Former IRGC chief recounts example of summary execution in outset of revolution

Javad Mansoori: It was 22 of Bahman of 1980, the first anniversary of Islamic Revolution. I, as IRGC chief, was sitting in the stand in Azadi Square. Next to me was late Mr. Khalkhali. And on the other side was Bani Sadr. At that time, there was the issue of Turkmen and Gonbad. Mr. Khalkhali told me, ‘your friends have gone there and suppressed them. They have taken four of their leaders and they must be executed. But Bani Sadr doesn’t agree with it’.

Host: And Bani Sadr was sitting there too.

Javad Mansoori: But Bani Sadr was my friend and I didn’t want to upset him.

Host: What was Bani Sadr’s Position then?

Javad Mansoor: He had become president, and earlier that month he was inaugurated. Then, Khalkhali said, ‘Mr. Mansoor, I will go to Gonbad and will execute them. Then I will tell my guys to say that they were executed by the order of IRGC chief’.

Host: So he put the blame on you.

Javad Mansoori: ‘Then you don’t say anything.’ I said okay. He went to Gonbad right from there. At 12 midnight, he put them on trial and executed them that night. Then he returned. MEKs, People’s Fedai Guerrillas, Tudeh Paty were all seriously after me. And they said that he had executed the leaders of Turkmen people. Recent remarks of the US president in the United Nations, in my opinion, show our power, not our weakness. Of course, let me tell you, if there hadn’t been a war, I think the Islamic Revolution would have been destroyed. This is my opinion. It was the war that organized and empowered the Islamic Revolution and gave it experience, morale and position. For us, the outcomes of war were excellent. With war, we could suppress the anti-revolutionaries and other groups within.

[Javad Mansoori, former IRGC chief, narrates how political dissidents were executed in the beginning of Islamic revolution without full trial. Many were executed by Sadegh Khalkhali then summarily.]