Mousavi's Children Forsaken

Their share today and ours during his reign


Mousavi's Children Forsaken
by Atefeh Eghbal

A few minutes ago, on Jonbash Rahe Sabz web site, I was reading a letter written by the children of Mir-Hussein Mousavi. It was a letter that made me upset and drove me to thinking. I told myself that I had never wished anyone becoming a pariah. However, I couldn’t help thinking of our own parents and families during the reign of Khomeini when Mr. Mousavi was the prime minister; I couldn’t refrain from sighing.

In their letter, Mir-Hussein Mousavi’s children write:

“We thought whether it is possible to stand behind a door for thirteen days, waiting for a sign or sound that our parents are still there, still alive, still unharmed. Behind a door or gates that never open, lights that never again are turned on.”

“We went to see them one week ago. A van was parked in the alley such that nothing could pass by. The men who came out of the vehicle wore masks. They chewed gum and in answer to our question that what and who gave them the authority to keep us from seeing our parents, they replied harshly, “It is none of your business from where and whom the order has come.” We asked that how many people there were in the van. Again, they answered harshly, “What business of yours is it?” We asked that why their vehicle had such dark, tainted windows. They replied, “What business of yours is it?”

“Wasn’t it really any business of ours where our mother and father were? In the span of seventy two hours, we had become in so many ways strangers!”

And I remembered the summer of 1981. It was the golden years of Khomeini’s reign, and Mir-Hussein Mousavi was his prime minister; Mehdi Karroubi was the head of the Mostazafen Foundation of Islamic Revolution [Bonyad-e Mostazafen va Janbazan]. And I was in prison. My brother, Aref, had been martyred in peaceful demonstrations held on the 30th of Khordad [June 20, 1981]. My husband, Mahmoud, had been arrested and tortured such that for his execution, he had to be carried on a stretcher. While the family mourned the death of my brother and held a memorial service for him in our home, the Revolutionary Guard attacked the house, forcing my parents and the rest of the family to flee.

The family house had been confiscated, and according to the neighbors, a grenade was thrown into the yard every day just for the sake of it. The family even didn’t have a place to sleep for months. My father had suffered a heart attack and had developed heart problems after hearing the news of Aref’s martyrdom. My mother was beside herself. My two little sisters innocently were left out of school and became homeless.

Our mother used to say that my sisters always looked at other school children with such envy that broke her heart, but she couldn’t send them to school because the Revolutionary Guard had even gone there to arrest them. Wasn’t it the thirteen year old Fatima Misbah who was executed together with the rest of her family? Has this regime shown mercy to anyone to expect that they would have any compassion on us?

I continued to read the letter written by Mousavi’s children. I noted their words, “In that vast street, it seemed as if even leafless trees shouted, ‘For which crime?’ ”

And I recalled once more the time when our mother told us about the nights they had to sleep in a car in order to avoid arrest; when day after day, they traveled from city to city, merely driving in fear of losing their remaining children or dreading my execution in captivity.

I remembered the time when my sister talked about Mahmoud. My heart still aches for him whenever I think of him. My sister, Efat, used to say, “Together with my husband and two little daughters, I was in a car at an intersection in Tehran. We didn’t have anywhere to go. Recently, we had returned from the northern regions of the country and were searching for a place to stay, but no one was anywhere to be found. All of a sudden, at the intersection, we saw your husband, Mahmoud. He was with a friend and appeared pale. They came into the car, and Mahmoud told us that they had been sleeping on the streets for a while and hadn’t eaten for days.”

My sister added, “Mahmoud suffered from an acute migraine and with empty stomach had taken pain killers.” That night, two friends had gone to a restaurant with my sister and the rest of her family. This was the last time that my family had seen him. Mahmoud was arrested in a few days in the streets of Tehran. Despite being tortured, he had confessed to nothing and remained silent. For this very reason, he was carried on a stretcher to be shot to death by the orders of his executioner, Lajevardi [Asadollah Lajevardi, the warden of Evin from 1981 to 1985].

How lost I was when I heard the news of his execution in prison, when the news of my brother’s murder reached me, when I heard the news of my father’s heart attack but couldn’t do anything for him from prison, when the news of my family’s wandering reached my ears and when I heard about the execution of young relatives one by one in prison.

How abandoned and alone we all felt every night in Evin, counting every finishing shot we heard, reaching as many as three hundred bullets and screaming in our hearts, “For which crime?”

When two of my brother’s friends, Mohammad Haj Hassani and Bijan Kamyab Sharifi, were executed in prison at the age of sixteen; when little Mohammad had called his mother on the night of his execution to ask, “Mother, my entire body is soaked in blood. Is it permissible for me to utter the last prayer covered in blood?” Alas, how lost the parents of Mohammad and Bijan were that night. Yes, how lonesome and forsaken our families were during those times, the era shamelessly remembered by some as the golden years, not the bloody crimson age.

At the present time, the children of Mousavi, the prime minister of “Imam’s golden era,” are the forsaken ones, but I want this for no one. I wish imprisonment and house arrest for no one. I want Mousavi, Karroubi and the rest of them to be set free from the claws of Khamenei’s supporters so that their children don’t feel lost and abandoned.

However, I also wish the day comes that not only Mousavi, Karroubi and those who ruled during the dark ages of Valiayat-e Faqih [Guardianship of Islamic Jurist] but also everyone else, one by one, all of the groups and parties, even those who fought for freedom, will account for the good and the bad they have done. Even if they don’t respond to our questions, they answer to people: What happened during the last thirty three years and how did everyone contribute to what conspired?

Tonight, my heart aches remembering the past. I want a shoulder upon which to cry. The memory of my husband, Mahmoud, whose open arms were mine for no more than six months weighs heavily on my heart. I ask myself, “Who are the forsaken ones?”

The times are peculiar, my dear…

Original article here.
Translated by Laleh Gillani.


Mona 19

Mr. Shirakbari...

by Mona 19 on

Thank you for your kind words.



Anahid Hojjati

When did Moussavi become prime minister?

by Anahid Hojjati on

I was in Iran until end of Auguts 1983. It just dawned on me that in summer of 1981, Rajaee and Bahonar were killed. This made me question about when Moussavi became prime minister. If you wikipedia Moussavi, you find out that he became prime minister in after October 1981. If this is the case, this is different than what Ms. Eghbal writes where she states that in Summer of 1981 Moussavi was prime minister. However, as I do more research, I see other dates for when Moussavi became prime minister. Does any one know for sure?

It is true that Moussavi was prime minister when executions happened but additionally I want to know exact date he became PM to know if he can be shown involved for specific case of Ms. Eghbal or not.


Karma is a bitch!

by Pahlevan on

I hope Mousavi, Karrubi and every other political prisoner under IRI is freed ... but I also can't stop thinking that what goes around, comes around!


Sad story, long live Crown Reza Pahlavi

by Siavash300 on

Dear Atefeh,

It was heartbreaking story. Hope it open eyes of our fellow country men and women that all these criminal thugs are the same. No difference between Mosavi and their bastard leader Khomainie. Hope all of our country men and women realize Crown Reza Pahlavi is the only path to success and prosperity. These Islamic criminals are heading fast toward dumpster of history. Soon we re-establish monarchy and bring all of these Islamic animals to the trial for justice.

Soosan Khanoom


by Soosan Khanoom on

The british used Safavieh and the Wahhabi's (lawrence of arabia) to attack Othmany empire from the east they then attacked them from europe and destroyed them.   It was not really that long ago that the Ottoman Empire came to an end , 1922......

Also british played an important role in the rise of nationalism  that swept through many countries during the 19th century, and it affected territories within the Ottoman Empire.  Well there you have it ..... the idea of divide and rule .......

Watch PBS documentary  " Islam the Empire of Faith "   before the Safavieh attacks towards that Empire there was no such a thing as Shia and Sunni ...... The last Caliphate after the invasion stated,

" Today I have found out that I am a Sunni "

The Shia that Safavieh so supported and turned Iran to was nothing  but bunch of made in England Mullahs with passion play acts all over Iran ( Rozeh Khooni )  that had absolutely nothing to do with with ALI or Hussein true struggles  .....   Islam had no such thing as Roozeh khonnee before Safavieh ..... actually passion play was adopted by Iranians from Christianity 

Then British brought Reza Shah to beat the hell out of their own made mullas ....  and the result is more mullas today ..... go figure   




Yuckier than chewing gum!!! :-)

by Raoul1955 on

How did the masked muslim dudes pass their time in the van?   Me need to know.  LOL



by ComraidsConcubine on

 "...The men who came out of the vehicle wore masks. They chewed gum and in answer to our question that what and who gave them the authority to keep us from seeing our parents..."

Too true! Something ought to be done about chewing gum. It's beyond yuckiieeeness.


Thanks Mrs Eghbal

by Souri on

BTW, I'm just wondering if you and me, know each other personally? Is Atefeh Eghbal  your real name?


Anahid Hojjati

Thanks DM for your comment

by Anahid Hojjati on

I still like to be forward looking and also focus on the groups that are relevant to today's Iran.

maziar 58

mrs.gilani and eghbal

by maziar 58 on

thanks for the translation and posting hope to see their pay back time on live tv.

i have my share of losing to them bastards 3 close relatives and relatives and friends all either killed during war or executed for goofy reasons.


Jeesh Daram


by Jeesh Daram on

جریان چیه؟  کجارو باید امضا کنیم؟  شامم میدن؟


Dear Atefeh, Your story

by MM on

Dear Atefeh,

Your story is heartbreaking and one of many told by the victims of the barbaric IRI.  We all await the day when the folks who laid down the golden years as well as those who paved the way to corruption, tortures and murder will be brought to justice.


Anahid Jan

by Doctor mohandes on

Unfortunately I have no means to double check on the fact as to whether travelling to USSR was allowed or not.

I agree with you that it is really beyond our power to understand what these guys went through unless we were there ourselves, But again that is not the focal point of the blog. at least as far as my understanding goes.

and also , at the conclusion of that blog it was very clear what the author meant by being critical of the past. We need to be able to remember what went on in the past so as to not fall victime yet again and repeat the same mistake. I don't see that as being overly critical > it is a good thing actually! Sounds like that there are still many amongst us that need a refresher every now and then.

I think the issue is really rather a mixture of what you said at the end. Criticize those from 3 decades ago, Keep in mind why and how they chose the wrong path, and what let them to the point where they are at now, And beware of their preaching points and Just let them be.



Anahid Hojjati

DM jan, answer to your #2 point is easy

by Anahid Hojjati on

travel to USSR was not looked upon favorably. Ask around. You realize that I am right. remember that in early 1980s, USSR was known as land of communism so if someone travelled there, they would be considered as pro USSR and therefore communist. As far as your #1, answer is more involved. each case is different. depending on the level of the person we are talking. Some did go to communist countries. Like Siavash Kasrai went to USSR, I believe before going to Austria. As far as rest of people, we are talking about traumatized people and like I said, every person's situation is different. What I am trying to say is that I never lost a close relative Like Ms. Eghbal to execution. So as much as I or anyone else try to say that we understand her pain, we really don't know its degree. Same way, commentators that never had to worry like some had in 1980s about hiding from IRI, changing residence, meanwhile seeing friends and family in prison even some non political ones and other problems they might have faced in their personal lives, it is now easy for commentators to crticize those people and do Monday morning quarter backing.

Also this is a different blog but my problem with blogs like AO is that they are not forward looking. Let's say many leftist groups were wrong, now what? which group does AO recommend? until when do we want to talk about Tudeh, fadaee and other groups that are not even relevant to Iran of today. The other day, I saw posting from Fadaeeian Aksariat on facebook. I was about to open it that I remembered that I am upset about Farokh Negahdar's letter. Also, presently, my interest is more in groups like IIC and Secular organizations that I know their people for couple years from their writings. Let's be forward looking. If issue is exposing how wrong people who claim that they are left now but support IRI is, that i understand but if we want to criticize actions of leftists 30 years ago or any other group 30 years ago and if this becomes the focus, this is not going to get us any closer to fall of IRI.


Anahid jan

by Doctor mohandes on

I only have two issue with what you brought up here:

1- There really was not any choice or decisions to be made. They knew what ideology they followed and what close by country, not even countries!!, offered a lifestyle on that basis. Once they had made it there, They could have easily Travel to other parts of eastern europe.

2- I hardly even remember that travelling to any country other than ISrael which was clearly stamped in every passport issues was a crime or a big deal. Are you sure that was the case?

But the core of what was being promoted, was those who live in these countries and still push and encourage socialist ideologies. They are the ones, who need to put their money where their mouth is and behave according the sermon that they preach. No one denied their sufferings and pains in the early years.



AH: You are right. I stand

by vildemose on

AH: You are right. I stand corrected. Point well-taken.


Oktaby jan: I think it can't

by vildemose on

Oktaby jan: I think it can't get better than this. Thank you so much.

Anahid Hojjati

Ms. Eghbal,thanks for writing. Laleh jan, thanks for translation

by Anahid Hojjati on

Ms. Eghbal. I am saddened about your loss. I did have some friends who were executed when they were not even 20 years old. Also those years, people were put in prison who were not even political but were mistaken for being political. Those were horrible years. I cannot believe that people who want a better Iran would consider those years, golden years of IRI. I hope that soon, we will have an Iran where people do not have to go through what they have for past several decades.

Laleh jan, many thanks for your great translation of this important article.


Thank you for your post Nasser

by c22 on

The point is to record this for history so it is not repeated ever again. Future generations of Iranians need to understand the price that was paid for freedom. I have no doubt freedom will come to Iran, nothing lasts forever and the IRI is no exception. As a nation we are too hung up on fairy tale heroes and villains and fail to see the complexity of human character in our leaders. 

The real people who need relief are the tyrants. They need to be doubly relieved of the constant fear that they live in and the terrible conscience that must weight on them. What an awful, decrepit and base life is theirs... I'd rather live a thousand lives of an ordinary citizen than one privileged life as a member of the current fetid and festering regime. 

 When all said and done nobody will remember these heartless and baseless and immoral actors in the current history of Iran, what will be remembered is how the iranians endured, fought back and won.  

'Everyone remembers Socrates, but nobody remembers the judges who sentenced him to death.' Naguib Mahfouz 

As for relief to individual sorrows, the fact that people live to tell the tale is in itself a sign of their strength. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.




by oktaby on

the idea was yours Vildemose. I simply volunteered to enable a site ready built, paid for, and ready use for a good cause. Content update needs no tech know how but some learning of functionalities; but to do it right, it'll be good to have a volunteer that is skilled in CMS and can troubleshoot as needed. I will do the initial set up and hand you and other volunteers a working site. Lock, stock and barrel. Any monies contributed and collected via the site will go to people and causes being supported not to the site.


Anahid Hojjati

Some commentators contradict themselves on two threads

by Anahid Hojjati on

You know what bothers me? what bothers me is that people make comments on different blogs that contradict themselves. On this thread, some commentators are all sad for fate of people like Ms. Eghbal who had family members who were executed and she herself was in prison. But in another blog, same commentator faults leftists because they came to western countries rather than USSR. No one asks these brilliant commentators if someone was in Iran in early 1980s and their life or freedom was in danger, did they have the luxury to pick a country that they liked idiologically better?

 Issue was survival and people left Iran for a kind of self exile so they could stay alive or not go to prison and many chose western countries because they had relatives there and it was easier to get visa for them. Remember that in those days travelling to eastern block was illegal in Iran. Some commentators on IC never had to fear for their lives nor for their freedom so they cry the "ashke temsah" on this thread but on another thread, they ask why that leftist person went to USA instead of USSR? they don't know their logic is wrong because they cannot even put all these facts together. Like I said they never had to fear for life or freedom.


IC community, We need help!

by vildemose on

Oktaby jan: That is a great idea. A noble cause that I hope the IC community embraces. I'm not an engineer and don't know anything about maintainingg a website but I will help finanacially, if needed.

Now, If you could please write a blog and explain exactly what you need to our IC community, you might get some assistance volunteers in that regard. 


Vildemose Jaan,

by oktaby on

I can facilitate a fully designed and functional site ready to use quickly. All we need is a group of volunteers to self organize to manage the site. I will provide initial knowledge transfer and training to all volunteers. A wordpress or other CMS, PHP expertise among volunteers will be helpful.



abc 123; mona 19; c22


Thank you for sharing your true unpleasant and painful experiences with us.  We all feel helpless and frustrated that we cannot do something about it at this instance.  All we can do is to acknowledge and validate you, hoping that bring some measure relief to you. 


Mousavi's children need to read this...

by c22 on

... and i want to know what their reply would be.



The mill of god grinds...

by c22 on

...but it grinds slowly..

 Dear Atefeh,

I bow to your pain and suffering. Unfortunately I don't have as great a soul as you and until the day the instigators of all this suffering face up to their doing I wish them a fate far worse than what they meted out to the millions of innocent Iranians. I was born in the year of the revolution and we escaped within a decade so I have not suffered as you have but to this day I am haunted by the black and white photo of my mother and her friends taken at a birthday party of one of their children a year before the revolution. The carefree and beautiful smiling faces of those smartly dressed women betray no inkling of the endless pit of pain and suffering that was waiting for them.

Within 2 years of that photo being taken, one had seen her husband and only son hanged and another had been dragged to prison along with her husband and forced to witness her three sons - all under the age of 20 - be executed (suffocated) in front of them. That couple still live in Iran, crushed and broken but not defeated.

The rest have been dispersed by the winds of exile and separation. All that remains is a back and white photo of what was the last days of freedom.

I can still remember the day when as I was playing with my toys in the living room I heard my mother scream and drop the receiver of the telephone. She had just heard her brother who from his house in the North of Iran had put up a one man resistance battle with the local newly formed 'Pasdars' had been crushed with grenades to the extent that they never could recover a body.  

All these individual stories of loss, pain and suffering need to be recorded for history. Perhaps one day when our nation has matured we too can have a Truth and Reconciliation Committee to help us face and wrestle with these demons that lie in the bloody history of our land. 





by shushtari on

I completely agree.....they did some horrible things, but what I'm talking about is the masterminds of the nightmare that you see today....

there's a lot more to it than just 'fundamentalism'.....the people of iran have always been under the 'spell' of the akhoonds and islam....we were slowly coming out of it with the new generations being educated and seeing how the rest of the world was living...


the devotion to 'ashoora, seene-zani, etc' was not the fault of savak....but the culture and the mullahs' play on people....


also, there is a lot more to the picture- like the politics of oil, the shah's indecisivness, foreign interests in iran's resources, carter's idiotic support of khomeini,etc.


Soosan Khanoom


by Soosan Khanoom on

Savak was not too soft ........ we can dig out numerous heartbreaking letters such as  the one here from the ruins of Pahlavi's regime ........ Actually what Savak did was nothing but generating fundamentalism ...... cycle of hate ........  a revolution came and threw them out ............ the IRI will not stay for long either .........  frankly, in this business you reap what you sow. 




by shushtari on

my point is that you need a security apparatus to protect the nation and it's people from lunies like khomeini, khamenei, etc.

I don't agree with all that savak did, like torture, etc.  but when there is a treasonous threat like khomeini, you should take care of business!!!

the problem was that the shah was too timid and turkey, they took care of the mullas long ago, and see where they are at right now....

if savak was so brutal, then why did all these murderers survive???


khomeini could have been eliminated way back in 1963...but they made him into an 'ayatollah' to prevent his execution....and the rst is history 


Thank you for this touching blog....

by Roozbeh_Gilani on

And the person who commented:

"savak was keep loonies like these guys in prison"

Should remember that Evin Jail was built by Shah for SAVAK, and apart from a few executions, the entire SAVAK organisation, after the revolution just changed mamangement from Shah to islamist regime. otherwise business as usual!

Also a related video:

// "

"Personal business must yield to collective interest."