Mohsen Rezaee, former commander of IRGC and current secretary of Expediency Council
[Mohsen Rezaee, former commander of IRGC and current secretary of Expediency Council, is talking about what he was doing on days of the revolution. It must be mentioned that on the anniversary of the 1979 revolution this year, people chanted slogans such as “Death to Khamenei”, Iran’s supreme leader.].
TV host: What was Mohsen Rezaee doing in 1979? Perhaps this question is on people’s minds.
Mohsen Rezaee: It was an afternoon of 21st of Bahman (February 11) that the military government announced that people should go home after 5 o’clock, and no one should be on streets. And widespread military curfew was announced all over Tehran.
[Khomeini] had ordered that people had to be told not to go home and take to streets. My friends and I had rented a room on Iran Street and were living clandestinely. We had guns. They sent us a message to go to streets and tell and encourage people to take to streets.
We took a pick-up van. We got on the back of the van, with guns in our hands. And we took to streets. And we took out our kaffiyehs and covered our faces so that if they took our pictures, we wouldn’t be identified. And we had a Kalashnikov and held it in our hands, on top of the van. And on Khorasan Street, we started moving from north to south.
And we were chanting slogans of “God is great”. On the other hand, the tanks were coming to streets. We could see the tanks from the distance. We passed this street once or twice. And we could see that people were little by little gathering by the side of streets.
They were looking at us with surprise – a bunch of people with kaffiyehs over their heads and faces, holding Kalashnikovs in their hands. Just as we were chanting slogans, I was paying attention to what the people were talking about. I realized that some people on the sides of the streets were saying that auxiliary forces from Palestine had come to help us.
We were saying “God is great”, but our accent was Iranian. But people couldn’t believe that among themselves, there were guards of the revolution who could help them with guns. Then the conflicts started. Then air force officers made a move in Air Force Headquarter Base, and then the revolutionary forces got engaged. And on 22nd of Bahman, many of military bases had surrendered by noon.