Escape to Tehran

Book Overview

An Unwanted Child

I was an unwanted child. My entrance into this world was completely unexpected. In fact, I am told my mother tried to abort me more than once. She already had two daughters, Neda and Natasha, and a stepson, Nikolai, my father’s child from his first wife Olga. Mother did not need an infant to care for at this point of her life. When my father found out, he took a stand. “That’s enough! I won’t allow you to harm yourself or possibility risk death. Six months later I was born, instantly becoming the apple of my father’s eye.

My Father’s Story

My father was born in Belarus, formerly a part of the Russian Empire. Father’s parents were born and raised in St. Petersburg and had met during a reception at the Winter Palace of Tzar Nicholas II. Although neither parent was a direct descendant of the Romanov family, they were of royal blood and supported the monarchy. Late in 1914 my grandparents realized that unrest in St. Petersburg was growing. Sensing that danger lay ahead, they decided to sell their beautiful home and …

Bastille Day

On July 14, 1947, my parents met at the French Embassy in Tehran during a Bastille Day party. Mother was a beautiful young socialite and all the upper-class bachelors in Tehran had their eye on her. However, it was the divorced Russian man with a young son who stole her heart.


In late July of that year, my parents finally gave in to my pleading and agreed that I could return home to Tehran for the rest of my summer break. On September 22, 1980, the day before my scheduled flight back to Paris, Iraq attacked Tehran. The airport was closed and my flight to Paris cancelled. Unable to leave the country, the coming year was pure hell for me and my family, as set forth in this chapter.

About The Author

Mojgan Rahbanoff

Mojgan Rahbanoff grew up in a multicultural Tehran family before the 1979 Islamic Revolution. During those years, her life was filled with studies at the French school, trips to Europe with her parents, and summers at their second home on the Caspian Sea. Her Persian mother was a Sufi, a tolerant branch of Islam, and her father was a Russian Orthodox Christian who allowed their daughters to think for themselves.

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Why Read It?


Any story about the Russian Communist Revolution and the Fanatic Muslim takeover and destruction of civilization, human rights, and a beautiful country is always interesting to read about.

However, the feeling is more special when it is passed across generations for them to learn about their ancestral legacy.  Mojgan Rahbanoff narrates the story of her father and how her Russian grandparents’ decisions influenced him to live a life he least expected on his journey to Iran.

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Video of


Find out more about how the struggles and triumphs would inspire the author in her current life in the video trailer of Mojgan Rahbanoff’s debut book, Escape To Tehran: The True Story Of One Man’s Struggle Against The Soviet Union And Iran’s Mullahs.


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