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“Religion & Revenge” – Mashhad Incident & 2 Parallel Reading

In Mashhad, a mullah was stabbed to death yesterday, April 5,2022. The other two were taken to hospital in stable condition. The incident took place in the area of ​​the palace built around the tomb attributed to Ali ibn Musa al-Reza (“8th Shia Imam”) in Mashhad. According to the state-affiliated media, the assailant is a “foreign national” who is immediately arrested by IRGC intelligence agents, and the same organization announced last night that “specialized interrogations” were being carried out, which are still ongoing. The news of the attack on the mullahs in Mashhad and the spread of images related to it on social media caused a wave of happiness among Iranian users in cyberspace. This expression of joy, angered the accounts of the regime’s cyber army, as well as some media figures supporting the Islamic Republic. In one instance, Saba Azarpeyk threatened users happy with the death of a mullah to be “blocked on the spot”, out of the ordinary – a threat that led to a flood of applicants:

Parallel Reading of Two Incidents

1- The first reports regarding the attack on three mullahs in Mashhad were published online shortly after 3 pm yesterday. The incident, however, took place around 2 pm, according to Yaghoub Ali Nazari, the governor of Khorasan Razavi. In its initial report, IRNA – official news agency of the Islamic Republic government – identified the assailant as a person with his initials only: “L. M.”, who is a resident of Qala-e-Sakhtman area (Shahid Rajaei complex) in Mashhad. The official news agency of the Islamic Republic described Mr. L. M as a person “with a mental disorder that himself claims to have motivated him personally to target these mullahs for some time.” In the same report, the names of the three mullahs are mentioned, respectively: Pakdaman, Daraei and Aslani, the last of whom is the victim. Shortly after the report was released, however, Mashhad Governor Mohsen Davari had no doubt that the assailant was “influenced by the thoughts of infidels and enemies.” IRGC intelligence also announced in a statement on Tuesday evening that “specialized interrogations of the assailant” have begun. In the last hours of yesterday, the governor of Khorasan Razavi, Yaghoub Ali Nazari, directed the Mashhad incident in this direction: “Considering what we know about the assailant’s thoughts, this was premeditated and planned, but it’s not yet clear whether he did it alone or had accomplices. In addition to “L.M.” four other people were arrested at the scene by intelligence agents.

According to the latest news released by the time of this writing, the identity of the assailant was published by the IRGC intelligence media, TasnimNews. He is a 21-year-old man named Abdul Latif Moradi of Uzbek descent. According to Tasnim, Abdul Latif “has entered Iran illegally from the Pakistani border a year ago and then settled in Mashhad” and worked with his brother in a moving company in the Mehrabad area of ​​Mashhad. Tasnim’s report does not say anything about the motive or reason for Moradi’s action. Just the same rhetoric of “infidels’ thoughts and enemies” are repeated. The number of detainees in the latest report has increased to six, including Mr. Moradi’s two brothers. Tasnim also wrote about the ongoing investigation; about “specialized interrogations” that have clarified the “thoughts” of former “L.M” and current “A.M” (Abdul Latif Moradi), but have failed to produce a story yet!

2- Etelaat newspaper, Issue 19- No. 5745, April 28, 1945:

“At 9 o’clock this morning, when Mr. Kasravi, a lawyer and the editor-in-chief of Parcham newspaper, was leaving his house to go to the office, a person attacked him from behind at the Heshmat al-Dawlah intersection and fired two shots at him. The bullet hits the bottom of the heart and comes out of the front. At the same time, several people attacked Mr. Kasravi with knife and struck him several times in the head and face. Officers chase and arrest three perpetrators. Mr. Kasravi was also taken to the police clinic and from there to Najmieh Hospital. Mr. Kasravi is currently being treated at Najmieh Hospital and is in a stable condition by this afternoon and there is hope he will recover. It is said that the shooter was a young man named Nawab Safavi, who was arrested together with two of his accomplices, and now all three are in police custody.”

The name of one of Nawab Safavi’s accomplices mentioned in this short story, citing the research of Mr. Mohammad Amini, was a person named “Khorshidi” and the cost of buying the pistol with which Nawab fired at Mr. Kasravi was also provided by the Friday prayer sermon of the Saif al-Dawlah of Tehran mosque, Mohammad Hassan Taleghani.

Nasser Pakdaman, the author of the book “Kasravi’s Murder”, describes in detail the events of April 28 at the Heshmat al-Dawla intersection in Tehran. More than 15 people took part in this assassination attempt: “Saturday morning, April 28, 1945, Kasravi left for the bus stop with 3 of his friends. At this time, Nawab Safavi, together with some people who were in disguise and played a role (passer-by, constable, army chief and mediator), surrounded Kasravi and his allies. Nawab Safavi fired two shots at Kasravi from behind, and two others severely wounded Kasravi with a knife.”

Kasravi survived the assassination attempt. Nawab was released on bail which was provided by the merchants in bazaar. March of that year, 10 days before the unfinished work of Kasravi’s assassination was completed, he issued a proclamation entitled “Religion and Revenge,” which began with the short sentence: “We are alive and God, the Avenger, is awake.” On March 11, 1946, God was dead in Tehran courthouse on Khayyam Street, and Nawab’s accomplices killed Ahmad Kasravi with gunshot and 27 stabs!

Khamenei, when he had not yet been the “Supreme Leader” of the Islamic Republic, on the anniversary of Nawab’s execution in January 1985 said: “Of course, what he did against Kasravi was not just a cultural work, it happened to be a political, military, and cultural act. It was a military act because he shot Kasravi and then one of his allies killed Kasravi, that is, twice Kasravi was subject of so-called military act by Nawab. Once by himself, who attacked with a knife, and once by the late Emami, Seyyed Hossein Emami, who shot (Kasravi) with a gun and practically destroyed Kasravi. […] How this (the terroristic act of Nawab) affected the elites of those days, I do not want to say; I was not (one of them) then. I mean, I was not known and my age at the time did not allow me to understand that period closely.”

Khamenei, however, a few years later, when he had become the most powerful person in the system, he suddenly removed all age obstacles and in a strong eulogy of Nawab Safavi, introduced himself as familiar with the events and political atmosphere of that time: “I may be 15 or maybe 16 years old when the late Nawab Safavi came to Mashhad. The late Nawab Safavi was very attractive to me and completely fascinated me. […] In 1953, when the August case took place (so-called coupe), I was fully aware of Mossadegh and the events of that day; I mean, I well remember that thugs broke into party assemblies that were affiliated with Dr. Mossadegh’s government and looted them. These scenes are right in front of my eyes! So, I knew and had seen the political issues very well.”

Today, the Islamic Republic, uses Nawab’s name, this stabbing role model, on the streets of cities in Iran, builds tomb and memorials for him, and every year, on the anniversary of his execution, prepares propaganda programs for this “cultural figure” and publishes them on its media. According to the current regime’s thinking, the work of Mashhad’s assailant yesterday was merely a cultural act, “which, well, had military and political aspects.” In any case, the Islamic Republic, whose leader clearly considers the origins of his and his followers’ political thinking and struggle, to be murderous figures and personalities like Nawab Safavi, is not legally qualified to condemn the Mashhadi aggressor. The ability to take revenge, sure, but not to hold a fair trial.


Translation of this post by Sahar.

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