Monday, July 21, 2008

Memoirs of Ahmed al-Katib -4-

The moment we stepped foot in Iran, we realized the diversity of opinion and movements, we took note in the fact that the official Iranian position during the reign of Mr. Mahdi Bazragan's government favored normalized relations with Iraq, affirming the 1975 Algiers agreement. Iranian foreign minister Mr. Ibrahim Yazdi went to the Iraqi embassy on the 17th of July to congratulate them in the anniversary of the "Revolution", as the Iraqi opposition, we wanted Iran to support us and to form the launch point of our revolution in Iraq, and so we needed to re-educate the Iranian public opinion, which held a positive view of the Ba'ath regime, considering that it was the only country that sheltered revolution's leader Imam Khomeini for fifteen years, and lending the opposition a Persian-speaking radio station, in spite of the fact that the regime pressured the Imam in his last months there which led to his departure. To achieve our goal we wrote articles against dictatorship in Iraq, we launched protests on the anniversary of the 17th of July Revolution, all this caused Saddam Hussein to complain to the Iranian foreign minister Yazdi upon meeting him at the Non-Aligned Conference in Havana, he requested the execution of the editor-in-chief of the Martyr Magazine which published a caricature of Saddam when he assumed his new post, Yazdi apologized and said that the magazine is not controlled by the government in light of new democratic atmosphere in Iran.
In cooperation with our friends at the Revolutionary Guard, we started to install military bases on the borders, to ease the entry of our elements from/into Iraq, a fellow fighter (martyr Talib al-Ulayli) insisted on launching military activity within Iraq, we haven't made our decision yet, but he went without our consultation or notification. He attacked Ba'ath Party cadres in Kerbala on the night of Ashoura, and then others in the military branch attempted to assassinate Tariq Aziz in al-Mustansiriya University. A certain "Khalid" attacked the ceremony they made for the victims of the explosion, under orders from leadership of the Islamic Labour, we adopted the two operations from Tehran(?). I read from reports that came from our friends in Iraq, that this "Khalid" was exceptionally brave, he was good at impersonating security men, once he went to a hall where Taha Yassin Ramadhan was supposed to be present, and he began bossing the personnel around like a true commander, he stood behind the podium awaiting the minister, but he didn't show up. Everyone thought Khalid was a hero, however, I suspected that he was a regime infiltrator in our midst, and he surely served the regime greatly when he attacked the mourners in the name of the Islamic Labor and/or Iran.
All this led the Iraqi regime to wage war and prepare for it by deporting Iraqis of Iranian origin, who were suspected of being loyal to the Iranian Revolution, about 50,000 were deported from all around Iraq. Mohammed al-Shirazi called to form an army out of these deported youth and to attack Iraq, thus was "The Islamic Revolutionary Army for Iraq's Liberation" was formed, causing furhter arrests on part of the Iraqi regime.
The Iraqi Revolutionary Army was formed in coordination with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, I became a member of its political leadership, which was formed out of all sorts of opposition Iraqi parties in Iran, as representive of the Islamic Labor Organization, the army was supervised by Sayyid Mahdi al-Hashimi, alongside Sheikh Mohammed al-Muntadhiri.
The Iraqi regime attacked Iran in the 22nd of September, 1980.
We found in war a new opportunity to topple the Iraqi regime that we couldn't shake through media, we expected that the Iraqi army would revolt against Saddam who put him through a meaningless war against their brothers in the Shi'i Islamic Iran. We even began to pack and prepare to return. As the war turned fiercer, the Iranians achieved victories, Imam Khomeini insisted on going the whole nine yards and topple Saddam, refusing all sorts of international dialog. Our hopes were furhter soaring, and we intensified our cooperation with the Iranian army, some even went to fight alongside the Iranians against the Iraqi army, as it is a war in defense of "Islam and the Revolution" against the "Infidel Baathist" regime.
I wrote at the time a book in which I attempted to criticize the Iraqi Islamic movement and the religious Marja'iyya, in particular al-Shirazi's peaceful movement, identifying its strengths and weaknesses, and hoping for the support of the Marja'iyya and Vilayet-e-Faqih in Iraq in the future.


By 1982, the Iraqi-Iranian war took on a terrible, bloody meaninglessness. Sayyid Shirazi rallied to stop it, saying it's a dead-end, he urged movement members to get out of Iran. I preferred to leave the movement and to finish my religious studies, neglected since I left out of Iraq.
in 1985, Sayyid al-Mudarrisi invited me to teach in the Hawza of al-Imam al-Qa'im, which included students from the Gulf, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere, it was more like an activist school and not a traditional hawza, as students mixed jurisprudence and legal teachings with party activity and various tasks and duties.
after the fall of Jafar al-Numairi's regime in Sudan, we decided to open a branch of our movement in Sudan, I travelled to Khartom via Syria and Cairo, I studied for forty days there, during which I managed to get into contact with a number of college students, some of which I managed to convert into Shi'ism. Those invited me to hold dialog with their Salafist Wahhabi friends, I went there and talked through the night, by morning I managed to convert some of them.
Having formed a Shi'i nucleus we bought some of them to the Qa'immiya Hawza so that they may form the beginning of a Shi'i movement in Sudan, the Iranian government had nothing to do with any of this.



Anonymous said...

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