The Story of Stealing the Foreign Affairs Ministry Documents Backed by Banisadr
The Story of Stealing the Foreign Affairs Ministry Documents Backed by Banisadr
Behzad Nabavi: the person who steals foreign affairs ministry documents had the permission from presidency/ details of the documents stolen from foreign ministry
Banisadr fled Iran as the first Iranian President after revealing his true face on 7th of Mordad in women’s clothing. On the anniversary of Banisadr’s escape, his betrayal of stealing the foreign ministry documents was reinstated.
The book “From the Rise to the Fall of Banisadr”, published by the Islamic Revolutionary Documentation Center, examines Banisadr’s personal and political life in different periods from his childhood to his escape from Iran and the following text is a selective of this book.
Protecting confidential and secret documents is a necessity of a system, and the enemies of one country are always trying to gain access to the confidential and top confidential documents of other countries by fifth elements and influential agents that they can be able to dominate that country with more information. If one country can put its own elements in charge of the positions that have access to the secret documents of the rival country, it has the best chance to overcome.
At the end of May 1981, the story of stealing foreign ministry documents mentioned in the political arena of the society that was in the last days of Banisadr presidency. The robbery was most likely carried out by the president’s observation, as both himself and his office supported the robbers after the robbery.
Spreading the news from the media played a major role in revealing the true face of Banisadr and eventually led to the mistrust of the people and representatives toward him. The ministry of foreign affairs in May 19, 1981, issued a statement announcing the stealing of classified and secret documents of this ministry: ”on the morning of Sunday 17th of May, a person named Morteza Fazlinezhad, along with another person with the title of the agent for handling the cleared cases, he carried photocopy of a large number of classified and secret documents by collusion with one of the members of the consular department of foreign affairs and carried them outside the ministry. But this incident was immediately notified to law enforcement and led to the arrest of him…”
The following day, the president’s office strongly denounced the news with a notification and said: “it was the representative of this office who was in charge of the foreign affairs documents for the investigation and study of cases of the foreign affairs and other ministries by written authorization and permission…”
In this notification implicitly endorsed the affiliation pf Morteza Fazlinezhad, the theft agent, to the president’s office and his access to the foreign affairs documents. But the position and letter from deputy secretary of foreign affairs to the presidency office highlighted important aspects of the story. His statement said that some of the stolen documents belong to those who appointed by the former foreign minister, Banisadr himself, and are still working.
Behzad Nabavi, the government spokesman explained: “on 1981/05/19 a person named Fazlinezhad was carrying secret and classified documents in his bag, leaving the ministry of foreign affairs. He apparently had a warrant from the president’s office, but because he didn’t mention his order, the foreign affair ministry didn’t mention about his order in its notification regarding the above subject. But later from the statement issued by the presidency, it became clear that he was in contact with the president’s office. Fazlinezhad had the communication with a person named Ismail Nateghi, one of the chief executives of the foreign affairs ministry, and with that connection, he could remove the documents from the foreign affairs ministry. Among these documents which as very important was a personal file of a person name Kazem Rajavi, that was about his relationship with SAVAK and Shah regime, and he obtained a pension in this way.
The point that is important was that in most cases the copy files were taken, but in the case of Kazem Rajavi… the issue was not clear for the authorities. Of course, after making it clear, nothing will be reduced from their crimes, because their channel of communication was not right, and if the president needs a document, he will call the prime minister directly and prime minister would give him the documents not that they don’t do the procedure. Get in touch with a director manager of the ministry of foreign affairs and documents that are not clear why they made it available for others to have them by a director manager of foreign affairs ministry, and he himself confessed n the confession that they had also extracted documents from other ministries as well and investigation is ongoing.”
Also from the office managers of the presidential office contacted to the officials of the foreign affairs ministry and demanding the release of those accused of stealing, and this indicates the fear of the managers of that office from revealing the facts of this incident in the confession of documents theft.
Hashemi Rafsanjani, the chairman of the Islamic consultative assembly, described the foreign ministry’s documents as one of the country’s major intelligence assets and the result of a series of investigations. He said: “these documents should not be allowed to be lost easily.” He added: “the assembly will appoint a representative to be responsible for investigating the foreign ministry’s exit documents.” Following the disclosure of the stealing the foreign ministry documents, it was announced by the president’s office that one of them with the official order of that office was responsible for studying foreign ministry documents.
The deputy secretary of foreign ministry after that with a letter to the president Banisadr announced that, no order had been issued before and after the arrest, regarding the mission of studying documents of foreign ministry. The president’s office again issued a harsh statement announcing that a violation of the law had reached the point that the president’s agent could not process documents at the ministry and was being investigated by a deputy minister. And in the end he adds that we do not want to talk about it anymore, and of course, with a sense of power, which means that why should such a common work be questioned?
Along with this scandal, the Islamic revolutionary newspapers affiliated with the presidency office of that time, and the Al-Mizan newspaper affiliated to the Azadi movement to overwhelm this great scandal, devoted their first headline to the referendum issue, and wrote: “we need to consult with people and do the referendum to resolve the general crisis.” The president also said in an interview with the Islamic Revolution newspaper regarding the arrested and the documents thieves: “we have sent Fazlinezhad’s brother (from the presidency office) which was in the Islamic community in Europe to identify the employees who are going to work in in the presidential office… Mr. Nateghi was also a member of the Islamic community in Europe, he was also imprisoned in Iran, with no shortcomings in his work and he was a religious and good Moslem… they said that somebody had infiltrated our office, and we said that they investigate. We said to Mr. Fazlinezhad to investigate on them and see how their records are and if they were not good, they should leave the office, he went to see the records that they arrested him…” in a statement issued by the presidential office public relations in second of Khordad described the purpose of the document theft as a factional attack and wrote: “according to the president, the issue is to eliminate the chief of the executive branch, they had the same plan from the first day, from the aspect that people did the courage and didn’t vote to the president which was pleasant for these men.” This office justified the robbery following the statement: “the task of investigating of the expedition officer was with the knowledge and supervision of one of the foreign ministry official and a few copies of the required documents were provided to the officer.” But despite the announcement of the president’s office, the documents theft himself, while confessing and apologizing for doing such an ugly job, introduced several of his colleagues to the revolutionary court. Former consular director-general Ismail Nateghi also explicitly confessed the fact that he has repeatedly stolen documents from the ministry.
In a letter to parliamentarians, Hojatoleslam Mousavi Khuiniha, a member of the house affairs committee, revealed further facts about the theft of foreign affairs ministry documents: “Mr. Fazlinezhad without referring to the main officials of the ministry got in contact with Mr. Nateghi, the director general of consular affairs ad then while he had 372 original and copies including the ordinary, secret, confidential and completely confidential documents, was about to leave the ministry, which is being questioned by ministry officials, but he refused to present his order in this regard…these documents, which many of them belonged to the confidential office, were not obtained from the mentioned office, but were obtained through the director general of consular affairs. Among these documents were documents related to individuals such as Bakhtiar, Nassir Assar, Kazem Rajavi (brother of Masoud Rajavi) and… have they served in the presidential office?!”
Ayatollah Mousavi Ardebili also said: “among these documents, there are documents that have no use for clearing the presidential office or hiring people.” He referred to the case of Kazem Rajavi and the documents which revealed he was a source for Savak and also Shapour Bakhtiar and Mossadegh, saying: “what was the use of Shapour Bakhtiar for them?… if they said that the release of these documents was for the information of the president’s office, it was also a crime to do so, because if this intelligence unit was formed, without anyone knowing, it would be against the law.” From 372 documents which Fazlinezhad exited from the foreign ministry building, 90 of them are those are from Savak representation in Europe, which was related to Kazem Rajavi the source of Savak under the nicknames of “Safa” and “Mirza”. Documents show that Kazem Rajavi, the eldest son of the family, has been a source of Savak since April 1970, under the nickname of “Mirza”. In November 16,1972, the head of section 315 of Savak sent a letter with classification of confidential, requested the following to his supreme authorities:
“Subject: the source Mirza
Purpose: obtaining a request for a Savak representative in Switzerland to assist the brother of the source who is being prosecuted.
Summary of background: the mentioned source since April 1970, with the monthly salary of one thousand Swiss Francs for the purpose of Islamic Student Associations as well as the Confederation of Iranian Students residing, recruited by the agency and from that time, the source made lots of efforts for achieving the objectives.
According to the agency, the brother of the source, Massoud Rajavi,is a member of a guerrilla group that was recently arrested by section 312 and is currently in custody along with other members of the group and is seeking help for his brother to reduce his penalties. Considering that the file of this source revealed that his activities in the above mentioned purposes were valuable and exploitable, in particular, with the released news of Massoud Rajavi’s arrest, his influence on and access to information from the required purposes has increased, on the other hand, his cooperation is fruitful, if it is approved by the section 312 to assist Massoud Rajavi, is subject to the excellent vote.”
Section 315 of Savak which sent the above letter, was responsible for the affairs of Iranian and foreign residing students, and section 312 was responsible for the clergies and Azadi movement and religious groups, and thus was responsible for the arrested members of the MKO’s case. At that time, “MKO” was not yet known by this name. in November 19,1971 the relevant director general replied: “the head of section 315 was negotiated and the situation reported to the director general. With regard that he has the merit to be helped, after sending the case…(inaudible) a report will be prepared and will submit to the Imperial Forces Bureau of Justice and obtain permission.”
According to another document, Saleh Rajavi, the second son of the family, in 1964 was among the pro-Pahlavi students in France which was demonstrating against the uprising of the June 5 and other movements in Iran that the Pahlavi regime attributed to the Egyptian government and Jamal Abdol Nasser. “according to Dr. Adel announcement the secretary and head of Iran’s Intelligence Bureau in Western Europe, Saleh Rajavi, an Iranian student residing in France, with other Iranian students, protested against Nasser’s propaganda against Iran in 1964, declaring his readiness in sacrificing himself in the way of his country and discussed the issue with the Iranian Prime minister during a telephone conversation and also read a resolution. Then they went to see LeMond’s commentator Rolo.”
On April 8, 1972 general Nematollah Nasiri, the chief of Savak, sent a letter No. 655/312 to the head of the Imperial Armed Forces Judiciary Department (Prosecutor’s office):
“About Massoud Raajavi, son of Hossein, referring to 7611/312-16/9/50 the above-mentioned who is a convict of the so-called Liberation Movement of Iran affiliated on the people of liberation movement, was sentenced to death in a military appeals court, and after being arrested, in the process of investigation, completely cooperated in introducing members of the organization and the information he provided was effective in clarifying the status of the network and after the end of the investigation, he also has good cooperation with the agents inside the detention center. Therefor, in this organization’s idea, he deserves to be rewarded and reduced in punishment. Actions are reported for taking any appropriate action.
The head of Intelligence and Security organization- General Nasiri”
Source: Website of Islamic Revolution Documentation center www.irdc.ir