An Excerpt from Ahmad Mansouri memoirs on the eve of Nowruz 1358 (March 21, 1979)

Protection of Paarchin Military Industries

Provided by: Faezeh Sasanikhah
Translated by: Zahra Hosseinian

2021-04-06


Immediately after fall of the Pahlavi military and security headquarters and the victory of the Islamic Revolution, people in every city and neighborhood took over the protection of the region, and established the Islamic Revolution Committees, which was a spontaneous revolutionary institution.

The people of East Tehran also had voluntarily gathered in Parchin to protect the military industry of Parchin, which included several factories and critical centers of the military industry in about forty kilometers area. But no one was in charge of the committee. At that time, I worked in the welcome-committee at Alavi School. Finally, I was appointed for this post and went to that district to take the charge of the committee. In the first days, I realized that many people were still unaware of the truth of the revolution and the country's adventures, due to the atmosphere prevailed the Parchin region during the Shah Regime, and even some simple-minded people thought that the Shah would return soon and SAVAK and the Intelligence Protection of Army will take control of the situation after the reconstruction. So, several lectures was held to inform the people and give them political insight. But the political backwardness was so deep in some people that whenever I spoke harshly about the monarchy, Shah, and SAVAK, they left one by one for fear of their future.

The military industry factories were closed, and their commanders and bosses either hid, or confined in their home and waited for a government assignment. In addition to maintaining security in the region, it was our task to try to reactivate factories and offices. Therefore, with the help of some members of the committee, who had a good knowledge of the military industry officials, one of the senior officers, Major Ghorbani, was identified. But the problem was that the army organization had been disintegrated and there was no rank and hierarchy. To rebuild and reorganize the army, Martyr General Gharani had been appointed by the Revolutionary Council to head the Joint Staff of the Army. In order to support Major Ghorbani, we had to go to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and, by hook or by crook, receive the appointment order of Ghorbani from Martyr Gharani, who was the Major General at the time. In the first months of the revolution, the working hours was no matter for the revolutionary forces. From morning, when we waked up to perform Morning Prayer, were busy working until we were exhausted. We even slept in the committee office and went home once every few days. Therefore, accompanied by some of the committee members, I picked up Ghorbani one night and we set off to Tehran, and went straight to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. We did all our best and got permission from the guard and finally entered the office of General Gharani after a while. It was the first time I met this zealous and indefatigable army man. He had been imprisoned for several years during the Shah's reign for his activities against the Shah's regime, and after the revolution he had been commissioned to reorganize the army. After introducing myself and my colleagues, we each gave him a report on Parchin's latest condition. He listened to our reports and after a brief conversation with Major Ghorbani, he immediately wrote down an appointment order and handed it over to him. Of course, issuing an appointment order in this way seems strange to us today, but in the first days of revolution and the disintegration of the organizations, there was no other choice. The next day, Major Ghorbani began reorganizing the Parchin Military Industries Organization.

I was in the Parchin Revolutionary Committee for the first six months of the revolution, and each day I faced with one of the dimensions and problems of these factories and the people and their personnel.

One day, while patrolling the district with several members of the committee, I saw abandoned corporate houses. My friends informed me that these 300 housing units were owned by French and Czech experts before the victory of the revolution and they were employed in the military industry of the army and received high salary. Interestingly, before the plans came to fruition, they left Iran due to the revolution in the country. Before leaving, they emphatically pointed out that these projects will not be completed until they return. Projects such as manufacturing RPG-7 bullets. During the post-revolution, the zealous staff of the Ministry of Defense and the army worked hard and accomplished the unfinished projects and they have taken much higher steps in manufacturing weapons needed to defend the country.

There were many agricultural lands around Parchin belonged to the Endowments and Charity Office. Before revolution, the Endowments Office of Pahlavi government had ceded ten hectares of these lands to each of the Parchin colonels. They planted strawberries on these lands with the help of army soldiers and organizational facilities and sent them to Tehran to be sold. Although the lands were endowed and soldiers, equipment, and trucks had been provided by the army, but only these land-grabber colonels earned income. We worked hard for a long time to liberate these lands and the property of the Bayt al-mal with the help of Varamin Endowments and Charity Office.

Nowruz of 1358 (March 21, 1979) arrived and people were preparing for New Year holidays and travel. But Parchin people and I did not leave the committee and also did not hesitate to do anything to maintain the security of the area 24-hours. We even did things that were not our task, but because the people needed and also the lack of a person in charge, we got involved; like resolving the financial disputes of the residents and irrigating the trees and green space of the region. Before the New Year, the authorities of the country had started to hold a referendum in the country by the order of Imam Khomeini. It was unprecedented to hold regular referendums and elections at such a rapid pace after victory, and also to involve the people to determine the political structure of the country and to elect a president, representatives, and the constitution by voting. It must be said that Iran is an example of democracy in the world. Therefore, as soon as the Ministry of Interior took action to hold the referendum, members of our committee prepared to cooperate in maintaining the order and security of it. There was a polling station in Parchin, and I personally oversaw the order of the constituency and did not tolerate any disorder. If someone had no birth certificate or wanted to vote by a photocopy of birth certificate, it would hardly be prevented. Some people, who did not have birth certificate for some reason, asked and begged me to be allowed to vote, but I refused without any hesitation. Finally, the referendum was held on the March 30 and 31, 1979, and the authorities of the Ministry of Interior left Parchin with the satisfaction of our good cooperation.

In May 1979, we were notified by the Central Committee of the Islamic Revolution to list the staff who worked in the Parchin Committee, and also to determine the amount of their monthly salary by asking them. At that time, some of my colleagues on the committee were Parchin military industry personnel who were commissioned by the organization. They had no problem, but others were not employed by the government and had no way to earn a living, and from the very beginning of joining the committee, they lived in any way possible. I was one of these people.[1]

 


[1] Javadani Moghadam, Mehdi, Memoirs of Ahmad Mansouri, Tehran, Islamic Revolutionary Documentation Center, 2010, 1st Edition, p. 198

 

 


 
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