IRGC modeled its formation after the Soviet Red Army; it recruited thugs and hooligans from urban outskirts in addition to ignorant and fanatic religious youth. It was not long before the Soviet secret service took notice to the point where it began shipping them small arms and artillery via Moscow without the knowledge of Prime Minister Bazargan or Prime Minister Bani-Sadr. The IRGC that had practically become Khamenei's private army, provided a center for many of the revolutionary youth who had been trained in Soviet-controlled camps.
The first chapter is a review of the history of the Cold War the origins of which can be traced back to the rivalry between two victors of World War I -- the Russians and the British -- for the control of the partitioned Ottoman territory. The Ottomans were the big losers of the war and the most prized spoils of war left behind by their defeated army were the historic lands of the Middle East and North Africa. The Bolshevik Revolution that coincided with the end of World War I kept the Russians from controlling a part of this valuable territory and thus Great Britain and France remained the two powers that won control over the lion's share of the Middle East. After the 1917 revolution and the establishment of the Soviet Union, the Russians once again began eyeing territories outside the boundaries of this newly established empire.
Comrade Ayatollah - Introduction
Comrade Ayatollah investigates in ten chapters documents related to the pivotal role of the Soviet Union's security agency in the planning and execution of the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and this terrifying organization's subsequent covert facilitation of the ascent of Seyed Ali Khamenei to the position of Absolute Supreme Leader in Iran. In each of these ten chapters you will encounter one of the hidden secrets and terrifying mysteries in the history of the Islamic Revolution. While deciphering these enigmas, I also provide material for independent research and a suggested topic for case studies.
Their creeping influence accelerated in the former Ottoman territories, from Mesopotamia to Palestine and from Morocco to Egypt. With the advent of World War II, the Russian and the British armies entered Iran from the north and south, respectively, and occupied the entire country with the excuse that Iran was a supporter of Nazi Germany. The clandestine influx of the Soviet intelligence service's spies and agents under the guise of the Red Army provided the opportunity for the Russians to penetrate all strata of society in the broad geographical expanse of Iran. At the end of World War II, the British army immediately began to withdraw. The Soviet Red Army months later under international pressure especially from the United States withdrew, but its intelligence service's spies never left Iran. The result of their three-decade long operations in Iran to recruit and train elements loyal to the Soviet Union was the December 1979 Islamic Revolution. What transpired during this bitter era in Iran, the Middle East and North Africa has been depicted in this chapter.
Chapter five focuses on the formation of the Islamic Republic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) from a perspective never before explored. The nucleus of the IRGC initially played the role of the military arm of the Islamic Republic Party in order to provide room for rivalry with parallel, well-organized and militarily trained groups Mujahedin Khalgh and Fadaian Khalgh.
The second chapter details the names of some of the powerful political figures who were trained in Moscow by the Soviet intelligence service for the roles they would play during the days leading up to the revolution and the years that followed, along with their respective biographies highlighting the services they rendered to the Russians. All this information is based on secret documents that are published for the first time in this book. We will see that all three influential factions in the Islamic Republic's closed political circle in the past three decades have been in the service of Soviet intelligence. Seyed Ali Khamenei who leads the conservative or hardliners' faction, Seyed Mohammad Moussavi Khoeiniha who is the spiritual father of the Reformist faction, and some of Mahmoud Amadinejad's closest advisors including Kamran Daneshjoo, Mahmoud Mollabashi and Arsalan Ghorbani who comprise the neo-conservative faction are all graduates of the Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow, the official international spy training center for the Russians since 1960.
For close to a century, destiny has played a bitter game with our ancient homeland. The winds of bizarre events have left us Iranians in a historical abeyance. Addicted to our shared agony and engrossed in our daily demise, we have even lost the ability to ponder the starting point of this common grief. Perhaps if our fathers sought out the root of this shared agony, a feasible solution would have emerged. What you are about to read is the result of two decades of chasing after questions that have perplexed me for half of my life. Finally when I started writing this book four years ago, I anticipated many possible outcomes. I expected this book to evolve into the biography of a ruthless dictator or the discovery of an old Soviet espionage network. But in my wildest dreams I could not have imagined that Comrade Ayatollah would turn into perhaps one of the largest research collections that sheds light on the darkest political and criminal dossiers in Iranian history. Today I declare with certainty that I have identified the root of the historical agony of our people and I have no doubt that all those who follow me on this journey to the conclusion of the book will acquire a new viewpoint on what has come to pass in our nation during the past century. The key to identifying the root cause of this shared agony lies not in our country but far away in the heart of Iran's Northern neighbor -- in the vast nation of Russia. The same place where in 1905 sparks of revolution were ignited in Tsarist Russia. Twelve years later, the flames of the Bolshevik Revolution at first engulfed the people of this expansive country and then spread to ancient Iran and other parts of the world to reduce their history, culture and identity to ashes.
They were instead members of the Islamic Revolution Committees and the IRGC who completed this mission with the leadership of a Patrice Lumumba graduate, Seyed Mohammad Moussavi Khoeiniha. The Soviet intelligence service was the unquestionable winner of the attack on the United Sates Embassy and the 444-day hostage crisis that followed. Thus, the KGB gained access to the classified files at the American Embassy without any trace of its role. The image of American invincibility was shattered and the West's superpower was humiliated. More importantly, the United States was cut off from Iran and thereafter the Soviet Union solidified the revolution in Iran to its own liking without any major political rivals in its way.
Chapter seven uncovers yet another one of Seyed Ali Khamenei's great secrets. The Soviet secret service had received intelligence that some of the Iranian Imperial Air Force officers were planning a coup d'etat to topple the newly formed Islamic Republic and oust the ruling clergy from power. This information was relayed to Seyed Ali Khamenei at 3:00 AM on July 9, 1980. Khamenei immediately contacted two of his closest and most trusted underlings, Massoud Keshmiri, who was responsible for the Air Force division of the committee residing in the second office?? of the Army, and Mohsen Rezai, the chief of the intelligence division of the IRGC Khamenei asked them to meet him at his house right away. That same early morning they formed a task force called “the anti-Nojeh coup plot” and Massoud Keshmiri was appointed as the executive commander while Khamenei was put in charge of conducting the operations. This task force spent the next ten months in a grand cleansing operation in government offices and the Iranian army to dispose of any elements that were suspected of being disloyal to the Islamic Revolution and the ruling revolutionary clergy. In March 1981, members of this task force who were Khamenei's special operations team, entered sensitive government offices to lay the groundwork for the final phase of solidifying the revolution.
Chapter eight re-examines the terror attacks of the summer of 1981 in Tehran and the direct role of Seyed Ali Khamenei and his loyal underlings in the anti-Nojeh coup plot task force in carrying out these terror attacks. These attacks began simultaneously with the impeachment of then president Bani-Sadr in the Islamic Republic Parliament (Majles) and the assassination of Doctor Mostafa Chamran who was a staunch supporter of Bani-Sadr. The conspiracy to impeach the first president elected by the Iranian people for political incompetence was instigated and led in the Majles by Hashemi Rafsanjani and with the direct cooperation of two Patrice Lumumba University graduates, Seyed Ali Khamenei and Seyed Mohammad Moussavi Khoeiniha. One week later, on June 27, 1981, a phony terror attack occurred in Abuzar Mosque and it was announced that Khamenei had survived the attack. This carefully designed incident was intended to create an alibi for Khamenei such that suspicion was directed away from him for the horrific bombings that ensued soon after killing many of the most prominent political?? figures of the Islamic Republic. Khamenei’s rivals were being eliminated one after the other and the road was being cleared for his ascent to power. On June 28, 1981, Ayatollah Beheshti was killed along with over 70 other Islamic Republic Party leaders and on August 30, 1981, President Mohammad Ali Rajai, and Prime Minister Mohammad Javad Bahonar, were killed in a similar bombing. Hassan Ayat, Ayatollah Ghodoussi and many others who were in some way impeding Khamenei's rise to power were eliminated. This bloody episode is reminiscent of the grand cleansing of the early years of the Russian Revolution that paved the way for solidifying Stalin's power. The tragic end of those who tried to investigate these terror attacks through the judiciary is also a part of this chapter. This chapter also underscores the point that Seyed Ali Khamenei, who rose to power soon after the terror attacks and has been in that position ever since, never showed any interest in pursuing these murder cases. The dossiers of the bloody terror attacks of the summer of 1981 that have been gathering dust in the archives of the judiciary, have been carefully re-examined for the first time taking into account the events described above, revealing beyond doubt the role of Khamenei in collaboration with the Soviet secret service in these terror incidents.
Chapter nine revolves entirely around the successive events from the summer of 1981 to the death of Khomeini and the election of Khamenei as the Absolute Supreme Leader. The long sequence of events includes the establishment of the Ministry of Intelligence; the abolishment of the Tudeh Party with a green light from the leaders of the Kremlin; the commencement of internal conflicts among Khamenei's team, specifically his clashes with the Prime Minister Mir Hossein Moussavi; the Iran Contra Affair and Khamenei's rage over being left out of the loop while he held the highest executive position in the country and his bitter vengeance exacted upon those who negotiated with the American president's special envoys; the conspiracy to depose Ayatollah Montazeri; Khomeini's mysterious death in the final days of Khamenei's presidency; and finally, the critical amendment made to the Islamic Republic constitution are topics of discussion in this chapter.
The last chapter is a brief and comparative review of steps taken by the superpowers of the East and West on the brink of the revolution in Iran and during its immediate aftermath. The Soviet Union had intensified its penetration into all strata of society in Iran since the entry of the Red Army in Iran in 1942, was on one hand openly supporting the establishment of Marxist organizations such as the Tudeh Party and less conspicuously supporting the establishment of the National Freedom Front of Iran and on the other hand penetrating the seminaries to recruit young theological students for the Soviet secret service. In addition, the KGB had also managed to find its way into Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi's court and it could thus implement its plans to weaken the monarchy. Most importantly their campaign of disinformation or in layman terms spreading lies and false rumors, in which KGB agents were unrivaled experts, had succeeded to deeply influence the course of events in the country. On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, the Western superpower, the United States, was struggling with numerous domestic problems. President Jimmy Carter with his idealistic ideas had just been elected to occupy the Oval Office and his actions in the political, social, economic and military arenas were nothing short of a revolution. The controversial Vietnam war and the Watergate scandal had seriously undermined the confidence of the American people in its elected government. And now the Carter's his political appointees and dismissals were challenging the invincible image that the United States had created after World War II. Carter's actions had caused a major miscalculation within the intelligence community about what was transpiring in Iran and consequently the CIA lost the ability to make any realistic predictions. Meanwhile the Soviet intelligence service had succeeded to convey the message that the Shah's downfall and the revolutionary clergy and Khomeini's rise to power were a result of Carter and other Western leaders' support through a wide dis-information campaign. Hence, the Soviet hands that were the main directors of the Islamic Revolution theater remained hidden for decades.
In selecting sources for this book, much effort has been made to use sources that are free of personal and group biases so as to extract historical facts that have been buried under the psychological warfare among opposing parties. This toxic atmosphere which is a hallmark of the Cold War era has turned the task of conducting provable research about any political, social and historical topic into a difficult one. For this reason, a painstaking yet verifiable method was employed in Comrade Ayatollah for unearthing historical truths. For example, in determining the role of the Soviet secret service in the events leading to the Islamic Revolution and in the actions taken by the ruling clergy and their minions in the years that followed, instead of referring to sources affiliated with the Islamic Republic's opposition groups, sources have been tapped that belong to regime insiders. A comparative analysis was then made between these sources, that include interviews and memoirs of the ruling elite as well as officially published chronology, and books publishes by defected KGB officers whose service was concurrent with this historic period. It can be said with certainty that all the sources used in this book have been extracted from official documents published by the Islamic Republic, Russian references and similar sources so that there would be no grounds for a rebuttal from these oppressive regimes. Recently released classified files from the Soviet secret service, the Islamic Republic secret service, the CIA have also been instrumental in writing this book and in clearing the dust that has been obscuring the Iranian history pages since the revolution for the last thirty years.
This book addresses two main groups. The first groups consists of lawmakers, politicians, social and political scientists who in the free world who believe Seyed Ali Khamenei to be a holy religious leader and address him as such in letters, speeches and interviews, assuming this is respecting the people who view him as their leader. They should know that behind the veil of religious pomp sits a Soviet secret service agent whose ascent to power is riddled with murders and assassinations. The second group is those among his supporters who truly believe through the regime's relentless propaganda that somewhere in history Khamenei has received the flag of Supreme Leadership from the hidden Imam. They should know that he has been handed no such flag but instead a dossier endorsed with the KGB seal so that he could pull Iran out of the sphere of American influence and into that of Russia.
Amir Abbas Fakhrtavar
July 6, 2015
The key role of the IRGC in the seizure of the American Embassy in Tehran in November 1979 is the topic of chapter six. Based on authentic documents that have been published three decades after the hostage crisis, many of those who have been called the Moslem Student Followers of the Imam Line (those who stormed the embassy) were in fact not students at all.
Chapter four is devoted to the final phases of the Soviet secret service's project for igniting the flames of revolution in Iran in the summer of 1978, especially the Cinema Rex fire in Abadan and the September 8, 1978, "massacre". In both cases, we witness the first direct involvement of Seyed Ali Khamenei. These two events were part of a wide scale sabotage operation across Iran's larger cities designed to undermine the Shah's regime and was conducted by guerrillas loyal to the Soviet Union who had been trained for years in KGB-supervised camps. A decade of planning for this sabotage is recorded in documents and admissions of former KGB officers. In addition, official documents are presented from the Islamic Republic's own history pages that expose a task force loyal to Seyed Ali Khamenei and led by Massoud Keshmiri whose mission was erasing the footprints of the perpetrators of these crimes.
Chapter three is an introduction to the Patrice Lumumba University, now known as the People's Friendship University, in Moscow and a brief history of this university's activities for training leaders loyal to the Soviet Union in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and South America. High-ranking defectors from the KGB admit that this university was established by the Soviet secret service and in addition to its management, personnel and staff, all of its foreign students served the Soviet secret service as spies. At the end of the chapter, a brief overview of post-1917 Russian history is presented focusing on each of its leader’s policies on the expansion of its foreign influence. It concludes with President Vladimir Putin's dreams of resurrecting the Eastern Socialist Empire.