A Tribute to the Life and Legacy of Ozra Alavi Taleghani, a Courageous Leader in the Historical Struggle for Iranian Women’s Emancipation
Ozra Alavi Taleghani, one of the most prominent revolutionary women in contemporary Iran, passed away on Thursday, July 6, 2023, in Ashraf 3, Albania, after battling an illness.
Born in Tehran in 1954, Ozra Alavi Taleghani was the daughter of Mr. Noureddin Alavi Taleghani, a progressive clergyman who faced multiple imprisonments during the reign of the Shah due to his support and promotion of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). She was a relative of Father Mahmoud Taleghani, a progressive Islamic scholar and thinker known for advocating democracy and being a leading figure in the anti-Shah movement.
During her years as a student studying chemical engineering at the Sharif University of Technology, Ozra Alavi Taleghani became a supporter of the PMOI/MEK. Joining the organization in 1976, she dedicated herself to a relentless struggle against both the Shah’s dictatorship and the subsequent clerical regime for a span of 47 years.
Ozra Alavi Taleghani, also known as Sussan, played a significant role as one of the leading women in the fight against the Shah’s regime, particularly as a leader in the student movement. She was also among the candidates nominated by the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran for the first post-revolution parliamentary elections that followed the overthrow of the Shah’s regime in 1979.
In 1985, Ms. Taleghani became a member of the Central Committee of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran and later joined the National Council of Resistance of Iran in 1992. She served as one of the commanders of women’s combat brigades within the National Liberation Army in 1987, overseeing significant operations codenamed the Shining Sun, the Forty Stars, and the Eternal Light.
Ms. Taleghani held a senior position in the PMOI Leadership Council since 1993, which later expanded to become the PMOI Central Council. From 1993 to 1997, she served as the Deputy Commander in Chief of the National Liberation Army. Following the invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003, she was a member of the NLA’s command staff, leading the organization through complex circumstances for 14 years.
In addition to her significant contributions to the resistance movement, Ms. Taleghani battled with great courage against her illness, which had worsened in the last two weeks.
The President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, Maryam Rajavi, expressed her condolences to the members of the PMOI and the National Council of Resistance of Iran, acknowledging the tragic loss of “one of the most remarkable symbols of Iranian women’s historical struggle for emancipation.”