Mohammad-Reza Naghdi, a top IRGC commander. FILE PHOTO

Zoroastrian Lawmaker Offers Iranian History Lesson To IRGC Chief


A Zoroastrians lawmaker in a letter has criticized an IRGC commander for disparaging remarks about pre-Islamic dynasties and offered him a brief history lesson.

Mohammad-Reza Naghdi, the coordinating deputy of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC), had called the Achaemenid Dynasty (550-330 BCE) “filthy” in a speech Wednesday, accusing them of massacres and handing Iran “to the Greeks.” The Achaemenids fell to Macedonia’s Alexander the Great in the 4th century BCE.

Esfandiar Ekhtiari, who has since 2008 represented the small community of the ancient Iranian Zoroastrian faith, responded in a letter by extolling the Achaemenid ceremonial capital, which was declared a World Heritage Site in 1979: “What is seen in Persepolis reliefs are all indicative of purity and greatness.”

Naghdi had also attacked the Sassanid dynasty (242-264 CE) for handing Iran to the Mongols.

Ekhtiari pointed out that the Mongols over-ran Iran some centuries after the Sassanids were overthrown by Arabs adhering to the new religion of Islam shortly after the death of the Prophet Muhammed in 632 CE.

“Doubtless, there is no need to refer back to history to see who was ruling in Iran after the Sassanids, which definitely were not the Mongols,” Ekhtiari noted.

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