Hafte Tir bombing

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Hafte Tir bombing
In the momory of martyrs of 7th Tir.JPG
Martyrs of 7th Tir on stamp
Location Tehran, Iran
Coordinates 31°15′17″N 29°59′37″E / 31.254825°N 29.993677°E / 31.254825; 29.993677
Date 28 June 1981
20:20 local time (UTC+3)
Target IRP leaders
Attack type
Suicide bombing
Deaths 72
Suspected perpetrator
People's Mujahedin of Iran

On 28 June 1981 (the 7th of Tir 1360 (Hafte Tir - هفت تیر) in the Iranian calendar), a powerful bomb went off at the headquarters of the Iran Islamic Republic Party (IRP) in Tehran, while a meeting of party leaders was in progress. Seventy-three leading officials of the Islamic Republic were killed, including Chief Justice Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti,[1][2][2][3] (who was the second most powerful figure in the revolution after Ayatollah Khomeini at the time). The People's Mujahedin of Iran or Mujahideen al-Khalq is thought to have been responsible for the attack.

Background[edit]

Following the Iranian revolution, the newly established theocratic government of Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran consolidated its power by eliminating opposition to their rule, including the Islamic socialist organisation known as People's Mujahedin of Iran (also PMOI or MEK). Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini attacked the PMOI as elteqati (eclectic), contaminated with Gharbzadegi ("the Western plague"), and as monafeqin (hypocrites) and kafer (unbelievers).[4] In February 1980 concentrated attacks by hezbollahi toughs began on the meeting places, bookstores, newsstands of Mujahideen and other leftists[5] driving the left underground in Iran. Hundreds of PMOI supporters and members were killed from 1979 to 1981, and some 3,000 were arrested.[6] Ultimately, the organization called for a massive demonstration under the banner of Islam on June 20, 1981 to protest Iran's new leadership which was also attacked.

Events[edit]

Hafte Tir bombing victims mausoleum, designed by Mir-Hossein Mousavi

On 28 June 1981 the Hafte tir bombing occurred killing the chief justice and party secretary Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti, four cabinet ministers (Health, transport, telecommunications and energy ministers), twenty-seven members of the Majlis, including Mohammad Montazeri, and several other government officials.[1][2][3]

Khomeini accused the PMOI to be responsible and, according to BBC journalist Baqer Moin, the Mujahedin were "generally perceived as the culprits" for the bombing in Iran.[7] The Mujahedin never publicly confirmed or denied any responsibility for the deed, but stated the attack was ‘a natural and necessary reaction to the regime's atrocities.’ The bomber was identified as a young student [8] and Mujahedin operative by the name of Mohammad Reza Kolahi, who had secured a job in the building disguised as a sound engineer.[9] He was never found[citation needed] and no group or person has ever accepted the responsibility or been put on trial for this bombing. This has led to conspiracy theories by some who claim that the bombing was motivated by an internal power struggle and perpetrated by a faction within the Iranian ruling party. IRP was eventually dissolved because of these polarizations.[10] Another conspiracy theory maintains that only state-backed organizations could ever acquire such a powerful bomb and points the finger at Israel's Mossad.[citation needed]

Assassinations of "leading officials and active supporters of the regime by the Mujahedin were to continue for the next year or two," though they failed to overthrow the government.[11] Two months after Hafte tir on August 30, another bomb was detonated killing the President Rajai and Premier Mohammad Javad Bahonar. An active member of the Mujahedin, Massoud Kashmiri, was identified as the perpetrator, and according to reports came close to killing the entire government including Khomeini.[12] The reaction following both bombings was intense with many arrests and executions of Mujahedin and other leftist groups.[11]

To commemorate the event several public places in Iran including major squares in Tehran and other cities are named “Hafte Tir”.[13]

Chronological order of events around "Hafte Tir"[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Religion in Iran – Terror and Repression", Atheism (FAQ), About 
  2. ^ a b c "Eighties club", The Daily News, June 1981 
  3. ^ a b "Iran ABC News broadcast", The Vanderbilt Television News Archive 
  4. ^ Moin, Khomeini, 2001, pp. 234, 239.
  5. ^ Bakhash, The Reign of the Ayatollahs (1984) p. 123.
  6. ^ "Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MeK)", Terrorism knowledge, archived from the original on 15 January 2008 .
  7. ^ Moin, Baqer, Khomeini, Thomas Dunne Books (2001), p. 241
  8. ^ "Enemies of the Clergy", Time, 20 July 1981 
  9. ^ (Persian website)
  10. ^ Iran Islamic Republican Party
  11. ^ a b Moin, Baqer, Khomeini, Thomas Dunne Books, (2001), p.243
  12. ^ Moin, Baqer, Khomeini, Thomas Dunne Books, (2001), pp. 242-3
  13. ^ Google Maps
  14. ^ Moin, Baqer, Khomeini, (2001), pp. 234, 239
  15. ^ a b Moin, Khomeini, (2001), p. 239
  16. ^ a b Moin, Khomeini, (2001), p. 240
  17. ^ Jenkins, Loren (5 September 1981), "French Ambassador Slain in Midday Beirut", Washington Post 

External links[edit]