Memoirs of Marzieh Hadidchi (Dabbagh) (Part 56)


2018-09-05


Memoirs of Marzieh Hadidchi (Dabbagh) (Part 56)

Edited by: Mohsen Kazemi

Tehran, Sooreh Mehr Publications Company

‎2002 (Persian Version)‎

Translated by: Zahra Hosseinian


 

In front of East Empire

In the morning, after performing morning prayers, we went to the salon for taking breakfast. Different foods were on the table according to their tradition and formalities, but we only could eat egg; Mr. Javadi Amoli did not even that.

After breakfast, we collected our clothes and personal stuffs and everything we had, because we had to return to Iran immediately after communicating the letter; we were not allowed to visit the popular sights of Moscow and other cities of the Soviet Union. The reason was that those who were involved with the preparation of the delegation’s travel in Iran, asked Imam Khomeini, "now that these [members of the delegation] are going to go to the Soviet Union, can be the guests of Embassy one or two days?" he had replied: "They can go for walk whenever they wanted, but as my representatives in the meeting, they should just deliver the letter and return."

Thus, our time was very limited in terms of Imam's emphasis on doing the mission fast. When we moved toward the Kremlin, a number of diplomats accompanied us. None of us was inspected at the Kremlin Palace, and I was relieved of inspection of a large bag which contained my towel and toothbrush and personal things. Of course, the inspection was carried out intangibly through the electronic devices on the passageways and doors.

Despite many efforts, the agents and diplomats of the Iranian embassy missed a few points to remind us. Perhaps the reason was that they had not been faced with an Iranian delegation at this level and were almost surprised. They had forgotten to fill in us on how to comply with all the necessary formalities in visiting Gorbachev; for instance, who would enter first, where everyone would sit, who would speak first, and etc. it should be said that in the corridor of palace I saw one of diplomats was busy advising Mr. Larijani how to put the suitcase on the table, with which hand open it, how to take out the paper and so on. It made me laugh, because the diplomat was carrying coals to Newcastle. Better than anyone else, Mr. Larijani himself knew about these points and principles, but he listened and did not say anything.

The group of diplomats was prevented from entering the Kremlin. There was a building dedicated to Gorbachev, the head of the Soviet Union, inside the palace at where we arrived after passing through a door and walking along a corridor and turning a corner and climbing up three stairs. Until those moments I was concerned about the inspecting of my bag. Fortunately, we did not catch in inspection trap here. Entering the room of Gorbachev's formal meetings, our country's ambassador was prevented and they said that they were only ordered to accept the three representatives of Ayatollah Khomeini.

Gorbachev's room was about twenty square meters, in which there was a table of twelve but with six chairs; it turned out that three of us had to sit on one side and Gorbachev, his interpreter and counselor on the other side. Unadorned curtains were hung on the windows and a plain moquette carpet was laid down from the table to the door.

A few photographers and reporters were in the room. We sat down on the chairs. We were introduced to the consultant at the airport during the welcoming ceremony. As we sat down, photographers took several photos of us. Entering the room, Gorbachev shook hands with men one by one, and when he approached me to shake, I held fast my hand under my chador. Being offended (as if this act was a kind of insult in the diplomatic practice), Gorbachev reacted with a smile and said a short sentence that I did not understand; but his face showed that he did not like it.

With great effort, our ambassador finally could enter the room, and since there was no other chair, he stood for a moment until they brought him a chair.

After greetings, it was time to read the letter. Mr. Javadi Amoli read the message, Mr. Larijani translated it into English, and the interpreter translated it into Russian. Gorbachev knew English and could content himself with English translation, but since he wanted to understand all the points of the message, he needed Russian translation.

When the letter was read and translated, I did not anything to do, so I had just my mind on Gorbachev’s reactions, and I carefully observed all his states and behaviors. His face changed in some parts, and as he had leant the chair, noted some points and lined one of them out.

‘I have some questions about some parts of this letter.’ after the translation came to an end, he thought a little and then said. Ayatollah Javadi Amoli said, ‘well, ask your question. We are here to explain more.’ Gorbachev said, ‘In this part, Ayatollah has said that we are involved in the fate of Muslim around the world; this means interfering in the internal affairs of other countries. I think that Ayatollah Khomeini has made a mistake here.’ With a special calmness and a meaningful smile, as if he understood that Gorbachev did not understand Imam’s point, Mr. Javadi Amoli replied, ‘the issue of interfering should be clarified. You are free in Russia to do what you want and no one has right to interfere in this realm. The purpose of Imam is that any Muslim who lives in hardships everywhere in the world; it is our duty as a Muslim to support them. The native soil is not important for us, but the identity of Muslim people is important for us.’

Gorbachev's consultant, who were astonished and quite, and listened to the message of Imam and Mr. Javadi Amoli’s speech, commented: ‘Ayatollah has insulted us and our nation and Mr. Gorbachev, where he has said our experts and scholars go to Qom to be aware.’ Mr. Javadi Amoli said, ‘No, Imam has encouraged you, based on the cognition he has gained from you. He did not say that your scholars and philosophers did not understand anything, but he has invited them to discuss. And he meant that we can help each other philosophically and scientifically.’

Mr. Gorbachev and his adviser (who allegedly had the second place of communism) were apparently convinced by Mr. Javadi Amoli’s explanations. I do not remember if we were entertained on that meeting or not, and if so, how? ‘Should we wait for your reply?’ before saying goodbye, Mr. Javadi Amoli asked. ‘We should consult, then I’ll send an answer to this letter as soon as possible." said Gorbachev.

Reporters were allowed to take some photos and films when it came to say goodbye. Like earlier, Mr. Gorbachev began to shake hands one by one. When he stood in front of me, Mr. Javadi Amoli and others looked at me. There was no way to ask Mr. Javadi Amoli what I should do. I saw that if I dampened Gorbachev’s enthusiasm, it was very bad, so when he stretched out his hand, I threw my chador over my hand and shook his hand. This encounter and the way I shook his hand was not pleasant for him, who led the Emperor of the East. He tried not to acknowledge anything and said: "I didn’t stretch my hand to shake, but I stretch my hand toward a revolutionary mother, to say we are good neighbors; we stretch our unarmed hands to you, and you also encourage your men to stretch their unarmed hands." Mr. Javadi Amoli said gently: "We’re also advocate of peace." Then we left the room. Gorbachev, who had not come to welcome us, accompanied us to the foot of staircase to see us off.

 

To be continued…

 



 
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