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Extra: Ebrahim Yazdi, Revolution's Second Foreign Minister, Arrested

02 Oct 2010 00:5310 Comments


Iran Opposition Figure Yazdi Detained: Report

Reuters | Oct 1

Iran detained opposition politician Ebrahim Yazdi Friday, the official IRNA news agency reported, in the latest crackdown on the pro-reform movement in the Islamic state.

Yazdi, who heads the banned Freedom Movement, was foreign minister in Iran's first government after the 1979 Islamic revolution that overthrew the U.S.-backed shah, but was sidelined as religious hardliners took over. [Yazdi was foreign minister after Karim Sanjabi.]

"An informed source has informed IRNA that Ebrahim Yazdi ... was arrested Friday afternoon in the city of Isfahan," the news agency reported.

Yazdi was twice detained after Iran's disputed election in June 2009. He is an important opposition voice in Iran but has no influence on state policy and limited popular support.

[As early as June 2008, Yazdi advocated the elimination of the doctrine of Velaayat-e Faghih (guardianship of the Islamic jurist, as represented by the Supreme Leader) from the Iranian Constitution. Yazdi, who has suffered from prostate cancer, was pulled from his hospital bed and arrested on June 17, 2009. He was held for five days. After his release, he was rearrested at home on December 27 at three in the morning. He is now 79 years old.]

[The Freedom Movement of Iran was founded in 1961 in Tehran by political and religious figures associated with former Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh, including Mehdi Bazargan and Ayatollah Mahmood Taleghani. It was a leading source of resistance to the regime of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, and its members played crucial roles in the revolutionary movement led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. After the 1979 Revolution, the group was increasingly marginalized due to its opposition to the growing political influence of the conservative clerical establishment, and it was ultimately banned in 2000.]

Iran Arrests Heads of Banned Group

Press TV | Oct 1

Iranian security forces have arrested the head of the Freedom Movement of Iran and another senior member of the banned organization, an informed source says.

Ebrahim Yazdi, the secretary general of the Freedom Movement of Iran was detained [...] along with the party's number two, Hashem Sabbaghian, IRNA reported.

The detainees were arrested after they appeared in a Friday Prayers mass led by a well-known Wahhabi element in the central Iranian city.

Iranian authorities had earlier ordered the cancellation of prayers by the extremist elements but Yazdi and Sabbaghian had encouraged the Wahhabi figures to reopen it, the source added.

Having been arrested during the frenzy after the 2009 presidential election in Iran, Yazdi had been released on bail.

Despite a pledge to give up his illegal activities, Yazdi has reportedly expanded the scope of his group's activities.

[Press TV is a subsidiary of Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting. The particulars of this report have not been verified by Tehran Bureau.]

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Very good news indeed that the stinky revolution of 1979 is eating away its own architects like the interrogator and executioner of Gen. Rahimi and others. Enjoy, Doc. Yazdi et al, a taste of the medicine that you prescribed for people of iran in your treasonous act of 1979. Your upside spit of 1979 is finally landing on your own ugly face. Calling any organization that Yazdi or likes of him are part of "the Freedom Movement" is yet another of his despicable insults to intelligence of iranians and another act of deception for the people of iran.

Raician / October 2, 2010 5:07 AM

An eye for an eye:

بهرام که گور می گرفتی همه عمر - دیدی که چگونه گور بهرام گرفت؟

The evidence:


آقای یزدی و خائنین و ایرانفروشان مشابه: انشاالله پذیرایی در اوین نوش جانتون بشه

Shahryar / October 2, 2010 9:14 AM

Another disaster averted thanks to the ever vigilant nameless soldiers of the Hidden Imam. Another threat to the regime neutralised. A 74 year old cancer patient and political nonentity almost prayed with a couple of his old buddies for a few minutes!

I've always felt that religious-nationalist figures like Bazargan, Yazdi, etc. were the most tragic figures of the revolution. Sorry scenes from Bazargan's speech in the Parliament some 4 years into the revolution and how it is interrupted by a couple of mullahs who chant "Death to Bazargan" and end up roughing him up usually come to mind when I think about the early years of the revolution. That honorable old gentleman lived to see his dreams turn into a nightmare by his former allies. May he rest in peace.

"The greatest threat to Islam in Iran since the revolution has been the experience of living under the Islamic Republic!"

Mehdi Bazargan, in an interview shortly before his death in 1993


Cy / October 2, 2010 12:21 PM

Thank you Cy, no one could have said any better.

Shame on you Pretend Islamic Republic of Iran and your Mafia masters. Praying is now a crime in PIRI.

So reassuring to see the Monarchist Raician and PIRI apologists Shahyar agree to the same exact point.

Reminds of brainwashed bullies who agree on picking on the good kids but don't like each other.

You share the same exact ignorance in you blind hatred for all who do not share your views. You are evidences of why Iran achieves less than Kuwait, UAE or Ghatar for its people. Iran is where the brightest university student are tortured and raped for a mere vote.

Greens will rebuild Iran with Peace and Respect. Even for you.

Ali / October 4, 2010 12:36 AM

I have no sympathy for Yazdi. His conduct at the beginning of the revolution spoke volumes about the man and his mission.

The question that comes to mind is the lack of vision demonstrated by the likes of Bazargan, Sanjabi, et al who knowingly greeted Khomeini and literally handed the country over to him. What is disturbing is the lack of common sense demonstrated on their part with regard to the outcome. How could they have expected cooperation for a democratic governance from this particular group of Islamist barbarians who took joy in murdering people by means of mass executions?

What did they expect from a parliament packed with mullahs? Those mullahs were not lying. They wanted an Islamic Republic and they got an Islamic Republic. Where was democracy in all of this?

Much against Bakhtiar, his faction decided to sit with religious fanatics who ultimately treated them as pushovers. If Bazargan was slapped around in the parliament it was exclusively due to their lack of leadership and foresight. I am sorry but these people resemble jokers rather than politicians. Their conduct was amateurish at best. They ruined Iran.

Niloofar / October 4, 2010 2:29 AM


I agree that religious-nationalist figures were very naive and lacked political vision. The Yazdi of 79 in particular comes across as arrogant, highly oppotunistic and naive as he does his utmost in Paris to portray Khomeini as an enlightened liberal saviour. Bazargan seems to have been more level headed and he did try to save the country from the horrors that followed in a last-ditch effort, but by then all was lost. I wouldn't go as far as to say that Bazargan and Sanjabi handed the country over to Khomeini. I think by the time his plane landed at Mehrabad, the balance of power was very much in his favour. By then delusion and intoxication with Islamism had swept the masses on a national scale and power hungry clerics had very different plans for the country. At the very least Khomeini could have unleashed a devastating civil war had the army resisted.

The religious-nationalists should have realised the enormous destructive potential of political Islam many years earlier. They should have been aware of how clerics viewed a democratic state as illegitimate and how hungry for power they really were. They should have known from history and common sense what a posionous mixture religion and politics make. Most importantly they should have known that when it comes to Islam, it is the 70 year old frowning Ayatollahs who are in charge and not the clean-shaven, tie-wearing doctors and engineers. One has to wonder why the country's political climate in the 70s had become so unhealthy that good men like Bazargan did not recognise the destruction that Khomeini had to offer. That millions of Iranians had come to believe in this man whose writings should bring shame to any literate Iranian. I can't help but place much of the blame for this poisonous atmosphere on the Shah.

Cy / October 4, 2010 4:18 AM

Anyone that supports Wahhabi elements should be locked up. This is a dangerous ideology that needs to be marginalised not supported.

Carlos from Oz / October 5, 2010 3:48 AM

As far as I can tell the Wahhabi thing is pure BS.

Cy / October 5, 2010 8:48 AM

Cy, I spend a good portion of each day seeking out the factual basis for news reports from Iran's state-controlled media, and I have not seen a single shred of independently reported evidence that contradicts your well and concisely phrased analysis.

Dan Geist / October 5, 2010 9:24 AM

@ Niloofar and Cy

It appears to me both of you are from the younger inquisitive (about the past) generation.It is clear too you have no experience of pre 1979 Iran.Iranians enjoyed all liberties except political.We had no complaints about economy either.We had our ups and downs but who didn't?In our particular part of the world despite all the challenges we faced Iran stood tall.Now you may ask why it all fell apart?The answer is brief.We went to the West and felt we are ready for a western style democracy.We thought we could return to Iran and change the country with ease.We were young and naive.Bazargan and the likes were no exception.Some in the opposition were more Pahlavi haters than Iran lovers.They simply followed.Just three years prior to the revolution most main stream Iranians didn't know Khomeini existed or had long forgotten him.Iranians did not read.Yes it was delusion and intoxication that swept the masses and logic went out the door.It is just too easy to blame the Shah when we run out of answers but the truth is the blame falls upon all of us.ALL OF US.We are unable to change the past but I hope we have learned enough from our childish mistakes to influence the future. Payandeh bashad Iran. Ba ehteram.

H. Dehghan / October 5, 2010 5:57 PM