Isfahan Student Movement (10)

The story of protesting against Majidi in the university

Mehdi Amani Yamin
Translated by Mohammad Baqer Khoshnevisan


*In the previous session, we went forward until you were transferred to Homayoun Shahr and how you were interrogated. Was your verdict of expulsion and prohibition from education issued by the jurisdictions?

*The court dealt with accusation, defense and interrogation and did not issue any verdict. The university's Disciplinary Committee issued the expulsion verdict. When we came back from there, they handed over the verdict to us a few days later and we were expelled; they did not allowed us to stay in the dorm. Even, we were not allowed to take the final term exams.


*What did you do after expulsion?

*We came back to Mashhad. I, Farazad Shahabian Moghaddam and Ali Shayan Far were together. We three were among the 12 people. When we came back to Mashhad, we were together almost every day and had planned to study. The sessions were held in our homes. I think we started studying three subjects; Nahj-al Balqah, Quran, and the books of Dr. Shariati. A studying group was created on the three subjects and started working. A number of others also took part in the sessions. In this point, we went inside the community in order to understand their problems and other things.


*Did you have any relation with Isfahan's Aryamehr University at this point?

*No, we did not. We established relation with the guys who came from the university. But we did not go to the university anymore and had no direct relation, because the names had been written in the board and we were not allowed to enter.


*You were not present after the event of January 1978?

*Yes, we came back in January 1978 and attended the university.


*It was not in January, since you were expelled from the university for one year!

*Yes, incidentally, the term of our verdicts was one year, but after they were given to us – we don't know the reason. They reduced the verdicts till after the end of the end. I do not know why they did this. I think nobody followed up the case at that time or at least I do not know. But the university did not give us an official and written verdict for return too. But when we were in Mashhad nobody contacted us. I remember that Ali Shahyan Far said somebody knocked the door and said, “You can come back to the university and continue education.” Ali told me this first and I had not been informed yet. The next day, I and Farzad were informed and we returned to the university.

At that time, a new education method had been introduced in Isfahan Aryamehr Industrial University. It was called "Quarter" which was not based on terms. The education year was held in three quarters and one summer quarter.

Now the question may be raised why Tehran Aryamehr Industrial University was transferred to Isfahan. Yesterday, one of the guys asked me this question. Was it because the contacts to be cut or a sterilized group to be created and a series of sterilized students to become educated, the agents were seeking to close Tehran Industrial University? This is what was also said at that time. But what was clear was that the education system of Isfahan Aryamehr Industrial University had been changed and this change put more pressure on the students. The reason was that the students had been involved continuously. This pressure caused the students to be busy almost full time. Thus, the education system in Isfahan was based on quarters. We returned to the university during the second quarter namely in January when the events of January 1978 happened.


*Who followed up the issue of those who had been expelled to come back again?

*I don’t know who did it or why the university did so. Nevertheless, out of the 13-people list two were deprived forever. One was Fadaee which I think his first name was Mohammad and the other Ali Enayat Zadeh. The rest was expelled for one year. We were deprived of education for one quarter. Of course, no verdict was given to us, but they called us and invited to the university and we signed up again.


*Had you been already given your verdict of expulsion?

*Yes, they did. But after they invited us, we were not given any verdict again. I remember that Mohammad Fadaee did not come that term and I think he came the next term or two terms later. But Ali Enayat did.


*Were the two guys related to left parties?

* Ali Enayati was religious but I don’t know whether Fadaee was leftist. He was in left groups when the revolution started. 


*Do you have any news of him?

* I’ve heard that he was executed but I am not sure. Ali Enayat is in America. One of the guys who was in contact with him said he lives in America.


*Did you start the campaign plans when you came back to the university?

*When we came back, naturally, the relations were established again. But since we were well-known to some extent, naturally our considerations were more and were not active in public so much. For instance, when the Mountain Room and Film Room were launched, we went climbing and I and Kazem Fotouhi were in the story of the film and we came to Tehran for producing the film, but we did not take part in other daily events very much. We were silent and quiet, but were roommates with these guys. We followed up the events happened outside the university.


*Who were the leaders of the university student movement since January 1978?

* To me, there was no clear organization led by someone. Basically this did not happen in 1978. The events were sporadic. Every group gathered and worked together. Even sometimes, these activities became parallel to each other. Therefore, for example, the event of 6th of December was well-known for everybody. Everyone was involved in something or played a role. The event of December 6 had one meaning for them. It was natural that all the activities became concurrent when the anniversary of the event was approaching whether by the religious guys or non-religious ones. And naturally nobody prevented others from working, or there was no obstacle for the activities of different groups. But the occasion came to an end, the relations were cut. Moreover, due to the existence of security atmosphere and fear, there was no public political establishment that you could find an office named Islamic Association or any institution affiliated to the leftists. The pre-revolution events in the universities had not been well-organized. There was no public activity in which the people were able to advertise officially, because if it was public, it would be recognized immediately by the SAVAK. So, it was not organized and the activities were separate.


*How were the activities and how the communiqués were installed?

*The activities increased after the event of Qom. I remember that demonstrations were held on 10th and 11th of January 1978 at night. We were informed of what had happened in Qom and the guys gathered and chanted slogans. When the weather was getting dark, demonstrations were held in the campus of the dorms. When this current shaped, a number of the guys hand made some changes on their faces, covering their faces with jackets. I think everybody was informed of the demonstrations. Some 200 students took part in the demo. Thus, the activities boosted. Naturally, you witnessed that more communiqués were installed and mottos were written on the walls. After this point, the event of 18th of February 1978 happened in Tabriz. The people of Tabriz held demonstrations to commemorate the fortieth day of the martyrs of Qom and a clash took place. There was news that the people were shot. The event toughened up the activities in the universities. The classes were closed and demonstrations held, and this continued every night. The events led to the expulsion of more than 200.


*Did the Disciplinary Committee do this?

Yes. Meanwhile, the committee gave no letter to the students. A list was provided and it was announced that these students had been deprived of taking part in the second quarter due to the events happened in the university. Many of the guys almost all the active ones were in the list. I am sure that some 200 were expelled; I think the number was perhaps between 220 to 230.


*Did they announce that you had been deprived for one term?



*Was it just for the second term and it also included the third quarter?

*No. just the second term. They were expelled one month before the exams. They came for the third quarter but the university was closed totally in the third quarter.


*Were you among those who were expelled?

*No. I was not. None of us were in the list. But why did this happen? I don't know; maybe because those who had been expelled in December had been known and there were more considerations for them. But almost all knew that they took part in the demos. I mean they attended the events. For instance, in the events of 10th and 11th of January happened in the dorms' campus, the entire group was 10 to 12 people, but on the other hand, they did not attend publically too. Most of the students were not after public activities. But none of the 12 people were not among the 200. All were present in the second quarter and took part in the exams.


*The distribution of communiqués and graffiti were carried out almost clandestinely (for example in the WCs). When the demonstrations intensified since the start of the second term, did such activities become more public?

Yes, naturally the writing of the communiqués was done secretly. But they were installed in the places where they could be seen for example in the exit doors of the dorms, in the corridors, or the WCs or in the classes. There was a six-storey building in which the English language and lab classes were held, or several halls in which the main classes of the professors were held; the communiqués were installed in such places. But naturally, they were provided secretly and nobody knew about them. The activity continued in this way until March 1978. After that, the number of communiqués increased but it was still secret.


*Did you have also printed communiqués?

*Printed communiqués were rarely distributed. Most of them were handwritten. The handwritten ones needed to be duplicated. Printed communiqués were naturally written and duplicated in order to be installed in different places. At the same time, if an individual brought a large number of them from outside, and if something happened and he or she was arrested, nothing could be done. This was carried out secretly until March 1978.


*Did you have Mohammad Reza Mosahefi among the protesters?

*Yes we had.


* Has Abodlmajid Majidi protested, when he came to Aryamehr Industrail University?

*I was also present in the speech session of Abodlmajid Majidi; he was the head of the progressive wing of Rastakhiz Party. We were supposed to disrupt the meeting by asking questions and such things.


*There is a report saying that Mosahefi had protested in the meeting and had already distributed communiqués.

*As far as I remember, Mosahefi at the end of the speech got up and protested against Majidi's participation, saying, "Why have come to the university?" but there were other guys who also raised questions.


*What was the subject of the session?

*I don't remember the subject. He had come to speak about the country's situation, student movements as well as the country's progress. What I remember is that Rastakhiz party had two wings, and the heads of the two wings were the deputies of the party's Secretary General and Majidi was the head of the party's Pishro (Progressive) Wing. I don't remember the name of the other wing. The party's Secretary General was Howeida. Majidi was among the educated people. I remember that he had a position in the Planning Organization at that time. Of course, we did not know anything special and did not look at the situation with today's viewpoint, but after the victory of the Islamic revolution and many years later, we found out that the Planning Organization reviewed different issues. Even the experts of the organization in 1977-1978 found out the real rate of the currency in the country or the main rate of dollar should not be seven tomans. The issue was transferred to the Shah but he gave negative answer. Such reports show that the experts would bring up and follow the problems even before the Shah. Majidi was the deputy chief of Rastakhiz Party and the Head of the Planning and Budget Organization although he was relatively young. Thus, the younger section of the community could have paid more attention to him. But in reality this did not happen. I was present in the meeting and wrote a question to ask but did not. My question was "What are 40,000 American advisors doing in Iran?" A lot of attendees wrote many questions because we had already planned to do this. The questions were about the conflicts and contradictions in the society. Mr. Mosahefi was also present, but there was no coordination for disrupting the session. Many questions remained unanswered. Perhaps it was because of this that the students started protesting, because when Majidi wanted to leave, Mosahfi got up and protested, saying, "He did not answer the questions and he has no professional authority."


*What was the main root and reason for his protest?

*The main reason was for the presence of Majidi that "You've come here and telling lies. You are speaking about the things which are not true in order to deceive the students or else you would have answered the questions." Mosahefi told this and left. Mosahefi was our classmate.


*Did you know Mosahefi well?

*Yes, I knew him well. He was a religious man. But I did not see he distributed communiqués publically because nobody did this. Nobody distributed in broad daylight. This did not happen in 1978.


*Did Majidi take a special stance against the protests?

*No, he did not pay any attention.


To be continued…    


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