Consequences of visiting Ayatollah Pasandideh in Daran

Translated by M. B. Khoshnevisan


After the transferring of Mr. Pasandideh to the town of Daran, I came back to Qom {1970s/1350s}. some leaflets had been issued by the gentlemen, and I helped to distribute them. Some of these leaflets were under the mattress in our house. After a while, I along with Mr. Haj Sheikh Sadr al-Din Ha'eri Shirazi and a young man named Amin went to see Mr. Pasandideh. The people had also come to visit him. We stayed there for a few days. Our vehicle was a Jeep which belonged to Mr. Ha'eri. My two sons named Abdolhadi and Abdoljavad also accompanied me. Then, we left there for the city of Kouhrang. We reached a dam on the way and crossed it. Before reaching Kouhrang, we stopped in a village called Chehelgard, which was very ruined. We went to a room whose walls and doors were black to stay at night. I was accompanied by the bills related to Sharia funds that Mr. Pasandideh had given me to take to Qom and deliver to its owners.

We woke up in the morning and Mr. Ha'eri said, "What should we eat for lunch?" "There are good mutton here," I said. "If you agree. Let's buy a kilo of mutton and cook Abgoosht (broth)."

I went out of the house to get mutton. After I bought, and while I was coming to our accommodation, I met two security guards. They prevented me from moving and said, "Please come to the checkpoint with us." I said: "For what?" They said, “Don’t question.” I said, “I have bought mutton and have an appointment with my friends to make Abgoosht.”

At any rate, they did not allow me to come back and brought me to the outpost. In the outpost, two agents were sent with me to go to our residence. I was thinking about how I could get to my friends sooner than the agents so that I could hide somewhere the bills that I had from Imam Khomeini, and if it fell into the hands of the agents, it would be a problem for me. When I got close to the place of our residence, I pretended to be distracted and did not know exactly which room it was. Finally, I managed to separate myself from the officers and come forward on the pretext that I wanted to find the room I was looking for. Then I reached myself to Mr. Ha’eri and explained my intention to them with the shortest sentence. I said, "The agents! The bills!"

Then I handed the bills to him and came down quickly so that the agents would not suspect anything. Mr. Ha’eri gave the bills to his driver who was smoking a hookah! He put them in a hookah jar that was empty of water in a way that they could never find it. The agents came up and asked us to get ready for going to the outpost. We also got ready and accompanied them while we couldn’t make our Abgoosht. They put us in a car and drove toward Shahr-e Kord. During all these moments, my two young children were with me. We were kept in a room in the SAVAK building. It was customary to place people in a room that looked like a waiting room and take them one by one for interrogation. It was strange that we had also brought the hookah. In fact, our driver was an addicted man and liked to smoke hookah and we also had his back. I had asked him to watch his hookah anyway. He was watching his hookah with all his eyes. The head of SAVAK with whom we were dealing at that time was a young colonel named Rezvan, who was once the head of SAVAK in Shiraz and Mr. Ha’eri had a previous acquaintance with him. Thus, he told Mr. Ha’eri, "Again, you have showed up here.” He said, “Yes. We are former friends and we are loyal." 

Mr. Ha’eri was among those who had been beaten many times during the revolution and perhaps nobody had been tortured as much as him.  

I told the driver, “What are you going to do if you are interrogated?” He said, “I try to act in a way that nobody is disclosed.” There, they stripped us naked and made us wear prison clothes. We sat and watched what they did with the rest of our friends. When our driver was taken in for interrogation, he was asked, “What is your name?” He said, “Mr. Khorshid!” He said, “What do you mean? Khorshid is a female name.” He said, “Sir, what is the difference? At any rate, my name is Khorshid.” He said, “What is your name in the ID card?” He said, “I have no ID.” He said, “Didn’t you get?” He said, “No, I do not know at all what ID is.” The interrogator tried a lot to force him to talk but he pretended to be ignorant. He asked, “Where are you from?” And again he replied nonsensely. This time, the interrogator slapped him in the face very harshly.

At the same time, the person who was in the room and held a higher position than the interrogator cursed the interrogator a few times and said, "After all, why have you thought that he is a political man whom you are interrogating? Throw him out. Who the hell is this one?" Then, they sent our driver out of the room. I was very happy of the situation and found out that the driver’s plan was successful. Then, our driver made another trick, saying with Shirazi dialect, “I don’t go out of here.” He said, “Why?” The driver said, “If I do not smoke hookah, I will die. Give my hookah, then I’ll leave here.” He said, “Give him his hookah. He got wearied us.”

I was worried about my two sons. So I said that these two children could not stay here. Finally, they allowed us to transfer them to a religious school in Shahr-e Kord. Thus, I was relieved of this. Also, the hookah got out of the hands of the officers, and I no longer had any special concern and left myself to the incidents and did not care what would happen.    

After a few hours, they said that we should be transferred to the prison. I was worried to some extent, because if our house in Qom was interrogated, and the officers found the leaflets and other documents, we would get into trouble. Thus, we asked God to help us. Fortunately, I was informed later that on the same day, my family was going to clean the house and accidentally, they saw a handful of leaflets under the carpet and mattress and put them inside a plastic bag and sent them to another house. So God really helped us.

Anyway, a few hours after staying in the detention center, they announced that we should be transferred to another room which was not like a prison. We stayed there for two days. During the two days, they sent another person to our room as a prisoner who started cursing the regime, claiming that he had been arrested for no reason. I doubted him from the very beginning and said to myself: this person most likely must be a spy and infiltrator. I also started criticizing him and said, "Now why are you cursing? Vilification against anyone is a very bad thing. If you have a logic or a task, follow it, but don't use bad language". Fortunately, we got rid of this person too."

After the third day, Mr. Javan came to Mr. Ha'eri and said, "Since I respect you, I set you free on bond. You can go. But promise not to continue." "No, Mr. Javan," said Mr. Ha'eri, "we should stay here. This is better for us. We have nothing to do outside of here!" The argument reached a point where they had to release us from prison. I came and picked up my children and we returned to Qom with the same hookah driver without succeeding in eating the Kouhrang Abgoosht.

Source: Emami, Javad, Memoirs of Ayatollah Masudi Khomeini, Tehran, The Center for Islamic Revolution Documents, 1381 (2002), PP. 361-365.

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