Mother Aghdas Tavakolian(Mother Zargari)  

Mother Aghdas Tavakolian (Mother Zargari), was born in 1298 (1919) in Zanjan and died of lung infection in Tehran at “Shohada-e Tajrish Hospital,” on 31 Khordad 1394 (21 June 2015). Mother Zargari was selfless, patient, kind and devoted to people. Mother Zargari was 38 years old when her husband died of a heart attack. From then onwards she alone carried the heavy burden of raising and upbringing of her children in spite of all the hardships she was facing. Mojtaba, the last child of the family, was a 3-year old boy at the time of death of his father. Mother Zargari gave much importance to his education and upbringing, and when Mojtaba started his struggle against the regime, she was always anxious about him and his future.

The Islamic Republic arrested Mojtaba on 19 Tir 1360 (10 July 1981) and executed him by firing squad in less than two weeks in Evin Prison and secretly buried him in Khavaran. After the execution of Mojtaba, Khavaran became Mother Zargari’s whole life. Mother Zargari was one of the first mothers and families who became familiar with Khavaran. With the increase in executions in the 1980s, a large number of mothers and families became familiar with Khavaran.

Mother Zargari visited Evin Prison, accompanied by other mothers, in order to obtain Mojtaba’s will. But Evin refused to hand over Mojtaba’s will to his mother. When the mothers protested, the Islamic Republic’s agents of suppression threw water on them.

The agents of the Islamic Republic had also made Khavaran unsafe for the mothers and the families. They routinely attacked them and by threat and intimidation tried to prevent them from visiting Khavaran. However, every time they faced more resistance from the mothers. Since threat and intimidation had lost its desired effect, one day they placed Mother Zargari and a number of other mothers who were in Khavaran beside a wall and fired shots all around them. Even this failed to intimidate them and the mothers and the families continued to visit Khavaran. Mother Zargari attended the anniversaries and the last Fridays of the year at Khavaran on a regular basis.

On the first Friday after the destruction of Khavaran in 1388 (2009), when the families visited it according to their routine, they saw that it had been levelled to the ground. Mother Zargari, upon seeing this scene, lost her mental balance for ever and suffered from amnesia, something that continued for seven years until she died. The only thing that Mother Zargari spoke of was the arrest and execution of her son Mojtaba.

Mahnaz, the daughter of Mother Zargari, died of cancer in a hospital in Tehran on 23 Tir, 1394 (14 July 2015), 23 days after the death of her mother. Farah, another daughter of Mother Zargari, had died seventeen years earlier of a mental illness.

Mojtaba Zargari

Mojtaba, son of Mother Zargari, was arrested by the Islamic Republic on 19 Tir, 1360 (10 July 1981) and executed in Evin Prison twelve days later together with fourteen other political prisoners, on account of his activism with Peykar Organization for the Emancipation of Working Class. Mojtaba, at the time of his execution, was 23 years old. Mojtaba was born in Zanjan in 1337 (1958) and was a student of College of Commerce. The Islamic Republic buried Mojtaba’s body in Khavaran, without informing his family, in Column 4, row 92. Mojtaba passed his primary school in Zanjan and secondary school in Tehran. After his admission in the university, he became familiar with political issues. He left the university in order to join the struggle against the Shah. He was pursued by the agents of Savak several times but escaped them each time. After the revolution he joined the Peykar Organization for the Emancipation of Working Class. In the course of attack by the agents of suppression of the Islamic Republic on the offices of political organizations at the universities, he was identified by one of the students of the Islamic Association at Enghelab Square, and was arrested. But he was released after one week. After 30 Khordad 1360 (20 June 1981), and the regime’s attack on political organizations, the offices of Peykar Organization in Tabriz, and a part of its publications and distribution center in Tehran were attacked. A large number of Peykar activists were arrested. Mojtaba and fourteen of his fellow freedom fighters were executed by the firing squad on 31 Tir 1360 (22 July 1981).