Untold words about the book "Untold words" part I

Life and condition of interviewers

Jafar Golshan Rughani & Mohammad Mahdi Musa Khan
Translated by Fazel Shirzad


From right: Mahmoud Moghaddasi , Hamid Reza Shirazi and Jafar Golshan Roghani


Note: A lot of discussions and opinions are provided for quality, content and how the book "Untold words: the Memoir of martyr Haj Mehdi Iraqi" is emerged when the book was published by Rasa press in 1370. Finally it is published for interested group in the contemporary history of Iran and the Islamic Revolution. It has been written and spoken repeatedly that one of the most valid and unique memoirs is the book "untold words" that the martyr Hajj Mehdi Iraqi, after the revolution, told these memoirs in the special situation based on his pure mind, belief and memoirs without any personal and special judgment, and he did not take any notice to political climates. As a result of these memoirs, we tried to understand how, when, where and in which situation these memories are occurred as it has been paid attention by professional and interested group in contemporary history and the Islamic Revolution. After many years, we became able to meet and interview with two people among three ones who were involved in this work, and they were doing political activities as a member of the Islamic Association of Iranian Students in Paris, when Imam Khomeini and the Haj Mehdi Iraqis were stayed in Neauphle-le-Château.  The following text is the result of more than four hours of interviews with the two friends; Mr Mahmoud Moghaddasi and Hamid Reza Shirazi in Tehran, in the Persian date 3th  Bahman 1394 (27th February  2016).


Musa Khan: To start, introduce yourself and tell about traveling to Paris, please!

Shirazi: I'm Hamid Reza Shirazi was born in Tehran in 1330. Before the revolution, I had some political activities such as participation in protests. I graduated at School "Rahnama" in Monirieh. Before moving to Paris, I had been officially employed in computer section of Road Ministry department for one year, but it was not satisfactory for me and I wanted to go abroad for graduation. My brother Mohammad Reza were educating at school " Razi", The school was only school where students could learn French in there. (The school was located near the intersection of Farhang and Shahpur Street). My brother educated in grade ten and twelve of high school in there. That is why we chose France for our education. My brother was conventionally working in another office of Road Ministry department. Mohammad Reza and I decided to go to France to continue the education in the Persian date Bahman 1355 (February 1976).  At first, we went to classes of Sorbonne University in Paris to learn French. When I was educating, doctor Shariati (June 1977) and Haj Mustafa (October 1977) died. There was a famous restaurant In Paris called "Muslims Restaurant" (it was just for Muslims of North Africa), where many Muslim students used to go there due to have lawful foods. Once, when I went to the restaurant in early Persian date Tir 1356 (July 1977), I saw the funeral obituary for doctor Shariati. By the time, I became familiar with the Union of Islamic Associations in Paris. Every Saturdays, political groups with different tendencies, were gathered at the Scite Univercite (the campus) and did activities such as political news, sales of books and pamphlets etc. the members of Islamic Association were distributing the books of Shariati and others political books. Of course, before we met the members of Islamic Association, some of Mojahedin, who were become Marxist, tried to attract us. But, because of our family religious belief, they couldn't attract us.  Familiarity with the Islamic Association was like we find our lost one. I used to attend in the meetings of the Islamic Association in Paris.


Which field and university did you educate in?

 Shirazi: I was educated in the field of urban sociology at the University of Vincennes. In Mehr 1356 (September 1977) we heard that the regime wants to execute the political prisoners such as Ayatollah Taleghani, Ayatollah Montazeri and engineer Ezzatollah Sahabi. European Association of Islamic Students went on hunger strike at the church Saint Mary in Paris in order to expose the Shah's regime and provoke public opinion to this issue and what was happening in Iran. In this situation, students tried to cover their face to keep themselves not to be identified by the Shah's regime. When the King and Farah travel to America and stayed in Paris for one day in 1356. The Islamic Association of Paris protestingly organized a protest. According to scheduled planning of student, the protest was started on the Champs Elysees Street with slogans against Pahlavi regime. After distributing leaflets among the people, the protestors walked toward Muslims’ central mosque of Paris, where made after World War I and was belonged to Muslims of North Africa and its prayer leader was Abu Bakr, to increase their protest among prayers. When the police was informed about protesters in the mosque, they went inside the mosque with boots, and all of us, who were about 20 to 25 people with some of Arab Muslims of North African who had come to pray, were sent to prison with the enclosed cars of the police.

We are placed in two separate cells where were in very bad sanitary conditions. Then each of us individually was summoned and interrogated by Iranian agents who were related to police. This interrogation lasted until night and finally prisoners were freed by effort of a lawyer. The most of protests were on 17th Shahrivar 1357(8th September 1978) when French Socialist Party and Communist Party was also attended in, it can be noted that nearly thirty thousand people marched in the protest. In front of it, women were walking with their children and carriage that the photo of this event in the press, especially the newspaper "Libération" dependent on socialists, was very famous. The protests were done near the Bastille prison, and then all performed congregational prayer at noon in there.


Golshan: Did you do these activities when you were educating?

Shirazi: Yes. It is noteworthy that I attended in the annual meeting of the Union of Islamic Association in Aachen (West Germany) to continue the activities of association that it was about religious and philosophical discussions. I remember that Mr. Bani-Sadr, Soroush and Habibi attended in meeting, and some discussions took place between Mr. Soroush and Bani about the issue of "conflict", until Imam Khomeini came to Paris in the Persian date Mehr 1357 (October 1978).


Were you born in Tehran? And did you come from Tehran originally?

Shirazi: Yes, my father was born in Tehran but my grandfather was born in Shiraz. My father was working in the Railway. My mother was born in Tehran but she came from Esfahan originally and educated in sixth grade of primary school.


Musa Khan: Mr. Moghaddasi, Please introduce yourself!

Moghaddasi: I am Mahmoud Moghaddasi. I was born in Tehran in 1333 (1954), and my friend often named me "Moghaddasi". I travel to Paris for religious and political purposes. It was actuated in this way due to my past life. I was looking for somewhere to be able to work until I did my duty. I had a friend, called Mahmoud Mahboobi and he was also my relative and we knew each other intellectually. He had gone, in this purpose, to France sooner than me. I requested him, by some letters, to go there, if it was possible. Mahboobi agreed with me, and in fact he insisted that political activities in France, especially is Paris, was very good, because most political groups were active there. So I decided to travel to the French, because I was going to do political activities rather than education. That's why I said to my parents, when I was saying bye, they would not expect me to educate there.

From right: Mahmoud Moghaddasi, Hamid Reza Shirazi and Mohammad Mahdi Musa khan


Where was your father's house?

Moghaddasi: actually, as I am living here, it can be understood how important it was in our future decisions. Now if I tell briefly some memories and visualize that climate, you will realize where this incentives come from. I was born around the area of Khorasan Square, Jahan panah Street, Sohrab alley and near the mosque Sadrieh. My father used to  go the mosque for prayer almost every night, and he often attended in most of occasions. One of the important events dedicated to this mosque and it has become popular in Tehran was the celebration for half of the month of Shaaban (the birthday of imam Mehdi (PBUH)). Perhaps one month early, people tried to decorate the mosque, streets and also inside of mosque, and local residents, especially my father, tried to hold the ceremony.  I used to cooperate in this ceremony. And some nights, I was working at the mosque until morning, and whenever I was tired, I slept there. The celebration was so important that, almost, all the people of Tehran and even some people of other cities came the mosque Sadrieh to see it. The board of Ghaemieh, the organizer of the ceremony, gave chocolates (it belonged to Hajji Badami) and a coin to people at the mosque. In those days,This gift was very noteworthy for the people.

Another memoir, as I have in mind and it is permanent one and is related to solar decade 40, is about 15th Khordad 1342 (5th June 1963). When I was 9 years old, I remember that I was standing in front of the house and I heard gunshots from a long distance. My mother was worried about my older brother who had gone to the streets. She repeatedly came in front of the door and returned to the house worriedly. My brother arrived and I saw him in bloody clothes. "What's going on?" I asked him. "Troops fired on protestors and then a truck came there and dead and wounded were gathered inside of truck" My brother said excitedly. I also followed the truck to see where it is going to go. I found that the bodies carried to graveyard Moosker Abad. A bulldozer made a hole there, then live and dead bodies were buried together.

My brother was friend of Hajj Sadeq Amani in solar decade 40, he used to attend in meetings of the Board of Coalition in the marketplace of Hazrati on Mawlavi Street or around it. I sometimes go to these meetings with my brother by using one bike. Hajj Sadeq Amani was teaching quern and Arabic. After 15 khordad (10 June) when activities of religious boards led to political ones, photos and article of Ayatollah Khomeini were distributing. My brother tried to bring photos and article home, and I hide them. After that, I usually committed to events and political activities.


Speak about your education please!

Moghaddasi: at primary level, I was educating at Dezfuli School. Hajj Agha Dezfuli was the founder of this school that his two sons, Jalil and Khalil, were members of The People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran, before the revolution. Then one of them repented, but another did not. Hajj Agha Dezfuli was leader for prayer of the mosque of Dezful on Jahanpanah Street. The Dezfuli School was located in the corner of mosque's alley. The climate of school was very religious. Due to familiarity with Mr. Dezfuli, My father enrolled me for the primary school and I educated there for one year. Every morning the students of this school have two prayers Morning Show or practice before entering the class read. Every morning and before class, the student of school should pray dawn prayer practically and dramatically. There was a very angry and addict governor at school. When he saw a student have not put his toes of feet on the ground correctly, he would hit under the feet harshly by a fan belt of car or sometimes by a cherry wood in hand. When I told the behavior of governor to my father who was a religious and rationalism person, he enrolled me for school Aboureihan on the street Mina (current Gilaki martyr) next year.


To be continued…

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