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

Chapter Six - Hail To Ashora - Date 1987 - 1989


While I was in Iraq my new masoul told me: “You are so lucky to start working in diplomatic section at this juncture, as we are progressing in all different directions.” Our arm resistance against regime was finding new shape. Iraqis had given us few military bases in different part of Iraq, where we could train our combatants in safety-umbrellas of Iraqi’s anti-aircraft. Our combatants had a uniform similar to Iranian army, green for winter and Khaki for summer, similar for all different ranks. Due to Maryam’s advice, women were going to have similar dress code as men, so they were not wearing those long dresses any more. The only difference was that, their shirt was longer and had to hang over their trousers; and instead of hat they were wearing scarf all the time. Impressing pictures of Sister Tahereh, in new military uniform, handing rifles to new trainees, made us very proud of our new army, promising many new things which were going to come. We didn’t need to wait for long to see fruits of new shape, and new tactics of our army. For the first time, on top of number of Guards killed and wounded by our army, we were having prisoners of war (POW). March 87, Maryvan in a battle twenty of Khomieni’s guards were killed and four were captured. The same month, Sardasht, tens of guards were killed and seven were captured. April 87, Sarpol-Zahab, 76 killed and in the same month, in Dehloran 35 Guards were killed and three were captured. . . . Fortunately in all those operations we didn’t have any casualty. Those who were captured could give us a lot of new information about the Iranian army. But their most important service for us was, their interview with our newly established television and other media we had, including weekly Iran-liberation. In their interviews they were saying that they had surrounded themselves voluntarily as they were tired of the war and suppression and other miseries of mullah’s rule in Iran. Also they were saying how kind Mojahedin have been with them. In this way we could show to the world, how right and wise our leader was in making peace with Iraqis. How popular Mojahedin are among army personnel. How tired Iranian are from this regime. And the last but not the least, how strong and effective is our new army. An army that few months later, as one can guess, on twentieth of June, was called by Rajavi as ‘National Liberation Army’, in short NLA. In an interview when Rajavi was numbering the characters of this new army. He mentioned that, this new army unlike other armies based on compulsion and force, is based on the understanding of its combatant and their own free will, except obeying the military discipline, nobody is forced to do anything. All Mojahedin are member of this new army, but it isn’t restricted to Mojahedin only, any body with any belief or religion can be member of it. Several months later in one of the ‘General meetings’, he repeated the something. One of our sisters a Bah’aie girl, who recently was recruited, asked him about scarf and compulsory wearing of it. Rajavi said: “this is part of military uniform,” then she asked: “how come, men can have their hat at any time they wish, while women have to have their scarf all the time, every where, especially in this hot weather, which I can tell you is not pleasant at all.” At this point Rajavi explained the belief of Mojahedin and the respect others should have for the majority of combatants who were from Mojahedin. This was the same argument against questions of those, who each morning without any exception, had to stand in front of Mojahedin’s flag and pictures of Rajavis and chant Mojahedin’s anthems. Well, as one can guess, this army couldn’t attract many non-Mojahedin people, so we never faced that sort of questions any more.

            In political scene, as a result of support for Heazbollahies in Lebanon and their hostage taking polices. Insistence in continuation of war with Iraq, and later attacking ships carrying Persian-gulf’s oil. Iranian regime was more than ever hated among western politician. Even Soviets and Eastern block, under new Secretary General, Mikhail Gorbachev, were more hesitant to support them in political scene, as vehemently as before.

            In Iraq, I was moved to a Mojahedin military base, near Baghdad which soon I found out, in addition of residence of Rajavi, that base is a base for all political sections of Mojahedin, including our Diplomacy section, Radio and Television section . . . Against my hope and expectation, Rajavi’s residence was completely isolated from other parts of the base, heavily guarded. So there was no chance for me to see him or Maryam as I wished to. Instead of that I was introduced by my new masoul, Sister Soror, to oldest brother of Rajavi, Dr. Kazam Rajavi, who in short was called by everybody as Dr. As I was going to work with him for next few years, contrary to Mojahedin’s traditions, Sister Soror praised me in front of him very much, calling me Dr., saying how effective and successful I have been in my previous positions. My relationship with Banisadr, which by now I was told, should be used in advantage of Mojahedin and against Banisadr himself.

            Dr., who was representative of NCR in International Organisations and Switzerland, was there for an NCR meeting. He was very modest, kind, polite, hard working and expert in political work. Though he was representative of the Council, as he knew and soon I found out as well, I, as representative of Mojahedin had to be in charge, and had to do every thing, and he was going to be mostly a figure head and shown in the propaganda machine of the organisation as head of delegations and representative of Rajavi in different meetings and conferences. By now I had to know that Mojahedin despite their superficial politeness and kindness, have no respect or trust, for anybody even their close families and friends. Even Rajavi himself was not exception from this rule. But still, though, I could see it as my ideological weakness, I was not able to ignore family and friendship’s love and ties. So from first meeting, I start liking Dr. not only because of his character, his charm, his modesty and his ability, but as Rajavi’s brother as well. Hence when I was warned several times by previous responsible of the same job, in front of my masoul about problems that I am going to face by working with Dr. I was astonished and surprised and somehow offended. Even one of them told me “if a Mojahed works with Dr. and find no problem, I doubt very much about him as a Mojahed.”

            After reading few thousand pages of information and reports of my predecessors in Switzerland, Belgium, and the International Organisations, within two or three weeks of my stay in Baghdad, I left the Mojahedin base for my new base in Geneva. Apart from people in Belgium, whom I was their masoul, there were two members in Geneva under my responsibility. Yaser, a very young, tall, clever boy, fluent in English and German. For sometimes he was responsible of our diplomacy in Switzerland, and knew many things about that country especially its media. So I could be confident about what we were going to do politically in that country, hence my worry was the International organisation, which was very important for the Mojahedin and, as matter of fact was the main base for all their diplomatic activities.

            Apart from Yaser, Nasser whose main responsibility was to be bodyguard of Dr. was under my responsibility and was living with us in our three bedrooms, modern, diplomatic apartment in the centre of Geneva. He was one of the old supporters of Mojahedin, Nick named as ‘Nasser Maximum’ as ‘Maximum’ was used in all his sentences, always asking for Maximum of everything. He was tall and strong, fit for doing his job. During June 1981 he was in Tehran and was telling us stories about that day, first hand stories, which one could not find them in Mojahedin’s papers. Nasser unlike Mojahedin’s supporters outside of the country was not from intelligentsia, and his character was totally different, more proletariat type, which one could be very proud of it within the organisation. He knew very little French, good for domestic use, and far from being beneficial in our diplomatic meetings. Hence apart from looking after security of Dr. I had rarely any job for him, a real worry for me. As in Mojahedin we believed: “if a Mojahed stays one minute jobless or useless, it will rotten immediately.” We had famous sentence from Rajavi, as usual benefiting from simple, unrelated, physical, or chemical, examples, to show us this law. In this case he was comparing human beings with organic chemicals and was saying: “as in chemistry, more complex materials would rotten faster. Leave a piece of butter in sunshine it will rot in few minutes, while leaving an stone for hundred years, nothing is going to happen to it.’ The same, In human beings, more complex one, certainly the most complex one, Mojahedin, are getting spoiled and corrupted faster than others if they were left unsupervised, out of their surviving atmospheres.” Our surviving atmosphere, was our bases in Iraq, were we could have collective, supervised, twenty four hour work, with full Mojahedin’s relationship in force. While now living in Geneva, one of the richest cities of the world, in a luxury apartment, good for our political activities. Three people living alone, separated from other Mojahedin, under my responsibility with my own liberal weaknesses, which I was perfectly aware of them. I had all the reason to be worried about our Ideological health, especially for Nasser whom I knew very little about what he was doing and what he should be doing.



Iranian regime, an important ‘helping hand’ in our diplomacy

As my real first diplomatic experience, by the beginning of June we had to attend International Labour conference, which was taking place every year in Geneva. In this conference few thousands people from different countries under different titles, representatives of governments, workers, employees, and NGO’s (i.e. Non Governmental Organisations) are gathering together to decide about different labour’s related issues. In our first few minutes of our presence in the United Nation’s building, while all three of us plus Dr. were waiting in the queue to get our badges for attending meetings, we heard few people talking in Farsi. In one look back, I saw ten to twenty Iranian all with look of Iranian Heazbollahies. Dark, un-ironed suit, dirty shoes. All bottomed, colourful shirts without tie. Short hair, thick dark beard. With serious, angry faces all talking loudly. Neither of us was famous, so they could not recognise us, but unfortunately Dr. was, and immediately they start saying loudly: “Monafaghin, (hypocrite, the name given to Mojahedin by the regime) he is Rajavi’s brother.” We ignored them pretending, we have not seen or heard them. But few of them left their place in the queue and came close, insulting us loudly. Dr. who was experienced in meeting them in different conferences, told us: “ignore them, for few minutes to show off in front of their fellow criminals, when their ‘flock’ moves on, they will leave us alone.” He continued: “it is not good for us to answer them back, as if we do that, we might face physical attack and as a result we lose our face here as a diplomat, and many will be frightened to talk or to meet us.” After getting our badges we start moving to meeting places. Dr.’s prediction was wrong and they start following us. Dr. said: “It seems I was wrong, these people are different, they are not among their diplomats, I think they are from those animals who attack our people in Iran and now have been ‘exported’ here as representatives of the workers.” I felt that place is not safe for Dr. and if he stays there all our energy is going to look after him, so I asked Nasser to take him to his home and explained to him the problem he might face if he stays there. Dr. agreed and left us with Nasser.

            How horrible and difficult was attending the meetings of that one month conference, and talking with different delegates, one thing was certain, I saw the worse and had enough practice which, nothing could make me worry afterwards. Thanks to presence of Dr. in first day, soon I was as recognisable as he himself. They found my name from the list of delegates, and were showing me to each other and all thirty of them attending the conference could remember my face to make work as difficult as possible. Once I had to attend a committee meeting to meet the president of the Confederation of Belgian worker’s unions. Late Mr. Hothuys, a very nice, kind old man, who was very influential among international labour unions. While I was sitting in the conference room, in visitor’s seats waiting for him, I found few behind me, talking in Farsi; in no time I found myself surrounded by the regime’s people. One of them while was showing a sham smile to everybody, sat beside me and start swearing at me, as quietly as nobody else could hear him. Immediately after I left my seat to talk to Mr. Hothuys, he followed me and when we reached Mr. Hothuys, with a mixture of English and Farsi, he told him: “Hello Mr. I am a worker. You must not see Monafaghin, You see they are enemy of people and workers.” Mr. Hothuys astonished and wondered what he is talking about, told him: “Sir, this is free country and we are free people, you cannot tell me whom can I meet and whom I can’t!” Then he asked him about the name, which he called me with? The Iranian start explaining with many difficulties to him what does ‘Monafaghin’ mean and why they are calling us with that name. In response Mr. Hothuys told him: “well I am quite prepared to hear you after my meeting with him, to see if you have anything against him and his organisation.” Iranian angry and frustrated from talking in English, while was moving his point finger up and down told him: “OK, first you meet me now, then meet Monafaghin” Hothuys while taking his calendar out of his pocket to see when he is free to meet him, told him: “well sir as you can see at the moment I am in the middle of a meeting which I am trying very hard to listen what speaker wants to say; and after that I have meeting with that gentleman, (pointing toward me). I presume, I can meet you next Tuesday, if it is all-right for you?” Iranian angry of this answer, while again was moving his finger and was leaving him, told him: “well you should know the consequence of meeting with Monafaghin, friend of a Monafegh is a Monafegh too.” He came toward me and sat beside me and again joined his friends in swearing at me. By the end of that meeting, I went toward Mr. Hothuys and together walked toward hallway. But in no time we found out those Iranian, ten by then are following us like a shadow. Mr. Hothuys a bite frightened from them told me: “look sir, what more do you want to tell me about Iranian regime, which I didn’t see it with my own eyes today. When they act like this, here in this free country, I am quite able to see what they might do in their own country. Please can we see each other another time, in a more appropriate situation; to see what can I do for you?” I left him while I was thinking how could I get rid of those people. Fortunately by then I knew how much they are terrified of losing their way in long and complicated corridors of the UN. Building and losing their Iranian bus which everyday was bringing and taking them back to embassy. So I start walking fast in different corridors where there were more people around, and in few minutes I found out that they are not following me any more.

            During that conference, Iranian regime delegates assisted me more than any body else. With their actions they were live proof of whatever I wanted to say to different delegates. The same evening which I had meeting with Mr. Hothuys, I meet him in the party of World confederation of Labour. In that meeting Mr. Hothuys with explanation of his experience to different delegates, changed me into a hero, the one who “with patience, courage, and gentleness” could stand against those “barbaric behaviour” of Iranian delegates.

            Although seeing those people around and sometimes very close to ourselves, was ideologically and mentally horrible, soon I learned how much in the past, we have benefited, in different conferences, from their presence. Their appearance, their behaviour, their arguments and reasoning were symbol of Khomieni’s ideology and way of thinking. Whenever and wherever we had a meeting we could see them close to us, insulting us with their murmuring. An act that was quite recognisable for our meeting partners. The only meeting place safe for us was the bar or restaurant during dinnertime where, they didn’t dare to come to those places as in bar they were serving alcohol, and in restaurant they couldn’t find Islamic meat. During that conference with help of Irish delegates the name of Iranian regime was moved into the ‘black list’ of International labour conference, among countries with the most violation of Labour rights. The day which representatives of ‘labours’ were going to decide about Iranian case, the representative of Iranian workers who had to respond to the ‘allegations’, didn’t show up in the committee till midnight with the hope that meeting could end without any result, or perhaps with the hope that, most delegates, especially western ones leave the committee and they will be left with those who were more sympathetic toward them. While in the meeting it was announced that they are going to have their meeting till they receive an answer from all different delegations. Eventually Iranian representative came to respond to the ‘allegations’. Immediately after start of his speech, one could hear murmuring of different delegations and following that their laugh as Iranian instead of sending one of their so called workers representative to the committees of ‘workers’ had sent their ‘employee representative’, which clearly was implying how artificial are those titles for Iranian regime and how dishonest they are toward Iranian labour unions. More interesting was the way he argued against those ‘allegations’. Pointing toward western delegates and calling them representatives of Imperialism and Zionism, insulting America and giving slogan against Imperialism. One could guess easily, the result of voting in a meeting like that with that kind of response.

            During that conference, we could meet many labour ministers from different countries, including the Jordanian one who was the chairman of the conference as well. Also I had meetings with President of International labour organisation and General secretaries of all major Labour unions. I was quick to learn that the main purpose of attending conferences like that was ‘propaganda’ and more ‘propaganda’; hence the most important fruit of our work was the number of photographs taken with the most important people present in the conference or meetings. I have to admit it did create personal incentive as well as organisation one. To see our photographs in the Mojahedin’s papers and magazines with different titles, which normally were accompanying those kinds of pictures, was quite impressive and encouraging.

            Ideologically, I knew how wrong it is to get encouraged and find incentives by seeing our own achievements or our own pictures and titles in the paper. Hence after seeing my report of this meeting and its pictures in the next issue of Mojahedin’s paper, I had to write a very long report for my masoul criticising myself for my feelings. From then on this was my main dilemma. From one hand for propaganda purpose we had to produce this kind of photographs and reports, but on the other hand we had to stop enjoying it personally. Gradually I found out this is not only my personal problem, but also all members of the organisation who somehow had to appear in our propaganda machine for different reason. The only people, who were free to have self-esteem, were leadership and members of the NCR. Perhaps saving ourselves from this suffering of conscious was the main reason that whenever we were with members of the NCR, in any meeting, happily we were asking them to be the ‘star’ of photographs or meeting.

            Whatever our personal problem was, it was not going to stop our propaganda machine benefiting from those photographs and reports. On top of everything else, our section dealing with Iraqis could benefit immensely from those photographs as well, implying how much support we have in international scene and how isolated is the regime. In our own section, we could benefit from them too. Our method was to show our ‘achievements’ among, for example American to European and encourage them to support us, and vice versa.

            I learned from our lectures that, “because of our ideological differences, we never will be able to gain the real support of western countries. Hence the main objective of our foreign policy is to neutralise their support for the regime, or at least to postpone it for as long as we can.”



Propaganda and more propaganda

With announcement of establishment of the National Liberation Army, ‘NLA’, on June twentieth, by Rajavi. To make it as a bomb-fire against the regime and a new phase in our struggle implying the overthrow of the regime in very near future. We were asked to get as much as possible coverage from the media. When they were asking us for increase in coverage, it meant that we had to have almost twice coverage as before. But how? Thanks to Yaser’s tricks we had highest amount of coverage in Switzerland. Swiss is one of the countries with highest number of papers per population, on top of that as many papers are published under different names in three different official languages of the country. Any coverage easily could be multiplied by at least three times, and even more as many local papers were copying news of main papers. Many of those papers were published in small cities and villages with circulation of few thousands. What could we accomplish by gaining coverage from those local papers, was not the issue. The number of coverage was important. Even not many people in our section were bothered about importance of the paper, its circulation, or its political weight. Yaser knew his work very well and gradually had become mastermind of gaining coverage from all local papers. He had list of all papers with their Phone and fax number, name of their foreign editors and other necessary information about them. After receiving any news he was faxing it to all of them on behalf of our office in Swiss. Following that he was calling them as an individual who reads their paper, to see if they have any news about Iranian resistance, complaining why they don’t say or have not any thing about Iran. Some times he was asking other supporters to call as well and some times he was sending them fax on behave of different individuals. His other ability was to search for more coverage, in local library. I think in this way at any time he could gain as munch as coverage he needed. But, he had learned by time, if he gains more than enough, next time he would be asked to double it. As a result he was co-ordinating his effort for gaining coverage with the amount of pressure from our centre in Baghdad.

            Wrongly I gave him a long lecture about how useless are those coverage and how and why we should go for qualitative coverage instead of quantitative ones. Hence I asked him to make some appointment for visiting foreign editors of main media. The result was disaster! Soon I found those editors are very well informed, clearly more than Yaser and me. When we were showing them our achievements in the battlefront, their main question was, “Where do you get your arms? Where are your bases for training those combatants? Who is training them? What is your relation with Iraq? What your people think about your relation with their enemy? . . . ” In no way, they were prepared to accept our word for collapse of the regime in near future. They were giving us many examples about popularity of the regime and Khomieni himself, which we could not deny them easily. German language editors mainly were interested to gain information about different factions within the regime, which by then we were denying existence of different factions as a whole and were saying all those factions are different faces of Khomieni himself and nobody in this regime is any body except Khomieni. Hence we could deduce by his death, his regime will collapse immediately. I feel at this point, when they could see, how immature is our analysis of the regime and events, hence our predication for the future. By their silence or light smile and word of thank you, were asking us to leave and perhaps in many cases not return again.

            When I asked for meeting with chief editor of Journal de Geneve, most important French language papers of Swiss, I was impressed by their welcoming procedure. First they asked if we need any body to come after us. Then when we entered into their main office, it seemed many knew, we were going there, we were accompanied to a large room, which clearly was prepared for a special guest. And then the main editor with few assistants came to visit us. At this point, we both, guest and host were embarrassed greatly, as both side learned about their mistake. They were preparing themselves to meet my cousin, previous president of Iran, while they faced me, a member of Mojahedin. Well from politeness they had to carry on with the meeting. Night before when I told my masoul about this meeting and the way they are handling it. She told me: “Now you have to believe with new operation of NLA, all politician are looking to us as next government of Iran and are behaving accordingly. Hence you have to be in offensive position and ask them why they have not given us enough coverage in the past, and had shown some favour toward the regime.” In the meeting while, I could see how wrong we are with our interpretation of our position between politician and media, but had no alternative except following the line I was given. As a result the shape of meeting changed very fast, head editor left me with the editor of the Middle Eastern countries. He starts bombarding me with the same questions about our army. On top of that he, who was very informative about NCR, and us start asking questions about ‘cult of personality’ of Rajavi, then he asked me about Banisadr and other members of the council who have left it and claimed the Council is nothing but a political cover for Mojahedin . . .

            As a result of those meetings, not only we couldn’t have any qualitative coverage. But as Yaser wanted to teach me a lesson, he didn’t do his usual job, so we didn’t have as much quantitative coverage as before.

            Fortunately, however bad was my performance in Swiss, In Belgium, thanks to Simin, a supporter who was responsible for dealing with media and politician, I was quite successful. I learned from her that for several years she was the sole responsible for all our political activities in that country. She was working full time and for two days per week was doing SW work to earn money for her political activities there. She knew all different parties and members of the parliament and the government. Though I was masoul of our members and supporters in that country, I knew very well that I have to learn many things from her. So for day or two, she was giving me lecture about political system of Belgium, what are tendencies of different parties, how different are French parties from Flemish ones. Which one is more supportive and why others are not . . . I was wondering why Simin with this amount of commitment and with her background, still is considered as supporter and not a member?! Later I was told that her problem is that she is to tied and attached to her husband and her daughter. She showed these attachments when she refused to go to Paris work there.

            In media as well, she was perfectly aware of our position among them, she knew what are their questions and past history of their relation with us. So when I had my first Television and Radio interview, and then my interviews with few papers, I didn’t face any surprise questions and they went pretty well. The only problem was that most of them instead of printing photograph of Rajavi or Maryam, as we used to ask and insist for, shamefully printed big pictures of mine, which used to be taken in the meeting. I was so embarrassed, which didn’t dare to send any of them to our centre.



Loss of a friend for nothing

By August we, all members and masouls of our diplomatic section were asked to go back to Baghdad. Over there we had a long lecture from our masoul about ‘ideological threat’ of our job. To overcome this threat, she suggested whenever we are free and have less work in our duty-country, we have to go to Iraq and stay in one of our military bases and have military training. As a result many of us except few were sent to a military base called ‘Ashraf’.

            As in few days time I had to return to Geneva for attending another conference. I was not sent there and stayed in our base for having several meetings with our masoul and other people remained there. In one of our meetings, Sister Soror our masoul received a telephone call from Ashraf base. While she was talking, we could feel something badly has gone wrong. After the end of her conversation, she told us: “It was about Hasan, It was from hospital, he is dead, he died because of ‘heat-stroke’.” She was sad and with this news all of us in the room felt cold as dead, none of us were prepared to break the silence and say or ask anything. It was neither the first time nor the last time we were hearing news of death of a friend or somebody close to us. By then we were used to this kind of news and every day we were expecting our own death here or there. Any time we were travelling we had to have cyanide capsule with ourselves, ready to be used for killing ourselves in case of plane hijacking or facing any terrorist activity or kidnapping from Regime’s terrorists. While we were attending any conferences or demonstrations we were expecting to be shot death as well. There in Iraq too we were expecting to be killed by air attack from daily attacks of Iranian fighters over Baghdad. Being killed by enemy was an honour and expected. But killed in training session and not in an accident. Because of ‘heat-stroke’! Was unexpected and not accepted. Hasan was one of the members from Britain, he start supporting Mojahedin almost the same time as I. He was famous for his modesty, patience and calm, always he was talking as quietly as hardly one could hear him. His hard working and steadfastness not only was evident to us but even for foreign diplomats and members of parliaments contacted by him. Once when he wanted to get support from one Member of Parliament for NCR’s peace plan, with the endurance that was one of his characters, he could find the member, while skiing in Alp Mountains. He got support of that surprised man without any explanation, just because of his stamina. It seems that member of parliament told him: “if all of you have this stamina, in your work, I can have no doubt that you are going to win, so I have no problem in supporting you!”

            Among army personnel we were known as ‘BACHEHAIE KHARAJ KASHVARI’ (foreign boys), not because who ever was in army came from Iran, but what they meant was that we had kept our ‘Liberal’ character and were not used to rough conditions of living in army bases. So I can imagine when Hasan was feeling heat as badly as he did, why he didn’t say so and didn’t show it till it was to late to do any thing about it. I feel if I was instead of him was doing exactly the same thing. Suffering from heat was more bearable than embarrassment of running from heat toward shadow of a tree. Especially after several lectures we had about Ideological threat we were facing and its only solution ‘to surrender ourselves to our army’s conditions, its rules and its hardships’.

            Two days later we were asked to have our military cloths for military burial of Hasan. It was my first time to attend this kind of ceremonies. We went to Karbela, first according to Moslem’s traditions, we took him to mortuary to have his ceremonial washing, we as close friend of his had to be present during washing. It was the first time I was able to see the dead body of somebody, especially somebody close to me. In no way, I think I be able to describe my feelings at that moment. It seemed all my mind, thought, feelings were frozen as frozen as body of Hasan. As I could see him close to ourselves, I was not able to accept him as dead. So in a way I was badly offended by the way the mortician was moving him to wash all his body. After that we carried him on our shoulders to the shrine of Imam Hussein, and as custom few times walked around the shrine. When we took him to near cemetery for burial, for the first time I saw the graves of many other Mojahedin killed in different battles. Now after full military ceremony for few minutes I was able to be alone with one by one of them and cry as hard as I wanted and as loud as I felt. I was not alone, many other members of our section, I presume had the same feelings as mine and were crying by the grave of one of our fellow members.

            It was very depressing and sad experience. Hasan in his will had written: “My hope and desire is to give what ever I have, and spend everything in the path of Mojahedin for establishment of the monotheism society, a society without any class, race, gender, discrimination, or any kind of exploitation, united with the whole beings. I hope one day I be able to fulfil drop of my debt to our depraved people.”



Human Rights

Attending one month conference of ‘UN. Human rights sub-committee . ‘. Did give me new experience and new understanding about issue of ‘Human rights’. As a Mojahed I had two completely different views about condemnations of violations of human rights in different countries. When the same institutions condemned executions of Shah’s ministers by the revolutionary courts of the new regime. I learned from Mojahedin that UN committees of human rights are tolls of Imperialism condemning countries that are not behaving according wish of Imperialism. At the time they were congratulating the ‘leader of the revolution’ Khomieni for being condemned by Imperialism and UN bodies, for of those executions. On the contrary, later, during past previous years when the same committees and the same American congress and president condemned executions in Iran, Mojahedin praised it and announced it as another ‘victory for the Iranian resistance’. Hence although these condemnations in our view were sham and superficial, they were essential for all our political activities.

            In those committee there were about twenty people called ‘judge’ from different countries around the world, apparently independent of their own country’s politic, to judge violations of human rights in its general form in different fields. We drafted a resolution, mentioning names of Mojahedin and Rajavi within its contents. I remember Dr. was very against it, telling us: “I like very much to see my family name in an international resolution, more than all of you, I like to see even my aunts and uncles names there too, but it is not right and it is not possible. So we are making fool of ourselves by asking something being approved.” As he had to go to Paris, he didn’t accompany us in that conference, so we could follow the line given to us from Baghdad, without arguing with him. We start seeing different judges to find a sponsor and Co-sponsor for our resolution. We knew by experience of previous years that sponsor has to be from one of the western countries, so we start meeting them one by one. Eventually the judge from Britain did accept to forward a resolution similar to one drafted by us. As it was predicated be Dr. he was not prepared to put any sentence in the resolution referring to Mojahedin or our leader’s name. For us it was essential to have those references in the resolution. This was our first step in the path of recognition by the international bodies. Eventual wish of Rajavi was to force the United Nation to hand over the seat of representative of Iranian people, to Mojahedin. Within the organisation we were always compared with the PLO and we wanted to achieve in Political scene, whatever they gained during their past struggle. Ignoring the immense fundamental differences existed between two resistances. While the sponsor of our resolution was not prepared to mention any of our references. But again thanks to Iranian regime, at the end we could have some of them. The story was that in the sub-committee when the representative of Iranian regime wanted to answer to the allegations of violations of human rights. Instead of answering them, as usual he attacked the Imperialism, American and British. But as in this committee he was not facing any country, but individuals, he had no choice except attacking and insulting the person, sponsor of the resolution. He called the sponsor of our resolution as ‘political liar’ a ‘puppet of Imperialism’, with ‘allegations without any proof’. In response, the sponsor who wanted to make his allegations documented as asked by the representative of the regime included names of our documents in the resolution (i.e. some kind of recognition for our documents and our resistance.) Voting about this resolution was interesting and educational for me as well. It was funny to see representative of Soviets, when was asked about his vote, instead of giving positive or negative or at least abstain. While sitting there, with loud voice announced ‘Absent’!! Immediately the whole meeting burst into laughing. We knew from past experience that their vote and all Eastern block’s vote always for our resolutions is abstain, but we were not expecting absent! There were some judges who were sympathising with us and genuinely we could feel they want to do something to help us, but they were bound by their governments to act in favour of Iranian regime. Among them representative of Cuba. A country with a ‘revolutionary leader’! Or Ethiopia with a communist government. The judge from Ethiopia told us he has an order from his government to give negative vote but he is prepared not to be in the meeting when they are voting. And he kindly did it. The representative of Zambia told us he couldn’t vote positive, as he will find problem with his government. Strangely during voting not only he gave positive vote but start talking about the resolution and announced that he wants to add his name among sponsors of the resolution. He said: “I have received this documents mentioned in the resolution, but they were so horrific that I was not able to believe them or accept them. So my decision was at most abstain to this resolution. But when I showed them to the representative of Iran, He didn’t deny them, but said something, which I am ashamed to repeat it here. Their word persuade me that all these documents are correct, so I decided to name myself among co-sponsors of the resolution.”

            As one can expect our resolution past in that committee, so how did I judged those judges? Was their main concern ‘Human rights’ or as it was claimed by the regime and before them by Mojahedin. They were ‘politicised’ and were condemning the countries according to the wish of ‘politics of their own country’. Again I found out, the answer is not as straight and generalised as one might say or think so. It was Politicised as there was no resolution against neither West or Eastern block, as one could be sure that a resolution like that apart from reality, will never have a chance of approval. Countries with strong ties with western block were save from any kind of condemnation, as it was the case of Arabic countries including Iraq till start of ‘the gulf war’. On the other hand one could see many different resolutions past in this committee concerning Human Rights in general, which at the end could force all different countries around the globe to observe those rights in their own countries. Also when there was immense violation of human rights in a special country, even votes and influence of American or Soviets could not save them from condemnation.

            Following this conference, I was told that I have to leave every thing and go to the United States for attending the yearly United Nations General Assembly.

            It was my first visit to the United States. Every thing including our organisation over there was strange and different. Perhaps it was due to my pre-judgement of that country and its people. I had seen and read as much about crimes of American against others as I didn’t want to find them attractive or interesting. I even had my own opinion about our members from there. Meeting different members from different countries gradually had forced me to conclude that our host country’s main characters some how have influenced all of us. Easily I could differentiate our members and supporters from Germany or France. As Germans were very accurate, precise, respectful of laws, rules and time. French ones were easy going; more joyful, less accurate in what they were saying and doing, . . . We from Britain were sharing characters of British; politeness, patience and calm. Hence whenever I was meeting a member from America, the main character that I could recognise was their ‘aggressive mod’, ‘feel of superiority’ and in some cases arrogance. Though I have to emphasis, all these characters compare to our common ‘Mojahedin’s characters’ were inferior. I think over there I left myself wrongly to be as judgmental as I wanted. But still I feel in co-ordinating themselves with Mojahedin; our members there were far from us in Europe. I felt many of them perhaps the same as us few years back, from fear of being labelled as ‘right’ were taking most aggressive pseudo left positions in different situation. Eshagh, who was nominated to work with me during our work in General Assembly, was one of the symbols of my judgement. We lost many appointments, because of his rejection of taking car or Taxi when it was needed. Always carrying two heavy briefcases full of different documents, we were in run from one embassy to another one for our meetings. Whenever I was asking how far we are from our next meeting? The answer was the same: “nothing just few blocks north or south” And when we were run out of breath, sweating, reaching there late, he had simple explanation for the opposite meeting person: “sorry we were hold in rush hour.” We were carrying our lunch taken from base with ourselves to have it in between meetings. Once when we had a meeting with Belgium ambassador, in the middle of our ‘diplomatic meeting’ while we wanted to show him some documents, our apples and oranges start ruling on the floor, ambassador and us running after them. Well I have to admit as usual I was so weak in standing against pseudo-left actions and instead of him following me as his masoul, I was following him, and by the end of assembly both had found back pain from carrying those heavy bags in our marathon run from one embassy to another one.

            While I was in New York, I could see both contradictory side of living in this famous, big city. Poor side of it, those who were sleeping, in cold and windy winter of New York in the street and were prepared to kill each other for finding some big cardboard boxes, used as a roofed bed for night sleep. On the other hand very close to them one could see the most luxurious apartments, expensive shops and hotels, big limousines . . . Every day we were taking ‘New York metro’ from our base which I guess was situated in Spanish section of the city to Manhattan where our meetings were taking place. During our journey I could see people from all walk of life, and different race, with most strange behaviour. Tallest, shortest, fattest, thinnest people, all hanged from bars of the train, or waiting in dirty, dark, smelly metro stations for arrival of their train, reading different hand written slogans and swearing on station’s walls. Rushing from here to there in narrow staircase or corridors of stations, knocking few people in their way from left and right. Yelling, swearing, and sometimes fighting in their way. People were alienated from each other and one could see no human sympathy, or attachment among them. Even once, when we were shopping, instead of cashier sitting there, cashier machine told us how much we have to pay and after that said: “thank you for shopping and Good bye”

            Our goals and aims of our works in General Assembly was clear. We had to have a resolution. With as many as possible number of sponsors, and positive votes. We had to find a way to obtain the report of the reporter of the United Nations for Iran and the draft of the concerned resolution before their official distribution, to be able to have our position for media. At the same time as we wanted to have as much publicity as possible, we had to be very active among press and have a press conference in right time, preferably with few or our tortured brothers and sisters, escaped from Iran. On top of those it was desirable to have as much as possible, favourite speeches from different countries.

            The main sponsors of our resolution were known from start; as usual they were western European countries plus America, Canada, and few more countries from different continent to make it as broad as possible. Our relation with sponsor’s countries was clearly based on mutual interest. They needed us to feed them with the most recent violations of human rights in Iran and political events of our country, so when they were arguing with the regime or in their speech they knew what are they talking about, and could have strong arguments. We needed them too, to force them to make the resolution as strong as possible and perhaps with mentioning our documents. Usually among them one sponsor was playing as good guy and one as bad one, in another word one was very sympathetic toward us and another one toward the regime. In this way whenever we were asking for more strong resolution, we were told to go and persuade the bad guy, and when regime was asking them to forget about the resolution or have something weaker, they were told to talk with the good guy. Opposite to our friendly meetings with the good guy, our meeting with the bad one was very rough and more or less like arguing with the regime itself. I presume it was the same for Iranian’s regime’s delegates. In this way the outcome of the resolution before being in our advantage, was serving the interest of sponsor countries. That year Austria was the ‘bad guy’ and Luxembourg was the ‘good one’. Other country’s representatives apart from general courtesy behaviour of all diplomats used to act according to their countries special interest. Germans were very blunt and aggressive as they had close economic ties with the Iranian regime, more or less the same for Italian, while they were more diplomatic to show their feelings straightforward. Opposite to them all Nordic countries were very concern about the issue of Human rights itself and were very friendly and helpful.

            During our three months work we met almost two hundred people from different countries and Non governmental organisations. We were not meeting any body from communist countries as we didn’t want to offend our western friend and on top of that we knew perfectly well, nothing could change their vote or decision. Nor we were going to have meeting with countries, very close to the regime, like Libyan, Syrian, Pakistan. Also we could not meet people from Israel and South Africa.

            On the other hand some countries, like most Arabic countries were not prepared to meet us, from fear of terrorist activities of the regime, and some African countries, used to receive Iranian financial help.

            Among those whom we had meeting with, some were very Humane and were acting more like our friends rather than a politician. They were prepared to read statements written by us in different meetings or publish them as their own statement and distribute them among representatives. Also through them, we could receive documents available for representatives of governments.

            Ambassador of one of those small countries, who was a very friendly young educated man was telling us, how their country’s decision are easily influenced by bigger countries. He told us few years back they with three other small countries sponsored a resolution against French actions in New Caledonia. But soon after contact of French government with their governments, they were ordered to withdraw their resolution, but as in mean time, the resolution had found few other sponsors, they could not do so. As a result it went for voting, shamefully, while they were original sponsors of the resolution, had to vote against it, which was a laughing matter for other representatives.

            Votes of those small countries could be bought easily. As we could feel vote of some of them without any political reason and against general tendency of their countries is changing in favour of the regime. On the other hand I heard from Eshagh that years back when still we were not member of an NGO to attend the meetings as their representatives, they used to buy their entrance badges from those small countries. Some of them as a friend were ready to change their vote from negative to ‘absent’, or even one of them prepared to give positive vote against order of his government and later change it as mistaken one, in this way his change of vote had no effect in counting which already had taken place and he had an answer for his government. Some times we had to solve their domestic problems for gaining their vote, for example. Representative of one of those countries was working in the municipality of New York, at the time of voting as it was agreed between us, we sent a car after him to take him for voting.

            Representative of some countries bluntly were telling us they couldn’t vote in favour of our resolution as if they do, Iranian and some other countries follower of them, in response would vote against them. Indonesian ambassador was classmate of Dr. When we had meeting with him, he was very friendly and he talked with Dr. for long about their old memories. But In voting not only his vote was negative, but also he was one of the co-sponsors of a counter-resolution forwarded by Pakistan to neutralise our resolution. Dr. was so angry that couldn’t keep his usual gentleness and in front of different diplomats, told him: “You all, are member of bunch of criminals!!” Opposite to him was the ambassador of Bangladesh, an old, educated man. In first few minute of our meeting, he attacked us sharply by labelling us as, mercenaries of American, and Iraqis. Beggars of CIA, traitors to our people and Moslems, hypocrites, . . . If he was continuing one minute more, I am sure I was not able to control Eshagh any more, I could see his face has changed into red from anger, and at any moment is going to explode. I was astonished more than offended, If he was so against us why did he agreed to meet us?! At this point he stopped insulting us and with a mild smile said: “These are part of allegation of Iranian regime against you, when I told them, I am going to meet you. So what do you think about that?” He continued: “From their reaction toward you, I felt you should be real danger and threat toward them, and very interesting people to meet. So I thought, in no way I should lose this opportunity.” Our meeting took almost two hours, he was not only concern about politic, but wanted to know about our ideology too. At the end of our meeting when he was changed completely into a kind friend, told us, he has been ordered by his government to vote negative to the resolution as Indian and Pakistanis and many other Moslem countries, but he is prepared to accept all criticism of his government and vote ‘abstention’. He asked us from then on any time in the middle of our meetings we want to have our lounge or have our noon pray, we can go to their embassy and have them over there.

            Some times in our meetings when we were going further than usual diplomatic conversions we could find real friends among those diplomats which according to the definition of one of them, they were “like soldiers in the battle front, absolute obedient of the order of their governments without any personal feelings.” In our meeting with Spanish ambassador, he told us: “Perhaps you, young western educated people have wrong expectation from your government and want them to behave and act according to western democracy. While it might not be right for your people and your country. Perhaps your culture and your religion dictate different type of government?!” At this point I felt I have all the rights as an Iranian to become angry and show my anger, so while I raised my voice slightly, on the edge of politeness, I told him: “I am sorry to hear a question or comment like this, from you as an educated person with experience of having dictatorship yourselves. I never am prepared to tell you that dictatorship of Franco was better for Spanish people than democracy that you are enjoying now. Please let me remind you in one of the hall of the same United Nations where you work, there is a copy of an ancient inscription hanged on the wall, as first bill of human rights. It was issued by our first king, who gave many rights including rights of believe, language, . . . To people. As you can appreciate many of those rights still are not recognised in many countries around the world. Again let me remind you, when we had our constitutional revolution and our first parliaments, many countries in Europe were under total dictatorship. And when Franco had his absolute rule in Spain, Nationalist, democratic government of Mossadeq was elected to rule in Iran.” Not only he was not offended by my remarks, but also I think he liked our nationalistic anger, as he became good friend of us and even years after that always we could have good friends among Spanish embassy personal.

            Against all our effort and support of all western countries, though we could increase number of positive votes by three compare to previous year to 64 votes, still it was much short of number of countries absent or abstained that was 73. Fortunately in the organisation nobody was bothered about this details and always 64 positive votes was compared to 22 negative votes with conclusion of approval of our resolution by the General Assembly of the United Nations. Hence flood of jubilation and congratulation in our papers. In next issue of our paper our photograph in General Assembly was published, Photograph of Dr. Eshagh another member of our team and I.

            During our meetings there, I found my family name very useful, especially in dealing with journalists, as could be known and remembered by them very easily, though again in two cases, meetings with ambassadors of Nepal and Philippines, I had those embarrassing time as they were prepared to meet my cousin instead of me.

            Gradually I learned to work with our boys there and was accepted by them too, I could see to work there, they had to employ more aggressive tactics and behaviours. Eshagh, among those working with me, I think was the cleverest one; he was tall, handsome, educated, with his own view about the organisation’s policies, which were completely new for me. Five years later, I learned, Eshagh who was transferred to Baghdad. As a result of pressures of another phase of ‘Ideological Revolution’, hanged himself and was buried there. There was no burial ceremony or mention of his name anywhere. Even he was not buried among our combatants as by suicide he ‘betrayed’ the leadership. He was buried in an unknown place as an unknown person.



Stamina, the secret of our success

Still there were few days till the end of General Assembly session, but I was asked to return to Europe immediately. French government in a shameful deal with Iranian regime to free French hostages in Lebanon, agreed to expel 14 members and supporters of Mojahedin from France, to Gabon. To make it more procedural rather than political they expelled three Kurdish Turks at the same time. Among those arrested was Saeid, the head of our diplomacy in France whom I had to replace. Before doing that, I had to go to Zurich to welcome one of our members from Britain who by mistake was send to Gabon as well, while he was considered as a tourist in France. I had to take him back to Britain, where a heroic welcome was waiting for him. In the plane I had to prepare him for facing reporters in the Heathrow airport.

            In Auvers-sur-oise station, Siros was waiting in the car for me, I felt his face is familiar for me, he reminded me, the meeting, few years back we had in Essen of Germany, he was among those who was expelled from the society of supporters by the founders. During my stay in France Siros was going to work with me as my translator in different meetings I was going to have.

            Paris was totally different city from the one, I knew before. It was more like a city, seen in second world movies, under siege. Every where we were looking, there were some gendarmes or police, guarding and searching, in the roads more often one could see gendarme’s cars hiding or were stopping a poor guy or were searching another car. People with darker skin and darker hair and more casual dresses were more under suspicion and could be sure of inspection or arrest some where in one of the metro stations. Fortunately Siros was a handsome man in his early thirties with blue eyes and fair hair and as always we were in our formal dress, never during my stay in Paris we were stopped or searched. I guess they had every right to be afraid of terrorist’s activities or hostage taking, but I could not see how they want to get rid of terrorism while they were lenient and comprising toward countries advocating Terrorism and hostage taking.

            Siros himself was among those arrested, by the French government, but later as he was a French citizen, was freed. He told me how in early morning gendarmes attacked our different bases in Paris. It seems they picked few people by random as they had no case against any of them, and they committed some obvious mistakes including arrest of Siros or deportation of two refuges from Britain and Sweden, to Gabon. Among those arrested few were simple supporters, refugee, in France, which one could not see the significance of their arrest. On the other hand many masouls of the organisation there, were not arrested and were free to do their daily job. In the beginning they claimed, they have evidence that those people are terrorist or have a terrorist connection. Later they changed it into an allegation that their presence in France is attracting Terrorist’s activities and is putting life of ordinary citizens in danger.

            Though I was supposed to head our diplomatic activities there, soon I learned, the real head of our diplomacy in this case is Rajavi himself and as matter of fact the whole organisation for month or two is going to be under service of events, which were taking place in Paris. My real job apart from meeting different politician and people, was to head our political office there, Issue and distribute statements, which were coming hour by hour. Monitor all different media for the latest news, and pick the most important and significant ones and fax them as soon as possible to Baghdad for receiving proper reaction. Establish relation with different members of Parliament and inform them daily about what is going on. Not only we were in the centre of Mojahedin’s politic, the most sensitive one since departure of organisation from Iran. But at the same time we were in the centre of French politics and one of the most important struggles between French parties for power. At the time Mitterand the French president was from the Socialist party and Jacques Chirac the prime minister from RPR (Rally for the Republic - known as de Gaulle’s party). By freeing French hostages in Lebanon with any price, Chirac wanted to make sure the victory of his party in next general election, which was very close. On the other hand Socialists who could see how nationally and internationally illegal and hateful this action would be judged and seen, wanted to benefit from it as much as possible to guarantee their own victory. Other countries such as American and British who had some hostages in Lebanon were very concern too, as this leniency and comprising attitude toward ‘hostage takers’ could encourage them for taking more hostages, and demand different things for freeing them. At the same time it was the best opportunity for Mojahedin to have immense amount of publicity around the world.

            Immediately after the expulsion of our people to Gabon, Rajavi asked all our members and supporters to go to a hunger strike in different countries, so few hundred of our members and supporters, in different countries such as US. Or Britain or West Germany went into unlimited hunger strike in front of the French embassies in those countries. Most important of all was the hunger strike of those expelled to Gabon and those in Paris in front of the office of UN for refugees.

            This political fight with French government in the shape of hunger strike was carried on for almost forty days with the biggest political victory for Mojahedin ever. Of course along with us, French socialist were the victorious, as they won the next general election. During those forty days almost everyday the main news of all French media and sometimes-other western and Arabic media was about this issue. When at the end of the affair we collected all the coverage in a Book, it came to few thousand pages, each page with few coverage from different papers. Almost all news was in favour of us, condemning French government for its action. Some of the coverage were like this: Le Monde, December 9: “EXPULSIONS ET CONTRE; VÈRITÈS” (Expulsions and lies). The Times, Britain, December 10, “The British Refugee Council accused the French Government yesterday of having violated the international convention on refugees. . . . ” The New York Times, USA, December 9, “The Government of Prime Minister Jacques Chirac has dishonoured itself, . . .” In another issue the same paper wrote: “The Government (of France) has come under severe criticism in the United States, Britain and much of the Arab world over the accord with Iran that emerged after the release of two French hostages by pro-Iranian forces in Lebanon last month.” Frankfurter Rundschau, Germany, December 9, “Profitable Dealing in Men” Al Ahram, Egypt, December 8, “France’s New Ransom to Khomieni Regime.” Every day we were gathering these coverage from around the world in Paris and were preparing them in a presentation form for sending to different politician. At the same time all our personal in diplomatic sections in different countries were mobilised to get as much support as possible from politicians and members of parliaments of different countries. As a result almost 1400 parliamentarian from 16 countries of the world mostly from western countries poured their telegraphs and letters toward French President and Government, condemning their action. In France itself many personalities, pervious ministers were encouraged to visit ‘hunger strikers’ and show their sympathy toward them.

            Gradually hunger strike start showing its effect and more and more people reached to crucial stages, in some cases unsuccessfully French government tried to stop their strike by deceiving or even by forcing them to eat. As some strikers were reaching to the stage of no return, we were witnessing more and more coverage and visit from more and more personalities, in pick of that, the visit of Danielle Mitterand, wife of the French President.

            During those forty days never we could sleep, more than five hours per day , rarely more than two to three hours continuously in the proper bed. In the beginning we wanted to join hunger strikers while we were not in the street and were working in our bases. But we were told without sleep and food we will not be able to cope with the amount of work we were facing. So we were not in strike, but rarely we could have proper food, because of lack of time and feel of guilt as always we were thinking of those sitting or lying in the streets, in cold winter without any food for days. Every day, Helen, our French sympathiser, working along few other members and sympathisers under my responsibility were bringing few French buggeths with herself, which were best remedy for hunger and sleep both, we were having them while we were working day and night when we were feeling sleepy or hungry. The best time for sleep was when we were in trains going from one meeting to another one, when there was no way we could do anything else. One day we, Siros and I, found ourselves in last station of our train, it was past midnight and that train was the last one. We found we have no change or Telephone card for calling somebody to come after us, while we were half sleep we walked few miles back to reach our base. Another time when we had an important meeting with one of the ministers of French government, I was not able to keep myself awake each time Siros was translating my words to our French hosts. We could empress them greatly by giving them the few hundred pages booklet of coverage from different papers, some from the same day papers. He who was from one of the coalition parties of French government, next day announced his split in that issue from other members of the government. In our meeting he said: “I have seen weak bodies of your supporters in their strike in different countries and I can see your red eyes from sleepless days and nights. But at the same time I can see your well documented materials and your will power for defeating your enemies, so I have no doubt, you are going to win and soon will see your friends back in this country.”

            He was right in few days time after French courts gave their verdicts in favour of us and announced that there was no legal base for the expulsions, we had a call from French government asking for a meeting with our representatives to solve the problem. Next day their charted plane took Abrishamchii and Mohadessin, two high-ranking members of the Mojahedin from Baghdad to Paris for discussion with the government. The result was an accord signed by Robert Pandraud, French minister and Abrishamchii on behalf of Mojahedin. It was unbelievable victory for us, as Abrishamchii said, it was “our first official governmental recognition, as sole representative and leader of Iranian Resistance.” The same day accord was announced by the French government and us simultaneously. And following that arrival of our friends from Gabon by special charted French plane. While in Gabon the president of Gabon saw them off, and in Paris they received honorary welcome. After that there was jubilation and ceremonies, in our bases, around the world. There was live Telephone call with Masoud and Maryam Rajavi in all bases, where Maryam announced that day, the day of ‘Refugees’. She said: “Our struggle, was not aimed only for our cause, but for the right of all refuges from different countries of the world.”

            Next day the biggest titles of all French papers and many important international media were about this victory of us with photos of jubilation of hunger strikers. : Le Monde: “VOLTE- FACE” (withdraw). Liberation: “FIN DE LA FAIM, AIR PASQUA PAIE LE RETOUR” (The end of hunger strike - Air Pasqua (i.e. Pasqua, the interior minister of France, responsible for the expulsion) pays for return ticket). Le point: “LE COUT D’UN ALLER ET RETOUR - PARIS A CÈDÈ .” (Price of a depart and return - Paris surrounded . . . ). Some of the world’s titles were like this: The Times: “Chirac concedes victory to Iran exiles.” The New York Times: “Khomieni foes enter France hurting Chirac’s Iranian ties.” News Week: “An Iranian hunger strike pays off.” La Stampa (Italy): “UNA CLAMOROSA MARCIA INDIETRO DEL GOVERNO FRANCES.” (Clamours withdraw of French government).

            During those forty days I saw many fantastic people, Iranian and French both. People who were on the hunger strike, ready to die from hunger and not surrender to unjust behaviours. One day I was asked to talk to Ali a professor of history, to persuade him to eat something as he was going to lose his sight forever. It was order of Maryam that we don’t want to lose anybody in this way. Also she said: “if it was not because of Masoud, not only many could lose their life as they wanted to go to dry hunger strike, but many could burn themselves alive in different countries.” It took us few hours to persuade Ali to eat some thing. Our sacrifices always was interpreted by our enemies as madness, many were calling us, “young people who have been brain washed” Whatever they were calling us, the result was the same. We believed in our just actions and we were following our leader wholeheartedly, and we could see the result of our sacrifices and our stamina, by winning in different battles.

            French were showing their sympathy in different way too, many used to bring coffee, blanket, . . . for strikers, some were bringing flowers, some used to join strikers, sitting with them for few hours. There was a letter in Le Monde by about this incident, showing attitude of ordinary French about this action of their government: It was like this: “Levy, I am ashamed, I am ashamed of denied paid levies, but obvious. I am ashamed of Iranian oppositions, those living here, for long accepted, and now suddenly expelled. . . . My eight years grandson thinks if they free our hostages, any time they want they can take new hostages. Stupidity and faint-hearted. We are ashamed.”

            Despite the fact that sometimes work’s pressure was immense and we didn’t know what should we do with our sleepy eyes, we were happy, all the times joking and laughing, especially Siros, I never saw him without his usual smile, and his word of ‘CHASHAM’ (what ever you say with all my might). One minute he was monitoring different radios, another minute reading newspapers and translating them, and then off to go with me for meeting this personality or that representative of a trade union. Apart from him all other people in our section were working day and night, The amount of work done by them during those days was unbelievable, sometimes they were doing things that one could not imagine, they are capable of doing them. Annie another French sympathiser, wife of one of our supporters, expelled to Gabon, was very quite, nice and kind person working with us. When we asked her to go to Gabon and smuggle some equipment including Fax machine to the Hotel where our boys as guest of the president of Gabon were kept. We never could think, she is capable of doing an action like that, more like police movies of ‘007’. But she did it and did it perfectly. As a result we could communicate with them hourly and could co-ordinate their actions with ours. It took sometimes for French and Gabonies to figure out how to stop us passing information to each other, and when they found out, it was too late to do any thing about it.

            After this event many among us who were going to lose their hope for victory, found new incentives. They saw with persistence and determination, empty handed we “forced the ‘fifth strongest’ government of the world to surrender itself to us.” Hence we could see no reason why shouldn’t we win over a ‘backward’, ‘unpopular’ . . . regime of Khomieni.

            About the same time our army had impressing victories too, In Ilam 110 guards killed, 11 captured. In Khozastan, 113 killed, 16 captured. And in Soreen, 140 killed and 114 captured. … We were victorious in Political and military fields both, while the regime was losing in all different fields, even their representative in France was expelled. They were not able to solve their internal differences. They were forced to abolish the only party existed in the country, the governing party, the ‘Islamic Republic Party’, the same party with the largest and strongest organisation in fight against Mojahedin few years back. In a statement In Iran liberation Mojahedin stated: “Khomieni’s dissolution of the party which he himself founded, signals the regime’s extreme weakness. This will boost public morale and escalate resistance, and conversely alienate the regime’s forces.” In the same statement they said:” The pack of wolves comprising the Khomieni regime can only subsist under his medieval dictatorship, and cannot survive independent of him.” Following the dissolution of ‘Islamic republic party’, there were letters of Khamenai The President and Khomieni the leader of the regime to each other with obvious signs of difference of opinions among them about fundamental believe of the regime, ‘VLAYAT FAGHIEH’ (supreme religious guides).

            As a result many who were in hunger strikes in different countries of the world after summon of Rajavi for joining the army, obeyed him wholeheartedly and joined the army to witness final days of the regime.

            Year later Siros was killed in a battle. Annie, who was as a nurse in our final battle with the regime, was captured by them and later was died or killed in captivity.


After this ‘victory’ for few weeks we were in Baghdad, to attend several ideological meetings, to understand more deeply the greatness of our leader and his wise and courage full decisions, seen in their outcomes: ‘our victory over French government’ and ‘rise of our army as new effective player in future destiny of our people’. Those ‘ideological meetings’ were called ‘old to new’. And meant that we have to change ourselves to fit into this new era of our organisation, to be able to face our future responsibilities as members of an organisation well known every where and on the pick of the ‘evolution’.

            In one of the meetings for high-ranking members, for the first time, I heard about Ali Zarkash, the previous second in command of our organisation. One of the sisters referred to him as one who has betrayed our leader! In the same meeting it was explained that while he was commander of our forces in the country, he didn’t give full picture of what is going on to Rajavi, as a result we lost so many lives. I never again heard any thing about this subject. I knew he has lost all his ranks and is serving as a simple supporter or member, but I never found out what was his real mistake or being correct, his question or disobedient, as mistakes however big never could end us in that situation. I knew few years back we used to direct our supporters in Iran through telephone calls from abroad, first not knowing that, all calls are monitored by the regime. But even later when we found out about it, people responsible of that section, continued to make contact with our people in Iran in the same manner, as a result many supporters and members were arrested and executed. I feel later as somebody had to be blamed for this obvious mistake. Though always all victories of the organisation was going to be named after our great leader, but this one I presume was named after poor Zarkash. Zarkash was killed in our final battle with the regime, and for sometimes, regime tried to portray his death as victim of an internal conflict.

            After staying for few weeks in Baghdad, I went back to Geneva for attending yearly session of commission of Human Rights, when at the end of it we had another resolution condemning violation of human rights in Iran, I received a new order; I had to move my base from Geneva to Rome, and as masoul of our organisation in Italy follow my responsibilities in International organisations, Swiss and Belgium.



Alone in the desert

It was only a week since my arrival in Rome, still I was not fully acquainted with people under my responsibility, when I was asked to move quickly back to Baghdad. We were going to have our first major military battle with the regime’s army and by the order of Rajavi maximum number of members had to take part in that battle.

            The name of the operation was ‘Aftab’ (sun), it was going to occur in southern region of Iran, Khozastan. Three days earlier we were moved to one of the bases shared with Iraqis called by us quarter of ‘Saeid Mohsan’, one of the founders of Mojahedin. After a year intense political activities, it was so good to be back to where we believed to be belong. It is not an exaggeration if I say, I almost saw all my friends from different stages of past seven years in a single day. Where ever I was turning my head I could see, a friendly face, a smile, walking toward each other, few kind friendly words, exchange of friendly kiss, good-bye, and then exchange of word of “see you in our jubilation meeting after the operation.” Or “send my regard to other boys.” Then turning toward another friend for another remainder of a good times and nice memories. Some of them had some sign of new or rather old wounds on their face and few had very ugly ones, rather large purulent wound right on their nose or cheek. They told me they are from mosquito’s bite, and are wound of ‘SALAK’, (Oriental sore). I knew those mosquito’s bites from my childhood, they used to create a very bad wound which could stays there on the face or arm, for sometimes and then after curing used to leave a very bad mark, sometimes as bad as marks of leprosy. Well I felt it was horrible to have those marks and wished whatever is happening to me, I be safe from those mosquito’s bites.

            I heard whenever and wherever we attack in a region, a week or few days, prior to our attack, Iranian army or ‘Revolutionary Guards’ in that region, had been defeated by Iraqis. So when we go forward, their defensive line is open and we will be able to go right into the heart of the Division or Brigade. So next day when we were moved to operation-commanding fortification all trenches and entrenchments were already built for us by Iranian or Iraqis? And our job was to prepare them for our commanding officers to arrive. Of course commander of the whole operation was Rajavi himself situated with Maryam in the base we left already.

            Our commander in this ‘operation’ was my masoul sister Soror. After her arrival next day, she explained our job to me, I was going to command few other people. From start I felt things she is asking us are strange and useless, but as we were in the army, I knew I have to say nothing and ask nothing. Only obey whatever I am asked to do. We had to move few pre-build toilets there one for men and another for women. To cover all trenches and fortifications with plastic covering, to carpet them, divide them between men and women, . . . to dig trenches for burying wires of transmitters. . . . We worked very hard, perhaps twenty hours in a day to do all those jobs, mostly decorative than essential. Then the rest of commanders in action came to our fortifications, which by now was more like one of our bases rather than war entrenchment. They were going to be our commending officers taking order from Rajavi and transfer it to our commanding officers in action and vice versa. It was around twelve midnight that we were asked to get together for receiving the message of Maryam for the start of the operation. Her speech was going to be transmitted to all our forces in different situation. After giving some slogans she said: “Fire Fire Fire” And then I presume operation started. By now each one of us were given a Russian made Klashincov sub-machine gun as our rifle. Despite the fact which for several years we were heard and told how holly is the first organisation’s gun we receive and we were dreaming to have one of them one day. I have to admit, when I received that, I didn’t feel anything, as matter of fact, I felt rather silly to have it, as most of us including me, didn’t know how to carry it, not to say how to load it or use it. Any way thanks to one of the combatant, who was with us, at least we were told how to handle it. Then sister Soror asked us to have our gun all the time and showed us several points that we had to guard. To guard against who or what was not clear for us! After few hours, few Iraqi commanders came to our Base. Sister Soror welcomed them, then while all of them were surprised to see a woman as commending officer, they went straight to our commanding entrenchment. That night and the day after, all the time, except for lunch and dinnertime and few hours in turn for rest, we were guarding different area, with that useless rifles hanging from us. I could feel so useless and our job so boring, as perhaps the most exciting part of it, was when our shift was to guard commending entrenchment. At least then we could hear some noises and some actions, we could become excited by hearing voices of Masoud or Maryam, though always there were perhaps ten different people talking at the same time, some in Arabic. As I could see every body was very excited to ‘be in the operation’, they were showing it with different reactions from exchanging words against the regime or showing some smile, and sometimes by being more serious than usual. I was blaming myself for not being as excited as others, and feeling of being useless. With different tactics I was pretending to be as excited as others, while I was wondering if at least some of them were doing the same thing, as me!? After a night and a day walking, it was my turn to sleep for two hours, right in the middle of sleep I was called by one of our boy saying: “come on Masoud, be quick, sister Soror has asked me to call you to go and see the sky, it is so beautiful, full of fire.” I hold myself badly not to say anything, and not to show improper reaction. But I didn’t follow him. After the end of my turn for sleep, when I went out of trench, I saw the sky and yes it was full of fire, perhaps like fire works, we could see in Geneva, with one difference; while we were enjoying watching it, some were suffering badly from it. By now every body was out of trenches, all were looking at sky with different reactions, laughing and showing some excitement. Some were saying: “are they ours?” And other one was responding: “of course, you fool, if not, who else!” I feel lack of show of interest from my side, not as much as others, implied for my masoul, as my fear from war or something like that as she was thinking of a plan to break ‘that fear of mine!’ Next day about noon Operation was ended and our boys were returning. I was told by sister Soror to ask everybody to collect things including carpets; plastics and toilets to take them back to our base. Few lorries start moving those things and personal that were with us in that area. At this point we found out one of our boys has taken the keys of one of the ‘Land rovers’; hence we couldn’t move it. This was the opportunity sister Soror was waiting for. She said: “OK, Masoud can stay here guarding the car, till we go and send somebody with the key to take him back.” In no time they left me alone with my ‘Klashincov’.

            For few hours I was walking for myself around the abandoned car, with the hope that soon somebody is coming to take me. Some times I was watching Iraqi soldiers few hundred meters far from me talking, joking and perhaps playing. After few hours one of them came toward me and with mixture of English-Arabic and Persian words asked me why didn’t I go with the others, with the same sort of language, I explained to him the reason of my stay there. He was not very surprised as perhaps they were used to this kind of military orders. He left me and after an hour came back again, this time inviting me to have dinner with them. As we were told not to mix with them, because of ‘protocol problem’ with Iraqi officials, I thanked him and apologised for refusing his invitation. Then I saw an armoured personnel carrier with flag of our organisation on top of it, moving slowly toward us. I went toward them and stopped them. They thought like some other combatant I have been left behind. They asked me to go with them, as they were pretty sure; Iranian army was going to follow them and was probable they reach to that area too. I refused and told them somebody is going to come in any minute to take me, and I cannot leave that car alone. They left me and after one hour the same Iraqi soldier came toward me again. This time he had a message. He said they are leaving that area as Iranian are going to bomb the area and perhaps to move there. His commander had asked him to ask me to go with them. Again I emphasised that I am waiting and somebody is going to come after me. They too, start moving and in few minutes time they left me alone in that nowhere land. It was getting late, sun was gone and darkness was covering everywhere, defeating the light in full force. It was last days of March, though weather in daytime was very warm and pleasant, in nighttime it was cold and chilly. Thanks to insistence of one of the boys who lend his over-coat to me, I could cover myself from cold. Still because of wind and cold, I was not able to stay in open and moved to one of the trenches, it was empty, empty of those plastics or carpets. Now I could see myself ‘alone’ real lonely, in the middle of desert, sure that there was nobody around me for tens of miles. For the first time I could see my old fear of loneliness in its full depth. Perhaps the only beings around me were unseen snakes, those creatures that I was more fearful of them, than any thing else. I was sure without those Plastics they could cruel toward me as close as they wished. Though till night before, I was still fearful of mosquitoes and the consequence of their bites. By now I was not thinking about them any more. Not even I was trying to hide my face from their bites under my overcoat. I could hear noise of bombardment not far from where I was. By then I knew this is sign of forwarding of an army. First they used to bombard an area with full force, clean it from enemy forces and then move forward to that place. I was not worried about being killed in those bombarding if they reach there. As matter of fact for one second, I thought, it would be a very good lesson for my masoul. My worry was if they forward to where I am, what should I do? I even didn’t know how to kill myself, not to say how to fight with them. I knew in no way, I should let them to capture me, so before that I had to kill myself, but how? I start inspecting my rifle for the first time to figure out how does it work? With doing that I thought perhaps I kill myself even before they reach me! While I was in squatting posture from cold, and still was thinking how to use that gun, I heard somebody calling me; He was Faried who had taken the keys by mistake. He said we thought you are back and are somewhere in the base, but we saw the guys who had seen you by chance. They told us you are waiting for us. Faried said Soror was very criticised by Behnam (Mohadessin - her masoul and her husband) for leaving me behind.

            Next day to make up for this incident, Soror gave me the ‘honour’ of preparing the leadership’s table and decorating photographs of martyrs of that operation close to that table. Among photos of ‘martyrs’ there was photo of Mehrdad, One of the boys under my responsibility few years back. He was a young (in his mid twenties), from a rich family of Tehran, very quiet, with happy face. Always ready for work and action. Once when I was inspecting work of our boys in the streets, I saw him from far me is saying something to himself. I went close to him and asked him what is he saying? He told me: “CARA BASH BASH”, few words without any meaning. I asked him what do they mean and why is he repeating them? While he was showing me his usual smile, told me: “They mean nothing. Whenever somebody is not listening to me and passes me without showing any concern for this very nice tortured or killed young people. To swallow my anger and sorrow, and as you have told us, to keep my kind, smiling, polite face. I start repeating those meaningless words to make fun of myself. And a reason to smile again.” I heard for few years his mother was searching for him and after finding him, had very unsuccessful hard time to persuade him to leave the organisation. I was wondering if any body would or could tell her about her son, and what is she going to think about death of his son? Does she consider him as a martyred, waiting for congratulation? Or does she blame the organisation for deceiving her son and responsible for his death.

            The result of this operation was 3500 deaths of enemy’s forces, capture of 508 of them by us, also seizure of many armaments including four British made Chieftain Tanks. In this operation, 32 of our fellow combatants were killed and 91 were injured.



Today Mehran, tomorrow Tehran

In my return to Rome, many supporters were welcoming us as some hero, by then they knew about the result of the operation and they were very happy and proud of it. I don’t think I was more courage full than before, but perhaps less fearful of anything new, waiting for me.

            After sometimes being far from people under my responsibility, at last I was with them, I wanted to teach them whatever I knew and had learned by then. There were almost twenty people as full time Sympathisers and four Mojahedin members under my responsibility in Italy. Among them three ladies, two Italian and one from Peru. It was very interesting to talk to them and hear what they had to say about our Ideology and our organisation. I guess we could feel very proud of ourselves for having our organisation, when we were hearing their wish for having the same thing in their own country. Proudly we were telling them Mojahedin do not only belong to Iranian, but to all good people of the world.

            Rome was very beautiful, with almost the same weather as Tehran, as matter of fact many things in that country was remainder of our country and our own people. Whenever rarely for inspecting work of our boys, or meeting some reporters our politician, I had to leave our base, by seeing ancient buildings of Rome, I was remembering our old history, which I was fascinated by that since my childhood. Our political work there was interesting as well. We always used to have this impression that we have a lot of support in Italy, as always the number of members of parliaments supporting our petitions in Italy was much higher than any other countries around the world, sometimes including some members of their government too. Now I could see almost all those signatures are collected by our supporters and members while they were doing their SW work. As matter of fact I heard from them that many members are more than happy to give them simple signature instead of money!

            End of June, start of July we heard about the most impressing operation of NLA ever, The big titles of our paper, ‘Iran Liberation’, about this victory were like these: “Capture of Mehran promises Liberation of Iran. NLA’s Operation, Forty Star was commanded by Masoud Rajavi, President of the National Council of Resistance and Commander in Chief of the NLA: Strategic town of Mehran captured for three days. NLA inflicts 8000 casualties on Khomieni’s forces, takes 1500 prisoners, . . . $2 billion in war materiel seized. Including 54 tanks, 38 were British made Chieftain. In this battle we lost 59 of our combatants.

            The same paper had an interview with few Iranian commanders captured in this operation: One of them, Major Shamseddin Yari, logistics commander of combat intelligence, 16th armoured division, who was asked if “did he expect an offensive in that region, and were they prepared to counter it?” He answered: “Yes, we did, but we didn’t expect an offensive at such speed or on such a scale, especially by the NLA. The extent of the operation proved that the Khomeini regime had misinformed us about the NLA. Contrary to what they told us, the NLA possesses armoured equipment and logistical fire.” In another question he was asked about his opinion of the NLA’s large-scale assault in the Mehran region? He answered:” I have reached the conclusion that wherever the NLA decides to launch any operation of any size, it will win. It is unbeatable.” … This interviews were very interesting for us especially as we could see how soon those captured start talking like us, for example calling the regime as “Khomieni regime”

            With this victory not only we impressed our supporters, Iranian and foreigners, but many from media and political personalities were impressed too. David Hirst in a long article in the Guardian (July 28 1988) with a big photograph of Masoud and Maryam Rajavi above head of a sympathisers carrying his child on his back in one of the Mojahedin’s marches, wrote: “ . . . The Mojahedin of Masoud Rajavi is the largest, richest, most active, visible and vociferous of the multifarious opposition forces. Fired by an ideology that purposes to marry Islamic with modern western (mainly Marxist) thought, they played an important part in the overthrow of the Shah. But they soon fell out with Khomieni and his narrow obscurantism conception of “Islamic government” Ever since 1981, they have been engaged in “armed struggle against him. . . . The few outsiders to have visited the NLA tend to come away impressed by its dedication, discipline and general level of education. . . . “

            In a public meeting celebrating this victory, in Rome, as our slogan after this victory was: “Today Mehran, Tomorrow Tehran” My last sentence in my speech was: “In ‘Sun’ operation we captured four tanks and with them we captured fifty and now do you have any doubt with fifty we can capture five hundred? Defeat of the revolutionary guards in Tehran?” I received long time clapping from my audience, I turned toward pictures of Masoud and Maryam Rajavi and start clapping myself, to imply all clapping are for them and their wise leadership, as I learned this gesture from Abrishamchii.

            In few weeks time, after another trip to Geneva for attending few conferences and collecting some support from different parties there, I was called back to Baghdad.



‘Impossible’, ‘unimaginable’, ‘unrealistic’, changed into reality and fact

It was mid-day, the July 18th, when I saw some crowd around our building’s notice board. From curiosity, I went toward notice board too, to see what is the interesting news attracting every body. The News was short but immensely shocking. After almost a year, Iranian regime had been forced to accept, 598 resolution of the Security Council of the United Nations, and its consequence result, a cease-fire in all borders between Iran and Iraq. Impossible and unimaginable, till few hours earlier, suddenly had changed into a reality and fact. I was not able to believe it, so I went to news room where ten to twenty people were working simultaneously, monitoring different radio and television, editing, arranging and typing them to prepare exceptional news bulletin of this news. Yes it was right and there was no doubt about it. Among people there or in our department, nobody dared to give any interpretation or analysis on this news. My masoul along all high-ranking masouls was vanished, they were in Rajavi’s office to hear what is going on, and what should they do?

            Resolution 598 was passed by the Security Council was the strongest resolution of UN to stop war between Iran and Iraq. Iraq immediately after its approval accepted it; but Khomieni refused it for a year. During that year international pressure on Iranian increased daily. We Mojahedin and Iraqis every where in any International conferences and meetings or in any political talking or interviews, were arguing: “the whole world want peace, including Iraqi’s government and Iranian people, only Iranian regime is prolonging it with price of killing and injuring of tens of thousands of people daily.” More and more countries especially western ones were putting political and even economical pressure on regime to accept this resolution. After destruction of Iranian main oil terminal in Kharg island by Iraq, destruction of many of Iranian Oil fields and refineries. Iran as one of the major producer and exporter of oil, for the first time had to import some refined product of oil itself and with difficulty could sell fraction of its oil compare to few years back. There was ban on sale of arms to Iran and after revelation of Iran-contra affair; they were not able to buy spare parts for their American arms. In response Iranian start threatening Oil shipments in the Persian Gulf. Then American start showing some real reactions, by bombing Iranian bombers and ships. On third of July 1988 the US warship Vincennes in the Persian Gulf mistaken Iran Air A300 Airbus for an attacking bomber and shoots it down, killing 290 civilian passengers. At the same time Iraqis were forwarding in different front, putting more than ever pressure on Iranian. On March the same year they used poison gas against Iranian civilian in one of the villages, called Halabcha killing 4000 civilians, perspective of the same attack, this time against larger cities including Tehran, could not be rejected. On April after two days battle Iraqis troops recovered the town of Fav, over 5300 Iraqis and may be as many as 120,000 Iranian had been killed in the struggle for that town.

            On second of June Khomieni named Rafsanjani as the head of all Iranian arm forces. For those who could see Iranian politic more seriously, this was clear sign of his surrender to the situation they were in. Many in west interpreted it correctly, and predicted Iranian tendency toward peace and pragmatism. On the same day Rajavi, our leader in an statement announced: “ . . . This nomination implies, Khomieni will never accept the peace unless in extreme desperation, with immediate outcome of the overthrow of the regime. Also this nomination will cross off all naive interpretation of acceptance of 598 resolution and moderation of the regime. From now on manifestation of Rafsanjani as a moderate is a void idea, a role chosen for him by Khomieni. Now with appointing him as top responsible for continuation of war and suppression, Khomeini has been forced to put an end to this illusion.”

            Two days later, after acceptance of the 598 resolution, in an speech Khomieni said: “ . . . God knows if, we all, our dignity, our honour and credibility had not been for the path of Islam and Moslems and their prudence, I never was prepared to act like this, (accepting the resolution). Death and martyrdom were more acceptable, (than this acceptance). . . . With this announcement we neutralised weapon of propaganda of the world’s eater (Imperialism and American) against ourselves … I have to emphasise again accepting this, was more deathly than any poison for me. But I am pleased when God is pleased, and for his satisfaction I drunk this poison . . . “ To define this acceptance as ‘drinking poison’, by Khomieni, gave the best propaganda arguments to us. Rajavi interpreted this as: “NLA and Mojahedin with their operations and victories forced Khomieni to drink the poison and at any minute his regime is going to collapse. …” Hence again while our prediction and analysis were wrong, but we were ‘right’!! And ‘victorious’!!


From a ‘politician’ into a ‘combatant’

Next time when I saw my masoul, she told me, I, along many other members and masouls from our section have been transferred to army. We had only few hours to introduce ourselves to our masouls in the army. In our way, all of us were thinking about new adventures waiting for us. Without being told, it was easy to guess, we were going to have our final battle soon. Rather than thinking about the outcome of the operation, our concern mostly was how? And when? Sometimes before, I heard from one of my Colleague, that army has its own rule and procedures, and ranks, whoever from other sections is transferred there, first inadequate of his rank, had to serve as a simple combatant to learn about bases of fighting, then he or she is going to be placed in its right position. This idea was giving me a sense of relive, as not only I didn’t know anything about the army, my physical experience and exercises was near zero too. As a result of the accident I had few years back, I even was not able to co-ordinate myself with the morning’s ceremonies. With every day work, most of the times up to sixteen hours per day in sitting position, we had no time for any other activities or any exercise. I had gained weight and simple running could make me exhausted.

            While I was thinking about my weaknesses, we passed Iraqis control, their anti-air attack missiles for protecting our base. Then a welcome from two Mojahedin combatants a sister and a brother, guarding outside of Ashraf military base. Ashraf was the largest Mojahedin base in Iraq. When Iraqis gave it to us, it had few buildings that we used to call them ‘the Castle’. The rest of it was more like a desert, than any thing else. Within past few years Mojahedin had worked there very hard and by then there were layout of asphalt streets every where, young trees, street lamps, traffic signs in Persian both side of streets. . . . As matter of fact the only thing reminding us that we are in Iraq and not back home, was a large portrait of Sadam at the end of the main road. I think we didn’t dare to remove it, but we knew how to direct reporters, whenever they were visiting our base to other parts of the base, not to see that portrait. At the time NLA was divided into few ‘brigade’, not because of the number of combatants, but its ‘efficiency’ according to the judgements of our commanders. Thanks to their judgement a year later, without any increase in number, name of all of them were changed into: ‘Division’ and perhaps by now, ‘corps’!

            In ‘Ashraf’ base each brigade was named after its commander, and had its separate and isolated base. With its ammunition depot, warehouse, and storage, kitchen, military dormitory, gathering and dining hall. . . .

            My commander was Mansur; he was in his late thirty, very gentle, kind, completely contrary to what I had in my mind. He introduced me to five other officers sitting in his room. While he was trying to explain everything as slowly and calmly as possible, to be swallowed by me, he said: “We seven commanders, were going to be commanding council of this brigade. Afshin is my deputy, so whenever I am not present he will be in charge.” Then he introduced three other battalion commanders and a commander of ‘ammunition’. Then he told me: “and you will be our ‘Logistics commander’ with a battalion under your command, you have to feed us in peace and war, care for our battalion, looking after timetable of the brigade, our medical service, service of our machinery, different storages, . . . ” He didn’t continue any more as perhaps realised my amazement from my face. Probably my wide open eyes and mouth!? He said: “don’t worry, although you don’t have much time, but you will learn every thing in time. To start with, Afshin is going to help you and answer any question you might have But do remember from now on you are in charge, and you will be poured by flow of demands and expectations. Work-smoothness of other battalions, all depends to well doing of your job. People are going to ask you for the best and quickest service with shortest notice, all the time, day and night. You have to be as patient as possible and as helpful as possible. Unfortunately as we have to allocate all our experienced battalions into front lines, usually you are going to have the most inexperienced personal, perhaps with their special problems.” While others were smiling, and perhaps my face was changing into ‘white death’ from fear, he continued: “don’t worry, I am giving you the worst possible picture, it is not going to be as bad as that.” In response, I said: “could you please tell me a bite about simple part of my job too?” By then every body start laughing loudly, and he said: “well there is not any.” And start laughing again. After that Afshin showed me my room, and introduced me to my four deputies for different job. They were well experienced and knew what to do, but at the same time, I knew they will not be with me for long and soon they are going to be transferred to other battalions, so I had little time to learn as much as possible from them. By then I used to learn everything, by reading, taking note and reviewing them, in my own time and with calm and patience. While in my new job, I even didn’t have a pen and a piece of paper to take note of whatever I was told. I had to borrow a piece of paper and a pen from one of my deputy. Immediately after entering my room, my phone starts ringing and didn’t stop till two o’clock in the morning. Even whenever I wasn’t in my room, I was not free, and was receiving different demands through my wireless. After few years not driving, I start driving my first car in the army, a ceased Iranian Jeep. Next day our commander called us. In that meeting he informed us about what is going on. He said “As you know after acceptance of 598 resolution by Iranian regime, many things has changed suddenly, perhaps Masoud, (pointing at me) can elaborate later, more about significance of this event. Although we had another plan for final offensive, recent event, has forced us to act now. Hence we have less than a week to prepare ourselves for freeing our country. To check our ability, in two days time we are going to have our greatest manoeuvre”

            Certainly this manoeuvre was my test to see how much have I learned during past few days. Thanks to my experience from Newcastle, and our work in ‘kebab delivery,’ I knew the miracle of having ‘check list’ for everything. So I start preparing different ‘check lists’ for different jobs, and acting according them. Unfortunately, while ‘check lists’ could solve many problems in calm and quiet days, in that situation they were hardly effective. As all personal were in rush and under unbelievable pressure, nobody was able or willing to respect procedures and programs. As a result most of the pressures of unavoidable anarchism of those days were going to be transferred straight on us. Any way, fortunately we could prepare ourselves for the manoeuvre and I didn’t find major problems there. While I was standing in mid-July’s sunshine of Iraq, and was trying to organize feeding of different battalions in due time, I couldn’t stop myself remembering Hasan, who died because of the same sunshine. In this manoeuvre I found out I am very capable of tolerating the heat, as I could see many other combatant who start suffering from a heat stroke, while I was quiet all right. When we feed all combatants, I went toward Afshin and told him: “We are going to a battle, while I know noting about war or even handling an arm, I have to command my battalion, and be prepared to fight there, but how?” He starts laughing and said: “I thought, at least, you have fired a bullet, in ‘Sun’ operation! But don’t worry in time you will learn everything, when you are in need of learning something you do it with unimaginable speed.” Then he took a Klashincov gun and showed me how to load it and how to shoot it. After that he said: “OK, now is your turn” I felt, I have to be genius to learn it as quickly as that, but I did my best. When I shoot my first bullet, from its noise I was taken aback, and with that, I heard very loud laughing of Afshin, I shoot few more, but that was it. My only army training and preparation before our final operation. I never shoot again while I was in army, though few years later I had to learn many things about different weapons.



Either Tehran or another Ashorra

Next day we were told, there is going to be a general meeting of all combatants with our leader. In the meeting as one could guess the main slogan were ‘today Mehran, tomorrow Tehran.’ ‘With Masoud, with Maryam we fight till the end.’ ‘We take Maryam to Tehran.’ and of course ‘Iran-Rajavi, Rajavi-Iran’. Despite the fact, that not all combatants were told officially about final battle, it was guess of every body, and all knew what is that meeting for. Eventually our leaders Maryam and Masoud entered into the Hall and took their place while because of loudness of slogans were not able to say anything for another twenty minutes. Our brigade’s combatants were honoured by sitting in front seats close to the stage, as we were going to be the first brigade passing the border, entering into our country.

            Masoud start his speech by giving some slogans about how we forced Khomieni to drunk the poison of cease-fire. How much the revolutionary guards as a result have lost their trust, their faith, and their moral. How much regime internally and internationally is isolated. … At this point he was interrupted by slogans of combatants, and again for twenty minutes he couldn’t say anything. Thought of final battle and return to our country and freedom of our people was forcing us to fly instead of walking, and sang instead of talking. People were jumping in their place, some were on their chairs, and God knows how many chairs were broken that night. We were full of energy, which didn’t know what to do with that. I presume the easiest way of discharging ourselves was by giving slogan as loud as possible and for as long as possible.

            The reality was that Rajavi was on this impression that there is an international plot on the way. He was thinking that acceptance of 598 resolution was followed after some kind of dealing between the regime and perhaps with American or European. He was not prepared to accept, his analysis was wrong and against his expectation, the regime by its own, had accepted the resolution. His interpretation of event was that Khomieni has been forced to give up the power to ‘moderate’ faction by choosing Rafsanjani as the head of the arm forces; and next there could be a government perhaps similar to Baktiar’s government at the end of the Shah’s era. Perhaps they were going to have Bazargan as prime minister again. These events, if they were going to take place, simply meant the end of Mojahedin, at least for few years or decades to come. He knew if Iraqis accept the cease-fire, as first stage of 598 resolution, there is no way Mojahedin could cross the border in large scale as politically it meant the violation of the cease fire from Iraqi’s side. By then Masoud had a meeting with Sadam asking him for few weeks time, before official acceptance of the cease-fire. He was given only one week to do whatever he can. So it was our last chance, if we were losing that, certainly we were not going to have the second chance. Hence he had to do his best, and what happened next was our best, even if our best was not good enough.

            Usually before any major operation he was showing the map of area, which was going to be attacked by us, this time when he wanted to show the map of operation, he showed us the map of Iran and said, this is the map of the area, which had to be invaded by you. With these words there were more jumping and more slogans. We were clapping in the shape of Mojahedin by stretching our hands above our heads, and at the same time banging our feet on the floor making any noise possible.

            Then he told us how we are going to attack, with time of invading any major cities in our way to Tehran. We were the first brigade, our job was to break defensive line of the regime and invade Kerend, we had to reside there, then next brigade had to invade Islamabad, then Kermanshah, then Hamedan, . . . and eventually Tehran and Jamaran, the residence of Khomieni, He said be careful we have to have Khomieni alive. He has to answer to people in people’s court for his committed crimes. One can guess the noise of us at this point. Hardly one could expect walls and roofs of the hall stay firm after that amount of movement and noise.

            After the end of his speech, Rajavi asked if any body has any comment, objection or question? Of course nobody took his question seriously, except one of the sisters, who bravely asked how our small army is going to fight against all Revolutionary guards and army of Iranian regime, with all their armaments? And how he expects us to win this battle? I guess this was a question in mind of many of us, but most of us were looking at it politically rather than militarily. We could see no alternative for this battle. This was our last chance, its alternative in most fortunate situation, could be the same thing that happened to Mustafa Barazani, an Iraqi-Kurdish leader used to be helped by Shah, who became refugee in our country for the rest of his life after sign of an piece accord between Iran and Iraq.

            She said “if we leave some of our army in cities in our way to Tehran, when we reach the capital, there is no army left to fight with?!” Rajavi first had to silence the crowd who were not ready to listen to some questions like that in time of joy. Then he replied, “we are not going to fight regime’s army alone, we have our people in our side. The enemy has lost all its moral, while our people tired of this regime after cease-fire have all incentives and courage to get rid of this regime forever. We only have to play as a shield in front of them, giving them protection, and safeguard, not letting them being killed by the guards easily. Wherever we reach there will be masses joining us, and prisoners freed from jails can help us to lead them toward victory. It will be like an avalanche, further it goes larger it gets. Eventually this avalanche will ruin the Khomieni’s web. You don’t need to take any thing with yourselves; we are going to be like fish swimming in the sea of people. Whatever you might need, would be prepared and given to you by the people.”

            At the end he said: “this is the most probable picture of what is going to happen to you in few days time. But we are followers of Imam Hussein, so one can’t reject the outcome of another Ashorra, where all of you could be killed. And like our ideological leader we leave our name and our story for next generations to come for following our path.” Then he asked us if we are ready for either of consequences. This question was like last noise bomb among the crowd, as all of us were jumped into the air for answering yes to him. He asked that sister of us if she is happy with the answer she received. She said yes. She was one of the martyrs of that operation.

            For many of us this was the last chance to see our friends and loved ones, so out side of meeting hall people from different sections and brigades were searching to find their spouses, friends and relatives to say the last good-byes, as nobody knew if we can see each other again. Some were giving each other a telephone number or an address of a meeting place in Tehran, so in case of victory they can trace each other. At the same time they were making a joke by specifying certain places in heaven to see each other there.

            Many of us from Britain were gathering in a corner laughing and reminding each other from good old days in Britain. Sister Tahereh our masoul for several years saw us and came toward us, She said with smile, “wherever we leave you British, you come together plotting against others. I presume by now you have named a place in Tehran to see each other, tell me which part of ‘Freedom square’ are you going to meet?” We start laughing and one of us said “East side and we think after so many years being in Britain, You have to join us as well.” While she was leaving us start laughing and said “never” After that we start kissing each other, as we perfectly knew that would be our last good-bye and many of us were not going to see each other again.

            Next day I was talking with two of our Battalion’s commanders. They asked me: What do I think about the speech of that sister of ours in the general meeting? I told them, “from what I have seen abroad, Iranian are not prepared to involve themselves in any arm action, and perhaps never again show any interest in another revolution; but of course my judgment is based on Iranian abroad, perhaps totally different from our people at home. So I guess probably they will be passive about what is going to happen in days to come. Personally I am going to follow advice of Masoud and prepare myself for another Ashorra. After that what ever happens is a gain and I am happy with the outcome.” They told me I am pessimistic and Masoud has said “most probably we are going to win, . . . “ I told them: “I hope so, I hope so, but first let us prepare ourselves for moving.”

             Following days we were not working 20 or 24 hours per day, but as we used to joke about it “48 hours per day by borrowing some day’s time from God” Only combatants and commanders of fighting battalions were ordered to sleep few hours per day, while I don’t think, they could, as none of them left my phone free for a second. As it was predicated by our commander, there were demands from everywhere in any shape for any thing. From dry ration food, for combatants, till machinery and repair of them, preparing different colourful flags, flags of Mojahedin, changing normal personal carrier into armoured ones. . . . On Saturday night our commander told us that we have to finish everything by midnight and sleep till mourning. But as it could be guessed nobody could follow that order, as no body could finish his job. Then came order that we have to finish it by morning and sleep till noon that we were going to start moving. Again no body did.

            Thanks to Iraqis everyday we were receiving new machinery and equipment, which we didn’t have a clue how they work, and what should we do with them. Some Brazilian Tanks, which for the first time our battalion, were learning how to work with them, many new equipment, which I was trying, by reading their manuals to find out how we should use them.

            From early morning I sent all our tankers for filling them with water, petrol, and gas-oil, but for several hours I had no news of them and without return of them, we could not move an inch, So I went to where, they were, to see what is going on. While I was moving in our base, I could see traffic-jam everywhere. And when I reached there, I saw a very long queue waiting for getting petrol and Gas oil without any movement at all. I found out the main pump is not working and every body is paralysed till some Iraqi engineer come to save them. I saw our tankers in the front of the column; by reading the manual of the tankers, I found out they have their own pump and start using them. Thanks God knowing some English saved us from waiting there for another few hours.

            By noon we closed all doors. Like leaving our home. We start queuing battalion after battalion in front of our base, our battalion the last one among our brigade’s battalions; all moving toward our destiny. Before passing the main gate of Ashraf base, we saw Masoud and Maryam standing in an open car, waving their hand toward us by the gate. All combatants by seeing them start shouting and waving their hand and laughing and crying, we were thinking, perhaps this is the last time we are seeing them.



A journey with no end

After waiting few hours in ‘p.p.’ (backing post, before reaching the border), late Sunday evening we reached to Iran-Iraq Khosravi border and saw the sign, written ‘welcome’ in Persian, miraculously against all ruined condition of everywhere, it was there to welcome us to our country after few years. Hardly any of us could hold not crying, seeing that sign. Thanks to Iraqis who fought with Iranian before us, the defensive line of the regime was open till near Kerend, so without any fighting we could go forward, as matter of fact it was so calm that we were told for the first day after few sleepless nights we are going to have proper sleep in another ruined city of Iran, ‘Sarpol-Zahab’.

            Before reaching there we passed Ghasr-Shirin, Still I was remembering this city from my first trip with Anna, sixteen years back. Perhaps as young lover in their first trip we were playing and chasing each other among beautiful trees of that city. Now I had found some doubt, if it was really as beautiful as I was remembering it in all those years, or my love made it so glamorous and kept it for long in my memory. Every where was ruined and one could see nothing, but destruction, all palm trees were burned down, there was not even one house standing on its foundation. From this scene I was finding many doubt if we can recognise our country or our people when we see them again. While Daryosh, one of the people under my responsibility, driving our jeep, was talking and showing his happiness for being in our home country, I was not able to stop thinking about destruction of the war, and people who had lost every thing in this war, I was thinking where are those people who used to live there, and what are they doing now, that man who sold a second hand American cowboy’s coat to me, or that woman who sold Anna some nice soaps.

            We reached Sarpol-Zahab, and through our wire less we heard our commanders order to stop for having rest. Immediately after stopping, a very bad smell stopped us from thinking or talking about anything else, when I asked Afshin about it, he told me, that is smell of human corpse, He continued: “Man’s physic, more complex than any beings, when it rots it has worst smell of all.” Then immediately he said: “You have to arrange for sleeping of our boys, few in turn have to guard, but I presume one or two are enough as every body here is dead and they can not do anything against us.” Every body slept or at least they pretend they are sleep. I couldn’t sleep with others in open air, as I was not able to bear that smell. I preferred to stay in our Toyota jeep with closed windows, While I had not slept for few days, hardly I could sleep, not thinking about those killed around us. “Who are they? What are they looking like? Where are their families and their loved ones? Is anybody waiting for them? . . . “Oh my god is better I sleep and not think about them.” I said to myself. In the middle of war, there was no room for thinking like that, even considering the other side’s soldiers as human being and feel mercy for them, one can consider himself, killed. I was thinking with myself, till I fall sleep. After one or two hours we woke up with the noise of an aircraft flying above our head. Afshin was shouting: “wake up and take refugee, wake up and take refugee.” I start doing the same thing to force every body to wake up and take refugee. Then we heard it was Iraqi plane, inspecting the area. Some start falling sleep again, but many seeing the area in daybreak, couldn’t stop themselves not walking around seeing their country for the first time after few years. Some corpses could be seen, far from us. I start waking up my boys, as we had to prepare breakfast for every body. At this point I heard most horrible news. We had forgotten to take the most essential thing with us. ‘Bread’. We had five pages check lists, printed and given to us from our central commend, for every thing we had to take with ourselves, from different fruit juices, different dry food, different containers, . . . up to hundred meters plastics, and different plastic pots and bowls, but not the most important of all, as every body thought it is so obvious that nobody is going to forget it. ‘Bread’. We had two trucks full of different useless materials and not even one bread. I had no choice, I told Afshin about it and after discussing with Mansur we decided to send some body for getting some. The nearest place, we could think of was ‘PP’ (backing post), so I sent few people under my commend there to get some bread. We start preparing tea and gave it with some biscuits and fruit juices to combatants waiting for bread.

            While we were working hard, to feed every body, our commander called me and he introduced me to few new recruits from America and said find some job for them in your battalion. They knew me from my name and my face, so there was no need for introduction, some of them tried to explain to me that they don’t know anything about fighting, I told them “welcome to the club, as neither do I! For almost a week, I am trying to persuade some body to teach me one or two things about fighting and still I have not find any body free to do that, not even among my own combatants. But I have been told, we don’t need to know any, as we are behind combating battalions and hopefully wherever we reach battle has ended there already.” By now I had so many people without any experience around myself, which compare to them I could feel of myself as a ‘professional soldier’. My problem was: “what can I do with them? And where can I employ them?” Two days before that I had given few combatants from recruits among POWs, who joined us after the announcement of their freedom by Rajavi. I had many problems with them as I guess our culture and understanding was totally new for them. By talking with them I could see how much have we changed and how far we have distanced from ordinary Iranian. Even our vocabulary was different and words used by us were meaning less for them, as by now many French and English words were among daily words used by us. Especially whenever I was asking them if something is ‘OK’. Words like ‘service’ had several meaning in Mojahedin vocabulary, from asking for a lift, till salt and pepper on dinning table, or service of a car, or taking a child to toilet. … Any way I heard from these new boys, that Mojahedin have asked all supporters abroad to join us in final battle against Khomieni’s regime, and many are coming to Iraq daily. As a result of this call, about few hundred of them had joined us. Unfortunately as they didn’t know anything about the war, many of them lost their life. I never found a chance to know those who start working with me, not even I could memorise their name. Later I heard from one of my deputy that all of them in a petrol station while were filling the tanks of different carriers, by attack of an Iranian plane were killed.

            I showed few of those ‘Joined POWs’, how to fill tanks of different carrier and returned to the problem of ‘bread’, which by now was arrived, and we could start feeding our people. We were in the middle of feeding when we heard the noise of another plane above our head. This time we didn’t take any notice of it as we guessed is the same plane inspecting our area, so every body start saying ‘KABOTAR, (Dove)’ The code name for Iraqi planes, while Iranian one was: ‘BAZ (Hawk)’. Soon we heard warning of somebody saying ‘BAZ’, ‘BAZ’, and following that we heard of some shelling, one very close to us near where we were filling tanks of our vehicles. When I looked there, I saw the pipe of petrol tank is on the ground and there is flow of petrol everywhere. I run toward there and found out, as they didn’t know how to stop flow of Petrol from the tank, they have left it on the ground after the end of their job. God knows if one of those shells were dropped a bite closer how many were going to be killed as a result of explosions of those tanks full of petrol.

            We never found out, why that plane didn’t continue shelling finishing us off, as we were in an open area and could not do much against it. Some start saying that, they were Iraqis, not aiming at us and were dropping their bomb on an Iranian gathering close to us, or it was a mistake from Iraqi side. Others were saying it was Iranian plane, stopped, thinking we are their soldiers as we had Iranian flag and all our cloths were khaki, the same colour as theirs. Later Rafsanjani in a sermon said: “we knew they are coming and they were under our surveillance, we didn’t do much as we wanted to have all of them deep inside of the country were we could take them all and finish them all, so we let them to forward as far as they could.”


That plane left us alone, but with any interpretation, that place was not save any more for us to stay. So we got the order to move. At 3:30 p.m. on Monday, July 25, we heard voice of Maryam from our wireless issued the order to open fire and advance.

            We were told to have our windows closed at all time so we could hear different orders coming from our wireless. Everywhere was so quiet, even Daryosh and I were not talking much, waiting curiously to see what is happening next. Hardly because of sleepless nights of days before, and quietness of our surrounding, and more than all, hot weather of the jeep, I was able to keep myself awake, till we start hearing noise of some shelling. After few miles we saw some Iranian soldiers sitting or standing both side of the road waving hand toward us. Happily we start waving back. They were among those surrounded themselves and were set free to go wherever they like. Close to them we saw our first ordinary countryman back home after years not seeing any, a shepherd, with his sheep and goats, waving hand toward us. Our dream was coming true, for the first time we were able to see our people’s support first handed, I had to blame myself strongly, for doubting our leader’s promise that “all people are coming toward us, in support, and no Iranian soldier is going to fight for the regime wholeheartedly.” Daryosh and I were waving hand and crying from happiness. Those smiles and sign of welcomes, were first signs of our final victory, perhaps, perhaps in few days time, we could share our happiness with our people in ‘Freedom square’ in Tehran. After two miles or so, against the strict order we had ‘not to stop for any reason,’ As we saw few vehicles stopped, and few combatants injured or killed in the middle of the road, we stopped, to inspect and help. At this time, we heard noise of Shelling from everywhere and in no time, I felt hot and thrown aside, I was hit by pieces of one of those shells. I lost my conscious, and when I got it back after sometimes, I found myself alone beside our jeep. Nobody was around me, not even those injured. I had no pain, but could see my bleeding from blood everywhere. My right hand was almost hanging from my body, I was not able to move my left leg comfortably, and could not see properly with my left eye. I reached myself to driver side of the car and fortunately could start and move it. I had to use my left hand for doing everything. As I felt I might lose my conscious at any moment again, I was moving the car with full speed, after sometimes, I saw first glance of our last vehicle. It was my deputy’s vehicle, they were surprised to see me alive, they were heard that I was killed. They took me to an armoured carrier, designated for carrying injured, I saw Daryosh who was injured as well, sitting inside. I guess some how he was ashamed of looking at me. He said: “I thought you are killed, we searched for you, but we couldn’t find you, those bloody soldiers after seeing the last vehicle of our battalion, went back to their position and start shelling us with their cannon. They got proper response from next brigade after us. We were moved from there by them.”

            We were very much, more than any body else, under influence of our own propaganda. We were so optimistic that we used to think all Iranian; even Revolutionary Guards are our supporters and only under fear of Khomieni’s regime are fighting for mullahs. So whoever was saying hello to us or waving hand or calling our leader’s name, we were accepting them as our own supporter and potential combatant. It took me few years to learn: “this was an illusion,” Our enemy knew this weakness of ours, much better than anybody else and used it everywhere against us. I think still there are many among Mojahedin, who could be fooled easily by saying few nice words about our leader, as still I can here infiltration of the Regime’s spies among Mojahedin’s combatants, with disaster conclusions.

            In the vehicle, there was another injured combatant, lying beside me, we were chatting and sharing our happiness from being inside of our country, after a minute or two, he stopped talking. I lost my conscious too, next time when I gained it, I found him dead, beside myself. Immediately I learned the meaning of death has changed totally, If by then I was afraid of touching a dead body, by now I liked to touch him for the last time and say good-bye. “Yes good-bye unknown friend, perhaps see you in few hours time.” Was this the meaning of the ‘Martyrdom’?? We used to say and believe: “Martyrs are not dead but alive, they are clean and after touching them one doesn’t need religious washing” Now I could feel the same thing about this new friend of mine, I could not see him as a dead person. In my view he was very alive, perhaps even more alive than other people. I was not able to feel sad or pity for him, I was sure he was where he was hoping to be. What kind of honour and satisfaction could one gain more than that, being martyred in the final operation between good and evil, in our own country, on the edge of final victory, with a rather painless death.



Among our people

Everywhere was dark, I was in Kerend among people of the Kerend, few young boys were trying to carry me to near ‘hospital’. My deputy was telling them who I am and when they saw me conscious, they said: ‘SALAM’ (hello). Still I could not feel any pain, perhaps because of injection, but could see my bleeding everywhere. I was so happy to see our people, as much as I completely forgot about my situation and tried to stand up, where I found, I can’t, either because of weakness or my injured leg. By now there were few more boys trying to see me and talk to me. I start chatting with them while they were carrying me, I don’t know what did I say to them, but I knew how much I loved them, one by one, as the love of a Mojahed for people as we knew it by heart. Perhaps they could feel the same. They were not leaving me alone and were asking me different questions. At the same time I could see other combatants from other brigade, who by now had reached Kerend. Few from our Television crew Were taking film of me and wanted to interview me, I told them, as a joke: “First give me your questions and answers.” As it was their habit. They laughed and start asking questions. The so-called ‘hospital’ was an empty building with few beds. I guess this was the best, which our people knew as ‘Hospital’ in a small city like Kerend. Behrang, the doctor of our brigade, who was under my responsibility, start explaining to me that I have to be moved back to Iraq. He told me, he couldn’t stop the bleeding. As bleeding is from the shoulder, even by amputation of my arm they cannot save me. He said: “I am pretty sure, we are going to lose you in few hours time, at most in a day.” I felt he is over-reacting; perhaps, because of lose of another patient, or his kindness toward me. I told him the same thing and reminded him that still I am his commander, and he has to give his report to me and this is my job, to decide.

            Next time when I gained my conscious again, he gave me the wireless and said Mansur, (The commander of our brigade) wants to talk to you. Mansur said: “Congratulation we took Kerend without much casualties, we have captured Islamabad too, and we are on our way toward Kermanshah.” Then he continued:” I am afraid, we have to move you along few others injured behind, the line. As we can’t do anything for you,” I start arguing with him. He didn’t wait listening to me and interrupted me and said: “Let me be frank with you, with your situation, you have no use for us, you have taken one bed which we need it for future injured, you are taking time and energy of our doctor, which again we need any second of it badly. And after all what is use of you here, even if you stay alive. Not being able to walk properly, with one hand, as the other one most probably had to be amputated soon.” Then He adds: “Any way this is an order, you have to be moved back, see you in Tehran.” And with this final words said ‘good-bye’. I learned later, the soldiers and guards defending the city against us wanted to retreat or surrender, but as later was said in one of the sermon in Tehran, their commander stood against them and by lying in front of their vehicles, stopped them moving, they fought and till last person were killed there.



Back to Iraq, with broken bones and heart

I along more than ten other badly injured were moved to a truck, to take us back, behind the line. In our way back, I saw those soldiers again but this time their bodies were left beside the road, also we saw the old shepherd lying in blood beside his killed sheep and goats. By now Iranian jets were flying above our head and we could here their noise, they were bombarding the area. Another truck carrying killed bodies was shot and was in the flame. To avoid being hit, our driver most of the times was not driving in straight line; some times he was living the road completely, driving beside it, among stones. Its movement was creating a lot of pain among us, and with that, sounds of pain from everywhere, there was a young boy, I guess from those POWs joined us, as one could recognize and feel, his different attitude and words. He was losing his left leg, perhaps few nerve and blood vessels were between him and his leg, so with cut of any of them he was one step closer to loss of his leg. He was shouting and sometimes swearing at driver, without considering, why is he driving like that? In one of the jumps of the truck, I heard his shout again, louder than any time and by that I think he lost his leg forever. Most of the time because of pain we were losing our conscious. When I gained my conscious again, some of us were close to a Helicopter, ready to take us to the nearest hospital. They kept some of us in that hospital and moved those who were badly injured to another hospital in the centre of Baghdad. Immediately after reaching there I was moved to the operation theatre. Next when I gained my conscious, I was in a very large hall, with many beds parallel to each other, perhaps with twenty to thirty of our injured combatants lying on those beds. I asked the one next to my right, who was conscious if he knows what has happened and where are we in the battlefield? He didn’t know much, either. I asked him about time and date as I had lost timing totally, and didn’t have my watch, after receiving the answer, I said: “by now, according to the plan we have to be some where close to Hamedan, and Kermanshah has to be in our hand.” He said: “I think not, if this was the case, here was not so calm, by then even our killed were dancing!” There was a syringe in my arm and a bag connected to it for collecting blood and pus liquids. I was told my leg and eye injuries are not serious and are OK, but vain in my shoulder still was bleeding, and I might needed to have another operation if it was not going to stop. There were few Iraqi nurses who were looking after us, but rarely they were free to save us from pain or helping us with going to toilet or other things. Still we didn’t know anything about number of injured, hospitalised there, so we were wondering, why they are so busy. Fortunately many boys with ideological incentives had very high moral and were helping each other in any way they could. As my bleeding was getting worse, they told me, that I have to have my second operation. While I was in operation room, some how, perhaps because of the weakness of the drug I had, I gained my conscious. Strangely no body was beside me, so I start looking around to see what is going on. At that moment I saw many beds parallel to mine, in all of them injured, naked boys and girls were lying, all the same. It was more like slaughtering place than operating room. In one bed they were amputating a leg of a sister, in another one arm of somebody else, there was blood everywhere, and doctors were moving fast, from one bed to another one to save the worst ones first. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, it was more like a nightmare than reality, perhaps from my noise and reactions they realised, I have gained conscious, so one of them came toward me and gave me another injection.



Neither Teheran, nor Ashorra

Next time when I gained my conscious, everything was clear, by now there were some of our brothers around us, there was a radio in our room, which we could hear the sound of Radio Mojahed and a TV, where again we could see our program. They were very calm like nothing has happened, one could easily realise, they are broadcasting pre-recorded programs. There were talks and interviews about our victory in Mehran, almost six weeks earlier. None of the Mojahedin present there was prepared to talk about events and their only answer was everything is fine and is going according to the plan. But how could it be? According to our plan perhaps by now we had to be in Tehran. Even I knew if we had only Kermanshah, many things was going to change politically, there was going to be announcement of establishment of free-Iranian government in Iranian soil; then its recognition by Iraqis. Official sign of peace treaty between us and Iraqis and perhaps recognition of our government by few more countries including some friendly Arab ones, and then flow of their financial and military aids toward us. So even if we were not able to go any further than Kermanshah, by having that city we could change things greatly and start another long struggle against the regime; this time from our own country and with having some part of it under our own control. By then Iranian regime could face serious problems in international scene as well. Hence my conclusion was that we had not been able to reach Kermanshah and it could imply lost of war and at the same time lost of, if not all of our boys, but majority of them.

            Perhaps by now every body was thinking the same as nobody had their usual moral and optimistic view of Mojahedin any more. Most of the times all were quite, and deep in their thought.

            To neutralise that atmosphere, I was called by one of our masouls, responsible for injured in that hospital. He told me: “I presume, by now you have guessed what has happened, we have lost many people and many more are in hospitals, perhaps many have captured by the regime, but fortunately majority have return and are saved. What is important for us is to keep our moral high and help others to face this situation. With knowing this news, the injured are going to feel more pain and they will be more sorry for themselves and less patient. Iraqis are doing whatever they can to help us out of this situation, but they can’t do much in this respect. So it is up to us to do our best to help every body. ….”

            Now for the first time I could feel sad, very sad, perhaps more than any body for those who were alive including myself. I was envying the killed ones, I had prepared myself for another Ashorra, and here I was, alive, facing unknown and gloomy, dim future. Some how I could feel of betrayal from our leader. Not because of our failure, but as he promised us either victory or another Ashorra. While now we were in hell of unknown future. Iranian regime after this victory could make peace with Iraqis in better condition and even if they were not exchanging their oppositions at least were making sure that none of them move against the other one. So we were going to be band of refugees for the rest of our life, wandering in different countries. Still what could I do?! I start showing brave, happy face talking and joking with people there. Next I was asked to go to another ward to see our sisters and talk with them. I did so, it was unbelievable, their injury were worse, perhaps because they were less prepared for that situation. One of them that I knew her as her picture as an Iranian woman combatant was on the cover of one of our magazine. Had lost her face completely, She had lost one eye, a leg, and an arm. It was not rare case everywhere I looked I saw people with either lost leg or arm or eye. In our ward situation was much better as many were from injured of first or second day’s operation, and with higher moral. One of them was telling me his story, he said: “when we were attacked, we left our tank as we didn’t know how to use it and soon it could became our coffin. We found out every body is doing the same thing;” Then when he felt I am listening to him with pain and sorrow, he changed his tone and said: “Well there was fire from every where, suddenly I saw my leg on fire, I had no choice, I cut it and left it behind and start running.” When he saw my astonishment and puzzlement, start laughing and said: “you know it was an artificial one, I lost my leg in another operation, so what could I do with a half burned artificial leg. So I left it behind.”

            Among Mojahedin coming there to help us, once I saw one of my old friends from London. When he saw me with his usual smile came toward me and said: “Oh God, I am so happy to see you, I had your name among killed ones, in my list. How come you are alive?!” I said: “Sorry to ruin credibility of your list, yes I am alive. But tell me about others. Who is alive and who is martyred.” With sadness he told me: “many from England have been martyred.” Then, start naming them: Mohsan, my deputy in New Castle, during Sadatti Society and afterwards. Perhaps nicest person I ever met in my time with Mojahedin, and perhaps closest one too. Allah-yar, who was under my responsibility in London, I always was afraid of being alone with him as I knew, he will start insisting, we send him to the army, while he was the best help, I had in London. He was transferred after I left England. Ali and his wife from Pakistan, she was the one who told us how to benefit from British tradition of Sponsoring. How could I forget her sincere face with her usual smile? Both for a year were under my responsibility and I learned many things from them. Year after their martyrdom, we were asked by her parents to take their only son to them. He was named Akbar, after one of our martyrs whose head was cut off by the regime. Akbar was knowing all of us as AMMO (uncle) and KHALEH (aunt) and was used to our way of living, didn’t know any English or Pakistani, So when we wanted to hand him to his grant-parents, tears were running from his eyes like river, asking us not to leave him. For few months I heard one of our brothers had to go and visit him every week to make sure he has got used to his new family. Behnam the one who broke his head in Ideological revolution. Sharif another one under my responsibility who with his word forced us all in the middle of misery of Ideological Revolution forget everything and laugh. Amir Hussein, one of my old masoul, perhaps the best one of them all. Siros who was my help when I was in Paris, , Morad and his wife Azita, they married each other in the organisation. Homayon, Payman, Sue from china, Ramis, Ghoolam-Ali, who always in saddest and most difficult time was able to force us to smile. Hamzeh, I never can forget him when He was told if he wants to be with the organisation, has to leave his girlfriend and he was between his love for her and love for the organisation, and eventually chose the later one. Mother Mimanat, fifty years old mother who was so kind with me when for the first time I was in Baghdad, Amir, Mehdi . . . from Italy, Aliraza from Belgium, Neda, Mehertash from America . . . Abouzar Vardasbi, whom I was in fond of his writings; when first time I met him, I wanted to stay with him for hours to learn from him. List of the names of the lost ones was getting longer and longer; for many days and nights, I was remembering them one by one, crying and laughing to the memories I had from them.

            Against all this sadness, there was jubilation and list of congratulations from self-made organisations abroad, from our radio and television broadcast. Titles of the news were like those: “NLA’s largest operation numbers Khomieni’s Days. Accomplishments of ‘Forogh Javidan’ Operation (Eternal Light, the name given to the operation, with reference to Prophet Mohammed), commanded by NLA commander in chief, Masoud Rajavi: -Two towns, Islamabad and Kerend, liberated. -Local residents and military personnel join the NLA. -150 km penetration deep inside Iran. -40,000 of Khomieni’s Guards killed or wounded, . . . ” We were told that we have fought with ‘120,000’ Khomieni’s guards and army personal, and we have killed 40,000 of them, though few months later we found out, that the total number was higher; 55,000 was the correct one. There was no mention of number of our casualties, at the time. Iranian regime first announced it as 4800, later they found out it can not be correct as it was very close to the number of our troops, estimated at 7000. So Later after receiving more accurate number they announced it as 1734. They announced capture and execution of another 230, where later we could hear voice of some of them being interviewed by Iranian radio. About ten years later when for the first time the organisation published names and photographs of martyrs of that operation, the number or our martyred was announced as 1304. Our other losses were announced as: 1100 injured, with 11 deaths afterward. Loss of 612 vehicle, 21 different cannon, 72 tanks . . .


A ‘broken army’

Hospital’s personnel were very much under pressure from the number of injured and severity of many of them, so they had to ask many of us with less injury to leave the hospital, for example in my case, although bleeding was stopped, but they didn’t have time to do any thing about broken bones, few weeks later for the first time they found my bones were broken in seven points and they put my shoulder and right arm in plaster.

            In return to my base, I found as our brigade was stationed in Kerend we have had less casualties than other brigades. Where in case of some of them, the whole brigade including their commanders were killed. One of our battalion commanders told me that: “in last days of the fighting, every thing was mixed up. Many of our combatants had lost their white sleeves, which could differentiate them from enemy’s soldiers. Even if they had them, we could not be sure of enemy, deceiving us by wearing them, too. We had code name of, ‘name of night’, but rarely any commander could reach to all its combatants and tell them about that code, especially as we could not say it in our wireless. Many were separated from us and sometimes we were fighting against each other, though it was the same for the regime’s guards too. Once we felt there are some people in front of us, we asked who they are, they said: “we are from NLA” We asked them if they know the name of the night? They didn’t know, so I had no choice except ordering them to retreat. They said “if we do we will reach to enemy’s line and will be killed,” They start coming forward; we had no choice I ordered for fire. Still I am not sure if they were from us or enemy, but what else could we do?”

            I found the moral of personnel as low as ever, perhaps to give them some incentive for waking up as usual and attending the morning ceremony, our commander chose me, an injured commander to lead the ceremony every day. I don’t know how?! Even when I was fully healthy, hardly I could do it, and always was mixing different orders, and now with those injuries, I had to do it every day. I guess, though I was very sad of losing many of people I loved most, still I was far from realising the depth of sadness and lose of moral among personal. One day when I went to see Afshin, I found him with one of our battalion commander, perhaps he was crying or something like that, as Afshin asked me: “do you know he has lost his wife?” I think I was so much sunk in our ideological slogans that naively were unable to realise what that meant, and simply I gave my condolence and start asking my own question.

            Another day Mansur our commander told me, “To keep the moral high, you have to work much harder. For example, to find some funny Iranian and foreign films to have it every day. With different reason we should have celebrations. We had to raise the standard of food we were serving. And we have to paint some buildings and arrange different matches between our Brigade and others . . .”

            In the same line one day we were told there is a general meeting with the leadership. Any time we had those ceremonies we had to be there few hours earlier for security inspections. This time, though I was in especial queue for injured who supposed to go through this procedure faster, I had to wait another hour more than usual. I suppose they were more afraid of new recruits from POWs or members with the feel of being betrayed, as they were searching every body more seriously than ever.

            As one of the commanders, I was given especial visa to sit in front row. While I was sitting there, Abrishamchii came toward me, as usual jokingly asked me: “are you an injured commander?” I joked back and said “yes.” He said: “OK go and sit on last rows close to other injured, we don’t want to portray our army as an injured and broken army! Do we?” Then he added: “while sitting there make sure to do your responsibility to keep moral of your surrounding as high as possible” He was right this was a show for every body, a proof that we are alive and ready, with not many losses, with high moral as usual. In that meeting people were giving different slogans as before, but not as much or as loud as before, and I presume more organised than ever.

            In that meeting Rajavi called this operation as another victory for Mojahedin, the most important one and with reference to casualties of Iranian army and guards, called this operation as: “a severe, strategic blow to Khomieni’s remaining forces of suppression, coming at a time when his regime is on the verge of complete disintegration.” He added: “it will greatly enhance the position of the just resistance of the Iranian people for peace and freedom vis-à-vis the Khomieni regime in any future development. Thus, the prospects of the eventual victory of the Resistance are much brighter; the Resistance has taken the upper hand.” He said: “Khomieni regime had mobilised more than 120,000 men to counter the NLA offensive, about a third of whom were killed or wounded. . . . In the coming weeks and months, the world and the people of Iran will see those consequences in various political, military and social domains …”

            In the same meeting I saw one of my Colleague from political department, he told me Behnam (Mohadessin, head of the department) is looking for you, it seems he wants you back. I felt I have to hide myself as in no way I liked to go back to diplomacy again. But it seemed I had no choice, as next day I was told by my masoul to hand over my responsibility to somebody else. I had been transferred back to Diplomacy section and had to introduce myself to them by the next day.



Back to Paris - NCR

In the department, I found all my belongings as I left them there, untouched. One of the masouls told me, we kept everything ready for you, so after reaching Tehran you could be sent immediately to UN, representing us there as we were sure, immediately political aggression of western countries against us will begin. How serious he was, I never found out. Any way they told me, I have been transferred this time to Paris, as deputy of masoul of our organisation in France.

            In Paris I was in charge of different unrelated jobs all at the same time, but apart from our political activities there and in the international organisations, my main job was to head the councils (NCR) secretary office there.

            My new masoul was Ahmad, a nice gentle man, fit for his job there, as he had to deal with many different people with different expectations; many families of prisoners and martyrs of Mojahedin, members of the council, different personalities close to Mojahedin or the council, and our supporters there, while less than any other country, but totally different, with highest expectations. I presume our office in Paris was the only branch of the organisation outside of Iraq receiving money, instead of giving. As a result of transferring many members and supporters into army and loss of many of them in our final battle, we were in shortage of cash and had to save money in any form we could. Hence one of my main responsibilities in Paris was to find ways for reducing our budget. I guess from then on, thinking about money and how we can earn more and save more, became part of my problems, as in every new job, I was transferred, and this was the first and the most important problem I had to face.

            In Paris, I was told by my new masoul, Ahmed that members of the NCR and personalities around us as a result of ‘Forogh’ (i.e. in short, the name of the recent operation we had) are emotionally in very bad shape. They think it was total failure, few feel it was political mistake, they see it all as his wrong judgement and wrong decision taken by Masoud. As many from here have lost their life, and some have lost their children too. They are very upset and sad and ‘Talabkar’. Talabkar was a term used in the organisation in many occasions, in short it meant: ‘they feel the organisation or the leadership of the Mojahedin owe them something.’, it was the most insulting term used against anybody. He said, “The main reason why you are here is to neutralise this feelings; you have been in that operation, so you can tell them first hand account of what you had seen and what you felt. As they cannot deny your courage and sacrifices and at the same time your ability for doing things which they think they are good for they cannot reject your word, and will listen to you.”

            Then Ahmed gave me files of all those, whom I was going to work with or were under my responsibility. Reading those files was very strange. Many of them, whom I knew them as individual personalities, members of the council or even head of different member-organisations with right of veto in the council, had Mojahedin’s ranks with its up and downs. As all of us knew that we all have our files in the organisation, including all particulars and reports about us, including our self-criticise reports under different circumstances, I presume they knew too. But I was sure none of them had slightest idea about their present rank in the Mojahedin. Any time we had new higher rank; we were going to be told as a prize or an award, while at the same time we were reminded that ‘rank’ is not a reward, but ‘more responsibility’. Opposite to that rarely only in very severe cases we were told about loss of rank. Only when we were asked not to attend certain meetings, we could realise, we have lost a rank. Once in the army, by chance I saw part of my own file and found out as a result of a report from my masoul, I have lost a rank, and have gained it later. I was told by my masoul, while in public, I have to respect as a personality all those under my responsibility. In work and in private, or in organisational meetings, I have to deal with them according to their ranks and do my best to help them in rising to higher level of sacrifices and as a result higher ranks. I felt this is even more dual behaviour and contradictory work than our job in diplomacy. At least in diplomacy, only we were an actor, dealing with foreigners, which was not so unusual, as all diplomats, and people in politics, I found out, some how are an actor, in different level. Now even in our daily work and dealing with our own people we had to be an actor as well. Soon I found out the whole council is some kind of Theatre, with different actors playing different role.

            Our base for the council was a very large house named after one of the most respectful Marxist martyrs who was executed by the Khomieni’s regime, ‘Shokrollah Paknajad’ in short ‘Shokrie’. It was situated very close to forest and had a very large garden with very old trees. Most people in this big house, either had their own room in the main building or a pre-made bungalows, where they could work and sleep. Every body’s job was writing, writing for publications of Mojahedin or other ‘organisations’ members of the council. And mainly for ‘Shora’ periodic booklet of the council under editorial of Dr. Hezarkhani, one of the famous intellectuals of Shah’s era, member of the council. Our job there apart from running daily affair of the house and act as eye and ear of the Mojahedin there, answering demands and expectations of different members to keep them happy, was to type and publish that booklet. My deputy there was one of the members of national soccer team of Iran during Shah’s time, a very capable man in charge of everything. His wife was in charge of our large kitchen, responsible for preparation of food for many people living there and many daily guests we had. My responsibility was divided between two large bases of Mojahedin in Paris, in the mornings till late night I had to be in ‘Shokrie’ dealing with problems of ‘personalities’ and members of the council, and nighttime, I had to be in our base ‘Oeuvre’ short for ‘OEUVRE-SUR-OISE’. Facing our problem there including our political activities in International organisations or in France, or daily affairs of that base.

            Every week, one night, I had to be in ‘Shokrie’, when all members of the council and many ‘personalities’ some how supportive of the organisation were gathering together, for weekly chat. During that night we had to be as charming and hospitable as possible. Sitting there listening to other people’s talking. While I had to give my nightly report about events and talks of that night, which was going straight to Baghdad and to Rajavi himself. During that night, I could see different characters of people present there and perhaps different role they were playing; a poet apparently full of feelings, but hesitant to say anything except stories from his youth. Ahmad my masoul telling me about him: “damn poet, with all our hardship, every month we have to give him extortion money, just for not writing anything against us.” Few old Marxist ‘revolutionaries’, talking to each other about recent events in the Soviet Union, and what have they heard about other Marxist organisations. It was strange, but Mojahedin could tolerate those with different ideology much better than those who were Moslem. I presume it was not acceptable for us to see somebody calling himself Moslem and being Iranian, sharing the same political goal as us and not accepting Rajavi as ‘Ideological leadership’, ‘After all whom did they accept as their ‘Imam’?! Among them one of the independent members of the NCR, who in the past was one of the deputy ministers of Bazargan’s government; he didn’t want we announce his name as member of the council; though I found him very kind, charming, nice old man, who was not bothering us at all, with lowest expectations compare to others; but most hated by the organisation and eventually they found an excuse to get rid of him and asking every body else to reject him. Other guest of us were, Few old friends of Dr. Hezarkhani, welcomed there as many things in that building was there just for him to keep him busy and happy. Few relatives of Mojahedin martyrs, including a deserted Iranian Navy colonel, who had lost his young daughter in recent Mojahedin’s operation, still mourning for her death. Most of the time he was not able to hold himself not criticising Mojahedin for that operation, especially for sending inexperienced and untrained supporters to the war zone. Once he went a bite further and said: “we criticise Khomieni for sending young children on mine fields, while we did exactly the same, by sending untrained young people to fight against revolutionary guards, to be killed, not even knowing how to defend themselves.” Eventually he left us, as he couldn’t bare loss of his child, and not complaining or criticising us.

            I don’t know, perhaps while I was inspecting them to see who is acting and who is real himself; they were inspecting me too. Strangely sometimes I was feeling my act is real character of mine and my Mojahedin’s character is my own act. I think, this was my real dilemma I wanted to run from, this was the main reason why I was running from that kind of job; as I could face myself, my own character which I wanted to deny it and change it to the one dictated by the organisation. Among non-Mojahedin members of the council, I could see some kind of individual humanity and frankness, friendship and kindness, some kind of personal relation, and caring, which for long was vanished in the Mojahedin. Of course, we were not denying that we don’t have those characters. As matter of fact we could see every right for denying them as we were saying that all of our feelings cannot and most not be for any individuals except our leader whom through him our love could be transferred to all humanity where it belongs. We were calling this individual loves and carryings as superficial and auxiliary one; ‘like very small lakes which can vanish in a second in hot sunshine of summer time; compare to ours which was like a sea growing more and more and with high rising tides’. Any way after sometimes, I let myself free to show my real caring for them, know them as they were, and like them for whom they were. I never found out if they felt the same; or thought I am another actor more professional than others. The only time I had to act was when I was asked by my masoul to show bitter face to this or that person for showing not enough respect for our leader.



Enforced marriages, to gain our moral back

After few months while I was in Baghdad, I found out, many in the organisation, mostly those, who had lost their wives or their husbands, have lost their moral and most of the times are mourning for lost spouse. To fight against that atmosphere especially in the army which was destructive. By the order of Rajavi, all of them were going to be married. Now I could see how and why one of our boys a week earlier came to Paris just for marrying one of the injured woman combatants, hospitalised there. At the time, it was very strange, as she had lost one of her leg and still was under treatment, I was not able to see significant and rush of the organisation for those marriages. Later as we were host of many injured who could not be treated in Iraq, had many more marriage ceremonies in Paris. But by then it was not strange for me any more and I could see it as another ‘organisational responsibility’. Soon I found out this marriages are not limited to those who have lost their spouse, as I was called by the head of our section while I was in Iraq. He asked me straight and very blunt: “What is going on between you and your wife?” I was taken aback from this question, and before answering, I thought for few seconds, what does he mean and what should my answer be? I replied: “well it is almost two years, which we have not seen each other.” He asked: “what does it mean? Are you divorced? Or what?” I said: “I found out I can’t answer her demand and the organisation at the same time. So I told her, we have to be separated as long as Khomieni is in power. At the same time, I have told her this is her right to divorce me and marry anybody else, any time she wish.” He asked: “what about you? Do you want to divorce and marry again?” I said: “No, I don’t want to think about divorce or marriage, I want to do my job till we get rid of the regime.” He said: “I don’t think so, you as one of our masouls can’t stay like this. You have to decide, either go and see your wife and ask her to come and stay with you, or divorce and marry somebody introduced to you by the organisation.” Then he asked me to think about what he said and give him reply the day after.

            Again this was one of the difficult times for me, still I was very much in love of my wife and my children, and didn’t want to leave them, not as long as they had not done so. This was a decision, which I thought was right and beneficial for all of us, not to see each other for few years as long as we are in war. Children and Anna, could have their stable, ordinary, happy life in London, without up and downs of the revolution and organisational work, and I could carry on with my responsibilities. In my view this was not very unusual, it had happened in many countries in the past, and is going to happen in the future, when countries are in war, for a year or ten years. My family were not very different from millions of families in Iran during war, or even families in Britain during recent Falkland war. I was sure about their reasonable welfare, at least comparing to majority of Iranian families, which they were one of them. I could not see why, while we are separated with reason, out of our control, our love should die, or our family ties should be destroyed. Now my dilemma was that I had to choose between staying with my family and divorcing them. In one hand I could not and did not want to ask them to leave their stable life in Britain and come and live with me, while I could not be sure of my life and where I was going to stay or work, even for a day later. So I was pretty sure, I was not going to be able to answer their expectation and soon we will face the old problems and this time they will ask me why have I ruined their life by taking them from their home. On the other hand, I was not able to divorce the wife and family I loved, and marry somebody else without any feeling, just for obeying the order of the organisation. Still there were certain things I was not prepared to accept and do. Next time my own masoul, Ahmad who was in Baghdad too, came to me and asked me about my decision? I told him, what I think and why I am not prepared to act according either alternative. He told me “don’t be fool, if you still like your wife, organisation will arrange everything. We take your wife to Paris and you can be together again.” I explained to him again what is wrong and what do I think. He interrupted me and said: “don’t worry I arrange for everything.”

            A week later, when we were back to Paris, I was called to his office. Strangely I saw Anna sitting there. Later I found out, through a conversion with Tahereh Anna had expressed her feelings for me and her readiness to move to Paris. That day Ahmad Talked with us for few minutes, then we were sent to one of the houses belong to the organisation. After years I played whole day and night with children, but still I was not able to persuade myself that their move is a right decision, so that night I stayed with children. Next day I went to Ahmad and while I was crying, obviously for seeing the problem deeper, now mixing with my own emotions for Anna and children, and my own need to be with them, I told him: “this is not going to work and I demand they return to London. I know in few days time they want more of me and, I am not able to give them, then old problems will rise again. Or in another case, I will send somewhere else and their life will be ruined.” He said: “don’t be so pessimistic. Sister Tahereh has talked to Anna and believes she has changed greatly. She wants to be with you more than ever and is ready to pay the price. It seems she is very regretful of her past behaviour. She even has said, she wants to work with us again and we are going to give her a responsibility in ‘Shokrie’, where you can be together more often.” It seemed my reasoning was not working or perhaps as deep down I wanted to be with my family more than ever, I was not persuasive enough.



Winners and losers of the ‘Forogh’

Whatever the result of ‘Forogh’ Operation, military wise was, I think politically ‘Hard line’ faction of the regime were the main winner of that operation as immediately we saw fall of ‘Moderates’ and rise of ‘Hard-liners’ in Iranian politic and its immediate consequences. During last few months of the continuation of the war, the regime was failing in all different fields, politically and militarily both. And with their failure, one could see descend of hard-liners in Iranian politic and ascend of pragmatists or as some like to call them ‘Moderates’ under the leadership of Rafsanjani. ‘Forogh’ or Eternal Light operation as we called it or Mersad as Iranian regime called it, with the failure of Mojahedin in the battle field and at the same time with many new martyrs in Iranian side, according to their estimate about one thousand and according to ours 55 thousands, gave new spirit to hard-liners and with that fall of pragmatists for some times to come. Perhaps with capture of some of Mojahedin during that operation, and their surrender to horrible tortures practised in Iranian prisons. They found out about, true or false, promises of Rajavi that Iranian prisoners are informed and are ready to assist us wherever we go. This was enough reason for hard-liners to ask for execution of all political prisoners.

            Khamenai, the president of the regime one of the ‘hard-liners’ on December 6 1988 said: “Have we abolished the death penalty? No. Here in the Islamic Republic, we have the death penalty . . . when a prisoner has contacts with the Monafaghin (Mojahedin) from inside prison, what do you think we should do with him? If his contacts with that network are established, what do you think we should do with him? He is sentenced to death and we will execute him . . . Execution is a means of carrying out a divine verdict . . . Do you think we should give candy to those who have links from inside prison with the Monafaghin?”

            Montazeri, the successor of Khomieni who was very in favour of a moderate line in internal polices of the regime resisted against those executions and wrote three famous almost open letters to Khomieni, reviling what was going on in the prisons during those days. As a result of those letters, he lost his position and was put under house arrest for sometimes to come. In one of his letter he wrote: “Three days ago, the religious judge of one of the provinces, who is a trustworthy man, came to Qom, annoyed by the way your Eminence’s recent decree was being carried out. He said: An official from the ministry of intelligence or the prosecutor’s office posed a question to a prisoner whose allegiance to his (anti-regime) positions was being assessed. He asked the prisoner: Are you prepared to be interviewed? He said yes. He asked: Are you ready to go to the front to fight against Iraq? He said: Yes. He asked: Are you ready to walk over a mine? He said: Are the people willing to walk over mines? Moreover, you should not expect so much from a new convert to Islam. (The official) said: This shows you are still adhering to your (anti-regime) positions. the prisoner was subsequently subjected to the fate of such person . . .

            In another letter dated 15/8/1988 addressed to the religious judge, the prosecutor, and the Intelligence representative in Evin prison, Montazeri wrote: “I have received more blows from the Monafaghin (Mojahedin) than all of you, both in jail, (during Shah’s time, when he was in the same jail with Mojahedin) and outside. They murdered my son. So if it comes to taking revenge, I should pursue it more. But I take into consideration the expedience of Islam, the revolution, the state, the prestige of the VLAYAT-E-FAGHIH and the Islamic government. I take into consideration the judgement that will be passed by posterity and history. Such massacres without trial especially of prisoners and captives will certainly benefit them in the long run. The world will condemn us and they will be more encouraged to wage armed struggle. It is wrong to combat an idea and a belief through killings . . . Many of the prisoners who stick to their original positions do so as a consequence of the behaviour of interrogators and guards. Otherwise, they would have been flexible. They cannot be charged with waging war on God on the assumption that if we release them, they will rejoin the Monafaghin . . . By what criteria are you executing those you have already sentenced to less punishment? I have seen number of wise, pious judges who were dismayed by the procedures and complained. They said there were excesses and mentioned many cases in which executions had been carried out arbitrarily. In the end, the Mojahedin are not individuals. It is a way of thinking and an interpretation, a type of logic. A wrong logic must be answered by the right logic. Murder will not solve it, it will spread it.”

            Montazeri was right, if by then we were under question for our failure in ‘Forogh’, and number of our people killed or injured in that operation, by the start of executions of political prisoners in Iran, nobody was dare to question us any more. By then the only legitimate talking and argument was about those executions, its condemnation, and how it could be stopped. To escape from any criticism and any body relate those executions to our last operation, Mojahedin in all their official statements about new wave of executions were very cautious not to mention any thing about the operation and were relating those executions to the cease fire in Iran-Iraq war. In a way now I can see more clearly how right Bazargan was in naming Mojahedin and hard-liners of the regime or as they were used to be called ‘Heazbollahies’ as brothers with the same manner and way of thinking. I can see how both were feed on hatred, and how they were feeding each other by creation of more hate toward each other and perhaps more martyrs; for neither of them life of an individual did mean anything; after all, while we didn’t care about our own life, how could we do care about other ones. I think our sorrow if there was any, was not for them, as we were considering them as lucky ones, who have escaped from misery and hardship of life, reaching to their goal, being honoured as martyred. It was for the love we had for each one of them if we knew them personally.

            Any way number of executions was rising daily, we announced names and particulars of about two thousands of them and Rajavi announced the real number is around 12,000. He asked us all to go to hunger strike, this time all of us everywhere, to show our feelings toward those executions, and in a way to benefit from it in our propaganda against the regime in most effective way. Hence in many big cities of European and American countries, in most populated places our people went on an unlimited hanger strike. Even us while because of our work were not able to join them in their sittings in the street, had to respect the hunger strike, not eating any thing, for almost two weeks.

            As a result of those executions, trend of our activity in political scene rose sharply. In no time we received almost 1800 signatures of support from western politician. There was condemnation’s resolution from European parliament and many other international organisations. Strongest report against Iranian regime ever from reporters of the United Nations Human Rights commission, and the strongest resolution by the commission.

            For years we didn’t have any relation with Amnesty International, calling them tolls of British and in the same line as Persian broadcast of BBC, during those executions, after years of asking, I was permitted to talk with them and as a result, I could establish a relationship with them, giving them the most recent news, we were receiving daily from Iran. And in response they were issuing different ‘Urgent Action’ statements daily against executions taking place in Iran.

            Even many politicians supportive of the regime, propagandist of the ‘moderate’ faction within Iranian regime, with seeing the rise of those executions and dismissal of Montazeri from power, lost their hope and were more hesitant of talking about the ‘moderate’ faction in Iranian regime. Le Monde with many of its foreign editors supportive of a moderate faction in Iran, had a caricature showing a very old, broken lorry carrying dead bodies of executed, while Doma the foreign minister of France at the time, one of the supportive of moderate, who had recently signed new economy deal with Iranian regime, was telling an owner of a French factory: “JE LES AI CONVAINCUS D’ ACHETER DES RENAULT ET DES PEUGEOT!!” (I persuade them to buy Renault and Peugeot.) (8/2/89)

            In Iran, some politician like Rafsanjani who were seeing their own position in danger had to talk in more radical manner to save themselves. In one of his speeches, Rafsanjani condoned the killing of European and American by Palestinian. In another Le Monde’s caricature, there was Rafsanjani repeating those words. Beside him was Mitterand the president of France asking Doma the foreign minister: “Is he the Moderate you were telling me?!!!”

            To keep the ‘Hard liners’ happy, who were gaining more power daily. And boost the morale of the revolutionary Guards. Khomieni more than ever proclaimed the leadership of Islamic world by his Fatva (Religious verdict) against Salman Rushdi, and those who publish and sell his book; ‘Satanic Verses’.

            Rajavi’s reaction to Khomieni’s decree against Salman Rushdi was: “It is due to extreme desperation of the regime and effect of drinking the ‘poison’ of the cease-fire. Khomieni, himself is the worse enemy of Islam . . . ” Rajavi, and following him, us, were more than any body happy from this decree, perhaps as happy as ‘hard-liners’ within the regime!! He called it our political ‘Forogh’ (Where every body had to join the battle, for final assault), and our highest gain in the political field. He asked us to mobilise all our effort for maximising our gain from that situation. About the same time Mohsan Reza’i my previous masoul was transferred to Paris, and replaced Ahmad who was lower in rank than him, for co-ordinating our political effort in Europe.

            He asked me to hand over many of my responsibilities in Paris to another sister, and concentrate all my effort in my work with members of the Council and our political activities in Europe. I was named as his deputy to deal with our Council’s and Mojahedin’s representatives in different European countries. As a result, for a period, every day from early morning till late night I was on the call talking with our different representatives, directing them for different actions and answering different questions for the interviews or press conferences they had. One of my main problems during this era was to solve contradictions and problems existed between our Mojahedin’s representatives with the Council’s one in different countries. In our propaganda and superficially our Council’s representatives were in charge of everything and highest representatives of our resistance in different countries, while in reality, our Mojahedin’s representatives were in charge and first to know everything and responsible for delicate interviews and meetings. This was the main source of conflict between them and their daily complains to me.

            I was facing the same problem, especially years pervious to then. During those years when I was representing Mojahedin in International organisation, while Dr. Kazam Rajavi was representing the council. Though he was brother of our leader, as he was not a Mojahed, was not trusted to act and repeat what ever was asked by the organisation. Any delicate meetings such as political meetings with Iraqis or American in conferences, had to be done without him and by me. I was told whenever he asks about those meetings, tell him either we have not made appointment to see them, or we are not going to see them at all. This was quite acceptable for him as there was a reason for them, and could not see report of those meetings in our papers. Once when he asked me about meeting with American, as usual I told him, we have no meeting with them. By chance he asked my deputy for our meetings agenda, and by mistake, he showed him our timetable for all meetings. Among them meeting with American. From that day he changed completely, and considered me, liar and selfish not wanting him to share that important meeting with me. The same day he insist to give us lift to our base, then when we reached to our base, he jumped from the car to open the door for us as a ‘chauffeur’. I was going to melt like ice in sunshine from the shame. But what could I say or do? By that action he taught us a lesson. The same day I called my masoul and explained the incident to her and told her that I don’t think I can lie to him any more and you have to think about something to solve this problem. I presume they talked to him and somehow problem with him was solved. While I don’t think he ever forgave me, and I never found opportunity to explain myself to him.

            By now more and more politician were accepting that looking for moderation within Khomieni’s regime is an illusion. Many even were repeating words of Rajavi saying he is right by saying: “viper cannot give a birth to a dove.” On the contrary we were very active and were gaining international support in different political fields. With benefiting from one of the rules of the European Parliament we could pass our strongest resolution with strongest support for ourselves in that parliament. We knew we never are able to pass a resolution in our support through normal debate of the Parliament. But we learned if we force majority members of Parliament, one by one to support us, according to the one of the rule that declaration is going to change into a resolution. So we mobilised all our people around the Europe to get support from members of European Parliament’s members for that declaration, and when we reached to the majority number around 300 signatures. One of our supportive members in the Parliament took it there and later it was announced as a resolution and position of the Parliament toward us. A resolution which not only resulted in anger of Iranian regime, but many Iranian oppositions out side of the country as they could see it as recognition of the Mojahedin as true representative of Iranian people by the parliament. I remember we were reading different opposition’s papers, insulting European parliamentarians for approving that resolution, enjoying ourselves, laughing to them. We were the only winner of that atmosphere, just because of our members and our supporters who were ready to sacrifice every thing for the conclusion of our aims and objectives. As Rajavi once said: “a diamond which all other organisations were in lack of that.” After that resolution, European Parliament changed that procedure and made it more difficult for any body else to repeat what we did.

            Our political triumph, and repeat of, “we are victorious of ‘Forogh’,” in every interviews of Rajavi with different media of the organisation, eventually forced us all, including members of NCR and people around us, to accept and believe, there was no loss in ‘Forogh’ and whatever was, was gain. As a result by the end of that year ‘Forogh’ not only was not a failure any more, but on the contrary was changed into our biggest victory of all time. Once again one could see the magic of the ‘repeat’, how it can change any defeats into a success. The real art of alchemy.



Attachments! - Death of Khomieni

By then everybody around us could see us as victorious and waiting for final victory. Even I could see Anna has changed. Not only she was not objecting for my rare appearances in our new flat in Paris, or my different trips, day and night. But even by spring, 1989, volunteered to go to Baghdad for a short-term training course in army. We were so believer of our leader’s analysis, though there was cease-fire everywhere between Iran and Iraq, we believed, there is going to be breakage of war and start of our final victory at any time, so we had to be ready with our full force day and night. To avoid mistakes of the last time; army organised several courses for all our members and supporters to have the basic training of fighting and use of different armaments.

            While Anna was away, I had all the excuses to be more, with Hanif and Sarvy. Now after sometimes, I could see myself badly in love of my children and my family. Every night when I was telling a story to Hanif to help him to sleep, I was watching him with, whole of my mind and my emotions. And while he was sleep, and I was working answering different calls beside him, time and time again, I was watching him, thinking about past and future. I was horrified, when once I felt, how sorry I am, because of Anna being in Iraq. Now I could see other Colleague of mine who had lost his spouse. I could feel, what had he felt and could see how naive I was in judging him and thinking, I am more Mojahed than him. In her return, Anna was changed, some how, she was less happy with her work in Paris and once told me she was regretted of going to Iraq for that training. In few weeks time she decided to take children back to London as her mother by now was there, wanted to live with them. She told me “it is better for children and they can stay with my mother, while I can come and visit you any time we want.” I had to be separated from my children again, while I was strongly attached to them. I tried to persuade her to do otherwise, but what could I do, she was right, and I could see how right she was.

            Third and fourth of June 1989, we were 24 hours on the phone, as we received news of death of Khomieni from several sources and eventually from Iranian radio. This was the moment which for long we were waiting for, according to last analysis of our leader, which was not changed, immediately after his death we should prepare ourselves for final offensive, and see the collapse of the regime in matter of days. As one could guess, full mobilisation was announced by the organisation and following that many members and supporters were ordered to prepare themselves for leaving for Baghdad. In few days time many of them left us and the number of people in our bases shrank to lowest ever.

            By then we decided to save time and energy to move our people from our ‘Over’ base to ‘Shokrie’ base. To do that we decided to change a stable we had there into a building for our political activities. As we didn’t have permission, we had to do it ourselves. And as there were not many of us left, we had to work few hours per day to finish it. Once when we were working there Dr. Hezarkhani saw me working on the roof of that half build building. He showed puzzled face and said: “how come you gather your people, and say you are going to do your final operation. And at the same time are working here like you want to stay for another hundred years?!!” I laughed and said: “Well they do their job and us, ours, in this way whatever happens, we have lost nothing.”

            While working there, when we were moving a very heavy block into a well for using it as swage, I felt a very bad pain in my back, following that after few days not being able to move, I was transferred to Hospital, and stayed there for a month. Once when Anna came to visit me I felt badly in love of her and I think for the first time some how asked her not to leave me. She told me: “children are waiting for me and I have to go.” She left me while I could see myself on the edge of leaving the organisation. I could see my strong feelings and emotions for her and children and on the other hand could see no end into our struggle, and our eventual union. If she was less understanding and more selfish, if she was less acceptable of my way of thinking, . . . if she was asking me to go with her, most probably, I was going to do so. But she didn’t and I stayed in the hospital for few more days with the horror of my feelings and how can I say them to my masoul. How could I tell them that I was on the edge of slipping into ‘hell’, into ‘life of an ordinary man, with his ordinary loves’?

            In my return to our base, I saw a video prepared by our Television for death of Khomieni, mixing some footage of his burial with some actions of different animals. Showing mullahs crying for him and his body, which fell from his coffin carrying by many, who were fighting each other to carry part of it. The material covering his body taken by people as holy material. We didn’t want to see millions of people following his coffin, crying and mourning for him. The only thing we saw was his torn ‘Kafan, (material covering his dead body)’, this is why we called him, ‘KHOMIENI KAFAN PARIAH’, Khomieni with torn Kafan.

            Following that video I saw another one showing Masoud talking for thousands of our combatant, after Khomieni’s death, saying: “yes Khomieni died, eventually the poison of different defeats especially the poison which NLA poured into his throat, did have its effect and blood thirsty murderer died. Yes he died; you have to believe in his death and soon the death of remainder of his regime . . . ”

            A man whom, we start loving him more than anybody else, ten years prior to that date, as our hero, our leader, our guru, and hated him more than any body and called him murderer, and blood thirsty, ten years later, was dead. In his will he asked us, (followers of Mojahedin): “Wherever you are, if you haven’t committed any crime, you can return to your country, and toward Islam, you can repent, and God is forgiving you. And God’s willing, people and Islamic Republic will forgive you too. If you have committed a crime, your penalty is known. If you are courage full enough, you can return in your midway, and accept your punishment to secure your place in heaven . . . Why are you wasting your youth, serving ‘world eaters’ foreign powers? What wrong your people has down against you? . You have been deceived; you should see millions of people who are following the Islamic Republic . . . Accept your mistake . . . If we been killed by the hand of murderess America or Soviets, and nothing remain from us in whole world, is welcomed as we can met our God with our honoured blood. It is better than staying alive in richest situation under the flag of red army of the East or black one of the west . . .” He married once, and personally as one of the members of the council was telling me didn’t harm even a fly as each time he was seeing one was trying to send it to open air without harming it. Later it was announced that he was a poet too and many poem by him was published. Who was he?! Rajavi in the same meeting said: “We wished he was stealing our money as Shah did, but was killing our people less. We wished he was ending the war sooner and avoiding the killing of about a million Iranian. We wished he was married hundred times and was not pushing our women in to the houses and in their worst condition through our whole history. We wished . . .” Who was he?!! Was he the absolute darkness as we knew him or even in judging him we have to say life and no creature of life is pure black or white?!

            Few months earlier, it was predicated by the organisation, that Khomieni is going to nominate his son as his successor. We were saying his regime cannot last without him and he is like Shah who made every thing dependent to himself. The same day when he died, Khamenai, was elected as new leader, and later Rafsanjani, was elected as new president of the Regime. Khomieni’s son was given the job of looking after tomb of his father. We were saying there exist no different factions among Iranian regime; whatever can be seen by outside world is ‘wolves fights for power’. There was going to be long fight in Iranian politics between different factions. But whatever, ‘we were right’!! And ‘all prediction of our leader, as usual, one by one came true’!

            It was the end of summer. To help my back to cure itself, part of my body was in plaster. When I heard the organisation has asked me to go back to Baghdad, I was so happy as I could be saved from the contradiction making my life, like a hell.


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My first political activity, 1987 International labour conference in Geneva



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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