A Piece of "Lasting Memories"

History of Establishment of Islamic Republic Party

Faezeh Sasanikhah
Translated by Ruhollah Golmoradi


I have been thinking about creating an Islamic political party and society for many years ago. Especially after the 1953 and coup d'état of August 19, 1953, and given the experience I gained from the National Movement of Iran in 1950-1953, I hardly believed that our forces should become an active Islamic political organization. Hearing news of Islamic political organizations from other societies was interesting for me. I followed the news with interest. When the Freedom Movement of Iran (FMI) was formed, I happily welcomed this news, and when it was not mentioned in its statute of Islam as a school and the Freedom Movement as a full-fledged Islamic party, I criticized the founder friends of FMI and said, "This party is not doctrinal, and you have also called it the Freedom Movement, but freedom is not all of Islam; freedom is one of the most important human issues and of the pillars of Islam, but not all of Islam." The friends said that: “because we wanted those who are sensitive to the title of Islam not to escape from this organization.

But the truth is that it wasn't just the name, the story was that its manifesto showed that some Muslims had come to create a party, but in this political organization, they did not present Islam as a full-fledged school, but I was interested in it, at least for prominent figures from thoughtful, fighting and active Muslims had gathered in the organization. However, because they were not committed to Islam in terms of doctrine and manifesto, I refused to join it. In the very those years, I was thinking of an active set for recognizing Islam ideology in the form of a full-fledged school, and a research group was created to discuss on government in Islam, which collapsed under the regime's attacks. Then, in five years that I was in Germany, a Persian-speaking group was developed to organize Muslim students, and at the end of this work, a number of friends were offered to come and create an organizational political core that could attract those people from students who are more prepared. Just the first year I was there, I arranged this and then I came, but it didn’t become operational. When I returned to Iran in 1970, I was still looking for a pure political organization. Until 1980, when problem of People's Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI or MKO) became clear and revealed, I was very pleased that the MKO seemed an Islamic military political organization, and I sincerely approved it and wished that I could join them, but being famous and being a well-known figure to the police (SAVAK) and they could easily find me everywhere prevented me from being able to officially participate in this organization, but then gradually I recognized fundamentals shortcomings and deficits in political ideology in MKO’s work, and when they made that statement in 1975, that is some of them made that additional statement, I became very concerned. That year, it seemed to me that we had to work to create a genuine Islamic political organization, and it was just in those years that we had meetings with some of the combatant clerics and more or less some efforts were made. It was the summer of 1977 when, with some of our friends, we thought about creating a clerical core organized based on emphasis on piety and faith, being fighter and having progressive Islamic vision, and at the same time, creator of thought practicing based on Islam, and free from any un-Islamic tendency and eclectic thinking, and we intended that this clerical core would create a committed fighter, political and social wing, and could create a strong political party and organization in our social vacuum.

It was early 1357 SH (1978) when basis of this work was anchored. We held meetings with some friends to prepare manifesto and statute, in which some of the brothers participated in, and we had spoken to various friends from different social groups, and we determined to announce existence of this party in secret and semi-secret or, if possible, publicly. We did some studies on this issue; it is natural that at the time, the regime's pressure was still high and full announcement was a risk and we made effort to do it. We decided to put that effort into normal activities of the clergy, which is become really like a party, but seemingly it would be an organization alongside the clergy; so, while it was public, it kept its secret identity as a party. We were busy with the preparations that massive activities for the revolution were also accelerated, which took us all our time, and we failed to do so until victory of the revolution.

At the same time, three or four months before the victory, just the days when Imam was under pressure in Iraq and went to Paris following this pressure, we sent a friend with this message and with an example of the manifesto and statute to meet and talk Imam and ask also his opinion about this organization; but our friend, who was not able to obtain a passport, i.e., an Iraqi visa, went to Syria with much difficulties so he could go from there to Iraq and then to Najaf by taking a passing sheet, but he got the sheet late and arrived about two days before Imam move from Najaf.

He had raised the issue with Imam, but he no longer had the opportunity to complete the materials in that special situation, and Imam went to Paris and our brother returned. After that Imam went to Paris, I went to Paris from here to visit Imam, and one of the issues I raised with Imam was that we had such an idea and our brothers Mr. Taheri Khorramabadi and Mr. Sayyed Hasan Taheri raised with you in Najaf. He said: “yes, they stated it but we couldn’t discuss it completely.” I spoke to him in detail. He said, "This is provided that it wouldn’t prevent you much from the daily obligations of the revolution.”

And after we returned to Iran, we were caught up in daily works of the revolution until after the victory.

After the victory, our brother, Mr. Rafsanjani, once again raised this issue with Imam and asked for his opinion, and he agreed. After one or two day, Mr. Hashemi met with him again. Imam had asked: "So what happened, and he insisted that it should be announced sooner. Therefore, we announced the party at the early Esfand (February), about seven or eight days after victory of the revolution but due to influx of people and registration in the party, our force was practically consumed in registering, creating offices for the party, and other things that were necessary for this activity, and in the last year we have not been able to do as we wished and anticipated to do party work. Our increasing responsibilities regarding the revolution and victory phase of the revolution increased our burden day by day, and it reduced our time to party activities, and naturally the party did not find true cohesion that we wanted.[1]


Source: Nazari, Morteza, Lasting Memories (From Life of Ayatollah Sayyed Mohammad Hosseini Beheshti), Tehran, Office of Islamic Culture Publication, 1999, pp. 264-268.


[1] “How the Islamic Republic Party was formed”, Jomhouri-e Eslami Newspaper, No. 801, 1360/12/13 (1982-03-04), Special Issue.

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