A story by Laleh Chini:
I remember once we were having a picnic on a beautiful cliff called “Heleylah” with a great view of the Persian Gulf in Bushehr-Iran. As usual, we were gathered by our big family and we’re having a great time.
I recall that on our left side in a very far distance, there was a Nuclear Power Plant surrounded by barbed wire.
Bushehr’s Nuclear Power Plant is one of the most important and critical points in Iran. It was established in 1973.
My father had cool binoculars and was showing each one of us the new Nuclear Power Plant and was explaining that Shah has established it for a great cause.
He said that the Nuclear Power Plant would easily filter the Persian Gulf’s water and that would be amazing for farming.
Iran would be green and independent in many farming products. We also looked at the beautiful seagulls flying over the fantastic dark blue water which made the scene unforgettable.
We were all eating, playing and enjoying the moment when we noticed that six army cars were driving towards us with a very fast speed which caused a thick cloud of dust behind them.
In a very short time, all six cars surrounded all our cars in such a way where no one could run away. Many army officers and soldiers jumped out of those cars with big guns pointed at us. We were so shocked and scared.
One of the officers said: “You are under arrest.”
My father’s face was white as chalk. “Why? What did we do?” He asked with a startled voice.
The officer responded: “For taking illegal pictures of a forbidden zone. Taking pictures of a government-protected and prohibited area is a huge crime.”
My father said: “But we don’t have a camera with us. I had no idea that it was illegal to look at the Nuclear Power Plant with binoculars. I was just explaining to my kids what good it would do for our country. I am so sorry.”
It was obvious that he believed my father as there was no one but many children and women. He believed that we were not spies or any secret agents, but he had to act professionally and searched all the cars inch by inch. After two straight hours, they didn’t find any camera and just saw the binoculars.
We were not arrested in the end, but the picnic turned into an unforgettable memory.
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