages under their control to the Iraqi side of the border. Of course Mojahed spoke of the heroic actions of our combatants in different skirmishes without much emphasis on the outcome. We were not told the worst. As a result of its defeats the KDP opened peace talks with the regime and for the first time in November 1984 we saw an item in Mojahed questioning the KDP’s action. In our view it was outrageous for a party to be a member of the National Council of Resistance and at the same time to enter negotiations with the regime. Only a few months had passed since the revelation of Banisadr’s letter to Khomieni that had ended in his expulsion from the NCR. Hence we could sense that the end of the coalition with the KDP was near as well. Their own claim was that, as a local organisation which has control of part of Kurdistan, it was their duty to negotiate the safety of ordinary people with the enemy as much as to fight with them. But the Mojahedin insisted that: “between us and the regime there could only be a river of blood” Eventually, in April 1985 the NCR issued a resolution warning the KDP to break off its talks with the regime or be expelled from the council. They chose to leave. Following them a few smaller organisations and personalities resigned for different reasons, including the Mojahedin’s ideological revolution and except for a few personalities and the National Democratic Front which was represented by Dr. Matine Daftary (the grandson of Dr. Mossadeq), and a few members of one of the off-shoots of Feda’ian which called themselves by the same name, in reality the NCR meant the Mojahedin and their supporters. It was obvious to anyone but us, supporters of Mojahedin that politically we had failed to create the broad coalition Rajavi had promised: the sole reason for his presence abroad and his ‘heroic departure’ from Iran.

            Well we didn’t mind much about the splits nor about naming or cursing different people and organizations under different titles and slogans. Among ourselves we knew, and would repeat to each other, that the NCR was Masoud’s means of working on the political scene in Europe and America and nothing more, a product of his political art. Its main use was to deceive and fool the Americans and Europeans so that they would not think about us as the same Mojahedin who were responsible for assassinating American citizens in Iran or coining violent slogans against imperialism. We were part of a national alliance with a liberal and democratic appearance and programme. As Masoud had said in different circumstances, it was the Mojahedin and their supporters who had shouldered all the work and hardship of the resistance. So getting rid of unwanted partners was a cause for celebration, not grief as it set us free of different tendencies and the need to share power with people who ‘did nothing for the revolution’. As one of the masouls put it, “it is good to get to know these people while we are still fighting tyranny. If they were to wait for victory to show their real face, God knows what kind of price we would have had to pay for their split. So in a way we have to thank God that we did not succeed in overthrowing the regime earlier.”

 

Our sole concern: the ‘Ideological revolution’.

            By then, the ‘ideological revolution’ had accomplished its task. Not only did we pass over our military or political failures, but we were happy that we were unsuccessful since we were now able to see the real face of our friends in the coalition.

            Because in those days I was in charge of SW in London and every member had to work on SW for at least two days a week, I was in contact with many young men and women who were not under my direct command. Every night whoever had spent a day on SW had to report to our base, hand over the income they had raised, stay for dinner and attend our nightly meeting about our work.

            While everyone else slept, my deputy and I stayed up to plan for the next day, deciding which areas to assign to people and, with the help of another colleague, preparing the bags, which contained the material, they needed for their work, and their lunch. I was under great pressure to raise money, but few members could work properly. They were all so deeply involved in the ‘ideological revolution.’ I slept very little. At night I did the planning and preparation, and in the mornings I did not go on SW myself, I would monitor our teams work or look for new areas to cover. I also had to see our supporters and talk with them. By now they all knew about the ‘ideological revolution’ and had many problems and questions to which I could give no proper answer. I was breaking from within; but I had to keep up appearances. Only when I was alone in the base answering the telephone calls from our teams could I be myself. Then I could pity myself, and even cry for myself. I was paralysed and desperate. I didn’t know what to do or say to save myself from my misery. For me love and marriage were so natural and part of my life and myself which I never could see, this is the area which I should think about it and write about it.

            Once I was called to our main base where I was offered sweets, a cup of tea and words of congratulation. ‘What now?’ I wondered. ‘What kind of news do they have for us this time?! Soon I learnt that, brother Mehdi Abrishamchii had married the sister of Mussa Khiabani although only a few weeks had passed since his divorce. I had come to hate the word congratulations and the false smiles that went with it. But I controlled myself and did what was required. By now I knew what love and marriage meant in the Mojahedin and could see how far my emotions and my thinking were from the organisation’s requirements.

             Perhaps deep down my strong feeling about this news was due to this fact that I could see myself in his position. “What if they were to ask Anna to separate from me and marry somebody else and then ask me to marry one of the sisters?” After all, Anna had had her ideological revolution and I was still struggling to follow her. I was not going to our rest base any more and every night, even on Sundays, I slept in the work base. The truth is that I was not able to face Anna. I didn’t know who she was any more. Perhaps the ideological revolution had changed her so much that we could not live together. Perhaps she didn’t love me any more? . . .

            I was also ashamed that I had not had my own ideological revolution. In those days, Mojahed was full of members’ accounts of their ‘revolutions’, which I would read anxiously to find a direction for my own. But far from helping some of these added to my confusion. For example, Mansur Bazargan an old member of the Mojahedin, wrote that the impact of the news on him was greater than the news of 1971 when all the founders of the organisation were executed, or the news of 1975 when a Marxist coup in the organisation had caused a major split. “With this news,” he wrote, “all my blasphemies and class tendencies were burned. . . . . Masoud if for following and helping you they kill me and burn me, and then they give me life again, and if they repeat this a hundred times, I will not stop supporting and following and helping you. . . . .” It was like the words of one of the followers of Imam Hussein before Ashorra. But what did it mean? How could I get help from such idealistic wordings? Other statements were very simple and poetic, but still couldn’t show me any kind of mechanism for revolting. Sister Ronak Ali-Najad wrote: “I have a head ache, a very bad head ache, so painful that I feel I will only rid myself of it by crying hard. I feel I want to cry, I feel this room, house, city, everywhere is so small for me. I want to fly and find new love. I want to be host to a new person, the one who has destroyed my quiet and easy life. My eyes cannot see properly, I don’t know what am I writing. I know only that you, Maryam, are my ideological symbol. Tears are running from my eyes, everything blurs in front of them. I am revolting from within. I feel if I don’t write for you I will explode. . . . Let me please! Let me burn myself in your holy fire! Let me burn the monster of darkness in the fire of my own body! the one, which has darkened our country and has swallowed us all in pain and suffering … let me Maryam sacrifice myself for you and Masoud! You are the symbol of a nation in chains. . . . accept my desire to burn for you, for if you do not, I will burn every day for as long as I am alive.” Another sister wrote: “Dear Maryam I swear to God that, with all my existence I could feel that your path is the path of all messengers of God, from Abraham to Moses, to Jesus the sprit of God. . . . you are the one who are breaking unbroken knots and complexes. You are breaking the death locks … I am sure that it is not us but future generations who will understand you and worship you for what you did . . . .”

            Not only was I far behind my fellow Mojaheds, I was even incapable of seeing things which could be understood by foreigners. I reached this conclusion when I read a letter to Maryam from a French woman: “For me the Mojahedin were always not only an Iranian organisation but an international one, as the divine message which inspires this organisation is for all human beings . . . fighting against Khomieni and for the destruction of his regime is a means of uprooting reactionary cultures ways of thinking everywhere. The same kind of thinking which in different degrees exists in all human beings. This system doesn’t recognise the freedom of choice for women and thus denies them all human rights. This system of thought wants to change women into sex objects and merchandise … This system stands against the evolution of mankind, and by chaining women, wants to stop mankind reaching freedom and a monotheistic society. . . . this is why the Mojahedin’s Ideological revolution is not limited to the boundaries of Iran and has universal dimensions … Dear sister Maryam for me you are an infinity, you are the beginning and the end. You are the fruit of a holly tree flower, a tree which has its roots very deep in the earth, as deep as history of suppression of millions of unknown women in the entire history of mankind … But as God has given the power of birth to any flower, you are the fruit of that flower, and today this fruit, which has benefited from the sun [of knowledge] will be born in the spring (like many flowers and fruits born in the spring after darkness and cold of winter ).”

            ‘Everyone must revolt ideologically. Whoever does not cannot call himself a Mojahed” This was the slogan of the day, written in large print and were hung in many living rooms in our bases. Nobody could escape from this ‘revolution’. As our base was the largest in London, each week for one, two, or even three days, as we had to prepare it for ‘revolutionary meetings’. When meeting were held everything was put on hold – no work, no SW, no cooking and even no sleep for day or two. The meetings were no longer limited to members of the council. They were compulsory for all members of the society and not even illness could save one from attending. Our meeting room was large enough for thirty to forty people but sixty to seventy people would gather there, sometimes for a few days. Sitting on the flour was itself a kind of torture and on top of that there was only one toilet and almost no resting time. But the physical miseries of those gatherings were nothing compared to the mental pressures.

 

‘Ideological leadership’

            At times a guest member of the Mojahedin would attend our meetings. For example once Mohsan Reza’i was our guest. In the speech he delivered he mostly emphasised the importance and special position of the leadership that is Rajavi, in the organisation. He began by asking us, one by one, starting from me: “If all members of the organisation, including Mussa Khiabani if he was alive, decide on something, and Rajavi decides otherwise, who should we follow? The majority, or the ideological leadership …?”By now I knew perfectly well that Masoud’s position in the organisation, was like that of the Imam for the Moslems. The answer should be, ‘we would follow him!’ But it contradicted my own ‘liberal view’. So I answered, “I would follow him but I would ask him for an explanation!” “What if he refuses to give an explanation?” “Well I would accept, his word, but a seed of doubt would be sown in my heart, so if the scenario were repeated, the seed might grow and end with me refusing his words, or being forced to leave the organisation.” When he put the same question to others, and found that most of the answers were either like my own or a vehement, uncritical acceptance of his wording, he started to lecture us. Among other things he gave an example from the prophets Moses and Elias. Apparently when Moses still was not a prophet he asked Elias to take him on a journey. Elias accepted on one condition: that Moses had to follow him without question, whatever he did. While on the journey Elias committed many illogical and sinful acts, making hole in a merchant’s ship, which then sank killing many. Destroying the house of an old woman. Each time Elias wanted to commit such acts, Moses rejected them and asked him for a reason. In response, Elias would remind him of his condition and refuse an explanation. At the end of the trip Elias explained his actions one by one. For example, when the house of the old woman was destroyed, her two young children died from cold. Had they remained alive, they would have become repressive rulers, committing many crimes and murdering many people. From this story Reza’i concluded that: “An ideological leader has an ideological vision which is much deeper and more ideologically than political and certainly more broad and universal than understanding and vision of an ordinary follower. Usually he sees things and thinks in a way, which could not be explained at the time. He might seem illogical and irrational but only time can prove their correctness. Hence the follower has to follow his leader not on the basis of understanding, but on the base of total trust …” He added: “We have seen our leader in very difficult situations, and we have learned later how correct he has been in his decisions. Apart from his political vision, and his power in logic, speech, persuasion, his history of resistance under torture and immense pressure, his sacrifices in different areas. . . . Above all these advantages and capacities, he is different from us all and much in advance of any of us, because of his ideological vision and status.” In conclusion he said: “Even without a close encounter with Masoud, and perhaps with little knowledge of the history and ideology of the Mojahedin, you have all reached a common conclusion of accepting him as a leader and following his orders, even if they contradict everything else. But because you have accepted him with your mind and your logic, and not with your heart, although you accept his word, you do not deny your doubt. This might be ideal where you following a political leader. But since we are talking about an ideological leader, it is far from ‘good’ or even ‘just all-right’. To follow him ideologically, and not only politically, you have to see him and accept him not only in your mind, but in your heart. And you cannot do it unless you first open your heart to him. You should have no secret from him, no boundary should separate you from him. He should be the one and only, the closest person to you. To reach this close relationship, you have to work hard, beginning with the expression of all your contradictions and secrets, especially those concerning him.”

 

My personal ‘Ideological Revolution’

            I thought that by this time I knew where I stood and where I was aiming for. I thought I knew the procedure and what I had to do. After much effort, I would often find minor untold secrets or contradictions and, by writing about them in my weekly ‘ideological report’ or, as it was called, ‘revolutionary report’, I would feel “that is it!” and with a sham smile try to show that ‘I have revolted.’ But a look from Sister Tahereh, her sarcastic remarks, and eventually her straight reproach would show me how wrong I was and how far I was from revolting.

            In one meeting a brother confessed that once after SW work he had encounter with a prostitute. Anna jumped from her place shouting one insult after another at him, finally saying he should leave the room and never again face any of sisters who were present. I was shocked to see Anna like that: angry, offensive, impolite, cruel. It was the first time in thirteen years I had witnessed her abusing anybody. The incredible change convinced me that she had indeed had her ideological revolution. Like others in the meeting whose ideological revolution had been accepted, she no longer criticised herself and instead attacked others. When she spoke about herself it was to help others to revolt, to explain how she had reached that stage, and who inspired her. In the same meeting she told us of a long poetic letter printed in Mojahed, which had been her inspiration. It was by Mehdi Khodaie-Sefat. To reach Anna’s level, I read it several times, but the more I read, the less I understood how she could grasp its complexities. Now more than ever I lost hope. As one of the masouls told me, I was so dependent on my logic and the understanding of ‘my mind’ that I was unable to see and understand from ‘heart’.” Once during one of the ‘revolutionary meetings’, I was so desperate, and so angry with myself, with my mind and my logic, that, alone in the toilet, I started banging my head and cursing myself. I knew that I would lose everything, perhaps even my own mind, if I didn’t revolt. I would have to leave the organisation, to separate from Anna who, perhaps as a result of revolting was going to Paris, or to fight in Kurdistan. I was going to lose my political goal and my private life. At one point I felt that my only alternative was suicide. But I thought of Sarvy and Hanif, and started crying for them, perhaps even more for myself, as I thought how ashamed they would be to have a defeated and wrecked father.

            Noticing my catastrophic situation, Sister Tahereh called me to her office and asked me why I did not revolt like the others?! I replied: “Do you think, I don’t want to revolt?!” Then, crying loudly, I added: “but I don’t know how,” She merely laughed and told me that she pitied me. “You are an able person, are you not? You have studied for long time, have you not? You have read many books . . . but you are incapable of doing a simple thing which many, less able, less educated, much younger than you accomplished in a single day … You must have an untold secret which has turned you to stone, made you heartless. You have to talk about it and set yourself free. When you feel there is no barrier between you and the leadership, then you will be able to revolt and fly, then you will be able to see him with your heart and feel him with your whole being. Then you can be unified with him.”

            My darkest and most tormenting memory, secret or, as such things were known as ‘contradiction’, was of sexual molestation in my childhood. I had never talked to anyone about it, and never wanted to think about it. Now freed of all secrets in my political life, I was forced to remember the darkest and deepest secret of my life. How could I talk or even write about it? I knew from Iranian, perhaps a universal tradition, that this is the darkest and deepest demon of all, and perhaps the most dishonourable. What would happen to my dignity, my honour, my position among my friends, comrades and, worst of all, my wife and children? How could I talk about it? For several days, perhaps weeks the question engulfed me. Everything else was forgotten in a blink. I was ate, drank, worked and talked with it, even when I was asleep and dreaming. I could imagine faces or even thought of different people close to me when were hearing this revelation. I felt the shame and loneliness I was about to experience.

            But what choice did I have? Either way I was about to loose everything, my family and friends, my reputation and status in the organisation, even my goal, my desire to help my people. But at least I was no longer confused, puzzled or stupefied. It was hard, very hard, but at least it was the solution! With it I could change the situation, run from death, saves myself from madness … .

            For going from our base to central base of the society, I had to pass from a park. In that very disturbing, frightening, and in a way sad spring, I once lingered for an hour or two in the park, watching ordinary people, children playing with their colourful balls, couples hand in hand walking and talking with smiles, a girl jogging to achieve the figure she wanted, a man riding his bicycle, an old man smoking his cigarette, and an old woman who was feeding pigeons. How beautiful ordinary life was, and how far I was from it! The spring flowers were as sweet as ever, birds were flying and singing, butterflies were dancing on the flowers and bees were sucking their nectar. This was me who was sank in marshland of my thought, my problems, my misery. Suddenly I felt that nothing worse could happen. I might be left alone like the old man, smoking my cigarette, or the old woman feeding pigeons. At that moment I could not see anything positive about myself, I could not see the good things I had, my youth, my health, my knowledge, my capacity to build another future for myself . . . . those jewels of life, and many more valuable things, more than ever, during ‘ideological revolution’ were deprived of having any pride or self-confidence. We were changed into worthless commodity. Not worthless, let me be correct, ‘shameful commodity’. Thinking or remembering oneself capacities and abilities, self-happiness, self-assurance, self-confidence, were shameful, deplorable and outrageous. During those decisive moments I remembered an Old Persian expression: ‘fear is brother of death’. To save yourself from destruction and death you have to overcome and kill your own fear. So I had to fight against my own fear, fear of loneliness. In another word or perhaps from negative side of it, when one is desperate enough and has no alternative, he has to think of worse and prepare himself for the worse. And this was precisely what I did. Now I was brave and courage full enough to write about my fear and my dark secret. And I did. In a way many things changed for me, not when I wrote about it, but even before that, when I prepared myself to write about them. Suddenly, instead of feeling heavy as a mountain, unable to move an inch for millions of years. I felt as light as those butterflies in the park, as beautiful and colourful as them and as free as them. I felt no boundary, no restriction, no fear of the future, no complex of the past, no question, no problem, no dilemma. I felt free as I felt I have no need, when I overcame my biggest and deepest need, there was nothing left to make me poor and in need. So I was rich, I was as rich as one can be. I had killed my strongest fear, so I was strong, as strong as one might desire.

            I was not afraid of anything, I was strong, I was rich, I was free, so I was happy, happier and more self-assured than ever. These feelings were not hidden under my skin, nor were crawling about my mind and heart. They were real, as real as I was. They were visible, noticeable and crystal-clear to all who knew me. I had revolted, had my own ‘ideological revolution’. Immediately afterwards I felt the gates of my heart has been opened to every body and every thing. I felt I am more than ever capable of loving, and giving. I could love God, all existence, all human beings, my country, my people, my leaders, my masoul, my colleagues, those who worked under me, my family, my wife, my children. I could feel my heart is as big as be able to house all those loves at the same time and still there was more room for loving many more unknown things. Now I could even not only love but admire my own masoul, Sister Tahereh who was always teasing me, abusing and insulting me, and even aimed to crush me. Sister Tahereh who always tried to convince me I am nobody and nothing.

            Now perhaps I was able to understand Masoud and Maryam, those who could fight against their own fear, and overcome it. Fight against history’s old demagogues of ownership of women by men. Did they have the right for whatever reason to marry each other? They say it was because of the revolution and freedom of our country. They say if they were not married, because of Islamic traditions and restrictions. They were not able to work as close as they had to, and could not be as effective as they wished to, or expected to, as the joint leadership of the Iranian resistance. Their enemy were saying it was not the need of the revolution but the sexual desire of Rajavi. They say he stole his friend’s wife. They say he has broken all moral and honourable codes, traditions, customs. They say their action not only is a shameful and disgraceful spot for Mojahedin but for resistance forces against Khomieni, and further more for all Iranian, and perhaps for all human kind. Those who could think deeper and were more political and perhaps open minded. Said: “it was need of Rajavi himself as the leader of the Mojahedin to create a catastrophe to distract all attentions, at least concerns of the organisation’s members, from his failing policies in all directions. His defeat in different battle fronts, in cities, and in Kurdistan. Lose of many supporters and members either because of regime’s executions, and imprisonment, or their lose of hope and eventual passivity of them. His failure in creating a broad coalition. Those who were more philosophical claimed that Mojahedin from a broad and popular organisation have changed into a cult and compared this act with the acts of many Gurus for testing their followers. Their trust, faith and obedience toward themselves, one compared this with a story: “The story of a travelling Sufi guru, who, on being greeted by a large crowd, weeded out the half-hearted from the true believers by urinating in front of them. The faithful remained, but those weak in spirit left in disgust.” What ever reason, in our view a prehistoric taboo was broken, a woman had been able to decide for herself, between her ideological believe and her commitment toward her marriage and her child, she chose the former one. For a man as is considered as complete human, this action could not bring any rumour or ill faith remark. In whole history, in all different countries and cultures including in Iran and in Islamic culture there has been perhaps millions of examples of men leaving their wives and families for other women not because of joy or sex but for political and perhaps ideological reasons. Those who married their foe’s daughters to bring peace and stop bloodshed. Those who changed their religion and had to divorce their wives and marry those from the same faith. . . . . But for Maryam as a woman this was the worst crime that she could commit. Though nobody was talking about Maryam’s role in this affair. Mostly she was considered as some sort of commodity exchanged between two men. She had to prepare herself for committing the worst crime, which she could commit and prepare herself for any label, any curse and abuse and maltreatment.

            In their verbal or written reports of their ‘ideological revolution’, some said that they were inspired by this courage of Maryam. Hence they could face their own weakness and complex and overcome it. But in my case it was completely opposite. First I faced my own fear and then start seeing Maryam’s courage and struggle. In my long poetic letter to her I wrote about my own revolution, and proclaimed that I have been able to see her in my own revolution. Inspired by an Iranian poetic expression, ‘story of butterfly and candle’, where candle burns itself to give light to everybody and butterfly instead dances around candle till burning herself in its flames. I expressed myself as a butterfly that wants to dance in the fire of her sacrifice, to burn my own colourful wings, means losing all my own characters, and being burned in the flame of that love, and melted in the story of eternity told by her. Yes I asked her to let me to burn myself alive in front of every body, as a genuine evidence for her true and real revolution against all exploitation of mankind by men. Starting with worst of all, the exploitation of women by men everywhere around the world.

 

 

            Hold of the organisation united in expense of loses of supporters

            With the arrival of June, as usual we had to prepare ourselves for June 20th demonstration. As in previous demonstrations I had been successful in organising our supporters in Manchester and the Midlands, I was sent north to recruit for the event. Unlike pervious times we had to recruit people not only to join our demonstration in London but for going to Paris for attending the meeting. I was told that all our close and trustful supporters with valid passport should be nominated for going to Paris and the rest of people had to be organised for coming to London. Apart from that we had to talk to rich Iranian and persuade them to help us financially, especially with the expenses of those who would travel to Paris, many of whom were penniless. But I soon discovered that my task this time would be not as easy as before. We had to talk for hours with the people we approached. On previous occasions everybody had just one question: “when are we going back to Iran?” Now everyone asked questions about the ideological revolution – moral, political, procedural, and even Islamic questions. Thanks to my own revolution, I went on the offensive asking our critics to explain exactly what wrong had been done. The most honest and frequent answer, to which I have to admit I had no response, was that: “it is going to prolong the revolution as ordinary people can’t understand it and will consider it as immoral and corrupt.” Any way however difficult, we could manage to have our own demonstration in London and send enough people to Paris. My team also managed to fulfil its finical commitment. We had with difficulty attracted 600 people to our demonstration, but thanks to sister Tahereh we claimed 1200 and were saved from those who wanted to say we had lost support because of ideological revolution.

            In the post-mortem council meeting held after the demonstration, when we faced the real attendance figures, including unemployed miners from the north east who joined the demonstration for a free days sight seeing in London, to answer sister Tahereh’s criticism, we had to number people who came from different region to see who was responsible most for this embarrassing failure. Since the number of people coming from outside London was known from the numbers in the buses, surprisingly we reached to negative number from London. At this point the person in charge of recruiting in London jumped from his chair with anger and astonishment and said: “so you mean that I not only didn’t recruit any body, including myself, to join the demonstration but I actually sent some people from other cities away!!” The truth was, however, that it had been difficult to recruit people and the targets set for us had been impossibly high. Furthermore, we all had to prove our revolution and a failure to meet Sister Tahereh’s targets meant that our revolution was not genuine or good enough. So somehow we had to lie, but in a way a white kind of lie without feel of guilt. For example I myself was so desperate that in my report I included those who promised us that they would come with their own cars, though I was certain they would not show. Another masoul, instead of saying how many people have come from his region talked about the capacity of buses he had hired. But our lies were no worse than Sister Tahereh’s who counted passers-by as demonstrators.

            While I was in Manchester, I could see clearly negative reaction to our ideological revolution. The number of those who were prepared to call themselves supporters of Mojahedin had dropped dramatically. In the past, people were shy and humble when they spoke to us, and felt indebted to us because of our fight for their country. Now they were aggressive, even rude. We had problem with our own members too. Among those under my responsibility, there was a very young man called Ardevan. When I returned from mobilisation I discovered that he had left the society. He was perhaps my best member, and I liked him very much for his innocent, hardworking and truthfulness. I was very upset, as we believed to live outside of the organisation was equal to the destruction of our humanity. An end to our existence as a free and honourable human beings. I tried very hard to find Ardevan and persuade him to return. A few years later I did find him and he re-joined us, but even then I could see this had little to do with the Mojahedin and owed much more to personal friendship. As soon as I left him with other masouls, he escaped again. In another case even a close friendship with a member for whom I was responsible could not offset the pressure of the ideological revolution. I gave Saleh permission to visit his family in Manchester. A few days later I realised that he would not return. For several weeks, I was unable to admit to sister Tahereh that I had permitted him to go because I was sure of the organisation and perhaps myself and my friendship with my boys. At that point still I could not see, that the pressure on members was so great that no organisational or personal tie could neutralise it or ease the pain created by the ‘throwing them into the fire’ as it was told by Rajavi himself.

 

Whatever our doubts about the size of the demonstration, we were happy that its quality was high. We had five people dressed in white clothes as a symbol of the 50,000 martyrs of the revolution, and fourteen people in prison dress as a symbol of the 140,000 political prisoners held in Iran. We had few people made up to look like Khomieni and his revolutionary guards, and few people playing music, at the end of demonstration we had a play of what is happening in Iran and what is going to happen eventually, namely uprising of people and freeing prisoners and killing of Khomieni and guards. Poor guards had so many beatings from not only prisoners but from martyrs too which for several days were complaining from those beatings. We had few speakers from labour and liberal parties. Among slogans of this demonstration for the first time apart from our usual slogans including ‘Hail to Rajavi’, we had very clamorous, controversial and new slogan of ‘Rajavi-Iran, Iran-Rajavi’, which could imply Rajavi is equal to Iran and vice versa. While we were repeating this slogan we had to cry very loud as many were not repeating it and it was very embarrassing to see it ignored by many including our close supporters.

            In this demonstration close to the many photographs of Masoud Rajavi, including one very large in front of the demonstration we were moving large photographs of Maryam whose family name was now changed from Azodanlu to Rajavi. Of course not because of marriage, as she was not still married to Rajavi, or even so she didn’t name herself Abrishamchii when she was married to Mehdi Abrishamchii, but as later was explained by her, because of resistance and symbolisation of residence in this name. She said: “many martyred Mojahedin Kissed the noose and in the name of Rajavi accepted their execution. And many more prisoners were inspired by his name to resist many kinds of torture and did not surrender or repent.” Rajavi, she added, is family name of all Mojahedin resisting Khomieni’s tyranny.

            With the return of those attending the celebration in Paris we were able to hear moving and fantastic news about that event. It didn’t take long when we received videotape and a colourful issue of Mojahed full of beautiful pictures of Masoud and Maryam, among bunches of colourful flowers at their marriage ceremony. From then on this day not only was celebrated as the anniversary of the largest ever demonstration of Mojahedin in the streets of Tehran, but also for this marriage which took place exactly four years later.

            That issue of Mojahed was treated like a rare commodity. All our members wanted a copy and were prepared to pay any price for it. We rationed it among different bases, but soon realised, presumably because there was no demand among other Iranians, that we could have two each. Soon everyone had photographs on their desk, and the pocket books and brief cases of our members were all decorated according to the taste and artistic talent of their owners with the wedding pictures. Our decorated pictures of Maryam and Masoud became a talking point for us and objects of competition as we vied with each other to show our love for the leadership and the depth of our own revolution.

            Apart from pictures, this issue of Mojahed was full of important and moving speeches and hundreds of messages of support for the Iranian resistance from political organisations, including the British Labour and the Liberal parties and many individual members of parliament including Conservatives. There were also letters of support from major French political parties and many more governing parties from different European countries and from fifteen members of the American congress.

            For the ceremony, from pictures and its videotape one could guess between one to two thousands members and close supporters were there to witness this ‘historical and moving’ event. In front raw were collection of people from different walks of life, to show off the support among different ranks of society, including sport-men, army personal, families of martyred Mojahedin, old and famous members of Mojahedin. Stage itself was full of different expensive, colourful flowers, which later on did create many criticism and comparison of this ceremony with the events that used to take place during Shah’s era. Sitting beside them near a table were Masoud and Maryam, Masoud in dark suit as usual without tie, and Maryam in simple, white dress.

 

 

            A ‘marriage ceremony’

            The ceremony began with Maryam. She starts by talking about Ashraf, the first martyred wife of Masoud, as symbol of revolutionary and Mojahed women, and her ideological mother. Then she starts answering different allegations against Masoud. She said: “He is accused of being selfish, power-thirsty, . While I have to say that a selfish person cannot remain even among lowest rank of Mojahedin, and certainly not in the circle of leadership. In a collective work, there is no room for self-interest . . . . But if you (those who are accusing him.) know any other person more capable than him, we have no objection in accepting him as our leader. But first we ask him bunch of questions. ‘Where have you come from?’. ‘What is your struggle and revolutionary background against two recent dictatorship in our country?’. ‘What have you done for people and revolution?’. ‘What kind of problem’s of the revolution had been solved by you?’. ‘What is your own organisation?’. ‘What is your strategic plan (for the resistance or revolution)?’. ‘What is your alternative? (For the regime)’.”

            Then after talking about freedom of women, she start talking about the marriage, its reason, and then she start answering related questions, she said: “Some ask if there is a need of marriage in circle of leadership, what about when one of you die? I say this marriage did happen just once. If Masoud dies, he is alive in me. . . . Some ask about family values and welfare of my daughter? I have to say when there are fifty thousand executions, and 140,000 political prisoners, when there are many unsupported families and children, how Mehdi (Abrishamchii ) or I could think of ourselves or our child? If we did, were not you questioning us for that?.” Then she said it was her right to divorce her husband, and it was she who proposed to Masoud. Again she pointed the accusers and asked: “why didn’t you talk as much as you did in this case, against crimes of Khomieni’s regime?. You consider woman under ownership of men, as some kind of merchandise which can be handed over between two men, the one who has no right and no will of her own. . .”

            After Maryam’s speech, for the first time in Iranian and Islamic history, Maryam as a woman read the Quran marriage sermon. Which brought tear of happiness in all our eyes. While Masoud with his joking gestures and comments, forced us to mix the tear with smile. Then there was column of people toward their position for congratulating them. First, Mehdi Abrishamchii, who forced us all to cry gravely. Then Mother and Father of Rezaie’s family. Others, like ninety four years old father of one of the martyred Mojahedin who start reading his poem for them and said: “by the grace of those two, Iran has become honoured, honouring is not only for Iran, but for all Mojahedin who have become like sun, as all have been honoured in the heart of people. . . . .” Then there were sport’s champions who present them with their medal and trophies.

            Then after singing of Mojahedin’s children, who were hugged by Masoud and Maryam, it was Masoud’s turn to give speech. As usual, a very long and moving one. He start by reading a sentence from Quran and then, with referring to children who sang for them, gave a story, story of ‘Phoenix’, story of different birds including pigeons whom in their land were not save from Hyenas with turbans, (referring to mullahs in Iran). There were foxes (those who deceived people in aid of mullahs), and cats (who were thief and were showing homage toward any body who was ready to feed them, without any honour or loyalty.) Foxes and cats were aiding Hyenas. Also there were rabbits that were ready to curl under-ground for not seeing the crimes of Hyenas. Eventually birds from fire which was made to cook them for Hyenas, decided to fly and find their own leader. “They were thirty and after long fly they became ‘SEYEH MORGH’ (phoenix-the leader of birds), and that phoenix today has been materialised in Maryam. (i.e. phoenix in Farsi is ‘SEYEH MORGH’ means ‘thirty birds’. so this is an expression that ‘they were thirty (and with collective effort and mind) they became phoenix. (Their own leader)).” Masoud finished his story with the name of Maryam and immediately all people in videotape and in our meeting room where we were seeing it stood up crying and clapping. Chanting: “Iran-Rajavi, Rajavi-Iran” Then again he start numbering the accusations of his foes and answering them, which were quite logical, and understanding and brought more hate among us for his foes. Then he carried on to the pick and climax of his speech, he said: “This is new birth, an explosion, I am asking you to come with me to infinity! First you have to judge me! You have to accuse me! Accuse me as a dishonourable, disgraceful, capricious, person, who has stolen his best-friend’s wife. You have to take me to your own court, you have to judge me, if the accusers win, good for people who will get rid of a leader like me. But if they lose, you have to come to aid me with all your might; you have to put your hand in mine to destroy Khomieni and to bring peace and freedom to our country. But that is not all, after that you have to think, what did you think yourself? If what ever you thought was correct so reject us as your leader. If not, you have to answer where from did your thought came from? If it was not inspired from our decision, it had to be from your own character and personality! (i.e. thief thinks every body are thief too.) Hence in this case we are going to act like mirror, a mirror that you will be able to see your own true face, in it.” Then with high emotions and very loudly he repeat a sentence from one of the Persian poems: “burn, burn, die, die, don’t be afraid of burning and die in the fire of this love.” Then he said “everybody has to die and born again (this time not from your own mother but from Maryam.) . . . If any body has not born again cannot call himself Mojahed, self-burning and self-sacrifice, compare to what Mehdi and Maryam have done, is nothing.” Again he start reading following sentences of the same poem: “die, die, when you come alive from this smoke, you are all ‘BADR MONIER’. (Higher than moon)” Then came climax of climax of his speech, while he rose from his seat, and was crying loud, said: “What is the message? Yes, I have come to sacrifice myself and my organisation and my generation, for the freedom of people. For thousand times they drilled my heart, for thousand times they put the hanging rope on my neck, thousand times they lashed my body, Yes I am people’s Mojahedin, I am hundreds of thousands, I am representative of generation of infinities. I have come to sacrifice myself for the freedom of my chained people. Hi people of Iran, ‘HAL MEN NASAR-A YANSORNIE’ (i.e. famous sentences from Imam Hussein, “is there any body to help me?”).” Well who could not cry, who could not shut, who could not chant: ‘BA MASOUD, BA MARYAM MIJANGIAM TA AKHAR’. (following Masoud, following Maryam, we are going to fight till eventual victory).

            Following that video, we had to revolt again. This time as it was told by Masoud, we had to take him to negative infinity and accuse him of any thing which we could think of, and then judge him, if we reached to the verdict that he is not guilty, then we had to make him as mirror and this time judging ourselves. Meant accusing ourselves for the same crimes, which we accused him of. Following that we had to find our class tendencies. And our true nature, hidden under nice and gentle behaviour of ours. Well how difficult it was, we, most of us wrote pages of reports, naming, describing and reasoning our own class tendencies, giving examples from our past. From our tendencies we had to find whom were we closer too, Shah or Khomieni?! Soon it became an expression among us, after asking each other if we have revolted, to ask: “how many Shah or Khomieni or both have we swallowed?” Then in ‘ideological-revolutionary ‘meetings one by one of us had to go by the big board in front of everybody and divide it by two, in one-side write: ‘OLD’ and the other side, ‘NEW’. Then underneath of each word write our way of thinking and behaviour and tendencies, in old time, and what are they now after our revolution. Among one of people who were under my responsibility there was one named Sharif, who was very fat and simple and kind person. When they asked him to talk about his old, or as it was custom naming oneself with prefix of ‘old’, he said: ‘KOHNEH SHARIF’. Meant ‘nappy of Sharif’ and not ‘old Sharif’ as ‘old’ and ‘nappy’ are pronounced with slight difference and write the same way in Farsi. So a very serious meeting while all were deep in their own thinking and were crying, exploded with laugh as every body immediately imagined the size and shape of his nappy.

            Now after we had our own revolution, we were asked to show the videotape of the wedding to everybody. So as usual I was sent to Manchester to recruit people to travel to London to watch it. It was unbelievable and funny for many whom we were asking them to leave their work and come to London just for seeing videotape. We had to invent many excuses for asking this ridiculous demand. The truth was that the organisation wanted to show how everybody is welcoming the ideological revolution, and our masoul was so afraid of low turn out, in this meeting. Hence she wanted to bring anybody interested, from whole country to fill the meeting place. To ‘aid’! Us we were received the videotape of Abrishamchii about the ‘ideological revolution’. While us and many close supporters were very interested to see that tape, perhaps to answer some of our own questions, other people’s reaction was completely opposite. He praised Rajavi like saints during whole of his speech, which we didn’t mind and didn’t take notice of it. But apart from us, it created strong negative reactions among those who saw it. So not only that video didn’t solve any problem, but even did create many more problems. Forcing people to come in their own city to see that video tape, by itself was a big task, and after that many with more questions and spending six to seven hours to see that very long video tape, were not ready even to talk to us, forget about coming to London. The day, when we wanted to move to London, we found our buses almost empty, even close supporters were hesitant to come, as many already had spent a lot of time for seeing many different video tapes and many had seen the ceremony itself in Paris. Hence we had to go to their houses one by one to ask them to fulfil their promises and come with us. When we went to one of them who was living in university’s residential hall, we found him sleep in his room, we were pressing his door’s bell and banging on his window, where from we could see him sleeping and not responding to all our knockings. While he was pretending he is asleep, we were worried if anything has happened to him. Eventually we called the guard of the building to come and open the door for helping him. The guard didn’t believe us and came to knock the door himself. When he saw no response, he became more worried than us and called for Ambulance and brought the spare key to open the door. At this time our supporter couldn’t pretend any more and while he was pretending that he has jumped from some sort of comma, thanked us very much saving him from probable death. Any way he said “as you can see I am not well at all so excuse me for not coming to London.”

            In London as our masoul was advised from Paris, a very expensive salon for showing the videotape was rented and was decorated with many expensive flowers, perhaps to make life even more difficult for us in answering even more questions.

             

            ‘Another divorce’. ‘Another marriage’

            In few weeks time it was announced that Brother Mehdi Abrishamchii, one of the heroes of this revolution, would visit London to ‘tie’ our individual revolutions. An expression used by the Mojahedin during ideological revolution, this meant helping people to conclude their revolution and return to normality and stability in higher dimension.

            To meet Abrishamchii in person was an unbelievable honour. The thought of him talking to each one of us about our revolution and certifying it drove us mad with excitement. The meeting was to take place in our base, of which I was the masoul. So, as host, I was especially anxious, when he entered the meeting room accompanied by two bodyguards, we clapped for almost half an hour, till our hands turned red. He turned his back to us and faced the pictures of Masoud and Maryam to show that our applause is not for him but for the leadership, then started clapping too. He opened the meeting by asking for someone to a volunteer to tell the story of his or her revolution first. Immediately all hands went up. A long, emotional, and perhaps unbelievable story thus began which continued for almost three days without any sleep start by one of our sisters who start talking about her own revolution.

            It was summer, but for us, used to the hot Iranian summers of Iran, it was like spring. The meeting room doors were wide open to the garden, and one could see flowers, birds and the children, including Sarvy and Hanif, were left alone to play any game they liked, however dangerous. In the room we were far away from the truth and the reality of the material world, or as we used to claim and call it: ‘alienated and exploited imaginary life’. With each story of misery, complexes, misfortune and dependency, we cried, feeling it was our own sometimes so loudly that the walls of the room would shake, as if crying with us. Sometimes, when we heard the story of a friend’s revolution we would clap with all our might for long time. A few minutes later we were laughing loudly and singing one of the Mojahedin’s anthems, or a love song. Later I learned that our neighbours thought we must be holding a curious religious ceremony for the death of a close relative and tried to show understanding. They even looked after our children.

            Although each time after the end of a speech, my hand, like many others, shot up as high as possible for the next turn, deep inside me I would rather die than talk. By now I had written everything, and had many times prepared myself to talk; but it was still difficult to imagine confessing my dark secret in front of everybody including Anna and people under my own responsibility. Eventually brother Mehdi asked me to talk, but first he said: “I have a question, you asked in your report to be permitted to burn yourself, may I ask, why?” I replied: “Well thanks to the ‘revolution’, I have seen my filthy past, and I hate it with all my being. So I want to burn myself so I can be born again as fresh and as clean as a baby from Maryam.” He asked me a few more questions, which I answered. I was crying hard and wanted to talk. But he stood up and said: “I praise the Banisadr’s courage. Not that Banisadr, (referring to my cousin, the ex-president), who I hate, but this Banisadr who has been born from Maryam.” Then he started to applaud me and the others followed suite, as it was a custom to clap for those whose ‘revolution’ was accepted. This time, I was really been ready to talk, but he didn’t let me and said he has read my report, and there is no need to repeat what I had said.

            Soon it was Anna’s turn. Again he silenced her, instead asking her if she was ready to divorce me. She started to cry loudly. I, sitting few rows back was crying slowly too. After a long pause she said ‘yes’ and he asked me to stand up and answer the same question. I said ‘yes’ too. He asked us both to take our rings and give them to him. We did. He showed those rings and said: “yes those rings like many others are symbol of the Mojahedin’s sacrifice for the freedom and independence of our country. May God accept them.” He repeated the procedure with a few other couples. And then he asked us all to stand up and, to more weeping and enthusiastic applause, he married us to our spouse in the name of Maryam and Masoud.

            There were still a few left who had not had their ‘revolution’, among them Behnam, a high-ranking member of the society’s council who was videoing. Suddenly we saw him banging very his head hard on his camera. Blood was spurting everywhere. Behnam was under immense pressure to have his ‘revolution’, and didn’t know what to do. Perhaps, like me when I was in the same situation he preferred to beat himself from anger and desperation. People jumped towards him to stop and help him. He didn’t say anything in that meeting. But I think that sometimes later he did have his ‘revolution’.

            Another was Sharif who was asked to stand up. Then Abrishamchii asked him why has he not have revolted. He could not answer. Then he was asked what is bothering him most? Again he had no answer. He was asked to reconsider, to look at himself and see if any thing was wrong. Again no answer. Some of us were angry at his ignorance, others were sad and crying for him and still others were laughing slowly. Eventually Abrishamchii, who was tired. Said: “You’re a chubby guy aren’t you?” He looked at himself and said: “Oh you mean this. Oh yes, that’s right.” Then Abrishamchii said: “Yes you’re chubby, but you’re a Mojahed, we have flabby Mojahed, bold Mojahed, (pointing at himself.), blind and deaf Mojahed … but these are not the adjectives which describe us, they are the values of those outside the resistance. Here you are measured by your sacrifices and your honesty as a Mojahed.”

            The meeting was ended by singing led by one of his bodyguards. Then, as usual now, it was time to chant ‘Iran-Rajavi, Rajavi-Iran’ for almost half an hour.

            After the meeting I was called to Abrishamchii’s room and he asked me, if I thought Anna was ready to go to Kurdistan to fight. I presume before wanting to know about her, he wanted to know if I am ready to lose her. I replied, “I don’t know, before this revolution, my answer would have been no. But after the revolution I hardly know her to judge her.” Then he asked me about Banisadr and asked me to write something about him. Few days later I did, but as my criticism was too mild, and was more logical than emotional, he didn’t like it very much. Although he accepted it, as one might guess, it never was published in Mojahed.

 

 

Change of my name from Masoud to ‘Masoud’

Once the revolution was over we were told to go to our ‘rest base’ more often and spend more time, at least few hours a week, with our family. Even Anna was asked by our new masoul, Sister Saeideh to go with children to Frankfurt to visit her mother who had recently arrived there from Tehran. After few days after Anna’s departure from London, Saeideh told me to join her. But when I reached Frankfurt, Anna said that we both had orders to return to London immediately where important news awaited us.

             In London we discovered that most members of the society were to leave us for either France or Kurdistan. The reason, we were told, was that: “as a result of revolution our capacity to work and accept of responsibility has magnified by hundred times, so each one of us is capable of doing the work of several people.” Those who remained, including me, now had to work much harder. I was told that from then on I would be the deputy of the society in England. I was cried badly as I didn’t want to stay in an ‘empty’ London and would rather be with my old friends in Kurdistan. But I had no choice.

            A few weeks later we received an order to mobilise and move most of our supporters and members to Bournemouth as Maryam was going to attend the annual conference of the Labour party there. At the conference we had to face different kinds of foe, this time supporters of Tudeh and various Feda’ian who had gathered to ‘disclose and reveal the true face of Mojahedin’. We were afraid that they might throw things, eggs or even a bomb at Maryam’s car when she is going to conference building. As it turns out, our presence there was so overcoming that it seemed conference is an Iranian one and has nothing to do with British politic. Apart from them and supporters of other left Iranian groups, the supporters of Right groups including supporters of Bakhtiar, all united against us joined them. To watch them, to argue with them, and to answer back their accusations in front of Labour party members, instead of discouraging us was giving us more reason that we are right and all of them are badly wrong. Even we were feeling pity for them for following corrupt leaders of their organisations and wasting their time and energy fighting against us while we were putting all our energy struggling against Khomieni’s regime. We could see with our own eyes that our leaders are right and those people are more worried of Mojahedin reaching to power than crimes committed by Khomieni, every day in Iran.

            One day during that gathering we were asked to go to Maryam’s hotel. It was our first time seeing her, our saint, our prophet, our heavenly angel. Sarvy was with us, and I was happy that she would see Maryam and be kissed and fondled by her. In the same meeting as it was custom of those days, as newborn babies to change our names and have name of one of our hero or leaders as our name. When she starts talking with me and mentioned my letter to herself. While I was crying from happiness asked her to change my name. She said: “well of course, what do you want to have as your new name?” I said, I want to change it from Masoud, to ‘Masoud’. At the time I had no idea of the kind of crime and mistake I am committing by wanting to be like Masoud. How could one dare to reach him and become like glorious Masoud. But with her ‘heavenly smile’ she accepted my request and everybody clapped for me. Over the next few years I many times begged my masouls to change my name again, but was refused each time. So I was left with this poisonous shame, which was a sign of my ‘ignorance’, my ‘self confidence’, and my ‘arrogance’.

            After that meeting a few of us were asked to attend another meeting with one of the high officials of the Mojahedin, Mohadessin. Sister Tahereh was also present. For the first time Mohadessin talked about organisation of Mojahedin and different ranks in the organisation. I found out that by now my rank was ‘SF-1’, foreign sympathisers-1 (i.e. the highest rank among supporters), but less than usual sympathiser as we were attracted to the organisation, not in Iran, where we could be tested in facing the regime and revolutionary guards, but in foreign countries. He told us: “but thanks to the revolution, you passed an even more difficult test than facing execution and physical tortures.” Then he explained to us the system of ranks in the organisation. I learned that it began with ‘member’ with the code ‘O’, then there was ‘OSH’, a council member of the ‘Nahad’, (i.e. unit structure of the organisation), then ‘MN’, deputy of the Nahad, then ‘MS’, masoul or responsible of the Nahad, and ‘M’, the deputy of a member of executive council, and ‘HE’ member of the executive council, which was the highest rank. We learned that to this point the difference between different members was matter of quantity, while the difference between the leadership and the rest of us was quality. Also the difference between O, a member of the organisation and the lower ranks, ‘K’ candidate of membership or ‘S’, sympathiser (i.e. one rank less than K, a person who has accepted to live in Mojahedin base and work full time for the organization and obey any order. The crucial difference between ‘S’ and ‘O’ is that ‘S’ still has not accepted or understood the ideology of Mojahedin), and ‘H’ a supporter (i.e. one rank less than ‘S’, the one who still is not ready to live with Mojahedin or work full time for the organization, or obey any order.) was again qualitative. In the same meeting he told us about our own new ranks. All gathered there were from then on members of the organisation, and I was one of the highest among them, a ‘MN’. After his speech I asked for permission to talk, and refused to accept membership of the Mojahedin. I was very honest as I could see my Liberal and bourgeois tendencies very clearly and could not accept myself as a member of my glorious organisation. I described myself as ‘dirty’ and ‘unworthy’. But he looked at me seriously and said: “you have had your ‘ideological revolution’, and it has been accepted, and you have no right to call a ‘revolutionary Mojahed’, ‘dirty’.” Anyway from that time I became a member of the mother organisation and remained so. I was told that Anna was very close to membership but not quite there. She was recognised as ‘K’, candidate of membership and she had became secretary of Saeideh, the masoul in London.

            Few months later in a ceremony on 8 February, in a large gathering of Mojahedin members and sympathisers, Masoud talked about new shape of the organisation and its different ranks. He talked about a sharp increase in the number of members and the growth of the old members as a result of the ‘ideological revolution’. In that public speech which was very difficult for even us to understand, Masoud announced that as a result of the success and progress of the organisation following the ‘ideological revolution’, all units of Mojahedin were changing into battalion units. He said by now for every three-battalion unit we had 97 social units, but we were going to mix those units and divide them into 33 commanding units for different part of the country. Our firepower would thus increase immensely and we would witness a quicker overthrow of the regime. With this conclusion the ‘ideological revolution within the organisation’ ended with ‘glory and success’. We were happy to see that the result of our suffering is the ‘earlier overthrow of Khomieni regime and happiness and freedom of our own people.”

 

 

Changing into a preacher of the ‘ideological revolution’

Now had had our own revolution, we had to spread it everywhere, among supporters. As deputy of the organisation in UK, and one who knew most of the supporters and had close friendship with many of them, I began to travel around the country to talk with them. I was very successful, especially in Newcastle and Manchester where I knew many of the supporters closely and had strong emotional ties with them. Because I liked these people I wanted to share with them the joy I had found through the ‘revolution’. By now I knew very well that like many other joys it may begin with pain. But I knew the pain was short lived while the joy was permanent. Many opened their hearts to me and told me secrets that had bothered them for years. We were told that, for the supporters, the revolution would be much simpler than ours. They simply had to see the organisation in new light and feel that their own existence as a dignified human being and freedom loving Iranian depended on their full commitment to it. They had merely to jump one step forward, and many did. Over the next few months we had series of ‘revolutionary meetings’ for them supervised by a high-ranking member.

            In those meetings my responsibility was to record and witness their revolution and ask questions or give comments. But most of the time I cried and suffered with them, as I could feel their individual pain. One man had to leave his much-loved black girl friend to become a full time supporter. He put his head on my shoulder and cried for a few minutes, telling me how much he loved her, but with her attitude toward the organisation he could not marry her and work with the Mojahedin at the same time. Another had to leave his brother who was working in the Iranian embassy, and show his readiness to kill him if it became necessary. A third was addicted to alcohol and had to swear never to drink again. Yet another had been in prison opium addiction. By joining the Mojahedin as full committed supporters or members all were leaving something behind, something dear to them, for their belief in the revolution, and belief that the organisation and its leader would bring freedom and independence to our country and its people. A young man, who was struggling between his love for his wife and the organisation, described his dilemma in a symbolic form. He looked at a picture of Masoud and said: “whenever I look at that picture it is from under of my eyes, as I can never look at it with my eyes fully open. I see him talking with me. Talking about suffering of our people, hungry women and children in the streets of Teheran and far cities and villages; lines of soldiers killed in the war; those hanged in the streets; those tortured in Khomieni’s jails. What right do I have to think about my own happiness in this situation? What right do I have to think about my own personal love and destiny? What kind of glorious future can I have with this bad conscience, if I don’t forget myself and join you? It is not matter of choosing between you and my own wife. It is a matter of choosing between living in hell, every day of my life as long as I am alive, or suffering a bit because of my personal loss but feeling consciously free and sleeping calm for the rest of my life.”

            Among those who had their revolution there were three English women and one English boy. When they were speaking, I had to translate their words. But how could I? I was simply happy and proud to see them revolting at the same time as us and able to see the universal and widespread results of our revolution. One woman was told us of her suffering during her childhood, because of insults of her mother and the humiliation she suffered in school. Another explained how empty one’s life is in this society. She was explaining that the only goal one can have is to become rich and have several instead of one holiday a year. “Even worshipping God is meaningless. Those worshipped God in the past did so in order to be saved from an insecure future. Now, with ‘social security’, they see no need for it any more. Those who were afraid of God because of their sin are not any more afraid, as they have seen those God’s worshippers in power with their unbelievable sins. They see clearly if God want to put all those people in hell, then there is no more room for them and their pity sins.” She said: “We see and hear and read, immense suffering of other human beings in different countries, not saying that we in ‘first world’ have been their main source of their suffering in first place. We satisfy ourselves by giving small donation to different charities. But soon we learn that those charities are ‘saving ships’ not for those who are suffering, but for the rich to escape taxes. At this point we feel we are paralysed and we prefer to return to our own life and forget about them. We switch off the radio and television, whenever it has that sort of news on, as they don’t exist … is there anyone to help those suffering people? Is there any body to help women around the world who are considered as second-class citizens? Is there any body, really fighting different discrimination? Is there anybody giving us an objective worth living for, explaining why we were born, why we suffer from different pains, get old and die? . . . I have found an answer to all my questions. My answer is short and clear. It has materialised in two names ‘Masoud and Maryam’.”

            In political scene there was also a sense of activity. Masoud and Maryam met with different personalities here and there including King Hussein of Jordan. This meeting created a lot of noise, especially among our leftist foes who reminded us that a few years back the Mojahedin were condemning King Hussein as a butcher of Palestinians and close friend of Shah. But their jibes passed us by. For the first time General Assembly of the United Nations condemned the violation of human rights in Iran and of course we saw it as a fruit of our own effort, and our own revolution. The Mojahedin published a new list of 12,000 Martyrs. Apart from showing the atrocities of the regime, it was a kind of show off of their ability to have detailed information from Iran, how widespread the organization is, which organization has sacrificed more and their organized work. There were photographs of a new march in Kurdistan, this time with heavy weapon and mechanised units as well as people marching on foot. We could see them how by standing on the hills they can write names of Masoud and Maryam and can make Iranian map and in the middle of it name of Rajavi. Of course after any of those news there were pages and pages of their coverage in different papers and media of the world. There was news of increase in propaganda activities of Mojahedin inside Iran and how people are welcoming the ideological revolution of Mojahedin, including the news of 120 million Toman help of an Iranian merchant.

            By contrast we could see other organisations in disarray and even disappearing. Organisations like Paykar, which had claimed that they replaced the Mojahedin, predicted its abolition by Mojahedin and was abolished officially by its leaders. The largest Marxist organisation, Feda’ian by now had so many splits that we joked among ourselves that each member of the Feda’ian had his or her own organisation. Tudeh party after the arrest of its leaders in Iran and their public repentance was in its worst shape perhaps since its establishments. Banisadr was in our view no more than a ‘retired President’ writing his memoirs in Paris. The Monarchists and Nationalists seemed to have few supporters and no organisation at all. At around the same time, in November 1985, Mehdi Bazargan travelled to Europe for a meeting and Masoud sent him a message asking him not to return to Iran and promised him that the Mojahedin would take care of his welfare and smuggle his family from Iran. He refused and I heard that in response he said: “sorry I have no young wife to offer you!” From his comment we felt he is no less dirty minded than our other foes. All these were clear sign for us that there is only one alternative for the Iranian people for achievement of freedom and prosperity of our country and that was Mojahedin. The failure of others was used to imply even more our glory and success and made us proud of our leader and us for our correct choice.

            By now rarely I had free time for anything, but it was not only me who was so busy, Anna too was caught up. As some kind of prize for us, the organisation accepted Sarvy at their school in Paris. Later, once when there was a report of her activity in Paris, my masoul told me: “you should be careful as fast as Sarvy is moving, in no time she might change into your masoul.” This remark made me very proud and happy, as could feel before long our daughter would become a Mojahed we could be proud of.

            This era didn’t last long. The masoul of Britain was to change again and our new masoul was none other than Sister Tahereh. She came with news of changes. She said that from now on we are not MSS any more and would be part of the Mother organization. As a result, she said, new faces were to come to London to represent different sections, including the financial section. Another section, which we were not allowed to talk about, was responsible for contacting the Mojahedin’s supporters inside of Iran from different countries including UK and yet another for gathering information from different sources. She asked me to leave everything and search for few new large bases to house these sections and their masouls. She gave me a lecture about how I have to change my attitude to everything in the light of our progress, including seeing other bases and talking with other masouls to see what needs they have and how can we improve and optimise their work. Among other things, she asked me to look at furniture and office equipment to see if they need to have any changes or if our work everywhere is as systematic as it should be. I start inspecting all different departments of the society.

            She was right, everywhere I went, I saw mismanagement and ‘petit bourgeois’ attitudes toward work and equipment. Carpets were torn, cars were rusty and old and in need of service and repair. Store of unused and rusty equipment and old furniture could be seen in all our bases. The system of work even in our publishing department, which was the richest and most modern of all, resembled that of students using student union facilities. Within a week time I came with list of suggestions, with a list of expenses. She did accepted, whatever cost little, but as many improvements needed money, most things were rejected. I remember carpet of one of the bases was so worn that it was better to get rid of it and leave the floor un-carpeted. At the same time she asked me to change the carpets of main base, which was quite good and new. For the first time, I stood against her order and told her that while other bases were in such a poor shape, we couldn’t change the carpet of this base. She didn’t argue, but she looked at me, a look that meant more than thousand words. Soon after we found new bases the new masouls arrived, among them Sister Fazeleh, whom every body feared. I soon discovered that Sister Fazeleh would be my masoul and that another sister, Meherafroz, originally from Newcastle, who for some time stationed in Paris, was to share responsibility of our social section, in Britain with me. I was to be responsible of the section in London, and she was to take responsibility for other cities, except London and southern cities.

 

 

Another ‘heroic departure’

Despite our propaganda, that we had gained support of many personalities and some how implying many governments, the truth was that, all those supports were just worthless signatures, and souvenir photographs. Mojahedin were under immense pressure to leave the France. Problem came to surface when we heard news of a demonstration against Mojahedin in Auvers-sur-oise, where Rajavi resided. The picket was organised by few supporters of one of the offshoots of Feda’ian-Minority. While few years back they were one of the close allies of Mojahedin and we were helping them in different way to stand up against Feda’ian-Majority, by now they were even more against us than Majority one. Story of their opposition start from pervious years, when Mojahedin supported one of the evicted members of that organisation called Mehdi Samea. He was accepted as a member of NCR and soon with the help of Mojahedin could attract few supporters and called his organisation, Followers-followers of the program of identity (HOVYAT) or in short ‘Feda’ian - Hovyat’.

            Obviously this behaviour of Mojahedin, ‘creating Feda’ian of their own according to their own interest’, was considered as some kind of notice of war. After all one could imagine if another group was doing the same thing with one of the expelled Mojahedin like Yaghobie, what could reaction of Mojahedin be? Any way a year latter there was a fighting among the remainder of Feda’ian-minority and following the murder of few of their members, there was another split among them, Samea benefited from this split, wrote a very hot article which was published in Mojahed. From then on we could see followers of Feda’ian everywhere working against us. But now their activities reached to its peak, they chained themselves to the iron bar of building of city council of Auvers-sur-oise and asked for expulsion of Rajavi from France. Few more of them were distributing their leaflet among people in the streets. And were organising a rally in the village, against Mojahedin. When their photograph were taken by Mojahedin and were printed in the Mojahed, we heard complain of other groups as well. According to our interpretation, they were receiving their order with finical help from intelligence service of France and Iranian Regime both to work against Mojahedin. So we were seeing them as agents of Khomieni and Imperialism both. Now Mojahed was calling them the ‘criminal band of Minority’. It was strange time to see our old fellow organisation, Mojahedin’s friends during struggle against Shah, now was called: ‘criminal band of Minority’. Few months later the Mojahedin printed another black book against them in 667 pages under the title of ‘anti- revolutionary metamorphosis -explanation of multilateral degeneration, and cautionary end of Band of criminal minority.’ They too were calling Mojahedin worse than Shah and Khomieni, and were saying is much better to work with them rather than working with Mojahedin, in their paper they published a carton of a coin, in one side of it photograph of Khomieni and the other side Rajavi. Following those views of Mojahedin toward them and vice versa, we were asked to face them everywhere and force them to retreat. Contrary to this, was our political and official stand, which about the same time could be seen in the message of Rajavi concerning the same issue. In his message published in Mojahed, he said: “1-Against all adventurous and terrorist actions of them around our residence, I personally have no complain. 2- I ask my sisters and brothers to show patience and self-containment, toward them …”

             One of the places which some of them were gathering every week was ‘Speaker’s Corner’ in Hyde Park. Though we never used to go there, by now every week we were going with many placards to face them and revile their activities in Paris. One week before going there, sister Tahereh lectured us that our leadership is our ‘Chastity’. So if any one says anything against them we have to forget everything else and answer them back with all our might. It was obvious that we are going to fight. I was told by sister Fazeleh do not involve myself, so if things got worse, and our people were arrested by the police, I could be free to arrange for their release and running our usual work. Over there discussions with not only supporters of Feda’ian but with supporters of all different organisations got hot, and in no time, it changed from a discussion into a battle. Fazeleh who was there, told me to go and call Tahereh to get instruction for continuation of what ever we were doing there. When I returned from the call, already Police was there and many of our members and many other Iranian present there were arrested. This incident put a very dark mark in my memory from different angle. First although I was told not to involve my self in this fight, but the truth was that I, myself didn’t want to as well. As I was not able to persuade myself to fight many who were almost like us, but supporters of other groups. I knew many of them by name, and even some of them were friend of mine, or in past I was responsible to talk with them and help them in their activities. Hence whenever I was remembering Sister Tahereh’s remark about leadership, I was feeling ashamed of not having the same demagogue. For preferring my own emotions toward them rather than feeling that my ‘ideological chastity is under rape’ and become mad for fighting with them. Apart from that I had problem with my own believes as well, as I could feel it was wrong to stand against any body physically, because of their criticism or objection against us. I could not see any difference between our action and actions of ‘Heazbollahies’ in Iran when they were hearing us calling their leaders ‘reactionaries’. But against all those strong contradictions, when Sister Tahereh was directing us for physical action, I was silence and said nothing. This was another contradiction that I had to carry it with myself for long time.

            Anyway those fighting with Feda’ian didn’t take long. Soon the problem of Rajavi’s residing in Paris got worse. This time, they had to face new restrictions of new French government, who were asking Mojahedin to slow down their activities in Paris. Especially they were asking Rajavi to stop all his political activities and meetings in France.

            While as usual I was in Manchester for mobilising our supporters for 20th June demonstration, and were telling them about newly announced five thousand support from different members of parliaments and ministers and . . . from different countries of world for peace plan and peace effort of NCR. I received a Telephone call from Sister Tahereh that Masoud has left Paris for Baghdad. Soon we received the videotape of his Good-bye message. In this videotape, the full story of event was explained. Including the regime’s activity for handing him over to them or at least his expulsion from France as part of conditions for normalisation of their relation with France. Our official stand was that, he had planned to go to Switzerland, but soon it was reviled that, there was a conspiracy to arrest him and hand him to Iranian authorities in that country. So when there was no European country left for him to go. NCR decided that he should go to Iraq. Among ourselves later, we were told that for sometimes he was hoping to go to Iraq, but was mindful of its political consequences. Thanks God, again ‘ADO SHOD SABAB KHAIR’, (i.e. good came out of evil. Enemy instead of damaging us helped us. While regime tried very hard to force him out of France. They found him close to themselves near the border organising the arm resistance.) So as usual this was going to be another victory for us. Hence a retreat, or a failure in our foreign policy was changed into another victory for our leader. In last part of his speech he said: “I am going to make fire among mountains . . .” his part was very moving and was reminding us one of our past resistance hero who in his poem to his daughter said the same thing, which implied that he is going to increase the resistance against Iranian regime. Well many of our supporters wished if at least he could go to Jordan, but not to Iraq, while still we were in war with that country.

            In Baghdad he was welcomed as head of a state. Immediately after his arrival, he went for pilgrimage of Imam Hussein’s shrine. As a gesture that he is Imam Hussein’s guest and not Iraqis. In a moving speech facing Imam’s shrine, he said that “you (i.e. Imam Hussein) thought us to say no to dictatorship and unjust. This list (showing the list of martyrs) is a present of Iranian resistance, Iranian Mojahedin, your true followers, to you.” At the end of his speech he again repeat the same wording of Imam Hussein, which as usual moved me greatly and I couldn’t stop crying and promising myself to help him with all my might as long as I am alive. He repeats few times while he was crying, ‘HAL MAN NASAR’A YANSORNIE.’ (ie. is there anybody to help me).

            Soon we received the last issue of Mojahed with this note that with obvious reason Mojahed is not going to be published till further notice, implying that French authorities are going to stop it from printing.

            In the same issue of Mojahed there was a song called: ‘Order of Masoud’. It was the first time we had name of one of our alive leaders in one of our anthems. In the past organisation was hesitant to do something like that, as they believed ‘man can change and till last breath of his life, he might change from good to bad and from bad to good. But the organisation will remain the same, heroic, revolutionary, honest to people, full of sacrifices, and in service of people and God.’ But as from ideological revolution, Mojahedin became equal to Rajavi; the old idea was not working any more. The destiny of Mojahedin and Rajavi was going to be the same. That song, which we immediately start, singing it everyday during our morning ceremony, was like this: “like lightning is shinning the fire of machine gun, in the heart of cities, in mountains and jungles. Is clamouring the order of Masoud among fire and smoke. Full of force, without any doubt, stormier than ever on mountain ridges. Is hoisting, is hoisting, is hoisting, banner of battle and fight without any pity, without any grace. Is melting, is melting, is melting, heart of this cold night, every time, every time. Is giving this message in the path of uprising, all the time, without any pity, fire, fire, fire.”

            As a member of Mojahedin we were told that we should know many things, which as a supporter there was no need to know them. Then there was a test of knowledge to see if we know about history, politic, geography, common knowledge. . There was a check to see if we have read and understood few old books of Mojahedin most of them claimed have been written by Rajavi. Then there were few recording tape about Mojahedin’s tactics and strategy, during different phases, which we had to hear them. In one of them there was a question about our guess for the percentage of support of Mojahedin among people, every body gave a number from %90 to %60, but not less than that. My own guess, which was due to my conservatism, was the lowest one. But strangely we learned all our guesses were wrong and the real number was much less than our expectation, at %30. This tape opened new way of thinking for me toward Mojahedin. It was for the first time which I could feel some changes in my own status among Mojahedin. I could feel more like one of them, and not as a stranger. In before I could see many lies especially about number of people attending different gatherings. I was not able to understand them; it was contrary to our slogan of honesty toward people. But at the same time I could feel that in politic, absolute honesty is an illusion, still I could not see the boundary between our believe in ‘honesty’ and need of magnifying things for the political propaganda. More disturbing was when I could see that this lies are not bounded only to what we see in paper, but we could hear them, even when our masoul was talking to our supporters and even us who were fully committed to the organisation. Any way this time, I could see some honesty, much further than my own expectation. I learned about our politic and what are we aiming for. Also I learned about our situation in Iran and Iraq, for example I found out. From few years back, when ever we were talking about Kurdistan, it didn’t mean Iranian Kurdistan as we didn’t have any base over there and didn’t have single battalion stationed there and all the time we were talking about Iraqis Kurdistan. I could see for sometimes our radio is not broadcasting from our own station, which I was very proud of it, but Iraqis station. Any way among all this things the most important thing for me was a trust, which I could see toward myself.

            In organisational matters, I was member of the council of our section and was dealing with old and new members, but at the same time I was under responsibility of sister Fazeleh who was not changed much and seemed after her short live ‘revolution’ she has changed back to herself. I think it was the same for all of us; all were changed into what we were before without almost any change! Any way as before, she was hot temper, cranky, morose, and quick in jumping to conclusion. Although she was rarely hard with me, or showing her anger toward me, I was more than before tired of her temper and behaviour. Especially toward the boys under my own responsibility, and my work mate sister Meherafroz. Every night she was asking everybody in her room and without learning much about different event was jumping into conclusions and attacking different people for things, which they had not done. Every night, to stop her attacking those who were under my own responsibility, I had to become ‘Iron shield’ in front of them, taking responsibility for their ‘short comings’. Once she called me to her room and asked me to stop defending different people. For few days I had to obey her, and I think my boys sensed that too, as one night when she was asking some questions from one of them and was very hard with him, another one who could guess what is waiting for him, suddenly start shutting: “My stomach, my stomach. “and left the room, I followed him pretending to see what has happened to him, while couldn’t stop myself laughing.

            In the UK council under sister Tahereh, my masoul and I were almost equal, so other members of the council who knew how hard she is in responding to their demands, instead of her were asking me for anything which they needed to do in London. Most of the time they could do what they wanted. But few times, when Fazeleh learned how easy I am with them, start involving her, and life became very difficult for them. Once sister Tahereh called me, after complain of one of them to her. She asked me what is going on? With full conservatism I explained part of the problem to her. I feel after that Fazeleh received few strong lecture from Sister Tahereh and became more lenient toward different people at least people under my responsibility. But soon I learned I, myself was the main victim of my own criticism.

 

 

Burning the past! - The ‘Anti Bourgeois Revolution’

After Masoud’s departure to Iraq, we heard from sister Tahereh, that a new phase of ideological revolution had started to be known as the ‘anti- bourgeois phase’. After a long lecture by sister Tahereh and a speech of one of high level masouls recorded on videotape, we learned that many of us (i.e. members of the organisation, old and new) during the stay of Mojahedin in Europe, have mixed politic Mojahedin’s ‘ideological originality’. As a result all of us, except the leadership, in different level have lost ourselves in ‘bourgeois marsh-land’. It meant that though for political purpose we had to pretend that we are Liberal-Bourgeois, at the same time we had to keep the class base of our founders, and keep our anti-bourgeois tendencies as alive as before, while we didn’t. So as before we had to look around and find our bourgeois tendencies and report them back. As a result every body was reporting about every thing that they were thinking are sign of bourgeois tendency, including number of cloths and shirts and shoes, which they have. Cloths, food, work equipment were under attack. We were asked to collect what ever we saw in our surrounding, which were luxurious and were sign of bourgeois tendencies. Soon there were bags of used cloths, shoes, even pens and pencils flowing toward sister Tahereh’s room. In bases nothing was safe, food was rationed, to make it optimised, even soaps and shampoos, and work equipment were not safe. It was easy job, for many to show how anti-bourgeois they are, they were attacking any thing which they could see relevant, and sister Tahereh was encouraging any activity in this direction. In one of this meetings Anna went under attack, apparently as our rest base was the same as Tahereh, she found some soap of Anna, which were special for face. Tahereh took them to the meeting and showed them to every body, without naming Anna, but said “still some of you are in fond of your luxurious and are not ready to surrender them.” Poor Anna who knew who those soaps are belonged to was changing colour from shame. In the same meeting I came under attack. Apparently Tahereh was angry of me for showing blind eyes toward bourgeois tendencies of Anna. Later she told me that still Anna and I have love-relation not as Mojahedin couple, but as a Bourgeois couple. She said Anna in her report has written that she is very afraid of any wrinkle lines on her face as she feels that she might lose my love. So I think my main crime was to have a ‘bourgeois-love’. While in that meeting Tahereh didn’t want to say anything about this issue, but wanted to find an excuse for attacking me for all my ‘bourgeois-tendencies, leniency, and kindness toward different people, including my wife’. Soon she found another subject to show her bitterest attack, against me.

            There was a speech by one of the masouls about Shari’ati, criticising him about some of his views toward ownership. He was criticised as being bourgeois and not being against exploitation. In the same meeting I was asked about class origination of Shari’ati. Inspired by Rajavi’s writing in Mojahed few years back about Bazargan, and with this illusion that Mojahedin might accept somebody else worthy of respect and love except their own leader. I showed philosophical face and said: “well it is not up to me to talk about class origination of an individual, especially Shari’ati whom we owe him many things which we know about Islam, and resurrection of Islam among many of our own supporters.” This comment of mine was like a bolt to my head. She start attacking me from head to toe, and said: “don’t make fun of yourself and tell us what was his class origination?” This time I said: “well I think it was petit-bourgeois.” Then she asked others, unfortunately many followed me and did repeat the same thing, some even showed more respect toward him than me. When others finished answering, again she faced me and said these are all your cuddly pussy. Then she shout: “he was bourgeois, can you understand, we don’t have anything as petit-bourgeois, either people are for exploitation, or are against it, there is nothing in between.” She asked me to repeat with her that he was bourgeois, and then asked me why I was unable to recognise him as bourgeois? Answer to this question was not so difficult and I could guess easily. I said: “because I am bourgeois my self.” Then she asked me to leave everything and think about my bourgeois tendencies and write about them. In this meeting any time she wanted to call me unlike before and despite everybody else, she was using my both name, first and family name, reminding me of my family tendencies and my relation tendency toward ‘Banisadr, the president.’ Soon it became her custom to name me by my first name and family name at the same time and in no time I could see every body else is naming me in the same manner. So from then on even I had to suffer from my own name not only from my own masouls but from any body else including people under my own responsibility. As I was told to see my self as a bourgeois and see all my behaviour, including my ‘kindness’, ‘understanding’, ‘caring’ and ‘helping’ toward others as a ‘bourgeois tricks ‘for “fooling people and keeping them within chains of its own trap.” I was trying very hard not to show any affection toward any body and even more, create some dislike and hate toward myself. In a revolutionary meeting, I called myself as a ‘bourgeois manager’ who with kindness wanted to ‘double-exploit’ people for his own advantages. In the same meeting, one who was under my responsibility, when I was in Newcastle, stood and said: “I always thought how kind he is, but now I can see how fool I was and all his intentions was to fool us for working harder for him.”

            One day when I was in my room, I received a telephone call from Anna, it was strange as she was not calling from her work base, which was the same as sister Tahereh. She was calling from our rest base. She was crying and told me, she is tired of this anti bourgeois talks and cannot carry on any more, and want to leave the organisation. I told her: “what do you think, I can do for you?! I think it is better you talk with sister Tahereh and see what can you do!” She said I want to talk to you, I said: “I am afraid, this time, you have to decide by yourself. I cannot persuade you to stay in the organisation, so decision is yours to stay or leave.” Next day I heard from my masoul that Anna has written a letter and has left the organisation, following that our rest base was changed and we moved to an ordinary house shared with another family who were not member but supporter.

            I was so deep in my own problem, which didn’t take notice of what is happening to Anna. I thought this is another phase for her life in the organisation and soon she is going to come back with a revolution, criticising me for chaining her in my affections. Some how I can say I had lost trusting my own wife as even she could criticise me badly to save herself from even more criticises. In finding my own bourgeois tendencies, I was following others and was writing about my likes and dislikes, my habits and wishes. Once in our council meeting, Tahereh told me “don’t write rubbish, your bourgeois tendencies are more complicated than this obvious and simple things.” In the same meeting we were told that Shari’ati was exploiting minds of others and was stealing Mojahedin’s ideas and was using them as his own. After the end of Tahereh’s speech she asked another member of council, Behnam, the one who did revolt very late last time and banged his head to his camera. For some time he was in Paris, but now he was with us and masoul of SW. He was asked about his view about Shari’ati, I wished, I could give him piece of my mind, and let him to benefit from my misfortune, but I couldn’t and he repeat the same thing, which I said before. And received even worse punishment. He was asked not to do anything and not even leave the base and think all the time and write a substantial report.

            As usual after him it was my time to be attacked. Before Tahereh asks Behnam to leave the room, she start asking us one by one about our own view about him. I start talking about his abilities and his talent for work, . . . Suddenly she stopped me and said, “do you now see your own problem? In judging people you only consider their positive adjectives, their talent, their character, their power to work and solve problem, how well behave they are and how much they smile. What is not important for you is their class orientation, their attitude toward the organisation and its leadership. You want so much to be loved and cherished by everybody, who you are not prepared to face anybody and criticise any body.” Then when he left the room, she start attacking me again by saying: “Here when you were hearing him, you had to stand up and give him few smack, while you sat and just watched him and at the end told me how good he is in his work!” From then on, I could see that I am watched all the time by my own masoul and sister Tahereh, how do I act against others, how hard and how difficult I am toward them. Once in daily meeting, one of those who was under my responsibility, an old member of the organisation from Shah’s time, and older than me, when was asked by Fazeleh about his daily work, told us that he lost part of his time as he felt sleep in train and travelled with that train for an hour or two. For me this was a laughing matter, which could happen for any body, so I smiled slightly. After the meeting I was asked to go to Fazeleh’s room. She starts attacking me as not having any shame or zeal for the organisation, and asked me to go to him and insult him as badly as I can. Fortunately there was no room empty to see him and talk with him alone, so I went back to her and told her. This time she was real angry and told me to go back and find an empty room and say it. Then she asked me if I know any swearing word, and told me to tell him a ‘sullen person, and good for nothing’. She was right, perhaps since my childhood and even perhaps for the first time in whole my life I had to insult somebody. It was almost as hard as drinking poison for me. The only room that was empty was restricted room for sisters, I asked him to come with me to that room, he said: “are you sure? This is the sisters room.” I said: “yes.” And then in the room like children when they are drinking some medicine almost closed my eyes and stopped breathing, and told him those words. He looked at me while was laughing and said: “I know perfectly well this words didn’t come from you, tell your masoul, this is not the same organisation which once I was a member, and I am leaving.” I went to her and said the same thing. She said: “Good, we don’t need people like him, any more.”

            Again I could see my self in the same situation as before, but some how this time was more difficult as I could not live in my own silence, in any ‘anti-bourgeois’ meeting, I had to talk, not about myself which was much easier for me, but about others, and had to attack their bourgeois tendencies. I had to be serious, hard and difficult all the time. By now I could see my own Liberal tendencies more than ever and could see how difficult is for a ‘Liberal’ to be a ‘revolutionary’.

            I was tired and exhausted. As before one day I took refugee in the same park as before to see if I can be inspired again by the nature and find a solution for my misery! I think I was on the edge of leaving the organisation. This time I knew if I leave, I am not going to lose my family, as Anna was not with the organization any more. But soon I learned, it is too late for me to think about something like that. I saw, I am not able to forget those who were under torture and execution in Iran, those who were killed in Iran-Iraq war, those stories about suffering of our people, the story of a man who killed his child as he could not see him dying from hunger and didn’t have enough money to buy him powder milk. Story of young girls sold in Blochestan for few Toman. I could not forget those friends of mine, my own students who were killed in different battles. How could I forget gentle smile of Aliraza, or the repeating-word of ‘FADAT SHAVAM’ (I sacrifice myself), of Nadir, I remember once I criticised him and told him you shouldn’t use this words for anybody, and have to use it only for people. He looked at me like student who is learning from his teacher, and said: “FADAT SHAVAM, CHASHAM. “(I sacrifice my self for you , I obey your word). How could I forget Ali or Ali Akbar or Mohsan (Anna’s cousin, who we learned has been executed as well.) . . . . The best, which I could wish for myself, was to became martyred and join them. Although many times I said ‘good-bye’ to my past, but still I could see my links with past. I wanted to say real good-bye this time once forever. I went home and saw Anna; She asked me what am I doing home. I explained to her, She didn’t say anything, as she knew it is not going to do any good. This time I attacked my old photographs from my own childhood till marriage and up to then, my parents photographs as I wanted to deny all of them, my father who was perhaps responsible for my bourgeois tendencies and my mother who was responsible of my own ‘mild’ and ‘gentle’ behaviour known as liberal ones. Anna seeing me taking all those photographs and albums, with anger, was quietly crying, then when I attacked our marriage Album she start crying louder, and asked me to stop it. She said those are not just yours, . . . but I was not listening to her and took every thing and put them in a rubbish bag. And left for the base. Over there every body was worried where I am and thought perhaps I have left the organisation or under the immense pressure which I was, in during past few weeks, have killed myself or something like that. I wrote a long report for Tahereh and with that report send that rubbish bag to her. She sent me back the rubbish bag and asked me to burn it all and welcomed me back to the organisation.

            In few weeks time my masoul Fazeleh was transferred to Paris and I replaced her. Once, before she leaves, I was in her room, and she asked me how we can increase our income by asking supporters to help. which I replied. Few minutes later Tahereh called her and asked her the same question. She gave her, my reply and told her, we cannot ask supporters any more as most of them are refugees and are getting social security. She start attacking her. In defence of herself, she said: “well this was what Masoud told Me.” She start attacking her even more and this time attacking me and asked her to call me and tell me any word that she can find. She was shouting so loud which I could here them from telephone speaker. Perhaps Fazeleh wanted me to hear them, as neither asked me to leave the room, nor told Tahereh that I am able to hear her. When her conversation was finished, Fazeleh showed me a sham angry face and did repeat exactly what she was told by Tahereh. Now I could see many things, I saw myself when, I was asked to insult that person who was under my responsibility. I could see that most of bitterness of my own masoul was not from her and simply she was following order as I did. And perhaps more, perhaps what ever Tahereh is telling us was exactly the same things, which she was ordered to say. I could see more clearly the meaning of the organisational obedience. No longer I could dislike any of my own masouls for their behaviour, as I could see they are only following the order.

 

 

‘Lecture of honour’

With presence of Rajavi and Mojahedin in Iraq, we could see more and more of our effort and our propaganda are directed toward war and peace. Although for few months we didn’t have any paper of our own, but by September 1986 weekly paper of our organisation again under the title of MSS (Union of Moslem student societies) was published. In first issue there was full poem of recently released anthem of ‘peace’. This was one of the most popular sang of Mojahedin.

            In the same paper there was news, which we had to follow it for few next weeks. It was about killing of ten of Mojahedin by not Iranian regime, but by a group of Iraqis Kurdish combatants. In response to this event, we had to contact different personalities asking them to write letter and show their concern. We were doing this while we didn’t know clearly what is the purpose of it. And who is going to listen to those people and imaginary societies in London or Paris. One week after we received the videotape of burial of our first martyrs in the hand of that group, we received the news of killing of four more Mojahedin by the same group. I think their reason for attacking us was that they wanted to get help from Khomieni regime to fight against Iraqi’s regime and one way of obtaining it was to force Mojahedin to leave the Kurdish area of Iraq. At the same time they wanted to show Iranian regime their friendship and perhaps more.

            The videotape of burial ceremony of this group of Mojahedin was very moving one; one could feel the anger, which was created among us. Still we could remember the letter of the leader of the same group to Rajavi, calling him brother and offering him any kind of help that Mojahedin needed in the area. And now the same group hand in hand of the Iranian regime was killing our sisters and brothers. We could see clearly how politic works and how close friends in no time can change into bitter enemies. When we received this videotape, I was told by sister Tahereh that we should show it to all our supporters and we have to call them all to London. I opposed her and told her, how difficult it would be to ask supporters to come to London just for seeing a video tape, and is better if we show it in their own city. She answered me back and said she has especial and important message for all of them.

            After the show of the video tape she gave them an speech which later became known as ‘lecture of honour’, in this lecture she said: “ . . . after leaving of Europe by brother Masoud, this is not any more legitimise for any Iranian, especially any supporter to remain in Europe or west as a whole, unless being ordered by the organisation. We are in final stages of our struggle, in war of life or death with Iranian regime, the regime itself is getting help from any where to fight against us, even Iraqi’s Kurdish people. While we, Mojahedin even are not benefiting from support of our own supporters. This is time of war and during this time, any body that can lift rifle should do so. And who ever don’t, is not honourable or dignified Iranian.” Then she starts asking one by one of our supporters about what they are going to do? At this point, I could see one by one of our supporters are leaving the salon. When I talked with one of them a lecturer from Leeds university, outside of the meeting place, he told me: “In old time when we wanted to attend your meeting we only had to solve problem of our work or do something with time table of our wife or our children. But now we have to solve problem of ‘to be or not to be’ for coming to your meetings. Other wise we are dishonourable and undignified.” He never came to any of our meetings after ward. In another conversation, he told me: “well, she is right, but I am coward and love my own life and my own family. Hence I can not be a Mojahedin supporter any more.”

            Following that meeting many of our supporters and members of MSS and Mojahedin stationed in Europe including those who were in England left us for Iraq. Among them, many of my old friends. To see them leaving, I was thinking if ever I am going to see them again? Where and how? I never saw many of them including Behnam, Sharif. All of them were martyred in different battle. Following them Tahereh left us as well and sister Saeideh came back and became masoul of the organisation in Britain. I was again deputy of the organisation. Before leaving us, once Tahereh called me and asked me what do I think of being sent to Kurdistan? I presume this was the question, which she was asking every body to see their readiness for fighting over there. I, very happy of hearing that, instead of answering her, asked her when am I going to be send there? She asked me: “don’t you mind Anna and children?” I replied: “I am sure they are save and well looked after, in my absence, alive or martyred. I am sure that they will be proud of me and eventually one day will understand what ever I did was partly for them and for their future too. I am sure the organisation will look after them and in case of my death, instead of one father, they are going to find thousands or perhaps millions of fathers.” She said, yes you are right, but my question was about something else. It was about you, yourself, when you are taking rifle, if you think you are not going to see them again, and does not this thought shake your hand? And make you hesitant in fighting?” I said: “it didn’t all those years, not even before ideological revolution, why should does it now or in the future? No. I don’t think so, as I believe in correctness of what I am doing as a Mojahed.”

 

 

Waiting for an opportunity to gain back, the lost supports

After Rajavi left France for Iraq, some how we lost some of the genuine support, which we used to have among foreign personalities and dignitaries, including some of our support in Britain. That year although as usual we were invited as guest to the conference of Labour Party but unlike pervious years there was no resolution in support of Mojahedin. By now the organisation’s view about Iranian politician, had been expanded to non-Iranian too. We were not prepared to tolerate any kind of criticism from any body, and believed; who ever is not with us is against us. As a result who ever, among our old politician supporters, who dared to criticise Mojahedin was going to receive wave of insulting phone calls from our members in political section under name of ‘Iranian’ or ‘supporters’. As a result we lost many supports for good.

            Soon after we got lucky and first we received a simple news that was start of a long affair, which helped us immensely to return back, where we were in our foreign activities.

            News was about arrest of some people close to Montazeri, the successor of Khomieni. Apparently one of his relative called Seyed Mehdi Hashamie, found some news about clandestine relation between the regime and American, and gave this news to one of the Lebanese paper to print. Soon he was arrested in charges of ‘working with Savak during Shah’s time and even killing a person during those days.’ These charges were very fishy and one could guess something else is going on. Everything soon came to surface, and an affair, which later was called by media as ‘Iran gate’ took all attention of political media around the world. Apparently during a period, while American and Iranian regime were pretending as blood enemy of each other, they were dealing with each other from back door. American were selling arms to Iranian and Iranian were sending the sell price of those weapon to the Contras in Nicaragua to fight against Sandanist government which apparently were close revolutionary friend of Iranian!

            The first official news of this affair came from Rafsanjani, who said that, they received news of presence of some American in Iran who wanted to see Iranian officials, and introduced themselves as representatives of American government. the head of group was Robert Mc Farlane. Who wanted to hand them symbolic presents of American President which were ‘a bible, a cake and a gun.’ One of the first caricatures about this affair was published in Washington Post. In this caricature, Khomieni was shown as a dog that was barking under a tree, while Mc Farlane was up on the tree from fear. Some body was asking him: “did you give him the cake and Bible?” and he was answering: “yeah, he praised the cake and ate the Bible.” Another caricature in Houston Post was showing Mc Farlane who was giving speech in grave yard and underneath of that caricature was written: “Presidential envoy Robert Mc Farlane attempts to influence Moderates within the Khomieni governments.” During those days there were some American hostages captive in Lebanon in the hand of Iranian backed Heazbollahies. One of the conditions of deal was that Iranian regime help American to free their hostages. In another paper, Boston Globe, there was a caricature, showing a mullah near an Iranian plane, calling somebody. he was saying: “Hello Purchase, this is Omar in maintenance, release another hostage and order some more fan belts and gaskets.” With those kinds of cartons in different paper from around the world one could see what is going on.

            This affair brought many political successes for us. To Iranian we could show Khomieni as pro-American and pro-Israelis as all arms were handed to Iranian through Israelis. We could tell them and many of our foreign friends how right we were when we reviled few years back the dealing of Israelis with the regime. For long, organisation was trying to prove there is no moderate in Iran and Iranian are behind hostage taking and now world media was in aid of us and was doing that for us.

            Even In America while many of our foe from different direction were trying to revile Mojahedin’s past positions and activities against American, and could succeed to reverse few support which was gained over there, into opposition against us, now after this affair, Mojahedin could tell any body that revelation too, was part of the deal. They did and as a result we could gain many new supports, among them support of 163 American members of house of representative and senators.

            In another front there was news in Washington post reviling the amount of CIA helping to some of the Iranian opposition, among them Madani, and Amini. This was another prove for old Mojahedin’s claim, that many oppositions of Iranian regime are working for American. As a result for few weeks we could see our paper full of our old revelation, from different issues of Mojahed proving how right we have been in the past in different issues, gaining back some of the lost supports and trusts.

 

 

A ‘pilgrimage’

Going to ‘Area’ (MANTAGHAH) as we used to call our bases in the Iraq, was not just a ‘want’ for us, but more than that a ‘wish’. By now even for many simple supporters, being killed for the country, the people, and of course the leadership, not only was not a terrifying thought, but also was a ‘glorious wish’. In a way it was the simplest and easiest form of fulfilling our responsibility toward our goal. Hence going to ‘Area’ meant, one step forward toward our goal, toward our wish, toward our eternal happiness, and toward final blessing, a pilgrimage. We were calling Iraq, ‘Area’, as we wanted to emphasis that we are in our own area, near our own country, in our region, in our climate, in our own hardship and way of life, with all its dangers, and its risks. Politically we wanted to avoid saying that we are living in our foe’s country, or at least our pervious foe’s country. We wanted to avoid naming Iraq as a place where we are stationed. Even in our written material, whenever we wanted to talk about departure of Masoud, we were writing he went to ‘near our home country’. His departure from Iran to France and from France to Iraq had special code name which were some how holly and historical, they were called: ‘AZYMAT’ (departure), and ‘AZE’AM’, (departing for). For us they were as important and as holly and historical as ‘emigration’ of prophet from Mecca to Medina, which became the beginning of Moslem’s calendar. In our case Mojahedin wanted to imply that those departures were the beginning of the final victory, and beginning of new glorious history not only for Iran but for whole Moslem world and evolution. Well of course they were not supposed to be two ‘starting point’. Initial plan of Mojahedin was that with departure of Masoud from Iran, the new history has begun and it will end by his return, back to Iran. but as it happened that he was forced to leave for Iraq, they had to invent new starting point without dismissing the first one.

            One day I was called by Saeideh and was told that I am going there for a short visit, In this trip I was going to lead few other brother and sister who were going there for good.

            After reaching Baghdad, we contacted Airport’s official and introduced ourselves. They knew how to contact Mojahedin and they did, and in few hours time we were kissed and welcomed by one of our brothers over there. Yes it was like going to free Iran. From Iraqi authorities, we received welcoming smile instead of hard searching of our belongings. Out side of airport weather was as Iran, dry with a mild wind of end of fall. Palm trees in the middle of nice airport road was reminding us south and west of Iran. The only thing, which was stopping us seeing ourselves in our own country, were huge portrait of Sadam Hussein, the president of Iraq in the middle of roads in every few miles. Almost beside any portrait there was an inspecting stops in the middle of road, which I think again was a normal procedure for a country in war. But any way we didn’t bother at all as with one look at us and at our special car plate number, what we were getting was a military salute and smiling welcome. In many roundabouts we could see symbol of war and victories of Iraqis over Iranian, statues of Sadam symbolised as winner of GHADESIEH, (i.e. the historical war where Iranian lost the battle to Moslem Arabs). Wreckage of an Iranian plane, . . . Those symbols were not very pleasant for us, but any way what could we do? The only choice was ignoring them by not looking at them emotionally.

            When we reached to the bases of Mojahedin in the centre of Baghdad, I was separated from my companies, so we kissed each other and said Good-bye as each one of us due to the reason that we were there for, had to go to different base. I was taken to a base, which later on I found out, was the largest in Baghdad and was the centre for political sections of Mojahedin. In the base I found out not every body is as happy as I guessed, soon I found out the reason that was announced on main notice board. Few Mojahedin were in the plane that was destroyed in Saudi Arabia, and all were killed. Any way as other bad news in Mojahedin, this one was short live too, the sadness of this news didn’t last long and next morning I found every body as happy as I was expecting. By now I could see many of my old friends, people whom I used to work with every day in the same room or the same base, people whom I had many shared memories with, so we could remember them and laugh for few minutes, some of them bad memories which by change of time had been changed into a laughing matter rather than sad remainder. Some were my masoul in past and others I was their masoul, but now all were equal and were laughing to our behaviours toward each other. In lunchtime we went to a very large salon which unlike our launch in Britain, had tables and chairs, and in eating time people were sitting by the table and not on the floor. This was an interesting learning for me as without any worry of being labelled as ‘bourgeois’ or ‘Liberal’, I could take the idea with myself back to Britain and have our dinner by the table. I didn’t know any of fun and teasing habit of our boys over there, but soon I found out how careful I have to be in accepting any advice about how should I behave. In lunchtime while as it was custom of Mojahedin to share plate with somebody else. In one blink I found my part of food full of paper and when I rushed toward my drink to get rid of burning of those pepper, I found it salty as salt lake of Iran. When every body including myself were laughing to my tearing eyes from having those pepper. One of my old mates came toward me for saying welcome and kissing me. He showed a very serious and friendly complaining face and told me didn’t you know that before start of having your dinner as new comer you had to go table by table and kiss your old mates. I apologised and start doing that when I found myself in the centre of attention of every body. In no time every body start clapping and banging to their plate with their spoons. Salon became full of noise from those banging and laughing of every body. At this point I learned how naive I was in accepting his advise and how careful I should be in the future. Any way lunchtime and dinnertimes over there were fun time, and always people were finding an excuse to bang on their plate and start laughing. The only time that they were quiet was when the videotape of newly established Mojahedin television program was going to be shown. I learned this teasing is not restricted to dinner time as one of them was telling me that I was very lucky and quick compare to him in learning what is going on over there. He said for hours he had to dig and plough the yard, in white shirt, with tie. As he was told this is a custom in this base, which is related to politic, when ever we are out of the base even in the yard to have clean white shirt with tie. While I was there I was introduced to one of our sister as my masoul while I am over there, she was going to tell me my daily program and answering my questions and needs and telling me what ever I should knew. I have to mention that due to an incident in our way to Baghdad we had to stay one or two days in Belgrade airport and were nearly going to get the same plane which was destroyed in Saudi. Hence everybody in London, including my family were worried what has happened to us. So my masoul there, told me to call London and let my family know that we are ok. I did and while I was talking to Anna I told her about our luck by not taking that Iraqi plane and told her that few of our brothers were killed in that plane. I didn’t know that this was one of the Mojahedin’s secrets, and still I don’t know why it was a secret, but as it was announced in the board, I thought it was general news and not a secret. But soon my masoul told me one of the high-ranking sisters wants to see me. When she saw me, she asked me why have I called my wife. And asked me if I am a Mojahed? And when from Mojahedin are reporting to their wives about their health and well-being! Don’t I have any masoul and shouldn’t I report to her?! I tried answering why did I call and it was not my own initiation, but soon stopped answering anything as I found out, she is not there to listen to me, but wants to teach me a lesson. She told me I am going to see many things in that base but I should not talk about them even with my own masoul in return to England. She said I have to remember the principle of ‘minimum exchange of information’, in all time.

            For a day or two, I was depressed of that mistake of mine, so when I was told that I have to go and see another sister again, one of the high officials of Mojahedin. I told myself: “what now?! What have I done this time?” She was called sister Soror, or Fatemeh Ramezani, as was introduced in Mojahed when she had several photographs with prime minister of Netherlands and Ireland. She saw me and asked me few unrelated questions and I left her. Later I found out that she was interviewing me as I was going to be transferred from my department to hers, which was political department.

            The same day I was called by Mohsan Reza’i, He told me he is going to be my masoul, from then on, and I am going to be masoul of our organisation in England. For my daily work I had to report to him and get my orders from him, but for my organisational work, I was going to have another masoul who was masoul of diplomacy in few countries including Britain. Hamid Bokaie. In the same meeting Reza’i told me that my rank has changed and from then on I am not MN (the deputy of NAHAD) but ‘MS’ (masoul NAHAD). and as Ms member of Mojahedin I have to see few videotape that cannot be seen in Europe. Well as my wish was to stay there this changes didn’t mean any thing for me, I think it was the same for many members. I feel even then, going to higher rank did not mean much. But in contrary, losing ranks meant a lot, ideologically. As a result, my stay in Baghdad most of the time was restricted to staying in one room watching videotapes. Except one day that I was told I am going to Karbela with a group of our boys for pilgrimage of Imam Hussein’s shrine.

            Did I remember my mother when I was there, did I remember my own childhood, when first twenty-eight years before I was in the same place with my family. Did I remember my mother’s cry for getting rid of my father, in the shrine and behaviour of that Iraqi mullah who insulted her? Strangely I have to answer not. No, I didn’t remember neither of those things. Perhaps as we say ‘KHAKH SARD MIKONAD’ (soil make things cold, i.e. when one dies and is buried in the ground, The corps became cold and as it gets cold, is going to be forgotten by its relative). But perhaps not, perhaps after all I was changed into a Mojahed and I was not realising it. Still I could not see myself as others, and could not feel title of Mojahed and those ranks are real and related to me. But at the same time I could see that I am losing my own personal emotions, memories and feelings.

            In Karbela I felt very proud of our organisation as I could see the respect of Iraqi’s authorities toward ourselves, they were escorting us all the way into the city, and in the shrine like politician and dignitaries. Part of shrine was emptied for us to pray. Strangely we even found an Iranian mullah who was insulting Khomieni and was praying for us.

 

 

Forced to choose between my marriage and the organisation

In my return to London, I found Anna more depressed than ever, by then although she was not a member any more, as part time supporter she was helping the organisation. Now she was complaining and didn’t want to work any more. I felt she is depressed because she has to take her order from those whom she was their masoul before. I didn’t have a clue that she is tired and sick of that life and want to go back to her normal herself, and have an ordinary life as other women. Now I can see that her problem had been started much earlier, few weeks after she left the organisation, when Sarvy was in London for holiday. Then, one night we had very hard quarrel, it was about future of Sarvy. As any father who wants the best for his children, best according to his understanding. I wished to see Sarvy as a Mojahed. I was thinking this is how she can grow as a proud, honest, dignified, Iranian and human being. As a woman I wanted to see her not as second-class citizen but as equal to men anywhere she was going to live, and in any thing she was going to do. I was very proud of her and perhaps, as my child loved her more than any body else. When we were sending her to Paris, both of us Anna and I were thinking in the same way, so we both were equally happy and proud. But now we had different way of thinking, which I was not able to see it by then. The only thing, which I could see was that Anna, was not able to face the hardship of being with Mojahedin and changing herself according to the teachings of the organisation. But it didn’t mean that she had rejected Mojahedin’s way of life and thinking and their struggle for freedom of our country . . . Now she was telling me that not because of her selfish motherly love, but for Sarvy’s sake she want her to stay in London. As she was explaining and arguing with me, I was getting madder and madder within myself. What I could see was that she wants her back, because she doesn’t want to be alone or just because she wants to be with her. Well as a father many times I wished to have her with myself as well, I wished to see her growth and give her night time story and kiss before sleep, to answer her curious questions and tell her my life story. But for me it was too low to jeopardise her future for my own wish and likes, things that I felt Anna is doing. In one point she throw her last arrow, and said: “if Sarvy stays in Paris, I know she is not going to be a normal person and she is going to find a complex, even some sort of sex complexes.” This was too much for me to swallow. I became so angry which for the first and last time in my life I smacked her and left the house straight to my masoul, sister Tahereh, and told her that I think my marriage is going to end. Any way as in Mojahedin, mothers had all the right toward children, I couldn’t do much and Sarvy remained in London with Anna. For few weeks I was not going home, till I was forced by Tahereh to see Anna and forget what has happened.

            Our flat had two bedrooms, and we were sharing it with our friend Shams and her wife. I was thinking that Anna is happy with this arrangement, but soon she start complaining and we had to move Shams and her wife to another house, so Anna could have her private life back. But it didn’t solve her problem, every time I was seeing her she had new complains. Since ‘ideological revolution’ as others her name after her request, was changed to Ashraf, after martyred wife of Masoud. One day she was so angry as she was called Anna by one of our old friend from Newcastle. She was arguing that this was on purpose as I am not with the organisation any more, they are denying my chosen name. When I start defending the organisation she became even angrier and refused to talk with me for sometime, till she reached to the point, which she refused to be called Ashraf as well.

            Eventually one day I heard a very loud noise of her by the door of our base. I took her in to an empty room to see what is going on and what has happened this time?! She was very angry, angrier than ever, swearing and insulting every body from me to all organisation’s members and leaders. She was saying people are right to say: “you have prison and you yourselves are prisoner and jailer. You are torturer, you are torturing me, you have chained me in my own house and are torturing me every day . . .” I was not able to talk her any more, I took her to our flat to see what has happened?! Over there I found that the ceiling is leaking and there is water everywhere. In my view it was simple matter, which could happen, in cold winter with any house as a result of bursting of frozen pipe. But for her it was the end of the world. Well in a sense now I can see she was right, as an ordinary women she was expecting to have normal life, normal husband, progressing surrounding . . . She was not from Mojahedin any more to get her life incentives and inspiration from sacrifices and her work for the organisation. She could not become happy or laugh to things, which were nice and funny for us. But at the time I was not able to understand her and saw the problem as a simple ‘leak of the ceiling’. So instead of showing any understanding and calming her, I start laughing to that simple problem. This was clear example of our ignorance toward normal and ordinary life and its problems not only concerning our own family problem, but in greater scale problem of people in Iran and why they are not prepared to answer our call for uprising and standing against Khomieni. We could not see that they want to have their own life back and live as any human beings. We could not see that they are tired of rallying and shouting. tired of news of prison, torture and revolutionary actions. Tired of seeing a young Mojahed feeling, he is more clever, superior and wiser than any body else.

            Any way my reaction toward her anger and desperation was laughing loudly. This reaction of mine made her more and more angry till point of madness. At this point she start attacking me and throwing furniture toward me. Sarvy and Hanif were so afraid as this was their first time which they were seeing us like that, Hanif was crying and Sarvy was not able to move as she didn’t know what to say or what to do. Although by now I was worried of children and wanted them not to see us like that. But foolishly by pretending that I am happy and laughing, I made things worse, and uncontrollable. I even tried to kiss Anna perhaps I be able to calm her. But what ever I did made things worse as I was not able to see the problem as it was. She wanted her husband back, and I was not able to give her what she wished. Any way as she asked, with the help of the organisation we changed that flat in few days time. When I was taking Sarvy to our new apartment. I told her that I want to say something to her, I told her: “I know you are very young to understand what i want to tell you, but I am not coming to stay with you any more. Your mother and I want different things; she wants to have ordinary life, which I cannot give it to her as long as Khomieni is in power. Perhaps one day, when we got rid of him, we can go back to our home country and have an ordinary life, but for time beings, we have to separate from each other and each one of us has to go toward his and her destiny.” She didn’t ask me why, as she could sense or guess why, instead asked me if I am going to see them or not? I told her: “yes I am coming to see you, we are not going to divorce as long as your mother wants but our love has ended.” This was the same thing, which I told Anna. Though she didn’t accept it and tried to kiss me, perhaps with my refusal, she sensed it, as she start swallowing her choking and said nothing.

 

 

Change into a ‘Politician’

My new masoul Hamid or as we were calling him Amir-Hussein, was my first male masoul since my membership in the organisation. Unlike my previous masouls he was very mild, understanding, persuasive type of man. Strangely when ever he wanted me to do something he was reasoning first and giving me all the information prior to action. Soon those days became my happiest time in the organisation. The only problem was that my executive masoul Reza’i who was in behaviour almost the same as Amir Hussein was not with us and only I was connected to him through telephone call. As a result as Amir-Hussein was head of our diplomacy in Europe, he was shifting me more and more toward diplomacy rather than doing my usual responsibilities. By now our diplomacy guys in Britain as well as others were connected to me and I was their masoul, Amir-Hussein was asking me to involve myself in their daily activities, while I was searching for an excuse to involve my self in any thing else except diplomacy. Not only I hated that job, but also I could feel I am not trained for doing that and have very serious short comings. My English was so poor, that I hardly could have proper political conversation. These arguments of mine didn’t work and eventually one day Amir-Hussein told me that I have to spend all my time in diplomacy and just supervising other activities. Meherafroz was going to be in charge of every thing else. He told me that I should go few diplomatic meetings with Ramis masoul of diplomacy in Britain, and Farzin the person in charge of dealing with media. Ramis was very able person and very professional in his work, more I was seeing him in action, less I could feel, I am able to become like him. Perhaps more than ability, it was fear, which was stopping me to like this work and change myself for doing that. Soon I learned we have to act in meetings as Liberal and as Bourgeois as possible. Those were my own characters that for past seven years I was running from them, for changing myself into a Mojahed. In this type of work, I had to have double character, double life and double behaviour, a character, which I hated most. Within the organisation we had to be, straight, simple, honest, humble, and very modest in dressing ourselves. While in work we had to be very careful in what we were going to say. Honesty didn’t have any meaning, nobody was advising us to lie, but we had to be very careful in not saying the whole truth in any subject, which we were talking about it. Only that part of truth had to be said and magnified which were beneficial for us. At this point, we had to give a lot of useless information, as much as making the listener tired of asking any question, especially questions related to those things, which we were not keen in talking about them. Our wording had to be as complex as possible to make it more sophisticated, and difficult to find the existed holes among our arguments. We had to be proud of ourselves, not let any body feel superior to us. Our dress had to be moderate in fashion, but look expensive. For going to my first meeting, I faced my first practical problem, not having any suit, white shirt, or tie. By now any proper cloth I had from my prior organisational life, either was torn of, or some how during different stages as a remainder of my bourgeois life, I had to get rid of them. I remember to buy my first cloths, instead of going to cloth shop, I went to Oxfam and bought my first suit from there. As by then I was used not to spend any money for my personal need including cloths. For first meeting I was told by Ramis that we are going to attend an evening buffet party. We were not invited as Mojahedin member, but as Iranian merchant. How much did we look like merchants or what were we going to talk about? I didn’t know. What was the purpose of attending that meeting, I was told by Ramis: “to meet people as there are few conservative ministers present in this meeting.” Not only I knew how to behave as diplomat Mojahed, now I had to behave as Iranian merchant. Over there we had a glass of Pepsi in our hand as wine, moving around talking to people, mostly about things which we didn’t have slightest clue about them. Among them we start talking with one conservative party member, fortunately he was more anxious to talk than us, so we didn’t need to say much, I asked him about Persian broadcast of BBC radio, and how can it be influenced through party, as he said he is working there. He gave me, my first lesson about diplomatic world. he said: “dear chap, BBC is not directed by the interest of Parties, but by the interest of the country, directed by foreign ministry, Governments from different party are coming and going but as you can see, their direction doesn’t change a bite. It changes when our interest changes.”

            I soon found out that Ramis is even more able than what I thought in first place. When one day we were in parliament building, I found out he knows many members of house of common and their aids, by name and has established very friendly relation with many of them. He was even able to go there and work from their offices, even with their permission write letters on their behalf and send them to other members asking them for supporting Mojahedin.

            Farzin was very able too, he knew name of many newspaper editors and writers. He knew political position of one by one of them toward Iran and us. Once we were in ‘Finical time’ office, meeting one of its editors. In the meeting, I felt he is insulting us as he start-labelling Masoud as one who has cult of personality. I remembered Sister Tahereh’s advice about our supposed reaction toward those who insult our leadership, so I forgot everything and start answering him back. As I was superior to Farzin, he didn’t say any thing, only after meeting told me that I have to be more patient in diplomatic world, especially in dealing with media, as this is their job to make us angry, only by doing this they can break our diplomatic shelve and reach to the truth which they are anxious to hear.

            My diplomatic training didn’t last long, by the start of Iranian new year, April 1987, I was told by Amir-Hussein that I am going to be transferred to Switzerland to represent Mojahedin in that country and in international organisation. My masoul was going to change again and sister Soror whom I met her in Baghdad and was our head of Diplomacy was going to be my masoul. Apart from Switzerland, I was going to be masoul of our organisation in Belgium and Netherlands too. So I start packing to start new life within the organisation. When I was living England I was not so sure if I see my old friends again. I certainly didn’t see many of them including Ramis who was martyred in one of the Mojahedin’s battle. I said good-bye to them, to my family, and anything else remained from my past, including my good old memories.

 

Photos of the chapter  Back to the top

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Rare picture of Anna nad Sarvi and Hanif while in the Mojahedin about 1985

 


 

با تشكر از شما بخاطر ورود به این وب سایت  در معرفی آن باید بگویم که آنرا به تشویق دوستانم با اهداف و ملاحظات زیر طراحی و ایجاد کردم:

  • با توجه به چاپ خلاصه خاطرات زندگیم به انگلیسی  و ترجمه آن به فارسی اینجا محلی است برای مشتافان تا اصل آنرا ملاحظه نمایند.

  • از آنجا که کتاب تنها داستان زندگی من بدون جهت گیری و نتیجه گیری خاص و جامع سیاسی و فلسفی است. اینجا محلی است جهت پاسخ به سئوالات و بیان نقطه نظرات من.

  •  امیدوارم در آینده این سایت محل برخورد آرا و عقاید افرادی شود که انسانها را سیاه و سفید ندیده و طرفدار تحمل پذیری میباشند. همچنین محلی برای ارائه آرا و عقاید دوستداران و کاوشگران فهم آزادی و دموکراسی در ایران و اسلام شود.

  • در این وب سایت و در مقالات نوشته شده بوسیله من، از بکار گیری وذکر القاب، تیتر و عنوان افراد که میتواند بکارگیری آنها حمل بر تأئید و عدم بکارگیریشان حمل بر رد و مخالفت با آنها شود معذورم مگر در مواردی که عنوان بخشی از نام فرد شده مثل "ستار خان" و یا " باقر خان" و یا "ملا صدرا" و..

  • در فاکت آوری از دیگران و در مقالات ارائه شده توسط دیگران کلمات و صفات توهین آمیز حذف میگردد.

  • استفاده از مطالب اين وب سايت با ذکر ماخذ و نام وب سايت بلامانع است.


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