His Exellency Ahmad Aramesh

The act of writing serves for me chiefly as an ode to the names which catch my eye.

To recollect the names of those now gone, gazing into the eyes of the departed through fading photographs, reviewing the lives of souls who came, lived shott, were forgotten, took life gravely, till at last their’ knell was rung.

The path all we mortals tread, with each breath drawing us nearer the finale of our role in this drama.

Ahmad Aramesh forms the genesis of this tale for me.

Remembering the name of the head of Imperial Iran’s Planning and Budget Organisation. A disciple of the renowned Dr. Jordan of Tehran’s American College (later Alborz High School, reaching its zenith under the magisterial Dr. Mojtahedi). A teacher, later chief of the nation’s Roads Administration, here an accountant, there a clerk, serving his country lifelong, as for most men in this world and preeminently in Iran, a fount of worldly and eternal profit and repute.

Ahmad Aramesh had reaped the harvest of all a man could wish for a prosperous life, rising to wed the sister of Jafar Sharif Emami, later Prime Minister, scaling the political ladder apace, perhaps even nursing the ambition to stand, one day, as Prime Minister himself.

A man is but the sum of his choices, and here Ahmad Aramesh made another.

Where he might have nodded mute assent, he cried out in Parliament, “I hold the weal of my country and the prosperity of the Iranian people before all else, nor will I shrink to tell any truth, howsoever bitter.”

Here he turned, slow, from tyranny to republicanism. His heart turned from tranquillity to nourish dreams of other things. These cries, these vain efforts toil and change, provoked the Shah’s Savak. The grandee of the Pahlavis, holder of titles manifold, came at last to dwell alone in a corner of the Sina Hotel. The security service forbade even his daughter’s house to him. His days became reading in solitude, lone walks in sequestered parks, and loneliness.

In his final months, he saw only a handful of confidants, old friends like Sarrafzadeh and Mehdi Sharif Emami, a few loyal kin, discussing politics with none. None knew then the reason for his end, but later it was said that one day, as the Sina’s staff cleaned his room in his absence, they found writings from his prison days.
Savak agents photographed these papers and won his death warrant from above. When newpapers proclaimed the “deaths of two troublemakers,” the tale turned in days to the “shooting of the former Planning chief.”
Aramesh had long done naught but think and write. He dreamed of an Iranian Republic; and his country’s secret police murdered him for that to preserve the image of a seemingly calm country where nobody questions the status quo.

The year was 1973. Five years remained before Savak’s files were flung to Tehran’s streets, its masters swung from the gallows.

For forty years now, the man in an abandoned grave in Section 7 of Tehran’s Behesht Zahra cemetery has awaited the dream he imagined for his land, as he once wrote, as leader of the Republican Committee: “Blessings on those who serve the people, in care and charity, rescuing the needy and succouring the destitute, and above all battling oppression, uprooting selfishness and injustice. Their sacrifice is greater, their measure of devotion the highest.”

With all honour, we attend his memory and bear witness that he was the “most devoted,” sacrificing for a society which remembers not his name, where naught endures of his dream of republicanism but a faded memory.


Read More about Ahmad Aramesh:

Witten by Hamneshine Bahar

The late “Ahmad Aramesh“, was the editor-in-chief of Bahram newspaper, director of Diplomat newspaper, and a member of the “Iran Democratic Party” which was announced by Qavam al-Saltaneh (Ahmad Qavam) in a speech on Radio Tehran on July 9, 1945.

Qavam al-Saltaneh was an Iranian politician from the late Qajar era and the Pahlavi era.

Ahmad Aramesh’s (Ashtari) career in politics and government began with his membership in Qavam’s government in 1945, and later, in 1960, in Jafar Sharif-Emami’s first cabinet, he became the advisory minister and managing director of Iran’s National Planning Organization.

He exposed the political and administrative corruption in the country in the National Consultative Assembly, which led to his disapproval and imprisonment, and later (in 1973), the security apparatus falsely reported that he had opened fire on the officers on the street and was killed in a retaliatory shooting.

Ahmad Aramesh criticized the presence of America in Iran During the 14th parliamentary elections, Qavām al-Saltaneh established the Iran Democratic Party, and Ahmad Aramesh took charge of the party’s PR commission. He later served as the secretary-general of the same party for a while.

Qavām al-Saltaneh aimed to counter the Azerbaijan Democratic Party by establishing this party. He also wanted to downplay the coalition between the Tudeh Party and the Iran Party.

Hassan Rouhani, Malek ol-Sho’arā’ Bahār, and Ahmad Aramesh were among the members of the Iran Democratic Party. Ahmad Aramesh criticized the presence of America in Iran, and it is said that this was one of the reasons for his murder.

His murder took place on Saturday, October 20, 1973, in Farah (Laleh) Park in Tehran.

He had previously been imprisoned and wrote the book “My Struggle with the Demon” (Prison Notes of 1970), in which he highlighted serving the people, fighting oppression, and uprooting the roots of despotism.

Ahmad Aramesh was born in the Ashtari family, who were among the old landlords of Yazd. (1908 AD)

At the age of 19, he was employed by the Education Department of that city and became a teacher. A few years later, he went to the capital and studied at Tehran American College while also working for the Railway Organization. He also worked for a short time at the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company in Abadan.

He later studied political economy and eventually became the head of accounting for the northern ports, roads, and streets. In 1941, he was transferred to the Ministry of Trades and Crafts and took over as the head of accounting for this ministry.

With the coming to power of Qavām al-Saltaneh’s government, Ahmad Aramesh was promoted to the deputy minister of Commerce and Trades and Crafts. He was also a member of the Supreme Economic Council and the Supreme Labor Council, and in 1954, he became a member of the supervisory board of the Plan Organization.

Ahmad Aramesh was also active in the Tehran Journalists’ Association, and in 1955, he founded the “Progressives” group and questioned the presence of foreigners in the country on various occasions, as reflected in his articles published in Tehran Mosavvar magazine under the title “At the Crossroads of the Middle East.” He also wrote articles against the presence of foreigners in publications such as “Young Asia,” “New World,” and “Vahameh.”

Dr. Manouchehr Eghbal tore up Ahmad Aramesh’s writings in the parliament

In March 1957, Hossein Ala (the then Prime Minister) was dismissed, and Dr. Manouchehr Eghbal replaced him. After this incident, Ahmad Aramesh wrote in the first statement of the Progressives group, referring to the fact that “failed foreign policies do not stop their efforts and resort to new tricks every time,”

saying: “The Iranian nation will remember the ominous reign of Ala with shame and hatred, and now the question is whether the current government is also pursuing the same old policy with a change of face.”

… In his writings (in Tehran Mosavvar), Ahmad Aramesh was the first to write in favor of the Palestinians. He also protested against what he called the treacherous actions of American and British oil companies and the looting of oil in Iran, Saudi Arabia, and other parts of the Middle East, which prompted a reaction from Dr. Manouchehr Eghbal.

He tore up several copies of Tehran Mosavvar magazine (containing Ahmad Aramesh’s articles) behind the podium of the National Consultative Assembly. Eghbal’s cabinet was the longest-serving government after August 1941, lasting three and a half years. He abolished martial law and established the “National Intelligence and Security Organization” (SAVAK) instead. In addition to establishing SAVAK and obtaining several loans from the United States government, Eghbal also transferred the authority of the Plan and Budget Organization to the Prime Minister.

Ahmad Aramesh, who had obtained documents of major financial abuses and plundering by foreign companies with the support of their domestic accomplices while working at the Plan and Budget Organization, exposed them and spoke about canceling the contracts between the Plan Organization and the American company that was implementing the Khuzestan development project, which caused a major uproar in Iran and America.

He warned that the conclusion of many contracts between Iran’s National Planning Organization and foreign companies between 1955 and 1959 had opened the door for major abuses, and American institutions in Iran were aimed at protecting the interests of oil trusts and the policies of financial and credit institutions, and the Iranian nation should be vigilant against such staging. Aramesh’s report created a heavy atmosphere of public opinion against the US government.

The preparations for the 20th parliamentary elections began in the summer of 1960, and the fall of Manouchehr Eghbal’s government began. During his premiership, the Mellioun Party, led by himself, and the People’s Party, led by Amir Asadollah Alam, were formed. During the elections, an independent party led by Jafar Behbahani, Dr. Ali Amini, and the remnants of the National Front also entered the field.

Through blatant interference in the electoral process, Dr. Eghbal secured 104 out of the 200 seats in the parliament. His fierce altercation with Dr. Ali Amini from the opposing party and the people’s protest and anger over the obvious election fraud forced the Shah to intervene. He stopped the elections and asked Eghbal and all the elected deputies to resign so that a new election could be held in the country. After Manouchehr Eghbal’s resignation, the fall of his cabinet was announced, and the Shah appointed Jafar Sharif-Emami to form the new cabinet.

Ahmad Aramesh briefly served as the head of the Iran National Planning Organization during this period. Ahmad Aramesh’s wife, Mahdiyeh Sharif-Emami, was the sister of Jafar Sharif-Emami.

On April 2, 1961, with the gathering of teachers in front of the parliament and subsequent protests and clashes between them and security forces, resulting in the death of a teacher (Abul Hasan Khanali), the Sharif-Emami government faced difficulties. After his impeachment and resignation, Ahmad Aramesh was also dismissed. After Sharif-Emami, Dr. Ali Amini became the Prime Minister.

Ahmad Aramesh was arrested and imprisoned On Thursday, June 8, 1961, Ahmad Aramesh was arrested, but due to a lack of sufficient evidence, he did not remain in prison for long. After his release, he once again criticized America and Dr. Ali Amini’s government.

In 1965, Aramesh and his companions founded the “Committee of Iranian Republicans” and in its first statement, he questioned the August 19, 1953 coup and also criticized the Shah.

“The August 19, 1953 coup was carried out by the Americans and with American money and agents residing in Iran, and the country moved from independence to exploitation and from freedom to captivity. The gradual course of this shift was such that neither independence nor national sovereignty remained in our country, nor any trace of freedom and justice. The Shah of the country has also become so captive that he has no ability to resist foreign ambitions. The ratification of the shameful capitulation law is an example of this decision and consent.”

Aramesh then raised the question of what should be done in such a situation, introduced the Committee of Iranian Republicans, and announced: “A patriotic and independence-seeking group has founded the Committee of Iranian Republicans and has girded its loins to eliminate a regime that has brought the nation and country of Iran into captivity to foreigners and has become the largest and most valuable base for American exploitation in Iran.” He stressed, “The rights and privileges of the Shah’s person and the monarchy are respected and revered only if the Shah himself respects the rights of the nation and society and does not violate the Iranian Constitution.”

It did not take long before SAVAK (which, of course, was performing its defined duty) infiltrated the Committee of Iranian Republicans, arrested a number of people, and dismantled the committee. During these widespread arrests, which took place in the winter of 1965, Ahmad Aramesh was also arrested and, after being tried in a military court, was sentenced to prison on charges of “disrupting the security of the country” and “rebelling against the monarchy and constitutionalism.” It was said here and there that he was a republican and was associated with Sepahbod Mohammad Vali Gharani.

He spent around seven years in prison, with the last three years in solitary confinement. He was eventually released from prison in the spring of 1972.

After his release, he went to his daughter Mahrokh Aramesh‘s home and lived with her son-in-law, Seyyed Sadegh Mir-Emadi, for a while. However, following a warning from SAVAK to his son-in-law to evict him from the house, he preferred to go to the Sina (Commodore) Hotel and spend the last months of his life alone.

According to reports, they had falsely spread that Ahmad Aramesh was involved in moral issues, was severely addicted to gambling, and had lost huge amounts in large games, becoming indebted to banks. Since he was unable to pay his debts, he had attempted suicide, but they had saved him. However, due to his large debts, he had become dependent on foreign agents, and his son-in-law, who was fed up with him, had asked him to leave his home…

Ahmad Aramesh is killed As I mentioned earlier, Ahmad Aramesh was killed in 1973 in Farah (Laleh) Park in Tehran.

The next day, newspapers reported:

“Following the identification and discovery of a communist sabotage group formed by Seyyed Mohsen Seyyed Bagheri, he was arrested after three years of pursuit and escape. Seyyed Mohsen Seyyed Bagheri told the officers that he had an appointment with someone using an alias in Farah Park. When the officers arrived at the location, while Seyyed Mohsen Seyyed Bagheri was present at the meeting spot, the person he was supposed to meet showed up and, upon seeing the officers’ movement to arrest him, opened fire toward Seyyed Mohsen Seyyed Bagheri and then toward the officers. As a result of the officers’ retaliatory fire, he was injured and died due to severe bleeding on the way to the hospital. His identity was revealed at the hospital to be Ahmad Aramesh.”

The announcement of the Tehran Police Department, which was published in many newspapers at the time, including Le Monde, was as follows: “A person named Seyyed Mohsen Seyyed Bagheri, who had apparently been pursued by the police for three years, was finally arrested a few days ago. This person had an appointment with Ahmad Aramesh in Bagh-e Melli (National Garden) on Saturday, October 20, 1973, and the police brought him out of prison to the meeting location. When Ahmad Aramesh realized he had fallen into a trap, he fired several shots at the officers and, after injuring his friend, he himself was shot by the police and killed.”

Ahmad Aramesh’s grave is located in Behesht-e Zahra cemetery in Tehran, section 7, row 53, number 30.