One crisp morning in the winter of 1971, thirteen young Iranians armed with rifles, machine guns and hand grenades, attacked the gendarmerie post in the village of Siakal on the edge of the Caspian forests. Killing three gendarmes, they tried to release two colleagues who had been detained a few days earlier, and, failing to find the prisoners in the gendarmerie post, escaped into the rugged mountains of Gilan. Unknown both to the participants and to the outside world, this famous “Siakal incident” sparked eight years of intense guerrilla activity and inspired many other radicals, Islamic as well as Marxist, to take up arms against the Pahlavi regime. But despite the importance of the guerrilla movement, its history is being rapidly distorted, misused and misinterpreted: partly because almost all the original leaders have been killed, partly because their followers are more interested in making history than in writing history, and partly because the new regime, like its predecessor, is eager to dismiss and denounce the revolutionaries as “terrorists,” “atheists” and “foreign agents.”

Between February 1971, when the Siakal incident occurred, and October 1977, when the Islamic Revolution began to unfold in the streets of Tehran, the regime, notably its secret police SAVAK, killed 341 members of guerrilla organizations and political parties advocating armed struggle. [1] One hundred seventy-seven of these died in gun battles; 91 were executed — some without trial, others after secret military tribunals; 42 were tortured to death; 15 “disappeared”; seven committed suicide to avoid capture; and nine were shot “trying to escape.” (After the revolution the jailers confessed that they had killed these nine in cold blood.) In these years the regime also tortured to death seven political prisoners not associated with armed organizations; two prominent left-wing intellectuals who were executed for “plotting to kidnap the royal family”; two clerical leaders, two members of the communist Tudeh Party, and one activist from the Confederation of Iranian Students in Europe. Countless others were imprisoned and tortured for suspected “anti-state” activities. In his annual report for 1974-1975, Martin Ennals, secretary-general of Amnesty International, declared that “the Shah of Iran retains his benevolent image despite the highest rate of death penalties in the world, no valid system of civilian courts, and a history of torture which is beyond belief.” [2]

In terms of class background, almost all the guerrillas came from the ranks of the young intelligentsia. Guerrilla organizations and next-of-kin have provided information on the occupations of 306 of the 341 dead. Of the 306,280 (91.5 percent) can be described as members of the intelligentsia. They included 139 college students, 36 engineers, 27 teachers, 20 office employees, 20 professionals (such as architects, professors, accountants, lawyers, and librarians), 14 housewives (all married to university graduates), eight high school students, six doctors, five intellectuals (poets, novelists and translators) and five college graduates conscripted into the army. The other 26 (8.5 percent) consisted of 22 factory workers, three shopkeepers and one low-ranking clergyman. At time of death, only ten of the 306 were over 35 years old. Among the total 341 dead, there were 39 women — they included 14 housewives, 13 college students, nine school teachers, two doctors and one office employee. The growth of the guerrilla movement in no way correlated with any decline in the economy. On the contrary, the movement developed at a time of middle-class prosperity, rising salaries, employment opportunities for college graduates and a six-fold expansion in university enrollment. In fact, almost all the dead guerrillas had been able to go to university either because they had won state scholarships or because their upwardly mobile middle-class families could afford to pay the tuition fees. They took up arms as a result of social, moral and political indignation, rather than of economic deprivation.

The guerrillas can be divided into five political groupings:

  • The Sazman-e Cherik-ha-ye Feda’-ye Khalq-e Iran (The Organization of the Guerrilla Freedom Fighters of the Iranian People), known as the Marxist Fedayi.
  • The Sazman-e Mojahedin-e Khalq-e Iran (The Organization of the Freedom Fighters of the Iranian People) — generally referred to as the Islamic Mojahedin.
  • The Marxist offshoot from the Sazman-e Mojahedin-e Khalq-e Iran. From 1975 to 1979, this organization was known as the Marxist Mojahedin. After the revolution, it adopted the title of Sazman-e Paykar dar Rah-e Azad-e Tabaqeh-e Kargar (The Fighting Organization on the Road for Liberating the Working Class). It is now known simply as Paykar (Battle).
  • Small Islamic organizations often limited to one town, such as the Gorueh-e Abu Zahr (The Abu Zahr Group) in Nahavand, Gorueh-e Shi&isquo;iyan-e Rastin (The Group of True Shi&isquo;is) in Hamadan, Gorueh-e Valasar (The Valasar Group) in Mashhad, Gorueh-e Allah Akbar (The Allah Akbar Group) in Isfahan, and the Gorueh-e Al-Fajar (The Al-Fajar Group) in Zahedan.
  • Small Marxist organizations, including independent groups, such as the Sazman-e Azadibakhsh-e Khalq-ha-ye Iran (The Organization for the Liberation of the Iranian Peoples), the Gorueh-e Lurestan (The Lurestan Group), Sazman-e Arman-e Khalq (The Organization for the People’s Ideal) and the Razmandegan-e Azad-e Tabeqeh-e Kargar (The Fighters for the Liberation of the Working Class), as well as cells associated with such political parties as the Hezb-e Demokrat-e Kurdestan-e Iran (The Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran), the pro-Chinese Sazman-e Enqelab-e Hezb-e Tudeh (The Revolutionary Organization of the Tudeh Party), and the New Left-styled Gorueh-e Ettehad-e Komunistha (The Group of United Communists). Moreover, in 1976-1979 some Fedayis affiliated with the Tudeh Party, the orthodox, pro-Soviet Communist Party of Iran.

Of these five categories, the Marxist Fedayi and Islamic Mojahedin were by far the largest. Of the 341 dead, 172 (50.4 percent) belonged to the Fedayi; 73 (21.4 percent) to the Islamic Mojahedin; 30 (8.7 percent) to the Marxist Mojahedin; 38 (11.3 percent) to the small Marxist groups; and 28 (8.2 percent) to the small Islamic groups.


The origins of the guerrilla movement reach back to the summer of 1963, when the regime used massive violence to crush peaceful demonstrations organized by the opposition. The Shah’s determination to use massive force, the army’s willingness to shoot down thousands of unarmed demonstrators, and SAVAK’s eagerness to root out the underground networks of the Tudeh and the National Front, all combined to compel the opposition, especially its younger members, to question the traditional methods of resistance — election boycotts, general strikes and street demonstrations. Not surprisingly, in the next few years, militant university students formed small secret discussion groups to explore new methods of resistance, to translate the works of Mao, Che Guevara and Fanon, and to learn from the recent experiences of China, Vietnam, Cuba and Algeria. In the words of one such group: “The bloody repression of 1963 was a major watershed in Iranian history. Until then, the opposition had tried to fight the regime with street protests, labor strikes and underground parties. The 1963 bloodbath, however, exposed the bankruptcy of these peaceful methods. After 1963, militants, irrespective of their ideology, had to ask themselves the question ‘What is to be done?’ The answer was clear: ‘guerrilla warfare.’” [3]

This period of study produced a number of small Marxist and Islamic groups advocating armed struggle. But most of them were dismantled by SAVAK before they could initiate any armed actions. In 1965, 55 youngsters, many of them high school students, were arrested in Tehran for buying weapons and forming a secret Hezb-e Mellat-e Islami (Party of the Nation of Islam). In 1966, another group of religious students were picked up for collecting money to buy arms and forming a Jebheh-ye Azadibakhsh-e Mell-ye Iran (The Front for the Liberation of Iran). In 1969, some 200 Tudeh members, dissatisfied with their party’s decision to avoid political violence, formed Sazman-e Enqelab-e Komunist-ha-ye Iran (The Revolutionary Organization of Iranian Communists) and robbed a bank in Isfahan to finance future guerrilla operations. The whole group, however, was arrested before it had the chance to launch any such operations. Similarly, in 1979 18 young professors and university students — some of whom had been in the Tudeh or in the Jamieh-ye Sosyialistha (Society of Socialists), the Marxist wing of the National Front — were arrested as they tried to cross the Iraqi border to join the PLO. The sentences meted out to these activists were relatively mild, since none had physically assaulted the authorities. The rank-and-file members received prison terms varying from one to ten years, the leaders’ terms varying from ten years to life imprisonment. The flood of death sentences was to come soon with the emergence of the Fedayi and the Mojahedin.

The Fedayi

The Fedayi, which did not adopt its name until March 1971, was formed of three separate groups that traced their origins back to the mid-1960s. [4] The first group had been established as early as 1964 by five Tehran University students: Bijan Jazani, Abbas Sourki, Ali Akbar Safa’i Farahani, Mohammad Ashtiyani and Hamid Ashraf. Jazani, the circle’s central figure, was a student of political science and had been in and out of prison since the mid-1950s. Born in 1937, he had completed high school in his home town Tehran, and had been active in the youth section of the Tudeh before leaving the party and forming his own secret group. In later years, he wrote for the Fedayi a series of pamphlets including Nabard Ba Diktator-e Shah (Struggle Against the Shah’s Dictatorship), Tarikh-e Siy Saleh-e Iran (Thirty-Year History of Iran) and Chehguneh Mobarezeh-e Maslehaneh Tudeh-ye Meshavad (How to Transform the Armed Struggle into a Mass Struggle). Sorouki, also a student of political science and a former Tudeh member, had grown up in Mazandaran before moving to Tehran to enter the university. Safa’i Farahani, a student of engineering, was a native of Gilan but had met the others in Tehran University. In later years, he wrote for the Fedayi a handbook entitled Ancheh Yek Enqelabi Bayad Bedanad (What a Revolutionary Must Know). Ashtiyani, the oldest, was a student of law who had been born in Tehran in 1934. He had completed his military service and therefore was able to train his colleagues in the use and upkeep of light arms. Finally, Ashraf, the youngest among them, was a student of engineering. Born in Tehran in 1946, he joined the Society of Socialists as a high school student, and in 1964 entered the university where he met the others. All five, as well as many other students who joined them, came from middle-class homes.

Three years after the group was formed, SAVAK infiltrated it and arrested 14 members, including Jazani and Sourki. Ashraf, however, managed to escape and gradually found enough recruits to keep the group alive. Meanwhile, Farahani and Ashtiyani escaped to Lebanon, established contact with the Tudeh, and, after spending two years with Fatah, returned home to rejoin Ashraf. [5] Jazani, Sourki and five others were kept in prison until April 1975, when they were shot “trying to escape.” Although Jazani did not actually organize the Fedayi, he can still be considered its “intellectual founder.”

The second group that formed the Fedayi was led by two university students who had come to Tehran from Mashhad. Masoud Ahmadzadeh, the main personality, came from an intellectual family well known in Mashhad for its support of Mossadeq and its opposition to the Pahlavis since the mid-1920s. While at high school in Mashhad, Ahmadzadeh created an Islamic Student Club and participated in religious demonstrations against the regime. But while studying mathematics in Aryamehr (Industrial) University in Tehran, he turned toward Marxism, and in 1967 formed a secret circle to discuss the works of Che Guevara, Debray and Carlos Marighella, the Brazilian communist who developed the theory of urban guerrilla warfare. In 1970, Ahmadzadeh wrote one of the main theoretical works of the Fedayi, entitled Mobarezeh-e Aslehaneh: Ham Estrategi Ham Taktik (Armed Struggle: Both a Strategy and a Tactic). Amir Parviz Poyan, his close colleague, had a very similar background. Born in Mashhad in 1946, he studied in the local high school and participated in religious organizations. But while studying literature in the National University in Tehran during the mid-1960s, he was drawn to Marxism, and especially to Fidel Castro’s example, and wrote a work entitled Zarurat-e Mobarezeh-e Maslehaneh va Rad-e Teor-ye Baqa (The Need for Armed Struggle and the Rejection of the Theory of Survival).

The third group was located in Tabriz and had been formed in 1965 by a group of intellectuals led by Behrouz Dehqani, Ashraf Dehqani and Ali Reza Nabdel. Behrouz Dehqani, a village teacher, had been born in 1938 into a poor family in Tabriz. His father, a construction worker, had been active in the Tudeh labor movement during the 1940s. Winning state scholarships, Behrouz Dehgani had studied English in Tabriz, where he had met Samad Behrangi, a radical writer well known throughout the rest of Iran as well as Azerbaijan. Together they published a five-volume work on Azerbaijani folk tales. Dehqani also wrote a book on the relationship between literature and society, and translated works of Maxim Gorki and Sean O’Casey. Through Behrangi and his literary circle, Dehqani met Poyan and thereby forged the first links between Tabriz and the Ahmadzadeh group in Tehran. Behrangi, however, did not live to see the formation of the Fedayi, for he was said to have drowned in 1968 in the Aras river. Ashraf Dehqani, Behrouz Dehqani’s younger sister, had a very similar background to her brother. Born in Tabriz, she studied there and taught in a village school near her home town. Nabdel, another young teacher, had also been born and raised in Tabriz, but had gone to Tehran to study literature. Graduating from Tehran University in 1963, he had returned home to teach and write poetry. Although he wrote in both Persian and Azeri Turkish, only his Persian poetry was printed since Azeri had been banned from the publishing houses. To publicize the plight of the Azeri language under the Pahlavis, Nabdel wrote for the Fedayi a pamphlet entitled Azerbaijan va Masaleh-e Melli (Azerbaijan and the National Question). Like the Dehqanis, his own father had been active during the 1940s both in the Tudeh and in its local ally the Democratic Party of Azerbaijan.

The three groups began to merge in 1970. In the spring of that year, the Tabriz and the Ahmadzadeh groups amalgamated and carried out their first armed attack — the robbery of a Tehran bank to finance their future operations. In the autumn of the same year, these two merged with the other Tehran groups to create a unified organization with three cells: an “urban team” formed mostly of Ahmadzadeh’s followers; a “publication team” formed predominantly of the Tabriz intellectuals; and a “rural team” headed mostly by survivers from Jazani’s circle. In negotiating the mergers, the groups hammered out a joint strategy which Ashraf summed up as follows:

After much deliberation we reached the conclusion that it was impossible to work among the masses and create large organizations since the police had penetrated all sectors of society. We decided that our immediate task was to form small cells and mount physical assaults on the enemy so as to destroy the repressive “atmosphere” and to show the people that “armed struggle” was the only way to liberation. [6]

Similarly, Poyan declared:

The defeat of the anti-imperialist movement in Iran has enabled the reactionaries to establish a fascist state, destroy the opposition organizations, and coopt opportunistic elements. In a situation where there are no firm links between the revolutionary intelligentsia and the masses, we are not like a school of fish in water, but rather like isolated fish surrounded by threatening crocodiles. Terror, repression and absence of democracy have made it impossible for us to create working class organizations. To break the spell of our weakness and to inspire the people we must resort to a revolutionary armed struggle … To liberate the proletariat from the stifling culture, to cleanse its mind from petty bourgeois thoughts, and to equip it with ideological ammunition, it is necessary to shatter the illusion that the people are powerless. [7]

Ahmadzadeh further elaborated the Fedayi strategy:

How can the masses become conscious of themselves, their interests, and their formidable power? Persistent suppression, lack of leadership, constant government propaganda, and the omnipotent presence of the bayonet — all have combined to erect a huge barrier between the people and the masses, and between segments of the masses. How can this barrier be destroyed to release the swelling torrent of the masses? The only way is armed struggle … To defeat the enemy, the broad masses must be drawn into the struggle. To smash the enemy’s army, there must be a people’s army. To create the people’s army, there must be a prolonged guerrilla war. A guerrilla war is necessary not only for military victory, but also for mass mobilization. On the one hand, the mobilization of the masses is the condition for military and political victory. On the other hand, mobilization of the masses is not possible without the armed struggle. We have learned this not only from the experience of Cuba but also from those of China and Vietnam…. As Debray has stressed, “Under present conditions the most important form of propaganda is successful military action.” [8]

In formulating a strategy, the Fedayi developed critiques of other political organizations. They dismissed the National Front as a “petty bourgeois” and “anachronistic” paper organization still preaching the false hope of free elections. [9] They accused the pro-Chinese groups, especially the Revolutionary Organization, of “mechanically” applying Mao to Iran, of dogmatically refusing to accept the fact that during the last decade Iran had been transformed from a feudal society to a dependent capitalist society, of permitting SAVAK to infiltrate their top ranks, of uncritically accepting the notion that the Soviet Union rather than American imperialism was the major threat to Asia, Africa and Latin America, and of talking much about “armed struggle” but invariably postponing such a struggle on the grounds that first a viable political party had to be formed. [10]

The Fedayi’s criticism of the Tudeh was even more extensive. While praising the Tudeh for organizing the working class during the 1940s and producing many national martyrs during the 1950s, they accused the party of “blindly following” the Soviet Union, of hastily denouncing Stalin, and of underestimating the “nationality problem,” especially in Azerbaijan and Kurdestan. The Fedayi asserted that the Tudeh had held back the peasant movement in the 1940s, had overestimated the importance of the Iranian bourgeoisie, and thereby expected the forthcoming revolution to be “national democratic” rather than “people’s democratic.” Above all, claimed the Fedayi, the Tudeh favored a political struggle over an armed struggle, organizational survival over heroic action, “parliamentary reformism” over revolutionary socialism. [11] The Tudeh retorted that all socialists had the “duty” to support the Soviet Union and that the talk of quickly transforming a “bourgeois democracy” into a “people’s democracy” smacked of Trotsky’s notion of “permanent revolution.” The Fedayis, they said, underestimated the Iranian bourgeoisie and consequently misunderstood the true nature of the forthcoming revolution. According to this analysis, the Fedayi also underestimated the class consciousness of the industrial proletariat, and thereby overlooked the possibilities of waging a political struggle. Most important of all, the Tudeh viewed the guerrillas as having more in common with Bakhunin and the nineteenth-century Narodniks who cried “Long live death!” and “Propaganda by the deed!” than with Marx, Lenin and the Bolsheviks, who always stressed that an armed struggle would fail unless it was waged by a disciplined political party and the objective conditions were ripe. [12]

Once the Fedayis had formulated their strategy, they made preparations for the armed struggle. Their first major decision was to send the “rural team” to the forested mountains of Gilan to live with the local shepherds, establish contact with the villagers, and generally lay the groundwork for future operations. They chose this area partly because the rugged mountains were inaccessible to heavy armor; partly because the forests, called jangals, provided thick cover against air attacks; and partly because the Gilan peasantry had a history of radicalism reaching back not only to the early 1920s when local rebels known as Jangalis had set up a Soviet Socialist Republic, but also to the 1850s when mass uprisings had swept through the Caspian provinces. [13] In the original plans, the Fedayis intended to spend a full year making preparations. But these plans had to be scraped in early February 1971 when the gendarmes in the village of Siakal arrested two of their sympathizers. Afraid that torture would be used to extract vital information, the Fedayi made the fateful decision to attack the gendarmerie post. As soon as news of the attack and successful getaway reached Tehran, the Shah reacted with full force and sent his brother to head an expeditionary army of commandos, helicopters and SAVAK agents. After a massive manhunt which lasted full three weeks and left 30 soldiers and two guerrillas dead, the military authorities announced the capture of eleven Fedayis. Of the eleven, ten faced firing squads, and one, Farahani, died under torture without revealing information about the other teams. For the Fedayis the whole affair was a military failure but a great propaganda success, since it proved that a small group of determined revolutionaries could shake the foundations of the Pahlevi regime. Not surprisingly, Bahman 19 (February 8), the day of the Siakal incident, has gone down in history as the birth of the Iranian guerrilla movement.

As if to confirm the importance of the Siakal incident, the regime followed up the executions with a series of dramatic measures. It waged a major propaganda war against the guerrillas, accusing them of being “atheists,” “Tudeh agents” and “tools of the PLO, Baghdad and Arab imperialism.” It arrested 51 left-wing dissidents — none of whom had any Fedayi connections, granted a week’s unscheduled vacation to the universities in Tehran, and “outlawed” the Confederation of Iranian Students in Europe and America as an “international communist conspiracy.” It also increased government salaries, decreed the current year to be the “Civil Servants Year,” raised the minimum wage, and declared that in the future May 1 would be celebrated throughout Iran as “Worker’s Day.”

During the nine months after Siakal, SAVAK, in a series of armed encounters, managed to arrest and kill almost all the founding members of the Fedayi. Nevertheless, the survivors, notably Hamid Ashraf and Ashraf Dehqani, were able to continue and intensify the struggle. They found eager recruits, established new cells, especially in Tehran, Tabriz, Rasht, Gurgan, Qazvin and Enzeli (Pahlavi), started two underground newspapers — Bahman 19 (February 8) and Nabard-e Khalq (People’s Struggle) — and helped organize a number of university strikes and demonstrations to coincide with the first anniversary of Siakal. They also carried out a series of armed operations: holding up five banks, assassinating two police informers, a millionaire industrialist and the chief military prosecutor, and bombing the embassies of Britain, Oman, and the United States, the offices of International Telephone and Telegraph, Trans-World Airlines and the Iran-American Society, and the police headquarters of Tehran, Tabriz, Rasht, Gurgan, Mashhad and Abadan.

By late 1975, it was clear that the struggle between the regime and the Fedayi had reached a stalemate. The former had succeeded in hunting down the guerrillas, waging an aggressive propaganda war against “atheistic terrorists,” and, most important of all, containing the movement to the university intelligentsia. The latter, on the other hand, had succeeded in replenishing its heavy losses, harassing the authorities, and carrying out heroic feats. But despite five years of struggle, they had failed to ignite a “people’s revolution.” In debating on how to end the stalemate, the Fedayis divided into two factions. The majority faction — headed by Ashraf Dehqani and Hamid Ashraf until his death in mid 1976 — insisted on continuing the armed confrontations until they sparked off a mass uprising. The minority faction, however, argued in favor of avoiding armed confrontations, increasing political activity, especially among factory workers, and establishing closer links with the Tudeh Party. In mid-1976, this group affiliated with the Tudeh, denounced the theory of “propaganda by the deed” as an aberration of Marxist-Leninism, [14] and formed the Gorueh-e Munsheb Az Sazman-e Cherik-ha-ye Fedayi Khalq Vabasteh Beh Hezb-e Tudeh-ye Iran (The Group Separated from the Fedayi Guerrilla Organization and Attached to the Tudeh Party of Iran) — known in short as the Fedayi Munsheb. [15] Of course, both factions kept their weapons, and, therefore, once the revolution began, were able to surface as experienced organizations eager to challenge directly the armed might of the Pahlavi state.

The Mojahedin

The Mojahedin, like the Fedayi, had its origins in the early 1960s. But whereas the Fedayi developed mostly out of the Tudeh and the Marxist wing of the National Front, the Mojahedin evolved predominantly from the religious wing of the National Front, especially from the Nahzat-e Azad-e Iran (The Liberation Movement of Iran). This organization had been formed in 1961 by two staunch supporters of Mossadeq, Mehdi Bazargan and Ayatollah Taleqani. The former was a French-educated engineer and a highly devout Muslim who served in Mossadeq’s cabinet and continued to help his National Front even though the Front’s secular outlook increasingly alienated the religious establishment. The latter was unique among the religious leaders — unlike most ayatollahs, he came from a poor family, advocated socialism, openly criticized his colleagues for being fearful of the modern world, and remained loyal to Mossadeq to the very end.

In creating the Liberation Movement, Bazargan, Taleqani and their circle of French-educated technocrats, sought to bridge the gap between the National Front and the modern salaried middle class on one side and the religious establishment and the traditional propertied middle class on the other. They intended to break the clerical monopoly over religion and develop a new Islam that would synthesize the mild features of European socialism with the progressive ideals of early Iranian Shi‘ism, and the advantages of industrial technology with the cultural values of their own traditional society. In short, they aimed at formulating a lay-dominated religion that would be acceptable both to the anti-Shah clergy, especially to the junior clergy, and to the modern-educated middle class, particularly the discontented intelligentsia. Although the Liberation Movement formulated entirely new goals, it continued to rely on traditional non-violent means to “liberalize” the regime.

Just as the Liberation Movement was getting off the ground, the 1963 crisis erupted, causing a group of young and more militant activists to leave the organization to form their own secret discussion circle. This group was led by nine recent graduates of Tehran University: Mohammad Hanifnezhad, Sa’ed Mohsen, Mohammad Bazargani, Mohammad Asgarizadeh, Rasoul Moshkinfam, Ali Asghar Badizadegan, Ahmad Reza’i, Naser Sadeq and Ali Mehandoust. [16] Hanifnezhad, the oldest, was an agricultural engineer from Tehran University. Born in 1938 into a clerical family in Tabriz, he completed high school in his home town and then moved to Tehran to enter the Agricultural College. There he formed an Islamic Club, joined the Liberation Movement, and, as a result of the 1963 demonstrations, spent a short spell in prison where he met Ayatollah Taleqani. After his release, Hanifnezhad graduated from the university, volunteered for military service, and spent a year in the Isfahan garrison reading as much as he could on the recent revolutions in Algeria, Cuba and Vietnam. Finishing national service in 1965, he returned to Tehran, gathered together some of his former classmates, and laid the foundations of the Mojahedin.

Bazargani, a brother-in-law of Hanifnezhad, was also a native of Azerbaijan who had come to Tehran to enter the University. While in the Business College, he joined first the Liberation Movement and then Hanifnezhad’s circle. Mohsen, a civil engineer, was another Azerbayjani who had studied in Tehran University. From an impoverished clerical family in Zanjan, he won a state scholarship to the Engineering College where he joined religious clubs and the Liberation Movement. Spending eight months in prison after the 1963 riots, he finished his degree and entered the army to do his military service. Asgarizadeh, a graduate of the Business College, was one of the few Mojahedin who came from a working class family. Born in Arak in central Iran, he grew up partly in his home town and partly in Tehran. Completing his degree, he worked in Tehran and Tabriz for a machine manufacturing company. Moshkinfam, an engineer trained in the Agricultural College, came from a middle-class family in Shiraz. Graduating from Tehran University, he was drafted into the army and sent to Kurdestan where he learned Kurdish and secretly compiled a detailed report on the impact of capitalism on the local peasantry. This report was later published by the Mojahedin under the title of Rusta va Engelab-e Sefid (The Countryside and the White Revolution).

Badizadegan, a junior professor of chemistry, came from a middle-class family in Isfahan. Graduating from Tehran University, he was conscripted into the army and stationed in the main arms manufacturing factory in Tehran. Reza’i, the group’s main intellectual, was one of the few Mojahedin leaders who had been born in Tehran. From a small merchant family living in northern Tehran, he joined the Liberation Movement while in high school, met Hanifnezhad while in military service, and entered his secret group while teaching in a high school in Tehran. SAVAK in later years killed him as well as his two younger brothers and his eighteen year old sister, all of whom were members of the Mujahidin. Sadeq, an electrical engineer, came from a lower middle-class family in Shiraz. As a college student, he attained national fame by winning a number of gymnastic competitions. Finally, Mehandoust, also an electrical engineer, was born in Qazvin but educated in Tehran University. After graduating from the university, he moved to Isfahan, but kept in touch with his former classmates in Tehran.

Beginning with this nucleus of nine, the group gradually expanded not only in Tehran but also in the provinces. Mehandoust formed a cell in Isfahan, Sadeq in Shiraz and Asgarzadeh in Tabriz. At the same time, Bazargani, Badizadegan, Moshkinfam and three new recruits went to Jordan to receive guerrilla training from the PLO. What is more, the discussion group, especially Hanifnezhad and Reza’i, followed the Liberation Movement’s footsteps in reinterpreting Islam, eventually reaching the conclusion that true Shi‘ism stood not only against despotism, but also against capitalism, imperialism, and conservative clericalism. In a book entitled Nahzat-e Husseini (Hussein’s Movement), Reza’i argued that the Nezam-e Towhid (Monotheistic Order) the Prophet sought was a commonwealth fully united by virtue of being “classless” and striving for the common good as well as by the fact that it worships only one God. Reza’i further argued that the banner of revolt raised by the Shi‘i imams, especially ‘Ali, Hasan and Husayn, was aimed against feudal landlords and exploiting merchant capitalists as well as against usurping caliphs who had betrayed the true cause of Nezam-e Towhid. For Reza’i and the Mojahedin it was the duty of all Muslims to continue this struggle to create a “classless society” and destroy all forms of capitalism, despotism and imperialism. The Mojahedin summed up their attitude toward religion in these words: “After years of extensive study into Islamic history and Shi‘i ideology, our organization has reached the firm conclusion that Islam, especially Shi‘ism, will play a major role in inspiring the masses to join the revolution. It will do so because Shi‘ism, particularly Hussein’s historic act of resistance, has both a revolutionary message and a special place in our popular culture.” [17]

The theme that Shi‘ism preached social revolution was further refined during the late 1960s when the Mojahedin helped set up a lecture hall named Husseinieh-e Ershad, and invited Ali Shariati — who later became known as the Fanon of Iran — to give a series of lectures on Islam. For Shariati, as for the Mojahedin, the Prophet planned to establish a “classless society,” Imam Husayn exemplified man’s inalienable right of resistance, and true Muslims had the duty to fight against despotic rulers, foreign exploiters, greedy capitalists, and false clergymen who used Islam as an opiate to lull the masses into subservience. In his own words, history of mankind since Cain and Abel was a history of class struggles. On one side stood the oppressed — the people. On the other side were the oppressors — ”the governors, the wealthy and the clerics.” [18] It was the duty of contemporary Muslims to expose the false teachings of the clergy and to inspire the masses to rise up against “world imperialism, international Zionism, colonialism, exploitation, oppression, class inequality, cartels, multi-national corporations, racism, cultural imperialism and the blind worship of the West.” [19] The ideas of Shariati and the Mojahedin were so close that many concluded the former had inspired the latter. In actual fact, the Mujahidin had formulated their ideas by 1965 — already two years before they discovered Shariati and invited him to the husseinieh. Whatever the exact relationship between the two, it is clear that in later years Shariati indirectly helped the Mojahedin. His taped lectures and numerous pamphlets — which totaled over 60 at the time of his fatal heart attack in the late spring of 1977 — circulated widely throughout Iran, especially among college and high school students.

The Mojahedin began their military operations in August 1971, some six years after Hanifnezhad had formed his secret discussion group. Their first operations were designed to disrupt the extravagant celebrations for the 2,500-year anniversary of the Iranian monarchy. After the group bombed the Tehran electrical works and tried to hijack an Iran Air plane, the police arrested nine Mojahedin, one of whom under torture gave information that led to the detention of another 66 members. In the subsequent months, the Mojahedin lost the whole of its original leadership through executions or in shootouts. Despite these losses, the Mojahedin survived and found new members. They published an underground paper named Jangal (Forest), sent five volunteers to help the Dhofar rebels in Oman, and, in the next four years, carried out a succession of violent acts. These included the robbing of six banks, the assassination of a US military adviser as well as the chief of the Tehran police, the attempted assassination of a US general, and the bombings of Reza Shah’s mausoleum and the offices of El Al, British Overseas Airways, British Petroleum and Shell. By mid-1975, 50 Mojahedin had lost their lives. Over 90 percent of them came from the intelligentsia.

Although the membership of both the Mojahedin and the Fedayi was drawn from the young generation of the intelligentsia, there were nevertheless subtle differences in their composition. Most Mojahedin — with the notable exception of their founders — came from the central provinces, especially Isfahan, Fars and Hamadan. Most Fedayis, on the other hand, came from the northern cities, particularly Tehran, Tabriz, Rasht, Gurgan, Qazvin and Mashhad. Many Mojahedin were sons of religious-minded merchants, bazaar traders, clergymen and other members of the traditional middle class. Many Fedayis, however, were children of secular-minded civil servants, teachers, professionals and other members of the modern middle class. All the Mojahedin had been born into Shi‘i families; a few of the Fedayis came from non-Shi‘i backgrounds — from Sunni, Armenian and Zoroastrian families. The Mojahedin dead contained only seven women; but the Fedayi dead as many as 22 women. The Mojaeidin recruited predominantly from students of the physical sciences, especially from Tehran Polytechnic, the Engineering College, the Agricultural College and Aryamehr University. The Fedayi, by contrast, drew their members mostly from the arts, humanities and social sciences, particularly from the Colleges of Art, Literature, Economics, Law and Political Science, and Teachers’ Training. Furthermore, whereas the Mojahedin failed to recruit among the lower classes, the Fedayi found a few members among the industrial proletariat. The Mojahedin dead included only two workers, the Fedayi as many as 12.

Even though the Mojahedin was Islamic, its revolutionary interpretation of Islam produced an ideology not very different from that of the Marxist Fedayi. It argued that Iran was dominated by imperialism, especially American imperialism, that the White Revolution had transformed Iran from a feudal society to a bourgeois one heavily dependent on Western capitalism, and that cultural imperialism, as well as economic, political and military imperialism, were threatening the existence of the country. The Pahlavi regime, it asserted, had little social support outside the comparador bourgeoisie, and ruled mainly through terror, intimidation, and propaganda. The only way to shatter the “atmosphere of terror” was through heroic acts of violence. It also argued that once the regime collapsed the revolutionaries would carry out radical reforms, ending the dependence on the West, building an independent society, giving a free voice to the masses, redistributing wealth, and, in general, creating the “classless” Nezam-e Towhid. In fact, these ideas were so close to those of the Fedayi that the regime labelled the Mojahedin as “Islamic Marxists” and claimed that Islam was merely a cover to hide their Marxism. The Mojahedin retorted that although they “respected Marxism as a progressive social philosophy” their true culture, inspiration, attachment and ideology was Islam. [20] In a pamphlet entitled Pasokh Beh Etamat-e Akher-e Rezhim (An Answer to the Regime’s Latest Slanders), the Mojahedin summed up their attitude to both Marxism and Islam:

The Shah is terrified of revolutionary Islam. This is why he keeps on shouting a Muslim cannot be a revolutionary. In his mind, a man is either a Muslim or a revolutionary; he cannot be both. But in the real world, the exact opposite is true. A man is a true Muslim only if he is a revolutionary. A Muslim is either a revolutionary or not a true Muslim. In the whole of the Koran, there is not a single Muslim who was not a revolutionary…. The regime is trying to place a wedge between Muslims and Marxists. In our view, however, there is only one major enemy — imperialism and its local collaborators. When SAVAK shoots, it kills both Muslims and Marxists. When it tortures, it tortures both Muslims and Marxists. Consequently, in the present situation there is organic unity between Muslim revolutionaries and Marxist revolutionaries. In truth, why do we respect Marxism? Of course, Marxism and Islam are not identical. Nevertheless, Islam is definitely closer to Marxism than to Pahlavism. Islam and Marxism teach the same lessons for they fight against injustice. Islam and Marxism contain the same message, for they inspire martyrdom, struggle, and self-sacrifice. Who is closer to Islam: the Vietnamese who fight against American imperialism or the Shah who helps Zionism? Since Islam fights oppression it will work together with Marxism which also fights oppression. They have the same enemy: reactionary imperialism. [21]

The Mojahedin became even more interested in Marxism in the years after 1972. By the end of 1973, they were reading extensively on the Vietnamese, Cuban, Chinese and Russian revolutions. By mid-1974, they were sending organizers into the factories to agitate among industrial workers. By early 1975, some of their leaders were talking of the need to synthesize Islam with Marxism. And by May 1975, the majority of their leaders still free in Tehran voted to accept Marxism and to declare the organization as Marxist-Leninist. In a pamphlet entitled Biyanyeh-e Elam-e Movaz-e Idoluzhek (Manifesto on Ideological Issues), the central leadership declared that after ten years of secret existence, four years of armed struggle and two years of intense ideological rethinking they had reached the conclusion that Marxism, not Islam, was the true revolutionary philosophy. [22] According to the manifesto, they had reached this conclusion because Islam appealed mainly to the “middle class” whereas Marxism was the “salvation of the working class.”

This transformation was vividly described by Mojtabi Taleqani, the son of Ayatollah Taleqani, in a letter to his father:

It is now two full years since I left home, went underground, and lost contact with you. Because of my deep respect for you and because of the many years we spent together fighting imperialism and reaction, I feel the need to explain to you why I and my adopted family decided to make major changes in our organization…. From my earliest days at your side, I learnt how to hate this blood-thirsty tyrannic regime. I always expressed my hatred through religion — through the militant teaching of Muhammad, ‘Ali and Husayn. I always respected Islam as the expression of the toiling masses fighting oppression…. In the past two years, however, I have started to study Marxism. Before I thought that militant intellectuals could destroy the regime. Now I am convinced that we must turn to the working class. But to organize the working class, we must reject Islam, for religion refuses to accept the main dynamic force of history — that of the class struggle. Of course, Islam can play a progressive role, especially in mobilizing the intelligentsia against imperialism. But it is only Marxism that provides a scientific analysis of society and looks toward the exploited classes for liberation. Before I used to think that those who believed in historical materialism could not possibly make the supreme sacrifice since they had no faith in the afterlife. Now I know that the highest sacrifice anyone can make is to die for the liberation of the working class. [23]

The conversion caused a sharp split within the Mojahedin. While some members — mostly in Tehran — supported the change, others — mostly in the provinces — remained Islamic, refused to give up the Mojahedin name, and accused their rivals of engineering a coup, murdering one of their leaders, and betraying two others to the police. Thus, after May 1975 there were two rival Mujahidins, each with its own organization, its own publications, and its own activities. The activities of the Islamic Mojahedin included a bank robbery in Isfahan, a bomb attack on the Israeli Cultural Center in Tehran, and a strike in Aryamehr University to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the execution of their founders. The activities of the Marxist Mojahedin included the bombing of ITT offices and the assassination of two American military advisers. In the course of the next 24 months, 30 members of the Marxist Mojahedin lost their lives. Among them was a woman from Tehran University — the first woman in Iranian history to be executed by firing squad.

By early 1976, the two Mojahedins, like the Fedayi, had suffered such heavy losses that they began to reconsider their tactics. The Islamic Mojahedin stepped up its campus activities, circulated its own and Shariati’s publications, and established contact with the Islamic Student Association in North America and Western Europe. Meanwhile, the Marxist Mojahedin intensified its labor activities, called for the establishment of a “new working-class party,” started a paper called Qiyam-e Kargar (Worker’s Revolt), and formed links with Maoists heading the Confederation of Iranian Students in Western Europe. It also entered negotiations with the Fedayi to merge the two organizations, but soon broke off the talks on the grounds that the latter remained tied to its “Guevarist ideas,” refused to denounce Soviet “social imperialism,” and secretly flirted with such “dubious entities” as the National Front and the Tudeh Party. [24] For its part, the Fedayi accused the Marxist Mojahedin of “blindly accepting Maoism,” [25] and backed off from merging with an organization that had shed the blood of the Islamic Mojahedin and openly denounced Islam as a “petty bourgeois ideology.”

Thus when the revolutionary upsurge began in late 1977, there were four separate guerrilla groups — the Fedayi, the Fedayi Munsheb, the Islamic Mojahedin and the Marxist Mojahedin — still functioning in Iran, even though the latter three had decided to avoid armed confrontations. All four kept their organizations intact. All four retained their weapons. All four continued to publish journals, recruit members from the universities, and send organizers into the factories. And all four had gained not only armed experience but also a mystique of revolutionary heroism. In short, all four were well equipped to move into action and take advantage of the revolutionary situation.

The Revolution and Beyond

The guerrilla organizations were strengthened in late 1977 and early 1978 when the Shah, pressed by mass demonstrations, general strikes and international human rights groups, amnestied 618 political prisoners. Although the amnesty did not cover the guerrilla leaders serving life sentences, it did free over 100 rank-and-file members sentenced to lesser terms. The Fedayi Munsheb was further strengthened in January 1979 when the Central Committee of the Tudeh elected the leader of the party’s left wing as its first secretary, and declared that since the objective situation was ripe for revolution, and since peaceful protests by themselves could not bring it about, the party needed to distribute weapons and “prepare for an armed struggle.”

Thus in the last days of the monarchy, when Mehdi Bazargan, on behalf of Ayatollah Khomeini, was secretly negotiating with the US, the SAVAK leaders and the chiefs of staff for an orderly transition of power, the four guerrilla organizations mounted a major assault on the remnants of the army. According to eyewitnesses, the final collapse came on February 10-13 as the elite Imperial Guard attacked the main military base in Tehran to put down a mutiny among air force cadets and technicians. As soon as the news of the attack reached the guerrillas, they mobilized their members, distributed guns among their sympathizers, and rushed in full force to help the besieged cadets and technicians. Successfully beating off the Imperial Guards, the guerrillas spent the next three days opening up the prisons, the police stations, the armories and the five major military bases in Tehran. Similar events took place in the provinces, especially in Tabriz, Abadan, Hamadan, Kermanshah, Yazd, Isfahan, Mashhad, Mahabad and Babol. An Iranian journal, quoting the Iranian Press Agency, reported that in Tehran alone 654 lost their lives and 2,804 suffered serious injuries during these “final three days that shook the foundations of the 2,500-year old monarchy.” The New York Times wrote that in 48 hours civilians, armed with only light weapons, had been able to rout the elite Imperial Guard. Le Monde reported that mere guerrillas had successfully snuffed out the once formidable army. Keyhan, Iran’s second-largest newspaper, wrote that in these final days the decisive role had been played by “the Mojahedin, the Fedayi, the Fedayi Munsheb and the Tudeh Party.” Finally, Bazargan, soon after forming his government, told interviewers from French television that “the revolution would not forget the role played by the guerrillas and the Tudeh Party.”

Since the revolution the Fedayi Munsheb has totally merged with the Tudeh, and, following the Tudeh line, given qualified support both to the central government headed by Premier Bazargan and to the Revolutionary Council formed by Ayatollah Khomeini. It has supported the new administration, especially the Revolutionary Council, on the grounds that Iran is still threatened by a royalist counter-revolution and that the new regime can be encouraged to become more progressive, more democratic, and more anti-imperialist. At the same time, it has criticized the new administration for using force to resolve the Kurdish problem, for failing to create work for the three million unemployed, for not ending all military ties with the West, and for hindering the activities of workers’, peasants’ and soldiers’ councils. It has also criticized unnamed “elements” for creating a goon squad called Hezbollah (God’s Party) and hiring thugs to ransack newspaper offices, break up political meetings, burn down bookstores and even murder leftists.

For their part, the Fedayi, the Islamic Mojahedin and the Marxist Mojahedin, which is now named Paykar, have avoided criticizing Khomeini in print since he is the symbol of the revolution, but have openly denounced the regime as “conservative,” “clerical,” “dictatorial” and even “fascistic.” They attacked former Prime Minister Bazargan for refusing to create a new people’s army, for trying to collect the weapons distributed during February, and for failing to decree any type of land reform. Moreover, they have accused the Revolutionary Council, which controls the revolutionary prosecutors, the revolutionary tribunals and many of the local komitehs, of censoring the National Iranian Radio and Television Network, closing down 22 opposition newspapers including their own, and rearresting anti-Shah activists — one leader of the Islamic Mojahedin had been detained for nine months as a “Russian spy.” They claimed that the Revolutionary Council was inciting religious fanatics to maim and murder revolutionaries who had risked their lives to fight the Shah, and was using armed militia to occupy, ransack, and close down the offices of the guerrilla organizations. Furthermore, they have criticized the Revolutionary Council for refusing to give the electorate a choice between an Islamic republic and an Islamic democratic republic (as promised by Bazargan at the height of the revolution), for rigging the elections to the Assembly of Experts convened to study the draft constitution of the Islamic Republic, and for transforming the Islamic Republic into a conservative clerical republic where unelected religious experts will exercise power over elected officials and representatives, where women will be encouraged to restrict themselves to “family life,” and where the goal of creating a “classless society” will not be incorporated into the whole notion of Nezam-e Towhid. In addition, the Fedayi and Paykar have sided with the ethnic minorities against^he central government, have demanded autonomy for the provinces, and have sent volunteers to help the Kurdish, Turkoman, Arab and Baluch rebels.

The momentous developments of 1978 and 1979 transformed the setting in which the guerrilla organizations had operated. Almost overnight the political terrain had been altered. New and immediately pressing political questions were posed for those who had struggled to overthrow the regime, creating new fissures within the political organizations we have been discussing. The rush of events, the complexity and multitude of the questions, and the paucity of reliable accounts and documentation make it impossible to provide more than a preliminary sketch of some important features of this most recent period. A more thorough account and appraisal is a task that lies ahead.

As of this writing, there seem to be two main lines forming on the left. The Fedayi Munsheb and the Tudeh now call for the consolidation of the gains won by the “bourgeois national revolution.” The Fedayi, the Islamic Mojahedin and the Paykar organization call for the conversion of the February upheaval into a radical social transformation and for pushing the “bourgeois national revolution” into a full “worker-peasant socialist revolution.” Only history, and its companion hindsight, will be able to judge the relative merits of these two strategies.


The data on the dead guerrillas has been compiled from interviews, from reports I submitted to the International Commission of Jurists in 1974-1975, and from the following newspapers: Bakhtar-e Emruz (Today’s West), the organ of the National Front in the Middle East, August 1970-December 1976. This paper sympathized with the Fedayi; Mojahed (Freedom Fighter), the organ of the Liberation Movement in Exile, June 1972-December 1978. This paper sympathized with the Islamic Mojahedin; Khabarnameh (Newsletter), the organ of the National Front in Exile, March 1969-January 1979. This paper gave extensive coverage both to the Fedayi and to the Islamic Mojahedin; Mardom (The People), the central organ of the Tudeh Party, January 1971-February 1979; Donya (The World), the theoretical journal of the Tudeh Party, January 1971-February 1979; Setareh-e Sorkh (Red Star), the organ of the Revolutionary Organization of the Tudeh Party, September 1970-February 1979; Ettelaat (Information), the leading newspaper in Tehran, January 1971-December 1979; Keyhan (The World), the second-leading newspaper in Tehran, January 1979-September 1979; Ayandegan (The Future), the third-leading newspaper in Tehran, January-April 1979; Kar (Work), the organ of the Fedayi after the 1979 revolution; Nabard-e Khalq (People’s Struggle), the theoretical journal of the Fedayi after the 1979 revolution; Jangal (Forest), the organ of the Islamic Mojahedin, June 1972-January 1975; Mojahed (Freedom Fighter), the main organ of the Islamic Mojahedin after the 1979 revolution; Qiyam-e Kargar (Worker’s Uprising), the organ of the Marxist Mojahedin, June 1976-October 1978; Paykar (The Battle), the organ of the Marxist Mojahedin after the 1979 revolution; Azadi (Freedom), the organ of the Democratic National Front, March 1979-August 1979; Buletin (Bulletin), the organ of the Committee for the Defense of the Rights of Political Prisoners, November 1978-February 1979; Hambastegi (Unity) the joint organ of the Writers Society, the Organization of University Faculty and the Committee for the Defense of the Rights of Political Prisoners, December 1978-February 1979; Jonbesh (The Movement), an independent newspaper exposing incidents of violations of human rights, November 1978-March 1979; Iranshahr (The Land of Iran), an independent newspaper published in London, September 1978-July 1979. Amnesty International, Annual Report, 1974-1975 (London, 1975). Anonymous, “Armed Struggle,” Mojahed 1/4 (November 1974), pp. 5-6. The history of the Fedayi has been obtained from the following sources: The Fedayi Organization, Hasht Sal Mobarezeh-e Maslehaneh (Eight Years of Armed Struggle) (Tehran, 1979), pp. 1-29; The Fedayi Organization, Tarikhcheh-e Sazman-e Cherik-ha-ye Fedayi (A Short History of the Fedayi Guerrillas) (Tehran, 1979), pp. 1-29; The Fedayi Organization, Tahlil-e Yek Sal-e Mobarez (Study on One Year of Struggle) (n.p., 1974), pp. 1-28; Anonymous, “Life of Poyan,” Iranshahr, January 5, 1979; H. Ashraf, Jamiband-e Seh Saleh (An Evaluation of Three Years) (Tehran, 1979), pp. 1-107; Y. Zarkar, Khaterat-e Yek Cherik dar Zendan (The Memoirs of One Guerrilla in Prison) (Tehran, 1973), pp. 1-241; A. Dehqani, Hameseh-e Moqavemat (Epic of Resistance) (n.p., 1974), pp. 1-248. The early ties between the Tudeh and the Fedayi remain ambiguous. Although the Tudeh opposed the theory of guerrilla warfare, Reza Radmanesh, the first secretary and the director of the party’s operations in the Middle East, helped Farahani and Ashtiyanri — presumably without authorization from the Central Committee. When SAVAK published documents proving this link, the Central Committee recalled Radmanesh to Europe and elected a new first secretary. Ashraf, op.cit., p. 92. P. Poyan, Zarurat-e Mobarezeh-e Maslehaneh va Rad-e Teor-ye Baqa (The Need for Armed Struggle and the Rejection of the Theory of Survival) (n.p., 1972), pp. 7-9. M. Ahmadsedeh, Mobarezeh-e Aslehaneh: Ham Estrategi Ham Taktik (Armed Struggle: Both a Strategy and a Tactic) (Tehran, 1979), pp. 27-30. Bijan Jazani, Tarikh-e Siy Saleh-e Iran (Thirty-Year History of Iran) (Tehran, 1979), pp. 69-89. Ahmadzadeh, op. cit., pp. 11-13; Anonymous, “The Thoughts of Mao and Our Revolution,” Nabard-e Khalq 2 (March 1974), pp. 38-48. Jazani, op. cit., pp. 8-67, Ahmadzedeh, op. cit, pp. 12-13; The Fedayi Organization, I‘dam-e Enqelab-e Abbas Shahriyar (The Revolutionary Execution of Abbas Shahriyar) (n.p., 1974), pp. 71-142. A. Nabdel, Azerbaijan va Masaleh-e Melli (Azerbaijan and the National Question) (n.p., 1973), pp. 18-32. F. Javan, Cherik-ha-ye Khalq Cheh Meguyand (What Are the Guerrillas Saying) (n.p., 1972), pp. 1-33; E. Tabari, “This is Not Marxism-Leninism,” Donya 8/4 (Autumn 1971), pp. 31-41; N. Kianouri, “On Methods of Struggle,” Donya 1/2 (July 1974), pp. 1-10; Anonymous, “Message to the Fedayi,” Donya 1/5 (November 1974), pp. 1-7; N. Kianouri, “Again a Message to the Fedayi,” Donya 2/3 (June 1975), pp. 7-16; N. Kianouri, “The Fedayi and the Tudeh Party,” Donya 2/4 (July 1975), pp. 2-10. M. Akhgar, “Views on the Writings of the Fedayi,” Donya 3/2 ( April 1976), pp. 11-18. For a history of radicalism among the Gilan peasantry, see Farhad Kazemi and Ervand Abrahamian, “The Non-Revolutionary Peasantry of Modern Iran,” Iranian Studies 11/1-3 (1978), pp. 259-304. T. Haydari-Begund, Teor-ye Tabhgh-e Maslehaneh Enheraf Az Marksism-Leninism (The Theory of Armed Propaganda Deviates from Marxism-Leninism) (n.p., 1978), pp. 1-81. The Fedayi Munsheb, Zindehbad Hezb-e Tudeh (Long Live the Tudeh Party) (Tehran, 1978), pp. 1-15. The history of the Mojahedin has been obtained from the following sources: Mojahedin Organization, Sharh-e Tasis va Tarikcheh-e va Vaqa’eh-e Sazman-e Mojahedin (An Account of the Formation, Short History and the Major Events of the Mojahedin) (Tehran, 1979), pp. 1-87; The Mojahedin Organization, Az Zindeg-ye Enqelabiyun Dars Begirim (Let Us Learn Lessons from the Lives of Revolutionaries) (n.p., 1974), pp. 1-32; The Mojahedin Organization, Ali Mehandoust va Mehdi Reza’i (Ali Mehandoust and Mehdi Reza’i) (n.p., 1973), pp. 1-135; The Mojahedin Organization, Modaf‘at-e Mojahedin (The Defense Speeches of the Mojahedin) (n.p., 1972), pp. 1-101; The Mojahedin Organization, Akharin Dafa‘ (Last Defense) (n.p., 1971), pp. 1-22; The Mojahedin Organization, Matn-e Dafa‘at-e Shahid Sa’ed Mohsen (Text of the Defense Speech of Martyr Sa’ed Mohsen) (n.p., 1972), pp. 1-45; The Mojahedin Organization, Sazmandi va Taktikha (Tactics and Organizational Matters) (n.p., 1974), pp. 1-131; The Mojahedin Organization, Qesmati Az Dafa‘at-e Mojahedin (Extracts from the Mojahedin Defense Speeches) (n.p., 1972), pp. 1-29. The Mojahedin Organization, Sharh-e Tasis, p. 44. Ali Shariati, Islam Shenasi (Islamology) (n.p., 1972), Lessons 1-2, pp. 88-93. Ali Shariati, Shi‘a: Yek Hezbi Tamam (The Shi‘a: A Total Party) (n.p., 1976), p. 55. The Mojahedin Organization, Dafa‘at-e Naser Sadeq (The Defense Speech of Naser Sadeq) (n.p., 1972), p. 24. The Mojahedin Organization, Pasokh Beh Etamat-e Akher-e Rezhim (An Answer to the Regime’s Latest Slanders) (n.p., 1973), pp. 10-13. The Mojahedin Organization, Buyanyeh-e Elam-e Movaz-e Ideolezhek (Manifesto on Ideological Issues) (n.p., 1975), pp. 1-246. M. Taleqani, “Letter to My Father,” Mojahed 6 (July 1976), pp. 131-144. The Mojahedin Organization, Masa’il-e Had-e Jonbesh (The Critical Problems of Our Movement) (n.p., 1977), pp. 1-392. The Fedayi Organization, Nashrieh-e Vazheh-e Bahas Darun-e Dow Sazman (Documents on the Debate Between the Two Organizations) (n.p., 1977), pp. 1-76.

How to cite this article:

Ervand Abrahamian "The Guerrilla Movement in Iran, 1963-1977," Middle East Report 86 (March/April 1980).

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