Part of the Memoirs of Marzieh Hadidchi (Dabagh)

Compiled by: Faezeh Sasanikhah
Translated by: Fazel Shirzad


Several Soviet officials, including the imam of the Great Mosque of Moscow and Gorbachev's adviser, accompanied Iranian diplomats, came to welcome us at the bottom of the stairs. According to diplomatic principles, the head of the group should have left the plane first. Ayatollah Javad Amoli was responsible for this. We went down the stairs behind him. Several people were standing at the bottom of the stairs. One of them, who was wearing big glasses and seemed to be in charge of the ceremony, looked at us with astonishment and disbelief. In my opinion, the awe of Ayatollah Javadi Amoli with that turban and long garment and me, with the cover of the chador, had surprised him. As if he had never seen a cleric and a veiled woman in his entire life!

He was so amazed that he gave the bouquet to me, contrary to the rule that the group leader should be given the bouquet! To make him realize his mistake and to let him know that Mr. Ayatollah Javadi Amoli is the head of the delegation, I presented him with a bouquet.

By explanation of one of the diplomats, I realized that the presence of Gorbachev's adviser in the welcoming group has a cool meaning because he only comes to the airport and on the steps of the plane to welcome presidents and kings, and this was considered a sign of the Imam's greatness in that country.

Three black cars were waiting there. Mr. Larijani and the ambassador sat in the same car. I rode in another car and Ayatollah Javadi in a separate car.

We went by car to an environment that was more similar to military places. Buildings of one shape and two floors. They took us to one of those buildings. It was a big building with many rooms.

We were given a short reception and because the ceremonies and travel had tired us, we needed to rest. Each of us was given a room. My room and that of Ayatollah Javadi were in the vicinity.

The Iranian ambassador had predicted that we would not eat the food they prepared for us. Therefore, he told the master of ceremonies that tonight, the guests will have dinner at the Iranian embassy under the pretext that the Iranian delegation is only here for one night and the Iranian families would like to have a meeting with them and ask their questions about the Iranian revolution and issues. Iran. They did not accept at first. Their justification was the lack of security coverage that they had devised.

Finally, it was decided to have dinner at the Iranian embassy and return to their mansion or guest house.

It was getting dark and you couldn't see the sights of the city anymore. But the silence of the streets was a little surprising. It was as if all the people had crawled away from the burning cold and had taken refuge in their homes. I was saying to myself, now the streets of Tehran are full of people. I felt that the people of that country were somehow heartbroken. Worrying about the future also made me not pay much attention to the outside. I was thinking more about tomorrow.

When we arrived at the Iranian embassy, it gave me a good feeling. I thought it was our country. The warmth of the families of the employees of the Iranian embassy also strengthened this feeling.

Everyone gathered around us and asked the questions they had; from jurisprudential questions to domestic issues and war and...

We said our prayers safely and sat at the dining table. Ensuring clean and halal food made dinner that night more delicious. After dinner, we sat down to talk with the ladies of the embassy. I asked them about the situation of women in that country. They said that everyone, men and women, should work and this equality in the type of clothing has been effective to the extent that the wife of the highest-ranking person in the country wears the same suit as the wife of a low-level government employee!

I said to myself that they have lost the most basic things and are clinging to the equality of men and women in work and clothing!

After a few hours, we returned to the accommodation with the same cars. Several guards were standing in front of the door.

We went upstairs. I left my brothers and went to my room. Silence reigned. I felt that there were hidden cameras everywhere in the room and all voices were heard. It was painful that he always followed me. I had heard a lot about the Soviet spy services and I knew that they were not idle for us either.

That night was the most painful night of my life. When I felt invisible eyes watching my smallest action and reaction, I missed the arena. I looked everywhere in the room; I could find the inside of the drawers and under the bed to the microphone or the electronic eye. But my search was unsuccessful. I slept with a hijab and put my elbow on my face so that if they put a hidden camera in the office, they wouldn't be able to take pictures or videos of me.

Anyway, night came to morning. To perform ablution, I threw my chador on the sink performed my ablution under it, and prayed my morning prayer in the direction of the Qiblah (mecca) that the brothers of the embassy had shown. Then I threw the bag with my personal belongings on my shoulder and went out of the room.

I was guided to a hall for breakfast. I looked for a woman who might be working there, but it seemed that there was no woman in the mansion!

The breakfast table was very simple; butter and cheese and bread and some hard-boiled eggs with cups of tea. The children of the embassy had sent a toast. They thought we were more comfortable with toast than the traditional round breads they used.

We made breakfast with that toast and an egg. Ayatollah Boroujerdi Amoli did not even eat that boiled egg.

It was time to go to the Kremlin Palace. We got up from the table. The master of ceremonies announced the program. They wanted to take us to the sights of Moscow. But the gentlemen said that they would not go anywhere except the Kremlin Palace.

This was the Imam's order that Seyyed Ahmad warned us: "The Imam has asked you not to go anywhere else except to go to the Kremlin Palace and deliver the letter to Mr. Gorbachev." They said that if you want to shop or visit the city's sights, on another occasion and another trip!"

In my opinion, they wanted the main purpose of this trip and its importance to be completely clear and different from the diplomatic trips of other countries.

The person in charge of the ceremonies reflected a little and said: "You must come to Mr. Lenin's grave and pay your respects!" This is one of the laws of our country and we ask you to respect it!"

Mr. Ayatollah Javadi Amoli expressed his consent. We boarded the same cars that used to transport us from the beginning. The weather was cold and snow covered the ground. But the streets were free of snow and steam rose from them. I asked the translator the reason for that situation and he asked the driver.

The driver answered: "There is hot water piping under the streets, and its heat is produced by burning materials and garbage." In this heat, the streets no longer need snow plows and commuting is easy despite the snow and cold here."

This was interesting to me. I was looking at people. The streets were still empty and few people were walking. They were all wearing warm clothes and hats and steam was coming out of their mouths.

Finally, we reached the grave of Lenin, the ideological founder of the Communist Party whose thought was based on the supremacy of the working class!

After getting out of the car, my attention was drawn to an old woman who used a shovel to collect snow from the sidewalks pour it into her four-wheeler, and empty it a few meters away. I felt bad for her. I asked the translator why this old woman was working?! Doesn't the government give her a pension so that he can stay at home and not work so hard in this extreme cold?!

The translator replied: "The government pays them for this work!" Their pension is not enough to cover their expenses! So they should work as long as they can!"

I was moved by that old woman. We had to walk a little to Lenin's grave. All I thought was that now, seeing us and with that unusual appearance, people would gather in that country, just like our own country, and look for an answer to their curiosity. But those who passed by us only looked and continued on their way.

I said: "I think their behavior is unusual!"

The translator nodded and said: "They are afraid!" Like all people, they get curious and want to know where you came from?! But the suffocation here prevents them from creating trouble for themselves!" Lenin's burial place was a large mausoleum with orange bricks and black stones. We passed the shiny black stairs and entered the building. On top of his dark-colored tombstone, we kept silent for a minute! It was funny that he recited a prayer for someone who had rejected God!

From there, we went directly to the Kremlin Palace. A very large structure with high walls. It had stone steps and the facade of the palace looked white. The guards respectfully guided us inside. At first, I wondered how they didn't search for our things, especially the big bag that was on my shoulder and was sticking out from under the chador.

But I found the answer in the looks I felt in my room. I think they knew exactly what was in my bag or what our companions had with them. Inside the palace grounds, there was a building that was special for the party leader, where we entered.

Ayatollah Javadi guided me and Mr. Larijani to a hall that was nearly twenty meters long. Some journalists came behind us and started filming and taking pictures! They were kicked out and a few journalists that they had identified remained.

The rest of our companions, including the ambassador, stayed behind the door and were not allowed to enter.

In the hall, there was an oval brown table with five chairs. Three chairs on one side of the table and two other chairs in front of it. There was nothing but some white paper and a pen on the table. Adjacent to this large desk, and of course at a distance of a few meters, there was a desk that was Mr. Gorbachev's desk. Mr. Gorbachev got up from behind his desk and came near us. He shook hands with Mr. Javadi Ameli and Mr. Larijani and then extended his hand towards me.

I pulled my hand back. Gorbachev's face changed and he muttered something under his breath. I think he was very upset that I didn't touch him and I was surprised how they didn't explain to him how he should deal with a Muslim woman!

A translator arrived with Gorbachev's advisor. There was no seat for the translator. They brought a chair from outside and he sat down and there were six of us at the table. Mr. Larijani asked the translator to allow the Iranian ambassador to be present as well. At first, he hindered and said: "You said there are three of you!"

This strictness surprised me!

Finally, with Gorbachev's order, another chair was brought and the ambassador also came and sat down. After a brief reception, Mr. Gorbachev asked the ambassador to introduce us. The introductions were begun. Mr. Ambassador told me that he was one of the military commanders of Iran, has a history of fighting for the revolution, and is one of the bodyguards of the Imam.

Mr. Gorbachev listened and nodded. Then he said: "It's like Mr. Khomeini gave me a letter!" If possible, give me the letter so I can see what is going on with this letter?!"

Mr. Larijani told the translator: "Say that we will read the letter for you!"

It was Imam's wish that the letter be read to Mr. Gorbachev, not that he surrender!

Gorbachev shrugged his shoulders and nodded in agreement.

Mr. Ayatollah Javadi opened the letter and started reading the letter:

"In the name of God,,

His Excellency Mr. Gorbachev, Chairman of the Presidium of the Soviet Union

With the hope of happiness and prosperity for you and the Soviet nation..."

They would read the letter and Mr. Larijani would say it in English and the translator would translate it into Russian.

I looked carefully at Mr. Gorbachev's face. A few letters and an account were placed and opened. Several times he wrote words on the paper in front of him and once he drew a line around a word.

When the letter ended, all eyes were on Gorbachev. He said: "Doesn't he have anything else to say?!"

Mr. Larijani said: "No!"

There was silence for a moment.

He first thanked me and said: "I have a few questions!" Mr. Khomeini invited us to Islam and asked us to become Muslims! Can we also ask him to come and become communists?!"

Ayatollah Javadi smiled and said: "Wanting is not a problem!" It is a matter of accepting it! The Imam has asked you, who have taken the first step, to go to the end of the road!"[1]

Mr. Gorbachev said: "Mr. Khomeini has also interfered in the internal affairs of our country!"

Ayatollah Javadi Amoli said: "No! Imam's letter is monotheistic! It is the word of the Quran, the word of the Bible, and the Torah that if the cry of the oppressed is raised in the world and you become silent, you have wronged him or her because people are God's family! And Imam Khomeini raises the issue of anti-tyranny! Nothing has been said about the rights of your country!"

Then they added: "From here to the seven heavens, in the property of your country and the seven floors of the basement are also Soviet soil!" But people are not considered part of the land! Heaven and earth were created for the welfare of humans! And Islam orders us to defend oppressed people!"

Gorbachev's face turned red and the transformation that had occurred to him from Ayatollah Javadi's answer could not be hidden, but he did not answer and did not say anything.

Qaderi controlled himself and asked: "And what were these scientists who said to send to Qom for?!"

Mr. Javadi answered as follows: "To get to know Iranian scientists and mystics such as Mohiuddin Ibn Arabi, Mulla Sadra Sheikh Eshraq, and other scholars who lived in Iran! Let your scientists and thinkers come, and discuss ideology and other issues!"

Mr. Gorbachev nodded and thanked and did not speak again.

It was time to go. We got up to go out the door when Mr. Gorbachev shook everyone's hand and bowed and extended his hand to me. What was left to do? There was no chance to ask Mr. Ayatollah Javadi Amoli for a solution. I put my hand under my chador.

Ayatollah Javadi Amoli took a meaningful look at Gorbachev.

Gorbachev, who noticed that look, said: "I didn't want to shake her hand, but I wanted to extend my hand without a weapon to you, the mother of the revolution so that you know that we do not intend to invade or attack our neighboring country!"

Ayatollah Javadi Amoli shook his head and understood that we realized your mistake!

We left the Kremlin and went straight to the airport. It was noon prayer time. The men put a rag on the ground and we prayed noon and evening prayers under the leadership of Ayatollah Javadi Amoli.

There was no place for me to pray. I went to a corner so that my back was against the wall and prayed. A large crowd of airport staff were standing and watching us praying in amazement. It's like they had never seen praying in a congregation in their lifetime!

When we boarded the plane and the plane took off from the runway, we breathed a sigh of relief. It was as if a heavy burden had been lifted from our shoulders. We were happy that our task was done well and we thanked God. On the plane, we did a brief analysis of Gorbachev's perceptions and encounters, and questions! And we concluded that Gorbachev was under the influence of the Imam's letter and the text of the letter was unpredictable for him.

A day after returning; Imam asked the members of the group to visit him.

We went to him in Jamaran. It was soothing to see his bright and determined face. They were sitting on their couch in the room and we were in front of him.

Ayatollah Javadi Amoli and Mr. Larijani described the trip and what happened to the Imam.

Imam asked: "Who paid attention to Gorbachev's reactions?!"

I answered: "Me, sir!" Ayatollah Javadi, who read the letter, Mr. Larijani translated it into English, and the ambassador supervised the accuracy of the Russian translator's translation and took notes! I was the most unemployed and I was watching Mr. Gorbachev!"

Imam said: "What was his reaction?!"

I said: "Gorbachev was fired a few times; where you said to send your experts to Qom, and when you sent a message, we consider ourselves partners in the fate of the Muslims of the world.

Imam nodded and I saw a sense of satisfaction on his face.

I was exhausted. I thought that the men who were with us felt the same. I thought I got a passing grade from Imam.[2]


[1] Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev, during the leadership of the Soviet Union, started reforms; one of the most important of which was granting relative freedom to the people. He removed many restrictions on publications and freed many political prisoners.

[2] Source: Eskandari, Mona, A woman from Alvand descent, Marzieh Hadidchi (Dabagh), Chenar Publishing House, Vol. 1, 2012, p. 134.

Number of Visits: 758


Full Name:

Loss of Memory in Pahlavi Prisons

In total, [I was in prison] about 6 years in two arrests. For the first time after several years, a soldier arranged my escape. I do not know why! Maybe he was one of the influential elements of Islamic groups. They took me to the hospital for the treatment of my hand, which was broken due to the callousness of an officer.

Hajj Pilgrimage

I went on a Hajj pilgrimage in the early 1340s (1960s). At that time, few people from the army, gendarmerie and police went on a pilgrimage to the holy Mashhad and holy shrines in Iraq. It happened very rarely. After all, there were faithful people in the Iranian army who were committed to obeying the Islamic halal and haram rules in any situation, and they used to pray.

A section of the memories of a freed Iranian prisoner; Mohsen Bakhshi

Programs of New Year Holidays
Without blooming, without flowers, without greenery and without a table for Haft-sin , another spring has been arrived. Spring came to the camp without bringing freshness and the first days of New Year began in this camp. We were unaware of the plans that old friends had in this camp when Eid (New Year) came.

Attack on Halabcheh narrated

With wet saliva, we are having the lunch which that loving Isfahani man gave us from the back of his van when he said goodbye in the city entrance. Adaspolo [lentils with rice] with yoghurt! We were just started having it when the plane dives, we go down and shelter behind the runnel, and a few moments later, when the plane raises up, we also raise our heads, and while eating, we see the high sides ...