Book Review:

Resistance Diplomacy

Compiled by: Mahia Hafizi
Translated by: Fazel Shirzad

2023-4-11


The autobiographical memoirs of Mohammad Reza Bagheri, the former ambassador and deputy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, were published under the title "Resistance Diplomacy" in the winter of 2022. As mentioned in the introduction of the book, a large part of these memories were previously published in the book "From Tripoli to Damascus".

In the first chapter, the book begins with the introduction of the childhood and adolescence of the author and his family, and ends with a brief overview of his responsibilities before entering the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From the second chapter onwards, the book is divided into eight more chapters. This division is based on the responsibilities that the author had during his service. Bagheri started working as an ambassador in Libya in 1983, and the 9-month memories of this mission are included in the second chapter of the book.

The third chapter is the author's memories in Kuwait and in the guise of an ambassador. The fourth chapter is called the management of political offices in the center. In the fifth chapter, we read about the narrator's mission in Türkiye. Considering the sensitivities of that time regarding Turkey, as well as the two visits of the then president of Iran to this country, the fifth chapter has become a full and detailed chapter.

In the seventh chapter, the narrator has mentioned his administration in Central and Northern Europe. In the seventh chapter, we read about his mission in Syria. In the eighth chapter, the author has written about the Arab and African deputy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and mentioned his trips to different countries in this field.

The contents of the previous eight chapters have already been published, and only the final 78 pages (the ninth chapter) contain new contents. In this chapter, the actions of the author during his responsibility as the international deputy of the Supreme Leader's mission in Hajj are mentioned. Holding conferences and training workshops in Iran and Muslim countries, traveling to different countries, and also explaining some events that happened during the Hajj ceremony during this period, such as the Jeddah airport incident, the crane fall in Makkah and the Mena disaster in 2015 have been mentioned.

As mentioned in the introduction, the title of the book is taken from a sentence in the statement of the second step of the Supreme Leader, who said: "The cost of compromise is more than the cost of resistance". On the cover design of the book, there is a picture of the author with Seyed Hassan Nasrallah, which is related to this title. With this description, at first glance, the audience expects the writings of the book to be about this topic, but this expectation is not fulfilled.

The contents of the book were edited by the narrator and only the name of Sidd Morteza Mirdar[1] is mentioned as a collaborator in the birth certificate of the book. Of course, it is not mentioned in the text of the book (even the introduction).

Many of the memories and contents expressed in the book are known; For this reason, the book of a senior Iranian diplomat does not say anything untold. The reader of such a book is not looking for the Iranian ambassador's diary, but is looking for codes that can understand other layers of the foreign relations of the Islamic Republic with other countries. Unfortunately, the book is not very helpful in this regard.

Some memories of the book are not fully narrated and the audience's mind is more involved in various questions that are not answered in the text. As an example, we can mention the bringing of cows and rams to be slaughtered on the runway of the Turkish airport during the trip of the late Hashemi Rafsanjani. Or the memories related to the disturbances of the Canadian Embassy in Damascus are very general. It seems that due to the lack of an interviewer and the lack of a challenging and face-to-face conversation, some important topics and events were skipped very quickly.

In the appendix of the book, a large amount of documents and images are used, which seems to have no reason to appear in the final part of the book. The book ends with a list of announcements.

The book "Resistance Diplomacy" has 416 pages and is priced at 150,000 Tomans. It was published in 2022 by the Cultural and Press Institute of Iran.

 


[1] Former head of the oral history recording department of the Islamic Revolution Records Center



 
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