Breaking the Language Barrier on Human Rights

Ex-Diplomat Releases Revealing Statement on Iranian Regime

May 27, 2010

The following is a translation of a video statement made by ex-diplomat Mohammad Reza Heydari who resigned from his position as an Iranian embassy councilor in Oslo, Norway in January 2010.

In February 2010, Norwegian authorities accepted Heydari’s asylum request. Heydari announced that his resignation was “an act of protest against suppression in Iran.”

Translation by BANOO SABZ  |

I have worked for the [Iranian] regime for 20 years. Its tactic [to silence me] is to put pressure on my family in Iran and to also threaten us by sending messages via email, phone, or even by people who know us. They have also threatened to kidnap my child. They try to control me by preventing me from giving interviews and speaking out.

The story of how I began to work with the foreign ministry is simple, I got lucky. When I was injured in the Iran-Iraq war, I was promoted to “Janbaz” (the title given to recognize war heroes). Later on, the ministry announced that they will employ a number of people based on their results in the national test “Konkoor Saraasary”. I took the test and got accepted; mainly because I was recognized as “Janbaz”, and based on Iran’s law, a “Janbaz” has priority over ordinary citizens.

To begin my career, I first had to finish a compulsory course. Once I began to attend my classes, I noticed that most of my classmates were IRGC (Sepah) officers. I understood that I had to adapt to their environment and act like them in order to succeed.

I can [franky] tell you that whatever the Sepah did, we were there to support them, but we were not to get directly involved. We were diplomats and they monitored us closely. For example, the IRGC and other organizations linked to the regime who participated in Qods Day and Ashura protests aimed to eliminate the opposition; an action that should never be directly linked to a diplomat because diplomats are well-known to the public.  Actions taken by a diplomat are more visible, which can in turn directly link the Iranian government to the eliminations.  Nevertheless, we supported these actions. We provided passports and financial support to Sepah officers who were sent to foreign countries to eliminate the opposition.

My job required me to have direct contact with the Iranian people. It was this contact that led me to make my decision [to resign]. If my duty did not include direct communication with Iranians, I might have never gotten to the point of speaking against the crimes of the regime.

Why is it that 30 years after the Revolution we still have such high numbers of refugees? This is because the Iranian regime does not provide an [adequate] lifestyle for the Iranian people.

Iran is a modern country that can earn great sums of money just from tourism. So why are the Iranian people still suffering from poverty? Iran has oil and a lot of national wealth, but the government is spending the money in other areas.

The world now recognizes that the Iranian regime is using diplomats to support its terrorists. As this interview is going to be aired, I cannot speak very freely, because it will have very dangerous consequences for me.  However I am going to share some personal experiences with you.

When I was working in the airport, some of the flights that came in from Lebanon or Syria carried Hizbollah members who were not required to go through the standard security check. They were transferred directly to barracks for further instructions.

In one of our meetings, one of the Sepah chief officers explained to me that the policy of the Sepah is to transfer crisis from inside Iran to foreign countries, which is the reason why the regime supports Hamas and the Lebanon war. It is also the reason why the regime now supports the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The Iranian regime is a terrorist regime that also supports terrorism. When I was working at the airport, I witnessed arriving flights carrying entire families of Hizbollah members [from other countries to Iran]. If a Hizbollah family member is killed in a war or injured, the Iranian regime flies over the entire family to Iran and provides them with the best accommodations, including hotels and a two-week tour to religious cities. This is all while Iranian citizens suffer from poverty.

Iran has a lot of financial problems. Some workers are not getting paid because of the current financial crisis in Iran. Teachers, doctors, and nurses also face great problems.

At the border of Zabol and Zahedan, the Iranian regime has made barracks to instruct a group of Al Qaeda members. The reason the Iranian regime supports Al Qaeda members is because they both have the same goals and share a mutual enemy (the United States). As a result, the Iranian regime supplies Al Qaeda with guns and locations to train. In return, Al Qaeda provides the Iranian regime with a number of their members when they are needed.

When I was working at the airport, some of the flight attendants informed me that when flights land from Lebanon or Syria, Hizbollah members fly completely armed. We are instructed to keep quiet about this. The flight attendants asked me if I was aware that this was occurring. I replied that the decision is that of the government and we cannot do anything about people arriving to Iran for training.

Ordinary citizens do not see the Hizbollah members. They are transferred to exclusive barracks directly from the airport by an IRGC vehicle. Once they are trained, they are sent back to their country to fight.

In private meetings we had at the airport with some extremists (IRGC members and security chief officers), they stated that the atomic bomb is necessary for Iran because it will give the Iranian regime more power and it will guarantee its position.  I am pretty sure that these statements were not personal but rather they came from higher government authorities.

I am sure that the Iranian government is planning to have an atomic bomb.  And by providing extra advantages to countries such as China and Russia (to prevent these countries from supporting campaigns by western countries against Iranian nuclear power), the regime is trying to buy time for itself to reach closer to its goal of developing an atomic bomb.

Once at the airport, I saw a group of North Korean scientists arrive. I was not supposed to see them, but since I had some work to do in the government section, I saw them there. I asked an authorized person, “Are they Chinese?” He replied, “No, they are North Koreans who came to Iran to visit our nuclear reactors to provide us with advice.” I then asked if we were planning to have more reactors. He replied, “Yes, this way we will be safe in the event that the current ones stop working.”

I want  to know why western countries allow Ahmadinejad to speak [as the voice of Iran to the international world] when Ahmadinejad does not allow critical voices to be heard?

I believe that sanctions must be focused on members of the regime.  Western countries should not grant regime members Visas so they can travel abroad.   I am aware that their children are receiving education in the best universities in North American and European countries. Why should it be possible for them when children in Iran are prevented from studying?  The regime imprisons and violates our children’s right to education.  I believe sanctions should target the bank accounts of regime members to prevent them from entering western countries.

You can’t make excuses anymore. Listen to the people and join them. You can’t say that you didn’t hear the people’s voice and then use the excuse that you were threatened. What about our youth who are killed in the streets? What would you have to say to the people in the future?

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