A memory from Mohammad Reza Yousefi

Stealing medicines from the city pharmacy

Selected by Faezeh Sasanikhah
Translated by M. B. Khoshnevisan


In the days after the Islamic Revolution, many people remember that young people gathered in different parts of the cities, and each one represented a group: groups such as the Tudeh party, Monafeghin or the hypocrites, the Fedai Guerrillas, the Democrats, Hezbollah, etc. each of which debated with each other with different political opinions and worldviews, and sometimes physical conflicts occurred between them during the debate. I was also interested in such street debates. One night, I got into the discussion of the debaters in Setad Square of Shiraz.

I was just a listener and heard the opinions of all groups. The leftists spoke in favor of workers and farmers. The Tudeh party supporters talked about their past honors and the history of their party's formation. The Monafeghin, this eclectic group spoke of revolutionary Islam. It was interesting that the revolution had gifted the blessing of freedom to the nation. The only drawback was that some groups wanted more than what they had done.

One night, the words of a Kurdish youth, who was a civil engineering student at Shiraz University, caught my attention. He constantly raised the issue of the Shia and Sunni and said that there was no freedom. Then he said: "If there is freedom, I want to insult your imam" and did so. The Hezbollahi youth argued with him and said that you had no right to insult a person whom the vast majority of Muslims in the country consider to be the leader, and the rapid progress and victory of the revolution confirms this. They got into a fight. That Kurdish young man was clever enough and escaped from the hands of Hezbollahi guys and jumped into the headquarters through the short wall of the army headquarters. The guard officer backed him and the case was over. That night, the discussions lasted until midnight and everyone dispersed. I also left the area.

During my mission in Sardasht, one day, I saw the same Kurdish young man who was walking in the city’s main street. I went toward him and patted him on the back. I was in military uniform. He turned to me and looked at me meaningfully. I told him the memory of that night in Shiraz. He spoke in support of the Islamic system, saying that I was so and so, and that night, the other parties clashed with me out of stubbornness; while I fully witnessed how his and others' conflict started and ended. Then, we walked together. Of course, his appearance, his clothes and shoes and the burnt color of his face testified that he chad come from the mountains. While speaking, he tried to convince me that he was a supporter of the Islamic system. I was just listening. We slowly reached the end of the main street of the city, which was deserted. From his movements and looks at the army vehicles that were coming and going, I realized that he was excited and not in a normal position, until at one point, I said let's go back and he reluctantly returned. The tone of his voice changed. I felt that he was saying in his heart that I lost a great hunt. He decided to drag me outside the city to take me hostage in a suitable place.

I was sure that he was an element of the grouplets which fought, assassinated and ambushed against the Islamic system. I could arrest him with intelligence elements and prosecute him. He would definitely reveal some information; but this was against Islam and morals. The scene also passed that day until one day in the city hospital I saw him again helping the hospital staff. I didn't tell him anything. I said to the head of the hospital, who was a very respectable and hardworking person, "What is this young man doing in the hospital?" He explained, "He helps the wounded and the sick voluntarily." I just said, "Mr. Doctor, take care of him. He is not the right person. If he is helping here, he is looking for another mission." A week passed since the incident. One night, the pharmacy of the city hospital, which had a lot of medicine, was completely robbed, and there was no news of the young man who helped the patients every day. I saw the head of the hospital. He said: "You warned me; but I didn't see anything wrong from this young man to kick him out of the hospital." The betrayal of this young man was clear and he also disappeared.

In the spring of the year 1360 (1981), after the mission, I saw him again by accident around Shiraz University. I went to him and greeted. I asked: "Do you know me?" He took a look and pleaded ignorance. I pointed out that we walked together in Sardasht, you were helping patients in the city hospital, and he said: "You are wrong." I even said: "No one has seen you since the date of the theft of the huge amount of medicines from the pharmacy." But he insisted that he did not know me. Finally, I coordinated with the intelligence headquarters, and he confessed in court to all the actions he had committed in Kurdistan against the holy Islamic system, including the theft of medicines; but I did not find any information about his judicial order.[1] 


[1] Source: Yousefi; Mohammad Reza, Snow and Sun: Memoirs of an Intelligent Officer from the Shah’s Military Government to Kermanshah’s Chahar Zebar, Qom, Shahid Kazemi Publications, 1400 (2021), P. 64.

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