Setting up "The Committee for Welcoming Imam Khomeini"

Translated by M. B. Khoshnevisan


"The Committee for Welcoming Imam Khomeini" was set up through various meetings so that full preparation was provided for welcoming the leader of the revolution. I had the honor the be present in the meetings. In the welcoming committee, it was decided that apart from the people themselves - who are all the guardians of Imam Khomeini's life - fifty thousand troops would be selected, so that the committee would be the executor of the assigned programs. It should be mentioned that tens of thousands more were added to the population, while it was decided that one person from each district of Tehran would register with the committee as the head of those who welcomed Imam Khomeini and a card would be issued to him. Then, this person selected organized and commanded the forces. On the other hand, the people under his supervision should act according to the planning of the committee. In order to participate nationally in this important process, it was decided that a group of well-known and trusted people from each province would come to Tehran and help with the affairs of the welcomers. The route of Imam Khomeini's move, from the airport to Behesht-e Zahra, was divided into several kilometers, and each kilometer was covered under the protection of a special group of people.

I remember that the Isfahan Province was in charge of the route from the vicinity of Beheshti Bridge to Shahr-e Rey, to the vicinity of Bagherabad on the way to Behesht-e Zahra. Several thousand well-known forces - including my relatives – were assigned to guard and secure the area. In Shahr-e Rey, I was in charge of the route from Beheshti Bridge to Shahid Rajaee Road as well as far beyond the area. Moreover, the management of the welcoming committee selected me and a group of revolutionary people and youths from all over and prepared an ID card for them, and in this process I got help from my friends in Shahr-e Rey.

I delivered a speech in Firoozabadi Mosque in the presence of several thousand people – all of whom had announced readiness for welcoming the Imam and then distributed among them the ID cards I had received from the committee in Refah School.

I also delivered a speech in Ebrahim Khalil Mosque, asking the revolutionary people and youths to come to the mosque to announce readiness for welcoming Imam Khomeini. There, I explained the them the details so that they could establish order in the ceremony. In the Ebrahim Khalil Mosque, I gave a few thousand cards to a group of confident people. In the meeting, I said that they should work for a few days, and I also held another meeting in the Qa'emiyeh Mosque for this purpose.

The night of 12th of Bahman 1357 (February 1, 1979) was truly a historic and memorable night, the sound of the heartbeat of the Iranian people resounded in the sky. It was decided that representatives of all social groups of the Iranian nation would be present at Mehrabad Airport, so the welcoming committee, considered several people from each group, issuing entrance cards to the airport and special places for them.

In those days, people from different cities of Iran had come to Tehran. The population of the nation at the welcoming ceremony of the Imam was estimated at nearly fourteen million. I said to some of the clerics of Shahr-e Rey: Misters Ghayuri, Sadri and Rafiei – the Friday prayer leader: If we move from Shahr-e Rey tomorrow, we will not be able to get to the airport on time. So we decided to spend the night at Mr. Noorollahi's house. (the prayer leader of one of the neighborhoods near the airport) and would attend the ceremony the next day.

When we entered the airport in the morning, I saw that the Mojahedin-e Khalq - who were later identified as hypocrites - had installed their photos in some places and on the cars of the Mehrabad Airport. Their action was met with protests from the friends. Meanwhile, I saw that Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani arrived. When he wanted to get off, I immediately reached out to him and said: These gentlemen have installed their photos in different places. Hashemi said, "they should be stopped from now and should not be allowed to become involved and take advantage of the situation". I had in mind that dealing with them, in that special atmosphere, might cause discord and conflict. Therefore, I asked Mr. Hashemi: What is Mr. Khomeini's opinion on this? He replied: His opinion is the same one hundred percent. So we took action, and after dealing with them, I realized my mistake in the political analysis of that action and admired the clear and decisive viewpoint of Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani.

At any rate, Imam Khomeini arrived at the airport with that greatness and glory - which demanded the spiritual and social status of His Holiness.

Source: In the Realm of Love (Memoirs of Hojjatoleslam Valmoslemin Seyed Taqi Mousavi Dorcheh'ei. Compiled by Abdolrahim Abazari, Tehran, The Institute for compilation and publication of Imam Khomeini's works, Orooj Publications, 1389 (2010), pp. 394-397.


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