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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 30, 1955

LETTER TO KHRUSHCHEV FROM POLITICAL éMIGRé IRANIAN ALI REZA HEKMAT

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    This letter from an Iranian political emigre Ali Reza Hekmat describes the series of events, such as prison and confinement sentences, that have led him to the point of asking Khrushchev for help in finding the work he had been promised upon coming to the USSR. He lists his qualifications and reasoning for his request.
    "Letter to Khrushchev from Political émigré Iranian Ali Reza Hekmat," January 30, 1955, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, RGANI, f. 5, op. 28, d. 347. Department for Relations with Foreign Communist Parties (International Department of the Central Committee), 1953-1957, microfilm, reel 83. Obtained by Roham Alvandi and translated for CWIHP by Gary Goldberg https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/119667
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[Stamp: 25 February 1955]

Letter to Cde. Khrushchev in the CC from Political émigré, an Iranian, Ali Reza Hekmat.

I turn to you with deep respect. In spite of the fact that you are busy with more important matters than my request, but because in this letter I describe everything about myself and on what all my future depends, I therefore ask you to excuse me.

I, Ali Reza Hekmat, son of Doctor Khaydar Ali Hekmat, was born in 1914 in an aristocratic family, a large part of which participated and participates in government. I received a secondary and higher education in literature and the Persian language in Tehran and worked in senior positions in Iranian ministries. But a feeling of despondency and the serious condition of the people of my country, and also Marxist-Leninist teachings forced me to enter the ranks of fighters for the liberation of my fellow countrymen from exploitation and the oppression of the bonds of imperialism. And in 1942 I joined the ranks of the People's Party of Iran. Being in the Party ranks I engaged in work with enthusiasm and worked to the utmost for the cause of the Party. (Comrades from the Central Committee in Moscow are witnesses to this). In 1947 I arrived in the Soviet Union at the decision of the CC of the People's Party of Iran and with the permission of the CC of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. After a short stay in Ashkhabad, and then in Stalinabad, I arrived in Moscow and worked in the Moscow Institute of Oriental Studies and taught the Persian language in years 3, 4, and 5.

In February 1948 (as a result of a nervous illness I did not agree to go to Stalinabad and [decided] to return to Iran) and the organs of the MGB arrested me when I was in the Botkin Hospital in Moscow on an Article 6 (espionage) accusation, and after seven months of torture and investigation this article was cancelled in connection with the fact that there were neither real facts nor documents nor evidence against me. But after some time, completely unexpectedly, with reference to the article I was sentenced by an OSO [Osoboe Soveshchanie, Special Commission of the MGB] to five years of confinement and was sent to Aleksandrovsky Central [Prison], which I still do not understand.

Five years of imprisonment is five of the best years deleted from a life. As a result of this I had various illnesses (cardiac and nervous illness, a lung illness, rheumatism, hemorrhoids, etc.). My teeth fell out and my hair turned gray. A young face quickly became old from a restless life. However, prison could not break my firm convictions and clear conscience. The period of my confinement gave me no excuse to lose hope of my release and all the time I hoped that the truth would triumph.

In February 1953 my five-year term ended. I was released from imprisonment. But I did not make use of all the blessings that freedom brought with it since they sent me to the village of Sukhobuaimo, Krasnoyarsk Kray.

My time in prison was horrible. (Not enough water, air, terrible Siberian frosts, privation and hunger, constant illness, the lack of work in my field, and insufficient strength for physical work in view of ill health and the fractures of my hand bones). In spite of this I did not have any help.

During my arrest in 1948 I left my furniture and all the property in the Iranian Embassy in Moscow. But no one has yet helped me get my property. Therefore I wrote statements to Cde. Molotov and to the MGB Department of Krasnoyarsk Kray and asked that my property be sent me which I need for a normal life and to be given an opportunity to receive financial aid from Iran from my family. After some time I received a reply from the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and from the MGB Krasnoyarsk Kray Department. The local MGB Department advised me to turn to the Embassy myself with a request to sent the property and to ask for financial aid myself from my own family living in Iran.

In accordance with this permission I wrote the first letter to my family in Tehran in six years through the Iranian Embassy in which I asked that financial support to be given me in view of [my] poor state of health. A reply came from the Embassy that they do not have my property. They wrote me that I should go to Iran to meet with [my] family. After some time I received a letter from Tehran from my family which expressed a desire to see me and give me financial aid.

In April 1954 I received letters from the Embassy and my family that I should go to Iran through the Embassy's good offices. They wrote me that I should prepare to return to Iran as soon as possible and telegraph the date of departure to the Iranian Embassy in Moscow.

On 22 May 1954 my luck returned after Beria's execution. The local MVD organs announced my release from exile and the restoration of all my rights. They told me I can go where I wanted, even to Iran. After imprisonment and exile I had been offered an opportunity to return to my homeland to my family and live the rest of my life with them. But I could not do this since neither prison nor exile had changed my views and, although everything was ready for my departure to Iran, I refused this. I am a Communist and if a Communist makes a mistake he should correct it and go along the path marked out in spite of every difficulty and privation in order to carry through the cause begun to a successful conclusion.

The Iranian Embassy in Moscow expected that I would return to Iran and prepared everything necessary for my departure. But I didn't go either to the Embassy or Iran but using the money which [my] parents sent me from Iran I arrived in Moscow on 10 June 1954 and went to the CC of the Party and asked that I be afforded an opportunity to restore my health, which had suffered badly from prison and exile in order to then get to work with new strength. As I expected, the Party CC sent me for treatment through the Red Cross organization. Through the Red Cross I was sent to the sanatorium of the city of Senezh in order to rest and prepare for work. But, unfortunately, although eight months have passed nothing has been done to secure me work and grant me a place in life. I am still sitting with nothing to do. From the financial point of view I am also in a bad way and sometimes I do not have what I had in prison. Therefore I am forced to ask you for help. I ask you to help me get work and organize a normal life.

1. I have a higher education in the language and literature of Iran. In 1947 I taught the Persian language in years 3, 4, and 5 of the Institute of Oriental Studies.

2. I can work in the Radio Committee, in the Institute of Oriental Studies, in the Lenin Library, or in other specialties associated with the Persian language. I know French fairly well, and English and German somewhat less well.

3. I am 41 and heading for old age. However, I do not have my own place in life.

Taking all the above into account, I am asking that you help me get what was promised when I returned to the Party CC. I am asking that I be given appropriate work and that the minimal conditions needed for work and a normal life be created.

I hope that you will not refuse me this help.

30 January 1955

With respect

Ali Reza Hekmat

My address:

Moscow Oblast', City of Solnechnogorsk

Sanezh [SIC] Special Sanatorium

Hekmat, Ali Reza

Translated: Trenina and Orlov-Morozov. [two signatures]

19 February 1955

[The Persian-language original follows with a handwritten Russian-language address to Khrushchev at the CPSU CC and a return address]

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