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The Story of the Revolution

The comments of
Abol Hassan Bani-Sadr

Find out more about
Mr. Bani-Sadr.

(These comments are extracts from The Story of the Revolution produced by the BBC Persian Service.)

Chapter One: 1st comment
"My proposal said that if he were to resign from his post as prime minister of the Shah, I would discuss with Mr Khomeini about him carrying on as the prime minister of the revolution. Abbasqoli Bakhtiar said that it was a very good proposal. I asked him to go and talk to the other side and added that I could not make any promises, because Mr Khomeini had to make the decision. We then went to see Mr Khomeini and I told him: `Do you think it is in anyone's interest if the army collapses in Iran now and the whole thing leads to anarchy?` He said: `No`. I said: `In that case, if we could persuade Bakhtiar to resign as the Shah's prime minister, would you be prepared to appoint him as the prime minister of the revolution?` Mr Khomeini paused for a while and then said: `Yes.` I said: `Think carefully before you decide and if you really agree, I shall work on it.` He said that he was definitely in agreement. I said: `No, you must take an oath.` He said: `There is no need to take an oath.` I said; `No, it is a political decision of paramount importance, for if something were to go wrong tomorrow, everyone would blame me for bringing Bakhtiar and imposing it on you. Furthermore, it would not be good if I go and talk to Bakhtiar and then you go back on your promise. At this point he took an oath, he swore on the Koran that if Bakhtiar were to resign as prime minister of the Shah, he would endorse him as the new prime minister of the revolutionary government. I saw Abbasqoli the next day and passed on Mr Khomeini's message. Abbasqoli said: `Yes, the prime minister would not mind doing so. However he well knows that the army would not submit and would stage a coup d'etat.` I told him: `Up until yesterday you were saying that the prime minister was not at a tool in the hands of the army, but today you are warning us that the army would stage a coup d'-etat. No, my friend, I know the army better than you. It will not stage a coup d'etat. Tell Prime Minister Bakhtiar not to be a fool and miss the last chance he is given.` But he refused. I went home in the evening and I was watching television at half past eleven at night, when I saw Mr Qotbzadeh was being interviewed by a lady presenter on France's Channel 3. During that interview he said that Dr Bakhtiar was coming to Paris as prime minister. I telephoned Neuf-Le-Ch‚teau to speak to [Khomeini's son] Ahmad. This Ahmad is the master of disappearance when he is needed, but I eventually managed to reach him by phone after ten minutes. I told him: `Go and tell your dad that the people have accepted him as a source of emulation, but not as a politician. If he were to agree to receive Bakhtiar as a prime minister, he could not go back on his word.` In my message to Khomeini, through his son Ahmad, I added: ` If you tell the whole world that you have received Bakhtiar as prime minister of Iran, you cannot turn around the next day and say that he is no longer the prime minister of Iran. He will remain as prime minister and then you would have to go. In this game you cannot both survive.'"

Chapter One: 2nd comment
"When the plane landed and came to a halt, its door opened and two people, Khomeini's brother, Mr Pasandideh, and Mr Motahhari, came into the plane to welcome him. He was flanked by the two of them and was led towards the plane's exit, as if the intellectuals had fulfilled their duty of bringing back His Eminence and handing him over to the clerics. You saw that from that day he changed his tune. Up until that point he had kept talking about liberation and freedom of speech, but from that moment he was purely in pursuit of power."

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Part 1:
Ayatollah Khomeini returns
Part 2:
One country - two governments
Part 3:
The last struggle of the army
Part 4:
Revolution Day
Who's who..........
...... what they said...

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