Iran pp 149-174 | Cite as

The Guerrilla Movement in Iran, 1963–77

  • Ervand Abrahamian


One crisp morning in the winter of 1971, thirteen young Iranians armed with rifles, machine guns, and hand-grenades, attacked the gendarmerie post in the village of Siakal on the edge of the Caspian forests. Killing three gendarmes, they tried to release two colleagues who had been detained a few days earlier, and, failing to find the prisoners in the gendarmerie post, escaped into the rugged mountains of Gilan. Unknown both to the participants and to the outside world, this famous ‘Siakal incident’ sparked off eight years of intense guerrilla activity and inspired many other radicals, Islamic as well as Marxist, to take up arms against the Pahlavi regime. But despite the importance of the guerrilla movement, its history is being rapidly distorted, misused and misinterpreted: partly because almost all the original leaders have been killed, partly because their followers are more interested in making history than in writing history, and partly because the new regime, like its predecessor, is eager to dismiss and denounce the revolutionaries as ‘terrorists’, ‘atheists’ and ‘foreign agents’.


Guerrilla Movement Political Prisoner National Front Guerrilla Warfare Armed Struggle 
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Copyright information

© Haleh Afshar 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ervand Abrahamian

There are no affiliations available

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