Lost in Darkness

This documentary investigates how some farmers from the south of Iran were manipulated into acts of terrorism for some separatist group, National Resistance of Al-Ahwaz, by false promises.

Ali Chehbishat:

The first target was the Ommonnar or Sha’our oil pipeline.

Khaled Mousavi :

When we were on a motorbike, he told me that we have to identify the area for planting the bomb. We made a film of the area.

Ali Chehbishat:

We got some explosives, a picnic gas stove, a motorbike battery and an anti-tank landmine detonator.

Khaled Mousavi :

Two days later, he said that he had made the bomb.

Ali Chehbishat:

Sayyed Khaled and I went there by motorbike at the night of the mission.

Khaled Mousavi :

We hit the road to Sha’our at about 10 pm.

Ali Chehbishat:

We put the bomb in a sack.

As we got near the oil pipeline we hid the motorbike.

Khaled Mousavi :

I put the handmade bomb under the pipeline.

Ali Chehbishat:

We set the time so that the bomb under the pipeline would explode in 20 minutes.

Khaled Mousavi :

We drove back to the main road and stopped there to shoot the explosion scene.

He told me to turn on the camera. We shot the scene with a mobile phone.

Ali Chehbishat:

After the explosion, we drove away. As I looked backwards I saw the pipeline was on fire.

Faez Soleimani:

On August 5, 2011 at 1:30 am, we were informed that a 20 inch oil pipeline was on fire 60 kilometers to Ahwaz.

We found out that the 20 inch pipeline near the river had been damaged.

We blocked the river to prevent oil leaking into down river.

The river, 25 kilometers in length and 15 meters in width was on fire. The canes on both sides of the river were also in flames.

-We want to prevent the oil leaking as much as possible.

Faez Soleimani :

First of all we had to reduce the pressure and then put out the fire. So we embanked the damaged pipeline.

We began to extinguish the river from the farthest point till we reached the center of fire.

-Close the pipeline mouth with mud!

Faez Soleimani :

We embanked the pipeline and pulled it out the water. Then we reduced the oil pressure.

We reached center of the fire and managed to put it out by the fire extinguishers sent from the oil-rich areas.

At around 7 am we managed to put out the fire.

Ali Chobeishad :

I’m Ali Chobeishad from Shush. I’m married and have five sons and three daughters. I’m a farmer. I’d been working in Dubai for eight years before I had to come back to Iran due to family problems in 2001. Nine years later I went back to Dubai to look for a job. I had financial problems then. In 2001 I went to Dubai for the second time. There I had been legally working in a company for eight years. I met a man called Sattar Asakereh, Habib Nabgan’s man from the National Resistance of Al-Ahwaz. He talked to me about the separation of Khuzestan from Iran. He said that Arab people are oppressed and while Iran owes its wealth to Khuzestan; the government doesn’t help the Arabs at all. He said that we have to launch an operation in Khuzestan and make the region insecure. He talked about exploiting gas, oil pipelines, cargo trains etc . They taught us how to plant bombs from A to Z.

They taught us how to make bombs with a motorbike battery, a clock, a detonator, a car cigarette lighter or a heater wire. They also took us to an internet cafés to make us familiar with cyberspace. When I came back to Iran they were in touch with us via Internet. Coming back to Iran I talked to my friend, Khaled Mousavi, before the operations to help me get explosives. He agreed to help me.

Khaled Mousavi:

I’m Khaled Mousavi from Shoush. I’m married and I was born in 1976. About two years ago I met Ali Chobeishad. He told me that if we could film an explosion scene, his friend would send us big money from abroad. I accepted his proposal.

Ali Chobeishad :

After exploding Sha’our oil pipeline they gave me a sum of money. They asked me to do more operations. They gave us 5,000 UAE dirhams to buy a laptop, a mobile phone and stuff. For the second time, they gave us about 12,000 UAE dirhams. We bought some other goods and brought a little money that was left.

We exploded an oil pipeline near the village of Sha’our. We also exploded a gas pipeline near a road connecting Shushtar to Haft Tepe as well as a railroad.

For about one year we were just two persons. We identified the targets. Mr. Salman Shayani introduced by Khaled Mousavi joined us later.

Salman Shayani :

I’m Salman Shayani. I’m from one of the suburbs of Shush. I was born in 1978 and I’m a farmer.

Khaled and I had an onion field of three hectares. But the price of onion was low in the market like the previous year. One day, Khaled told me about a more lucrative job and promised to tell me more about it at night.

Khaled Mousavi:

We three people went to the gas pipeline several times at night by my motorbike. The bomb was ready. It came from abroad.

One night, we took the bomb to the Haft Tepe railroad station. The first bomb planted under the gas pipeline didn’t work. The next day we took back the bomb. We tried it several time but the bomb didn’t work. So we decided to change the target from gas pipeline to the railroad station.

Salman Shayani :

We planned to place the bomb under the railroad in the station. They asked me to film the explosion scene.

Khaled Mousavi:

Salman and I had to film the scene from different sides. Ali Chabaishad had to detonate the bomb by pulling a thread. When the train was passing, he pulled the thread and exploded the bomb.

Salman Shayani :

I told him that I forgot to save the film. I didn’t reveal that I was so afraid to film the scene. Khaled also couldn’t film the scene by his mobile phone. Before the explosion he had thrown himself on the ground. Just the light of the explosion was recorded.

Ali Chobeishad :

This was the first target, the Sha’our or Ommonnar oil pipeline. Sayyed Khaled and I completed the mission.

-Whatever we did was ordered by Habib Nebgan and Ahmad Misi.

-You could have been a farmer, why did you do that?

Hamid Bavard :

I’m asking you what are such actions if they’re not acts of terrorism? Who would benefit from such attacks that affect the people of the region and the world?

In three cities they damaged the drinking water system. Who are the citizens? They’re all Iranians whether they are Arabs, Fars or Lurs. They’re human beings. We hardly managed to prevent water refinery systems from being polluted by the leaking oil. Who would be the victims of water pollution if not the people in the neighboring cities like Hamidiyeh, Susangerd and Ahwaz.

You were such a coward.

Khaled Mousavi:

I just wanted to realize my dream of having a car and pay off my debts.

-Did they give you the money to buy a car?

We asked for money on 24 October. He said that he had faxed the documents and was waiting for the visa. He promised to give us money. Thank God we were arrested and we didn’t stain our hands with anyone’s blood.

Now I only wish to come back home and be with my children.

Salman Shayani :

Sayyed Khaled just spoke to me about financial issues. He told me that he had done such acts because of money. But later they told us to receive money we had to give them another film of the explosion.

We took part in several operations; around 20 to 21. None was successful apart from a train explosion and a nighttime arson which you saw. We have made a mistake. It was not intentional. We did what we did for a meager amount of money.

During those 6 months I was in darkness. The night before the explosion of 23 October I found out what a big mistake I was making.

Ali Shayani :

When my father and I were going to the other side of …….pipeline, we saw that the pipeline was exploded. They searched the car. I don’t know whether they were responsible for the attack or not. We went there to buy paddy.

He hasn’t used this dirty money. He betrayed the government while the government provides us with everything.

Zahra Ka’ab :

He has accepted himself. Of course he is not such a person by nature. Because his parents are good people. I know that he was deceived and instigated to do the operation to get money and solve his problems.

Ali Chobeishad :

I’m ashamed of what I did. We ended up in prison and they live with their families in Europe. They don’t care about us at all. I’ll give them a lesson when I leave the prison. Now we are the complainants. They ruined our lives and the lives of our families. May God help us.

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