"We Are Living Between Two Tides"

published in MER104

Shokrallah Paknejad, one of the most prominent and far-sighted of modern Iranian socialists, was executed in Evin prison, Tehran, during December 1981. Although his death was not officially announced, his family was given a number for his grave in the cemetery of Behesht-e Zahra, and the prison authorities confirmed the news early in the following month. His death, like that of the Mojahedin leader Mohammad Reza Saadati, and of the Fedayi (Minority) leader Said Sultanpour, came after Paknejad had spent several months in jail without trial or formal charges. He was held as a political hostage and shot in retaliation for opposition activities.

"All the People Who Are Opposed to Our Solution Must Die"

by
published in MER104

Sadeq Khalkhali is the representative from Qom in the Majles. Although not himself a leading element in the Islamic Republican Party, he has a small following among the extreme right-wing clergy. He wielded considerable influence within the regime, particularly in its formative period, and consistently criticized successive IRP governments as “too soft” toward “counter-revolutionaries.” He was interviewed by an Iranian journalist in the summer of 1980.

Could you tell us when and where you were born, and what kind of Islamic training you have?

I was born in 1926 in Khalkhal, a small town in northwest Iran and I’ve gained the title of Hojjat-ol-Islam.

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"We Started to Feel Cold Sweat on Our Brows"

by
published in MER104

Ali Reza Nobari studied mathematics in France and was finishing a Ph.D. in operations research at Stanford University in California when the Iranian revolution occurred. He helped to fund the newspaper Enqelab-e Islami and served as governor of Iran's Central Bank during Bani-Sadr’s presidency. Eric Hooglund and Joe Stork spoke with him in Washington, DC in December 1981.

If you could have seen where the revolution stands now, would you have participated in it three and four years ago?

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"The Americans Played a Disgusting Role"

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published in MER104

Shahpour Bakhtiar served as prime minister in the last weeks of the Shah’s regime. Since escaping from Iran after February 1979 he has been living in exile. Fred Halliday spoke with him in Paris in August 1981.

Mr. Bakhtiar, what is your estimation of the current strength of the Iranian regime?

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"We Are the Only Real Threat to Khomeini"

by
published in MER104

Masoud Rajavi was the only one of the original leadership of the Mojahedin-e Khalq to escape execution by the Shah. Imprisoned from 1971 until December 1978, he emerged to reorganize the Mojahedin. He ran for president in the election of January 1980 but Khomeini declared him ineligible. He escaped from Iran with former president Bani-Sadr on July 28, 1971. He is the prime minister in Bani-Sadr’s government in exile, and is active in the Council of National Resistance. Fred Halliday interviewed him outside Paris in August 1981.

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"I Defeated the Ideology of the Regime"

published in MER104

Abol-Hassan Bani-Sadr was elected president of the Islamic Republic of Iran in January 1980, but was subsequently impeached in June 1981. Fred Halliday interviewed him in France in August 1981, several weeks after he escaped from Iran. He has formed a government in exile, and is part of the Council of National Resistance.

You are living here in France to organize opposition to the regime of Ayatollah Khomeini. But Khomeini still has some popular support, and he is prepared to be more repressive than the Shah ever was. Won’t these differences make it very difficult to oust him?

Year Three of the Iranian Revolution

by Fred Halliday
published in MER104

The third year of the Iranian revolution saw the final breakup of the political coalition that initially brought Khomeini to power, and the emergence in exile of an opposition that groups together many of those who played a part in the overthrow of the monarchical dictatorship. On the basis of evidence available, it would seem that the Khomeini regime has been able, through massive repression already greater than that of the Shah, to contain the opposition forces for the time being. The Islamic forces now in power have apparently gained a second breath after the crises of mid-1981. Appearances may, however, be deceptive and the Iranian revolution could be preparing another one of those sudden convulsions which has marked its agonized course to date.

From the Editors

by The Editors
published in MER104

When the history of the Iranian revolution is compiled, the third year of the Islamic Republic may stand out as particularly decisive. The alliance of left-leaning lay political elements with the Islamic Republican Party ruptured completely. Iranian forces scored important gains on the battlefield with Iraq. The regime secured its grip on the state apparatus and dominated the political arena through massive repression and widespread executions.

Losing Hope in Iran and Egypt

by Parastou Hassouri | published November 10, 2014 - 2:31pm

The decision to leave your country, especially when you leave for political or ideological reasons, can be gut-wrenching. My parents made that decision for me when they left Iran in my early adolescence. Unlike some Iranians forced to flee, my parents were not members of a persecuted religious minority. Nor were they high-profile political activists at immediate risk of arrest. But as people who had demonstrated against the Shah’s dictatorship, and had hoped that the 1979 revolution would bring democracy and social justice to Iran, witnessing their country plunge into authoritarianism and turn into a theocracy was more than they could bear. It was like the country they knew and hoped for no longer existed.

Burying the Hatchet with Iran

by Chris Toensing | published November 5, 2014

Don’t tell anyone, but the United States and Iran are getting closer -- perhaps closer than ever -- to letting go of 35 years of enmity.

No, Washington and Tehran aren’t going to be BFFs or anything.

But they do share a common interest in rolling back the so-called Islamic State, whose well-armed militants have declared an extremist Sunni caliphate stretching across Syria and Iraq.

The United States is anxious to restore the Iraqi government’s authority in oil-rich Iraq, while Iran is eager to defeat a murderously anti-Shiite militia on its western flank.