Story of American hostages held in Arak

Ehsan Mansoori
Translated by: Mohammad Ayyoobi


Note: In an autumn morning I was guest to Jamshid Moradi’s home. It wasn’t so hard to arrange for a meeting with the former director general of “Martyrs and Warlords Affairs Fund” and one of the founders of Sepah (Islamic Revolution Guards Corps) in Arak province. I arranged for it just with some telephone calls .It was quoted from some revolution activists   that some American hostages of spy house (American Embassy) were held in Arak. I knew that Jamshid Moradi had some information about American hostages in Arak. When I noticed he had been responsible for hostage’s security, I was more eager for the information. I was ready to hear from a retired Sepah Operation member.


Why these hostages transferred to Arak?

After Tabas happening, the officials decided to divide the hostages to prevent from similar happening again.


Was it Ordibesht (April or May) in 1359?

I don’t remember the exact date, but I can member that it was decided to transfer two hostages to Arak. I was serving in Sepah Operations section in Markazi province then. I was responsible for security of hostages and I was asked to assign this duty to elite forces but we didn’t have any elite forces then. We didn’t have any training program and all our forces were in teenage years. 


Do you remember how the American hostages had been brought to Arak?

I remember they were transferred by car. We were asked to allocate a place for them. So we decided to allocate Sepah Public Relations building in AbbasAbad (now called Shahid Beheshti) for them. We took some preliminary measures. For example we placed some ladders in front of the rooms and took the main measures for providing security for hostages. This building is exactly located in front of Social Security building. This building still belongs to Sepah. After security measures were completely finished and the hostages were transferred and the place was ready for hostages to live safely. This was interesting both for the two hostages and Sepah members. Sepah members were eager to meet the hostages. It worthy to say that most Sepah members didn’t know that at the beginning but they were informed gradually. Intelligence Organization was located inside Sepah then. There was no intelligence ministry then. Sepah was responsible for intelligence affairs. Sepah was even responsible for arresting opposition activists. Sepah was responsible for all security affairs then. Sepah intelligence was responsible for hostages and I was responsible for their security. Usually Sepah forces were present during the day and I went there at night .A Sepah members even those not involved in the case were eager to see the hostages.


What were the traits of the two hostages?

They were in about frothy ages and tall. They were somehow bald and their heads middle hears were disappeared. It was clear that it was natural about their hairs because their head corner’s hairs were noticeable.


Were they Caucasian?
Yes, they were Caucasian and well built.


Do you remember their names?

No I don’t remember. Their names should be recorded in their dossiers in Sepah Intelligence. I assigned young forces for custody. There were forces always. They watchdog for 2 hours, standby for 2 hours and went for sleeping for 2 hours. It was interesting that our young forces were very fun. For example they used to wrestle and they were very playful. When the hostages heard their clamor, they surprised because they didn’t expect to see Sepah forces to be so gaily and playful. Gradually the American hostages get accustomed to the situation. At the beginning the American hostages were frightened because they expected that something would happen for them. Later they noticed it was natural for our forces to be so gaily and they get accustomed.  It was interesting that they were always smiling and they liked to have relations with our forces. However our forced were ordered not to accept the hostages intimacy requests.  

Did you use an interpretor?

Someone who was Sepah Operations member acted as interpretor for us. Of course he was not so skilled and tried to meet their needs. Our duty was to protect them and we didn’t need any skilled interpretore. Both hostages were held in one room and everything was provided for them.


Did they need anything in particular to be provided for them; for example, safety razors to shave their faces?

 Yes they were provided with everything they asked for. They were not misbehaved. I don’t remember anything in particular which they needed. They were pleased and we understood their pleasure with noticing their cheerfulness.


What did they eat?

We provided for them the same food we ate.


Where was their WC?

The room they used was equipped with WC, washstand and bath. It was a big equipped room which could be named Semi-building.


 Was it foreigner’s WC?

No, Iranian WC with no particular problem. (Mr. Moradi was laughing)


What did they used to do during the day?

They used to train. Of course it wasn’t possible for them to leave their quadrangle. Their trainings and sports were on the same room.


Had they ever sicken?

They were always visited by physicians.


Did anybody in particular come to visit them?

No, whenever anybody was going to visit them, he was expected to ask for permission by us.


How long they were with you?

I don’t remember exactly, but it was more than one month and was coincidence with their departure for US. 


What were their posts?

We didn’t notice, we were told what their posts were.


Who were involved in hostages affairs?

They are now serving in Intelligence Ministry and Sepah Ghods. (1)


Did the people in Arak know American hostages were held in Arak?

At first, no. Most people didn’t know but later they were informed.

When people passing by this building stopped to look at it, paused, left with a curiosity look at it, we got the point. This building was located in a busy street. On the eve of hostages’ departure the people got the point. 


Thanks for being with us.


1-The name” Mr.Moradi” was mentioned in the interview but we are forbidden to explain about him due to security reasons

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