Oral History of the Sacred Defense Narrated by Hassan Rastegarpanah


Reihaneh Mohammadi
Translated by: Zahra Hosseinian


Hassan Rastegarpanah's narration of the sacred defense, which is called Kurdistan in a Crisis of Security and Deprivation, was compiled by efforts of Reza Sadeghi and was published by the Sacred Defense Documentation and Research Center in 2019.

Hassan Rastegarpanah is the sixth commander of Hamzeh Seyyed al-Shohada (AS) Base, who went to Kurdistan in the early spring of 1980 and served in various ranks of command and staff for about twenty years. Serving around 20-years in the Kurdish regions has made him aware of the policies, measures and plans of the armed forces to establish security and neutralize the illegal activities of separatist parties and groups in these three provinces. This book is compiled of 12 main interviews and a supplementary interview with him, which partially explains the incidents and actions of the Iranian forces to ensure security and eliminate deprivation in Kurdish areas.

The book begins with Rastegarpanah's personal life and his revolutionary activities, as well as how he entered Kurdistan. In the first interview, after expressing his childhood and adolescence, his political and revolutionary activities such as his activities in the Saf monotheistic group, spreading photos and messages of the Imam in 1978, setting fire to the building of the American Bell Helicopter Company, etc. were discussed. In the following, the performance of Isfahan forces in liberating Sanandaj, the actions of counter-revolutionary groups against the military and local people, the formation of a joint army-IRGC base in Sanandaj, how the IRGC was formed and organized in Kurdistan province, and how Jundallah battalions were formed, were discussed in detail.

In the second interview, Rastegarpanah first talked about how he got acquainted with political parties and groups active in Kurdistan province, and considered the separatism and autonomy as the most important goal of these groups. At this meeting, when explaining the roots and causes of incidents and crises in Kurdistan province, he pointed to the severe repression and strangulation in the Pahlavi government, cultural and economic poverty in Kurdistan and the lack of political stability in the center of the country, and called the groups and parties the initiators of the crisis in Kurdistan. Another topic of the meeting was the discussion of the Hosn-e-neiat Board's negotiations with opposition parties and groups to resolve the riots in Kurdistan, and Rastegarpanah described the negotiation process in detail and criticized the performance of the Hosn-e-neiat Board; He also said that the most important reasons for the failure of the talks were excessive greed of the groups and parties and gaining more political privileges through military pressure.

The third interview is dedicated to the responsibilities of Sardar Hassan Rastegarpanah upon his arrival in Kurdistan and some of his activities and actions as the head of the joint IRGC and army base in the 28th Division barrack of Sanandaj, and as a coordinator of Sanandaj urban operations. The next topic of this interview is the condition of Iran's military and law enforcement forces during 1978-1980; and the narrator provided statistics on the number of forces, units and bases of the army, IRGC, gendarmerie, police and Kurdish Muslim Peshmerga Organization, while explaining the situation of the military forces. One of the important topics of this meeting is the movement of the army column to liberate the Baneh-Sardasht road and the discussion of security measures in Kurdistan province after the liberation of Sanandaj. At the end, the issue of Iraq's attack on the border areas of Kurdistan province is explained, in which the situation of Kurdistan province during Iraq's invasion to Iran and the positions of Kurdish groups and parties against this invasion are explained.

In the fourth interview, the events during 1981-982 in Kurdistan are discussed. In this meeting, after explaining the situation against counter-revolutionary groups in Kurdistan, the establishment of an operational base in the north of Kurdistan province in July 1981, the situation of Iranian Kurdish groups and parties in 1981 and their relationship with Saddam's regime, how Sardar Rastegarpanah was elected to command the Marivan Corps and the operations of the Marivan Corps against the counter-revolutionary groups, and finally the attack of the Ba'ath party on the hill of Sahib al-Zaman (as) in the west of Marivan are mentioned.

The fifth interview discussed the formation of the Kurdish Muslim Peshmerga Organization and crisis management in Kurdistan, followed by crisis management in the region. In this chapter, the narrator cited examples of the groups' offensive actions, including attacks on military forces in Saqqez, the erection of the Komala flag in Sanandaj, and the incidents at the Jaldian, Naqadeh, and Qarna barracks. The next interview is dedicated to the events of 1981- 1982 in the Kurdish regions, and topics such as serving the people as well as the operations and military actions of counter-revolutionary groups are narrated. Also, in this interview, the narrator explained how he get married in 1982, and then talked about his Hajj trip and the distribution of photos of the Imam in Saudi Arabia.

In the seventh interview, the establishment of the Quds Brigade and the responsibility of Sardar Rastegarpanah in the operations unit of the Kurdistan Revolutionary Guard Corps were discussed; issues such as the structure, organization and elements of the Quds Brigade and the operations carried out are among the issues addressed in this chapter. In the next interview, the narrator explained the need to establish bases in Kurdish areas, and stated that the purpose of establishing several bases in Kurdistan province was to separate the people from the counter-revolution and to dominate the region. Also, the strategic changes in the war and the necessity of carrying out operations on the northern front is another issue that was discussed in this meeting.

The ninth interview is dedicated to the events of 1984. One of the most important events in this year was the establishment of the General Intelligence Office in Kurdistan Province and the separation of part of the IRGC intelligence unit from it. The next issue is explaining the need to balance the development of services with the development of military action in Kurdistan. At the end of the meeting, he talked about Operation Dawn-10, in which, after capturing the cities of Halabja, Khurmal and Dujileh, finally led to the chemical bombing of Halabja by Saddam's regime.

In the tenth interview, the performance of the IRGC’s commanders in Kurdistan Province from 1979 to 1991 was discussed at first. The issue of border control and measures taken to prevent counter-revolutionary traffic at the borders is another topic of this meeting. Rastegarpanah continued the meeting by talking about the interaction of intelligence agencies in Kurdistan province to establish security, and also he pointed out that, in some cases, the inconsistencies between the Ministry of Intelligence and the IRGC and the army intelligence did not lead to a favorable outcome in fighting against counter-revolutionary groups in Kurdish regions. The final topic of this meeting was why the casualties of local forces were more than counter-revolutionary groups’ ones.

The eleventh interview is dedicated to the formation of the Hamzeh Seyyed al-Shohada (AS) camp and the study of its commanders’ performance since the establishment until the command of Ahmad Kazemi. In this meeting, Sardar Rastegarpanah stated that the establishment of the central headquarters of Hamzeh Seyyed al-Shohada (AS) was necessary according to the approvals of the eighth session of the Supreme National Security Council, but ultimately this camp was dissolved due to problems in planning and policies to counter counter-revolutionary groups, disruptions in military affairs and supporting the units, the non-compliance of some units with the central camp, and the lack of unity among the military forces.

The twelfth interview deals with the performance of the commanders of Hamza camp. Rastegarpanah, in describing his activities in Hamzeh camp, explained the measures taken to deal with PJAK and mentioned the Operation Jahanam-dare as the most important of them. The final topic of this meeting was the achievements of Hamza camp in Kurdish areas.

The Kurdistan in the crisis of security and deprivation has been published in 447 pages, 1000 copies and a price of 45,000 Tomans.

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