Heritage of resistance in bulwarks
Maryam Moghimi - We can find a trace of love in Iran’s resistance against Iraq during the war, a trace of love, sacrifice, devotion and fidelity. From south’s burning bulwarks till the frozen strongholds of the west, Iranian soldiers and youths agreed to glitter as twinkling stars to protect their nation. They fell apart from the families so they could leave behind a unique heritage built with their resistance, a heritage which is so pure which could be permanent for all generations and races. Dr. Seyyed Yahya (Rahim) Safavi is one of those everlasting figures who enjoys many war and resistance experiences.
IBNA: Seyyed Yahya (Rahim) Safavi in 1952 in Homam (Isfahan). Talking about his life he says that he lived in the village till he was 5, so after his father was sent to Isfahan to work in the Education Ministry. He received his diploma in 1970, during high school he was a skillful English speaker and as his school’s principle requested he instructed the language to students which were weak. In 1971 he got through university of Tabriz to study geology and graduated in 1975.
More he said: “Being a political activist against the Pahlavi regime, Tabriz University bared some changes which were based on religious forces’ protest and sit-ins. Religious forces pored in the city from all different parts of Iran. Struggling a lot we established a Namaz Khaneh (Prayer Room). In those times SAVAK (a contraction of the Farsi words for security and information organization) had settled there and it even had an official office. The organization had 2 agents in our class as after a while we came to know that they use to inform the organization.
Following my graduation I served the military till 1977 in Shiraz as a noncommissioned officer and a parachutist. During those times I was active in cultural and religious activities as well and I was a religious instructor in 3 mosques and a high school.
Moreover I was active in 3 villages which were located south Shiraz; Barm, Dalk and Koshnekan. Every body was invited to learn Quran as I had held 2 classes on reading the holy Book. Besides I instructed Islamic songs to children and to adults I presented Imam’s Resaleh. We built a mosque in Koshnekan though the budget was provided by benefactors and Mr. Seifi.
Although I was a noncommissioned officer I held prayers in that mosque as a Pish-namaz except in Moharams and Ramadans since we use to invite cleric to deliver speeches. During my existence in Shiraz (2 years) more than 500 people learned to read Quran and around 8 Resalehs were distributed.
I served my military service as a pilot officer and parachutist and that means jumping from a C-130 plane through out the day.
I accomplished my military service in 1977 and I traveled to Qom to learn Islamic science as I concluded it in 6 months. I attended Ayatullah Meshkini’s classes for interpreting Quran and human’s creation. Although I was fluent in English but I attended Shariatmadari’s classes which were on universal language courses.
On January 9, 1978 Qom’s people protested against an article penned by Rashidi Motlagh. The article was authored according to the king and Hoveida’s direction and it was published in Etela’at newspaper, during the event many protesters were shot dead. As the matter left me no studying spirits I left Qom and battling Shah’s regime gave me a new opportunity in particular when Imam Khomeini released statements.
The second sweeping Islamic movement, which was carried out by the people, arose in Tabriz on February 16, 1978 (Bahman 29,1356 AHS), when the fortieth day following the martyrdom of those killed in Qum during the bloody uprising of January 9 (Dey 19) was commemorated. It was this movement which gave rise to those moments and incidents from which shone the life-giving sun of the Islamic Revolution.
The occurrence of the clerical uprising on January 9, 1978 (Dey 1 9, 1356 AHS), and the resultant blow delivered to the regime, had widespread repercussions throughout Iranian cities. Maraji ‘-i taqlid and various political parties, societies and groups rose in support of the insurgence.
On February 16 the protesters set all bars, cinemas and Rastakhiz party on fire. Accompanying my friends in Mansour junction I was shot on that day. The bullet was stuck in my leg and it was bleeding a lot, I was taken to Pahlavi hospital which was near Tabriz University. But SAVAK attacked the hospital and toke all the injured along, my friends toke me to the hospital’s morgue and I ran away with a motorcycle. I was transferred to Reza Ayatullahi’s house who was the president of Safavian cement factory and a revolutionary and faithful figure. As his wife was a doctor she believed that my leg needed surgery. After a week I returned back to Qom to Hujat Ul-Islam valmuslemin Mohammad Al-Eshagh’s house in which I was operated in his house by a surgeon. Al-Eshagh had a son named Abul Hassan who was martyred in the war. I learned many things from Al-Eshagh in particular Islamic instruction’s philosophy.
Following Tabriz protest, its SAVAK identified me and ordered Isfahan’s SAVAK to arrest me. In the same month they arrested my father and brothers and annoyed them a lot, moreover our house was under control and I was compelled to flee Iran and move to Lebanon and Syria. During the process Mohammad Gharazi and Ali Jananti helped me a lot. After Syria Gharazi toke me to Lebanon and in Beirut he introduced me to Palestinian groups, around 6 months I learned military instructions in Nabatieh front.
In 1978 Imam Khomeini had gone to France. I asked Gharazi to accompany me visiting Imam so we got a plane from Syria to Charles-de-Gaulle airport. A week after we were in a hotel in Neauphle le Chateau beside Imam’s house. A while after, I personally did Imam’s works as purchasing his house groceries and etc…. As I was fluent in English and had an international license they handed a car over to me. The first day Imam came for prayers I kissed his hand under the apple tree (some of his photos are released under that tree as well) and cried a lot. I really felt calm after Imam stroked my head. During the month I was beside Imam I really came to know him and his true guardianship. After a while Imam told the students to go back to Iran. The Revolution hadn’t reached a victory yet, I traveled to Germany alongside a friend, Ahmad Fazaeli, and purchasing a Benz we traveled to Iran. We had decided to travel to Syria via Turkey and full the machine with weapons and munitions. As Fazaeli was driving we met with an accident in Ankara and Fazeli’s leg broke. So we had to stay in Turkey for a month. Following that incident we traveled to Syria and pilled up the car with weapons and TNT (we placed them in a wooden suitcase) and …
In January we entered Iran through Bazargan with Hamid Bakeri as he went to Oromieh and I went to Isfahan. During the Revolution’s victory we got hold of the SAVAK and following that we established Sepah and the civic defense committee.
- If you hadn’t passed military instruction and if you had had continued the same geology filed would you ever enter such kind of activities following the revolution?
I was all courage and eager to battle the regime. Although watching war movies and etc… may have created such a character and thanks to that spirit which helped me fight tyranny and encouraged me to guard the Islamic revolution.
- Why did you decide to pen a book?
As the war concluded and as I was the deputy of Army’s general manager I received my Master’s degree and since that period I started instructing university classes. I received my degree from Imam Hussein University in political geography. In 1995 I was accepted as the University’s scientific board member and started teaching Iran’s military geography. As one or two years passes I penned whatsoever I had instructed as my debut was released in 2000, moreover its 4th print-run is underway. I have authored 5 books on Iran’s military geography so far. I received my Ph.D in the same filed form Tarbiat Modares University in 2001. In addition I present my thesis as a book which was on analyzing Tehran’s geography security, matters as transferring the capital and problems as Tehran’s population and its economic and cultural troubles which can create unrest in the future.
- What do you mean by “unrest”?
Economic, cultural and social unrest. I have suggested transferring the capital. Transferring it or the political center or even balancing a part of it, Moreover I have presented many proposals as well like pulling out all population attracting centers for instance industrial centers, some organizations or even ministries.
- Where your proposals impressive and did they employ them?
My book is on the problematic capital alongside its scientific reasons as well as its earthquake issue. On these 2 problems I have sent 2 letters to the officials although they have not considered it yet. When it comes to Tehran I am a knowledgeable figure; as I know a lot about its social issues, transferring it, Tehran’s’ problems and even dividing it into 2 provincials.
Anyhow whatsoever I have penned in these 5 books enjoy a practical view. Every book is on a region from north to south and east to west. My books could help a lot in developing issues or defense and security matters as well as geography students.
- What does political geography mean?
My books hold all my sciences and experiences. Political geography is on government formations and countries’ conditions and their survival reason. Moreover its ties with other countries and how the world’s political developments and changes are impacting them. My books hold my own military and security views thus we can read whatsoever threatens Iran politically and martially and what unrest could occur in it. Moreover I have authored about Iran’s security and actions which have to be taken towards it.
- Like what?
For instance Iran’s southeast, I had predicted that the future crisis will occur in southeast and as we see nowadays Sistan & Balouchestan faces them. The book holds empirical and applied perspectives which are results of my 30-year Military management.
- Do the books have any other specifics?
Yes, my books are not only taught in martial universities as Imam Ali (AS) University but they are also instructed in state universities. The books hold various subjects and issues. For every provincial I have presented a 5 layer plan. For instance I have given 5 plans for Hormozgan on its population, topography, hydrology, ways, cities and job opportunities in agriculture, industry and servicing.
- What do they mean?
Topography means the shape of an area of land, including its hills and valleys. For instance Bandar Abbas in hilly, following that I have presented a hydrology map which shows all the rivers on which a dam could be built. The other map shows the province’s roads and etc…
- Talk about your other books?
It was a book which was penned by Richard Muir. Although it’s main responsibility was upon Dr. Mir heydar who was my professor during my M.A and Ph.D courses. We translated the book together. The other book is “Unity of the Islamic world: Future’s perspective” which I teach in universities (in M.A fields as Islam’s world’s geopolitics and its political geography and in Ph. D levels I instruct them as Islamic world’s geopolitics). The book is a compilation and currently it is being translated into English, Arabic and Turkish by World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought.
- Why did you choose Richard Muir’s book for translation?
Political geography field contains very few books which were mostly authored some 20 years ago. Muir’s new book was published in 1997 and we started translating it in 1999 since it was an updated source.
- One of your books won Book of the Season Award, please tell us more.
Entitled “Samen Ul-aemeh operation: origin of Iran’s military strategy development”, the book was penned very well and it is on matters like political war, war’s cultural issues, national matters, Iraq’s political matters and its military and foe’s condition. The research method I used was a certain scientific and academic one. For instance I have assessed Iraq’s national environment as well as Iran’s national condition and its domestic and international situation.
The first section of the books contains 32 sources (1 chapter) and compiling the whole thing toke some 100 sources. Those who didn’t see the war will realize the matter logically moreover they will understand why we defended our country and why it toke so long.
- What were the operation’s specifics?
As the commander I realized 2 martial developing points of which one was “Samen Ul-aemeh” operation and the other was Kheibar operation.
- What does martial development mean?
It means a vital change. Before “Samen Ul-aemeh” operation no such thing occurred. The progress was made in defeating Abadan’s restrict as for the first time Sepah and Artesh jointly operated the action and it was counted as a martial development. We tested Iraq and got to know how to defeat and them as well as throw them out.
- Have you penned any memories?
Yes in a book named “From south Lebanon till south Iran” which was published by Islamic Revolution’s docs center, however I was not interested in writing Mr. Husseinian insisted, the book holds my memories till 1981.
- Writing requires a clam mind. How do you write with so many concerns?
5 volumes of Iran’s martial geography books (instructed for 2 years) were composed into one.
- Other books?
“Samen Ul-aemeh: origin of Iran’s military strategy development” is a product of the war’s supermen’s periods. As we had to accomplish a research work named thesis this book was the same and I concluded it with Dr. Hussein Ardestani’s assistance.
- I think all of your concerns are writing?
Yes, of course. My other book was my Ph.D thesis. I have been instructing since 14 years ago and altering my experience and instructions into books requires art. People die but their books remain. Those who read them will discover that war commanders are educated and scholars.
- Why are your books solely on martial operations?
No they are not. One of my books is “Islamic world’s unity: Future’s prospective” which is mainly on Islamic world’s geopolitics and the presses of the Islamic world, the other specialized translated book is on political geography. Moreover the first 100 pages of “Origin of Iran’s military strategy development” is on law; UN’s role during the imposed war against Iran, international regions, regional matters, Iran’s national circumstances and assessment of pre-war Iraq.
- Have you thought writing a book on how war impacted the society and families?
Unfortunately no. Not only me but all those who are active in such fields haven’t done so. Thought the matter is a fact. 8 years of war was not only related to martial operations but they were also on our nation. Although the front was located in south and west but the depth of war was rooted in the cities, villages, schools, universities, markets and finally a nation and some 2,000,000 people were included. These people had fathers, mothers, spouses and children. Their role is very vital, only 1,000,000 were Basij forces. Among these 2,000,000 more than 200,000 were martyrs, 320,000 were war- injured veterans and some 40,000 POWs and that leaves more than 540,000-560,000 altruists. If each of them had a family the result will make a great number. Form the 320,000 war- injured veterans some 40,000 were chemicals thus as you believe war had a great social aspect which many related organizations haven’t considered it. Although in the cultural field, Islamic Development Organization’s Howzeh Honari works on resistance literature. Hundreds of books are penned on the culture of holy defense. The latest one was Baba Nazar I anticipated that the book will expand as “Koushk’s soft soil” or “Da”.
-Tell us more about Howzeh Honari.
Literature of the Islamic revolution produces the culture of literature. Lebanon and Hezbollah obtained it and created Lebanon’s Islamic resistance and the result was their victory in the 33-day war. In fact the literature created a thought school of the holy defense and exported it. The matter indicates introduction of the Islamic revolution and resistance culture. Not only Lebanon but Palestinians used it as well, moreover the resistance culture traveled to Yemen.
Talking about the war’s sociology and the country’s cultural official he added the matter is not clear. All are culturally active like IRIB, Islamic Guidance and Culture ministry, Friday prayers, universities, high schools and mosques. But the country’s cultural official is not determined. Several years ago I presented a proposal on establishing a cultural coordinating council on organizing cultural activities. Anyhow I don’t know who the official is but I hope the Islamic Culture and Guidance ministry considers it more.
- Do you have a personal library?
I have so many books that I had to take them some where out of my house since all rooms were full!!
- So you enjoy varieties?
I have an office in which I accomplish my research and writing tasks as it may be house to some 1000 book titles.
- How many are on war and the front line?
Around three shelves, I don’t know the amount but my works are not specifically on war or the front line. As I mentioned I do academic works on scientific subjects like “An account on recognizing Islamic countries” or “Islamic world” which is on political, cultural and economical matters of 57 Islamic countries which are members of Islamic conference. God willing it will be published next year. The book could be a great source for Islamic world’s issues as well as penning Pd. D theses.
- What do you like to write on?
I prefer my own professional filed. Political geography, but the subject holds many sections as Islamic world’s political geography, city political geography, Middle East political geography, Asia southeast political geography or southwest Asia.
However I pray to use my knowledge in defending Islamic Revolution and our nation’s security and helping to defend and free Islamic nations from the United States and Zionists.
- Does your library accommodate poetry books?
One of the matters I envy is poetry. I love them and although God has blessed me with a great memory but I didn’t enter the field. I am interested in Hafez as Masnavi Mowlavi is attractive as well.
- What was the last novel you read?
As I said “Baba Nazar”, I know the author; he is a brave and honest militant. Moreover I am reading a translated book which was penned in 2006, America. It says that during the past 100 years Americans have preformed coup d'états or deposed governments in 12 countries. Currently I have concluded Iran and its 1953 coup d'état chapter and I am reading about Chile’s coup d'état. The book is not a novel indeed it’s a political- historical book and it is authored by a professional writer.
- What the book says about Iran’s revolution?
Nothing about the revolution. But it has covered matters Iraq’s war against Iran, Carter, America’s embassy in Tehran, students who followed Imam Khomeini’s way and the reasons of America’s support from Iraq.
- Do you lend your books to others?
When it comes to my books I am very particular. Nowadays the book’s CD is presented as well although I always purchase both. Moreover I am very sensitive on lending books but my students can use my library.
- Do your books have specific readers?
They have special readers as I have penned mostly on professional fields like martial or political geography.
- On the same specific subject will you write a book for all stratums?
I would love to write a book on Getting to know Holy Defense, ratified by the science ministry, as me and my friends wrote its chapters. I will start the work in the coming months. If my speeches would have been published as a book it would be useful for all. Although it would be a book, talking about 8 years of war requires several volumes.
- How do you pathology your books?
Before publishing I distribute them among my students for instance the “Islamic world” book was distributed among 2 universities which contained data of 57 Islamic countries. Each of them read 3-5 countries and presented their opinion. The expressions, information and statistics were related to 2007 and my Ph.D students updated them to 2009. However in the published introduction I ask all scholars and professors to give their opinions.
- How much do your family members welcome your books?
For authoring the book, my son who was a political science Ph.D student helped me a lot, collected the sources and read the books as well. But all of them read my memories’ books and since I had not talked about them before they found it very interesting.
- Your son was intellectually compatible with you. Were you so with your father?
I always remember 2 people’s behavior in mind. My wife supported me as we had 3 children. In those years she was a teacher, she toke a year off to take care of the children. The other one was my father who encouraged me during the holy defense years. Twice he came to the front line and accompanied my commander brother, Seyyed Mohsen Safavi. Defending Iran and Islam was always one of his priorities.
- If a war occurs now how would you instruct your children?
I hope no such a thing will happen. But if so, I will go first and moreover I will encourage my children to defend Islam and their nation. However we would not welcome war but we will defend Iran. If such a thing happens we still have the same defending spirits.
- If you like somebody would you donate to book to him?
If he likes so I would do although my books are not appropriate for all.
- Has your war presence impacted your writing?
I have a very sensitive character. But we have to be serious before our countries foes as the Quran says so as well. Following every operation I was ascended to martyrs and seek every operation’s result which was mostly scores of martyrs. Thus the martial spirit you are talking about isn’t every where. I always visit war- injured veterans and martyrs families.
- Do you visit war- injured veterans’ sanitariums?
Previously I visited them more frequently but most of them were sent home. During the war I visited more. I have good relations with martyrs and war- injured veterans’ families although they have great inspissations and we have not done much.
- Meeting the people in streets have you faced any discontents?
As I became the Supreme Leader’s advisor I found great opportunities for going out but during those times I didn’t face such things. But sometimes they complained about the government and I always listen patiently. Some times I received letters on job opportunities, loans or their children’s military services. Whatever I have seen so far was all kindness and amiability.
- Did you reply their letters or no?
About loans I always tried to do something. Although when I was a commander I could do more. Those times annually thousands received loans but nowadays it has reduced to dozens.
- Do you like to be known as a Holy defense commander or a university professor?
I like to be a soldier who defends his religion, nation and country. Though a soldier can be a professor as well but I prefer my soldier nature. I hope to influence other with my humanistic manners.
- How much you think your researches and studies would influence future martial incidents?
We are trying to institutionalize the Holy Defense subject so it could enter the universities as a lesson so it could be considered as a part of Iran’s history. My books may have an impact on improving the spirit of defending the revolution. However I have sent my opinions to the Supreme Leader on the upcoming matters and their methods. My books usually are spiritually useful. As our country and revolution faces many foes we permanently have to be ready to defend our country. Every country who likes to be independent should pay a price and that requires permanent readiness. Besides jihad spirit our Leader believes that we have to promote the youth’s political insight.
- Do you have memories related to books or special authors?
In my room or stronghold in the front I had a library and I usually use to finish a book in a week. I studied many books during the holy defense years like a series of Ayatullah Seyyed Hashem Rasouli Mahalati books which were on Prophet Mohammad and Imams or Allameh Mohammad Taghi Jafari’s Nahjulbalaghe’s interpretation. Moreover during traveling I used to read a lot.
- Tell us about your front bad memories.
The death of Halabche’s people was really painful. Some 5000 children and women were killed. Moreover Marivan was chemically bombarded. Some 5000 were martyred and their bodies were left over. Dogs which ate the corps were dead as well. No regime kills its people so as Sadam did. Halabche’s bombard was like Hiroshima and Nagasaki’s but with a difference, America bombarded the cities in 1945 and more than 200 were killed but Sadam kiled his own people, women and children.
- What was your best memory?
Liberation of Khorramshahr. The city was recaptured from the Iraqis on May 24, 1982 as process toke 23 days of war. We were very happy because 20 days had passed and we had encountered many problems like operational problems, forces deficiencies and many other things. Naturally following 20 days of permanent war only 2-3 battalions were ready. The day we entered the city we saw nothing except destructions, all houses were ruined and every thing was left behind. We were extremely happy since after 23 of war and sleepless nights we gained our goal. I rang up my family after several days and they told me that people are celebrating in Tehran.
- Do you write daily notes?
Unfortunately no. I have calendars which belong to that period but no notes. This is one of my problems. Martyr Hassan Bagheri, founder of Sepah information stand in the south, has a notebook which contained his writing till the day he was alive.
- How many hours do you read a day?
I don’t read every day. Although I read the daily news but what means mere reading no. I instruct twice a week and for preparing the subjects I usually read in the nights or early mornings. Sometimes I read my interested books during the week but that is not every day.
- What other question would you ask from commander rahim Safavi?
That’s a difficult one. But I think I would have asked that “What is the result of prosperity?” As during these 30 years I have seen many strange things in particular in political fields. For instance Bani Sadr who finally became the president and gained great votes as well but he fled Iran as a snake. Prosperity is very important. One who has lived a long fruitful life is very particular on people’s judgment. So that’s a really vital question what is the mystery of prosperity?
-And the answer?
The first and important one is obeying and worshiping God. Obeying him means doing whatsoever he said. Accomplishing the duties and abstaining taboos. Like being kind to parents, no to tell lies and etc…
If you like to know what God has instructed us to, you have to read the Quran daily (3-5 pages). Second besides worshiping God we have to serve God’s creatures mainly the poor. Any type of helping will do even mental help. Some need consult as others need kindness and these matters are not restricted to humans only but is about animals and plants as well. The 3rd one is about obeying the supreme leader as the other factor is to love God’s prophet and his family and obeying his instructions. And the last but not the least is parent’s satisfaction and finally ask God to prosper me and all my colleagues as well as all Iranian cultural figures and politicians.
1. The principles of military geography
2. Iran’s military geography(1)
3. Iran’s military geography(2)
4. Iran’s military geography(3)
5. Iran’s military geography(4)
6. Iran’s military geography(5)
7. “Unity of the Islamic world: Future’s perspective”
8. “Samen Ul-aemeh operation: origin of Iran’s military strategy development”
9. Political Geography: A new introduction
Articles: Several articles on Islamic world’s unity, Sepehr journal
Guiding instructor: 5 M.A theses
Councilor: 3 M.A theses
Judgment: 3 M.A theses
Judgment: 1 Ph.D thesis
Guiding instructor: 1 Ph.D thesis
Member of Geopolitics Association’s board of directors
Chief Editor of political defense periodical
Member of geography and Science Ministry’s committee
Head of supervising committee of holy Defense text books
Id : 61688