Book Review:

Doctor of Dolatu Prison

Malihe Kamaledin
Translated by: Fazel Shirzad


The book "Doctor of Dolatu Prison" is in the field of the oral history of the Sacred Defense, narrated by Seyyed Massoud Khatami, which was published by the Sacred Defense Documentation and Research Center in 2020, with the efforts of Mohammad Reza Bagheri.

Dr. Khatami, in charge of the IRGC's (Islamic revolutionary guard corps) general health during the imposed war, was born in 1943 in one of the villages in Khansar named Qudjan. During his student days in Shiraz at the time of the revolution, he joined many revolutionaries under the influence of personalities such as Ayatollah Dastgheib and Ayatollah Saeedi. After the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, he and a group of doctors and medical assistants rushed to the aid and treatment of the victims of Ghaela Kurdistan, who were ambushed by a Democratic group in the middle of the road. He and his companions were held captive for about five months in a prison in the village of Dolatu in West Azerbaijan. After the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1980, he and a group of doctors and medical assistants rushed to the aid and treatment of the victims of Kurdistan, who were ambushed by a Democratic group in the middle of the road. He and his companions were held captive for about five months in a prison in the village of Dolatu in West Azerbaijan.

After his release, Dr. Khatami joined the IRGC and became the commander of the IRGC. After that, he will be assigned the responsibility of the Revolutionary Guards Affairs Unit and will become a member of the Supreme Council of the IRGC. With the formation of the IRGC Ministry, he played the role of Legal and Parliamentary Deputy of this ministry, and then, by order of Mohsen Rezaei, in September 1985, he served as the IRGC General Health Officer, which he held until the end of the war.

The book Doctor of Dolatu Prison contains fourteen conversations, the first of which is about the birth of the narrator before the Islamic Revolution. In this interview, Dr. Khatami explained his family background and introduced his family. He also explained his acquaintance with Ayatollah Saeedi during his adolescence and the revolutionary tendencies that developed in him, and then referred to his admission to general medicine at Pahlavi University in Shiraz and the coincidence of his student days with the struggle against the imperial government.

The second dialogue of the book deals with the activities of Dr. Khatami after the victory of the Revolution. After the event in Kurdistan, he and several doctors and medical assistants left for Sardasht to treat the wounded. In this way, he was ambushed by the Democratic Party forces and this incident led to the martyrdom of two of these people and the captivity of the rest of the group in Dolatu prison. In this chapter, Dr. Khatami's descriptions about the state of Dolatu prison and the hardships of life in it well illustrate the true face of separatist groups.

In the third interview, Dr. Khatami describes the performance of IRGC commanders before Mohsen Rezaei and then refers to his appointment to the IRGC Command in Fars Province. He also mentioned how to establish a connection between the IRGC centers in Fars province, the formation of the nomadic IRGC, and the end of some local issues in Fars. He goes on to explain the travel of personalities such as Bani Sadr, Rajaei, Ayatollah Beheshti, Ayatollah Khamenei, etc. to Fars province when he was in charge of the IRGC in this province. He also explained about the establishment of the Coordination Office in the IRGC, the Command Council of the IRGC in Fars Province, the formation of the Supreme Council of the IRGC in Tehran, membership in this council, and taking responsibility for the affairs of the IRGC.

The main topics of conversation in the fifth book are the formation of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of the Revolutionary Guards. Dr. Khatami, after explaining how to send civilian forces to war zones in the days of the beginning of the invasion of Iran, has provided explanations about the formation of a medical unit at the same time as the formation of combat units. The relationship between general health in Tehran and combat health in war zones is another topic of this conversation. Dr. Khatami then spoke about the formation of the relief and treatment headquarters in Tehran, under the responsibility of Mr. Firzouabadi, Deputy Prime Minister. Strengthening the health of the IRGC's ground forces and observing information protection in war medicine to prevent the enemy from becoming aware are other important issues raised in the sixth dialogue of the book.

In the continuation of the book, the narrator has formed the mobilization of the medical community and the sacrificial services of the medical group in the field hospitals. After that, he referred to the transfer of Imam Hussein (PBUH) and Baqiyatallah (PBUH) hospitals to the IRGC and explained how the health facilities of the IRGC's ten districts were connected to the health center. The focus of the book's eighth dialogue is the collection of activities and services of the health unit in various fields of medicine and paramedical during the eight years of Sacred Defense. Dr. Khatami also explained about the continuation of education of medical staff and the quota of war veterans and their families, and his decisions and actions in this field.

In the ninth dialogue of the book, the set of actions of the health unit in the fronts is described. The point that the narrator has repeatedly emphasized is the preventive but neglected measures of the health unit, which prevented many problems in the field of public and individual health for the units. The forces of the health unit were "oppressed but successful" forces that were part of the unknown forces of the Sacred Defense era and were sometimes ridiculed by some unit officials for insisting on maintaining health.

In the continuation of the tenth book and dialogue, Iraq uses chemical weapons during the imposed war and the actions of the medical unit in dealing with the chemical wounded. Dr. Khatami also expressed his field observations of the chemical bombing of Halabja city in this meeting. Continuing the discussion of the Ba'athist regime's use of chemical agents in the war with Iran and its consequences and effects, in the next three conversations of the book, the Iranian medical community, especially the IRGC's medical treatment of chemical wounded and their treatment is discussed. The narrator considers the professional behavior of Iranian physicians and medical staff towards the Iraqi wounded and their treatment as Iranian wounded as a golden leaf in the record of the Iranian medical community. Also in the thirteenth conversation, Dr. Khatami described the course of treatment of the wounded after the war and being sent abroad, especially to Germany and England.

In the last dialogue of the book, the history of the formation of Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences in Tehran and the development of its various departments are discussed. Due to the need for the IRGC for the University of Medical Sciences, in 1994, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences started working with three faculties and Dr. Khatami was appointed as its first president. Publishing scientific-research journals, strengthening the foundations of military medicine, chemical and biological research, and DNA diagnostic tests are some of the unique activities of this university that Dr. Khatami has described in his speeches.

The book "Doctor of Dolatu Prison", with 304 pages, 1000 copies, and a price of 45,000 Toman (Iranian currency), has been unveiled on the 40th anniversary of the Sacred Defense.

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