Organization of Iranian People's Fedai Guerrillas

The Organization of Iranian People's Fedai Guerrillas (Persian: سازمان چريکهای فدايي خلق ايران) emerged as a radical Marxist-Leninist movement in Iran in 1971, formed to overthrow the Pahlavi regime. The group fought against the governments of Mohammad Reza Shah and after the 1979 revolution, the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The organization was the product of the merger of two smaller groups of revolutionaries, the Jazani-Zarifi group and the Ahmadzadeh-Puyan-Meftahi group. The Jazani-Zarifi group's members were former members of the youth organization of the Tudeh Party while the second group's members were mostly followers of the National Front and its affiliated organizations.

The first meeting was organized in 1963 by Bijan Jazani and his colleagues. By 1966, when Hassan Zia-Zarifi and Jazani got together, they had reached the conclusion that the powerful American influence in Iran and the repression against liberal dissidents in Iran had made peaceful activism entirely ineffective. Armed struggle was therefore viewed as the sole effective way to liberation.

Shortly after that, on 19 Bahman 1349 (8 February 1971) nine members of the group launched their first attack on the gendarmerie post of the small village of Siahkal in the northern Gilan forests, widely viewed as the turning point in the leftist armed struggle against the Shah. After the subsequent arrest and death of the guerrilla team, the two groups officially united and the Organization of Iranian People's Fedai Guerrillas came to existence.

In the period from 1971 to 1979, Fedaian came under an intense attack by the Shah's regime, with nearly 300 Fedaian members were killed by the government. In this period the majority of the organization's members were captured or murdered including its leader Hamid Ashraf whose death was a major loss to the organization.

OIPFG would pass through various periods of internal divisions. In 1979 Ashraf Dehghani left OIPFG, accusing it of deviating from the line of guerrilla warfare, and formed a parallel Iranian People's Fedai Guerrillas. In the same year former OIPFG cadres formed the Organization of Revolutionary Workers of Iran.

Following the revolution, the Organization public offices were established in most Iranian cities. In the first election after the revolution, Fedaian received 10% of the votes.

In the meantime, internal discussions on the issues of revolution and regime’s nature were under way amongst Fedaian which resulted in several break ups in the Organization. Means and Methods of struggle and policies towards the new government were the top issues. Majority of the organization members did not believe in armed struggle any more and at the new political atmosphere recognized the Islamic Republic as an anti-Imperialist state. That majority chose to pace with the people - masses who were widely the followers of their religious leaders.

These differences caused the separation of the minority of the Organization from the Majority.In 1980, OIPFG was divided into OIPFG (Majority) and Organization of Iranian People's Fedai Guerrillas (Minority). OIPFG (Minority), which broke away from the main organization, was pursuing a more radical line. On May Day 1981, thousands of OIPFG (Majority) supporters gathered in Teheran. At its May Day rally, the organization announced that the group would cease to conduct guerrilla warfare and was renamed Organization of Iranian People's Fedaian (Majority) (in Persian: (سازمان فداییان خلق ایران (اکثریت)). After a death war between Kurds and Iranian Islamic regim in 1981, a Kurdish revolutionary group of Ashraf Dehghani's group was formed....

See also

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