Neglected History (3)

Critique of External Historiography of the United Islamic Students Association Abroad.

An interview with Mojtaba Baghernejad

Interviewed and compiled by: Mohammad Mahdi Musa Khan
Translated by: Fazel Shirzad


In the first and second part of the interview, the history of the United Islamic Associations Abroad and the reasons for its importance and the most important published book in the country were presented and criticized in an interview with Mr. Baghernejad. In this section, we review two Persian books on the topic of the United Islamic Associations, published abroad, and the validity and content of these two books have been reviewed by respected interviewee. We invite you to read the last part of this interview.


At the beginning of this interview, please tell me what the strengths and weaknesses of the historiography of the United Islamic Association abroad are!

As I mentioned in the previous interview, apart from the miscellaneous and desultory articles written about the United, two books were published by Mr. Mohammad Jafari, a former member of the United Islamic Students' Associations in Europe. His first book, "Paris and the Transformation of Revolution from Freedom to Tyranny"[1], was published in 2004 and with about 321 pages. The second book, "10 Years with the United in Germany"[2], has been published in the summer of 2009 with a volume of about 540 pages. Mr. Jafari has written these two books abroad and after leaving Iran.

I do not have much discussion about the various articles published abroad and I have seen them, usually those that are in conflict with the Islamic Republic and are usually in favor of destructive opposition. Subjects written by characters in the more balanced spectrum, were not deep enough to be debated. That is why we are dealing with these two books by Mr. Mohammad Jafari.

Of course, I have no personal problems with them, they were known abroad as Muslim figures, and sometimes they worked with the United as the other members. Like him, they went to a point of thinking that went far beyond the realities inside and outside the country. The two books have been published in such a situation. I didn't know how to discuss Mr. Jafari's books, because it doesn't really matter what Mr. Jafari wrote, because a historian can discover the truth through historical research and study, and while s/he is highlighting them, they cannot be out of shape. Of course, you said that if the next generations and our young people in next decades want to study and research, then their books and claims will be documented. Therefore, there should be a criticism of these books so that such information won't be a unilateral stream. So your reasoning convinced me to criticize the first few pages of his first book on the United, and to make the rest of his claims available to those who are more dominant in these matters. Discussing and reviewing 540 pages of his book "10 Years with the United in Germany" is a vain work for me, so I will comment on some of claims of the book, and the rest of the book will be clear. Because if we want to talk about 540 pages of a book, we need to stop at each page and discuss their claims, which will take a very long time.


So, please comment on the first book!

The title of the book represents the author's ultimate goal, so I have no arguments about it. On the second page of the introduction, the author divides the events into two parts: first, he was an observer and a self-witness and the second part, he quotes from various sources. He writes in this part: "But the responsibility of quotes and speech is the responsibility of narrator" and adds, "Even the analysis of quotes is not a necessary and may not be free from error and infringement" at the end he mentioned, "To be used as an experience for the present and future generations."

In the same paragraph of introduction, he has tried to disclaim himself for the quotes he makes, so that he will have no problem in the future "being questioned", in the sense that he narrates any unreliable narrative for his own purposes to be able handle the liability if the narrator is asked. The content of the United begins on page 10, entitled "In Paris". In the episode, the author claims: "During the US’s presidential election, Democratic nominee Jimmy Carter, with the motto of defending human rights and preventing the accumulation of military equipment in the Middle East, began his campaign and ... the Shah thought that he was talking about Iran."

This is a claim that requires documentation. Where did the king come up with such an idea? Is it mentioned in the book "Response to History"?[3]  Or in an interview? You do not see any documents in the book. He writes in the following paragraph: "One year before the revolution in London (quoted Mr. Bani Sadr) at the home of Dr. Taghizadeh, Mr. B.B (he means Bahram Bahramian) spoke of being invited to the US Embassy. He said they invited 30 of my comrades to the embassy. We were told that the current Iranian regime's king are mired in corruption and that white revolution has failed, and if we were ready to get in the field, they'll help you take over the affairs of the country."

Firstly, Mr. Bahram Bahamian, whom Mr. Mohammad Jafari and Mr. Bani Sadr refer him and document his words, is a person whose members of National Front abroad have made false statements in their statements. In this regard, you can refer to the interview of Dr. Hossein Mousavian, Head of Executive Committee for National Front of Iran on June 24, 2008. Mr. Mousavian denies all of Mr Bahramian's claims that he is mediated to negotiate between the US and the king and the opposition. Now you imagine that the members of the National Front do not accept Mr. Bahrami's remarks, but Mr. Mohammad Jafari has documented his remarks, which is documented by Mr. Bani Sadr to substantiate his claim. In the following paragraph, the author states: "thereafter, the opposition began to come to the US embassy and open negotiations. The gathering of opposition parties, groups began with subsequent announcements of anonymity, various open letters to the king and international officials, and various meetings of the opposition."

It should be noted here that this analysis is the opinion of Mr. Abrahamian in his book "Iran between Two Revolutions"[4] in which Mr Abrahamian, as a leftist, does not view the revolution on a clergy movement and leadership of Imam Khomeini. He considers the correspondence of Iranian human rights activists and various figures to the king and other ones, as a basis for the revolution, and Mr. Ja'fari puts forward this view.

In the next paragraph, he explained about the article of January 17 in newspaper Etelaat (Information) and protests; holding the funerals and protests spread and the slogan of death was raised. And he makes no mention of such protests to a newspaper article. The question to ask about these events is what were the origins of the sensitivities to this article? Were the events that he wrote in these few lines about the reaction of the people to that article on January 17th resulted from religious sensitivity of the people to Mr. Khomeini? He does not mention that the reason for these protests was from a religious sensitivity toward religious concepts, including the importance of their religious authority.

On page 11 he claims that: "Due to the favorable activities and conditions that have been created abroad since 1976, the student atmosphere and struggles have become gradually accessible to Muslim students, and due to the extensive cultural and publishing activities and lectures in various European cities that were expanding day by day, student populations were turning to Islam."

In 1976 we did not see this mass of students were gravitated to Islam anywhere in Europe. Until the year 1979, Muslim forces abroad were a pure minority; that is, if a city had 500 Iranian students, perhaps 5% included Muslim, the basis for this claim is unclear. He says in the following sentence: "The United Islamic Associations in Europe, the United States, and Canada organized and directed these activities."

Of course, what he wrote here is completely at odds with the material on the following pages on the organizational issues of the United and a battlefield within the United among members. How could an organization, as the writer mentioned, with so much intellectual conflict and intellectual and mental friction organize and direct this mass of students who were gravitated to Islam?!

He continued: "I worked within the United Islamic Students Associations. Since 1972, I have been in constant contact with Mr. Bani Sadr, and have discussed various political, religious, historical, organizational issues, and what I thought about the future of my country or in various European societies. I would go and travel to Paris to discuss the various issues with members of the Islamic Association of Paris and Mr. Bani Sadr." (P. 11)

Actually, it was the irresponsible relation of the followers of Bani Sadr caused the United to suffer a great problem.


How? Give an example!

When every statement of journal of the United published, it bothered the thoughts of Mr. Bani Sadr and his followers; letters were sent to the board by the associations which these followers were present. Incidentally, Mr. Jafari mentioned a number of letters to Berlin's Associations in his book "10 Years with the United", and most of them were written by Mr. Bani Sadr. If one wasn’t aware, s/he would think that whole members of the association had the same opinion of these particular members. If we had three associations that were in trouble with the United, as I have said, all of followers of Mr. Bani Sadr attended there: Paris, Berlin and Cologne; Vienna, of course, which was not very involved in such matters.

On the same page, the writer mentioned the story of Eid al-Fitr[5] in 1978 and the by the event on Friday's prayer, September 7:" "On the eve of Eid al-Fitr, September 4, 1978, people across Tehran headed towards Qaytariyah, which was the center of Eid al-Fitr prayer."(How Mr. Mufatah and the militant clerics play their role in this article is unclear.)"After the Eid al-Fitr prayer, a large crowd marched. Following the demonstration, another demonstration took place on 8 September 1978 in Shahda (Jaleh) Square."

In the meantime, the author does not mention the Thursday March on September 6th in which a much larger crowd had. One who writes the history of a revolution must accurately pinpoint the beginning to the end. How could the important event on Thursday, September 6, not be included in his historical account? After the event of September 8 and the killing of people in Jaleh Square, he wrote: "According to information received by militants abroad, most of the leaders of the demonstrations and people, who were frightened, concluded that fighting the flesh was Javelin was impossible, and at this stage it is better to make a compromise with the regime and to be content with forming and participating in a constitutional semi-parliamentary government."

This is one of the weird stories he quotes. First, none of those who were leading the demonstration on Monday, September 3 and Thursday, September 6, were present on Friday, September 7. On September 8, people were there and a spontaneous movement took place. Secondly, where is the evidence that the leaders were frightened that we would now be content constitutional semi-parliamentary government? Where is it mentioned? Who mentioned it? Have you, as a person who has studied so much of the history of the Revolution and the events of September 7th, ever heard of this event? This is Mr. Jafari's irrefutable claims. In the next sentence the same narcissism that I have mentioned can be seen: "some days after Black Friday, I traveled to Paris to meet and talk with friends, and I was at the home of  Mr. Bani Sadr, who was called from Najaf; he was Ahmed (Khomeini's son) saying that  everything was over! The movement was defeated and then Mr. Khomeini's message was sent to Mr. Bani Sadr in this the content: " Ahmad said that My father (Mr. Khomeini) said: First, give me an analysis of the current situation and the process of events, and secondly, comment on this recent events and add, what is the best position to take? Because they said me from Tehran that meat cannot withstand the bullet, they say that it is better to make a compromise with the regime and agree on free elections and the creation of a national government. Mr. Bani Sadr responded almost immediately: "Tell your father that my opinion is that he should take a step back and should make a statement and invite more people to perseverance and resistance, and that is the end of the regime's power." If Mr. Khomeini desist, the regime will succeed in overthrowing the movement; new government, after silencing the people, will be kill all of protests, and now that the regime is breathing down its last breaths, let it out a long breath." In short, he said that if Mr. Khomeini desisted, the movement would be destroyed and the regime would be stable. Some days later, Mr. Khomeini issued a drastic declaration, calling on the people to persevere and resist against Shah's regime. After a phone conversation from Najaf, Mr. Bani Sadr provided an analysis of current situation of Iran based on the current situation and the comments of the commentators and mass media of Iran and at the end of that analysis suggested that Mr. Khomeini should be ordered to form a council in which titled people from all provinces come and resolve current state issues in this council. Then, Mr. Bani Sadr sent this analysis to Najaf with his proposal to Mr Khomeini. I also returned to Berlin after meeting and talking with friends.” (Pp. 11 and 12).

Can you confirm these words as you are familiar with Imam Khomeini? Are they true about the personality of Imam to solicit Bani Sadr? It is also unnecessary to explain and everyone admits that the Mr. Mahmoud was bridge between Najaf - i.e. Imam Khomeini- and abroad. So far, no one has never read or heard that Ahmad has direct contact with the United's members abroad on political issues related to Imam Khomeini. In this regard, Mr. Dua'i can be questioned about the validity of this claim.


But it is possible to criticize this claim with evidence.

Yes, sure! If we look at the personality, thoughts and proclamations of Imam's backgrounds - his interview with Lomond and previous lectures in Najaf won't at all fit this claim.

Basically, Bani Sadr and his companions are particularly skilled at distorting history for their magnification. For example, in the case of Dr. Sanjabi's statement published in Paris, see what Mr. Bani Sadr said after meeting Dr. Sanjabi: "... he had written a text and gave me to see. I said that Mr. Khomeini would not accept this text. He said you could edit and correct it. I started to write a text that was the same one he signed and I took it (that is, I gave it Imam) and ..."

Now see what Dr. Sanjabi says about this issue in his interview: "... We were at a friend's house one night, sitting down and having dinner, I took the paper and pen and wrote all three of them. I said this is my opinion ..." I read it for the friends and everyone agreed. Mr. Bani Sadr also took a copy of this text to Mr. Khomeini. Tomorrow I came home and said that everything was fine, Khomeini accepted it...»[6]

Here I give no further explanation because the text of the interviews itself demonstrated that clearly. I just wanted to give an example.

His next headline on page 12 is "Mr. Khomeini's Coming to Paris" and wrote: "The United Islamic Students Associations in Europe is holding its thirteenth annual congress with the participation of the United's agencies on October1 to 3 , 1978 in. Youth's Palace of Hagen city in West Germany. "One or two days after the end of the congress, Mr. Sadegh Tabataba'i informed the congress that Mr. Khomeini had flown to Paris and was the leader of the revolution in Paris right now."

First, this date was the 14th Congress or the United's Meeting, not the 13th one. Secondly, it wasn't not October 1to3, the author says. Imam Khomeini came to Paris on October 6th; if the date of the congress was on October 1 to 3 when the congress was over, then how did Imam came to Paris two days after the congress? The fact is that the 14th meeting was held from October4 to 6,  1975. On the last day of the congress, Imam Khomeini arrived in Paris from Baghdad. We have discussed about subsequent events in an earlier interview.

He wrote on page 13: "When Mr. Khomeini flies from Baghdad to Paris, Mr. Abolhassan Bani Sadr, Sadegh Qotbzadeh and Hassan Habibi are reported that Mr. Khomeini will come to Paris."

Who reported? It is not clear. This kind of claiming doesn't include writing memoir. First in Europe, no one other than Mr Habibi has heard of this flight because when the flight time from Baghdad is known, one or two hours before that Mr. Ibrahim Yazdi from Baghdad contacted Mr. Habibi and informed the matter with him and said: "We are coming, Mr. Khomeini has also ordered that I do not enter anyone's home and get a separate place for me." This was a memoir quoted by Mr. Habibi and published in the book "A Visit in Paris".[7] In any case, Mr. Bani Sadr and others have been informed by Mr. Habibi, not an unknown person. Now he might have known that he was Mr. Yazdi, but wanted not to name Mr. Yazdi. The author continued “They, along with their other friends, go to the airport to greet Imam." After Mr. Khomeini and his entourage arrived (airport is not mentioned), Mr. Bani Sadr, Qotbzadeh, Habibi, and others welcomed Mr. Khomeini and others. Mr Qotbzadeh and Bani Sadr had each designated a separate place for the temporary residence of Mr. Khomeini. Mr. Qotbzadeh tells Mr. Khomeini at various times that his home and everything is ready for him to stay. "

So far, there has been a renewed claim among various narrations. There is no quotation that Mr. Qotbzadeh has appointed a place for Imam Khomeini. Mr. Habibi told Mr. Bani Sadr that we needed a place and Bani Sadr was supposed to provide a place and; contrary to Imam's opinion, they arranged for Mr. Ghazanfarpour's house. Then Bani Sadr was warned why he chose another place. The Imam and his companions stayed there one night and then went to Nofel Loshato. In any case, Mr. Qotbzadeh had never provided a home to take Imam there. The author may have used these words to destroy Mr. Qotbzadeh and others. In any case, the author continues: "Mr. Bani Sadr had been living in the suburb of Paris in Cashan area for years, and had recently rented an apartment for Mr. Ahmad Ghazanfarpour and his wife  little away from their apartment. They moved there, but they had not yet properly moved all of their furniture. At the suggestion of Sudabeh and Ahmed, those apartments were provided to Mr. Khomeini and his companions."

Whereas, Mr. Ghazanfarpour, in his memoirs, refutes the quotation of Mr. Jafari in relation to his and his wife's proposal. Refer to book "History of Islamic Struggles of Students Abroad" Volume 5, pages 40 and 41 for knowing about Mr. Ahmad Ghazanfarpour's memoirs. By referring and reading Mr. Ghazanfarpour's full interview, you will notice that it is inconsistent with Mr. Jafari's narrative.

The author then goes on to say: "After a few days of staying at Mr. Ghazanfarpour's house, the Imam and his companions went to Mr. Mehdi Asgari's villa in Nofel Lushatto."

This is also inaccurate, since Imam stayed in Mr. Ghazanfarpour's house just for one night and then went to Nofel Lushatto. He further claims that a committee had been set up and tasked with overseeing works and protection, but that Qutbzadeh and Ibrahim Yazdi did not join the committee and became responsible for  affairs  (pp. 13 and 14). , Because there was no committee at all. This claim is fundamentally false, since there was no committee at all.

Mr. Bani Sadr said in an interview with BBC Radio: "In many ways, I disagreed with Mr. Yazdi and Mr. Qotbzadeh.  So we didn't act in one direction. In relation to Mr. Khomeini, some of whom think that, for example, we three persons had formed committee, there was also a sharp encounter ..."[8]

The next paragraph is important in this regard:" some members of the United of Islamic Student Associations, which considered itself more capable of doing so, were mostly supporters or members of the Freedom Movement Abroad consulting and placing responsibility for protection and other work." So when Mr. Khomeini moved from khashan to Neufel Lushato, the first two or three nights the members of the United were responsible to protect Mr. Khomeini, and so on."

Four persons protect Imam in Neufel Lushato which included Mr. Ja'far Nikui, Homayoun Yaghutfam, Shapur Mahzab and Mohamad Kiarashi, and there was not organizational cosultation. Apart from Mr. Homayoun Yaghoutfam, who is said to have collaborated with the Freedom Movement, none of those responsible for protection had any connection with the Freedom Movement.


Was Mr. Tabatabai in the early days?

Yes, he was more concerned with Imam Khomeini.

On page 14, he explains about the Nofel Lushato Garden which belonged to Mr. Mehdi Asgari, who was originally for Ms. Asgari. He added: "... they came to visit him, they were discussing and occasionally he was asked questions by Mr. Khomeini who he also answered briefly. A few days later a tent was set up in the middle of the garden, where a congregational prayer were held. "

The tent that the author mentioned was set up after about a month and in late November when the weather was cold, there was no tent before. Someone who wants to write a history book has to work hard and research the details of the subject. The author then notes in a critical tone that:" "... Mr. Yazdi took the phones and did all the work and would not let anyone call Mr. Khomeini who wanted to go to Mr. Khomeini had to take permission from him and you would go to any private meeting and he would not allow anyone to meet in private. . Once I had taken time to see Imam and then he warned Mr. Yazdi that I wanted to be alone with him and then he got up and went out ... "(p. 15)

The author quoted similar narrative also from Ayatollah Montazeri's memoirs that, if there was honesty, he would have fully stated the before and after sentences and his motivation in saying that subject. The fact is that there, Ayatollah Montazeri, has stated that as a compliment and praise to Dr. Yazdi.

 It is not necessary to point out here that the explanation of some of these narrations should not be in any way evoked by the meanings of my tendency towards the freedom movement. In Nobel Lushato Mr. Yazdi was one like the others, but we should be fair in historical matters. But unfortunately, Mr. Ja'fari has drawn the old struggles between Freedom Movement and National Front into his historical record. Throughout these two books by Mr. Jafari, Mr. Bani Sadr's struggle with the Liberation movement can be clearly seen. He is trying to conclude that the members of Liberation Movement were outside the country and that those who were sympathetic to the people were Mr. Bani-Sadr and his followers. It is stated on this page that Mr. Yazdi would not even allow those clerics such as Mr. Amalai and Mohtashami and those who came from Najaf with the Imam; That is, he would not let them to do activities, and everyone was angry with him, expressing their discomfort: "He took some friends and students from the United States and some members of Liberation Movement and / or the United to control the affairs."

On the whole, this is fundamentally false. The initial group of the United's members and other members who later went to Paris had no connection with Mr. Yazdi at all. The four men I mentioned went to Paris without any coordination with Dr. Yazdi as a member of the United, taking care of the garden, and even Mr. Kiarashi volunteered to cook. 40 ـ 50 members of the United who were present in Paris now live in Tehran and are available, you can read Mr. Jafari's sentence for them if they confirm I apologize to Mr. Jafari.


Were there any members of American Islamic Association attended in early days?

No, nobody was there.


Only the members of Europe?

Yes, they were members of Europe, Mohammed Hashemi was the first person to come to the US from Nofel Loshato. He notes in his memoirs that he arrived in Paris on the third day, but the American children came later. The author further claims that Mr. Yazdi had made everyone angry. Mohammad Montazeri arrived and gathered them in another house and said: "Why have you allowed Dr. Yazdi to intervene in all affairs? And pretend that he is the representative of Imam. Were you lame?" Then he said, "I will make it." And in the morning he came and took his responsibility in affairs. "(P. 16)

This is also one of the weird issues that he has raised. First of all, the character of Mr. Mohammad Montazeri is well known. He was sometimes angry, but it didn't speak angrily with all to Mr. Yazdi. Mr Ferdowsi Poor had been on the phone for the first day and was doing telephone works. Mr. Ja'fari has claimed that in kitchen affairs:" "Mr. Habibi used to decide about the type of food for Imam- what he should eat or did not eat -until the Iraqi Haj Mahdi came to Paris" (p. 16).

This claim is not true basically; first, until the arrival of the Iraqi Mahdi, Mohammad Kiarashi used to cook for the members of the European Islamic Association until he came and arranged the kitchen. Secondly, before Mrs. Debagh had arrived, Imam used to eat the same food that was cooked for others.

Then the author claims on page 17: "Everyone thought of how to base and position and bring himself closer to the center of power that was specified in Mr. Khomeini's hands, and in this way to realize his thinking. Others thought 2,500-year-old monarch would be rooted up only through Khomeini's hands and reliance on authority"

Here Mr. Ja'fari does not explain who fostered the idea. You see, being passivized is one way that many claims can be made without evidence. The question now is, was Mr. Bani Sadr's one of them, who thought in this way, or not? Why doesn't author mention that Mr. Bani Sadr was among those who thought Mr. Khomeini had such characteristics or not? In many of his newsletter issues, Mr. Bani-Sadr has frequently quoted in "National Front Newsletter" as a supporter of Imam and his theory of Islamic rule. If he wants to accuse other people, he must first accuse Mr. Bani-Sadr himself.


Is this the newsletter that was propagated by Iranian People's Party in Tehran in November 1977?

No, the initial issues of the newsletter published by Mr. Bani Sadr abroad is for the late 1340s.


Was it in France?

Yes. Of course, Mr. Jafari has a different story, saying that the affairs of this magazine were run by London's fans and that he does not explain about who these Londoners were. He has spoken many times about the people in London who were responsible for editing and publishing affairs in "Mossadegh Publications" and "Newsletters". In order not to be excluded from the discussion, I would like to say why Mr. Jafari does not admit, as he was aware of Mr. Bani-Sadr's perspective on Imam Khomeini, and he writes at the top of the National Front newsletter: "The establishment of national government is the goal of National Front of Iran" as stated in annex 15th Newsletter, June 1978: "We unambiguously endorse Mr. Khomeini's position, the authority of the Shia."

Are not these dual positions hypocrisy? What was Mr. Khomeini's stance on the government? Was it national government? If you wrote in your newsletter that "the establishment of the national government is the goal of the national front", would it not contradict with Mr. Bani Sadr's statements in that Newsletter? This is an exaggeration of the characteristics of Bani Sadr and his supporters. If you refer to the newsletter numbers of National Front, you will find many of these statements about Imam Khomeini. And it is interesting that Mr. Ja'fari called the publication of "Mujahideen Message" related to Liberation Movement as a "Khomeini Letter" in his second book. Compare this with what Mr. Jafari mentioned. Mr. Jafari elevates Mr. Bani Sadr to highest throne and considers them inviolable. It is extremely unlikely that Mr. Jafari mentioned anywhere Mr. Bani Sadr had made mistakes during his career. If you find such criticism in Mr. Jafari's speech, you will also find honesty in his speech.

The author, on page 19 of the book, highlights the past differences between the National Front and Liberation Movement. In relation to the founders of National Resistance Movement, it is not even possible to name Ayatollah Haj Seyed Reza Zanjani as one of the founders of National Resistance Movement. Why don't name them? It is not clear. In the second sentence he wrote: "In 1962, most of the leaders of National Resistance Movement formed the Libration Movement."

The Libration Movement of Iran was founded in May 1961, where did the year 41 come from? God willing. However, Mr. Bani Sadr and Jafari consider themselves to be teachers the events of 1950s and 1960s. But on the smallest issues, you see such problems and drawbacks in their writings. These are important issues that are presented as a history is a betrayal of history consciousness. He goes on to write about Third National Front and the disagreement with Sadegh Ghotbzadeh (p. 19 and 20) in the middle of page 21 on the United, which reads: "As we approach 1970s, there is little or no activity of the United of Islamic Students Associations intensified, and the United [...] was formed in Europe within the UMSO, which consisted of Muslim students from all Islamic countries, and became independent after 47 years."

As I said in the first interview, the United was formed in the winter of 1965 within Omso, not in 47! All the evidence is in the first volume of the History of Islamic Campaigns for Students Abroad. Then, he writes: "After the formation of the Islamic United, Dr. Beheshti's students, Qotbzadeh and Habibi, served as advisors."

These people were consultants just for a period of time, the first volume of history is explained on page 195, but he claimed that they were constantly consultants. He addes: "Dr. Beheshti, who knew the United as his own, even said at the fourth meeting that I attended for the first time:" "Mr. Jafari! Look at our United". He returned to Iran in 1970, but he exerted influence through Mehdi Navab and Sadegh Tabatabai. ” (P. 21)

Mr. Mohammad Jafari, who said he had seen Mr. Beheshti for the first time, was a very important person who wanted Mr. Beheshti to maneuver about the United with them? What kind of scientific or political personality had he that Mr. Beheshti insisted on showing himself to him? Of course, he has claimed this elsewhere. Secondly, Mr. Beheshti did not return to Iran in the year 50, he repeatedly wrote on various occasions that Mr. Beheshti returned to Iran two years after the sixth meeting. But the historical fact is that Mr. Beheshti returned to Iran a month after the sixth meeting in June. It is extremely unlikely that Mr. Ja'fari once seriously searched the exact date of Mr. Beheshti's return and many more cases. Next statement: "Due to the dissatisfaction with the members of consultants' interference in the affairs of the United, Mr. Habibi refused to attend the congresses and seminars, but Mr. Ghotbzadeh communicated with the students through his friends and supporters of Liberation Movement and the Board of Directors. And sometimes he would attend seminars to give a speech or a discussion. "

I do not know what he means by saying such sentences. Because of the members' dissatisfaction with the consultants was first mentioned and debated from within the forces of Bani Sadr. The first time that Mr. Ja'fari himself was present at the sixth meeting as the representative of Krefeld Association, he had to report to the relevant Association in accordance with the rules of associations. All delegates present at the meetings should have made such a report to their associations. In his report, he referred to the issue of "imposing consultants’ opinions" at the meeting and the members' distress in detail, whereas we had not heard such stories from none of members attending the meeting except him. Instead of publishing the official report of the united- as the United's position and as a document in the book- he inserted his report of the sixth meeting with Krefeld Association as a document in the book.

On page 23, he listed publications distributed by Muslim students between 1971 and 1978, such as the Third National Front Newsletter, Mossadegh Publications, Modarres Publications, Payam Mojahed, Khordad 15, Abuzar Publications, and the United's Publications. : Fighting School, Quds and Karama Collection. "All these journals were somehow distributed by the United's members", the statement goes on to say, which not the true. Basically, the Third National Front Newsletter had nothing to do with the United; some members of the United helped to distribute it, but it was not true that they were responsible to distribute the newsletter themselves. This intellectual conflict between Liberation Movement and National Front within the United and between ordinary members was not highlighted, but sometimes it posed between the old and former members of the United, who were so close to each other that they could resolve disputable issues amicably. But it was not true that he saw the United as the battleground between the Liberation Movement and the National Front. There were no such issues among ordinary members and within associations. Unless, the associations where Bani Sadr's supporters were attended in. He goes on to say: "At first, these issues were not tangible, but from 1973, the differences had become quite tangible, so that these differences within the United had created problems in many ways" (p. 23).

Reusing and presenting the unknown sentences - what problems were there? Isn't that a joke? This is generally stated in the book and then the reader thinks what was going on and what struggle was inside the association! While there was no such struggles within the association, and as I said, these differences were not seen in the United's board as well.

He goes on to add: "After making a disagreement among members and part of the force was spent to neutralize each other and works were interfering, some the United's members suggested: Now that all these things, such as distributing various journals and books and selling them through membered and non-membered associations of the United, are the main field of activity in the United [...] "if United prevents them from actively working in their communities. Naturally, these gentlemen and groups will significantly lose their field of activity."

Then he wrote that they came to hold a meeting and but Mr. Bani Sadr did not come for the first meeting and ..." "Next meeting was hold in the year 1977 with the participation of: Bani Sadr, Qotbzadeh, Mohammad Montazeri, Gharazi engineer, Sadegh Tabatabai, Mahdi Navab, Homayoun Yaghoutfam, Karim Khodapanahi and I after the end of hunger strike by the Association of Islamists in Paris at the home of Bani-Sadr” (P. 24)

He forgot, in his book "10 Years with the United", that he have written such sentences because he mentioned in the book that the meeting was hold to resolve a dispute among the United's leaders and militant clerics, leading to a disagreement in hunger strike and fracture. But here he says the meeting is at the end of a hunger strike and to resolve a dispute between the United's forces.

With regard to the claims he makes from this page on Imam Khomeini, it takes another time to discuss it. But readers of this book should know, Mr. Jafari, who has mentioned so much untrue materials, recklessly and biasedly in the first 25 pages, I do not think he has followed the right path in the following pages.

But the book "10 Years with the United in Germany" cannot be considered with this limitation and will require much longer time. However, at the same time, I will try to spread the some parts of this book as an example.

In the introduction of book, page A in the second paragraph, he explains about the revolutionary activities of students abroad: "There have been several volumes of books on student revolutionary activities so far, after studying these works, and considering the undeniable documents from that period. And I came to the conclusion that there were inaccurate, incomplete and sometimes even distorted reports about the struggles of Muslim students and non-students abroad, especially in Europe. After the revolution succeeded, each of the organizations, parties, and groups attempted to regard the victory of the revolution as their own talent, ability, and management. But unfortunately, it is rarely seen that they criticize their history. "

On page B, he says: "In page B, according mentioned points, I have tried to recover the corners of the struggles of Iranians abroad in Europe based on the evidence left over from that time. The analysis and explanation in this work are based on objective observations and interactions in which I have participated, directly or indirectly, and provided in accordance with the documentation. "

First, it is necessary to examine the documents that the author emphasized and used in his book. He has submitted 158 pages; that is pages 359 to 511; include 12 pages of personal photos, 5 pages of educational documents, 60 pages of private correspondence with Mr. Ghotbzadeh and Bani Sadr. Interestingly, most of these correspondents are also dissenting correspondents that it is not incomprehensible. 37 pages out of 158 are Bani-Sadr's personal letters to the author and vice versa, 7 pages image of Mojahedin Journals and Newsletter of the National Front of Iran, and 2 pages of American Association's letters, and other including 35 pages of the United's documents; he has dedicated 540 pages for the book regard to the title of book. He claims, with 35 pages of the United's documents and based on his insights, that his words are right; however, we do not claim a full historical documentation of the United despite presenting hundreds of pages of the United's documents, which are included in the 5 volumes of history books.

It takes a lot of time here to discuss the issues that he has raised throughout the book. I will necessarily conclude by selecting one point from the middle of the book and another one from the end. But the argument I want to make is related to attachment of Quds Journal, Number 2, published by the Palestinian Committee. The two-year civil war in Lebanon resulted in a series of interviews with Al-Fatah’s leaders in the Al-Nahar weekly and other publications. Mr. Sadegh Tabatabai went to Lebanon as the United’s representative and conducted interviews with several Al-Fatah's people such as Hani al-Hassan (adviser to Yasser Arafat and a member of Al-Fatah's Central Committee), Munir Shafiq (head of Al-Fatah's Planning Center), Maj. Cayd (Al-Fatah's military commander-in-chief in southern Lebanon), and Engineer Jihad (a political-military leader of Al-Fateh Talibiyat Commitee).


What year did this event happen in?

In 1978. The transcript of the interviews, with the translation of Khaled Hassan (Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Palestinian National Assembly) on the two-year war in Lebanon, published in Al-Nahar Weekly (July 6, 1977), as Attachment 2, Titled: "Several Interviews on Lebanese Events" published in September 1976 by the United. Then, various criticisms were received by the United's board of directors, mainly from Bani Sadr's supporters.



If we are to say the truth, all attempts to oppose Imam Musa Sadr were an excuse for Imam Musa Sadr's strategic cooperation with Hafiz al-Assad to protect the Lebanese Shiites; some said this was a betrayal of Palestinian ideals and struggles, and Sadr had no position against Hafez al-Assad. As I mentioned, one of the interviews of Mr. Sadiq Tabatabai in Lebanon was the interview with Mr. Hani al-Hassan, then Yasser Arafat's advisor. After publishing attachment 2, around the end of November or early December of that year, people who, as Mr. Jafari claims, were followers Jalal al-Din Farsi come to the Al-Fateh’s Office of Plan and Decision (Mr. Monir Shafiq) and said Quds Hani al-Hassan has reported that the Soviets and the Junblatt was responsible for Lebanese wars. They did not mention name of the representative of the United of Islamic Associations (Sadegh Tabatabai). After Munir Shafiq's contact with Hani al-Hassan to clarify the matter, he said: "I do not know Qods Magazine at all and have not interviewed with it and wrote a handwriting on the same subject. They also sent this commentary to Mr. Bani Sadr and his acquaintances as part of an introductory statement by the Iranian Committee for the Support of the National Liberation Movement, and In January, Bani-Sadr published Hani-al-Hassan's handwriting in a newsletter published by National Front and his friends in the Peak Mubarez newspaper (Journal of Iranian Students Association in West Berlin) on Dey 29, 1977, which was met with protest by the United members. Of course, another journal named Derafsh, published the letter with an introduction in its attachment 12. Mr. Sadegh Tabatabai contacted Bani Sadr and warned him about the United's protest; as usual, he did not provide a justified response, until a letter was written to him by the United, asking for a convincing answer with six questions. Bani Sadr inevitably sent a six-page reply to the United that was legible and readable from the standpoint of justifying his inappropriate activity, and if possible, I would read the entire text of that letter. Following the disorders that Bani Sadr and his companions raised in Europe and defended their activity, Sadegh Tabatabai traveled again to Lebanon for the same reason and went to Yasser Arafat's meeting along with Imam Musa Sadr and Dr. Chamran, and told him the problem. After Hani al-Hassan was summoned by Yasser Arafat; the problem was mentioned to him. Hani al-Hassan replied: Mr. Jalal al-Din Farsi came with three other Iranians and they said that the Quds journal had published material about the betrayal of Soviet to Palestinian revolution, the lack of Islam in Palestinian groups, especially Al-Fateh, the issue of Kamal Janbalat and Imam Musa Sadr, asked me to give my opinion in writing. I also wrote that I do not have such opinions. Afterwards, the representative of the United gave him printed text in attachment of Quds journal 2 and it became clear that, firstly, because the name of the Quds was unknown to him, the visitors refrained from saying the name of the United and only referred to the Quds journal. Such statements are not quoted in the attachment of Quds journal. That is why on the same day Hani al-Hassan wrote a text in response to a question of the United's representative that we should refer the fourth volume of the book "the History" and the United's Statement entitled "Open Letter" in order to find out Hani al-Hassan's answer published on March 9, 1976, explains almost the whole story (Volume 3 of History, attachment 17).

What did Mr. Jafari write? Firstly, there was no mention of Bani Sadr printing the letter and stating it in words: "It was very funny and disordered. After the publication of Hani al-Hassan's handwriting, the United that had fallen into the trap again went to Hani Al-Hassan and Yasser Arafat, claiming that the interviews that Quds journal conducted with him were right, and secondly, we are  allied to Syria, and we are each other's helpers. Then it was published as an open letter in Quds journal on March 5 (p. 213).

Note the words attributed to the United. Because this is the subject related to Mr. Bani-Sadr's newsletter; he thus describes the United's climate, which is not true.

There is another interesting passage Jafari quotes in the book: "After the ninth meeting, the United gave me a task of writing the history of the United in the past year."(p. 24) he mentioned the history in his book, when you read it you won't realize that this text is the United's history! From the beginning of the article, he has brought disputes between himself and other people as the United's history! Was his writing the United's activity? I don't know what he really thinks. I'm going through the rest. Another point is on pages 306 to 310 that I ignore it.


What subject have you criticized on?

In connection with the table of political groups in the first part of volume I of the book "History of Islamic Campaigns of Students abroad" and their explanations, he complained me that I mentioned wrong materials. In the introduction to the first volume it is explained that this analysis of the triple events at the beginning of the book is not at all my own writing, but rather an analysis of the United as one of the documents of the United presented in the first part of the book.  The second issue concerns Mr. Qutbzadeh, Habibi, and Bani Sadr, whom Mr. Jafari (despite my hostile attitude towards Mr. Qutbzadeh and Habibi) said I have lost in their book their rights and their hardships. The history book is available. Wherever a subject and a document concerned these people, their names and activities are mentioned in the book. His opinion about the history book is: "Just as Dr. Yazdi has referred whole United to himself in book "Twenty-Five Years of Political History"; this book has also been analyzed as if Dr. Beheshti and his supporters had founded the United. Do you really understand from the history book, especially volume one, that Dr. Beheshti was the founder of the United?


No. he hold consolation the United.

Yes, they were counseling and helping. Where does the book state that Mr. Beheshti was the founder of the United, as he claimed? Did Dr. Beheshti and his followers actually establish the United? The next point is that we have deliberately omitted Mr. Jafari's name in a table prepared by the United's officials. I refer them to volume two, section eight and introduction of elected members of the board of directors in which the name of Mr. Jafari, elected by the board, was mentioned and his biography was written with respect.

As a final question, what issues, in your opinion have not been addressed as yet in the historiography of the united Islamic Students Association Abroad and should be investigated?

What has always mattered to me is the type of United's organization that can serve as an example to many organizations and even other groups that have not been addressed. It is very important to examine the statutes and approvals of the United. The topic of the United's cultural conferences and the discussions that have been raised are those that have not been addressed. The issue of political and financial independence of the United is one of the issues that can be studied with great importance. The analysis of theoretical and ideological issues published in the journal of the militant school can reveal the theoretical and scientific atmosphere of the United's members before the revolution.

Thank you very much for your kindness and for giving opportunity to us for three sessions and answering the questions with patience.


The end


Neglected History (1)

Neglected History (2)


[1] Jafari, Mohammad, Paris and the Revolutionary Transformation from Freedom to Tyranny, Frankfurt: Barzavand Publications, 2005.

[2] Ibid, Ten Years with the United in Germany, Frankfurt: Berzavand Publications, Summer 2009.

[3] Pahlavi, Mohammad Reza, Answer to History, Translated by Shahriar Makan, Tehran: Mehr Publication, 1996.

[4] Abrahamyan, Yervand, Iran between two revolutions, translated by Mohammad Ebrahim Fatahi and Ahmad Gol-Mohammadi, Tehran: Ney Publishing, 1999.

[5]It is  also called the "Festival of Breaking the Fast", is a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of the month-long dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan. This religious Eid is the first and only day in the month of Shawwal during which Muslims are not permitted to fast.

[6] The Revolution of Iran as narrated by BBC Radio, with the efforts of Abdolreza Houshang Mahdavi, Tehran: The New Plan, 1993, pp. 255 and 256.

[7] Meeting in Paris; Memoirs of Dr. Hassan Habibi and Ms. Shafiqah Rahideh, by the efforts of Pedram Alvandi, Tehran: Imam Musa Sadr Cultural Research Institute, 2017, pp 20-57.

[8] The Revolution of Iran According to BBC Radio, p. 252

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