Unfortunately, I have been reached by the message that Dr. Hossein Yazdi has passed away.

Hossein Yazdi was born in 1934 in Iran. He was the son of Dr. Morteza Yazdi who was born in 1907.

Morteza Yazdi was a physician and for a little over two months in 1946 he was also Minister of Health. What many do not know is that Morteza Yazdi was one of “The 53″. “The 53″ were a group of 53 people who were active communists in Iran and who were arrested in the 1930s, when the shah’s father – Reza Shah the Great – was king of Iran. What makes “the 53″ so important is that they later founded the Iranian Communist Party – the Tudeh Party – which was loyal to the Soviets. Although Morteza Yazdi was an active communist, he had no difficulties in 1946 to become the shah’s Minister of Health.

In 1954, however, Morteza Yazdi and his family left Iran for East Germany to continue fighting the shah and the Iranian monarchy with the help of the Germans and the Soviets, along with the Tudeh party. Morteza Yazdi had two sons: Hossein and Fereydoon. Both were active in the Tudeh party’s youth organization. At the same time, their father rose through the ranks and became a member of the Tudeh Party’s Central Committee. Hossein and Fereydoon were now not only active in the youth organization but as they were fluent in both Persian and German, it was they who translated all communication. They also had access to all information about the party both in Iran and outside Iran.

When Hossein and Fereydoon – according to interviews with them – after their years in Germany understood how depraved communism is, and the corruption that existed among the leadership of the Tudeh party and not least in the Central Committee about which they had all the information because of their father, they abandoned their communist ideology. At the same time, the brothers had understood how much the shah had done for Iran. They therefore decided to secretly contact the Iranian embassy in Berlin.

The embassy put them both, but mainly Hossein, in contact with the Iranian intelligence organization, SAVAK. For five years, the Yazdi brothers not only spied on the Tudeh party’s organization inside and outside Iran, but also provided information on everything concerning both the party’s leadership living in East Germany and the members of the Central Committee. Mostly thanks to these two brothers and not least the efforts of Dr. Hossein Yazdi, Iran could have full control of the largest Iranian Communist Party and prevent the Soviets from gaining influence in the country.

Hossein Yazdi efter att ha gripits i Öst Tyskland
Hossein Yazdi after being arrested in East Germany

In October 1961, however, Hossein Yazdi was arrested by the German security services and sentenced to life in prison. For 16 years he was in the East German prison. When East Germany wanted the Shah to visit them in 1978/1979, the Shah refused and said that only if Hossein were released would he come. And with that, Hossein was freed. After being liberated, the Islamic revolution in Iran had toppled the shah. Yazdi therefore continued to live in Germany. Not only that, but he also continued to be loyal to Iran and the shah. Until his death on February 5, 2021, he was an active Iranian monarchist.

In a half-hour interview with the BBC in 2013, he explains why he and his brother chose to spy on the Tudeh party and become members of SAVAK. He explains that it was because of his love for Iran and the shah.

For those interested, there is a book in Persian about the Yazdi brothers. There is also a German documentary about Hossein Yazdi called ”Strafgefangener 382” or in English “Prisoner 382 – the fate of a Persian spy”.

Dr. Hossein Yazdi has now left us. But he is part of our history. He who is part of history never dies.