CNBC producer Yasmin Khorram writes about her grandfather Parviz Aminiafshar, who was executed during the Iranian Revolution in 1979.
There is another story about the killing of an Iranian general. And unlike Qasem Soleimani, he wasn’t an enemy of the U.S.
In fact, as one of the top ranking military officials in Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi’s regime, he was an important ally.
He was my grandfather.
Major Gen. Parviz Aminiafshar was commander of the Imperial Guards and head of G2 Military Intelligence. He was among the most senior officials in a military force which was a close ally of the U.S., protecting the country and the Shah.
That all changed on Feb. 21, 1979.
Iran’s 2,500-year-old monarchy was overthrown by an Islamic Revolution led by Shi’a cleric Ayatollah Khomeini, who forever changed the face of the Middle East and world politics. Prior to ’79, Khomeini had failed at overthrowing Iran’s monarchy; he was exiled to Najaf, Iraq.
Once the first anti-Shah demonstrations began, Khomeini’s supporters quickly grew to millions across the country. The Shah safely left the country, but my grandfather and most military commanders chose to stay behind.
On the second day of the revolution, while still very much in charge of his units and having been given public assurance of protection by the Ayatollah, he called my grandmother from his post.
“He said, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll would be home soon’” my grandmother recalls. “He didn’t know something bad was going to happen.”
That night, the Ayatollah’s revolutionary guards stormed my grandfather’s office and detained him. “He went with them and never returned,” my grandmother said.
Four days later, my grandmother learned about his execution watching television. I wasn’t even born when he was executed, but my memory is vivid thanks to my grandmother. This wasn’t the end of her nightmare. They broke into her house, took her possessions and terrorized the family.
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