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An Image of Iran Prior to February 1979

By: Ayatullah Muhammad Taqi Misbah Yazdi
All thanks be to God for giving me the opportunity to be in the company of the honorable university professors and to talk to them. In the previous session, we talked about the responsibility we should undertake and I shared with you some subjects. In the said meeting, I said that in initiating a cultural movement, we must have a set of preliminary analyses and understandings among which is the analysis of the present state of affairs.
All of us have a sense of responsibility and it is the same feeling that urges us to gather together and make a collective move, but in a better and deeper understanding of this responsibility, we should have a cogent analysis of the socio-political conditions prior to and during the Revolution so as to have a clearer picture of the current state of affairs and be able to move more consciously toward the ideal state. Of course, it is proper to have a detailed and extensive discussion on this issue, but on account of the limitations you and I are engaged in, there is no opportunity to embark on it, and the only alternative is to deal with it briefly to cover this session.

An Image of Iran Prior to Bahman 1357 AHS (February 1979)
All of us know that the essence of this movement actually originated in the year of 1342 AHS (1963) and fifteen years prior to the victory of the Islamic Revolution. Throughout these fifteen years, difficult conditions were experienced by the Iranian nation while there was instability in all dimensions of the country. The state of economic difficulty, international pillage, administrative corruption, moral bankruptcy, the Royal Court and its affiliates, unrestrained bribery, intolerable social gap, and the like issues had indeed put the people out of patience. Alongside it, the deep-rooted influence of the imperialists, especially the US, in all aspects of the society could be seen so much so that the highest ranking officials of the countries were also tools in the hands of the US.
In practice, it was the American embassy that ruled and decided for the country. The Americans used to humiliate our nation and even the highest figures of the country. As the effect of these persistent acts of humiliation, more or less, a sense of abjectness had also developed in our nation for thinking that the Americans are really civilized and progressive people while we are backward and worthless people. Along with all these things, there was another pressing issue the anti-religious policy which had expanded and gained momentum on a daily basis. In the recent years, it had gone to the extent of totally uplifting the veils and they had officially declared war against all religious sanctities. Given such situations, the occurrence of a vast change was not unpredictable.

The Most Serious Menace of the Monarchial Reign
In my conception, if we intend to analyze the situations at that time, the most serious menace was that by implementing the imperialist designs, especially during the fifty to sixty years of the Pahlavi regime, they expelled the masses of the Muslim people and religious figures from the political scene. We can remember a lot of things of that period. Yet, perhaps, our colleagues do not pay attention or could not recall the point I have just mentioned. This was a serious calamity given to our nation. They had designed in such a way that political works and social affairs of this country fell to the lot of a number of those whom they called “elite” an elite perhaps more than eighty percent of which were educated in American or Iranian universities under the supervisions of the Americans. Among these universities were the University of Shiraz and the Tehran School of Management (located at the present site of Imam as-Sadiq University).
A president of the University of Shiraz used to be appointed with the approval of the American embassy and his academic programs came from there. The academic programs of many other universities were also indirectly made by the Americans. In sum, policymaking in the country was practically in the hands of the “elite” the absolute majority of whom were trained by the Americans. Of course, the essence of this policy which was so calculated and well-planned belongs to the British, and the Americans learned from them. In a bid to continue their presence for long time in the countries under their control and administer their affairs, they tried to educate the “elite” in their own county and indirectly brainwash them and inculcate in them whatever they wanted.
The outcome of this policy was that the Muslim masses did not see any practical role for them in administering the affairs of the country. The only place where people had any apparent role was in the Majlis (Parliament). Even this was in such a manner that a list of the deputies had earlier been made by the Royal Court and approved by the American embassy, and those in the list were the same who would occupy the seats in the Majlis.
Of course, among the elite personalities of the country at that time, some were not amenable with the current policies. For whatever reason, they were not willing to come to terms with the rest, and they laid down the edifice of struggle and formed their own groups and organizations. One of these groups was the Tudeh Party.1
Of course, at a certain point in time, the Tudeh Party was really an agent and tool at the hand of the imperialist East and it had members who inclined toward the Soviet Union and wanted Iran to become a socialist country and a satellite of the Soviet Union, but there were also sincere individuals among them who really knew no way but attaching themselves to the Soviet Union in order to be free from the yoke and domination of Britain and America.
That is, what was inculcated in them was that there were no more than two ways for the Third World countries such as Iran; they should either be under the banner of America or under the banner of the Soviet Union so as to resist against the other. The second group was not many in number, but at least they were present. In sum, a number of the elite during the time rallied behind the Tudeh Party and used to organize themselves. Now, one should not be negligent of the danger to be posed by this party because it still seizes any opportunity and its members have secretly been engaged in reorganizing themselves.
Among those who had leftist inclination, apart from the Tudeh Party, there were other groups such as the Guerillas Devoted to the Masses [Cherik-ha-ye Fada’i-ye Khalq],2 Labor Party [hizb-e kargar], Rastegar, and different local groups and parties in such regions as Kurdistan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Khuzistan whose common feature was inclination to Marxism. Yet, it should not remain unsaid that some of those so-called parties had no more than ten or twenty members.
Opposite to this leftist faction was the faction of the parties and groups that belonged to the rightist parties which were supportive of the Shah’s regime and, so to speak, they were seen as pawns of the West.
What was lacking then was the activity of the religious parties. Through various means, they kept the religious figures away from the political scene and made such propaganda that anyone who is faithful and religious would never get involved in political affairs. I myself remember that at the time whenever they wanted to accuse and tarnish the image of a cleric, they would say that he is a “political akhund” [akhund-e siyasi].3
They manipulated the culture in such a manner that “akhund-e siyasi” was a form of vilification. As such, the religious figures and at the head of whom, the religious clerics and ‘ulama’, used to strongly avoid entering the scene of politics until such time that by acquiring inspiration from other Muslim countries (where the ‘ulama’ were getting involved in politics) and some other factors, small political groups among the religious people also emerged. The popular society of the Fada’iyan-e Islam4 was among these groups. Of course, it was a very small group yet so firm and determined.
Another example was the Islamic Nations Party [hizb-e milal-e islami] which came into being after the Mordad 28, 1332 AHS (August 19, 1953) Coup d’état. This party did not have many members who also finally betrayed the ideals of the party. At the same time that the political activities of the late ayatullah Kashani were at its peak, we had the group of the Mujahidin-e Islam whose founder was Shams Qanatabadi.
The Mujahidin Khalq Organization (MKO)5 which we now called as Guruhak-e Munafiqin [splinter group of the hypocrites] actually emerged from this group founded by Shams. Later on, as you know, they inclined toward Marxism and finally fell prey to America and the West.
At any rate, this was a portrait of the political ground of the country and the active groups prior to the victory of the Islamic Revolution, which were confined to these small groups, while the masses of the devoted Muslim people concerned with the country who constituted more than ninety percent of the population were totally away from this scene of action and there was no way for them to be in the scene. Among the ninety percent of the population, there were many informed individuals who used to understand the reality of the situations and currents. They were not satisfied with the state of affairs in the country and were deeply afflicted by it, but practically they could not do anything and had no hope in sight.
Among the limited number of Islamic groups at the time which were truly devoted to Islam and they neither accepted the regime nor showed inclinations toward the leftist and Marxist groups, the Freedom Movement [Nahdhat-e azadi] can be mentioned. The Freedom Movement in reality was a product of Muslims who gathered and started collective actions and gradually took the form of the Freedom Movement. Among its founders, one may mention Engineer Bazargan6 and Dr. Yadullah Sahabi.
The mosque in the Faculty of Engineering of Tehran University was constructed by Engineer Bazargan. Similarly, at that time, they used to publish magazines periodically, an example of which was a magazine entitled “Ganj-e Shayegan” [Immense Treasure]. Like the initial Mujahidin-e Khalq, the Freedom Movement had interest in Islam and its members offered their ritual prayers and observed fasts and even some of them were early night-worshippers [sahar khiz] (to perform the night supererogatory prayers and other devotional acts).
Yet, like the Mujahidin-e Khalq, the Freedom Movement in the long run experienced deviation and eclecticism. Finally, its members viewed that for their political safety, they would act as one of the pillars of the National Front [jebheh-ye milli] which they regarded as relatively ‘cleaner’ when compared to the rest of the political elite. This was the landscape of the political condition of our country prior to the victory of the Islamic Revolution.

Imam Khomein’s (r) strategy in initiating political change
Under such circumstances, the late Imam with such high political perspicacity, understanding and insight had from the beginning realized that these political activities of the different groups among the elite, even if they would succeed, would finally not serve the interest of Islam. This included those who worked in the name of Islam. The only way in the view of the Imam which actually bore fruit was to draw the masses of the Muslim people toward the scene of action. The Imam believed that these parties and groups could not launch a strong and comprehensive Islamic movement which would lead to the establishment of an Islamic government.
Of course, the theory of the Imam was not and still not acceptable in the contemporary political philosophy. The contemporary political philosophers believe that wherever political activity takes place in whatever form and ends up in something, it will definitely assume the form of party and factional organization with certain specific formulas and relations. Such a movement in which all people are involved and everybody feels responsible and moves under a single banner has no place in the classical political theories. Had the Imam wanted to talk about his ideas in the form of a theory and argue about it, no one would have listened to him. Instead of advancing this political matter in the form of a scientific theory, he put it into action and he was determined to draw the masses toward the scene of action. He inculcated to the entire people this sense of responsibility that as Muslims they are duty-bound to get involved in the political affairs of their country.
This work, like many other works and ideas of the Imam, was a novelty. If the Imam had had chosen another path, he would not have been able to initiate a considerable change. It was through bringing the great masses people to the scene of action that the Imam succeeded in launching this unprecedented movement something that none of those political groups, whether leftist, nationalist, or religious, was able to do as acknowledged by both friends and foes.
It was the Imam who, by identifying the hidden power in the great masses of the nation and by making use of their Islamic and religious motives, put into motion a current with a specific direction. We have not yet forgotten and we personally witnessed that the delinquent and idle youth who used to moon around the streets and alleys were so reformed and given direction in life by the Imam that they emerged in the process of the Revolution, and in the middle of the street, they used to stand in front and say to the soldiers of the Shah’s regime, “Shoot!”
By inciting the sense of religious duty of the people and the sincere intention he had, the Imam did something that, instead of the limited and uninteresting party relations, created deep-rooted emotional relationship with the people. The people used to love and the moth of their love flew around the candle of his being. This was the unmatched leadership of the Imam, and we can still witness the effect of such a deep emotional attachment. Though many years have passed since his demise, whenever his name is mentioned, it is always accompanied by different gestures of honor and reverence to him.
In any case, the movement of the Imam was something beyond the current political formulas and frameworks. When the street demonstrations began in 1356 AHS (circa 1977), even the most optimistic individuals did not think that this movement would bear fruit in less than twenty years. By these people, I mean such individuals as Martyr Dr. Beheshti individuals who were well-known and well-experienced in political analysis. Yet, even a person like him thought prior to the victory of the Islamic Revolution and during the last moments of the movement that we should wait for another twenty years.
We all witnessed, however, that the movement of the Imam bore fruit after less than two years and the Islamic Revolution obtained victory something which I myself could not believe and if ever somebody would tell about it, for me it was like a dream. Let us set aside my case. Many of those who were older than me had the same thought. In sum, if we say that the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1357 AHS (1979) was a divine miracle, this will not be exaggeration.
After the victory of the Islamic Revolution, apart from the seditious groups that had no place in the heart of the nation and whose commission of some of the illogical and deceitful measures and cold-blooded assassinations led to their annihilation while some of their members fled the country, the other groups remained. Such groups as the Tudeh Party, Guerillas Devoted to the People, Pan-Iranians, National Front, and the Freedom Movement remained active after the victory of the Islamic Revolution, and no one obstructed them while their life and properties were protected.
Up to this point, more or less you know the issues and there was nothing very new. This was merely a survey of the issues and currents prior to the victory of the Islamic Revolution and it was more of an introduction. Our main subject which is my focus and to which I would like you, my dear colleagues, to pay more attention is the rest of the succeeding discussions.

The Degree of Conviction of The Officials of The Islamic System to the Pristine Precepts and Values of Islam
After the victory of the Islamic Revolution, naturally the discussion about managing the country and forming the government was raised. The first government to be formed was the provisional government under the premiership of Engineer Bazargan and thereafter, other figures and governments came. Apart from the expected shortcomings and problems as a result of inexperience and immaturity of the governmental officials and the peculiar condition of the initial days and years of every revolution and movement, the following question is raised: Did all the members of those cabinets and their staff think like the Imam? Did they all perceive the role of religion in the society in the same manner that the Imam used to perceive?
Among the high-ranking decision-makers and policymakers of the country at the time were figures like Martyr Beheshti, Martyr Mutahhari, Martyr Bahonar and some others who were trained for many years under the tutelage of the Imam and were completely familiar with his views and ideas. Besides, they themselves were good and through their extensive and profound research on the teachings and references of Islam had acquired a good understanding of Islam and its fundamentals and laws. Such people knew the thoughts and ways of the Imam and had faith in them.
Indeed, what they wanted was the same thing that the Imam was pursuing. Yet, they did not last for many years. During the very first or second year of the Revolution, most of these people were taken from us. First was the assassination of the late Mutahhari (on May 1, 1979) and thereafter the event on Tir 7,7 and that of Shahrivar 88 and other incidents in which we lost most of these individuals who knew well the ideas and views of the Imam and believed in them and then played key role in the political and administrative posts in the country. The enemies, due to thorough investigation, had identified the importance of these figures even before we did; they therefore took them from us.
Apart from these individuals and some others, all those who came after the Shahrivar 8 incident and the cabinet of Martyr Bahonar and assumed the key and high-ranking administrative posts in the country did not know the thoughts of the Imam to such extent. They were not familiar with the psychological makeup and spiritual aspects of the Imam, either. In different degrees, more or less, they were influenced by the Western civilization and teachings, and had gap with the Islamic culture and precepts, and this gap widened day by day in every cabinet compared to the preceding one and its officials. Yet, as long as the eminent Imam was alive, because of his spiritual greatness and celestial prominence that cast a shadow upon the entire country, less people would express their intentions.
Even those who had fundamental and deep-rooted oppositions to the path, thoughts and fundamentals of the Imam and Islam would never regard the condition as propitious in expressing their opposition. In practice, they could not express their hostility and they had nothing to say. In any case, after the demise of the Imam, naturally the ground for abandoning the thoughts and ways of the Imam widened, because the mentor was no more there, and the spiritual and celestial prominence did no longer exist.
The Imam was a figure engrossed in almost eighty years with bitter and sweet sociopolitical events. Through spiritual and moral struggles, he molded himself and obtained a valuable experience of long years of political struggle. Therefore, anyone who would come after the Imam, though he was nurtured by the Imam and was competent and well-experienced, could never be the Imam. This fact is a factor which naturally exists along with other different factors, which cannot be dealt at the present. All these factors assist one another in gradually undermining the Islamic thought and values day by day, and we have a duty to prevent this phenomenon by setting appropriate strategies and approaches.

Program of the Enemies of the Revolution in Undermining the Islamic Values
In addition to the factors related to the nature and essence of such movements, there are also significant and effective external factors that may contribute to undermining the Islamic values. If during the initial days and years of the Revolution, the Americans and other Western and Eastern states and statesmen thought that this revolution, like other revolutions in the contemporary time, would not have much enduring and extensive impacts, today, twenty years9 after its victory and initiation of global changes, they realize that Islam is a constructive and dynamic school [maktab] with strong and abundant potentials in managing not only the community but also the whole world.
Today, they feel this fact practically and take it very seriously and urgently. For the same reason, by using huge budget and extensive programs, they have risen up to confront this movement and are in pursuit of undermining its impacts and ultimately extinguishing it. Today, their analysts have identified the points of weakness and strength of our Revolution and the cracks through which they penetrate into, and through programs and activities some of which are even beyond our imagination, they are busy weakening the foundations of the Revolution. Of course, to unravel some of these points and pertinent programs is not much difficult.
In a simple analysis, it can be identified that the engine of the movements and activities of man consists of two things: perceptions and inclinations. Therefore, whenever we want to change the direction of a person’s movement, it is enough to try changing his perceptions and inclinations. For the same reason, the enemies of Islam and this nation are trying, on one hand, to weaken the religious beliefs of the people, and on the other hand, to promote as substitute the Western materialistic values in a bid to change the orientations and inclinations of the society.
This strategy, that is, the attempt to change the perceptions and inclinations especially of the young generation, is so effective because the beliefs and intellectual foundations of this generation are not yet well-entrenched and internalized as they believe on a set of things on the basis of what they see and hear without solid research and demonstrative support. In terms of inclinations, young age has specific demands, and in terms of the storm of different desires, it is regarded as the most critical stage in the human life. Naturally, a young has special inclination and attention to the different material manifestations of life.
The West uses this strategy not only with the Muslim nations and the Third World, but also with their own people. It has amused most of the Western youth with pornography and sexual issues, alcoholic beverages, fashions on bags, wallets, shoes, dresses, hairdo, and face that change every day, sports, cinema, superstars and the like. Among these youth, they have identified only a limited number of talented ones and hired them in academic and research centers. By investing on these youths, they make use of their skills, talents and mental faculty for advancement in different spheres.
Now, in a country whose constitution has been ratified on the basis of Islam, where the dynamic principle of wilayah al-faqih [guardianship or governance of the jurist] exists, where the Islamic values prevail, and where the highest post is occupied by a faqih [jurist] who is well-versed on Islam, free-minded, and possesses the highest degree of piety and divine-human values, what should be done so that the imperialistic objectives of the enemies be realized? The answer is clear. It must be penetrated through various cultural means such as lecture, school, university, periodicals, film, cinema, radio, television, book, sports, and the like.
The impact of these ways in changing the perceptions and inclinations is decisively proven and undeniable. You may remember when a reporter in a radio interview asked a woman, “Who is your model?” and the woman replied, “Ushin.” The late Imam made a phone call to the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) and while expressing his protest against it for airing such a program, he said that the woman is on the verge of apostasy [irtidad]. You can observe that in the country of Fatimah and ‘Ali (‘a), during the lifetime of the Imam himself, something can be done in which the ideal role model of an Iranian Shi‘ah woman is not Zaynab or Zahra (‘a) but Ushin! What is important is the first step. Once the hump is removed, the rest of the road will be level.

The Enemy’s Infiltration In to the Executive and Planning Organs in the Country
The other significant program of the enemies in weakening the beliefs and values is run through infiltration into the decision-making organ of the country, they station in the different posts individuals whose beliefs, intellectual foundations and moral values are somehow apart from that of the Imam and are under the influence of the Western culture, values and ideas. In a bid to remove the road bump, they begin to attack Islam and Islamic values by direct and indirect infiltration into some newspapers. With the aim of casting doubt upon the laws of Islam, they insult religious sanctities, tarnish the image of the proponents, supporters and advocates of Islamic values, promote nationalistic values instead of emphasizing Islamic and religious values, and create tens of such cases which you can observe today. In all these dimensions, they make gradual advancements. It is not that they would make the final shot and express their ultimate agenda all at once.
But if the newspapers would like to publish those things, they will encounter legal problem. In order to solve the legal problem and to observe their intended freedom of the press, the law must be amended. In amending the law, the first step is that the “moderates” as they call it, should rule. In the beginning, they cannot say that there should be no Islam. They have to find first individuals who, to some extent, have some vulnerability, not so “fanatic” and are willing to somehow compromise some Islamic issues. In making the moderates attain power, they work for magnifying the weakness of the past devoted executive officials, most of which was due to the early stage of the Revolution and the huge problems thereof. By capitalizing on these weaknesses, they undermine the mass base of these officials so as to pave the way for the coming of individuals who are to some extent away from the devoted forces and are more or less willing to make some compromise and concession.
In this connection, the university and its students should never be neglected because they constitute an influential stratum of the society and the future managers of the country. They must be given special attention and specific programs must be formulated for them. In sum, this is a detailed and well-calculated scenario whose curtains are about to be lifted one by one by the enemies. In this scenario, you, strange individuals, and those who clearly recognize the enmity of the enemies toward Islam and the Revolution, will not observe many things. Most of the roles must be played by elements from within and those who have outward beliefs in Islam. In other words, there is no need for a person to come from the US and the CIA in particular. Rather, you will observe that a certain minister or deputy minister offers prayers regularly, observes fasting, performs the Hajj and the pilgrimages to Karbala’ and Syria (at Zaynabiyyah), pays his religious taxes, and even retains the Qur’an, but his stances are 180 degrees opposite of that of the Imam.
Sometimes, you will even observe a person whose stance some years ago is 180 degrees different from what he presently believes in. For example, there is a person who had a pivotal role and share in the occupation of the American Den of Espionage (American embassy in Tehran),10 but now he himself condemns the act and shakes hand with the same spies in a TV show at a Western country, sitting together with them in an atmosphere of reconciliation! The same person who, two or three years ago, used to protest again a deputy in the Majlis for uttering something in a trip to Britain and accuse him of being pro-American, is now proposing for negotiation and establishment of relations with the USA, and regarding the slogan, “Down with America!” and those who chant it, he says that they are a bunch of rascals!
Today, you can see people who, during the time of the Iraqi-imposed war, had been supporters of the continuation of the war perhaps more than what others used to do, but now they have become among those who criticize the prolongation of the war. Of course, the truth of the matter is that most of these people who used to chant such radical slogans during the early years of the Revolution did so not more on the conviction of the heart, but under the influence of the temperament, feelings and ardor they had at the time.
Today, such individuals are so-called under the influence of convincing arguments and as they themselves imagine, they have passed from the ebb of emotionalism to the height of rationality, saying that their past statements and acts were wrong. Such deeds were aimed for having revolutionary record and being among the followers and supporters of the Imam during his time.
We have to unconditionally submit to the beliefs, views and ideas of such people, because we can observe that at the present, some of the old friends of the Imam cast doubt upon some of the basic principles of his thought, regarding them as incorrect. There are also individuals and cases where our difference with them is more on taste, and difference in taste must not lead us to discredit people and exclude them from the group of supporters of the Revolution, branding them as foreign agents and politically confronting them.

Summary and Conclusion
If we want to summarize the subjects of the previous and present sessions, the result will be the following: At the beginning of the Revolution, understanding and thought had lesser role. The main factor that led the people to follow the Imam, stage the Revolution, and preserve it, was their religious feelings and sentiments. This was the greatest art of the Imam, giving direction and guiding these emotions and taking proper benefits from them. The perpetuity of the movement and Revolution, however, lies more on intellectual and cultural activities. Nowadays, it is wrong to imagine that we could preserve the Revolution and continue the movement through the same reliance on the religious sentiments of the people, breast-beating and chanting, “Husayn! Husayn!”
In essence, the Imam, with such spiritual greatness and mystical and celestial personality, had such a rule over the hearts and drew the feelings of the people toward him. And it is something we cannot do even if we work hard. Today, many people who bear mistaken thoughts and do actions do not really have the intention to commit so and their weakness is the product of lack of understanding. During their period of studies in the university, even if they were devoted Muslims, they at most used to offer the ritual prayers and observe the ritual fast, and had no more time and opportunity to study and understand the foundations of Islam and, later, when they have been engrossed with executive and administrative activities of the country, they were too busy, let alone have time to search about the fundamentals of Islam.
Now, it must be thought of how they could understand Islam better, and in this regard, there is no room for any formality or complimentary words. We should not think that these teachings are only for the students of elementary and high schools and freshmen and sophomore university students. Rather, the different strata of our society are in urgent need of them. Of course, it cannot be said to the minister or deputy minister to attend the class session and study their lessons, but they could be informed of it indirectly and be acquainted with these discussions. Apart from those who are presently occupying policymaking and executive posts in the country, we must think about those who will occupy those posts in the future. I mean these students who are currently at schools and universities. We have to think and plan for the future managers and officials.
For instance, the president of a certain large Muslim country with a greater population than ours was asked, “Why have you become so attached to the USA?” He replied, “The USA had granted scholarships to two thousands of our country’s cream of the crop during the different periods. In every political term, forty of these scholarship grantees become high-ranking officials of the country, and this scholarship continues as before. What do you expect from a country two thousand of its high-ranking policymakers have been trained in the lap of the USA?”
America formulated this policy fifty years ago, and today, it reaps its fruits. If you and I want Islam to rule over this country fifty years from now, we have to plan now and initiate intellectual and cultural activities on the future administrative forces. For us, just to sit idle and wait for the calamity to descend upon us and think that that is the time for us to think for a way out, is irrational and illogical.
Thus, it is due to this sense of urgency that we are taking your time, honorable professors, in these discussions, and it is because among these students who are at your disposal, the future administrators of the country from the president and ministers down to the deputy ministers, deputies in the Majlis and general managers will be trained. As such, if you yourselves have good information and profound knowledge of Islam and its fundamentals, you can impart the same to the students. However, if a student asks you a question and you fail to give a convincing answer to him, he will say that since a veteran university professor failed to give an answer, it is evident that there is no available answer to this question. And if he contacts a cleric like me and I fail to give a reply, it will become certain for the student that there is indeed no available answer for it; and for him, “The words they are mentioning to be from God, the Prophet and Islam have no basis and foundation.”
The final conclusion is that as for this humble servant, as a cleric, and you, as university professors, because of the pivotal role we could have in nurturing and training the future generations of this country, our responsibility is far greater and heavier than that of others, and we have to strive hard in accomplishing our sensitive mission by enhancing and expanding our knowledge and understanding of Islam and its fundamentals.
1. Tūdeh [Masses] Party was formed in 1320 AHS (1941) on the remnants of the ‘Idalat [Justice] Party, which was founded in 1299 AHS (1920) after the entry of the Red Army to Rasht. Following the attempt on the life of the Shah in Bahman 1327 AHS for which a Tūdeh assailant was identified, martial law was declared, members of the Party apprehended, and the Party considered illegitimate and dissolved.
By announcing Marxism-Leninism as the Party’s platform in 1328 AHS, it completely revealed its policy. With the beginning of the nationalization of the oil industry, Tūdeh Party assumed two factions—that of Kiyanūri and Qasimi. Later, by keeping silent in the face of the Mordad 28, 1332 AHS coup and behind-the-scene activities, it played a pivotal role in the fall of Musaddiq. With the arrest of officers of military network and other networks of the Party by the Shah’s regime in Mordad 1333 AHS, so many expressed disgust for their party’s backgrounds and collaborated with the Shah’s regime and its security organization. In the Party’s Congress itself in early 1950s, the Party appreciated and praised the regime and discouraged resistance.
From 1350 to 1356 AHS when the clergy started the struggle with new methods, the Party reorganized itself, and after the victory of the Islamic Revolution, it held its 16th Party Congress in Tehran and announced its support for the Islamic Republic. The Party’s objective after the Islamic Revolution was to gradually incite dissension among the revolutionary forces and infiltrate in the economic and cultural posts of the country.
Finally, with the arrest of the principal leaders and cadres of the Tūdeh Party, a wave of confessions on espionage and endeavor to destroy the Islamic system commenced and the true nature of this party became known to everyone and its 42 years of treacherous existence in Iran came to an end. [Trans.]
2. The communist organization, Cherik-ha-ye Fada’i-ye Khalq [Guerillas Devoted to the Masses], was organized in 1349 AHS by the youth who were dissatisfied with the policies of the Tūdeh Party of depending on the Soviet Union. They chose the Alborz mountain ranges, Siyahkol jungle in particular, as their center of operation and incited the villagers of the region to rise up against the regime. [Trans.]
3. Akhūnd: a word of uncertain etymology that originally denotes a scholar of unusual attainment, but was later applied to lesser-ranking scholars, and then acquired a pejorative connotation, particularly in secularist usage. [Trans.]
4. Fada’iyan-e Islam organization was established in 1323 AHS (circa 1944) by Martyr Sayyid Mujtaba Nawwab Safawi and was one of the religious parties and organizations in Iran at the time with a long record of sound faith in Islam and in the role of the ‘ulama’ in leading the people. The assassination of ‘Abd al-Husayn Hajir and General Razmara (the Shah’s Prime Ministers) was one of this group’s militant undertakings. Nawwab Safawi and other members of the group were arrested by the Shah’s agents in 1344 AHS (circa 1965) and were expeditiously tried and executed. [Trans.]
5. Mujahidin Khalq Organization (MKO): established in 1344 AHS (1965) to fight against the Shah. Because of the ignorance of its leaders on the comprehensive principles and teachings of the school of Islam, the organization chose an eclectic ideology, and in a very short time after the victory of the Revolution, rose against the Revolution and its forces and martyred a good number of the true servants of the people. The group spared no effort in overthrowing the Islamic government.
After several stages the group was suppressed by the revolutionary forces. Some of them fled from the country. Those who claim to be anti-imperialists and feared revelation of their identities are now passing their last shameful days in the laps of the imperialists. In the public vernacular the terrorist group, Mujahidin Khalq, has been named and known as munafiqin [hypocrites], which indicates their inner crooked quality. It is to be noted that during the Iraqi war against Iran this group, alongside the Iraqi army, fought against the Islamic forces. [Trans.]
6. Engineer Mahdi Bazargan (1908-1994) held different public positions in the administration of Dr. Muhammad Musaddiq. He was among the main founders of the Freedom Movement of Iran. Upon the culmination of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, he was appointed as the head of the provisional government; however, he decided to step down one day after Iranian students stormed the US embassy (Den of Espionage) in Tehran. [Trans.]
7. This date refers to the bomb explosion at the Islamic Republican Party Headquarters in Tir 7, 1360 AHS (June 28, 1981) that led to the martyrdom of Dr. Beheshti and seventy-one other prominent political and religious figures of the Islamic Revolution. [Trans.]
8. This date refers to the bomb explosion at the Prime Minister’s Office in Shahrivar 8, 1360 AHS (August 30, 1981) that led to the martyrdom of Prime Minister Bahonar and President Raja’i. [Trans.]
9. It is now almost thirty years. [Trans.]
10. This is an indication of the occupation by Muslim students following the line of the Imam of the US Embassy in Tehran on Aban 13, 1358 AHS (November 4, 1979) in protest to the USA’s interference in Iran and its support of the anti-revolutionary elements in which the discovered documents revealed many facts about American, British and Israeli crimes committed against the Iranian nation. See the six-volume collection entitled, Documents Discovered from the US Espionage Den. [Trans.]

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