Mehdi Bazargan

Security forces prevented a special commemoration service planned for the twentieth anniversary of the passing of the Islamic Republic’s first prime minister, Mehdi Bazargan.

Mizan Khabar, a website linked to the nationalist-religious group Freedom Front, reports that the gathering entitled “20 years after Bazargan”, which was to take place on January 22 at the Islamic Encyclopedia Centre, was cancelled with the intervention of security forces. They arrived at the scene three hours before the event with an order to cancel it.

The event was announced 15 days ago with an aim to review the work and thoughts of the late Mehdi Bazargan.

Commemoration services for Bazargan were banned over the past seven years under the administration of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Bazargan passed away in Zurich in 1995 at the age of 87.

He was the founder of the Freedom Front Party and was appointed as Iran’s first and interim prime minister on February 4, 1979 by the leader of the Iranian Revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini.

Bazargan remained PM for nine months and resisted various forms of extremism. After two resignations and reappointments, he finally resigned along with his cabinet after the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in November of 1979.

After that he continued to register his name as a candidate for all presidential and parliamentary elections but was consistently denied eligibility by the establishment.