Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

Omid, a memorial in defense of human rights in Iran
One Person’s Story

Ali Reza Tabataba'ian Nimavardi


Age: 17
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Islam
Civil Status: Single


Date of Killing: October 8, 1981
Location of Killing: Esfahan, Esfahan Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Shooting
Charges: Armed rebellion against the Islamic Republic

About this Case

News of the execution of Mr. Ali Reza Tabataba’ian Nimavardi, son of Reza, along with 25 others, was published by Kayhan and Jomhuri-e Eslami newspapers on October 10, 1981, quoting a communiqué from the Public Relations department of the General Public Prosecutor’s Office. News of the executions, names, and charges against defendants are reflected in this communiqué. Additional information is based on two electronic forms sent to Omid by his relatives.

Mr. Ali Reza Tabataba’ian Nimavardi is one of the 12,028 individuals listed in an addendum to the Mojahed magazine (No, 261), published by the Mojahedin Khalq Organization in 1985. The list includes individuals, affiliated with various opposition groups, who were executed or killed during clashes with the Islamic Republic security forces from June 1981 to the publication date of the magazine.

According to the existing information, Mr. Ali Reza Tabataba’ian Nimavardi, the third child in his family, was born in Esfahan on October 26, 1963. He was single, a high school student, and a sympathizer of the Mojahedin Khalq Organization. He was active in publishing theMojahed newspaper in Esfahan. According to his relatives, he was very smart and successful in his education.  

The Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) was founded in 1965. This organization adapted the principals of Islam as its ideological guideline. However, its members’ interpretation of Islam was revolutionary, and they believed in armed struggle against the Shah’s regime. They valued Marxism as a progressive method for economic and social analysis but considered Islam to be their source of inspiration, culture, and ideology. In the 1970s, the MKO was weakened when many of its members were imprisoned and executed. In 1975, following a deep ideological crisis, the organization refuted Islam as its ideology and, after a few of itsmembers were killed and other Muslim members purged, the organization proclaimed Marxism as its ideology. This move led to a split within the Marxist-Leninist Section of the MKO in 1977. In January of 1979, the imprisoned Muslim leaders of the MKO were released, along with other political prisoners. They began to re-organize the MKO and to recruit new members based on Islamic ideology. After the 1979 Revolution and the establishment of the Islamic Republic, the MKO accepted the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini and supported the Revolution. Active participation in the political scene and infiltration of governmental institutions were primary in the organization’s agenda. During the first two years after the Revolution, the MKO succeeded in recruiting numerous sympathizers, especially in high schools and universities; but its efforts to gain political power, whether by appointment or election, were strongly opposed by the Islamic Republic’s leaders. *

Arrest and detention

The circumstances of Mr. Tabataba’ian Nimavardi’s arrest and detention are not known. According to the information sent to Omid, he was arrested by the Revolutionary Guards in Esfahan in the summer of 1981. He was transferred to Dastgerd Prison, Quarantine Section, where he was detained for about two months. He was denied the right to have an attorney. He was only allowed to write a single letter during his detention period. His only visitation with family members was the day before his execution.

International laws have strictly prohibited capital punishment against those who were under the age of 18 at the time of committing a crime. As a party to the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Iran has the obligation to avoid capital punishment for an offense committed before the age of eighteen.


No information is available regarding the trial of Mr. Tabataba’ian Nimavardi. According to the communiqué from the Public Relations department of the General Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Esfahan condemned Mr. Tabataba’ian Nimavardi and 25 others to death. According to the electronic forms, the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Esfahan tried him in a half an hour session a week before his execution. There was no appeal court.


According to the communiqué from the Public Relations department of the General Public Prosecutor’s Office, the charges against Mr. Tabataba’ian Nimavardi and 25 others were collectively announced as having supported, “armed act[s] against the Islamic Republic regime in Iran; membership in team houses; participation in military teams; throwing grenades and Molotov cocktails; robbery of motorcycles and car plates for assassination of Revolutionary Guards; forging stamps for marriage certificates and identification cards; and setting fire to cars belonging to official institutions and Muslim and other responsible individuals.” According to the electronic forms, the charges against Mr. Ali Reza Tabataba’ian Nimavardi were described as, “stealing a motorcycle and throwing Molotov cocktails at officials’ houses.”

The validity of the criminal charges brought against this defendant cannot be ascertained in the absence of the basic guarantees of a fair trial.

Evidence of guilt

According to the electronic forms, authorities found a motorcycle as evidence against Mr. Tabataba’ian Nimavardi in his house.


No information is available about Mr. Tabataba’ian Nimavardi’s defense.


The Islamic Revolutionary Court of Esfahan identified Mr. Ali Reza Tabataba’ian Nimavardi as “Baghi [rebel] and Mofsed [corruptor on Earth],” and condemned him to death. The ruling was carried out on October 7, 1981, and he was executed by a firing squad at Esfahan Intelligence Prison. According to electronic forms, the execution date was October 8, 1981, at dawn. Mr. Tabataba’ian Nimavardi was only 17 years old.


* The exclusion of MKO members from government offices and the closure of their centers and publishing houses, in conjunction with to the Islamic Republic authorities’ different interpretation of Islam, widened the gap between the two. Authorities of the new regime referred to the Mojahedin as “Hypocrites” and the Hezbollahi supporters of the regime attacked the Mojahedin sympathizers regularly during demonstrations and while distributing publications, leading to the death of several MKO supporters. On June 20, 1981, the MKO called for a demonstration protesting their treatment by governmental officials and the government officials’ efforts to impeach their ally, President Abolhassan Banisadr. Despite the fact that the regime called this demonstration illegal, thousands came to the streets, some of whom confronted the Revolutionary Guardsmen and Hezbollahis. The number of casualties that resulted from this demonstration is unknown but a large number of demonstrators were arrested and executed in the following days and weeks. The day after the demonstration, the Islamic Republic regime started a repressive campaign – unprecedented in modern Iranian history. Thousands of MKO members and sympathizers were arrested or executed. On June 21, 1981, the MKO announced an armed struggle against the Islamic Republic and assassinated a number of high-ranking officials and supporters of the Islamic regime.  In the summer of 1981, the leader of the MKO and the impeached President (Banisadr) fled Iran to reside in France, where they founded the National Council of Resistance. After the MKO leaders and many of its members were expelled from France, they went to Iraq and founded the National Liberation Army of Iran in 1987, which entered Iranian territory a few times during the Iran-Iraq war. They were defeated in July 1988 during their last operation, the Forugh Javidan Operation. A few days after this operation, thousands of imprisoned Mojahedin supporters were killed during the mass executions of political prisoners in 1988. Ever since the summer of 1981, the MKO has continued its activities outside of Iran. No information is available regarding members and activities of the MKO inside the country.  In spite of the “armed struggle” announcement by the MKO on June 20, 1981, many sympathizers of the organization had no military training, were not armed, and did not participate in armed conflict.  

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