An interview with former commander of the 16th Armored Division of Qazvin – 1

Armored General

Zahra Abu-Ali

Translated by M. B. Khoshnevisan

2021-09-07


He came wearing a dress in ripe wheat color, black high-heeled varnished boots, high-quality leather gloves, and gold-rimmed glasses over his nose; a leather hat special for armored horsemen and the golden medal of Fat'h 2 with three palm tree leaves and the dome of Khorramshahr's Jame (Grand) Mosque as well as the flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran installed on the collar of his blue coat. There were a folded newspaper and a cassette tape in his left hand, and he was walking around so enthusiastically as if he had come to say who he was. Everyone who saw him in the hall was wrapped in his beauty. His steps were counted and firm. The general's room was half open. The surprised general came out of his room quickly and hugged him and was happy to see him. They had not seen each other for twenty years. After hobnobbing with him, the general said, "What happened that you made me proud and came here"?

The famous Brigadier-General Lotfi is this stylish man. I remembered German war movies. General Mofid had previously said that he was a prodigy for himself. He was so excited and wanted to see general Mofid and general Ghavidel that he was overwhelmed with joy. He squeezed the hands of Lotfi tightly, rejecting his invitation to sit in his room, and said, "I would like to seen general Mofid. We went to the sixth floor of the research center to see the senior commanders of the army. Having seen each other, they were overwhelmed with joy. General Mofid said, "In the university, I was a freshman, and he was a junior and punished us severely. He forced us to crawl the whole campus and find two male and female ants. General Lotfi laughed and said, "Do you still remember?" General Ghavidel said, " This was one of the principles of military obedience". That day was spent remembering memories. It was an exciting day that did not allow me to intervene. We agreed to go to his house. He invited me on one condition that we meet on Monday; because they had Lubia Polo (an Iranian food cooked with beans and rice) on Mondays and he loved this food.

I talked to him on a Monday in 1386 (2007) the result of which is as follows: I pressed the doorbell on time. Ms. Lotfi received a warm welcome. I saw that they set the lunch table. The commander sat down at the top of the table and invited me to sit down. His wife was very friendly and noble. While having the lunch, she shared the bittersweet memories of her life with a senior army officer, and that her son and daughter were living in the United States and missed them. After lunch, Mrs. Lotfi did not allow me to help her wash the dishes. With a cup of tea in hand, we went to the other corner of the hall and started our conversation.

Armored Brigadier General Sirus Lotfi was the former commander of the 16th Armored Division of Qazvin during the Iraq-Iran war, the commander of the Quds base of the army and the deputy chief of operations at the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the deputy chief of intelligence and operations of the General Staff of the Armed Forces. He was in charge of the armored operations in operations Nasr, Tarah, Samen al-A'emmeh, Tariq al-Quds, Beit al-Muqaddas, Fat'h al-Mubin, Ramadan, Val-Fajr Preliminary, Val-Fajr 1-2-3. After retiring, he taught at the Imam Ali (AS) Military College and the AJA Command and Staff University and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC). Commander Lotfi holds the Victory Medal from the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution. General Sirus Lotfi passed away on 18th of Aban 1397 (November 9, 2018) in Tehran.

*At first, I thank you for accepting me in your house. Please tell us about yourself and why you gravitated to the army?

*I am Sirus Lotfi Siahroodi. I was born in the town of Soofian in Eastern Azerbaijan Province in 1314 (1935). I am originally from Tabriz. I finished my elementary and secondary education in Tabriz. My father was in the military and the head of Soofian Railway. At that time, the railway was administered and controlled by the military. The Russians killed my father in 1320 (1941) and I lost him in the childhood. 

Perhaps one of the reasons I gravitated to the army was because of the bitter taste of being an orphan on the one hand and the memory of how my father died on the other hand. In 1334 (1955), I entered the officer's college and graduated in 1337 (1958) with a military rank of second lieutenant, obtaining the first grade among 420 people.

I studied an armored introductory course at the Armored College for six months and then started teaching at the Armored Center as a professor in the Department of Armaments. I was sent to the United States for a year to take an explanatory course for an armored officer and the officer of repairing the vehicles and M-60 and A-1 tanks and after finishing the course, I went to Jay Garrison and started teaching in the Armored Center. I also became the commander of the company of the armored students. In 1346 (1967), I was transferred to the 92nd Armored Division of Ahvaz.

*What job did you start doing?

* In the 92nd Armored Division, I became the commander of a tank company in the 1st Armored Brigade.

*Did you take part in escorting the merchant ship Ebn-e Sina?

*Yes. I was the commander of the armored group of escorting the Ebn-e Sina ship. The Joint Operation Arvand, more known by its Persian acronym “AMA” was merely a show of power carried out by the Iranian military forces in April 1969. The reason was the Iraqi claim for the sovereign right to Arvand Rud and threatening to block passage of vessels unless they fly Iraqi flag. For this reason, the merchant ship Ebn-e-Sina, carrying a cargo of steel beams and flying Iranian flag, was escorted by an armed naval vessel headed by the lieutenant captain Attaei, as well as F-4 jet fighters and proceeded through the river into the Persian Gulf. Captain Attaei had said, “I salute and sail to the end of Arvand to see who is stopping me”. Iranian troops from the divisions of 92 and 77 were positioned in the vicinity of Khorramshahr and Abadan, while Iraq put its forces in Basra on alert. This mission was carried out very well. It was a kind of show of Iran's military power. We were fully prepared for any conflict; but no conflict happened. In the same year, due to the border disputes between Iran and Iraq, I was sent to the Fakkeh border and in 1348 and 1349 (1969 and 1970), I graduated from the University of Command and Staff with the rank of captain.

*Where were you sent after finishing the course in the University of Command and Staff?[1]

*I went to Germany for spending the course of airborne supervising officer.

*Where were you transferred after returning?

*I was transferred to the 81st Armored Division of Kermanshah.

*What was your position?

*I was the commander of the 285th Battalion of the 2nd Armored Brigade of Kermanshah for three years during which was sent to the border mission in Sumar as well as missions in Dhofar, Pakistan and Jordan. I also became the Deputy Commander of the 1st Armored Brigade of Eslamabad and later, became the head of the 4th Department of the division with the rank of lieutenant colonel and in order to get the rank of colonel, in 1356 (1977), I was the Deputy Chief of the Armored Brigade of the 81st Division for one year and then was transferred to Eslamabad. Later, I became the head of the 4th Department of the division with the rank of lieutenant colonel and in order to get the rank of colonel, in 1977, I was the Deputy Chief of the Armored Brigade of the 81st Division for one year and was transferred to Eslamabad and then, became the Chief of the Staff of the 81st Armored Division.

*Did you have the same position with the victory of the Islamic Revolution?

*Yes. I was the Chief of the Staff of the 81st Armored Division when the Islamic Revolution became victorious.

*Who was the commander of the 81st Armored Division?

*Major General Manouchehr Fouzi was the commander of the division. He has a good relation with the clergies. He was a religious and faithful person. The martial law was not carried out during his tenure. The commander and deputy of the division went to Tehran after the victory of the Islamic Revolution.

*Who replaced Major General Manouchehr Fouzi?

*The commander of the division’s artillery, colonel Fotovat became the caretaker of the division temporarily. After a while, colonel Fouladi came from Tehran and became of the commander of the division.

* Were you still the Chief of Staff?

* I must say that one of the support officers of the area introduced himself as a revolutionary and set up an office with a few others, and retired many experienced officers with military knowledge and with positions of commandership, of which I was one.

*What did you do?

*I came back to Tehran in 1358 (1979) and went to the Ground Force.

*why?

* I went to have my pension salary fixed. I went to the office of the commander of the ground forces, Brigadier General Fallahi. When he saw me, said: Why are you wearing non-uniform clothes?! When he heard about my forced retirement, he called Major Majid Raeis Dana.

*Was the adjutant major Brigadier General Fallahi?

*No; Major Majid Raeis Dana was also an armored officer but it seemed that he along with colonel Sharif Nasab was a member of the revolutionary and purging team of the army.

*Sorry to interrupt you, please keep talking. You said that he called the major. What did he tell him?

*He said, “Check Colonel Lotfi's case immediately in the commission and tell me the result!” We sat in his room for half an hour and talked about the situation in the garrison. Then the major came to the office and said, “Sir; the case was checked. The colonel has nothing but incentives and command in the border areas and being a professor in the Armored College and participating in operations and maneuvers”. While sipping his tea, the general shook his head and wrote an order, appointing me as the Deputy Commander of the 1st Brigade of the 16th Armored Division of Qazvin. Then, he asked me to go to Qazvin Division immediately and introduce myself to the commander!

*Who was the Commander of the 16th Armored Division of Qazvin?

*Colonel Heshmat.

*Who was the Commander of the 1st Brigade?

*Colonel Mustafavi.

* We know that after the emergence of any revolution, naturally, there is chaos and disorder in any system. How did you see the situation of the 16th Armored Division of Qazvin in 1979?

* The division was in a very bad condition. Most of the personnel did not come to the garrison or brought letters of transfer from other departments to the army, and the transfers were carried out very easily. At night, I along with Colonel Heshmat Dehkordi, the commander of the division and Colonel Mostafavi, the commander of the 1st Brigade patrolled around the garrison with a dog so that no one would come and steal the weapons. Although two lines of barbed wire had been laid around the garrison and mines had been planted between them, we were worried about the infiltration of traitors who would come and sabotage. One day, I told the commander of the division, “Contact Commander Fallahi and inform him about the situation of the division”. Colonel Heshmat did so. The next day, the commander called the office and talked to me, he wanted to know more about the situation of the division. I said, “Sir! The staff arrives at the garrison before the noon after 10 AM”. He got angry and said, “I will come myself. Just inform the staff to be there tomorrow”. So, I followed up the case; we could find and inform some of them to come to the garrison. General Fallahi had said, “I would stand in the doorway at 8 AM and anyone who is late, will be fired.” The next morning, the commander stood in the doorway and ordered that the names of anyone who arrived late be written down. Little by little, we were able to mobilize the division.

*What units did the armored division of Qazvin have?

*Armored brigades, artillery unit, logistics, engineering battalion, telecommunication battalion, and two armored cavalry battalions.

*Where were the brigades positioned?

*The first armored brigade of the division was in Hamedan, one armored brigade in Zanjan and one mechanized brigade in Qazvin and one mechanized battalion along with a company were in Manjil.

* How much dispersion is there between the brigades?

*Yes, there was a lot of dispersion. After we organized the division a little, one day, general Fallahi came to the garrison to check the situation and did not agree with the requests of the personnel who did not come to the garrison or applied for retirement. Then, he ordered to gather everyone and hold a military morning ceremony. After talking to the personnel, he pointed to the division commander to come to the podium and speak. On that day, the cleric Haj Agha Abu Turabi, who later became a member of parliament, was also invited and spoke, and Haj Agha Barikbin, the Friday prayer leader of Qazvin, who had helped us a lot in rebuilding the army, was also present. After a while, Colonel Pourmousa became the commander of the 2nd Brigade of the division and I became the deputy commander of the division. God knows how hard it was for us to retain the remaining forces and to repair the equipment, the tanks and the machines.

* We did not have a long distance between the revolution and the beginning of the war, and we had unrests such as the one in Kurdistan years and months between the beginning of the revolution and the war. What was the division's first mission after the revolution?

* In early 1359 (1980), the Divandarreh-Saqqez and Saqqez-Baneh roads were captured by the anti-revolutionary forces, and they created insecurity in the cities of Divandarreh, Saqqez, Baneh, and their subordinate districts and villages, so that the Baneh garrison was besieged for four months. Procurement and logistics items were sent by air by the helicopters of the army aviation. For this reason, the army ground forces instructed Colonel Pourmousa, the commander of the 16th Armored Division of Qazvin, to clear these areas of anti-revolutionary forces and establish peace in the area. Colonel Pourmousa handed over the mission to the 1st Brigade of the division. The commander of the 1st Brigade also sent his deputy, the Lieutenant Colonel Mehdi Radfar, on this mission.

*Who was the commander of the 1st Brigade?

*Colonel Iraj Jamshidi

*What did Colonel Radfar do?

* He formed an armored group consisting of a mechanized infantry company, a tank company, an armored cavalry company, an artillery unit, an engineering unit, a telecommunications regiment and elements from the logistic unit of the division, and moved from the Qazvin garrison to Zanjan, Bijar and Divandarreh, and settled near Divandarreh, and after identifying the area, they were supposed to carry out an operation in two phases.

*What was the aim of the first phase of the operation?

*The aim of the first phase of the operation was to purge the Divandarreh road toward Saqqez and establish security in the districts and villages around the road. At 8 o'clock in the morning on the day of the operation, the combat group left Divandarreh, and by carrying out an operation, they cleared the heights overlooking the road from the anti-revolutionaries. Of course, at this stage, two helicopters from the Army Aviation cooperated with us to supply and support the armored column.

*Tell us about the situation of friendly forces in Saqqez and Baneh

*Some forces from the 28th Division of Kurdistan headed by Colonel Madrakian were position in Saqqez. Also, one battalion from 21st Division of Hamza under the command of Colonel Razmi, was stationed and besieged in the Baneh garrison, and their supply was carried out by air.

*How was the situation of anti-revolutionary forces?

*Anti-revolutionary forces controlled the Saqqez-Baneh road and the crucial heights of the Gardaneh Khan area, the town of Baneh, and the Arbaba Heights, and did not allow any ground traffic. They had besieged the Baneh garrison.

*What did you do for the second phase of the operation?

*For the second phase, reconnaissance operations were carried out several times by air by the helicopters of Aviation Army, and based on the obtained information, consultation meetings for coordination of forces were carried out three times in Saqqez garrison.

*Who were present in these meetings?

Colonel Pourmousa, Commander of the 16th Division of Qazvin, Colonel Madrakian the Commander of Saqqez Garrison, Major Sayad Shirazi, members of the Nohed Brigade, the representative of Imam Khomeini (God bless his soul) in the western region, Lieutenant Dadbin and the personnel who accompanied Sayad Shirazi, and Commander of the Combat Group, Colonel Mehdi Radfar along with the low-ranking commanders and a number of local guides.

*What was the result of the meetings?

*They had emphasized on necessary coordination between the elements, meaning that before the armored column moved, the helicopters would go for reconnaissance, establish security and destroy anti-revolutionary watchtowers so that the column could move, and since the anti-revolutionary forces were usually active at night, they signed that each combat group arrived at any location , stopped and took up a defensive position around the unit, and the operation continues the next day when the weather gets clear.

*When, where and at what time were the clearing operation carried out?

*The combat group moved from Saqqez at 8 AM on 31st of Ordibehehst 1359 (May 21, 1980); with the fire maneuvering of the armored cavalry company under the command of Captain Nasser Mohammadi-Fard - from the 81st Armored Division of Kermanshah - supplying the factions by the Operations Command, Colonel Radfar moved towards the town of Baneh and while advancing, all anti-revolutionary resistance along the road and crucial points and heights overlooking the road was cleared and the anti-revolutionaries fled or retreated.  

At around 5 PM, with the great efforts and sacrifices of the personnel, the all-out anti-revolutionary resistance was removed in Gardaneh Khan, and the Gardaneh and its surroundings were cleared and captured by friendly forces. The operation was immediately reported to the division commander and Major Sayad, who were on a helicopter monitoring the operation from the air. Lieutenant Colonel Radfar, the commander of the combat group's column, had said that we would stop there according to the signed minutes. It was requested that due to the coordination made in the meetings, the movement of the combat group on Gardaneh Khan be stopped and the surrounding defense be established and the continuation of the operation be postponed until the next morning. Moreover, up to this stage of the operation, no casualties or damage had been inflicted on the column.

Major Sayad opposed Radfer's request, ordering him to "continue the operation and take advantage of the situation and continue advancing towards Baneh." Colonel Radfar had said: "Since we do not have enough information about the anti-revolutionary forces and due to the beginning of darkness, I am opposed to progress." But the commander of the division ordered us to carry out the Sayad's order.

Then the order to move was communicated to the column, and after the column came down from Gardaneh Khan, they were besieged by the anti-revolutionaries for about three kilometers.

*How many kilometers was the distance from Gardaneh Khan to Baneh?

*The distance from Gardaneh Khan to Baneh was about 10 kilometers.

*What was the extent of the siege of the forces by the anti-revolutionaries?

*As soon as the forces went down the Gardeneh, the anti-revolutionary forces started firing at the column from the sides and the opposite side, so that the combat group was surrounded and clashed on three sides and was not able to advance at all. After an hour of fighting while receiving an order, they were forced to retreat from the Gardaneh until the units regrouped. They formed a defensive circle.

*How much was the damage inflicted on the friendly forces?

*The next day, while visiting the units and counting and reorganizing and strengthening the morale of the personnel, it was determined that in this operation, we had 8 martyrs, 12 wounded and 30 captives, and three Scorpions, two personnel carriers were destroyed and five Scorpions were captured by the anti-revolutionaries.

*What was the reaction of Major Sayad and Colonel Pourmusa?

*Sayad went to Radfar, saying the units must move. Radfar says, "It is not possible at all because the forces have lost their morale."

*So, the operation was aimed at clearing the road and villages, breaking the siege of Baneh Garrison and securing the town of Baneh and Arbaba Heights overlooking the town. Naturally, the combat forces in this clash were inflicted casualties and damages for achieving this goal; to what extent did the senior army officials pay attention to the operation?

*When general Fallahi was informed of the casualties and damages inflicted to the combat group, called me immediately and said, “I entrust you with a complementary mission, which, given your operational experience, I know that you will accomplish it well. You know that an armored column has already gone to the area which has suffered a lot of damage. I want you to move toward Baneh immediately! I warn you to be careful because behind each thorn bush lies an anti-revolutionary and monitors the movement of the column. I want you to move immediately and clear Baneh of them and let me know the reports personally!” I set off with the first tank column and reached the Saqqez headquarters.

*Who was the commander of the headquarters in the west at that time?

*Major Sayad Shirazi was there and commanded the western headquarters. After introducing myself, I told him, “I have a mission to carry out the orders of general Fallahi”. "I am the commander of the western headquarters," he said. I said,Whatever position you have, it is honorable but according to the orders of general Fallahi, I have to carry out this mission well at the moment, and it is necessary for you to cooperate with me and fulfill my request, which is according to the orders of the general!”

*Did Major Sayad Shirazi accept?

* Yes, the major who knew me well, accepted my order and, with the help of a number of Special Forces personnel, provided security.

*The forces deployed at the top of Gardaneh Khan had retreated, did the operation stopped continuing?

*No; after a 48-hour stop on Gardaneh Khan and reorganization, the necessary coordination and reconnaissance was carried out. At 8 o'clock in the morning, with a change in the combat organization, namely the armored tank company under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Radfer and the cooperation of Major Sayad both of whom were sitting on the first tank, moved to the town of Baneh. The resistance of anti-revolutionary forces was broken and they fled. Once again, Colonel Radfar and Sayad and three members of the tank engineering unit went to the garrison because they had to cut the fences and barbed wires around the garrison.

*Why didn’t you enter from the main door of the garrison?

*The conditions were not such that we could enter through the garrison’s door. The anti-revolutionaries dominated the garrison from the peaks of Arbaba, so after identifying the garrison area, we crossed the column through the fences and entered the Baneh garrison, and the personnel came to greet us while shouting Allah-o Akbar (God is great), because after four months, the ground way of the garrison had been cleared. We had ammunition and food inside the column and distributed them among the fighters. Thus, the siege of the garrison was lifted.

* What situation did you face when you arrived at Baneh garrison?

*Baneh Garrison was in a deplorable condition; the soldiers who had been martyred were wrapped in nylon in the garrison’s precinct and ready to be evacuated, which we evacuated them by helicopter.

*What did you do with the Arbaba Heights in view of the fact that the anti-revolutionaries dominated Baneh Garrison and the surrounding altitudes?

*We planned for the Arbaba Heights one day after the liberation of Baneh Garrison. Two Cobra helicopters flied toward the heights one of which unfortunately was destroyed.

*Do you remember who was the pilot of the Cobra helicopter who was martyred?

*First Lieutenant Abbas Darashti.

*Did you request another Cobra helicopter again?

*No; it was useless because the next helicopter might be targeted. After consultation in the headquarters, it was supposed that the Special Forces of the Nohed Brigade who were with Sayad, would go up from the heights at night and clean the heights of Arbaba from the filth of the anti-revolutionaries. This happened, and we liberated the heights. I also stayed in Baneh for forty days and helped the people's operations.

*How?

*I personally knocked the door of every house from Baneh to Sardasht and asked: do you have a gun or not? If a woman opened the door, I said: Lady, where is your husband? If you don't answer correctly, I won't help you, but if you tell me the truth, I will give you money and food. In this way, I helped the people of every house and after establishing calm in Baneh, I left for Sanandaj and then from there, I returned to Qazvin again.

*How were you selected as the Commander of the 16th Armored Division? Was it because of your success in Baneh?

*No; a problem happened which led to my disagreement with the division commander.

*What problem?

*Colonel Pourmousa was a member of the operational branch of Mr. Ghotbzadeh who wanted to act against Imam Khomeini (God bless his soul). The operation was disclosed and Pourmousa was arrested between the Rasht-Qazvin road and executed. On the night that Colonel Pourmousa and Mr. Ghotbzadeh were executed, Haj Agha Aboutorabi, the person in charge of the Ideological-Political Department of the division along with a few others came to my house and said, "We selected you as the commander of the division." I said, "I obey the order of higher rank of military. Bring my decree and I will accept." They left for Tehran and brought my decree as a commander the next day.

*What was your forts measure after appointment as the division commander?

* It was not long after my command that general Fallahi ordered that a parade should be held in the city!

*To what extent were you ready for this?

*For doing this, the vehicles and tanks were needed to be prepared. But some personnel most of whom were conscripts had damaged the vehicles and tanks and we couldn't turn them on. After inspection, the mechanics reported the reason to me and said, "The rotors of the vehicles have been removed and most the power cables of the tanks have also been cut off." I shared the problem with Haj Agha Aboutorabi, the person in charge of the Ideological-Political Department of the division, saying, "Such a situation has happened. Some of these people come to you, asking you to retire or fire this person or that person. Please check their words well!" After preparing the vehicles and tanks, we held a parade in the city which had a goof impact on the public opinion. As the readiness of the units of the division elevated day by fay, the people's support and trust in the military also increased.

*Where were you when the imposed war started?

*As I had been sitting in my office on 31st of Shahrivar 1359 (September 22, 1980), the Highway Police of Qazvin-Hamedan called me and said, "An Iraqi fighter jet has attacked our patrol car and all personnel have been killed." One week later, general Fallahi called and said, "Call the president!" I immediately called the office of Banisadr. The president said, "Move immediately and bring the division to Dezful tomorrow!"

I said, "Mr. president, it seems that you don't have enough information about an armored division. Do you know how many personnel, how many items, how many vehicles, tanks, artilleries, engineering battalions, telecommunication battalions, armored cavalry battalions, air defense battalions, maintenance battalions, transportation battalions, health and support battalions an armored division have. This division has three armored brigades and six tank battalions and five mechanized battalions. Do you know how many kilometers is from here to Dezful? Is it possible to move immediately? Is it possible to move so fast and transfer an armored division?"

*What did Banisadr said?

*He said, "I want you to be there next week!" I said, "With my calculation and given the train's gravitation force that can carry only eight tanks in a day, we cannot move all of these vehicles, items and weapons within a week." Mr. Banisadr said, "So what should I do?" I said, "Go to Imam Khomeini and ask him for help."

In this regard, Imam Khomeini issued an order and said, "Any vehicle moving in Qazvin-Tehran road, come and introduce himself to the division and any vehicle that can carry and tanks, help the division."

Many vehicles referred to the garrison after Imam Khomeini's order. Finally, after one month, the units were moved from Zanjan, Hamedan, Manjil and Qazvin and we entered Dezful on 9th of Aban 1359 (October 31, 1980). The enemy bombed the Dokooheh garrison which was the center of the army's weapons on the same day. For this reason, the asphalt road was closed and we were forces to bypass the road and go to the headquarters through a dirt road. Brigafier General Zahirnejad was there. I went and introduced myself and said, "The 16th Armored Division has arrived the area." He said, "You yourself expand the division and wait for the order in Dezul."

*Where were you deployed?

*We were deployed in the Officers Club of Dezful Air Base. The commanders gathered at night and reported Mr. Banisadr. As he had been lying on the bed with pajamas, he listened to the reports and issued orders. Finally, Banisadr held a meeting in southern operational headquarters on 26th of Azar 1359 (December 17, 1980) and told the Commander of the ground Force, "Provide a plan at any possible way and carry out a massive offensive operation, because I cannot resist any more against the opinions and demands of the people and religious leaders. Either you have to provide and implement a plan, or you have to go and explicitly explain to the people in the mass media why it is not possible to carry out offensive operations!" The commander of the ground forces replied, "I am a military person and subject to the orders of the commanders. You, as the Deputy Leader in the Armed Forces, give the order and I will carry it out unquestionably. In continuation of the session, a text was prepared. Banisadr told the general Fallahi: Inform the mission in writing. The general immediately began to read:

"From the Command of the Armed Forces to the Command of the Ground Forces of the Army of the Islamic Republic of Iran. According to a plan approved by the Supreme Council of Defense, it is authorized that that an offensive operation in the area of Ahvaz is carried out and destroy the enemy in the general zone of Karkheh Koor – Dobb-e Hardan, and to be prepared to repair the border line according to the regulatory plans and operations and as per the order, drag the offensive operation to the enemy's soil for capturing the described targets."

*Did immediately mean how long, where and with what force and with what plan they could start the operation?

* According to military experts present at the meeting, immediate military operations were not possible. Banisadr added the following sentence under the same command: "The attack must take place within a week."

Three days later, Ayatollah Khamenei, Imam Khomeini's representative in the Supreme Council of Defense, and Brigadier General Fallahi, Colonel Fakuri, and Mr. Banisadr visited the Imam. Imam Khomeini conveyed his prophetic support and guidance and said: "You attack, the Muslim nation of Iran support you and I also support the army."

A few days after the Imam's order, Brigadier General Zahirnejad ordered the 16th Armored Division to prepare and move toward Ahvaz without the 2nd Brigade and the Armored Cavalry Battalion and attack the Iraqi forces massively!"

I insisted him to allow that the 2nd Brigade and two armored cavalry battalions of the division remain in the frontline, but he said, "The order is what I gave."

I inevitably moved the column from Dezful and went to Ahvaz from Shushtar Road. When I arrived in Ahvaz, I quickly expanded the units and began to identify the area.one day, I went to the building of the Governorship of Khuzestan Province to visit Dr. Chamran. He had been shot in the leg and was lying in the bed. When he saw me, sat down and hugged and kissed me and said, "I hope you succeed in the operation. Tell me what help you need till I do for you." I said, "Give us some large gas pipes to build a bridge over the Karkhehkoor River, because the enemy forces have seized the bridgehead[2] in northern Karkhehkoor from where they can control the Ahvaz-Susangard road with direct fire from tanks. During these days of movement, they targeted one of our tanks that was being carried on the tank-carrier with an anti-tank bullet. Therefore, transportation on this road is only carried out at night". Chamran immediately issued the order to give us the large pipes.

 

To be continued …

 

[1] The University of Command and Staff is a military university affiliated to the Iranian Army in which specialized courses in scientific and military training are offered that must be passed by the military forces to obtain ranks higher than colonel and master.

[2]  (Military science) an area relatively far from the river bank in the territory of the enemy or potential enemy that facilitates the passage of troops and military equipment after seizure and also serves as a base from which offensive operations can be continued or key areas in the back can be protected.    



 
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Excerpt from the Memoirs of Nayreh al-Sadat Ehtesham Razavi

I was in Qom at the time, and when the Qom police chief found that I was at Mr. Vahedis house, where he was surrounded; Mr. Vahedi was living in Qom at that time. When Mr. Vahedis house was surrounded, two people knocked on the door and entered the house, and sat with Mr. Vahedi in the guest house. Mr. Vahedi came and said: "lady! They are detectives and come to arrest me";
Excerpts from the memoirs of Seyed Ahmad Zarhani

On the Day 31st Shahrivar 1359 (22nd September 1980)

In the summer of 1980, a member of the Islamic Association of the Dezful Vahdati Base reported: "Iraqi plane MIG has been appearing in Dezful for several days. The defense could shoot them, but the base commander preferred not shoot them. When the MIGs were gone, permission to fire was issued and our expensive ammunition is wasted." He added: "Meanwhile, the commander has planted poppies in the garden in front of his house and he does not fear to meet someone."
An interview with former commander of the 16th Armored Division of Qazvin – 1

Armored General

He came wearing a dress in ripe wheat color, black high-heeled varnished boots, high-quality leather gloves, and gold-rimmed glasses over his nose; a leather hat special for armored horsemen and the golden medal of Fath 2 with three palm tree leaves and the dome of Khorramshahrs Jame (Grand) Mosque as well as the flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran installed on the collar of his blue coat.

Importance of Narrator Tone in Implementation

In order to better understand meaning and tone of the narrator, the author must be precise in ordinary peoples conversation, speech, and dialogue. For example, when you go to Bazaar, be more careful to hear normal conversations and actions and verbal reactions of people that are going on; like a surprise reaction. In implementation, we must respect the narrators tone and expression, and be faithful to it. One of the advantages of bringing the narrators tone ...