Untold words about the book "Untold Words" Part II

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


Golshan: What was your father's name?

Moghaddasi: My father, Ali Mohammad Moghaddas Jafari, was from Borujerd. My grandfather (Mohammad Bagher Moghaddasi Jafari), with along Ayatollah Borujerdi, was one of famous clergymen of Borujerd in the age of Reza Shah. The father quoted that my mother was arrested for having a tent and rule of ban on hijab in the age of Reza Shah. He called and threatened the commander of the army of Borujerd that if you did not free my daughter in law, I would act individually against you. Whereas my grandfather was a well-known person, my mother was brought home with a military jeep after an hour.  


Musa khan: So, what happened then?  

Moghaddasi: as I spoke about the Jahanpanah Street, you know, some people of the street named AlladPosh. Sheikh Hussain and Hadi Ghafari were sons of Jahanpanah, and some of the people of this street were also members of Mojahedin Organization of Iran.


Golshan: Tell about your father's job!

Moghaddasi: My father had a Soap Store on the street Saheb Jam in front of the grave of his father. The store of Amani's family, who were bankers, was placed next to our store. They were close friend of my father. In the evenings, local businessmen, such as family of AlladPosh, gathered in my father's store and he spoke to them about the Qur'an. He especially argued with Hajj Hashem Amani a lot.  I also used to go there on summer vacation there and I listened to their discussions and it was effective for me. Sadeq Amani was always passing in the front of our store and has a Qur'an in hand, he was very humble and used to go into the store without looking around. I always kept the quiet and silent manner of Sadeq in mind.  After assassination of Hassan Ali Mansour (1st January 1946), he was captured and executed. When I heard it, I was affected badly.  Hajj Hashem and his brother Saeed were was also arrested. When Haji Hashem was freed from prison after 5-6 years, he came to our shop again and continued more likely discussions with my father. The discussions almost became political one.



Did Mr. Asgar Oladi come to your father's store too?

Moghaddasi: no, the most of businessmen of the street Saheb Jam used to gather in store of my father. After the event of the coalition and the assassination of Mansour, Fakhr al-Din Hijazi was another one who could have an impact on our generation; because Hejazi gave lectures, in terms of references, on modern issues. He used the books of "Voltaire" in his speeches. So religious students and intellectuals liked to attend in her lectures.  Hejazi made speeches at mosque Lorzadeh at the nights of month of Ramadan, and I went there with friends.


Musa khan: Did you see people who were famous fighters, in the meetings of speech?

Moghaddasi:  it was possible there were such people, but I did not know them. The other point is that late Mohammad Taghi Shariati made speech for a while at the home of Ayatollah Taleghani in Pich Shamiran.  When I participated in a meeting of Shariati for first time, he was interpreting Sura At-Tin of Quran. After the meeting, my father became a big fan of Mohammad Taghi Shariati. Later, my father was the only one who distributed the books of Shariati for young people, and he was always discussing with Mr. Khalili who was the leader of prayer at the mosque. Interestingly, Ghulam Hossain Bagheri Afshordi, who named, later, Hassan Bagheri and became the famous commanders of the war, was one of people of this area, and he was living near the mosque Sadrie, and he came to the mosque with his father at nights.  Whenever Hassan Bagheri came to the mosque, the friends tried to kid him, because he was silent and apparently simple-hearted. Unlike his father who was very fat, Hassan Bagheri was thin. His father used to speak by a Turkish accent and feelingly, But Hassan Bagheri, however he was as old as his friends, observed always the friend distantly. When he was martyred, I saw his picture and obituary on the wall of streets, and his name and picture was very familiar for me, but I couldn't recognize him, because his surname was changed. Over time, I remembered and recognized him, I couldn't believe that the picture belonged Ashfordi in his teens. I found he had, apparently, a potential courage that it was grown at the front of war.

As a memoir that I remember, I think it is about the area named Abmangal in the years 1343 to 1345 (1964 to 1966) when al-Sadiq School began to work by Hajj Atabaki. After the month of Khordad 1342 (June 1963), the school started to work in Tehran that it was more modern than religious boards. In my opinion, the founders of al-Sadiq school, some brothers, were some of people who were between traditional religious people and modern ones. Once a week, some meetings was holding at Sadiq School. The first works that were invented in the school were theater performances and song of the festival, and they seemed new things for young people.  It was good for us and we went there a lot. Mr. Sharifinia, who was a famous actor, was member of music group for al-Sadiq School and attended in the meetings. His father's home was in Jahanpanah Street. Besides school activities of al-Sadiq, the speeches and lectures of Fakhr al-Din Hijazi were attractive for friends, and members of al-Sadiq school tried to attend in his speeches and lectures.  The speeches and lectures of doctor Shariati and Motahari at Hosseinieh Ershad was very important for us.


Where did Motahari made speech?

Moghaddasi: at the mosque Quba and Hosseiniyeh Ershad. Initially, the speeches were holding under a tent. Then Hosseiniyeh Ershad was constructed. Now, as I mentioned the name of Hosseiniyeh Ershad, I remember Hassan Aladposh who was one of the activists of Hosseiniyeh Ershad. We knew Hassan Aladposh in our board named "lovers of the Prophet". From the beginning of the Board, it belonged to Boroujerd people who were living in Tehran and were relatives each other.  All family of Aladposh attended in the meetings of board. Because, the founders of this board were late my father, late Hajj Qasim, the father of Mr. Mojtaba Baghernejad[1], late Hajj Agha Abdullah Mahmoud (the father of Mahbobi) and the father of Aladposh’s family (Hajj Ghaffari), and it was established after the coup in 1332.


Golshan: Fifteen years later, we took part in activities in the area Abmengol, the garden alley of Hajj Mohammad Hassan at "al- Mahdi School" as you did these activities in al-Sadiq School. Is it right?

Moghaddasi: Yes. Using of the word " school ", in fact, was become popular  with art activities, and it meant one step further to attract teenagers and young people to religious boards.


Did you attend in the meetings of Ayatollah Taleghani at the mosque Hedayat?

Moghaddasi: Yes. I participated in his speeches several times. But when Shariati was emerged, we became as main listeners for his speeches. I had a friend named Mahmoud Mahbobi, who was a relative and common friends of Mojtaba Baghernejad and me, he went to France Six months early in 1351, I wrote a letter him to continue education there.


Musa Khan: When were you graduated in Diploma and which field did you educate in?

Moghaddasi: It was in 1351 (1972) in the field of natural science.    


Golshan: When did you go to France?

Moghaddasi: in 1352. I passed military training course for three months, but I could take exemption from military course and then I went to France as a 15-days trip. At first, I went to the town of Besancon. Mahmoud Mahbobi with another person as an agent for Muslim community in the city were doing Islamic activity. I was in this city for six months and then moved to Paris. In this period, I learned the French language then I went to Paris.


Why did you go to France?

Moghaddasi: apparently, I went there for education. But, in fact, I went to Paris to see the opponents of the Pahlavi regimes, because I had heard that the politicians were very active in Paris. After going to Paris, I met Mr. Mohammad Torkaman. Then, we had meetings in their home that the members, initially, were some people such as Mr. Mohammed Torkaman and his wife Mrs. Sarvar, Ali Reza Qoli, Mahmoud Mohtadi, Mahmoud Mahbobi, and Kasra Eftekhar Jahromy. We had meetings with these people that Mr. Torkaman had a major role in these activities.  When we decided to work together, we formed jointly the Islamic Association of Paris. The important point was that the members called each other by nickname, because they might be run into trouble due to activities in the association. For example, I was roommate with Mahmoud Mahbobi and he was taller than me. therefore, he was called tall Mahmoud and I was called little Mahmoud.

After working for one year and a half, I came to Iran to visit family and relatives. When I was returning from Tehran to Paris I bought a suitcase, I cut around it. I put the books of Shariati, Mujahedin organization, leaflets and different articles in first layer of the suitcase, then I bought a layer with same color, and stick it on the books for not to be seen. I said to a friend in Iran that if I was captured, you would know why I was captured. Finally, I transferred the suitcase to Paris.


Musa Khan: Why did you do it?

Moghaddasi: because, there was no noticeable news for foreign countries about internal struggles of Iran in 1354 and 1355 (1975 – 1976), if one page of leaflets was brought to abroad, it would be a very good source. Already, we eventually listened to news from BBC radio. There were just a few means of communication with Iran. In addition, there was no one had courage to bring a book or leaflet form Iran. When the suitcase was arrived to Paris well, we started to publish the books and leaflets.  At nights, Mr. Torkaman  and one other person, Mahbobi and I were publishing the books in the press office where was belonged to a friend of Torkaman , with name and without name, such as " Abozar publications", and when it was holiday of students, on Saturday morning, I put the books and leaflets on table on the campus of university. Later, after developed the popular struggles in Iran, Islamic Association's activities were publicized.

Another activity was attraction of people who came to educate in France. Different active political groups were also competing to attract these people in Paris. In those days, we sometimes made an appointment with Sadegh Ghotbzadeh at cafes in Paris, and we listened to political developments news and took him the leaflets and books about freedom movement. People, who came from Lebanon and Syria, were staying at my home for a while. When the students, who liked to increase income, wanted to return Iran, they bought Peugeot 504 and imported it to Iran using student rights without to be stopped at customs office. By making money on sale of cars in Iran, They would gain their cost of trip.  It was common among students. Once, one of student came to my house from Isfahan with his wife. He was going to Iran. He said that he was able to take some books to Iran. I embedded every books, which was banned and published out of Iran, in his car. He moved to Iran, but unfortunately he was arrested. But I was not arrested, because I have written my address on the cover of one of the promotional catalogs by a blue color, and it was not clear and readable. I think, he did not say about me when he was questioned.  The books which I sent to Iran by the car consisted a set of books "The Way of Mosaddeq" that Ghotbzadeh had one volume of it only, and gave it me as a souvenir. I sent the books to Iran, because the books were very useful and important. But unfortunately all of the books were captured by police.


Golshan: Did you see that student later?

Moghaddasi: In the first months after the revolution, I saw him at Tehran University, but now I have no news about him. Interestingly, after two years stayed in Paris with the suitcase that I had brought from Iran, I embedded all the leaflets of Union, Mojahedin Organization and Freedom Movement, and I imported them into Iran well again. The set of leaflets, as I brought, consisted "war in Vietnam" and "how to make Molotov cocktails or three-ways". When I got home, I called one of friend Fathalla Omi who was one of fighters, and I give the suitcase him at that night. In fact, two months ago after 35 years, when I met him, he showed me some of the leaflets and said that he has been reproduced and distributed a lot of these leaflets and books by manual printer.


Musa Khan: Were you as an active member of Paris's association, until Imam Khomeini came to Paris in Mehr 1357 (October 1978)?

Moghaddasi: in association of Paris, membership was not an official one. Because it means, according readers, filling in a forms and paying a membership fee and take an identification card. In those days, to be membership was formed by some persons who played main role in the association and they knew each other, and when it was necessary, they called each other. These persons were related with others.

Golshan: Did the association of Paris, like the association of West Germany, has branch in other cities of France?

Moghaddasi: No, it hasn't. Of course, some activities were doing in Grenoble and Besançon, but it was not as strong as activity in Paris.


Can you name the main members of the Paris association?  

Shirzai; we were some persons who knew each other and went to Paris. We, in fact, were very motivated.  On Sundays, when I went to the campus of university, we saw that the association only limited to publish announcements and leaflets, and there was no other activities to attract students. Unlike the Confederation, the association was not very active. When we went to Paris, the association became a little active. The active members, as I remember, consisted; Mahmoud Mohtadi and his wife Mrs Ziba, Ali Reza Gholi, Messaoud Dahshur, kasra Eftekhar Jahromy, Mohammad Torkaman and his wife Mrs Sarvar, Mrs. Soraya Hemat Azad, Mahmoud Mahbobi, Bahman Iraji Kojoor, Reza Banisadr, Dawoud Shams, Hajj Agha Eslaim, Khudayar Razmi, Boroumand and Hamid Fetorehmichi and Mohammad Reza Shirazi.   


Moghaddasi: Some Muslim students such as Reza Banisadr were working with doctor Banisadr, it should be noted that there was a policy among the Union, Banisadr and Ghotbzadeh. The main members of association tried to work as an independent group and away from dependence on Banisadr and Ghotbzadeh.


Was Hassan Habibi a member of Paris association?

Shirazi: Hassan Habibi was associated with members of the association. But he worked with the Freedom Movement abroad. For Our association's activities in Paris, we rented an apartment ''Nasim" where there were some printer devices. We went there on Saturday night, we print the news that we get from different people such as Ghotbzadeh, on large sheet of papers to stick on the walls of the university, and inform others what were happened in Iran. On Sundays afternoon, we rented culture house of the university and held meetings of the association involving Iranian news analysis and interpretation of the Qur'an.

To be continued ...

[1] - The Collector and Editor of the book: History of Islamic campaigns, Iranian students abroad (Association of Islamic Students in Europe), 5 volumes, Tehran, Ettelaat Newspaper, 1386-1395 ) 2007-2016)

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