This story is inspired by the movie “The Fugitive” and the commentary by Iranian.com’s Bahram G. and Oon Yaroo.
The cast as they appear:
12th Emam: Dr. Mahdi Chaahi, aka Mahdi Farari (Dr. Richard Kimble) Ahmadi: Dr. Chaahi’s Lab Assistant and the Victim Rahbar: The One-Armed Man Firoozabadi: Basij Detective (Lieutenant Gerard)
God was not very happy. He had summoned the 12th Emam into his office. Mahdi looked dusty from spending centuries in the well.
“We have a situation with our Shia followers. Rahbar has completely taken over and is claiming that he is in direct contact with me all the time. He has also dismissed you and is calling himself the 12th Emam. Ahmadi has been marginalized and out of work and all that he is doing right now is praying for your arrival.” God shook his head in displeasure.
“Here is what I want you to do. I want you to resurface from the well and see what is going on and fix it. But don’t do any of your Messiah, apocalyptic things. I am not ready for the doomsday yet. Summer Olympics is around the corner and then there is the World Cup in Brazil.”
Meanwhile down on earth, Rahbar was at the podium addressing the annual meeting of the Shia Corp. shareholders “Let me re-assure you that our economic foundation is solid and we have a tremendous growth potential. Rial is as strong as ever. We don’t measure Rial against Dollar, Euro or Yen. We are not subservient to them. We measure Rial against Toman! One Toman was 10 Rials yesterday, it is 10 Rials today and it will be 10 Rials tomorrow!”
The shareholders burst into cheers and chanted, “Yek Toman…10 Rial…Yek Toman…10 Rial…Marg bar Amrika…Marg bar Amrika!” Rahbar motioned the headwaiter to start serving Gheimeh Polo and Sundees.
“But I have taken some major steps to re-align our organization with our goals. I have completely eliminated the Reform Department and have migrated their duties to Sepah and Basij Divisions. And to show my appreciation to the retiring Department heads Mousavi and Karoubi, we have provided them with a generous package that includes housing at an undisclosed location! Also, Ahmadi has been moved from Presidency to Special Projects where he will perform yet-to-be-determined tasks.”
The shareholders again burst into cheers and chanted with their mouths full of Gheimeh, “Yek Toman…10 Rial… Yek Toman…10 Rial…Marg bar Amrika…Marg bar Amrika!”
A few days later, the 12th Emam appeared from the well and set up a medical clinic in Ahmadi’s neighborhood. He called himself Dr. Chaahi and used his miraculous skills to provide medical services to the community. After a few days he met with Ahmadi and offered him a job in his lab. Rahbar who had Ahmadi under close surveillance became suspicious. After all, how could Ahmadi, with a degree in traffic engineering get a job in a lab? Also Dr. Chaahi’s surgical skills aroused suspicion. Nobody knew who he was or where he had come from. Rahbar decided to go to the clinic and find out for himself.
Rahbar put away his robe and turban and put his jugging clothes and ski hat on and slipped out of the back door incognito. He got on his moped and drove to Dr. Chaahi’s clinic. It was late at night but the lights at the lab were on. He quietly entered the lab. Ahmadi who was working on some blood samples immediately recognized him. “Dear Rahbar, what are you doing here at this hour?”
“Stop playing with me. Who is Dr. Chaahi and what are his plans?” Rahbar looked threatening as Ahmadi became scared and started walking backwards. Rahbar grabbed his neck with his let hand and demanded answers. Ahmadi refused. Rahbar struck Ahmadi’s head against the big table. Ahmadi fell to the ground.
At that moment, Rahbar heard the footsteps outside. Somebody was opening the door. He quickly ran and hid. Ahmadi reached out from the floor and grabbed the phone. He pressed the speed dial for Mashaii’s house. Mashaii was screening his calls so the answering machine picked up. “Help…He is killing me…Please help.” Mashaii quickly picked up the phone. “Ahmadi is that you? Who is killing you? Is he still there?” The answering machine was still recording. At that moment Dr. Chaahi entered the lab. Ahmadi tried to warn him, “Mahdi…Mahdi” cried Ahmadi. “Is Dr. Chaahi killing you?” Asked Mashaii. Ahmadi fell on the phone. It went dead.
Rahbar jumped on Dr. Chaahi from the back. They struggled for a while but Rahbar escaped and left the building. Dr. Chaahi tried to revive Ahmadi but he was gone.
Moments later Basij arrived at the scene. “So you are saying that a one-armed man killed Ahmadi?” Asked Lt. Firoozabadi. “What did he look like? Was it his left arm or his right arm? What was he wearing? Lt. Firoozabadi was suspicious of his story. “I don’t know. It all happened so fast. You have to believe me. He killed my assistant.” Firoozabadi looked at his Basiji team and said, “Book him. Take him in.”
The 12th Emam’s trial was swift. Mashaii presented the answering machine’s tape as the key evidence. He was sentenced to death, but was granted a last wish. The 12th Emam always wanted to visit his great grandfather’s tomb, Emam Reza. So he asked if he could go to Mashad. The request was granted. That night, he was taken to Mehrabad by Basiji guards and was put on a Tupolev airplane. The Russian pilots had a wild day of partying and drinking and were totally hung over. As they tried to take off, they veered to the right, got off the runway and hit a fuel truck. The Basiji guards who were not wearing their seat belts hit their heads against the walls and died immediately. The 12th Emam freed himself, opened the plane’s door, pulled the Russian pilots to safety and then disappeared into the night.
Mahdi Farari ran for hours and finally went inside a mosque and hid there. He stole a robe and a turban from the Emam Jom’eh and roamed the streets during the days and slept in the minarets at nights. He would sneak into the mosques’ kitchens whenever he could and eat the leftover Gheimeh Polo with Sundees. He finally decided to go back to the lab and see if he can find some evidence that would lead him to the one-armed man. He remembered that he had grabbed the one-armed man’s beard and had pulled very hard so that he would let go of his neck. Maybe there was some beard or hair left on the floor that he could do a DNA test on and identify the one-armed man.
As he quietly entered the clinic, he noticed that the lights to his office were on. He slowly approached the room and to his surprise he saw Rahbar going through his flies and papers. Rahbar had come to the clinic again to find out who Mahdi Farari was. Mahdi took one quick look at Rahbar’s hand and face and immediately realized that he was the one-armed man. They jumped at each other and started to fight. They threw punches and kicked each other. At the end, Mahdi put Rahbar out of his miseries.
As he was leaving the clinic, Mahdi Farari saw a Basiji Toyota approaching. Lt. Firoozabadi who was sitting in the open back of the truck recognized Mahdi and gave chase. Mahdi ran for a block and then jumped over a wall and went into Ahmadi’s house. In a matter of minutes, he was completely surrounded by Basiji thugs in Ahmadi’s yard. Firoozabadi pulled his gun out and told him to surrender. Mahdi looked around the yard and saw a well. He quickly ran towards the well, put his hands over his head, did a flip and jumped into the well. Lt. Firoozabadi approached the well, shook his head and said, “He is dead. Nobody can survive jumping into a well!”
Kayhan’s headline the next day read, “Our Beloved Rahbar Martyred by CIA. We will close the Strait of Hormuz.”
God looking at all of this from the heavens above let out a sigh of relief. Everything had worked according to the plan!