The Anniversary of Dr. Mohammed Reza Ameli-Tehrani’s Martyrdom

The 18th of Ordibehesht marks the 27th anniversary of the martyrdom of Dr. Mohammed Reza Ameli-Tehrani, university professor-physician-writer-poet-thinker and one of the founders of modern Iranian nationalism, the Pan Iranism movement.

Dr. Ameli was born in 1927 (1306 Khorshidi). After graduating from the University of Tehran Medical College and completing his residency specializing in anesthesiology, he joined the University’s Medical College faculty.

Dr. Ameli-Tehrani started his political activities at age 14 and was a life-long nationalist. He is considered the leading thinker of Iranian nationalism by most Iranian nationalists having authored several books and numerous articles on the subject. I am honored to say that he is the person who has influenced my own liberal (Azadi-Khaei), democratic (Mardom-Salari), and nationalist (Melli Garaei) tendencies.

The teachings of Dr. Ameli-Tehrani shed new light on Iranian nationalism by emphasizing the unity of Iranians in one united sovereign nation with full respect and equality for all Iran’s ethnic, linguistic and religious groups. It is a cultural nationalism based on history and culture of the Iranian nation rather than any strict ideology. It is a nationalism that incorporates freedom, democratic values, and mutual respect in relations with other nations. Also, it is a nationalism that is preserving and defensive, not offensive and expansionist.

Dr. Ameli-Tehrani also emphasized working closely with countries that share Iran’s heritage, culture, values and language in all areas of education such as establishing a common Language and Cultural Academy; student, professor and other educational exchange programs; and economic and commercial cooperation. And, at the same time having good relations with all countries based on mutual respect.

After 60 years, it seems that many Iranians now believe in this constructive form of nationalism.

Dr. Ameli-Tehrani lived a very simple life in a rented apartment and drove an old beat-up Paykan. For luxury and materialism, he cared less than nothing. He had no wealth to leave behind and his wife and four children were left in absolute poverty.

Dr. Ameli was a great man who not only believed, but also truly lived on the principle on serving Iran and the Iranian nation and ultimately sacrificed himself for that cause. Sacrifice was the essence and making of Dr. Ameli’s life. His last will and testament was full of references to Iran and ended with his final wish from his family: Do not think about me, think about Iran.

May he rest in peace as a symbol to those who died for Iran and an inspiration for those who live for Iran.