What Really Happened in Jaleh Square
In the spring of 1978, Aligholi Ardalan, the minister of Iran’s Imperial Court, requested the presence of UK ambassador Sir Anthony Parsons at the ministry. The crux of the meeting was the BBC's biased & one sided coverage of Iran, and in particular, the malign behavior of the BBC's Persian language service. The nature of Mr. Ardalan's complaints revolved around the BBC's fawning coverage of Ayatollah Khomeini and the direct intervention of the BBC's Persian language service in promoting anti-government demonstrations in Iran, to the point of including the times and locations of demonstrations in different Iranian cities.
At the time, Sir Anthony Parsons claimed that the BBC is an independent organization and the UK government had no influence in its coverage. This story has been proven false by the BBC’s own confession in 2004, that far from being independent, its coverage of Iran during the 1979 Islamic revolution was orchestrated by the UK’s foreign secretary Lord Owen & directed by UK SIS chief, Sir Dick Franks.
It is in this context that we must revisit the events that occurred on September 8, 1978 in Jaleh Square, in Tehran, a say that the BBC described as ‘Black Friday.’ The BBC, and in particular, the BBC’s Persian language service described the events of this day, as a massacre of 1000 unarmed peaceful protesters by the order of The Shah of Iran. This disinformation campaign was then amplified by international news organizations, including Reuters, Associated Press, UPI, Washington Post, & New York Times, among others added color to the propaganda by claiming 20,000 protesters were in the square when the massacre occurred. Not a single word of those reports were true. The dimensions of Jaleh Square precluded the presence of a crowd, as evident in the below photograph.
However, this big lie has lived on, even after the regime’s own leaders have confessed to their own involvement in it and the innocence of the soldiers they had accused of committing this atrocity.
So, what is the truth of what happened in Jaleh Square on that day?
Fortunately, in the past 43 years, an enormous amount of evidence has been collected by Iranian organizations and ordinary Iranian people, including eyewitness accounts, medical reports from Tehran’s coroner, as well as recently unclassified documents, both by the CIA & MI6, and leaked correspondence by WikiLeaks, that proves once and for all, and without a shadow of a doubt, that what happened in Jaleh Square that day, was a premeditated false flag operation designed to weaken Iran’s sovereignty and open the door for the “Red" (Marxist) and “Black" (Islamist) reactionaries to take over a great country. What follows is a timeline of how these forces achieved their objectives, in inasmuch as it revolves around this shameful episode in Iran’s history.
In the winter of 1977, Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi was approached by an unnamed MI6 source to fund a mission headed by PLO founder Yasser Arafat to train Iranian militias in asymmetric warfare with an emphasis on explosives and street to street fighting. Arafat chose Abu Nidal, the infamous Palestinian terrorist as the leader of this group. Abu Nidal in turn chose Iranian born Abbas Aghazamani, known as Abu Sharif, as his deputy.
In early August of 1978, Abu Nidal , along with Abu Sharif and a group of 18 other terrorists entered Iran through Turkey and were hidden in plain sight in the homes of multiple Shia clerics, with Abu Nidal himself choosing to stay with Ayatollah Nouri. Around the same time, a large cache of weapons, including Kalashnikov rifles and Soviet military rounds, RPG grenades, and other assorted explosives were smuggled into Iran, hidden in fruit cartons, through the Bazargan Turkish border.
One of these shipments was discovered and confiscated by Iran’s intelligence agency, SAVAK, which led to multiple arrests and prosecutions.
By the end of August, SAVAK was warning of an impending terrorist operation in Tehran. On September 7th, newly appointed prime minister Sharif Emami, based on daily intelligence ministry reports, decided to declare martial law. This news was broadcast every 30 minutes on the radio, and on the nightly news. At the same time, BBC’s Persian language service wad also relaying this information, but parallel to this news, was also promoting a big demonstration, organized by the Khomeinist zealots, to be held at Jaleh Square after Friday prayers. According to Sharif Emami’s own recollections of these events which are available in Harvard’s Iran Oral History project, he sent a telex to Sir Anthony Parsons on September 6th, warning him of such a probability and he requested that news of these demonstrations not be promoted by the BBC’s Persian language service. History demonstrates that quite the opposite happened.
On September 8th, according to multiple eyewitness accounts, the Imperial Army squadron which was sent to keep the order in Jaleh Square, were equipped with G3 rifles, which were standard issued in the army and the only ammunition the soldiers were issued was training blanks. At the moment when the first shots were fired, the demonstrators were roughly 20 feet from the soldiers and multiple eyewitnesses pointed to the rounds being fired from rooftops, encompassing all four corners of the square. The first victims were seven army soldiers. In response, the squadron returned fire with blanks, pointing their G3 rifles into the air, in an effort to drive away protesters, from the center of the square.
As the protesters began to flee the center of Jaleh Square, they were attacked by the snipers who had situated themselves on the rooftops. According to leaked documents, as well as gathered coroner’s records, a total of 36 people, including 15 soldiers, were killed and a further 62 people, including 34 soldiers were injured. According to the coroner’s office records, all the victims were shot with 39mm caliber bullets, which matches the AK-47 rifle, and there were no G3 bullets found on the scene or in any of the victims.
Additionally, military grade AK-47 casings were strewn all around Jaleh Square, & the only G3 casings found, were G3 casings for training blanks.
Colonel Tahmaseb, the Iranian army colonel who was put in charge of the Jaleh Square investigation just days after the events of September 8th, recounts his interrogation of the army squadron personnel. They all point to the heroism of their squadron leader, Captain Shemirani, who created four small squads from the army squadron present, and commanded them to infiltrate the rooftops & arrest the snipers.
Unfortunately, the names, arrest records, and the confessions of these snipers were all destroyed by the Islamic Republic in the days after they took power.
In the ensuing years since the events of September 8th, 1978, the Islamic Republic has spent a great deal of money and effort to keep the truth hidden away from western media, and up until this moment, it has been largely successful.
But now, the tide has turned, and the Islamic regime has been exposed for what it truly is, an illegitimate kleptocratic theocracy which is the enemy of Iran and Iranians.
The sooner western media outlets recognize this fact, the sooner the Iranian people will be able to take back their country.
Institute for Voices of Liberty