The Situation of Tehran on the Night of 22nd Bahman (11th February of 1979)

Compiled by: Islamic Revolution Website
Translated by: Fazel Shirzad

2022-6-1


These few days when we were in Tehran, Fakhrieh Mosque was our hangout. The same mosque where I first came when I escaped in 1975, and we went to the house of Ayatollah Lankarani with Haj Abolhassan Ebrahimi. Haj Abolhassan Mr. Sajjadi was with us as well. All the bread and food were gathered in the mosque and distributed among the people. Now and then we would go to the Imam's office and hear about the orders. The late Haj Mehdi Iraqi, Ayatollah Motahhari, and Ayatollah Beheshti followed our activities. During these few days, we went to meet Ayatollah Taleghani and Badiezadgan - the brother of Ali Asghar Badiezadgan - and Lotfollah Meysamy, who had lost his eyes. Memories of Evin and Ghezelqaleh were exchanged from the same story of the disappearance and death of my expedient until we reached February 10, 1979. The day before, the tanks were being transported by air from the Shah's garden to places in Tehran and Bakhtiar by noon. He was bragging on the radio and resembled himself as a stormy petrel. It was the time of noon prayer. We prayed the noon and evening prayers in the mosque and came home. Brother of Haj Mohammad Hussein, my sister's husband, Colonel Adraki, and I. On the way, we bought fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, cheese, and bread and came to have lunch. Radio has always been our leader and light. We were home when the news started at two o'clock. He talked about Mr. Bakhtiar's words and announcement of martial law at 4:30 p.m! I got up from the table as soon as I heard this. I said: "get up, the job is done!" Akhavi and Colonel Perraki also got up and had a kind of discipleship, and because I was imprisoned, they accepted me in every way. We came out and saw the same shopkeeper who sold us a kilo of tomatoes for ten tomans (Iranian currency) and shouted repetitively:

"five tomans per kilo! Be quick! Be quick! there are two hours left until 4:30 p.m."

      He was the regime's mercenaries and missionaries without receiving wage. I said [him] he should either sell the tomatoes and did not propagandize or go away from there. He no longer shouted and propagandize. When we entered Shahreza Street (now Azadi), I saw a taxi pass by on the other side of the street and stuck on the glass, "It the martial law at 4:30, let everyone go home!" I was holding a taxi, I immediately tore up the post and said [him] who ordered you to write this?! At the same time, I saw another taxi do the same, and I asked my brother and Colonel Adraki to bring a few sheets of paper, a piece of tape, and a marker from Mr. Azami's bookstore nearby. Because it was not clear that this might be the plan of the SAVAK. Gradually, many people and young people joined us. We smashed the writings on the windows of shops and bookstores where people gathered and said: Sir, who are you to do these things?! The argument started. A colonel Edraki who was in his neighborhood and everyone knew him, was my shield and introduced me to the fact that this person had been imprisoned and he understood what he was doing! Some people protested that you cause seizures in society and the Imam ordered you not to do it. it was about four o'clock when the radio broadcasted the announcements. Everyone had a radio. It was the announcement of the Imam who said that sitting in houses is forbidden and martial law is abolished! As soon as the announcement was read, people began to shout and I found myself in the hands of the people. They thought I was a high-ranking official in the Imam's office.

      After the announcement, the atmosphere changed and everyone started helping I became the commander of operations in that area and our first task was to close the trench. God knows how much sack they brought. The trunks of high-end cars were filled with sand and stones, which were brought and poured into sacks. On Abu Reihan Street, there was a cafe shop where a confectioner poured Nescafe and distributed it among the people. In the blink of an eye, they dug up the holes and filled the sacks with stone til they reached the concrete and were no longer dug. Wherever sand was poured for construction work, it was lifted by machines. We dug in the middle of the street and controlled and started every cars.

      I told him to bring bottles, cotton, soap, gasoline, and burnt oil to make the Molotov cocktail as needed. I saw that he brought a fragrant luxury soap and I told him to go and get old soap I handed the gallon to my brother and told him to go and get some gas from the gas station. We made Molotov cocktails in one of the houses in the same alley, and I taught them how to use them and left them to be thrown only into the nearby ruins to ignite them and not to throw them at the gas station. Some also brought fruit, tea, and sweets. It was not only the Muslims but also the Armenians who came and helped.

      There were two or three people who had pistols and I knew them. They were devoted guerrillas. I left them in the trenches to defend themselves if anything happened. It was evening and several people called to prayer in the street. The white beard of the neighborhood came and asked me to offer the congregational prayer and at their insistence, I went forward and they followed me and the congregational prayer was offered. There were also two or three motorcyclists who were covering the news. It was open in several houses that could be used if there was a need to escape. They brought food from the houses for the people to eat. It was a sweet and historic moment. An old man with a white beard and handsome had been walking in the street since the hour he read the Imam's message on the radio, encouraging the young people to pray with us. It was 11 p.m. when I said:

- sir, go home and take the rest!

He replied:

- Imam said that sitting in the house is forbidden!

I cried involuntarily at this belief and obedience to his leadership [Imam Khomeini] and kissed his hands and face. Anyway, two motorcyclists came and informed me that two tanks were coming from Hafez Street; I made the people ready. I told them not to do anything against them and just try to calmly loot the tanks and if they shoot, you can shoot too.

      The tanks reached near the trench, paused, and then came over the trench and destroyed the trench. We stood in the dark and talked. They fired two shots and went to the university, where I told them to follow them. Before reaching the university, they closed them from inside the university and a fight began; one of the tanks was looted and another one was destroyed.

      That same night, television broadcasted the Imam's ceremonial scene. Do not say that Bakhtiar planned to drag people inside the houses and finish the work of the Air Force and the Air Force, which had made its first allegiance to the Imam and the Revolution from the army. The air force was watching the scenes of the Imam entering the country when the Imperial Guard fell on the bases and a fight began. Strange voices rose.

      It was 3 midnight when the motorcyclists announced: The forces of the Air Force have been killed, come to their rescue!

      A flood of people marched towards the airbase and the people destroyed part of the base wall and entered, and the airbase opened its arsenal to the people. The conflict started and the people were not spared. Wherever they saw a tank, they seized a truck from the army. Bedding and blankets were thrown from the houses to the streets to treat the wounded. The people took to the streets that night and did not stop still to finish work.

     What made me angry was that you saw people occupying a police station and the Fada'i guerrilla forces or the Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization immediately holding a paper on which it was written that the police station was occupied by the Fada'i guerrillas of Iran. Once or twice when I saw such papers, I took them from their hand and tore, and said:

- If you were, go and get a police station which is in conflict, not here! You advertise for yourself and regime on behalf of the people.

My brother forbade me and said what I was doing, but I did not accept that and said:

- I know these! Now is the time to act, not to advertise. If one or two people were Fada'i guerrilla in a police station, there would be two hundred ordinary people in the streets and bazaars, and you and I would be ahead of all the ordinary people behind us.

 

Source: Nalbandi, M.(2010). Execute Me (Memoirs of Mohammad Hassan Abdizdani), Tehran, Islamic Revolutionary Documentation Center, pp. 285-290.



 
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