The Oral History of the Army in the Iranian Revolution

Publication Year: 2007
Editor: Azizi, Heshmatollah
296 pages
ISBN: 978-964-419-245-6

Pahlavi’s reign emergence and stability is due to the two military coups of 1921 and 19th August 1953. Pahlavi considered the army and other armed forces as its primary support. The predominant international and national policy of the two Shahs was to reinforce and develop the army, equip the army with the most recent weapons and, most importantly to silence any voice of political opinion which did not believe in obeying and praising the Shah unconditionally and blindly. Mohammad Reza Shah spent most of his time on military affairs, armed forces and secret police intelligentsia. He monitored all their activities, from the most important ones to the most trivial ones, from appointing and dismissing officers to controlling the budget for the arsenal and ammunition. Shah’s closest consultants were mostly high rank army members. The Shah believed that with a strong and well equipped army, he could save Pahlavi’s reign from the danger of decline at the time of crisis. However, because this army, lacked an ideal and a correct ideology, had no place in hearts of the people and, was completely unfamiliar with a healthy political culture, it was pushed aside at the verge of the revolution. The army did not have the courage to make a move against the mass.
In this book, people once part of the body of the army, talk about the army’s support for the mass and its neutralizing effect. The research, done in this book, is in line with oral history research methods.
Although, the effort has been made to include all written and oral documents, the information collected through interviews is considered as the primary source in this book.

After identifying the subjects of the study and collecting other data based on previous documents, memoirs and researches, the Oral History of the Army in the Revolution, was conducted in eight parts: in the first part, the history of the army and its important role during Pahlavi’s reign is discussed. The Second part deals with the situation of the army before 1953.  The third part is dedicated to the position army took towards the significant incidents in 1977-1978. The strategy adopted by the revolutionaries is the subject of the forth part and the army and religion is the subject of the fifth part. The sixth and the second parts discuss the decline of the army and its inefficiencies. The last part deals with the revival of the army.  

Translated by: Jeiran Gahan

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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 ...