|Kicked off on August 31, 1981, in Tehran, the 1st National Congress of 17000 Iranian Terror Victims was held in two parts: 1. 17000 Victims of Terror, held in the morning. 2. Scientific session of the conference, held in the afternoon.
Families of terror victims, Ayatollah Khamenei’s representative at the Foundation of Martyrs and Veterans Affairs, Iran’s new Minister of Intelligence, Commander of Iran’s Basij Force, special assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, a number of members of Majlis, some Tehran-based ambassadors from Islamic and Arab countries including those of Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Jordan, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, UN and Palestine, and a group of university professors and researchers from across the country attended the Congress.
Habilian Association’s purposes of organizing the 1st National Congress of 17000 Iranian Terror Victims was to:
Honor the 17000 victims of terror in Iran and to pay tribute to the families left behind
Show the variety of terror victims in ethnic, social class and religion
Warn the public and media around the world of the terrorist crimes in Iran and the dangers which it’s threatening our nation
Take position against the ongoing crisis in the region and to express concern of terrorism which is threatening the regional peace and security
Submit a general report on the activities of Habilian Association
Ran at the IRIB International Conference Center, the Congress started at 9 o’clock with a recitation from the Holy Quran by Qari Hajj Karim Mansouri followed by the national anthem of Islamic Republic of Iran. Then the speakers delivered their speeches and several families of terror victims were honored afterwards. After that the commemorative stamp of the 17000 Terror Victims, as well as two new songs about the terror victims and a documentary film were unveiled.
Each of the three speakers of the congress commented on the widespread aspects of terrorism in Iran and the fact that Iran is a victim of terrorism and a flag-bearer of the fight against terrorism.
Seyed Mohammad Javad Hasheminejad, Secretary-General of the National Congress of 17000 Iranian Terror Victims, whose father, Seyed Abdolkarim, fell victim to a suicide bomb attack by the MEK on September 29, 1981, was the first address the participants.
“We’ve invited the ambassadors of European countries to the Congress, but they were not willing to attend the Congress since some of the charges of terrorism are directed at them,” he said.
“Among the 17160 martyrs of terror, 12000 have fallen victim to the MKO. In fact most of the assassinations were carried out by this organization.
Referring to the freedom of MKO members in the US and US Congress, Hasheminejad said members of the US Congress are officially supporting these individuals.
Seyed Mohammad Javad Hasheminejad said that Iran’s sovereignty is beholden to the great tact and diplomacy of Imam Khomeini and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and the widespread presence of people, adding “the families of martyrs of terror have a great potential and today the association of children of the martyrs is a specialized center to study terrorism.”
“We have attended the Human Rights Council for three times and we’ve managed to introduce the Islamic Republic of Iran as the victim of terrorism,” he added.
He noted that today terrorism also refers to some types other than the physical removal. Destruction of thoughts of a nation is an instance of cultural terrorism.
“The western countries, especially the US have been overtly using terrorism for years in the Middle East, and our country was not immune from this issue.”
Despite a previous official confirmation by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Javad Zarif, of his presence in the Congress, he could not appear at the Congress at the zero hour and sent his special assistant, Javad Kachouian, on his behalf to the Congress.
Describing the Islamic Republic of Iran as a victim of terrorism, Kachouian said terrorism is an international problem with complex dimensions which is equipped with knowledge and modern technologies under the umbrella of some western countries.
He also pointed to a string of daily bombings in Iraq and said, “We’ve always asked the international bodies to clearly state their position regarding the terrorist groups and to avoid the double standards, but they have delisted these groups from their blacklists due to politically-motivated reasons and added the military wing of Hezbollah to their lists.”
Kachouian referred to the genocide and displacing the innocent people in Syria as well, adding “today, with the increasing role of people, public opinion and the NGOs like Habilian Association, we are seriously pursuing the rights of families of terror victims in the legal and political domain.”
Mohammad Hassan Rahimian, Ayatollah Khamenei’s representative at the Foundation of Martyrs and Veterans Affairs, was the third who address the attendees at the Congress.
He said Iran faced terrorism since the early days of Revolution, but the apex of these crimes, assassination of martyrs Rajai and Bahonar, was committed by the MKO.
Rahimian went on to say that the MKO perceived these terrorist acts as the most effectual measures which could lead to the collapse of the Islamic regime.
Ayatollah Khamenei’s representative at the Foundation of Martyrs and Veterans Affairs made a reference to the failed assassination attempt on Ayatollah Khamenei in 1981 and said, “God wanted to save his reserve for the post-Imam Khomeini era so that he steers the ship of Islamic Revolution through severe storms at this time”.
He described the US as the state sponsor of terrorist groups and an instance of State Terrorism and added that they are charging the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is the biggest victim of terrorism, with backing terrorism.
Rahimian added that the US charges whoever supports freedom with terrorism.
The first part of the Congress drew to a close with Habilian Association’s statement recited by Martyr Hamid Gheibi’s sister.
The scientific session of the First National Congress of 17000 Iranian Terror Victims commenced at 2:30 in the afternoon with the following purposes:
Providing a comprehensive and scientific definition of terrorism
Examining the differences between the anti-occupation and liberation struggles and terrorism
Holding a post-mortem of post-Revolution terrorist groups
Analyzing the US state terrorism
Taking the subject to the academic and research centers
This session was based on the papers received by the Secretariat of the Congress. It is noteworthy to mention that the 1st National Congress of 17000 Iranian Terror Victims launched a Call for Papers on mid-May 2013 and July 11, 2013 was the end of the abstract submission.
The papers were submitted from all around the world. A total of 9 papers were written by foreign authors, including Dr. Kevin Barrett (USA), Dr. James F. Tracy (USA), Dr. Franklin Lamb (Beirut), Dr. Fredrick Toben (Australia), Mark Glenn (USA), Mark Dankof (USA), Merlin Miller (USA), Yuram Abdullah Weiler. Out of 289 submissions, 152 papers were accepted by the Scientific Committee of the Congress. Finally amongst the 152 accepted papers, 10 papers were selected as outstanding ones and rewarded in the Scientific Session.
It is worth mentioning that two of the foreign authors, Dr. James Tracy (USA) and Dr. James Tracy, videotaped their papers and sent for the Congress. However, the Organizing Committee could not play the videos for the audience due to the time pressure and the time-taking part in which selected authors presented their papers.