The Oral History of the Army in the Iranian Revolution

Publication Year: 2007
Editor: Azizi, Heshmatollah
296 pages
ISBN: 978-964-419-245-6

Pahlavi’s reign emergence and stability is due to the two military coups of 1921 and 19th August 1953. Pahlavi considered the army and other armed forces as its primary support. The predominant international and national policy of the two Shahs was to reinforce and develop the army, equip the army with the most recent weapons and, most importantly to silence any voice of political opinion which did not believe in obeying and praising the Shah unconditionally and blindly. Mohammad Reza Shah spent most of his time on military affairs, armed forces and secret police intelligentsia. He monitored all their activities, from the most important ones to the most trivial ones, from appointing and dismissing officers to controlling the budget for the arsenal and ammunition. Shah’s closest consultants were mostly high rank army members. The Shah believed that with a strong and well equipped army, he could save Pahlavi’s reign from the danger of decline at the time of crisis. However, because this army, lacked an ideal and a correct ideology, had no place in hearts of the people and, was completely unfamiliar with a healthy political culture, it was pushed aside at the verge of the revolution. The army did not have the courage to make a move against the mass.
In this book, people once part of the body of the army, talk about the army’s support for the mass and its neutralizing effect. The research, done in this book, is in line with oral history research methods.
Although, the effort has been made to include all written and oral documents, the information collected through interviews is considered as the primary source in this book.

After identifying the subjects of the study and collecting other data based on previous documents, memoirs and researches, the Oral History of the Army in the Revolution, was conducted in eight parts: in the first part, the history of the army and its important role during Pahlavi’s reign is discussed. The Second part deals with the situation of the army before 1953.  The third part is dedicated to the position army took towards the significant incidents in 1977-1978. The strategy adopted by the revolutionaries is the subject of the forth part and the army and religion is the subject of the fifth part. The sixth and the second parts discuss the decline of the army and its inefficiencies. The last part deals with the revival of the army.  

Translated by: Jeiran Gahan

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A memory from Mohammad Reza Yousefi

Stealing medicines from the city pharmacy

In the days after the Islamic Revolution, many people remember that young people gathered in different parts of the cities, and each one represented a group: groups such as the Tudeh party, Monafeghin or the hypocrites, the Fedai Guerrillas, the Democrats, Hezbollah, etc. each of which debated with each other with different political opinions and worldviews, and sometimes physical conflicts occurred between them during the debate. I was also interested in such street debates.

An Intelligent Demonstration

The people of Kurdistan did not have the courage to attend the demonstration due to pressures the regime had put on them. Whenever there was a demonstration across the country, there was no news in Saqqez until we, as the exile who were 10 to 11 people, decided to hold a demonstration there. When we started to demonstrate, two-three police cars had turned on their lights and followed us along with ...

Feeling of suffocation in runnel

Translated by M. B. Khoshnevisan
Saturday and Sunday, 9th and 10th of Dey 1357 (December 30 and 31, 1978) had coincided with the first days of the lunar month of Safar 1399. It had been four or five days since we left the sit-in. The regime showed terrible and intimidating behaviors and confrontations. On the other hand, we also prepared a big rally, which ended at Khorasan Governorate. From the first days of the Dey, the Pahlavi ...
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