Book Review

Ascension from Olive Branch

Narratives about the life of Ahmad Motevaselian from childhood to captivity

Mahya Hafezi
Translated by M. B. Khoshnevisan


The book " Ascension from Olive Branch" authored by Javad Kalateh Arabi was published by Nashr-e 27 Be'that and the Publications of Iran's Press Institution in the spring of 1402 (2023) in 500 copies with price of 210000 tomans.  After the introduction, in the first page, the ayah 158 of sura Nessa of the holy Quran has been written, "They certainly did not kill him (Jesus). Rather, Allah raised him up to Himself."

"Ascension from Olive Branch" tells the memories of 31 narrators at different stages of the life of Haj Ahmad Motevaselian in 33 chapters; no one knows his fate yet specifically. Narratives about personal life, including his home, school, neighborhood and activities in his father's confectionery workshop, student days, revolutionary struggles and prison records before the victory of the revolution, presence during the unrests in the west of the country, the liberation of Marivan, the commander of the Marivan IRGC (Islamic Revolution Guards Corps), the operation of Muhammad Rasulollah (PBUH) and the formation of the 27th Brigade of  Muhammad Rasulollah (PBUH), the Operation Fat'h al-Mobin, the operation Beit al-Moqaddas, presence in the Syrian front against the Zionist regime and the story of captivity. 

This period of 29 years (birth: 15th of Farvardin, 1332 (April 4, 1953) to captivity: 14th of Tir, 1361(July 5, 1982)) and the almost comprehensive narration of his life was the most important motivation of the author to arrange these narrations; what can be the difference between this work and all the books that have been written about Ahmad Motevaselian.

The book has also an attached narrative about the unrests in the Kurdish regions and the activities of the Interim Government's Goodwill Delegation in those regions. This section has not been included in the collection of main narrations due to the lack of direct connection between the narrator and Ahmad Motevaselian. The crisis created by the anti-revolutionary groups in the west of the country in the days when Motevaselian was one of the effective commanders of the region, and Haj Ahmed's contact and communication with the Goodwill Delegation and Dariush Foroohar, was the excuse for using this narrative. Hashem Sabaghian, a member of the Goodwill Delegation, is the narrator of this segment.

Most of the texts of the interviews of the narrators of the book belongs to the two movie projects "Standing in the Dust" and the TV documentary "The Unfinished Narrative" and an interview from Hossein Behzad's personal archive, which was made available to the author after negotiations with the owners of the works.

Haj Ahmad's parents were originally from Yazdi, but Ahmad was born in Tehran and grew up in this city. During his military days, he was imprisoned for his revolutionary activities, and after the victory of the revolution, he entered the IRGC. At the same time, he was accepted as a student at the University of Science and Technology. He was sent to the region with the beginning of the unrest in Kurdistan and immediately showed his skills in war and command. With the formation of the Muhammad Rasulollah Brigade in Tehran, he was recognized as the first commander of this unit. The corps carried out several guerilla operations to clear the Kurdistan region from Komoleh and Demokrat terrorist grouplets, and then it was called to the southern front to carry out major operations of Fat'h al-Mobin and Beit al-Moqaddas. Ahmad Motevaselian's forces resisted in the most difficult moments of the Operation Beit al-Moqaddas. After that, Israel attacked southern Lebanon and the Lebanese president asked the whole world to come to their aid to confront Israel. Muhammad Rasulollah (PBUH) Brigade was sent from Iran to Syria; although the mission remained incomplete; Because Imam Khomeini's opinion was to focus on Iraq's imposed war against Iran and prevent the resistance front from splitting. After that, Haj Ahmad Motevaselian visited and identified the Lebanese regions as a political diplomat. During these days, he and three others were kidnapped by a militia group.

On 14th of Tir, 1361 (July 5, 1982), the embassy car carrying Iran's political-military officials was stopped by the Lebanese Phalange party and taken hostage by the forces of the Zionist-backed group.

Number of Visits: 658


Full Name:

Heads of National Front Meet Imam

On ninth of Aban, 1357 (October 31, 1978), misters Dr. Karim Sanjabi, Haj Manian and Mahdian came to Paris from Tehran to meet the Imam. Dr. Banisadr, Mr. Salamatian and Haj Ahmad [Imam's son] was also present in their first meeting with the Imam. After greetings, Mr. Sanjabi who had been sitting next to the imam, started talking quietly - almost whispering; suddenly, the imam pulled their heads back and said:

Secret campaigns

Sedigheh Amir Shahkarami the narrator: we were two sisters and three brothers who started secret campaigns against the regime during the Shah and in order not to be arrested by SAVAK (secret police), we had a covert life during the years 52 and 53 (1973 and 1974). At first, Mehdi and Mohammad Amir Shahkarami were the members of the Mujahedin Organization. But after a while, they realized the deviation of their beliefs, ...

Establishment of Islamic Revolution Central Committed as narrated by Alviri

At this time (Bahman of 1357 – February 1979), grouplets such as Peoples Fedai Guerrillas and Mojahedin Khalq Organization misused the mayhem of the country, storing a large quantity of weapons in their team house. Even when the Imam ordered the people to hand over the weapons to the mosques, instead of handing over their weapons to the mosques, these grouplets built a headquarters and took the peoples weapons and stored them.
A cut from memoirs of Iran Torabi

Preparation of Soosangerd Hospital

We arrived in Soosangard around noon. It was the 21st day of Mehr [1359] (October 13, 1980). The situation of the city was almost the same as Ahvaz, and even worse. There was dirt and destruction everywhere. The city had almost been deserted. As Ahvaz Red Crescent had said, the city was still within reach of the enemy and no place was safe from their artillery and mortar fire. We rushed to the city hospital.