Every Day is Ashura, Every Land is Karbala

Every Day is Ashura, Every Land is Karbala

August 03, 2020

by Mansoureh Tajik for the Saker Blog

As part of a very thoughtful email last month, the Saker wrote, “In your latest contribution you wrote ‘Every day is Ashura, Every land is Karbala’ twice.  Did you know that this is my absolute favorite Islamic saying?  I also believe that this belief is the real core of the strength of the Resistance in Lebanon, especially Hezbollah.” He was referring to the article (see here) in which I invoked the spirit of that phrase in relation to two case examples of injustice suffered by the people in North Casper, Wyoming, and the people in eastern North Carolina. These were two seemingly very unlikely candidates to be contextualized oddly in an expression that is very much known to be Shi’a Islam in essence.

The Saker also suggested mindfully that I write a short history about the phrase and explain its meaning for the readers of this blog in order to, as he put it, “make it possible for my readers to get a real insight into the Islamic ethos, especially the Shia ethos,” among other reasons. I was grateful about the suggestion and delighted to yield for several specific reasons. First, the phrase is one of the most cherished expressions for me as well and I would never tire of exploring and reflecting on it.

Second, the month of Muharram and its 10th day, the day of Ashura, are right around the corner (in a few weeks) and this essay could serve as a good introduction to this year’s Ashura as a lot of relevant and interesting events are happening all around us.

Third, this month is one full year since I began writing the monthly essays for the Saker’s blog and the article could serve as an appropriate one-year evaluation and reflection piece for me. It will also be a way to pay tribute to the Saker and his wonderful blog. What better way to show my appreciation for the opportunity he affords the global audience to take a mental path less traveled than to propose the most befitting Shi’a cue to the essence of what he actually does: With his digital pen as his weapon and his passion as its ink, he stands against global injustices and tyrant oppressors with extremely limited material resources. So, zero chance that I would not have agreed to write something on the subject!

In this essay, I hope to explore the literature and speeches of the some of the most influential contemporary thinkers and scholars who have interpreted this expression and employed it in a manner that has become a powerful Shi’a Muslim doctrine guiding an effective struggle against injustices and falsehoods in our modern era. A very brief segment about the history of Every Day is Ashura, Every Land is Karbala is presented first.

The History of the Expression and Its Role as a Doctrine

These two verses, کلّ یوم عاشورا، کلّ ارض کربلا [Every Day is Ashura, Every Land is Karbala], are among the most widely used expressions by many Shi’a Muslim sages, activists, and religious scholars in one form or another. Some scholars have traced it back to Imam Ja’afar Sadiq (Peace be upon him), the sixth Imam of Shi’a Twelvers, but no actual valid narration, or hadith, exists to corroborate that claim. A few others have attributed it to the contemporaries and students of that beloved Imam, but no solid evidence exists to support that assertion either.

According to the encyclopedia of Imam Hussain, Daneshnameh Imam Hussain, the phrase کلّ یوم عاشورا، کلّ ارض کربلا may be an adaptation of the verses from a poem by the 13th Century Egyptian poet, Muhammad bin Sa’id Busiri. In one of his long qasideh poems, he wrote, کلّ یوم و کلّ ارض لکربی فیهم کربلا و عاشورا , which is translated, “Every Day and Every Land, due to my grief and sadness for them, is Ashura and Karbala.”[1]

Regardless of its genesis, however, the expression has been referenced and interpreted by very well-known Shi’a Muslim scholars like Martyr Morteza Motahari and Ali Shariyati and it has been referenced and reflected upon by two prominent imams and leaders of the Iranian revolution and the Islamic Republic of Iran, Imam Khomeini and Imam Khamenei. In a very significant way, Imams Khomeini and Khamenei, who are also two of the most influential Shi’a Muslim leaders of the world in the 20th and the 21st centuries, have defined and put into practice this expression as a potent doctrine and in a decidedly pivotal and successful way. We will delve deeper into this since it could be quite illuminating and would provide a better understanding of the Shi’a Muslims, the Iranian Revolution, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s constitution, and Iran’s international politics and stance towards the world’s arrogant oppressors.

Furthermore, it sheds light on why the expression induces “panic attacks” among the most oppressive and corrupt-to-their-core entities, like the British regime, so much so that they invest significant resources on paid religious “scholars” to re-write history and offer utterly compromising interpretations of this expression.

During the early days of the Iranian revolution, Imam Khomeini explained in one of his speeches,[2]

“This expression, ‘Every Day is Ashura, Every Land is Karbala,’ is a really important expression but many misunderstand it. They think it means we should mourn and cry every day. But its true meaning is something quite different. What did Karbala do? What role did the land of Karbala play on the day of Ashura? A handful of people came to Karbala and stood up against the injustices of Yazid. They stood against a tyrant ruler and an emperor of their time. They sacrificed themselves and they got killed but they did not accept the injustice and defeated Yazid. Every place must be like this and every day must also be like this. Every day, our nation must reach this realization that today is Ashura and we must stand up against the injustice. And this very place is Karbala and we must make this place, right here, a Karbala. It is not restricted to one land. It is not restricted to one specific person. The story of Karbala is not restricted to a group of seventy some people and a land of Karbala. All lands must play this role. And all days must play the same role.” (Page 122)

In that speech, Imam Khomeini universalized the day of Ashura and the land of Karbala. He defined Ashura and Karbala in a way that a critical and decisive extrapolation from a specific time and place could be made to all times and all places. It reminded the Muslims in general and the Shi’a in particular about their ongoing responsibility and duty to stand up against falsehood and injustice, just like Imam Hussain, in all places and all the times.

A more direct reference was made on the occasion of the 17th of Shahriver event. The 17th of Shahrivar 1357 [1978] was the day when thousands peaceful and unarmed demonstrators were all allowed into then Jaleh Square [later renamed Shuhada/Martyrs Square] from every direction. Once the crowd filled the square, the major streets, alleys, and backstreets were blocked by the Shah’s military force. In a matter of just a few minutes the military rained a heavy fire on men, women, children, the young, and the old. A massive reaping and threshing of the crowd. “Rivers of blood” began flowing everywhere. It was the first time since the start of the uprising that the Pahlavi regime had opened fire on the masses. That day became known as the “Black Friday”.

In a powerful speech delivered on the occasion of the 17th of Shahrivar massacre in Shohada Square, Imam Khomeini made a clear and precise reference again to the Ashura and Karbala expression. In his speech,[3] he qualified the event as follows,

“The bitter memory of 17th of Shahrivar, ’57, and the bitter memories of the days of great hardship that were witnessed by the nation bore in them the sweet fruit of the toppling the palaces of tyranny and arrogance and replacing them with the flag of the republic of Islamic Justice. Is it not so that the instructive mandate of “Every day is Ashura and every land is Karbala” should serve as a paragon for the Islamic Ummah? A rising up of the masses in every day and in every land. Ashura was the rising up of the seekers of justice, few in number but fortified with their strong belief and love against tyrannical palace dwellers and arrogant predators. And the life lesson is that paragon must serve as a plan for life every day and in every place. The days that passed us by were the repeats of Ashura. And the squares, the streets, back streets, and the alleys in which the blood of the children of Islam were spilled, they were the repeats of Karbala. And in this paragon there is both a duty and a good news. It is a duty because the oppressed, even if few in number, have a responsibility, they have a duty to rise up, like the Master of Martyrs [Imam Hussain], against the arrogant powers who may have all sorts of equipment, armaments, and great Satanic power. They are charged with that duty. It is a good news since our martyrs are put in the same rank and file as the martyrs of Karbala. A good news that martyrdom is the key to victory. The 17th of Shahrivar is the repeat of Ashura. Shuhad Square is the repeat of Karbala. And our martyrs are reiterations of the martyrs of Karbala. Our enemies are reiterations of Yazid and his cronies. Karbala smashed the palace of injustice with blood and our Karbala destroyed the palace of Satanic rule. Now, it is time for us who are the inheritors of these bloods and those who have been left behind by these young martyrs not to become lethargic. We must strive to bring into fruition their sacrifice with our unwavering wills and hard fists. It is time for us to bury underneath the feet of the martyrs of goodness the remnants of that tyrant regime and the conspirators of injustice who are beholden to the East and to the West.” (Pages 445-446)

This speech was the most clear and definite way Imam Khomeini directly linked the events of the Iranian Revolution to the events of Ashura and Karbala. Another fine and noteworthy point that was raised in Imam Khomeini’s speech was this point: “the oppressed, even if they may be few in numbers, have a responsibility to rise up against the arrogant powers who may have all sorts of equipment, armaments, and great Satanic power.

The importance of this key point is appreciated only when people examine how a country like Iran which has neither the most “powerful military in the world” to be reassured, nor is she “the most powerful economy” in the world to buy her way in and out of trouble, nor the most populous nation in the world to have many lives to spare sees it necessary to defend the Palestinians, the Syrians, the Yemenis, the Iraqis, the Venezuelans, and all others in any way that she can.

It also explains how Iran mustered the willpower to take over the United States’ Spy Den masquerading as an embassy in Tehran (1979) and arrest and hold 52 spy agents for 444 days. It clarifies how Iran managed to fight an 8-year war alone (with the exception of Syrian help) with almost empty hands and under all sorts of sanctions with a regime (Saddam’s) that that the backing of all powerful governments of the world at that time (1980-1988). It lays bare the SS Bridgeton explosion (1987), the defeat of Israel and world powers in the 33-Day war by Hizbullah forces (2006), the capture of UK officers in Persian Gulf (2006), the capture of RQ-170 (2011), Syrian resistance (2011-present), Yemeni resistance (2015-present), the capture of US Sailors by Iran in 2016, RQ-4 Global Hawk capture (2019), ballistic missile attack on Ayn al-Asad (Lion’s Eye) Air Base (2020), sending oil tankers to Venezuela (2020), just to name a few examples.

The successor to Imam Khomeini, the current leader of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khamenei, too, has interpreted the expression with the same worldview. His most comprehensive explanation and the philosophy related to the phrase could be found in one of his books titled, Four Discourses: Clarification of the Circumstances, the Causes, and the Consequences of the Event of Ashura[4] Here, however, I will bring a short segment of one of his speeches in which he has a very concise and pointed reading:

“That they say, Every day is Ashura, Every Land is Karbala, it means the time passes by but the happenings in life as they pertain to humanity, the truths of the creation remain untouched. If in every era, humanity who has a role to play, if they play that role at the right time, exactly when they should play that role, then everything will be reformed. The nations will grow and achieve excellence. The humanity will grow.”[5]

When there is injustice, the role every human being must play to remove the injustice is now, not later. Not when it is convenient but when it is necessary and needed. Not just in places where it is politically correct and materially advantageous to do so but in all places that is right to do so. Not just when and where it costs us nothing but when and where it costs us all worldly things.

Another great Muslim Shi’a scholar, Martyr Morteza Motahhari, who was killed in 1358 [May 1979] by agents of a terrorist organization right after the victory of the revolution, expands on the phrase in this way,

“If we say the prophets are victorious, it does not mean a military victory. If we look at the battle between Hussain Ibn Ali (peace be upon him) with the army of Yazid and Ibn Ziyad from a military perspective, that means on the surface of things and how they appear, then Imam Hussain was defeated and they won. But if we look at the heart of the subject which relates to thoughts and beliefs, that is, Yazid’s establishment represented a movement that wished to destroy the true essence of the Islamic thought and Imam Hussain fought to revive that thought. In this case, we must examine if Imam Hussain reached his goal or not. Was he able to revive a given mindset in the world or not? We see that he could. It is one thousand three hundred years that this movement has gained a new victory every year. That is, every year Ashura is Ashura. And the meaning of Every Day is Ashura becomes this fact that every day, in the name of Imam Hussain, there is a fight against injustice and falsehood, and every day, truth and justice are revived. This is victory. What victory would be greater than this? Yazids and Ibn Ziads disappear but Hussains and Abbasses and Zaynabs remain. Of course, they remain as an idea not as a person. They remain as a guardian and the ruler of their society. Yes, those who are there die. But these who are here remain alive and eternal.”[6]

Martyr Motahhari appraises the expression in terms of its endurance over a millennium and several centuries not just as a worldview but as a lifestyle of choice. Another well-known Muslim Shi’a thinker and sociologist, Ali Shariati defines the phrase in a manner that links it to the school of Intizar, or the expectation of the coming of Imam Mahdi (peace be upon him) at the end of time in a simple but psycho-socially nuanced way:

“What does Every Day is Ashura, Every Land is Karbala mean? It is not that wherever we find, we recite the Ashura prayers! It is to expect. The philosophy of expecting means a philosophy that a justice-seeking intellectual thinker, no matter what the circumstances, is not afflicted with philosophical and historical hopelessness and despair. There are no peoples or groups like Shi’a and no school of thought like the Shi’a school of thought that would fight for thirteen, fourteen centuries; all their leaders are slaughtered; they are poisoned; they are put in jail; they are killed; all their movements are all crushed. But they never succumb to despair! Why and what factor has kept these believers still convinced, still believing, and still hopeful despite protracted periods of setbacks, hardships, and adversities,?! The belief in the inevitability of history based on the philosophy of expectation!

What does a human being with expectation mean? Look at it this way. If you are at home and expecting a guest, if it is an army unit expecting an inspector or a call for readiness or a call for war or the arrival of a commander, if it is a city expecting the arrival of a person of importance, if it is someone who is expecting the coming of guest or a friend, any sort of expectation that you examine, to expect means to be prepared and to be ready. It does not mean to be dormant and sluggish! To expect means to be ready, equipped, and responsible. Therefore, the philosophy of expectation is to believe in the inevitability of history and be reassured, in all circumstances, that standing up for justice and in retaliation for spilt innocent bloods must take place all the time. It is a battle that since the beginning of history has been moved from one hand to the other, from one Prophet of God to the other, from one Shi’a Imam to the other. This battle, generation after generation, is propounded and put before every single individual. And despite all desperate condition, this flag is decidedly victorious in the future.”[7]

Shariati points to a historical and unbreakable link among all Prophets of God, Imams, and true believers throughout all times and all places to the coming of Mahdi (peace be upon him). It is useful to open a parenthesis here and make an important note: this very idea that Shia Muslim Twelvers must always evaluate their time and place on a daily basis and see where they stand in terms of their opposition to injustices and at the same time take the necessary measures to rectify and reform in preparation for the coming of Imam Mahdi (peace by upon him) defines their Waiting and Expectation. This approach stands in stark contrast with notions of passive waiting for a savior or helping create chaos and mayhem to engineer an end of time, an approach that inevitably helps and enables corrupt oppressors of every time and every place. Close parenthesis.

In closing of this essay, I would like to include a video of Maddahi, or religious recital, about Imam Hussain (peace be upon him) by Maysam Moti’ei (here) in which he has woven together several key concepts (discussed in the article) in one neat lyrical package. Since the song does not have any English subtitles, I did a translation of the lyrics (below). والسلام.

The master and the leader is Hussain,

The sereneness in hearts is Husssain.

The whisper of his lovers and devotees,

Nothing but Ya Hussain, Ya Hussain.

Besides you, I have no thought or notion,

My kin, my belonging, my life and devotion.

To the somber recital of the killing field,

Like the pouring rain we weep.

Grieving and mourning you these nights,

Alongside the martyrs we weep.

Our tears the elegy of the Euphrates,

Our Imam “Qati’ul Abarat” killed for tears.

By our Molaa, the leader, we remain,

From Ashura is the zeal that we gain.

O Lovers! Bimsillah!

The path to Al-Quds is from Karbala!

In the battlefields, I shall never abandon Ali,

My Molaa, my Leader, Sayyed Ali.

Every Day is Ashura,

Every Land is Karbala.

O the heir to Hussain’s blood!

Mahdi, the son of Zahra, arrive!

The defender of the oppressed,

The proof from God, hasten and arrive!

References

[1] Muhammadi Rayshahri M., Daneshnameh Imam Hussain (Aleyhi-Salaam) According to Quran, Hadith, and History. Vol. 6, Page 89. Digital Copy, Available online at: http://lib.eshia.ir/27254/6/89

[2] Ruhullah Khomeini, Sahifeh-ye Noor, Vol. 10, Pages 122. Available online at: https://farsi.rouhollah.ir/library/sahifeh-imam-khomeini/vol/10/page/122

[3] Ruhullah Khomeini, Sahifeh-ye Noor, Vol. 9, Pages 445-446. Available online at:

https://farsi.rouhollah.ir/library/sahifeh-imam-khomeini/vol/9/page/445

[4] Seyyed Ali Khamenei, Four Discourses: Clarification of the Circumstances, the Causes, and the Consequences of the Event of Ashura. Digital Copy, Institute for Cultural Research in the Islamic Revolution, the Office of Preservation and Publication of Ayatullah Ali Khamenei’s Works, Enghlab Islami Publication, Tehran, Iran. Book ID#: 978-964-2951-55-0.

[5] Ayatollah Khamenei, Speech during the joint educational ceremony of the students in Imam Hussain (peace be upon him) University on Farvardin 26, 1388 (2009). Available online at: https://www.leader.ir/fa/speech/5172

[6] Martyr Morteza Mottahari, “The Battle of Truth and Falsehood.” Cultural and Scientific Foundation of Martyred Teacher Morteza Mottahari, Pages 40-41. Available online at: https://3danet.ir/morteza-motahhari-books-pdf/

[7] Ali Shariati, The Philosophy of History in Islam, Section 4. Available online at: http://www.shariati.com/farsi/tarikhdarislam/tarikhdarislam4.html

US Forces Ordered to Stay in Bunkers During IRGC Drills – Reports

US Forces Ordered to Stay in Bunkers During IRGC Drills - Reports

By Staff, Agencies

US military forces deployed to the Gulf kingdoms were reportedly ordered to stay in bunkers as Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps [IRGC] fired ballistic missiles during normal military drills off the strategic Hormuz Strait.

Citing her “sources” and those of the CNN, a reporter for the BBC wrote in a post on her official page on Tuesday that US troops based in the United Arab Emirates [UAE], Kuwait and Qatar had been briefly put on “high alert” due to “concerns” over Iran’s missile activities.

Other sources identified the facilities as al-Dhafra base in the UAE and al-Udeid air base in Qatar, saying the American troops deployed there had been asked to stay in bunkers.

US forces in Qatar and the UAE “went on high alert early Tuesday and were asked to stay in bunkers, due to intelligence indicators showing an Iranian ballistic missile had been fired and possibly headed their way, US officials tell CNN,” a Twitter user said, indicating that the US forces had misread the trajectory of Iranian missiles.

The reported high-alert notice came as the IRGC started the final phase of large-scale aerial and naval drills, codenamed Payambar-e Azam [The Great Prophet] 14, involving the elite force’s Aerospace Division and Navy.

The maneuvers were held in the general area of the Hormozgan Province, west of the strategic Hormuz Strait, and the Gulf.

The drills featured missiles, vessels, drones, and radars, and are designed to practice both offensive and defensive missions.

Tuesday saw the Corps stage strikes against the life-size replica of a Nimitz-class US aircraft carrier, which the American navy usually sails into the Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz.

The high-alert notice came a week after Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei said Iran would definitely deliver a “counterblow” to the United States over the assassination of top anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in January.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will never forget this issue and will definitely deal the counterblow to the Americans,” Imam Khamenei said while receiving visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi in Tehran last week.

General Soleimani, former commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force, was assassinated in a US airstrike at Baghdad airport on January 3 upon an order by US President Donald Trump.

US bases in Middle East were on high alert over Iranian missile fire: report

By News Desk -2020-07-29

The first batch of Rafale fighter jets are set to arrive in India’s Ambala Air Base on Wednesday afternoon after covering the 7,000 kilometers from France. The jets were stationed overnight at the Al Dhafra Air Base in the UAE. The same air base houses US and French troops and aircraft.

An alert was sounded at the Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) late Tuesday after intelligence indicators hinted at an incoming “Iranian missile possibly headed that way”. The Rafale fighter jets bound for India were also at the UAE base as part of an overnight stay.

Barbara Starr from American news channel CNN reported that there was intel on Iranian missiles, but US officials confirmed that no missile struck the facility. Three Iranian missiles reportedly splashed down in the waters near the base as part of Iran’s current military exercises. More

Watch: Iranian ballistic missiles fired from underground sites

BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:45 P.M.) – The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) fired ballistic missiles from underground platforms during the second day of the massive ‘Great Prophet-14’ military drills in the southwestern part of the country on Wednesday.

The successful firing of ballistic missiles fully hidden in camouflage deep under the ground is an important achievement that could pose serious challenges to enemy intelligence agencies, the Fars News Agency reported.

In the final stage of the IRGC’s drills, which took place in the waters of the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, the IRGC Aerospace Force’s drones attacked a mock enemy aircraft carrier and targeted its command tower and bridge.

Also, the IRGC’s Sukhoi-22 fighters bombed and destroyed pre-determined targets in Faror Islands with winged bombs.

The IRGC Aerospace and Naval Forces’ joint exercises played an important part of the drills and demonstrated surprising tactics, including the establishment of joint command systems, joint control, combined tactics and combat methods.

Iranian forces conduct naval operation against mock US aircraft carrier: video

Successful missile combat operations were carried out by firing two surface-to-surface Hurmoz and Fateh missiles, and a ballistic missile at specific targets, as well as launching precision-striking air defense missiles.

Also, Shahed 181, Mohajer and Bavar drones successfully attacked and destroyed hypothetical enemy targets and positions at this stage of the drills.

Related

Nasrallah: ‘Israel is not a Jewish State and will be destroyed, the settlers will be expelled or decimated’

Source


Date: 13 July 2020

Author: lecridespeuples


Extract from an interview with Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on May 26, 2020, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Liberation of southern Lebanon. The interview lasted almost 3 hours.
Will Al-Quds (Jerusalem) be ‘liberated’ like the Crusaders in 1099, who put to the swords all the Muslims & Jews, including women and children, or like Saladin in 1187, who allowed the Christian occupiers to leave safe and sound? For its part, in 1948, Israel largely resorted to massacres in order to terrorize and expell the Palestinian population. Nasrallah clearly marks his preference, but as he explains, it will not be up to him, and once the Great War of Liberation has started, “there may be no more time for [the Jews] to leave Palestine, and there might be no safe place for them in occupied Palestine. […] And the scale of the massacres committed by Israel against the Palestinian people and the peoples of the region, its partnership with Daesh and its open complicity in the project of partition of our region […], all this will push the people of the region to issue a capital verdict against them.”
Translation : resistancenews.org
Transcript:
Journalist: […] Eminent Sayed (descendant of the Prophet), we started (this interview) by tackling (recent statements by Ehud Barak affirming that as early as 1985, he had foreseen the Israeli debacle which occurred in 2000), and you declared that as early as 1982, the Resistance envisaged victory as a certain horizon. Now, I look to the future and ask you: in the eyes of Hezbollah and the Resistance, how do you envisage the year 2035 (regarding the existence of Israel)?
Hassan Nasrallah : 2035? You are therefore asking me about the 25 years (of maximum existence) predicted by His Eminence the Supreme Guide (Sayed Khamenei in 2015). His Eminence the Guide, may God preserve him, did not declare that Israel would disappear in 2035, but said that he was not even sure (and that it was even unlikely) that it would survive until then.
This is an intimate conviction, an absolute certainty in our eyes. This entity —we no longer speak only of (the occupation) of southern Lebanon, but of (the very existence of) the Israeli entity— is, firstly, an artificial entity, fabricated from scratch and (a body) foreign to this region, it is a foreign body (implanted by force) in the Middle East.
Second, there is a very important point, that it is a racist entity. His Eminence the Imam Musa al-Sadr, may God bring him back safe and sound among us, insisted a lot on a very important point, namely that Israel is not a Jewish State. They claim it is a Jewish state, but it is (by no means) a religious State. Why, is Netanyahu someone pious? If we consider his government, there are a few ministers of religious parties, but the Israeli right and left (who are the majority) are not pious or religious. It cannot be said that it is a religious State governed by the Torah. Why is it a racist state? Because they consider themselves to be the descendants of the children of Israel (another name for Prophet Jacob), they consider this land to be their (exclusive and eternal) property, that they are God’s chosen people, that it is their right, (that the Goyim are inferior creatures vowed to serve them), etc., etc., etc. And it behaves racistly.
On the one hand, it is therefore a racist, artificial state, foreign to the region and its texture. On the other hand, fundamentally, it is based on terrorism, murder, rape, and has no legality, no legitimacy, no moral or ethical foundation, no humanitarian foundation. And it relies partly on its limited intrinsic force, which is not an absolute force, partly on the passive environment (of the Arab regimes subservient to Washington), and on its main support force, namely the United States of America and the West. All of this is not going to last (forever).
The pre-2000 Israel —and they themselves recognize it today— is no longer the post-2000 Israel. The allegedly invincible army has become a defeated army, not only in southern Lebanon, but even in Gaza. And it will be defeated in any new confrontation, with the grace of God. The situation of our region must not deceive them because of the complacency of some regimes (Arab-Muslim vassals of the United States). For the peoples (of the region), the faith in the (armed) Resistance and the credibility of this choice in the eyes of the Arab-Muslim peoples are stronger than ever, despite the lies of the electronic armies.
And the foundation on which Israel fundamentally rests, their true pillar, namely the United States, is not meant to always remain so powerful, so imposing and so arrogant, capable of threatening the whole region, all the Arab regimes, and constituting an unwavering and eternal support for the Israeli entity. Recently, one of the great intellectuals of our time, Chomsky, said that the United States is headed for disaster. Whoever looks at this President (Trump), this administration, his behavior, it is clear that they are heading (straight ahead) towards a disaster, a disaster in every sense of the word.
A State whose very existence relies on a foreign element is bound to collapse when the foreign element weakens. This is why we consider that it is only a matter of time (before Israel disappears). The future we are looking at (with certainty) is not only that of the year 2000 (an Israeli withdrawal from this or that area); it is that of a region in which it is absolutely impossible —this is how I see it— it is absolutely impossible for this cancerous tumor to remain, this germ of corruption, this absolute evil, this artificial entity devoid of any legitimacy, any ethical foundation, based on racism and terrorism, and which only endures thanks to foreign support. When the equations are changed, (the Zionist settlers) will have no choice but to pack up and leave.
As far as I am concerned, the spectacle of the Zionist settlers packing their bags and boarding planes or boats to return to where they come from is an absolute certainty, an inevitable necessity. It’s just a matter of time. And that day, I hope that the Resistance movements in the region will allow them to pack up and flee (safe and sound), just like they fled (from southern Lebanon) in 2000 and like they fled from the Gaza Strip (in 2005).
Journalist: “We will be praying at al-Quds soon”, (you said). This certainty that you have…
Hassan Nasrallah : I cannot say exactly what length of time we should put behind the word “soon”, but it is only a matter of time. I see it as a spectacle that will inevitably happen. It is above all a divine promise, and a well-rooted historical tradition. The whole story (shows that the Empires collapsed and that the colonists and invaders ended up packing up). We are not talking about something that would be unprecedented or contravene historical experience. It is history itself and its laws that predict such an outcome.
Journalist : Eminent Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, Secretary General of Hezbollah, what you are saying is a strong, existing and present opinion. But on the other hand, there are people who consider that Israel has succeeded in creating changes (in its favor) in the strategic environment. We know that Israel often holds conferences and likes to talk about its “strategic environment” (in the Middle East). Some believe that Israel has succeeded in bringing about (profound) upheavals which will enable it to restore its capacity for initiative. They maintain that in 2000, the strategic environment was much more favorable to Hezbollah than today: you had the upper hand, there was an Intifada in occupied Palestine (from 2000 to 2005), there were armed operations (of the Palestinian Resistance) in the heart of Tel Aviv, there was universal and massive Arab popular support (for the Palestinian cause), there were Arab regimes embarrassed (by their inaction & alliance to the West), stability reigned in Syria, and even Turkey then approached the Resistance Axis and distanced itself from Israel. But today, the United States has been present in our region for 20 years (since the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and then Iraq in 2003), Syria has withdrawn from Lebanon, the Arab Spring led to the targeting of Arab armies (destruction of major Arab countries like Syria and Libya), Arab countries normalize their relations (with Israel), and even in Lebanon, there is no internal stability. Is all this true? And my second question is this: to whom does the strategic environment give the capacity for initiative today?
Hassan Nasrallah : These are very broad questions… Even in the clues you mentioned… There are things that have not changed, at least not in favor of Israel, and may have improved (in our favor) in some way.
For example, in 1982, in Lebanon, there was a civil war. There were fundamental divisions, frontlines (in Beirut itself), battles, Lebanese (movements) who fought alongside the Israelis against other Lebanese (like the militias of Samir Geagea, Bachir Gemayel, etc.). Today, there is no more civil war. There are no more frontlines, are there? There are certainly…
Journalist : But I asked you about the situation in 2000. It was in 2000 that the strategic environment was particularly favorable to the Resistance, and (obviously) not in 1982.
Hassan Nasrallah : All right, let’s not talk about 1982. But even in 2000, I don’t consider that the interior atmosphere in Lebanon was much better than that of today, if we want to speak of the interior atmosphere. Some of the fundamental divisions persist internally (between the pro-Westerners of the so-called March 14 alliance and the pro-Iran sovereignists of the March 8 alliance).
And there is something I want to focus on: when we talk about near or distant history, we should not embellish reality. You have to describe the history as it is. In 2000, there was no unanimity on the principle of Resistance (to the Israeli occupation). There was no union of the Lebanese (besides Hezbollah). It’s a fiction. On the contrary, there were severe differences on the question of the Resistance, and some Lebanese forces considered that Hezbollah was not even a patriotic movement or linked to Lebanon, and was only fighting in the interest of Syria and Iran. (Resistance) operations in the south were mentioned as (reprehensible) violence, and some Lebanese media did not designate our martyrs as martyrs, but simply as “killed”: the young resistance fighters were “killed”, and the Israeli soldiers were “killed” (they made no difference between the two). I don’t want to reopen this page of history. But I emphasize that there was no unanimity. Contrary to all those who claim that Hezbollah would have lost the unanimity it enjoyed before, I maintain that since 1982 to this day, the Resistance has lost nothing, for there was NEVER unanimity on the question of the Resistance. This has always been a point of disagreement.
Regarding the points you raised about the strategic environment, we interpret the arrival of the Americans in the region (in 2001) differently. In our eyes, this is proof of the advance of the Axis of Resistance: when the United States realized that Israel alone was unable to protect the interests of Washington, which is its fundamental role, because this entity is an instrument (of British and then American imperialism); when the United States became convinced that the regimes in the region it supports (Saudi Arabia, Gulf countries, Egypt, etc.) became incapable of protecting the interests of Washington, when they started to be afraid of certain States in the region (Syria, Iran) and of the peoples of the region, who risked transforming the Middle East in a direction contrary to Washington’s interests, this forced them to be present directly with their fleet, their military bases, their armed forces, etc. It is a sign of the strength of the strategic environment in our favor, not in favor of the enemy. So much for the first point.
Second, so as not to tackle all the points you mentioned one by one, let’s look at the other side. Where was the Resistance? Today, when we ask to Israel if the Hezbollah of 2000 is the same as that of today, Israel answers: “Of course not ! It has grown and strengthened, and it is dozens of times more powerful than before!” We went from the status of a (guerrilla) Resistance, a small group of young people, people with faith but with (very) limited capacities, to that of a “terrorist army”, in the words of the Israeli chief of staff, but I underline the word “army”. And he adds that Israel must work to widen the gap between the Resistance and the Israeli army again, which indicates that Hezbollah is on the rise.
If we consider the Palestinian people, there were a lot of people within Palestine who were counting on negotiations (to achieve a peace agreement and a Palestinian State), but today negotiations have reached an dead end. Today, the level of support of the Palestinian people for the choice of the Armed Resistance is higher than ever. So we are talking about an upheaval in the strategic environment (but it is certainly not in favor of Israel). Because the Palestinian people are the key. The main element that will decide the future of the (Zionist) entity is the state of mind, the point of view and the convictions of the Palestinian people, as well as their will and determination.
And with regard to Gaza, which was occupied in 2000, to speak of the year 2000, today, Gaza is in the hands of the Resistants. After 2000, all that the Israelis feared from the Palestinians was an ambush, an explosive charge, or a martyrdom (operation) here or there. But today, the leaders of the factions of the Resistance in Gaza (Hamas and Islamic Jihad) claim that their ballistic capacity allows them to strike all the cities of occupied Palestine. Who is this development favouring? And this is happening in the very heart of Israel, in its security and existential depth!
In our view, the transformations in the region are in our favor, not in favor of the enemy. We are not saying that the strategic environment is entirely in our favor, but it is not entirely in favor of the enemy. There are strengths on both sides…
Journalist: Is there a balance?
Hassan Nasrallah : Yes, there is a high level of balance. Without this balance, Israel would have waged a war against Lebanon now (taking advantage of the war in Syria and the economic and health crisis in Iran).
Journalist: Does the current strategic environment give Hezbollah the initiative, the capacity for initiative?
Hassan Nasrallah : Hezbollah has the capacity for initiative, and the enemy also has the capacity for initiative. But because of the balance (mutuel deterrence) between the two, each one thinks twice (before attacking the other). Everyone thinks twice. […]
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“Any amount counts, because a little money here and there, it’s like drops of water that can become rivers, seas or oceans…” Hassan Nasrallah

Why Iran won’t be broken

June 26, 2020

Why Iran won’t be broken

Submitted by Pepe Escobar – source Asia Times

So what’s goin’ on in Iran? How did the Islamic Republic really respond to Covid-19? How is it coping with Washington’s relentless “maximum pressure”?

These questions were the subject of a long phone call I placed to Prof. Mohammad Marandi of the University of Tehran – one of Iran’s premier, globally recognized analysts.

As Marandi explains, “Iran after the revolution was all about social justice. It set up a very elaborate health care network, similar to Cuba’s, but with more funding. A large hospital network. When the coronavirus hit, the US was even preventing Iran to get test kits. Yet the system – not the private sector – managed. There was no full shutdown. Everything was under control. The numbers – even contested by the West – they do hold. Iran is now producing everything it needs, tests, face masks. None of the hospitals are full.”

Expanding Marandi’s observations, Tehran-based journalist Alireza Hashemi notes, “Iran’s wide primary healthcare system, comprising public clinics, health houses and health centers is available in thousands of cities and villages”, and that enabled the government to “easily offer basic services”.

As Hashemi details, “the Health Ministry established a Covid-19 call center and also distributed protective equipment supplied by relief providers. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei ordered the armed forces to help – with the government deploying 300,000 soldiers and volunteers to disinfect streets and public places, distribute sanitizers and masks and conduct tests.”

It was the Iranian military that established production lines for producing face masks and other equipment. According to Hashemi, “some NGOs partnered with Tehran’s chamber of commerce to create a campaign called Nafas (“breath”) to supply medical goods and provide clinical services. Iran’s Farabourse, an over-the-counter stock market in Tehran, established a crowd funding campaign to purchase medical devices and products to help health workers. Hundreds of volunteer groups – called “jihadi” – started producing personal protective equipment that had been in short supply in seminaries, mosques and hussainiyas and even natural fruit juices for health workers.”

This sense of social solidarity is extremely powerful in Shi’ite culture. Hashemi notes that “the government loosened health-related restrictions over a month ago and we have been experiencing a small slice of normality in recent weeks.” Yet the fight is not over. As in the West, there are fears of a covid-19 second wave.

Marandi stresses the economy, predictably, was hurt: “But because of the sanctions, most of the hurt had already happened. The economy is now running without oil revenue. In Tehran, you don’t even notice it. It’s nothing compared to Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Turkey or the UAE. Workers from Pakistan and India are leaving the Persian Gulf in droves. Dubai is dead. So, in comparison, Iran did better in dealing with the virus. Moreover, harvests last year and this year have been positive. We are more self-reliant.”

Hashemi adds a very important factor: “The Covid-19 crisis was so massive that people themselves have pitched in with effort, revealing new levels of solidarity. Individuals, civil society groups and others have set up a range of initiatives seeking to help the government and health workers on the front line of countering the pandemic.”

What a relentless Western disinformation campaign always ignores is how Iran after the revolution is used to extremely critical situations, starting with the eight-year-long Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. Marandi and Hashemi are adamant: for older Iranians, the current economic crisis pales in comparison with what they had to put up with throughout the 1980s.

Made in Iran soars

Marandi’s analysis ties up the economic data. In early June, Mohammad Bagher Nobakht – responsible for planning Iran’s state budgets – told the Majlis (Parliament) that the new normal was “to sideline oil in the economy and run the country’s programs without oil.”

Nobakht stuck to the numbers. Iran had earned just $8.9 billion from the sale of oil and related products in 2019-20, down from a peak of $119 billion less than a decade ago.

The whole Iranian economy is in transition. What’s particularly interesting is the boom in manufacturing – with companies focusing way beyond Iran’s large domestic market towards exports. They are turning the massive devaluation of the rial to their advantage.

In 2019-20, Iran’s non-oil exports reached $41.3 billion. That exceeded oil exports for the first time in Iran’s post-revolutionary history. And roughly half of these non-oil exports were manufactured goods. Team Trump’s “maximum pressure” via sanctions may have led to total non-oil exports going down – but only by 7%. The total remains near historic highs.

According to Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) data published by the Iran Chamber of Commerce, private sector manufacturers were seriously back in business already in the first month following the relaxation of the partial lockdown.

The fact is Iranian consumer goods and industrial products – everything from cookies to stainless steel – are exported by small and medium enterprises to the wider Middle East and also to Central Asia, China and Russia. The myth of Iranian “isolation” is, well, a myth.

Some new manufacturing clusters bode well for the future. Take titanium – essential for myriad applications in military, aerospace, marine industries and industrial processes. The Qara-Aghaj  mine in Urmia, the provincial capital of West Azarbaijan, which is part of Iran’s mineral belt, including the country’s largest gold reserves, has tremendous potential.

Iran features in the Top 15 of mineral-rich countries. In January, after getting the technology for deep-level mining, Tehran launched a pilot project for extraction of rare earth minerals.

Still, Washington pressure remains as relentless as the Terminator.

In January, the White House issued yet another executive order targeting the “construction, mining, manufacturing, or textiles sectors of the Iranian economy.” So Team Trump is targeting exactly the booming private sector – which means, in practice, countless Iranian blue-collar workers and their families. This has nothing to do with forcing the Rouhani administration to say, “I can’t breathe”.

The Venezuelan front

Apart from a few scuffles between the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and the Health Ministry about China’s response to Covid-19, the Iran-China “comprehensive strategic partnership” (CSP) remains on track.

The next big test is actually in September. That’s when Team Trump wants to extend the UN arms embargo on Iran. Add to it the threat to trigger the snapback mechanism inbuilt in UNSC resolution 2231 – if other Security Council members refuse to support Washington and let the embargo expire for good in October.

China’s mission at the UN has stressed the obvious. The Trump administration unilaterally abandoned the JCPOA. Then it reimposed unilateral sanctions. Thus it has no right to extend the arms embargo or go for the snapback mechanism against Iran.

China, Russia and Iran are the three key nodes of Eurasia integration. Politically and diplomatically, their key decisions tend to be taken in concert. So it’s no wonder that was reiterated last week in Moscow at the meeting of Foreign Ministers Sergey Lavrov and Javad Zarif – who get along famously.

Lavrov said, “We will be doing everything so that no one can destroy these agreements. Washington has no right to punish Iran.”

Zarif for his part described the whole juncture as “very dangerous”.

Additional conversations with Iranian analysts reveal how they interpret the regional geopolitical chessboard, calibrating the importance of the axis of resistance (Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus, Hezbollah) in comparison with two other fronts: the US and its “stooges” (the House of Saud, UAE, Egypt), the master – Israel – and also Turkey and Qatar, which, like Iran, but unlike the “stooges”, favor political Islam (but of the Sunni variety, that is, the Moslem Brotherhood).

One of these analysts, pen name Blake Archer Williams, significantly remarks, “the main reason Russia holds back from helping Iran (mutual trade is almost at zero) is that it fears Iran. If Trump does not have a Reagan moment and does not prevail on Iran, and the US is in any event driven out of the Middle East by the continuing process of Iran’s weapons parity and its ability to project power in its own pond, then all of the oil of the Middle East, from the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain, to Iraq, of course, and not least to the oilfields in Saudi Arabia’s Qatif region (where all the oil is and is 100% Shi’ite), will come under the umbrella of the axis of resistance.”

Still, Russia-China continue to back Iran on all fronts, for instance rebuking the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for giving in to US “bullying” – as the IAEA’s board last week passed a resolution submitted by France, Britain and Germany criticizing Iran for the first time since 2012.

Another key foreign policy front is Venezuela. Tehran’s soft power, in quite a spectacular manner keenly observed all across the Global South, de facto ridiculed Washington’s sanctions/blockade in its own Monroe Doctrine “backyard”, when five Iranian tankers loaded with gasoline successfully crossed the Atlantic and were received by a Venezuelan military escort of jets, helicopters, and naval patrols.

That was in fact a test run. The Oil Ministry in Tehran is already planning a round two of deliveries to Caracas, sending two or three cargos full of gasoline a month. That will also help Iran to offload its huge domestically produced fuel.

The historic initial shipment was characterized by both sides as part of a scientific and industrial cooperation, side by side with a “solidarity action”.

And then, this past week, I finally confirmed it. The order came directly from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. In his own words: “The blockade must be broken”. The rest is – Global South – history in the making.

Maduro Thanks Iran for Sending Oil Tankers, Slams US for Disrupting Shipments

Maduro Thanks Iran for Sending Oil Tankers, Slams US for Disrupting Shipments

By Staff, Agencies

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro thanked the Islamic Republic of Iran for sending three oil tankers to the energy-hungry and sanction-hit nation while slamming the US for disrupting international fuel shipments headed to the Latin American country. 

During a speech held in Caracas, Maduro thanked Leader of Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei, the people of Iran and the government of President Hassan Rouhani for “their availability, their solidarity, [and] their courage, which has allowed three ships to arrive to Venezuela with gasoline and supplies for the recovery of the refineries.”

He, however, criticized the US government for having persecuted for more than a year all the ships and imports of supplies to produce gasoline in Venezuela.

“[The US government] has persecuted for more than a year all the ships, all the imports of supplies to produce gasoline in Venezuela. All the ships which were bringing in gasoline,” Maduro said.

He then added that the situation reached its climax recently, in February and March, but stressed,” We have resisted with a plan, we have resisted for the fundamental services, but we have not been left alone in the resistance, we have gone to the battle on a counter-offensive to guarantee the people their supply of gasoline, and we are going to guarantee it.”

“Venezuela and the people of the world have the right to economic freedom, freedom of trade, to buy and sell everything we need in the world,” Maduro stressed.

Three Iranian oil-laden ships have so far reached Venezuelan shores, and two other ships are expected to arrive on May 27 and June 1, according to local sources.

Venezuela is facing difficulties with the supply of gasoline due to sanctions unilaterally imposed by the United States which has also slapped unilateral sanctions on Iran to end its oil exports.

The shipments have created a fresh diplomatic standoff between the US and Iran, with an American official saying Washington is considering measures in response without providing further details.

لم يكن مجرد يوم للقدس بل خطّة

ناصر قنديل

بعد أربعة عقود ونيّف على إعلان الإمام الخميني ليوم القدس، يظهر بوضوح أن الأمر لم يكن تخليداً ليوم شهيد اسمه القدس، بل كان إحياء لوجدان نابض بالحياة، لينهض معه الملايين في الساحات والميادين، ضمن خطة تريد إعادة القدس إلى واجهة أحداث العالم، وتجعل حريتها أقرب فأقرب حتى يتحقق اليوم الموعود، وها نحن مع الإحياءات المنتشرة في مئات المدن عبر العالم ومشاركة الملايين فيها يهتفون حتى تبح الحناجر لحريتها وقدسيتها، نعلم أن شروط تحرير القدس تنضج وتكتمل تباعاً.

شكلت المقاومة في لبنان التي ولدت قيادتها من رحم فكر الإمام ورعايته وحضانته، أولى مداميك الخطة، حتى صلب عود هذه المقاومة التي تربّى شبابها وبناتها على شعار “زحفاً زحفاً نحو القدس” وهم يقاتلون لتحرير جنوب لبنان، ويوماً بعد يوم صارت هذه المقاومة الرقم الصعب في معادلات المنطقة، وانتقلت من حرب إلى حرب لتخرج أشدّ قوة وصلابة وأكثر جهوزية واقتداراً، حتى وصفها قادة كيان الاحتلال بأنها مصدر المأزق الاستراتيجي والوجودي لكيانهم.

شكّل التوجه نحو كل مشروع مقاومة في فلسطين، بنهج عابر للعقائد والأحزاب والمنظمات والتجمعات، محوراً موازياً في الخطة، فاحتضنت كل الجماعات الملتزمة بخيار المقاومة، وصولاً ليوم تحرّرت فيه غزة كما تحرّر جنوب لبنان، وصارت مناعتها بعضاً من مناعته، وتوازن الردع الذي يحميها شقيقاً لتوازن الردع القائم فيه، وبلغت صواريخها جدار تل أبيب، وصار العجز العسكري لجيش الاحتلال من مسلمات أي تقدير موقف على مستوى المنطقة، وبالرغم من الانقسام الفلسطيني تكفلت صفقة القرن بتوحيد المواقف وإسقاط الأوهام، بينما تكفلت صواريخ المقاومة وقوتها بتفكيك وحدة الكيان ودفعه للتشظي السياسي الذي ظهر أزمة سياسيّة ممتدة لسنوات.

بالتوازي كانت ركيزة الخطة تقوم على تدعيم التحالف العميق مع سورية، سنداً وظهيراً للمقاومات، وكان تقديم الدعم لها في وجه محاولات إسقاطها الهادفة لإسقاط مشروع القدس تتمة الخطة، لأنها رفضت التموضع على ضفاف الخذلان العربي، ومع انتصار سورية صارت القدس أقرب، وفي سورية قيادة مقاومة بوصلتها فلسطين وجبهتها الجولان، وجيش مقاتل صانع انتصارات تاريخية، وشعب مؤمن بفلسطين وبقيادته وبتحالفات سورية التي صنعت نصرها، وبالتوازي أيضاً كان العراق الخارج من خراب الاحتلال واليمن الخارج من الهيمنة السعوديّة، والثلاثي السوري العراقي اليمني يصير رباعياً مع لبنان وخماسياً مع فلسطين، حيث يجد كيان الاحتلال نفسه مطوقاً من كل الجهات في أي حرب مقبلة.

إيران التي تواجه الحصار والعقوبات، لأنها تملك خطة الوصول إلى القدس، وتمسك بمفاتيحها، ولو قررت أن ترخي قبضتها لشرعنوا لها ملفها النووي غداً، ومنحت السيطرة على الخليج وحكامه ونفطه، لكنها إيران الإمامين الخميني والخامنئي، إيران التي نذرت خيرة قادتها للقدس وحملته مفتاحها واسمها، فصار أيقونة الثورة والجمهورية الجنرال قاسم سليماني شهيد القدس بمثل ما هو شهيد إيران وقوى المقاومة، ولأنها كذلك بقيت إيران تبني وتبني لأجل يوم مقبل للقدس يحفظه الإحياء المستديم لهذا اليوم. والمعادلة هي أن يوماً من أيام الإحياء سيكون يوم الدخول إلى القدس، فإن لم يكن هذا العام فقد يكون العام المقبل، والمهم أن يكون كل عام قد صار أقرب، وها هي إيران دولة عالمية عظمى تصعد إلى الفضاء بأقمارها الصناعية، وترسل ناقلات نفطها إلى سواحل فنزويلا تثبيتاً لحلف عالمي من أجل فلسطين، عشية يوم القدس، وقد أسست حلفاً عالمياً لمواجهة الهيمنة الأميركية يمتدّ من روسيا إلى الصين ومعهما عشرات دول العالم وحركات التحرّر.

سنة بعد سنة نكتشف كم أن يوم القدس كان تحديداً استباقياً لموعد اليوم الموعود لدخول القدس، وقد بدا واضحاً في بال الإمام، فهو يعلم أنه في آخر جمعة من شهر رمضان سيدخل المقاومون القدس لتحريرها، لكنه لا يعلم أي عام، تاركاً هذا التحديد للمقاومين، ولسان حاله للمقاومين لقد اخترت لكم اليوم الأنسب والأعظم وعليكم أنتم أن تختاروا السنة المناسبة. وعاماً بعد عام تصير المعادلة إن لم يكن الدخول هذا العام فلنعمل ليكون العام المقبل، لذلك نتعلم أن نلقي من اليوم تحية القدس وسلام القدس وصباح القدس ومساء القدس، كي نكون جاهزين يوم نلاقيها لإلقاء التحية والسلام وإحياء الصباح والمساء.

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في العام الحادي والأربعين ليوم القدس العالميّ

 رامز مصطفى ابو عماد

رامز مصطفى

في شهر رمضان المبارك من كلّ عام، وفي جمعته الأخيرة، شعبنا الفلسطيني كما سائر شعوب الأمة وأحرار العالم يحيون يوم القدس العالمي، الذي دعا إليه الإمام الخميني، رحمه الله، بعد أربعة أشهر من قيام الجمهورية الإسلامية في تموز من العام 1979، في نداء أراد منه:

1

ـ تحذير وتنبيه الأمة إلى ما يُخطط ويُراد للقدس من تهويد وسيطرة صهيونية على المدينة ومقدساتها الدينية. وفي ذلك رؤية استشرافية من قبل الإمام الخميني، رحمه الله.

2

ـ دعوة خالصة إلى شعوب الأمة من أجل توحيد كلمتها، كشعوب مستضعفة. والوقوف صفاً واحداً للدفاع عن القدس عاصمة فلسطين، وحشد إمكانياتها ومقدراتها لتحقيق هدف الدفاع والتحرير، من خلال إعلان ثورة الشعوب المستضعفة في وجه المستكبرين.

3

ـ الدعوة إلى عدم الاكتفاء على رفض سياسات الكيان وحركته الصهيونية، بل التحرك والنزول إلى الساحات والميادين للتعبير عن هذا الرفض، الذي يشكل في مجموعه الردّ على تلك السياسات الإجراميّة، وفي مقدّمتها الاستيلاء على القدس، بهدف حسم الصراع لصالح الكيان.

4

ـ تخطّي الحدود القطرية لأيّ بلد، أو أيّ شعب بعينه بمن فيهم الفلسطينيون، بهدف إعطاء القدس بعدها العالمي. لأنّ قضية القدس على وجه الخصوص، كما قضيتهم بالعموم لا تعني الشعب الفلسطيني، بل قضية الأمة وسائر الشعوب والقوى، التي ترفض هيمنة قوى الاستعمار والاستكبار والرأسمالية العالمية، وفي مقدّمتهم الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، وقاعدتهم المتقدمة الكيان الصهيوني.

5

ـ الردّ الحاسم على حالة التردّي التي تعيشها الأمة المُتخلِّفة أنظمتها عن نصرتها للحق الفلسطيني والدفاع عن حقوقه وعناوينه الثابتة والمشروعة، والذوْد عما تتعرض له القدس من تهويد وتغيير متعمّد لمعالمها الدينية والثقافية والتاريخية والديمغرافية. بل هي اليوم في أغلبها تهرول للتطبيع مع الكيان على حساب الحق الفلسطيني وحقوق الأمة، وحجتهم الواهية والمغرضة أنّ الجمهورية الإسلامية الإيرانية تتهدّدهم.

6

ـ التأكيد على أنّ قضية القدس هي الخط الفاصل بين قوى الخير وقوى الشر. لذلك يجب إبقاء الصراع مفتوحاً، إلى أن تتحقق هزيمة قوى الشر والبغي والعدوان ومشروعهم الصهيوأميركي على أرض فلسطين وفي عموم المنطقة، بل وفي العالم أجمع.

يكتسب يوم القدس هذا العام أهمية إضافية، لما تتعرّض له مدينة القدس من عمليات تهويد متمادية لم يسبق لها مثيل، يشنّها قادة الكيان الصهيوني في معركة مفتوحة من أجل حسم هويتها الثقافية والدينية والتاريخية والعمرانية والديمغرافية لصالح كيانهم المغتصب. حيث تأتي تلك السياسات الصهيونية أولاً، في ظلّ ما تسمّى بـ “صفقة القرن” التي أعلن عنها الرئيس الأميركي في كانون الثاني من العام الحالي، واليوم تُستكمل فصولها من خلال حكومة الرأسين لنتنياهو وغانتس، في ضمّ واسع للمستوطنات في الضفة والسيطرة على منطقة غور الأردن وشمال البحر الميت. وثانياً، بالتزامن مع مضيّ 72 عاماً على نكبة الشعب الفلسطيني في الخامس عشر من أيار عام 1948، حيث يؤكد فيها شعبنا الفلسطيني على تمسكه وتصميمه على عودته إلى أرضه فلسطين مهما تعاظمت التحديات وكبرت التضحيات. وثالثاً، مع الذكرى العشرين لانتصار المقاومة في لبنان بقيادة حزب الله، الذي تمكن من دحر الاحتلال الصهيونيّ عن أرض الجنوب، من دون قيد أو شرط.

ونحن نحيي يوم القدس العالمي هذا العام، نفتقد وتفتقد فلسطين وعاصمتها القدس، شهيدها وقائد لوائها المجاهد الكبير اللواء قاسم سليماني. الذي أتى استشهاده في مرحلة بالغة الدقة، أحوج ما نكون إليه في معركة الصمود والتصدّي للهجمة الأميركيّة الصهيونيّة على أمتنا، بهدف إخضاعها لمشيئتهم ومشروعهم، الذي يتهاوى سريعاً في عموم المنطقة، على وقع ما تحقق ويتحقق من انتصارات في الميدان السوري، بفضل صمود الجيش السوري وحلفائه. ونحن نفتقد الشهيد الكبير القائد قاسم سليماني، نؤكد أننا سنبقى على عهدنا للشهيد وما تركه من أثر كبير وفعّال على تطوير قدرات وتوفير الإمكانيات لقوى المقاومة في فلسطين ولبنان والعراق واليمن، التي كان لها الدور الكبير والحاسم في صمودها وانتصارها.

بعد مرور 41 عاماً على النداء الذي أطلقه الإمام الخميني، رحمه الله، بإعلان يوم القدس العالمي، لا تزال الجمهورية الإسلامية الإيرانية ومرشد ثورتها سماحة الإمام القائد السيد علي الخامنئي، على التزامهم وتبنّيهم المطلق لقضية القدس عاصمة فلسطين والأمة. وتوفير كلّ أشكال الدعم والإسناد لها، على الرغم مما تعانيه إيران من حائجة الحصار والعقوبات غير المسبوقة التي تفرضها الإدارة الأميركية والدول الذيلية لها. إلاّ أنّ ذلك لن يؤثر على توجّهات والتزامات إيران اتجاه قضايا الأمة، والقضية الفلسطينية في مقدّمتها.

*كاتب فلسطيني

Imam Khamenei: There Is No Crime Equivalent to the Theft of Palestine, ’Israel’ to Be Uprooted

Imam Khamenei: There Is No Crime Equivalent to the Theft of Palestine, ’Israel’ to Be Uprooted

By Staff

Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei marked International al-Quds Day this year by referring to it as a smart announcement from late Imam Khomeini with smart innovation, which came to link Muslims with Palestine.

Imam Khamenei delivered the Quds Day Sermon with a plate behind him that read “We Will Pray in al-Quds”.

His Eminence urged the confrontation of the absenteeism of the Palestinian issue, which is woven by the agents of political and cultural enemies of the Islamic countries.

“In the recent ages, there is no crime that is equivalent to the theft of Palestine and the cultivation of the cancerous Zionist gland in it,” Imam Khamenei pointed out, adding that the main criminal in the tragedy of Palestine is the policy of western countries and the division of lands under the Ottoman government.

After World War II, Western countries took advantage of the regional countries’ negligence to declare the Zionist ‘state’, Imam Khamenei said, noting that “the main goal of Westerners and Jewish cartels in creating the Zionist entity was to build a base for their presence and influence.”

“Unfortunately, most Arab countries, that had shown resistance to the Zionist entity, began to gradually surrender. After their jihadist operations, the Palestinian fighting factions have followed a disappointing approach of negotiating with the occupier,” His Eminence underscored.

With the emergence of the resistance front, Imam Khamenei highlighted that the obstacles facing the Zionist entity became harder and harder, stressing that the Zionists and the global Arrogance are seeking to marginalize the Palestinian cause.

He noted, however, that the struggle for Palestine is a jihad for the sake of God and an Islamic obligation, then slammed that action of occupying a country and committing such crimes against its people for decades as being, in fact, a new record of barbarism in human history.

Imam Khamenei further said that negotiations with America and other western governments, and also negotiations with useless international groups, were bitter and unsuccessful experiences for Palestine.

Yasser Arafat's Speech at the UN General Assembly Olive Branch ...

Holding out an olive branch at the United Nations General Assembly had no result other than the injurious Oslo Accords, and it led to the eye-opening fate of Yasser Arafat, Imam Khamenei said.

His Eminence also noted that the Zionist regime will encounter even more problems in the future, God willing.

He further lashed out at human rights defenders, considering that “The slogan for defending the rights of women and children in international forums does not include defending the rights of women and children in Yemen and Palestine.”

His Eminence then asked: Who is responsible for all this blood that has been unlawfully shed in Afghanistan, Palestine, Yemen, Libya, Syria and other countries?

Praising the Islamic Resistance movements, Imam Khamenei said:

“The emergence of the faithful, young, self-sacrificing force of Hezbollah in Lebanon and the formation of Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Palestine unsettled and alarmed the Zionist ringleaders and the US.”

“The resistance front is moving with increasing power and hope, and it marches on towards attracting increasing elements of power,” he stressed.

On the other side, Imam Khamenei labelled the opposing front of oppression, unbelief and arrogance as being more hollow, hopeless and powerless.

Imam Khamenei also touched upon the struggle to liberate Palestine, saying it is Jihad in the way of God, and it is an obligation and an Islamic goal.

Imam Khamenei then warned those who consider the concessions made by a few Palestinian elements or rulers of a few Arab countries as a license to sidestep this Islamic and human issue, telling them that they are making a grave mistake.

“The aim of this struggle is the liberation of all the Palestinian lands – from the river to the sea – and the return of all Palestinians to their homeland,” Imam Khamenei emphasized.

His Eminence also lashed out at the world, which is today counting every victim of the coronavirus across the globe, but nobody of them has asked who is responsible for the hundreds of thousands of martyrdoms where America and Europe have waged wars.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Palestine and Hezbollah in Lebanon have been a proof for everyone, Imam Khamenei stated, stressing that the world has not forgotten and will not forget the day when the Zionist army broke through the Lebanese borders and marched till Beirut or the day when a criminal murderer named Ariel Sharon caused a bloodbath in Sabra and Shatila.

The “Israeli” army, which was pounded by Hezbollah, had no choice but to retreat from the borders of Lebanon and beg for a truce after sustaining heavy casualties and admitting defeat, Imam Khamenei said.

Meanwhile, “the European government, which should be eternally ashamed for selling chemical agents to the regime of Saddam Hussein, designate the devoted Hezbollah as illegal.”

“Illegal is a regime like the US that creates Daesh and a regime like the European governments whose chemical agents caused the death of thousands in Iran and Iraq,” Imam Khamenei stressed.

“My final word is that Palestine belongs to the Palestinians; therefore, it should be run as they wish,” Imam Khamenei concluded.

His Eminence, on this day, said he would like to remember the martyrs of Quds Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, Fathi Shaqaqi, Sayyed Abbas al-Moussawi, Martyr Soleimani, and also the great Iraqi Mujahid Martyr Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

Shamkhani’s Message Marking Lebanon’s “May Glory” via Al-Ahed: Iran Steadfast in Supporting the Resistance Front

Shamkhani’s Message Marking Lebanon’s “May Glory” via Al-Ahed: Iran Steadfast in Supporting the Resistance Front

By Mokhtar Haddad – Al-Ahed News Website

Tehran – On the twentieth anniversary of South Lebanon’s liberation from the Zionist entity’s profanity, which marks the twenty years on the Resistance and Liberation Day, Advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei, and the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani addressed, in a special message via al-Ahed News website, the Lebanese government, people and resistance with the following text:

In the Name of Allah the Beneficent the Merciful

{Indeed, the party of Allah – they will be the predominant} – Holy Quran, al-Ma’idah 56

I congratulate the people, government and Islamic Resistance in Lebanon on the Resistance Day and the anniversary of South Lebanon’s liberation from the profanity of the Zionist occupation thanks to the efforts of the resistance men.

This occasion, which coincided with the anniversary of the major conquests during the Sacred Defense era in which the city of Khorramshahr was liberated, has revealed that the power of belief and faith is the upper power that is capable of burying the arrogant satanic conspiracies.

Today, the Lebanese Islamic Resistance’s capabilities have emerged while achieving a balance of powers against the Zionist entity in the region. It was crystal-clear after the liberation of South Lebanon in 2000, expelling the Zionists during the 2006 33-day war, as well as in confronting the Zio-Takfiri plots, that the resistance’s might is growing bigger every day.

There is no minimum doubt that Hezbollah is the strongest defender of security in Lebanon, and the shield that is confronting the Zionist entity’s greed in this country. Hezbollah’s support of the resistance front at the frontlines has expelled the ghost of ‘Takfiri-Hebrew-American’ terrorism from the region and the world.

It is self-evident that without such sacrifices, the terrorist virus of “Daesh” [the Arabic acronym for ‘ISIS/ISIL’] and the Takfiri salafi movement has reached Europe and turned the green continent into ruins, just like the case in Aleppo, Palmyra, Mosul and Fallujah.

On this thorny humanitarian path, we mustn’t forget the role of the noble and great leaders such as Lieutenant General Martyr Hajj Qassem Soleimani, Martyr Hajj Imad Mughinyeh, Martyr Hajj Mustafa Badreddin (Sayyed Zolfiqar) in leading the resistance front. Those have spent their lives in raising the importance of the name of resistance, as well as guaranteeing the security of the peoples in the region and the world, in addition to cutting the hand of the proxy killers who are tools of the Western civilization.

Indeed, the Islamic Republic and the Iranian people will remain steadfast in supporting the resistance front and the Palestinian cause. We won’t submit to the pressures of the terrorist American regime, the first supporter of the child killer Zionist entity.

Sayyed And Hajj: The Ones Who Left And The Ones Who Will Follow

Sayyed And Hajj: The Ones Who Left And The Ones Who Will Follow

By Wassim al-Hajj – Damascus

Location: The southern suburbs of the Lebanese capital Beirut

Time: Early 1998

The commander of the Quds Force in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, Colonel Qassem Soleimani, who recently assumed his position, visits the military headquarters of Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement. He embraces each of its officers – some have since been martyred, and others are still fighting on the frontlines. It is a very warm embrace between Soleimani and his comrades in arms. The great jihadi leader, martyr Mustafa “Zulfiqar” Badreddine, rushes to embrace the man. Soleimani responds with a warmer hug.

The video clip reflects an exceptional relationship between two revolutionaries, whose joint struggle transcended the borders of Lebanon and occupied Palestine. Syria, from north to south, passing through its desert and levant, is the scene of qualitative achievements and successive victories. It is hard to deny this. But to distort this conception, the Saudi media machine created rumors and lies about the tense relationship between the two martyrs. It held Soleimani responsible for the assassination of Badreddine and accused him of masterminding it.

How can men embracing gunpowder and fire every day – with one foot on the brink of death – possess all this passion? A mujahid recalls the two great martyrs. Those who look closely at their videos during operations to secure Damascus at the “Triangle of Death” (the southern countryside of Damascus-Daraa- Quneitra) in the winter of 2015 feel the warmth of their embrace and realize the scope of the relationship that was greatly distorted. The faces, known in the Western media as a threat to global security, display feelings that are difficult to decipher or put in a single sentence. But in a single moment they mobilize multiple phases of love, determination, and valor.

Comrades close to the martyrs report how Sayyed prepared to meet Hajj Bozork (the great hajj in Farsi). He liked calling him that. He rushed to receive him at the gate with a smile that seldomly appeared on his face. A strong hug. An extended meeting and insistence of fruits being cut and placed before the dear guest, despite his refusal and coyness.

People close to them also recount novels of passion during the battles. One of its chapters involves martyr Ali Fayad aka Alaa Bosnia. In the battles of Sahel Al-Ghab, in the north of the country, he carried out a tight ambush – an art he excelled in. He recorded it and quickly sent it to Sayyed. His voice could be heard in the recording.

Someone asked him: “Is x person there, behind the lines?”

He tries to hide it and eventually says “yes”.

The mediator insists on letting Sayyed know that Alaa sent x person to the ambush. For his part, Sayyed insisted that the video reach Hajj Bozork, saying, “He will be very happy with what Alaa did. Send the video and tell him what happened … Tell him that there are lovers among us who are racing to offer sacrifices for the sake of this nation’s pride.”

Another person who attended one of the last meetings recounted that Sayyed whispered to Hajj Qassem when he was bidding him farewell. “Send my regards to the Leader (the leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Grand Ayatollah His Eminence Sayyid Ali Khamenei) … Tell him your son Mustafa sends his regards and is telling you that the load on Hajj Qassem is great, so pray for him.”

As for the last meeting, at the Damascus airport the night Sayyed was assassinated (May 2016), the farewell lasted for about a quarter of an hour. They were supposed to go out together and meet later that same night. Sayyed insisted on staying for a while, and Hajj insisted on staying with him.

“It is not polite of me to leave and you are still here,” Hajj said. Sayyed insisted that Hajj leave. He returned less than an hour later as the sound of the explosion that killed Sayyed roared. That day, Hajj Qassem cried a lot – not for missing the “sword of the resistance”, but for missing the moment and an opportunity to reach the “goal”.

On that morning, he said, “Sayyed Mustafa’s name was written on that projectile for him to go alone, and God chose for him the best conclusion.”

Those who look at the faces of these two men, see the dark nightmare they represent to their enemies. Those who look carefully at the stillness of their eyes and the estrangement of their spirits which is apparent on their faces when they stand on the berms, realize very well that this axis has enough love to stock up on for the major battles.

إيران: عندما يقودها قائد ودولة ورجال!

د.عدنان منصور

يوم الأربعاء، في 22 نيسان الماضي، أعلن الحرس الثوري الإيراني، عن إطلاق إيران بنجاح لأول قمر صناعي ، يحمل اسم نور، للأغراض العسكرية، الى مدار حول الأرض. يأتي هذا الإنجاز العلمي العسكري، في ظل عقوبات شرسة تفرضها الولايات المتحدة وحلفاؤها، منذ أربعين عاماً وحتى اليوم، قلّما شهد العالم مثيلاً لها، حيث لم توفر واشنطن وسيلة، الا واستخدمتها من اجل ترويض الاسد الإيراني، ومن ثم الانقضاض عليه في عقر داره، للإطاحة بثورته، مثلما حصل مع محمد مصدق عام 1953، لتجعل الثورة الإيرانية عبرة لكل من يريد ان يسلك طريقها ونهجها، ويخرج من بيت الطاعة الاميركي.

لقد حوصرت إيران سياسياً، واقتصادياً، وتجارباً، ومالياً، وتكنولوجياً، حيث حظر عليها تصدير النفط واستيراده، والعديد من السلع، والتعامل مع المصارف الإيرانية، او استخدام منظومة السويفت، او تبادل الذهب والمعادن الثمينة معها. كما تم أيضاً فرض عقوبات على وكالة الفضاء الإيرانية، وعلى قادة عسكريين، والعديد من الشخصيات الرسمية وغير الرسمية، وتجميد أموالهم، ومنع تبادل التكنولوجيا، وشراء الاسلحة، وتصدير السجاد الإيراني. بالإضافة الى عقوبات طالت شركات بناء السفن والنقل البحري والتجاري، ما حمل شركات عالمية، على التوقف عن التعامل مع إيران. هكذا تخلت شركة رينو للسيارات عن استثماراتها في السوق الإيرانية، تصنيعاً وبيعاً، بالإضافة الى إلغاء صفقة شراء 100 طائرة ايرباص، و80 طائرة بوينغ، مع ما رافق ذلك من خروج شركة جنرال الكتريك وتوتال وسيمنز وغيرها من السوق الإيرانية… ونتيجة للضغوط الاميركية، تم إلغاء الاستثناءات الممنوحة لثماني دول، والتي كانت تقضي بالسماح لها في شراء النفط الإيراني، مع توقف شركات الأدوية ايضاً، ببيع إيران ما تحتاجه من الادوية.

لقد ظنت الولايات المتحدة، أن فرض حظر تصدير النفط الإيراني الذي يشكل عصب الاقتصاد لإيران، سيجبرها على الخضوع. الا ان سياسة الاقتصاد المقاوم، التي سارت عليها طهران منذ انتصار ثورتها، حملتها على ان تعتمد لأول مرة موازنة مالية، للعام المالي – الذي يبدأ في 21 آذار 2020 وينتهي في 21 آذار 2021, لا تلحظ فيها عائدات النفط. علماً ان رغم العقوبات فإن الديون الخارجية لإيران لا تتجاوز 9 مليارات دولار، بمعزل عن الودائع الإيرانية المجمّدة في الخارج والتي تبلغ عشرات المليارات.

حصار إيران والعقوبات المفروضة عليها، تجري في ظل تجييش إعلامي مغرض ضدها، لا ينفك لحظة عن النيل من ثورتها، والعمل على تشويه الحقيقة، وتحريض الشعب على ثورته، وبث الشائعات والنعرات الطائفية والقومية والعرقية في الداخل الإيراني. لكن رغم كل ذلك، كان للثورة قائدها، ولإيران دولتها، وللجمهورية رجالها، آثروا منذ اليوم الاول للثورة على تسطير تاريخ جديد يليق بشعب إيران، يعتمد اول ما يعتمد، على سواعد وعقول وإيمان وارادة الإيرانيين، وعلى ثروات وطاقات بلدهم، وتحديهم لقوى الهيمنة والاستغلال والتسلط، ومقاومتهم لها.

كانت واشنطن وحلفاؤها، تراهن منذ اليوم الاول، على فشل الثورة وسقوطها في يدها. الا ان الثورة استطاعت ان تثبت للعالم كله عن جدارتها وصمودها، وتحقق قفزات كبيرة وإنجازات باهرة في مختلف الميادين العلمية، والبحثية، والتنموية، والزراعية، والعسكرية، والصناعية، وأن تمتلك التكنولوجيا النووية والفضائية والنانوية والعسكرية. دولة تحت الحصار والعقوبات كانت تثير الدهشة لكل من يتابع الملف الإيراني عن قرب وعن كثب، أكان صديقاً ام عدواً، منصفاً او ظالماً.

على مدار ثماني سنوات، أمضيتها كسفير للبنان في طهران، سنحت لي الفرصة، ان أجوب إيران شرفاً وغرباً ، شمالاً وجنوباً، زائراً لكل محافظاتها ومدنها، مطلعاً على مشاريع وإنجازات لم تتوقف على مدار الساعة، والتي تنقل إيران من مكان الى آخر، وفق خطط ومشاريع مرسومة، تنفذ وتدشن في اوقاتها المحددة، دون تباطؤ او تأخير او تقاعس او اهمال… هي العقوبات – يرددها كل مسؤول في مؤسسة إنتاجية كبيرة او مرفق صناعي – التي جعلتنا نعتمد على الله وعلى أنفسنا في بناء بلدنا، وان لا نكون رهينة في يد قوى الاستكبار والاستغلال. أحد المهندسين، وأثناء زيارتي إحدى الترسانات الصناعية الكبيرة، حدثني قائلاً: عدت الى إيران بعد ان تخصصت في أميركا وأمضيت فيها أكثر من خمسة وعشرين عاماً، لأخدم بلدي، رغم أني أتقاضى راتباً اقل مما كنت اتقاضاه في الولايات المتحدة. هذه هي الروح الوطنية العالية التي جعلت الثورة الإيرانية تستمر وتتعزز بهذا النوع من الرجال، وتقوى بهم، ليكون لإيران مكانتها، وهيبتها في منطقتها والعالم.

هي إيران اليوم، ومع جائحة كورونا، تقف مع شعبها، لتقول للعالم كله، لا سيما للدول التي تفرض عليها العقوبات اللاإنسانية المتعلقة بالمواد الطبية، إنها قامت بجهودها الذاتية، بتدشين أول خط إنتاج لأجهزة فحص المناعة المخبريّة ضد فيروس كورونا، تنتجها شركة «بيشتاز طب زمان» الإيرانية القائمة على المعرفة. جهاز يقيّم مدى ردود فعل مناعة الأفراد ضد الفيروس، والقادر على فحص 96 شخصاً في غضون 75 دقيقة. يأتي هذا، في ظل الحظر الأميركي الطبي على إيران، ومنع تقديم المساعدة لها في احتواء الكورونا، اذ ان ترامب كان يرى بأن الحظر بدأ يعطي ثماره، وأنه لن يغير سياسته في هذا الشأن.

إيران التي صمدت، ونمت، وقاومت الحصار والعقوبات، تثبت كل يوم، وبثقة عالية، أنها قادرة على تجاوز الحصار الطبي الاميركي عليها، وأي حصار آخر. لكن بعد الانتهاء من كورونا، سيتبين للعالم كله، من كان صديقاً فعلياً للشعوب في محنتها، ومن كان عدواً لها في اللحظات الإنسانية الحرجة… حيث كشفت كورونا النقاب عن الوجه القبيح البشع، لكل من أراد بسلوكه القذر، ان يعاقب شعوباً حرة، بجبروته وانحطاط أخلاقه، وانعدام إنسانيته. فمع كل حصار جائر ضد إيران، ينبت إبداع جديد، وما القمر الصناعي وغيره الا الدليل الحي على ذلك…

قبل سنة تقريباً، قال ترامب: انتظرونا أشهراً معدودة، وسوف تشاهدون إيران تختنق من العقوبات الإقتصادية!!!! إلا أن مرشد الثورة وقائدها ردّ عليه قائلاً: هذا المسكين، يمني نفسه ورفاقه بالصبر لأشهر معدودة، ليروا ما سيحدث!!! فتذكرت المثل القائل: يرى الجمل في منامه القطن قمحاً، فيقضمه تارة، ويلتهمه تارة أخرى…

إنها إيران بقائدها ودولتها ورجالها تقول للعالم كله: إني هنا، وأنا بالمرصاد.

*وزير الخارجية الأسبق.

The end of globalisation won’t be televised, despite the hopes of the Western 99% (2/2)

Monday, 27 April 2020 5:46 AM  

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The end of globalisation won’t be televised, despite the hopes of the Western 99% (2/2)

By Ramin Mazaheri


Part 1 
discussed how the West’s coronavirus response totally ignored the needs of their lower classes, and also how Iran’s “Resistance Economy” rejects Western economic liberalism (and neoliberalism) which has always sought to relegate non-Westerners to second-class economic partners.

As I have written previously, the West’s corona response is not just murderously mediocre but middle-class – it assumes everyone has a comfortable home, savings and a stable job. The West is employing quarantining, control methods and collective-over-individualist concepts used by Asian nations, but without having similar cultures of government economic intervention nor widespread trust in their governments. It is not hysteria to suggest that this could prove fatal to their bubble-filled, high-finance dominated economies.

There is a lot of foolish talk from Westerners, who are effectively forbidden to learn about and discuss how capitalism-imperialism truly operates, regarding how corona will cause supply chains to move back home. This has produced a lot of soon-to-be-forgotten agreement from their politicians, who are desperate to show that – all of a sudden – they care about their lower classes. Recall that the “end of irony” was proclaimed after 9/11 – will we see the “end of globalisation” because of coronavirus?

That’s funny.

The state of Delaware is where most US corporations are located and buy their charters – if it is not the world’s biggest corporate tax haven, according to The New York Times and The Japan Times, the state is certainly among the world’s top five. (Indeed, it should now be no surprise why Delaware senator Joe Biden was chosen to be Barack Obama’s running mate amid the 2008 economic crisis.) It could not be more crystal clear, even though neoliberals in the US often try to sow confusion about this fact: “Delaware corporate law requires corporate directors to manage firms for the benefit of shareholders, and not for any other constituency.” So anyone thinking corporations will sacrifice a mere fraction of their stock price in order to move supply chains back home are absolutely deluded about the possibility of patriotism, much less humanity, in “Capitalism with American characteristics”: their laws explicitly forbid it.

The post-corona persistence of neoliberalism – an ideology predicated on reducing government programs and expenditures for the 99% with ruthless efficiency – means that Western governments both national and local will be so strapped for cash in a post-Lockdown climate that they will be forced to try and save every nickel they can to maximise ever-more inadequate tax revenues and income. They will forced to buy from China, Haiti or whoever can save them pennies, because this is exactly what neoliberalism demands – it fundamentally neuters economic patriotism.

Urban hipsters who perhaps previously would pay premiums to “eat local” (because it is tastier) will soon find that unemployment (or a worsening of the seemingly never-ending underemployment for the West’s youth class) drastically alters one’s menu options. They would like to “eat local”, but many will be forced to forego the local farmers’ market to buy their food as cheaply as possible, and regardless of provenance.

So such talk from Esquire magazine bout how corona will usher in a new economy based around “resilience preparedness” is totally absurd: the very basis of globalisation is hyper-specialisation (Adam Smith) and turning every nation into a single cash crop/cow (David Ricardo’s comparative advantage) writ large, and these two concepts are the very opposite pole of resilience. Hyper-specialisation is hyper-resistant… but in one single area; if classic liberalism or modern neoliberalism or the “free market” selected your country to produce hygienic masks, congratulations! According to them you should jack up the price and the rest of us should not try to domestically produce our own.

Contrarily, we can say that Iran has tried to create “specialisation” in the normal way – within a single national economy’s different regions instead of all over the world, messianically and arrogantly. This is why they have employed a “resistance economy” (with many egalitarian principles held over from the “command/war economy” era), which is based around self-sufficiency, protectionism, government intervention to stimulate innovation in vital sectors, and government ownership in essentially every sector with medium or large importance. This, even more than the insistence that Islam is compatible with democracy, is why the West wages war on Iran.

The good news for Iranians: these economic principles are what promote resilience and preparedness, they curtail the indebtedness/poverty of the lower classes, and they will make Iran far more capable of weathering the economic turmoil of the coming months.

It is amusing that some in the West are now clamouring for sensible, humane, patriotic, efficient measures which Iran has employed for decades. Is Iran’s economic idea more exportable to Esquire if we call it a “resilience economy”, perhaps?

The Iranian economy in opposition to the West’s seemingly certain post-Great Lockdown economic chaos

At the root of this economic program is not anti-capitalism but anti-the-type-of-capitalism which today’s Iranians are violently confronted by: neoliberalism and globalisation. This form of capitalism is the most-geared towards maximising the profits and market concentration of the 1%, whereas a “resistance economy” is fundamentally-geared towards satisfying the needs of the Iranian 99%. The Koran sanctions capitalism, after all, but it bans usury and has clear exhortations to equality and the economic redistribution of massively-ordered charity. (If the West would simply follow the ban on usury – exorbitant interest and debilitating compound interest – they would be so much better off….)

If the Iranian Revolution did not satisfy the needs of their 99%… how can we possibly explain its endurance amid all the growth-sabotaging Cold War from the West? The question never was growth, after all, but re-distribution. The same logical argument stands for anti-imperialist Cuba and North Korea – caricaturing these nations as totalitarian oligarchies will continue to lose its false power for as long as these countries continue to not just endure but thrive (considering Western blockades), and for as long as the West’s post-1980 inequality entrenchment continues. Despite the looming economic crisis, does anyone really believe the West is culturally capable of reversing these inequality trends?

Undoubtedly, the West’s corona overreaction will make their economies – which were already in a Great Recession – even weaker.

Yes, this will force more Western domestic criticism of neoliberalism and globalisation, but will it really? How can it when France’s Muslims, US so-called “White Trash” and their lower-class counterparts across the “West + client” world cannot even be seen on their televisions? We are logical to believe that open criticism of the ideology of globalisation will be muted very shortly, because all these nations have airwaves which are dominated by a handful of corporations; contrarily, the Iranian government owns all the radio and TV waves – to get the outlook of not-always-selfless private media one can turn to Iran’s extremely critical, thriving print press.

Yes, the West’s reduced economies will necessarily reduce the influence and local reach of governments, but this reduced reach can easily be counter-balanced by the drastic quasi-martial laws which have already been employed. France almost certainly has the most over-policed corona lockdown (800,000 citations already), mais bien sûr: they just had an Islamophobia-based two-year state of emergency, which President Emmanuel Macron legalised into normal police practice.

Yes, the gut-wrenching reduction in wealth for the West’s lower classes may provoke “Western-style populism”, but this ideology is intrinsically reformist and not revolutionary. Look at the Five-Star Movement in Italy – it took them eight years to win significant power, but they have not been able to make significant changes. In their last national election the superb Yellow Vests gained merely half the votes of the (ugh) Animal Rights Party.

Yes, Westerners can see that all the evidence points to the necessity that they must change, but we must recall how very culturally chauvinistic they are: The West is hysterically convinced that their system is supreme – even among their “dissidents”, who are usually just “semi-dissidents” at best – despite all the evidence of failure and their perennial disregard of their own lower classes.

So combine this inherent conservativeness (liberal reformism), with neoliberal cultural saturation, with laws that forbid leavening neoliberalism, with “it’s not totalitarian when the West does it”, and it’s hard to compute a conclusion where the Great Lockdown produces a drastic reform of the Western economy, no? They have to overcome all of these trends, laws and false beliefs simultaneously and in great measure.

That would be a revolution. The West, the great thwarter of progressive revolutions, is supposedly now on the cusp of having one?

The only thing more idiotic than such talk are the commentators who accuse Iranian Reformists of being “neoliberals”, which is as stupid as calling Biden-backing Bernie Sanders or the French “socialists”. The Iranians most associated with the “resistance economy” are indeed Ayatollah Khamenei, ex-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Principlist Party, but the idea that Reformists aren’t hugely, hugely on board with countless resistance economy principles is just eye-rollingly wrong.

The reality – well-known in Iran – is that there is absolutely no room in Iranian politics for any political group which pushes ending the pro-99%, government-interventionist, fundamentally anti-neoliberal direction of the economy for this simple fact: they would never get re-elected by the 99%, and thus such a movement is necessarily finished before it could ever even could get started in Iranian democracy. Capitalism is sanctioned by the Qur’an, so it will always have a place, but neoliberal capitalism (again, all capitalism is not “neoliberalism” just as all socialism is not “violently atheistic Russian Soviet socialism”)? Not hardly.

Smith and Ricardo’s liberal ideas that each region should produce only that which it was perfectly suited to producing had one fatal flaw: such perfect harmony cannot possibly ever exist in a capitalist-imperialist system, because such a system is predicated upon competition. This is not a small flaw in their ivory-tower thinking, nor am I resorting to a mere humbug attack on “human nature” – competition, instead of cooperation, is a poor foundation for human stability and peace.

Such harmony and mutually-beneficial arrangements (and on a global scale, no less!) could only possibly ever be achieved in a world that has a basis which is definitely not neoliberal, which is very wary of capitalism’s excesses and constant exhortations to battles both big and small, and which tacitly accepts resolutely anti-imperialist and thus essentially socialist economics as the foundation.

You may not want Iran’s culture – that’s natural, they don’t want yours.

But across the West their lower classes are clamouring for an economy with many of Iran’s motivations and practices – they will be ignored, sadly.

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the upcoming ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.


Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

www.presstv.ir

www.presstv.co.uk

www.presstv.tv

Calculated Assumptions and Prevention of “Scientifically Shattered” Societies

April 25, 2020

Note by the Saker: I did post this excellent article by Mansoureh Tajik because it presented a view rarely seen in the West: a view from Iran and a view from a deeply religious person. Yes, that is somewhat of a departure from my rule about not discussing medical aspects of the pandemic, but in this case, it was worth it, at least in my opinion.
HOWEVER
I ask you to please not use this pretext, again, inundate the comment section with you favorite theory about the virus. Really! Surely you can react and discuss this article without the obligatory “here is my theory about the virus”.
Looks, if I cannot appeal to your common sense, then I will have to shut down the comments section under this article.
Your choice.
The Saker

Calculated Assumptions and Prevention of “Scientifically Shattered” Societies

Calculated Assumptions and Prevention of “Scientifically Shattered” Societies

by Mansoureh Tajik for The Saker Blog

Health is severely commodified and diseases are disgracefully exploited as means to social, political, and financial ends. Statements like, “Let us not play politics with people’s health” are made to dress up stealth politics and covert missions to play political games with people’s health and lives on behalf of some vested interest. It is done so by pretending the efforts are devoid of any politics and solely intended for the good of the general public.

In the current atmosphere of uncertainty, disinformation, and behind-the-scene jockeying around this maroon aureole, therefore, our priorities demand us to make transparent the underlying politics of top contenders in the competition of narratives. Who is doing what to whom, how, why, and what is next?

I borrow a passage from Sylvia Noble Tesh’s classic book (1988), Hidden Arguments: Political Ideology and Disease Prevention Policy,[1] to contextualize the point of this exercise and questions, The discussions in that book are a bit dated but their resonances feel rather current. She asserted:

“Behind debates about such questions as the toxicity of environmental pollutants, the hazards of smoking, and the health effects of cholesterol lie other hidden arguments. These arguments are more fundamental: What is the legitimate source of knowledge? What is the nature of human beings? And what is the ideal structure of society? Firmly but often unconsciously held answers to these questions guide scientists, policy makers, and ordinary citizens alike to different constellations of facts about the causes of disease and hence, to different preferences for prevention policy.”[2]

We could add questions about an infectious disease like COVID-19 and its potential causes to Tesh’s list and still be in the same frame of argument. It has been stated in the past and it does not hurt to repeat, as Shi’a, we do not believe there to be any separation between our politics and our religion. Health and diseases greatly affect if and how we perform our required and essential tasks like prayers, fasting, Hajj, jihad, and more. Even our most basic greeting, Salam, and the name of our religion, Islam, all share the same root as our word for health, Salamat. So, for us, there is no shame or any compulsion in admitting that matters related to health and diseases are one and the same as our religion and our politics.

Those societies in which their systems of beliefs have convinced their people, however, that health and disease decisions are made through some apolitical processes and free of political values should have followed Tesh’s advice some thirty years ago that,

“We need public discussion about the values, beliefs, and ideologies with which scientists and policy makers begin. This is not an unwarranted intrusion of politics into science. There is no science uninfluenced by politics. This is a plea to get the politics out of hiding.”[3]

Judging by the signs, I sense that the time for such public discussions by the elites are way passed their deadlines. Discussions about exactly whose political values, views, and interests in public health and diseases are hidden from the very public, at the exclusion of, and at the expense of that very public are all passed due. It appears in not so distant a future such discussions will be carried out by the public on the streets with guns and at gunpoint.

Meanwhile, it is useful to discuss and clarify a few relevant items since the decisions we make rest heavily on what we assume the causes of current events are. It is imperative to make the correct decision and determine which side to take and where to spend most of our energy. In this essay, I would like to discuss one of the Saker’s position regarding SARS-COV-2 and contrast that with the position of the Iranians.

From the beginning of the coronavirus affair, the Saker has maintained a firm position that novel coronavirus is not a bio-weapon. He made his point here and reiterated his position through multiple updates. He solidly sealed his view here. In a recent article here, he provided a reminder by recapitulating that “a truly weaponized virus would both be much more transmissible than SARS-COV-2 and it would be far more deadly.”

It is certainly quite appropriate to assume the null until we have enough solid evidence to reject it. That means, in the case of the novel coronavirus the default assumption would maintain the virus not to be a bio-weapon unless and until there is preponderance of reasonable evidence to reject the null assumption. The Saker has gone a step further, however. His statements, in effect, provide an acceptance of the null not as an assumption but as a proven statement.

The position of the Iranians contrasts with that position. It is not prudent for us to accept the Saker’s firm assessment and to rule out a strong possibility that SARS-COV-2 could be a bio-weapon. My own impetus to pry open the Saker’s stance is twofold. On one hand, I would like to ensure the principle of precaution in these discussions are not overlooked (i.e. the need to err on the side of caution). On the other hand, I think the actual rationale provided by the Saker concerning the aspects of “transmissibility” and “deadliness” of SAR-COV-2 in determining its weaponization status needs additional investigation.

First the principle of precaution. Iranians are a nation that has been the subject of relentless conventional and non-conventional attacks by the US and the west from every imaginable venue and by any conceivable means. Therefore, as a people who are still suffering from the consequences of the chemical attacks by then weaponized agent, Sadam Hussein, we do not feel we have the luxury of definitively accepting a non-weaponized status for this virus.

We imagine for ourselves four possible scenarios based on two rival assumptions. First, if we assumed this virus is a bioweapon and planned according to that assumption, and the virus turned out to have been indeed a bioweapon, then we have done right by our nation and what we are obligated to do in terms of preparation and protection.

Second, if we assumed the virus is not a bioweapon, thus we do not treat it as one but it is, in fact, a bioweapon, then we are guilty of neglect, carelessness, and in breach of our duties in protecting ourselves and our nation.

Third, if we assumed the virus is a bioweapon and prepared accordingly and it turned out not to have been one, then we have prepared for and put into practice a drill with all its required infrastructure that are useful for our defenses and preparedness. In addition, we have supported the country’s health system and have helped reduce its burden in dealing with an infectious disease.

Fourth, if we assumed the virus is not a bioweapon and it was not one, then we would have carried on with life as usual and dealt with a particularly tough flu season and we were no more prepared than before the whole affair.

The Leader of Iran, Ayatullah Khamenei clarified[4] Iran’s position and decision in one of his earlier speeches on March 8 as follows:

“Another key point is that we are asking all sections in the country, we request them to cooperate with a sense of responsibility with the Ministry of Health which is at the frontline of this issue and to make available to the ministry all their necessary resources. We have, of course, asked the armed forces and all organs linked to our office [i.e. the office of the Commander in Chief of all armed forces, Ayatullah Khamenei] that they, too, cooperate and put all of their resources in this area at the service of the people. This is not an event that has just happened for our country. You know and you have heard that this has happened in many countries of the world. The difference, of course, is that in many countries, they are hiding the truth, they are not talking about it. Our officials have spoken with sincerity and truthfulness from the very first day. They have been transparent in their reporting. They have made people aware of the situation which is a good thing. There are places though that we know they have it much worse than we do, but they do not talk about it. We do ask God Almighty for health and wellbeing for all those other countries, too. God Will InshAllah help them, too.

And the last word on this matter is that this event is a transient issue as well. It will pass. It is not an extraordinary event. Happenings similar to this occur in the country. Certainly, I do not wish to minimize the issue but we should not aggrandize it either. There is something that has happened. It will take a specific period of time. A period of time that will not be too long, InshAllah. This will exist for the country and then it will go away. The experiences that we will gain in this area, the actions that people take, and what various organs do, which in fact a general and a public drill in this area, this could become an achievement. If we could have these sorts of achievements, a calamity changes to a blessing. A threat changes into an opportunity.”

Last week, in an event held during this year’s Army Day celebration in Iran on Friday, April 17, Amir Sartip Aziz Nasirzadeh, the head of Islamic Republic’s Air Force, said[5],

“We view the spread of coronavirus through a military lens. The spread of this virus, in our calculation, is a biological threat or a quasi-biological threat. This subject for the armed forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the military is a practice and a drill to counter biological threats.”

For Iranians, therefore, to assume the novel coronavirus as a bioweapon is logically and wisely a more appropriate assumption. An assumption of otherwise could be more deleterious. However, the Iranians having figured into their calculus not to accept the null assumption about the novel coronavirus is not a reasonable evidence to reject the Saker’s argument. Therefore, I discuss the second element that motivates me to offer this rebuttal which relates to the actual rationale provided by the Saker. He used not high enough “transmissibility” and insufficient “deadliness” as two major determinants to reject the weaponization of SAR-COV-2.

To be fully transparent, I must say I am not an expert in weapons and my practical military training is limited to what a regular Basiji goes through here in Iran. That makes my expertise in this area limited to not accidentally shooting myself in the foot. My argument is therefore literary in essence and not based on practical skills and field experience.

To weaponize an agent (biological, chemical, or nuclear) and the degree of weaponization depends entirely on the specific aim and purpose for that weaponizing. That means, a biological agent can be designed and released to be not highly but “just enough” transmissible and not highly lethal but “just enough” deadly to achieve the intended goal of an attack. The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had identified around 30 organisms[6] that might be weaponized. CDC employs a classification scheme based on the intended outcome in three different categories of weaponizations for biological agents. The classification is based on “ease of dissemination, morbidity and mortality, panic potential, and level of public health requirements.” They have defined the categories as follows:

Category A: Highest priority diseases that pose a risk to national security, are easily transmitted, have high morbidity and mortality, would have a major public health impact and cause panic, and require special public health preparedness.

Category B: Moderate priority diseases with lower morbidity and mortality and more difficult to disseminate.

Category C: High priority diseases that have the potential to cause significant morbidity and mortality and are emerging pathogens that could be engineered for mass dispersionCategory C agents are emerging pathogens that could be engineered for mass dissemination because of their availability, ease of production and dissemination, mortality rate, and ability to cause a substantial health impact.”[6]

It is therefore important to consider the intended outcomes as important variables in determining the weaponization of SAR-COV-2. Looking from this angle, transmissibility and deadliness would be more of a tactical decision commensurate to specific aims of the attack than key indicators of weaponization. It might be interesting to note that US CDC had classified SARS coronaviruses as potential biological agents under Category C[7], but it is now removed from its main page[8]. Those interested though could search for published scientific articles that used the CDC’s information as their references in earlier dates.

I would like to go a bit further in supporting my position. I will use an example of attack operations during World War I in which the British carried out “low-grade” attacks and acts of sabotage against the Ottoman’s darling project, the Hejaz Railway. An excerpt from an article by S. Anderson (2014) in the Smithsonian Magazine[9] illustrates the significance of the railroad:

“The southernmost town in Jordan, Mudowarra was once connected to the outside world by means of that railroad. One of the great civil-engineering projects of the early 20th century, the Hejaz Railway was an attempt by the Ottoman sultan to propel his empire into modernity and knit together his far-flung realm. By 1914, the only remaining gap in the line was located in the mountains of southern Turkey. When that tunneling work was finished, it would have been theoretically possible to travel from the Ottoman capital of Constantinople all the way to the Arabian city of Medina, 1,800 miles distant, without ever touching the ground. Instead, the Hejaz Railway fell victim to World War I. For nearly two years, British demolition teams, working with their Arab rebel allies, methodically attacked its bridges and isolated depots, quite rightly perceiving the railroad as the Achilles’ heel of the Ottoman enemy, the supply line linking its isolated garrisons to the Turkish heartland.”

Those attacks were carried out under the command of the British agent T.E. Lawrence (the infamous Lawrence of Arabia made famous by Hollywood). The attacks could have actually been more exact and more destructive than they were to finish the job of destroying the railroad in a much shorter time frame. However, they opted for operations that were less destructive. Lawrence himself explains the reason in Revolts in the Desert[10] by saying:

“In the drainage holes of the spandrils six small charges were inserted zigzag, and with their explosion all the arches were scientifically shattered; the demolition being a fine example of that finest sort which left the skeleton of its bridge intact indeed, but tottering, so that the repairing enemy had a first labour to destroy the wreck, before they could attempt to rebuild.”

“Scientifically shattered,” seems to suggest causing “just enough” destruction for the enemy to get entangled and locked in specific areas, to divert its resources, manpower, and focus to those areas and away from other priorities and critical tasks. If the bridges and the railroads of Hejaz Railway were “scientifically shattered” and tulip bombs were used to twist the rails into tangled ribbons of steel but not completely destroy them, why would not a virus be weaponized in a manner that can “scientifically shatter,” let’s say, health systems, health personnel, and infrastructure of a country with “just enough” but not very high destruction and lethality?

I can think of two specific reasons: 1) A fear that bioweapon would spread beyond the target population and adversely affect allies and own forces and populations. 2) A fear of God and the Day of Judgment. Let’s briefly explore both reasons. For the first one, in case the biological agent can make its way back to one’s own population, if the original source of the attack is prepared, then this becomes a non-issue. However, if not, we must examine whether or not those who use such weapons care sufficiently about their own people and populations.

In a study conducted by the Institute of Medicine titled, “Veterans at Risk: The Health Effects of Mustard Gas and Lewisite,” that was presented at a hearing by the members of the US Congress in 1993 regarding US Department of Defense Mustard Gas Testing,[11] it was revealed that 60,000 US service members were exposed to mustard agents and Lewisite during World War II. Based on the records of that hearing, participants in military test experienced varying degree of exposure to mustard agent or Lewisite. The tests ranged from a drop of agent on the arm in “patch” tests to repeated gas chamber trials and fields tests. In addition, there were thousands of non-service individuals who worked in the US arsenals that produced these chemical agents. There were no follow-up medical care or monitoring of long-term effects but at the time of hearing, the information from the study revealed that:

The scanned document is some hundred thirty pages long, within it though, there are some vivid descriptions that illustrate a high level of indifference and disregard for human suffering. An excerpt is shown below:

We could spend quite a bit of time to review similar examples from the exposure of Vietnam Veterans to Agent Orange[12, 13] to CIA and Military testing of LSD[14] to various DARPA projects. However, the point can be made that some governments’ concerns for health and wellbeing of their own people may not be sufficiently high to serve as an obstacle in decision making.

The second reason about why would a given power refrain from “scientifically shattering” populations and societies using bio-weapons is a fear of God and the Day of Judgment. It is that belief that we cannot really get away and there WILL come a day when we must defend our intentions and deeds. Here, I am not talking about a superficial belief and using the name of God Almighty as a political means to material ends. Nor am I speaking of the type of believers who think they can commit all sorts of atrocities and injustice and be forgiven by God because they are just so special and “chosen”.

وَقَالُوا لَنْ تَمَسَّنَا النَّارُ إِلا أَيَّامًا مَعْدُودَةً [And they say, “Never will the Fire touch us, except for a short period of time.” (Qur’ān, Chapter 2, Verse 80)].

I am speaking of genuinely true believers in God who are very fearful and weary of the day they must stand before their Creator and defend their actions. That is enough functional and practical (not theoretical) fear and weariness that would prevent them from violating God’s boundaries and committing atrocities now, here, and in this world.

Perhaps a passage from the book, Brother Qasem[15], which contains a collection of lectures, talks, and views from Martyr Sardar Soleimani could illustrate what I mean. The segment is titled “Didn’t you say you invited him?!” in the book:

“For years we had been chasing after one of the most notorious rebels in Sistan and Bluchestan. This rebel was very active in narcotic trafficking and had martyred great many of our revolutionary guard members. Finally, after employing very complex intelligence operations, we invited him to a special locality for negotiation. Immediately upon his and his companions’ arrival to the designated place, we arrested him and his team and put them in jail. We were very pleased. He was someone whose criminal record would have secured him some fifty death sentences.

In a meeting in which we were visiting the Leader [Ayatullah Khamenei], I brought up the subject and gave the Leader the news about the arrest and described the event. I was expecting to see a positive reaction and happy response from His Eminence. The Great Leader of the Revolution immediately ordered, “Tell them to set him free right this moment.”

Without hesitation and question, I made the call. Afterwards, while quite baffled, I asked, “Agha! Why? I don’t understand; why did I have to do that? Why did you order his release?”

The Leader said, “Didn’t you say you had invited him?! The order of Islam is that if you invite anyone, and he is your guest, even if he is your father’s killer, you have no right to cause him discomfort.”

I was stunned with the response. Immediately, of course, the Leader commanded, “You must make sure to arrest him.” A few months later, in another series of complex operations, we arrested the fellow.”

The rebel in question was Abdulmalik Rigi, the terrorist agent in the service of the US and the Saudis. But he is not the key point of the excerpt, the Taqwa (as operationalized here by the Leader of the Iranian Revolution) is. Taqwa is to always be mindful and fearful of God’s boundaries and to make sure one does not cross them not matter what the event or the situation. May peace be upon you.

References

[1] Tesh SN (1988). Hidden Arguments: Political Ideology and Disease Prevention Policy. 4th Edition, Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, New Jersey.

[2] Ibid, P. 3.

[3] Ibid, P. 177.

[4] Speeches by Ayatullah Khamenei on Esfand 13, 1398 (March 8, 2020). Speech after Tree Planting Ceremony. Available online at: http://farsi.khamenei.ir/speech-content?id=45076

[5] Tasnim News Agency, “Fight against corona for armed forces is a military exercise against biological threats.” Farfardin 29 (April 17), 1399; 10:46; News code: 2245243; https://tn.ai/2245243

[6] Williams M, Sizemore DC. “Biologic, Chemical, and Radiation Terrorism Review.” [Updated 2020 Feb 17]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493217/

[7] Moran GJ (2002). “Threats in bioterrorism. II: CDC category B and C agents.” Emergency Medicine Clinics of North America, 20(2):311-30.

[8] US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2020). Bioterrorism Agents and Diseases by Category. Access online at: https://emergency.cdc.gov/agent/agentlist-category.asp#c

[9] Anderson S (2014). “World War I: Hundred Years Later, The True Story of Lawrence of Arabia.” Simithsonian Magazine, Special Report, Available online at: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/true-story-lawrence-arabia-180951857/

[10] TE Lawrence (1926). Revolt in the Desert. Garden City Publishing Company, Inc.

[11] Hearing before the Sub-committee on Compensation, Pension, and Insurance of the Committee on Veteran’s Affairs, House of Representatives, One Hundred Second Congress, Second Session, March 10, 1993. Printed for the use of the Committee on Veteran’s Affairs, Serial No. 103-3. Available online at: https://ia802307.us.archive.org/31/items/departmentofdefe1993unit/departmentofdefe1993unit.pdf

[12] Hansen JC (1981). “The Vietnam Veteran vs Agent Orange: The War that Lingers.” Government Accounting Office (GAO) Review, Spring 1981, Pages 29-36. Available online at: https://www.gao.gov/assets/680/674041.pdf

[13] Stellman JM & Stellman SD (2018). “Agent Orange During the Vietnam War: The Lingering Issue of Its Civilian and Military Health Impact.” American Journal of Public Health, 108(6): 726-728.

[14] Disbennett BM (2014). “An Analysis of CIA and Military Testing of LSD on non-Consenting US Service Members and Recovery through the VA Disability System.” Tennessee Journal of Race, Gender, & Social Justice, 3(2): 173-201.

[15] Mehrvanfar A (1397). “Brother Qasem: a Collection of Strategic thinking of Haj Qasem Soleimani in areas of Guardianship, Revolution, Holy Defense, Martyrdom, the Protectors of Haram, Culture and Arts.” Mehr Amir-Al Mumenin Publishing, 1st Edition, Page 23. [Translated from the original in Farsi by the author.]

Iran’s ‘resistance economy’: the post-corona wish of the West’s silent majority (1/2)

Thursday, 23 April 2020 8:01 AM 

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iranians shop at the Grand Bazaar market in the capital Tehran on April 20, 2020, as the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic lingers ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. (Photo by AFP)

By Ramin Mazaheri 

So it took a pandemic-plus-lockdown for some in the West to realize that classic economic liberalism on a global scale – i.e. the narrow hyper-specialization of Adam Smith’s division of labor and David Ricardo’s caste-forging theory of competitive advantage – makes a nation economically vulnerable? This epiphany is not novel for those countries which imperialists forced to precariously rely on a single cash crop/cow. 

It is interesting to watch American television these days: almost never openly discussed is the financial impact of the Great Lockdown on the lower classes. What the average American is bludgeoned with instead is a constant stream of doctor-worship, technocrats, electioneering politicians who cannot stop sniping despite such a crisis, and high-class analysts telling them to stay home at all costs – the financial condition of those who don’t even have $500 to cover in an emergency are ignored, even though they compose 63% of the US.

Even pre-corona, US TV is a realm where lower-class Whites who speak with a twang, poor-but-not-hustlin’ Blacks, and Latinos who don’t sing/dance/clean simply cannot be found. American Indians are so entirely absent they may as well not even exist.

If we had to define Iran’s economy in one brief sentence it would be: All are considered, but the needs of the lower classes must come first.

No Iranian would deny this has been the case since 1979, and it really became eye-openingly apparent after the end of the War of Sacred Defense (Iran-Iraq War): there has been a constant decrease of slums and absolute poverty, and a constant increase of infrastructure, education and production and diversification. Not only does this explain the country’s huge jump in seemingly all economic metrics since 1989, it also explains why Iran could rally 300,000 volunteers (propaganda alert: The Wall Street Journal’s “water cannons” were actually “disinfection cannons”) to go door-to-door to inform, help and prevent the spread of coronavirus – there is support, trust, unity and two-way dialogue.

When corona first hit many Iran-ignorant commentators assumed it would devastate a backwards nation governed by an unfeeling totalitarian state: while over 5,000 have died, Iran’s proportional death rate is better than almost every Western nation.

Of course, I know you’ll say “Iran is lying” – you have been indoctrinated to say that in response to any claim made by any Iranian. Ever since the 2011 triple sanctions (US, EU, UN) were deployed the Western Mainstream Media has added doubt indicators such as, “Iran says….” to every headline stemming from Iran. I used to get annoyed by it, but it’s old news now – if the government said the sun came up today the headline would be, “Iran says sun rises in East”.

So the skeptics/Iranophobes will remain eternally unconvinced, and I respond with habeas corpus – produce the body. Indeed, this is a demand for proof which Western epidemiologists – and their technocrat-worshipping promoters – are scrambling to come up with: It turns out their direst forecasts were far less accurate than modern weather reports (usually because they underestimated the influence of personal responsibility initiatives), and perhaps shouldn’t have been hysterically and uncritically relayed by Western corporate media.

As the Iranophobes scour satellite photos for secret mass graves (How many people do you think Iran is hiding – 50,000, 100,000 dead people? How many more would have to be silenced, and in a nation full of personal media devices? The idea that such a thing is possible is absurd….), and while the West employs more draconian measures than Iran ever did (due to worse health care, lack of volunteers due to fears of expensive health care, a stressed/unhealthy/obese population, the lack of existing lines of national coordination, an acclimation to “states of emergency” and other factors), Iran is ending curbs and going back to work. And they are also back to work being honest political truth-tellers: US imperialism is indeed a worse virus than the coronavirus, per President Rouhani. No body count comparison required on that one because it’s not even close – Western epidemiologists can relax.

Iran is returning to work slowly: many are working from home, women with young children are given priority to decide who works remotely, the government is asking everyone to use common sense, but the resumption of normal activity comes after many in the government openly displayed common sense by saying that an economic crisis simply should not be added to a heath crisis.

Undoubtedly, if Iran had not been so harshly attacked with such an inhuman blockade they would have had more oil-money savings to pay people to stay at home like in some nations, but they were cruelly denied this chance by the West, along with medicine, justice, peace, etc. The West’s governments are demanding that their lower classes commit economic suicide over corona fears, but Iran’s lower classes know that the biggest, most reliable patrons they have are the Iranian government – that’s why after taking sensible measures they are encouraging a sensible, safe return to work.

Everybody must use common sense, and a recent fatwa from the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei only reminds us how revolutionary Iran has decisively chosen to be inspired by Islam and is NOT a fundamentalist/Salafist/Wahhabi Islamic nation: it is OK to abstain from fasting during Ramadan (which starts April 23) if you rationally believe it may cause a sickness. As wonderful as Ramadan is, and while the science is not 100% clear, long-term fasting appears to lower one’s immune system – that does seem rational, to me.

Ramadan will simply not be typical this year, sadly. I hope many Iranians (and Muslims everywhere) use common sense this year to protect the vulnerable and reduce the number of second-wave infections. Anyone living with vulnerable and elderly people should remember that Muslims have a full year to make up missed Ramadan days.

Part 2 will explain why the necessary reversal of globalization is impossible in a West which is dominated by their 1%, and why Iran’s “Resistance Economy” is the perfect vaccine to corona & lockdown-related economic chaos.

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books Ill Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the upcoming Socialisms Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.


Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

www.presstv.ir

www.presstv.co.uk

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Ayatollah Khamenei praises IRGC’s performance

Source

TEHRAN – Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei issued a message on Wednesday thanking the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) for their “good performance and efforts”.

The Leader’s message was delivered by Brigadier General Mohammad Shirazi, the head of the military office of the Leader, in a phone conversation with IRGC Chief Hossein Salami.

“Send my greetings to personnel of the Guards and their respected families on the occasion of the establishment of the Guards. I thank good performance and efforts of the Guards and pray for them,” read the message.

The IRGC was established on April 21, 1979, months after the victory of the Islamic Revolution, with the order of Imam Khomeini in order to protect the principles, values, and ideals of the revolution.

Last year on this day, Ayatollah Khamenei, as the commander in chief, promoted Salami to the rank of major general and named him the commander of the IRGC.

Salami replaced Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari who had held the post since September 2007.

In a message on Tuesday, Brigadier General Gholamreza Jalali, the commander of the Civil Defense Organization, described the IRGC as one of the pillars of the country’s national power. Jalali said such power has not been gained easily, therefore it must be defended wholeheartedly.

He said the IRGC has taken great steps in a path filled with obstacles.

NA/PA

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Friday’s Talk from Tehran- Nasser Kandil حديث الجمعة من طهران – ناصر قنديل

Friday’s Talk from Tehran- Nasser Kandil

Iran after the assassination of Soleimani celebrates the commemoration of the revolution and the preparation for the parliamentary elections.

The consensus around the choice of resistance thatSoleimaniwas asking for has been achieved by his martyrdom and has frustrated the external bet on the interior

The reformist movement faces the dangers of the loss of the parliamentary elections in which it dreamt of a majority.

The nuclear file is not for the negotiation with Washington, if Europe withdraws, Iran will leave the UN treaty.

The linkage between the ousting of the Americans and the fall of the Deal of the Century needs an Iranian country that can build a resilient economy.

The political diversity is present strongly and the vitality of discussions presents Iran as an example of a 41-year-old vivid revolution.

Introduction:

This Friday’s Talkwill be devoted for one file: Iran which is still living the repercussions of the assassination of the Commander QassemSoleimani and celebrates the forty-first commemoration of the victory of the Islamic Revolution and is preparing for the parliamentary electionsat the end of this month. My visit to Tehran has allowed me to meet a number of senior officials, to discuss many issues, ideas, hypotheses with a number of elites, intellectuals, and journalists, and to listen to some examples deprived from analyzing the trends of the public opinion and the points of view of its classes regarding many titles. So this pushed me to share these impressions, conclusions, and readings with the widest number of readers and followers.

The martyrdom of Soleimani is the earthquake of conscience:

The photos of QassemSoleimani fill the streets, the facades of the big buildings, the offices of the government officials and the armed forces, and the advisory offices working with the Leader of the Revolution Al Sayyed Ali Al Khamenei. Soleimani’s name is repeated tens of times in every talk with any official or a leader in Iran. The talk starts with an idea in which Soleimani is mentioned then it continues with another idea to mention Soleimani once again. The feeling of fulfillment to this leader is accompanied with the feeling of underestimation, and maybe with the feeling of guilt, but the feeling of the burden of responsibility and the collective love to him is felt by everyone.

This young man who is religious, devotional, and humble in his relationship with God, Prophets, and the People of the house, who is faithful in every word he says, who loves the poor and the needy, who is concerned about the future of Iran from all kinds of obsession, the obsession of authority, the obsession of money, the obsession of corruption, the obsession of bureaucracy, and the obsession of laziness and inactivity, and who is sixty-year old, has become the difficult number to Israel, America, and Al-Qaeda and ISIS organizations and a number of the Gulf countries until the date of his martyrdom. This leader made the contemporary glory of Iran, so that it turns through his leading position into a fearful superpower. As he was during his life the guard of the revolution and the republic behind the enemy’s lines amid a large political internal division over his role, he has become after his martyrdom the guard because of the deterrent popular gathering against every thought of escalation against Iran which is fortified with a popular flood that emerged to revenge for the blood of Soleimani contrary to the bets and hypotheses based on the decline of the popular support of the choice of revolution, republic, and their leader Al Sayyed Al Khamenei and his policies. Iran which is technically and militarily capable and which targeted Ain Al-Assad base showed that it has the resolution and the will along with the war techniques sufficient to evade from the targets of the American technical capacities. It frustrated the bet on the American technical superiority as it frustrated the bet on Iranian internal division.

Soleimani was spending a lot of time and effort before the nuclear file and after it to make out of the option of supporting the resistance against the American hegemony and the Israeli aggression a subject that gets a political consensus among the competing movements for the power in Iran. Despite his conviction of the decisive reference role of Al Sayyed Khamenei in such strategic matters, but he was seeing in neutralizing this trend a strength to Iran and a message to the abroad that enhances the position of Iran in the confrontation of its opponents and rationalizes the internal political conflicts by making them just political competition that deals with the problem of economy, construction, education, health, services, the constitutional organizations and their activation and combating corruption. But what has been achieved during the negotiation on the nuclear understanding and after signing it through unifying the position inside the ranks of the Iranian leaderships has enhanced the position of the Iranian negotiator through the abidance of the conservatives and fundamentalists especially the leadership of the Revolutionary Guard with this position which it started to be affected after the American withdrawal from the nuclear understanding and the emerge of positions that behold the role of the Guard especially the role played by Soleimani the responsibility of the deterioration of relationships with the Americans which has been culminated with the withdrawal from the nuclear understanding. However the martyrdom of Soleimani at the hands of the Americans and the subsequent announcement of the Deal of the Century reveal the goals of America in the region especially in Iran, and how Soleimani and his role were an additive value to Iran and an insurance policy that protects it, and how the resistance option was not mere an ally that is given capabilities from Iran to do its active role in the confrontation of the region but rather a partner in protecting Iran and raising its status. Therefore, every investment spent by Iran in supporting the resistance forces is a serious investment in favor of its national security and a protection of its political independence and food sufficiency, it is not an attrition of its resources which are supposed to be allocated to its internal affairs as some symbols of the reformist movement said, or as their supporters chant in demonstrations. Therefore, the funeral of Soleimani and the accompanied popular flood formed a message far from being addressed to the Americans and many people who deal with the public affairs in Iran in the authority and in the opposition only but to reveal the truth of the position of the Iranian people towards the confrontation with the Americans and towards the higher policies drawn by Al Sayyed Al Khamenei that most of which Soleimani was entrusted with.

The elections and the coming change:

The feeling of remorse expressed by those who did not respond to Soleimani’s efforts of the unification of the interior is no longer enough according to those who share with him the opinion and the choice and to the most of those belong to the conservative and fundamentalist movement who speak out in what they believe in terms of the call to question the reformist movement in the parliamentary elections since the martyrdom of Soleimaniwhich has no relation with the parties in the interior formed an end of a phase and a start of another, in other words the end of the bets promoted by the reformist movement on making understandings with Washington with good intentions. The announcement of the Deal of the Century completes what is interpreted by the assassination of Soleimani from the point of view of those who call to follow a strict policy regarding the future of the relationship with Washington, the nuclear file, the economic construction, and the social and cultural fortification, reforming the role and the position in the region in a way that is appropriate to the change caused by the assassination of Soleimani and the Deal of the Century. Those consider that this strategic burden that must be bear by the constitutional institutions cannot be entrusted to those who have opposite convictions because those cannot be entrusted to lead Iran according to the orders of Al Sayyed Al Khamenei while they are talking in their assemblies that they do not believe in them.

The traditional conservative movements expect the winning in the parliamentary elections. It is remarkable that the groups that support the former President AhmadiNejad are among them.  The expectations of relative neutral sources talk about a great winning of the conservatives that may range between two-thirds to third-quarters of the new parliament. It is remarkable as well that the speaker of the parliament Ali Larijani whose term is at its end did not submit his candidacy for the elections in preparation for the candidacy for the presidency of the republic which its elections will take place after a year and a half, where the former mayor of Tehran Mohammed BaqirQalibaf is the most prominent candidate for the presidency of the council. The President Hassan Rohani expressed his protest against the Guardians ’Council’s refusal of dozens of reformist candidates including nearly eighty deputies. The objections of the Guardian Council as shown by sources of reformists and conservatives have no bias or politicization rather these objections are based on an a fundamental factor related to the files of corruption and the illicit wealth which the council had investigated when it studied all the applications of candidacy, therefore, it refused the nominations of many reformists and conservatives, since it reflected what has happened to many politicians after forty years in power and after the winning of the revolution, but it reveals that the supervision strong independent institutions are still have the spirit of revolution and held accountability according to assets and rules where there is no favoritism or nepotism. Just for that, when the President Rohanirefused the nominations by saying we do not want to turn the elections into appointments he got a direct response from Al Sayyed Al Khamenei without mentioning his name, but it was understood that he was meant by his saying: those who object the role of a prestigious and efficient institution in ensuring the right electoral process; the Guardian Council forget that they reached to their positions through elections.

Those who follow-up and those who are interested along with the opinion polls do not expect that the Iranians who want to elect the parliament within less than twenty days are more than 50%. This ratio may decrease in Tehran to only 30%. One of the reasons of reluctance is that the voters do not know that the Supreme Leader needs a wider representation of options, demands, and objects in the parliament which represents people in all its different classes and moods, because some consider strongly that there is a part of voters cannot be ignored think that their participation will not cause a change as long as everything belongs to the country and its decisions is under the control of the Higher Leader so what is the advantage  of such participation? But those who are close from the source of decision say that this reluctance contradicts the understanding of the role of the Wilayat el Faqih who does not make a decision from nothing or illegally, but he makes balance between what is shown by the institutions that represent the choices of people in a legal wayand the interest, so he made out of them orders to authorities. So those recognize the weak needed mobilization under the title that the Higher Leader needs your participation to build on them decisions so your absence confuses his decision.

Those who are close from the authority refuse to say that this reluctance is a result of despair, on the contrary they consider it stems from trust, this trust is the same that appeared in the crowds of millions who pledged allegiance to the Higher Leader in order to revenge for the blood of the Commander QassemSoleimani. Furthermore, the people who participated in the festivals of the commemoration  of revolution after forty-one years of its founding do not do that out of courtesy or fear but because it knows the gains which it got from the revolution which brought Iran not only to the rank of the superpowers politically and militarily but also to be a country that lives a food sufficiency and a semi- industrial sufficiency, a scientific progress in which it competes the countries of the industrial world, and it provides the main services with cheap prices as electricity, gas, internet, and fuels which despite the increase of its price it remained the cheapest in the world, where the price of a liter of water equls twice times the price of a liter of gasoline.

In the commemoration of revolution: Independence and Development

The four decades that have passed since the revolution and the building of the country and what they have achieved at the levels of independence and development formed the criterion for the rise and the fall of the liberal projects in the third world. Iran has passed them but looking to pass them fully. The upcoming challenges which the conservatives, the fundamentalists, and the extremists are looking to wage to manage the country in the last period of the term of the President Al Sheikh Hassan Rohani are related to the nuclear file and the issues of poverty, corruption combating, and the issues of the regional environment whether they are related to the relationship with each of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and Yemen as arenas of the resistance forces or  related to the Gulf and the management of the relationship with the positions which it lives at the forefront Saudi Arabia.

According to the conservatives there is no return to negotiation with the Americans regarding the nuclear file, but this does not mean the final exit from the nuclear agreement and from the treaty of non-proliferation of the Nuclear Weapons but it means leaving the issue related to how to deal with the remaining partner in the agreement, it means Europe including France, Britain, and Germany. If the Europeans go to the Security Council to work under the terms of leaving the agreement, the talk about the exit from the agreement and the treaty will become on table. The understanding with the Americans is hopeless and there is no interest for Iran to have an agreement with them, if the other partners dare to carry out the agreement despite the threat of the American sanctions, since the sanctions that concern Iran are those which restrict Europe, the American military exit from the region will not be a slogan, but rather an independent project that many countries do not dare to present. Iran bears the responsibility on the behalf of everyone to make it the title of the future stage, it does not matter how far it is. Iran cannot expect the results of the American elections, but until then Iran will interpret its commitment through cooperation with the peoples of the region and the resistance forces to impose that withdrawal, where the Iranian and the Iraqi people have said their word regarding along with the majority of the Lebanese and the Afghans. Syria is approaching form the moment of deciding the fate of the American troops on its land.

The relationship with Washington is determined by the issue of the blood of the Commander QassemSoleimani and the future of Palestine. The Deal of the Century which has shown the credibility of the options of the resistance forces has provided an opportunity to form a wide front, it is not important to be organized under one institution but rather it is a popular political resisting front spreading on the Islamic world rises up for the right of return of  the Palestinian refugees and against the tamper with the future of Jerusalem in favor of the occupation. Therefore, the region is going to confrontation. Iran cannot behave as if its issue is confined to how to build its international relationships but tohow to lead the region under the titles of the American withdrawal and the fall of the Deal of the Century and how Iran can be a component that integrates with the people and the Revolutionary Guard and under the supervision of the Higher Leader and can win in these two battles. So this requires a review of the economic and political approach taken by the governments which linked the fate of their plans with the hypothesis of partnership with the West whether through the nuclear understanding or through understandings in politics and economy that reflects the regional position of Iran. These hypotheses have led to a waste of time and money in the investment on an illusion that will not be realistic except by showing more ability and imposing more of the policy of fait accompli.

Many experts and thinkers from the conservatives and extremists see that one part of the problem of the Iranian people with the governmental policies is a result of the leakage of resources resulting from the siege, and one part is a result of the emergence of economic problems as the tyranny of the rentier economy in the real estate market and currencies in the major cities especially in Tehran, and the failure of integrating the national capital which most of it was accumulated during the revolution in a productive investment process, and another part is the result of the corruption phenomenon and the illicit wealth which is the main  concern of the political process and which must turn in the successive governments into an institution that is not affected by the authority circulation and the policy changes.

It is remarkable that the Iranians whom you meet in Tehran as officials, advisors, experts, and military leaders do not feel embarrassed to talk about the problems of state- construction experienced by the revolution and the country, but they consider that it is a courage to talk in such issues to show that the revolution is still vivid and capable to face these problems. Despite the economic and financial suffocation they feel comfortable with the situation of their country which they assure that it has passed the most difficult consequences of sanctions, and began to adapt to the economic and investment alternatives of the sectors which are linked to the opportunities of openness and transcended the foundational stage of turning the challenges into opportunities.

The vivid discussions experienced by Tehran and the diversity and the multiplicity of movements, ideas, and visions are an expression of the strong project launched by Imam Ruhollah Khomeini whichits leadership and patronage has been continued by Al Sayyed Al Khamenei. Iran is a real state and has real institutions, serious economy and judiciary, a highly prepared combating ability, a professional diplomacy, and a wide variety of media that expresses the opposing ideas in the community, a life cycle lived by the Iranians away from the austeritybut under controls related to Islam, and a high degree of tolerance found in restaurants, streets, and the public parks. This confidence is worthy to respect, the next generation which did not live in the time of revolution to owe it the getting rid of the previous regime gets the opportunities of modern education and the partnership of the scientific research and innovation,without forgetting that the creativity spreads in the atmosphere of dream and freedom will reflect in the young enthusiastic political interpretations that are not in their view a cause for concern but rather a hope, because the whole world changes where people searches for peace and the internal balance of individuals and peoples. The Iranians see that they get the high ratio of this balance comparing with what is known and lived by the peoples on these two levels.

Translated by LinaShehadeh,

حديث الجمعة من طهران – ناصر قنديل

إيران بعد اغتيال سليمانيّ تحتفل بذكرى الثورة وتلاقي الانتخابات البرلمانية: ‭}‬ الإجماع الذي كان يطلبه سليمانيّ حول خيار المقاومة تحقق باستشهاده وأسقط الرهان الخارجيّ على الداخل ‭}‬ التيار الإصلاحيّ يواجه مخاطر خسارة الانتخابات البرلمانيّة التي حلم بتحقيق الأغلبيّة فيها ‭}‬ الملف النوويّ ليس للتفاوض مع واشنطن وإن خرجت أوروبا ستخرج إيران من المعاهدة الأمميّة ‭}‬ الربط بين إخراج الأميركيّين وإسقاط صفقة القرن يحتاج دولة إيرانيّة تبني اقتصاداً قادراً على الصمود ‭}‬ التنوّع السياسي حاضر بقوة وحيوية النقاشات تقدّم إيران نموذجاً لثورة حيّة عمرها 41 عاماً

حديث الجمعة من طهران – ناصر قنديل

حديث الجمعة هذا الأسبوع سيكون مخصصاً لملف واحد هو إيران التي لا تزال تعيش ارتدادات زلزال اغتيال القائد قاسم سليمانيّ، وتحتفل بالذكرى الحادية والأربعين لانتصار الثورة الإسلامية، وتستعد للانتخابات البرلمانية نهاية هذا الشهر. وقد أتاحت لي الزيارة التي أقوم لها إلى طهران اللقاء بعدد من كبار المسؤولين ومناقشة الكثير من القضايا والأفكار والفرضيّات مع عدد من النخب والمثقفين والإعلاميين، والسماع لبعض النماذج المستقاة من تحليل اتجاهات الرأي العام وتوزّع شرائحه حول العديد من العناوين، ما جعلني أرغب بتشارك هذه الانطباعات والاستنتاجات والقراءات مع أوسع عدد من القراء والمتابعين.

استشهاد سليمانيّ زلزال الضمير

صور الجنرال قاسم سليمانيّ تملأ الشوارع وجداريات الأبنية الكبرى ومكاتب المسؤولين في الحكومة والقوات المسلحة، والمكاتب الاستشارية العاملة مع مرشد الثورة السيد علي الخامنئي، لكن اسم سليمانيّ يتردد عشرات المرات في كل حديث تجريه مع أي من المسؤولين والقادة في إيران، ويدور الحديث حول فكرة تبدأ بذكر سليمانيّ ثم يعود ليدخل فكرة ثانية من مدخل سليمانيّ آخر. فالشعور بالمديونيّة لهذا القائد لدى الكثيرين، يرافقه شعور بالتقصير في التقدير، وربما شعور بالذنب لدى آخرين، لكن الشعور بعبء المسؤولية التي خلّفها والحب الجامع الذي أظهره له الشعب تلمسه لدى الجميع.

هذا الشاب المفعَم بالإيمان الديني والمتعبّد والخاشع في علاقته بالله والأنبياء وأهل البيت، الصادق في كل كلمة يقولها، المحب للفقراء والمساكين، القلق على مستقبل الدولة الإيرانية، من كل أنواع التغوّل، تغوّل السلطة وتغوّل المال وتغوّل الفساد وتغوّل البيروقراطية وتغوّل الكسل والخمول، هو الستينيّ الذي صار الرقم الصعب بالنسبة لـ»إسرائيل» وأميركا وتنظيمي القاعدة وداعش وعدد من دول الخليج، حتى تاريخ استشهاده. وهو القائد الذي صنع مجد إيران المعاصر لتتحوّل بموقعه القيادي وشكل توظيفه لهذا الموقع إلى دولة عظمى مهابة الجانب. ومثلما كان في حياته حارس الثورة والجمهورية خلف خطوط “العدو»، وسط انقسام سياسي كبير داخلياً حول دوره، صار بعد استشهاده الحارس بقوة ما أظهره استشهاده من مناخ شعبي رادع تجاه كل تفكير بالتصعيد بوجه إيران المحصّنة بطوفان شعبي خرج يطلب الانتقام لدم سليمانيّ بعكس الرهانات والافتراضات القائمة على تراجع التأييد الشعبي لخيار الثورة والجمهورية وقائدهما السيد الخامنئي، وسياساته، وإيران المحميّة باقتدار تقني وعسكري أظهرته الصواريخ التي استهدفت قاعدة عين الأسد، قالت إنها تملك العزيمة والإرادة وتملك معهما تقنيات حربية كافية للتملص من قدرات التقنية الأميركية لبلوغ أهدافها الحربية، وأسقطت الرهان على التفوق التقني الأميركي بمثل ما سقط الرهان على الانقسام الداخلي الإيراني.

كان سليمانيّ ينفق الكثير من الوقت والجهد، قبل الاتفاق النووي وبعده، ليجعل من دعم خيار المقاومة بوجه الهيمنة الأميركية والعدوانية الإسرائيلية موضوع إجماع سياسي عابر للتيارات المتنافسة على السلطة في إيران، رغم قناعته بالدور المرجعي الحاسم للسيد الخامنئي في مثل هذه الأمور الاستراتيجية، لكنه كان يرى في تحييد هذا التوجه عن خطابات التنافس قوة لإيران ورسالة للخارج تعزّز موقع إبران في مواجهة أعدائها وخصومها، وتعقلن الصراعات السياسية الداخلية، وتضعها في نصابها كتنافس سياسيّ يطال مشاكل الاقتصاد والعمران ومكافحة الفساد والتربية والصحة والخدمات والمؤسسات الدستورية وتفعيلها، لكن ما نجح بتحقيقه في فترة التفاوض على الاتفاق النووي وبعد توقيعه على هذا الصعيد، بتوحيد الموقف داخل صفوف القيادات الإيرانية، عزّز موقع المفاوض الإيراني، بالتزام المحافظين والأصوليين، وخصوصاً قيادة الحرس الثوري بهذا الموقف، بدأ يتصدع بعد الانسحاب الأميركي من الاتفاق، وظهور مواقف أخذت تتسع بين صفوف الإصلاحيين تحمّل دور الحرس وخصوصاّ الدور الذي اضطلع به سليمانيّ مسؤولية تدهور العلاقات مع الأميركيين الذي توّج بالانسحاب من الاتفاق النووي، ليأتي استشهاد سليمانيّ على أيدي الأميركيين وما تلاه من إعلان لصفقة القرن، فيكشف طبيعة ما كان يعدّه الأميركيون للمنطقة، ولإيران في المقدمة، وكيف أن سليمانيّ ودوره كانا قيمة مضافة تملكها إيران وبوليصة تأمين تحميها، وكيف أن خيار المقاومة ليس مجرد حليف توفر له إيران مقدّرات تضمن قيامه بدور فاعل في مواجهات المنطقة، بل هو من الباب الخلفي شريك في حماية إيران نفسها ورفع مكانتها؛ وبالتالي كيف أن كل استثمار تنفقه إيران في دعم قوى المقاومة هو استثمار جدي لأمنها القومي ولحماية استقلالها السياسي واكتفائها الغذائي، وليس استنزافاً لموارد يُفترض تخصيصها للشؤون الداخلية، كما كان يقول بعض رموز التيار الإصلاحي، أو كما كان أنصارهم يهتفون في التظاهرات، لتشكل جنازة سليمانيّ وما رافقها من طوفان شعبي رسالة أبعد مدى من كونها موجّهة للأميركيين، بل أيضاً للعديد من متعاطي الشأن العام في إيران، في السلطة وفي المعارضة، لاكتشاف حقيقة موقف الشعب الإيراني من خيارات المواجهة مع الأميركيين، ومن السياسات العليا التي يرسمها السيد الخامنئي والتي كان سليمانيّ مؤتمناً على أغلبها.

الانتخابات والتغيير المقبل

الشعور بالندم الذي عبّر عنه الذين لم يستجيبوا لمساعي سليمانيّ الوحدويّة في الداخل، لم يعد كافياً بنظر الذين كانوا يشاركونه الرأي ويشتركون معه في الخيار، والذين ينتمي أغلبهم للتيار المحافظ والأصولي الذين يرون ويجاهرون بما يعتقدون، لجهة الدعوة لمحاسبة التيار الإصلاحي في الانتخابات البرلمانية، لأن استشهاد سليمانيّ شكّل نهاية مرحلة وبداية مرحلة. والأمر ليس انتقاماً لسليمانيّ من أطراف في الداخل، بل إن استشهاد سليمانيّ أعلن نهاية الرهانات التي سوّقها التيار الإصلاحي على فرص التفاهمات مع واشنطن، وفرص الأخذ بالنيات الطيبة، وما يعنيه إطلاق صفقة القرن يكمل ما يقوله اغتيال سليمانيّ، من وجهة نظر الداعين إلى سلوك سياسة متشدّدة تطال النظر لمستقبل العلاقة بواشنطن، والملف النووي، والبناء الاقتصادي، والتحصين الاجتماعي، والثقافي، وإعادة صياغة للدور والموقع في المنطقة بلغة تناسب التغيير الذي حمله تزاوج اغتيال سليمانيّ وصفقة القرن. وبرأي هؤلاء أن هذا العبء الاستراتيجي المطلوب أن تتحمّله مؤسسات الدولة الدستورية لا يمكن أن يركن لمن يحملون قناعات معاكسة ليتولوا مسؤوليّاتها، ولا يمكن أن يؤتمن هؤلاء على قيادة إيران وفقاً لتوجيهات السيد الخامنئي وهم يتحدثون في مجالسهم، أنهم لا يؤمنون بها.

التيارات المحافظة التقيلدية تتوقع فوزها في الانتخابات البرلمانية، واللافت أن جماعات مؤيدة للرئيس السابق أحمدي نجاد موجودة بين صفوف هؤلاء، وتوقعات المصادر المحايدة نسبياً تتحدّث عن فوز كاسح للمحافظين قد يتراوح بين نيلهم ثلثي أو ثلاثة أرباع المجلس الجديد. واللافت أيضاً أن رئيس المجلس الذي تنتهي ولايته علي لاريجاني لم يقدّم ترشيحه للانتخابات، في خطوة ربما تتصل بالتحضير للترشّح لرئاسة الجمهورية التي تستحق انتخاباتها بعد سنة ونصف، بينما ترشح للانتخابات البرلمانية رئيس بلدية طهران السابق محمد باقر قاليباف الذي يرجّح أن يكون أبرز المرشحين لرئاسة المجلس، بينما وجد السؤال حول كيفية تعامل الرئيس الشيخ حسن روحاني وحكومته مع هذا الوضع نصف جواب بكلام الرئيس روحاني الاحتجاجي على رفض مجلس صيانة الدستور لترشيحات العشرات من المرشحين الإصلاحيين، ومنهم قرابة ثمانين نائباً حالياً، واعتراضات المجلس كما تقول مصادر من خيارات متباينة بين إصلاحيين ومحافظين، ليس فيها تحيّز أو تسييس بل هي مبنية ومؤسسة على عامل جوهريّ يرتبط بملفات الفساد والثراء غير المشروع التي يحقق فيها المجلس عند دراسته لكل طلبات الترشيح، وقد رفض على أساسها ترشيحات لإصلاحيين ومحافظين، وهي تعبّر بالتالي عما لحق بعديد من المنتمين للطبقة السياسية بعد أربعين عاماً من الوجود في الحكم، ومن انتصار الثورة، لكنها تكشف بالمقابل أن مؤسسات الرقابة المستقلة والقوية لا تزال تحمل روح الثورة وتحاسب وفقاً لأصول وقواعد لم تدخلها المحسوبية والمحاباة، ولذلك عندما اعترض الرئيس الشيخ روحاني على رفض الترشيحات قال لا نريد للانتخابات أن تتحوّل إلى تنصيبات، لقي رداً مباشراً من السيد الخامنئي لم يذكره بالاسم، لكن كان مفهوماً أنه موجّه إليه بالقول، إن الذين يعترضون على دور مؤسسة مرموقة وكفوءة هي مجلس صيانة الدستور، في ضمان عملية انتخابية صحيحة ينسون أنهم وصلوا إلى مراكزهم عن طريق الانتخابات.

الإيرانيّون الذاهبون للانتخابات النيابية خلال أقل من عشرين يوماً، لا يتوقع المتابعون والمهتمون ومثلهم تفعل استطلاعات الرأي أن تزيد نسبة مشاركتهم عن الـ 50% إلا قليلاً، ويرجّح أن تنخفض في طهران إلى 30% فقط، وأحد أسباب العزوف هو أن الناخبين لا يعلمون أن المرشد يحتاج إلى أن يجسّد البرلمان أوسع تمثيل للخيارات والطلبات والاعتراضات التي تمثّل الشعب وشرائحه ومناخاتها ومزاجها، لأن البعض يعتقد بقوة أن نسبة من الناخبين لا يمكن تجاهلها تعتقد أن مشاركتها لن تغيّر كثيراً طالما أن المرشد سقف الدولة وقراراتها فما فائدة المشاركة؟ ويقول هؤلاء المقرّبون من مصدر القرار إن هذا العزوف بهذه الطريقة بالتفكير يتناقض مع فهم دور الولي الفقيه الذي لا يصنع قراراً من العدم، أو من فوق المؤسسات، بل يتولى إقامة التوازن بين ما تظهره المؤسسات من خيارات يريدها الشعب، ويقيسها بمعايير الشرع والمصلحة لتتحوّل إلى توجيهات للسلطات، ويعترف هؤلاء بضعف التعبئة اللازمة بهذا المضمون تحت عنوان، المرشد يحتاج مشاركتكم ليبني قراراته على بيّنة، وغيابكم يُربك القرار.

ويرفض هؤلاء المقرّبون القول بأن هذا العزوف باعتبار المرشد سقف القرار نابع من يأس، بل يرونه نابع من ثقة، هي الثقة ذاتها التي ظهرت في حشود الملايين التي بايعت المرشد للانتقام لدم القائد قاسم سليمانيّ، والناس التي تشترك في احتفالات ذكرى الثورة، بعد مرور واحد وأربعين عاماً على قيامها، لا تفعل ذلك مجاملة ولا خوفاً بل لأنها تعرف بتفاصيل حياتها المكاسب التي جنتها من الثورة التي لم تنقل إيران إلى مراتب الدول الهامة سياسياً وعسكرياً وحسب، وفي هذا مكانة وكرامة وعزة للإيرانيّين، بل نقلت إيران لتصير دولة تعيش اكتفاءً غذائياً وشبه اكتفاء صناعي، وتضاهي دول العالم الصناعي بتقدمها العلمي، وتوفر الخدمات الأساسية بأسعار رمزية من الكهرباء والغاز والإنترنت والمحروقات، التي رغم رفع أسعارها بقيت الأرخص في العالم، وبقي سعر ليتر المياه فيها أضعاف سعر ليتر البنزين.

في ذكرى الثورة: الاستقلال والتنمية

العقود الأربعة التي مضت من الثورة وبناء الدولة، وما حققته على مستوى مفهومي الاستقلال والتنمية اللذين شكّلا معيار صعود وهبوط المشاريع التحررية في العالم الثالث، وقد اجتازتهما إيران حتى الآن بدرجة جيد جداً، ولكن ذلك لا يجب أن يعني عدم التطلّع لنيل درجة ممتاز، لذلك فالتحديات المقبلة التي يرى المحافظون والأصوليّون والمتشدّدون أنهم سيخوضونها لإدارة الدولة حتى في المهلة الباقية من ولاية الرئيس الشيخ حسن روحاني، تطال التعامل مع الملف النووي كما تطال التعامل مع قضايا الفقر ومكافحة الفساد، وقضايا البيئة الإقليميّة سواء ما يتصل منها بالعلاقة بكل من العراق وسورية ولبنان وفلسطين واليمن كساحات لقوى المقاومة، أو ما يطال الخليج وإدارة العلاقة مع منوّعات المواقف التي يعيش في ظلها وأبرزها بالتأكيد ما تمثله السعودية.

في الملف النووي لا عودة للتفاوض مع الأميركيين، وفقاً لمنطق المحافظين، دون أن يعني ذلك حكماً الخروج النهائي من الاتفاق النووي، وكذلك من معاهدة عدم انتشار الأسلحة النووية، بل ترك الأمر بالنسبة والتناسب مرتبطاً بكيفية تعامل الشريك الباقي في الاتفاق وهو أوروبا، بثلاثيتها الفرنسية البريطانية الألمانية، فإن ذهب الأوروبيون إلى مجلس الأمن بداعي العمل بموجب أحكام الخروج من الاتفاق، يصير الحديث عن الخروج من الاتفاق والمعاهدة مطروحاً على الطاولة، أما الأميركيون فميؤوس من التفاهم معهم ولا مصلحة لإيران لإبرام اتفاق معهم، إذا تجرأ الشركاء الآخرون على تنفيذ الاتفاق رغم التهديد بالعقوبات الأميركية، لأن العقوبات التي تعني إيران هي تلك التي تقيّد أوروبا وليس العقوبات المباشرة من أميركا، ومع أميركا ملفات وملفات لا فرص لحلها بالتفاوض. فالخروج العسكري الأميركي من المنطقة ليس شعاراً، بل هو مشروع استقلاليّ، تعجز دول كثيرة من المنطقة عن طرحه وإيران تتحمّل المسؤولية عن الجميع بجعله عنوان مرحلة مقبلة ليس مهماً كم تطول وكم تقصر، ولا يدخل في الحساب الإيراني التنبؤ بما سيحدث في الانتخابات الأميركية وتأثيراته من هذه الزاوية. فعندما تنتهي الانتخابات لكل حادث حديث وحتى ذلك الحين إيران تتقدم لترجمة التزامها بالتعاون مع شعوب المنطقة وقوى المقاومة لفرض هذا الانسحاب. وقد قال الشعبان الإيراني والعراقي كلمتهما في هذا الشأن وتشاركهم بذلك النسبة الغالبة من اللبنانيين والأفغان، بينما تقترب الدولة السورية من اللحظة التي ستضع فيها على الطاولة مصير القوات الأميركية على أراضيها.

مع واشنطن حساب يصعب إغلاقه بدمج عنواني دم القائد قاسم سليمانيّ، ومستقبل فلسطين، ولذلك توفر صفقة القرن التي أظهرت بقوة لشعوب المنطقة صوابية خيارات قوى المقاومة، فرصة لتشكيل جبهة واسعة، ليس مهماً أن تنتظم في مؤسسات واحدة، بل هي جبهة شعبية سياسية ومقاومة مترامية الأطراف على مساحة العالم الإسلامي خرجت تنتفض على تصفية حق العودة للاجئين الفلسطينيين والعبث بمستقبل القدس لصالح الاحتلال، ولذلك فالمنطقة ذاهبة للمواجهة وإيران لا تستطيع أن تتصرّف وكأن قضيتها تنحصر في كيف تبني كدولة علاقاتها الدولية، بل كيف تقود المنطقة نحو عنواني الخروج الأميركي وإسقاط صفقة القرن، وكيف تكون الدولة في إيران مكوّناً يتكامل مع الشعب والحرس الثوري، وتحت إشراف المرشد، لصناعة معادلة قادرة على الفوز في المعركتين. وهذا يستدعي مراجعة للنهج الاقتصادي والسياسي الذي سلكته حكومات ربطت مصير خططها بفرضية الشراكة مع الغرب، سواء عبر التفاهم النووي أو من خلال توقع تفاهمات في السياسة والاقتصاد تترجم موقع إيران الإقليمي، وقد ترتب على هذه الفرضيات إهدار وقت ومال كثيرين، في الاستثمار على وهم لن يتحوّل إلى فرضية واقعية إلا بإظهار المزيد من الاقتدار، وفرض المزيد من حقائق الأمر الواقع.

يرى الكثير من الخبراء والمفكّرين على ضفة المحافظين والمتشددين، أن مشكلة الشعب الإيراني مع السياسات الحكومية في جزء منه نتاج لضعف الموارد الناتج عن الحصار، لكنه في جزء آخر نتاج لبروز ظواهر مرضية اقتصادياً بطغيان الاقتصاد الريعي في سوق العقارات والعملات في المدن الكبرى، وخصوصاً في طهران، وعدم النجاح بإدماج الرأسمال الوطني الذي تمت مراكمة أغلبه في زمن الثورة، في عملية استثمارية منتجة؛ وفي جزء ثالث جراء ظواهر الفساد والإثراء غير المشروع التي تشكل اليوم الهاجس الرئيسي للعملية السياسية، والتي يجب أن تتحوّل مع الحكومات اللاحقة إلى مؤسسة لا تتأثر بتداول السلطة وتغييرات السياسة.

اللافت والمثير للإعجاب هو أن الإيرانيين الذين تقابلهم في طهران من مسؤولين ومستشارين وخبراء وقادة عسكريين، لا يحرجهم الحديث عن مشاكل البناء التي تعيشها الثورة والدولة، بل يعتبرون الشجاعة في التحدث عن هذه المشاكل علامة ثقة بأن الثورة لا تزال حية وقادرة على التصدي لهذه المشاكل. ورغم الضيق الاقتصادي والمالي فهم مرتاحون لوضع بلدهم التي يؤكدون أنها تخطت الأصعب من نتائج العقوبات وهي بدأت بأسواقها تتأقلم مع الاتجاه نحو البدائل الاستثمارية والاقتصادية للقطاعات التي ارتبطت بفرص الانفتاح، وتجاوزت المرحلة التأسيسية لتحويل التحديات إلى فرص.

الحيوية في النقاشات التي تعيشها طهران والتنوّع والتعدد في التيارات والأفكار والرؤى، تعبير عن مستوى قوة المشروع الذي أطلقه الإمام روح الله الخميني، وواصل قيادته ورعايته السيد الخامنئي، ففي إيران دولة حقيقية ومؤسسات دولة حقيقية، واقتصاد جدي، وقضاء جدي وبناء للقوة بكل جدية، وقدرة قتالية عالية الجهوزية والجدية ودبلوماسية شديدة الاحتراف، وإعلام متنوّع واسع التعبير عن مروحة الأفكار المتقابلة داخل المجتمع، ودورة حياة يعيشها الإيرانيون بعيداً عن التزمّت تحت سقف الضوابط المرتبطة بالإسلام، لكن بدرجة عالية من التسامج تلحظها في المطاعم والشارع والحدائق العامة، والجدير بالاحترام هو هذه الثقة بأن الأجيال الجديدة التي لم تعش زمن الثورة لتحفظ لها جميل التخلص من النظام السابق، تنال فرص التعليم الحديث وشراكة البحث العلمي والابتكار، مع معرفة صناع القرار بأن الإبداع يعيش في مناخ من الحلم والحرية سينعكسان بتعبيرات سياسية شابة واعتراضية وحماسية، لا تشكل بنظرهم سبباً للقلق بل للأمل، لأن العالم كله يتغير ويبحث الناس عن السكينة فيه وعن التوازن الداخلي للأفراد والشعوب. ويرى الإيرانيون أنهم يحصلون على النسبة الأعلى من هذا التوازن بالمقارنة مع مستويات ما يعرفه الأفراد وتعيشه الشعوب على هذين الصعيدين.

Full speech about Imam Mahdi and the West’s moral failure against coronavirus

Full speech about Imam Mahdi and the West’s moral failure against coronavirus

source 

April 14, 2020

The following is the full text of a televised speech delivered on April 9, 2020 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, on the occasion of the 15th of Sha’ban.

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and greetings be upon our Master Muhammad, and upon his pure household

May the auspicious 15th of Sha’ban be a blessed eid for all you dear brothers and sisters, the entire Iranian nation and all Muslims and all liberated people in the world. Unfortunately, I do not have the opportunity to meet with you up close and I have to speak to you from a distance, but this is an experience in itself. Today, I will say a few things about the Imam of the Age- may our souls be sacrificed for his sake- and I will raise a few points about the current issue of the country, but first of all, let us send greetings to the Imam of the Age:

Greetings be upon you Imam of the Age, greetings be upon you God’s firm pledge, greetings be upon you God’s promise – such promise whose fulfillment He guaranteed – greetings be upon you the hoisted flag, and you the manifestation of knowledge, of protection, of vast mercy and of inviolable promises.”

The following section of the holy ziyarah “Al-e Yasin” is full of love: “Our greetings be upon you when you rise and re-appear at the behest of God and when you put on the veil of disappearance. Our greetings be upon you when you engage in recitation and tafsir.”

Perhaps, there have been few historic eras during which humanity was in as much need as the present time for the existence of a savior. This holds true for both elites who feel this need consciously and the masses of the people who feel the need as well, but unconsciously. Everyone feels the need for a savior, a Mahdi. Everyone feels the need for the hand of divine power, for an infallible Imam, for purity and for divine guidance. We know of few historic eras during which there was so much need for this lofty truth.

Today, after having experienced various schools of thought and various philosophies – ranging from communism, western liberal democracy to the current form of democracy in the world, with the oversized claims that they make – humanity does not feel at ease. Despite all the astonishing scientific breakthroughs which have completely changed the way of life, humanity does not feel happy. Humanity suffers from poverty, disease, perversion and sins. It is afflicted with injustice, inequality and deep and growing class rifts. Humanity is subject to the abuse of power at the hands of big powers. They abuse science and natural discoveries, the capabilities discovered in nature. Humanity is faced with all these. These things have caused humans, throughout the world, to feel exhausted and to feel the need for a liberating hand.

Billions of people throughout the world are suffering. Some people might have prosperity, but they are not really tranquil. Humanity suffers from anxiety, and scientific breakthroughs and various developments have not managed to bestow bliss on humanity. Of course, human intellect is a great blessing. Similarly, experience is a valuable blessing. These are God’s blessings and they can solve many problems in life, but there are some knots that cannot be untied with these tools.

An example is justice. The issue of justice cannot be resolved with today’s advanced science and technology. Its knot cannot be untied with them. Today, injustice is fed by science. In other words, advanced science is at the service of injustice and warmongering. It is at the service of occupying others’ lands and of dominating nations. So, science cannot untie such knots. These things require a spiritual and divine hand and the powerful hand of an infallible Imam. It is he who can do these things. Therefore, his great mission is to administer justice. This has been pointed out in many prayers and ziyarahs.

The administration of justice is something that cannot be achieved by anyone other than the hand of divine power which is manifested by the Imam of the Age. And the kind of justice that Hazrat is expected to administer is not particular to one specific area, rather it covers all aspects of life:  Justice in power, wealth, health, human dignity, social status, spirituality, the possibility for growth and in all other dimensions of life. These are the things that are expected to be established by the Imam of the Age (may our souls be sacrificed for his sake) and by Allah’s favor, this will happen. All people- including elites and those who can understand events and the masses of the people some of whom might be preoccupied with their daily life and therefore are unaware of the developments in the world– have this need, either consciously or unconsciously.

All religions have promised a big “faraj” and a great divine movement at the end of history, which is of course not the end of history. When the era of the Imam of the Age begins, the real world and the real life of humanity begins to take shape. However, all religions have promised an end to the current condition of life that we have today. Therefore, this is a need, but in order to channel this need and render it fruitful, we have been asked in Islam to anticipate his re-appearance. This “anticipation” is beyond a mere sense of need. They have said that we should anticipate. Anticipation means hope. It means believing in a definite future. So, it is not just a mere belief. Anticipation is constructive. Therefore, in our narrations and teachings, the anticipation for this big faraj enjoys a high position. Later on, I will expand on this anticipation.

In a towqi’ [holy edict] of the Imam of the Age to Ibn Babawayh– Ali ibn Babawayh– he quotes the Holy Prophet (God’s greetings be upon him and his household) as saying “The best action that my Ummah can take is to anticipate the faraj.” There is a narration by Imam Musa ibn Ja’far which says, “After knowledge and understanding, the best course of action is anticipation for the faraj.” The Arabic word “ma’rifah” means monotheism and understanding divine truths. The Commander of the Faithful (greetings be upon him) says, “Anticipate the faraj and do not lose hope in the spirit of God.” It says that we should anticipate and we should not lose hope of divine spirit, mercy and assistance.

So in anticipating the faraj, there is dynamism and action. Well, this has been said about anticipating the re-appearance of the Imam of the Age. It is evident that anticipating the faraj means anticipating the re-appearance of the Imam of the Age. However, this is one manifestation of the anticipation. When the Holy Prophet says, “The best action that my Ummah can take is to anticipate the faraj” this reflects on all the problems that might occur to us in life. We should not become disappointed when confronting problems and we should anticipate a faraj, knowing for certain that it will materialize. The anticipation for the faraj is a faraj in itself. There is a narration by Hazrat Musa ibn Ja’far which says, “You should know that the anticipation for the faraj is a faraj in itself.” So, the anticipation for the faraj is a kind of opening for us as it liberates us from a state of despair and desperation which might force one into doing strange things. Well, this is what it means.

When the Holy Prophet and the Imams said this, it means that Mohammad’s (God’s greetings be upon him and his household) Ummah never becomes disappointed at any incident in life and that it always waits for the faraj. Well, anticipation does not mean sitting idle and fixating one’s eyes at the door, rather it means preparing oneself, taking action and feeling that there is an end that can be achieved and for that, one should work hard. We who anticipate the faraj and the re-appearance of the Imam of the Age (may our souls be sacrificed for his sake) should work to that end. We should work hard on the path of establishing a Mahdawi society. We should get close to the Mahdawi society as much as we can because the Mahdawi society is the society of justice, spirituality, understanding, brotherhood, camaraderie, science and dignity.

There is one point about the anticipation: anticipating the faraj is different from showing impatience and setting a timeline – for example by saying to ourselves that such and such an incident and difficulty should come to an end at such and such a time or that Hazrat should re-appear in such and such a day. This anticipation for the faraj does not mean showing impatience and being restless.

This anticipation means preparing oneself. Showing impatience and being in a rush are among the forbidden things. There is a narration which says, “God will not hurry up if His servants hurry up.” If you are in a rush, this does not mean that God will make hasty decisions because of you. No, there is a time and a reason for everything and things will be done based on divine providence. As I mentioned before, the anticipation for the faraj means both the re-appearance of the Hazrat and the opening after big difficulties: the opening after difficult incidents that involve everyone such as the incidents that occur today in the world which disappoint many and force others into suicide. However, when there is the anticipation for the big opening, this will not happen as one knows that such incidents will surely come to an end.

Well, there is another point here: the tranquility resulting from the anticipation and one’s self-confidence – as a result of which individuals feel calm and undisturbed – could be strengthened with prayers, with supplication and by speaking to God. “For without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction” [The Holy Quran, 13: 28]. Now, we are in the month of Sha’ban and after that, we have the month of Ramadan. There are numerous duas and various prayers and speaking to God without any interceder is very valuable. And speaking to the infallible Imams (greetings be upon them), who are the closest people in the whole world to Allah the Exalted, will give one tranquility and peace of mind. Remembrance of Allah the Exalted opens our path, gives us joy and attracts divine mercy.

Surely, the millions of hands that were raised last night will bear fruits. Last night, millions of people succeeded in familiarizing their hearts with God, in connecting with Him, in holding up one’s hands and in speaking to Him. Without any doubt, the results of this action will show themselves both in individuals themselves and in the whole society and many blessings will ensue. These were the points that I wished to discuss about the issue of the re-appearance, the faraj and the uprising of the Imam of the Age. Of course, many things can be said in this regard, but for today, this much is enough.

As for the current issue of the country – the coronavirus outbreak – well, this is an epidemic and a test. It is a test for the whole world: for both governments and nations. Governments are tested in this incident and so are nations. It is indeed a very strange test. Of course, enough has been said about the statistics, the very good measures that have been adopted and the recommendations of officials. The IRIB has also had a good performance, to be fair, in this regard. I do not want to speak about these matters, but I have certain other points to raise:

One point is that the Iranian nation has had a brilliant performance in this test. During the coronavirus test and during this pandemic, is modern pandemic, the Iranian nation shone brightly. First of all, the peak of this national glory belongs to the medical staff of the country. I have spoken many times and I would like to reiterate again the significance of their work and the value of their self-sacrifice, including that of physicians, nurses, laboratory experts, radiologists, medical assistants in health centers, public services divisions, the sections in charge of research, and management inside the Ministry of Health and outside it – the managers active in this area. The peak of this glory belongs to them. They placed their lives and their health at the service of the people. This is very significant and magnificent.

They endured the pain of being away from their family. Many of them did not see their family even during Nowruz holidays and they suffered from sleeplessness and psychological pressures resulting from treating patients in a critical state. They welcomed all these things and therefore, a good memory of the medical staff and system of the country will be engraved in the minds of the Iranian nation. This is a good and happy memory left behind at this point in time by the medical, nursing and treatment society of the country.

As well as them, we should mention volunteers: those who were not part of the medical staff, but who entered the arena voluntarily. Jihadi clergy and students, thousands of diligent basijis throughout the country and the masses of the people presented such valuable services that are beyond description. On the one hand, such services make one really happy and on the other hand, they make one feel grateful.

We should mention the Armed Forces as well. The Armed Forces truly utilized all their power of construction and creativity. They placed all their resources at the service of the task which even included scientific resources, scientific discoveries and the manufacture of medical instruments and medical equipment for hospitals and clinics as well as other goods and instruments which were at the disposal of the Armed Forces. They did their best to utilize their power of construction and creativeness in the area of science and pragmatism.

Later on, new capacities were discovered and it became clear that there are numerous capacities inside and outside the Armed Forces while we had been unaware of them beforehand. Youth appear on television and explain the things that they have built, but we did not know of them before. These are the new discovered capacities.

The people’s cooperation has also created beautiful, fascinating and astonishing scenes and they can be seen everywhere. I would like to cite instances of this popular cooperation. Of course, these are not all the cases, rather these are the ones that have been reported to me: in Sabzevar, for example, they have launched the plan “A sacrifice for every neighborhood”: the people in the neighborhood gather together, sacrifice an animal and give the meat to the needy in that neighborhood. This is a very essential, important and interesting plan for feeding the needy. In Yazd, the mother of a martyr has enlisted the help of several ladies in order to turn their houses into sewing workshops with the purpose of producing masks and giving them to the people for free. In Nahavand, a group of ladies who used to bake bread and send it to the frontlines during the Sacred Defense Era have become active again in order to control the disease and help fight it. In Khuzestan, the clergy have set up groups to disinfect the people’s houses. In Shiraz, local well-established personalities speak to the owners of different properties – such as the owners of houses and shops – so that they will not receive their rent or give a discount and delay the payments during the outbreak, thus helping local shopkeepers. In Tabriz, the head of the seminary has entered the arena on the ground to offer help. In another city, a hezbollahi candidate for the parliamentary elections, who was not elected, has decided not to close down his committee so that he can organize activists at the service of a jihadi movement and of fighting the coronavirus.

Of course, these examples are based on a few reports available to me, otherwise, there are hundreds or rather thousands of examples like this in different shapes throughout the country, some of which I have also cited in my previous speeches. It is important to pay attention that these are signs of the depth and the influence of Islamic culture in the hearts of our people. This is contrary to the claim of those who unfortunately tried to humiliate Iranian culture– Islamic-Iranian culture– in the past two decades in order to divert the attention of the people towards the western lifestyle. However, despite their wishes, this is not the case. Fortunately, this feeling of Islamic thinking and Islamic culture is a very strong and firm feeling in our people.

Western culture and civilization showed their mettle as well! Well, our national television showed some of the things that happened in western countries, in Europe and in the US, but some of them were not broadcast because this is the information that we receive and therefore, we are aware of it. The west displayed its cultural products as well. In some western countries– in Europe and the US– it so happened that governments confiscated masks and gloves belonging to another government while they were being transferred in order to use them for themselves. This happened in European and American governments. And the people there emptied the stores in a short time, in the space of one, two hours- as they were anxious to fill their fridges and they emptied the shops. They showed the whole world on television the empty shelves in the stores. Our television showed it as well. And there were some people who fought with one another over toilet paper. There were also long rows of people trying to buy guns. It was broadcast on television that the people were lining up to buy guns because they felt insecure and felt the need to buy guns in this sensitive period of time. We can also refer to their prioritization of patients: their preference not to treat the elderly. They said, “It is not necessary for us to bother treating the elderly, the disabled and the like who suffer from various conditions and ailments considering the restrictions that we have.” These are the things that have happened there.

Some people in those countries have committed suicide out of fear of the coronavirus and of death. This is the conduct that some western nations have shown. Of course, this is a logical and natural consequence of the philosophy ruling over the western civilization, which is an individualistic, materialistic and secular philosophy. Even if there is belief in God in that philosophy, it is not based on correct, towhidi and deep tenets. This is another issue.

I would like to add that a western official said a few days ago that the “Wild West” has been revived. This is what they say. When we say that there is a spirit of wildness in the west which is not incompatible with their perfumed and neat appearances, some people express their surprise and deny it. Now, they themselves are saying this! They say that such behavior is a symbol of the Wild West being revived.

Another dimension of this issue is the public behavior of our dear nation in acting on the recommendations. One can see that the people are really acting on what the National Anti-Corona Headquarters announces in a definite manner. Of course, they might announce something while they have doubts and the people might conclude that it is not necessary to do it, but when something is announced in a definite manner and they feel that they should do something, they cooperate with officials on the recommendations that they issue.

One example is this year’s “sizde-bedar” ceremony. Nobody would have believed that the people would cancel it, but they did. The people did not attend sizde-bedar. This shows that the people have accepted public discipline in confronting this disease in the true sense of the word. Of course, this should continue. This public discipline should continue to exist and the decisions announced by the National Anti-Corona Headquarters – as the Headquarters is the first-tier organization in charge of this task – should be taken seriously and acted upon.

Another dimension of the issue is that coronavirus is clearly a grave problem for today’s humanity. It is a big and dangerous outbreak that has occurred to humanity, but compared to other problems, it is a relatively small matter. We have been witness to many problems in the world and in our own country, which were not less important, rather more important than this recent malady, including the fact that Saddam’s planes dumped chemicals on our country 32 years ago– on exactly the same days that coronavirus has now entered our country. They killed thousands of people in our cities and in their own cities and they did so with mustard gas and the like. This happened and of course, all big powers in the world supported and helped Saddam on that day. Some of these so-called civilized and advanced countries gave him chemical substances and weapons and until today, none of them has answered for the crimes that they committed back then.

And that criminal Saddam, behaved towards our people and his own people in Halabja in the same manner, because he felt that the people of Halabja might be cooperating with the soldiers of the Islamic Republic, he killed them on the streets in a brutal manner. Well, these things have happened. During the two world wars, millions of people were killed as well. In the case of the coronavirus, it is said that one million-plus individuals have been infected and some have lost their lives. However, in the first and second world wars which occurred in Europe with an interval of about 20 years, several million people were killed. I do not remember exactly how many, but I know that tens of millions of people were killed during those wars.

During the Vietnam War too, which was waged by the US, many people were killed and the same is true of other wars. Just recently, many people were killed and martyred during the attack that the US and others launched in Iraq. These cases have been frequent. Therefore, when we think about the recent matter, we should not ignore the other important incidents that have always occurred in the world and we should know that at the very moment, millions of people are under the pressure of oppression at the hands of big powers and enemies in the world and they are deeply suffering. The people in Yemen, Palestine and many other parts of the world are under pressure. Therefore, the issue of coronavirus should not make us forgetful of the plots of enemies and of arrogance and we should know that the enmity of arrogance is based on the essence of the Islamic Republic.

If someone thinks that we should not show enmity so that they will not show us enmity either, this is not true. The essence of the Islamic Republic is the principle of Islamic democracy and this is not acceptable, understandable and tolerable to them! This is another point.

I will tell you that officials in the National Anti-Corona Headquarters are working seriously. We receive the reports in this regard and we are aware of their activities. They have also come up with certain plans for underprivileged classes, but I wish to stress and recommend that executive officials should implement the plans for helping these classes as soon as possible and in the best way they can, God willing.

However, the people are also responsible. There are some people who really find it very hard to make ends meet and they cannot manage their daily affairs. The people whose hands are open and who are financially well-off should begin extensive activities in this regard.

We read in the holy dua “Shajarat-un Nubuwwa”: “Feed me so that I can help- by means of what you bestowed on me with Your Grace- those who are deprived of your bounties and blessings to a large part, as you provided me with Your shelter.” This is one of the necessary tasks that should be carried out, in particular because the month of Ramadan is imminent. The month of Ramadan is the month of giving alms, making sacrifice and helping the needy. It will be such an excellent move to launch a big movement in the country for charitable purposes and offering pious help to the needy and the poor. If this happens, there will be a good memory of this year in the minds of the people.

In order to prove our love for the Imam of the Age, we should create scenes and reflections of the Mahdawi society. As I mentioned before, the Mahdawi society is the society of justice, dignity, knowledge and assistance. We should realize these things within the scope of our capability in our life. This will help us get closer to that ideal society.

The last point that I would like to raise is that in the absence of public meetings in the month of Ramadan – as this year, we are deprived of these very valuable public meetings which are places for making dua, speaking to one another and supplicating to God – we should not forget about acts of worship, praying and showing humility towards God. We can do the same things and show the same humility in our own homes, when we are alone or when we are among our family members and our children. Of course, there will be some television programs as well which can be benefitted from. And we are obliged to do so.

I also have one word of advice for officials and for young activists in the arena of science and technology. Two things should not be forgotten: one is the issue of “surge in production” which is vital for the country. We should pursue the issue of production in the country at any cost and we should help production witness a surge in the true sense of the word. And another is the issue of manufacturing the many things that we need and doing laboratory wok. By Allah’s favor, the youth in laboratory sections will pursue this matter.

I ask Allah the Exalted to bestow salvation on the Iranian nation. May God gladden the immaculate soul of our magnanimous Imam, that He associates the pure souls of our dear martyrs with the Holy Prophet, that He will realize the big dreams of the Iranian nation and that He hastens the re-appearance of the Imam of the Age- may our souls be sacrificed for his sake- God willing.

Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings

Tough times need vanguard parties – are ‘social media users’ the West’s?

Tough times need vanguard parties – are ‘social media users’ the West’s?

by Ramin Mazaheri exclusive for The Saker log

So when did you become an epidemiologist? You seem quite willing to shame anyone not sterilising every square inch of every square inch.

And when did you become an economist? “The economy is not important now” must have been a pretty unusual PhD thesis.

We have likely all heard of “internet tough guys” – people who make bold claims or threats online, yet would flee at the sight of conflict – but who knew social media had so many people qualified to tell entire nations what to do regarding Corona?

How much of the Corona crisis has been caused by social media virtue-signallers, hypochondriacs, communications degree-holding intellectuals, helicopter Dads, bossy cows, and sheep who generally follow whatever the herd, management or pop stars tell them to do? That’s an interesting question: would we all be in lockdown prior to the internet and Facebook?

A practical follow-up question is: which nations have leadership which are perhaps even steered by social media, and which nations have leaders who can steer the national boat through choppy waters?

As socialists know and accept, a vanguard party is essential precisely because there are so many choppy waters in life. Choppy waters are doubled for socialist-inspired countries due to imposed wars, sanctions, blockades and endless cold war.

Capitalists and libertarians once again use Orwell against us – the same old, facile “some pigs are more equal than others” of Animal Farm – conflating totalitarianism with socialism, even though the two have entirely different ends and means.

Despite their absurd claims, the vanguard party concept is not anti-democratic. Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel had truly universal support from every Cuban (in Cuba) I asked because he rose level by level by repeatedly showing his competence as a civil servant. The same goes for Xi of China (as I will soon remind). Nobody expected a low-ranking cleric like Khamenei to take over for Khomeini, but he has repeatedly showed his competence and abilities; go tell the tens of millions shouting “Khamenei rahbar” (Khamenei the leader) that socialist-inspired democracy, with both direct and indirect, hasn’t worked out well. In post-1917 countries one rises to the 1% via actual competence, and not just by buying elections, as in the West.

Conversely, Hillary Clinton married the governor of Arkansas, who became president, and then America was stuck with her. Emmanuel Macron did… I don’t even know how he got so far so fast, and I really don’t want to know what went on behind closed doors with him.

Regardless, are some pigs more equal than others, to pose their question?

Certainly, what you won’t hear from such socialist detractors is that China’s President Xi spent years doing hard rural work during the days of the Cultural Revolution, and then teaching illiterate farmers how to read during his Cultural Revolution nights. Now, I suppose it is technically a possibility: none of that was earnestly heartfelt on Xi’s part, and he is secretly amassing a personal fortune because the recesses of his heart are nothing but pure bitterness and hate for the socialist ideal of equality which he was forced to display and teach; he has also spent decades duping everyone in China that he is a competent public servant; Xi has zero warm sentiment for those rural citizens he worked with, and wants only revenge; any moment now Xi will launch a surprise attack of totalitarianism designed solely for his personal benefit and revenge.

These are the very real – yet ALWAYS unsaid – logical extensions of Western arguments made against vanguard parties in general, as well as against Xi. Westerners insist that socialist vanguard parties are corrupt not just at the core but all the way to the periphery.

Another unsaid logical extension is that no vanguard parties informally exist in the West. If, however, there are, it is because such people have risen to the 1% solely on merit. Xi’s supposed “merit”, is not merit at all… unlike theirs. Don’t push Westerners to explain these points – they have no answers.

Much of this applies to Iran as well – their system is based on the idea of the “guardianship of the Islamic jurist”. “Down with those opposed to the guardianship of the Islamic jurist” is always included in the “down withs”, and even before “down with the MKO, England, the US and Israel”. The vanguard party in Iran is obviously the clergy; I have written extensively and objectively about how I believe this is being bureaucratically formalised into the “Basij”, and I have discussed how the structure of the Basij has been clearly modelled on the Chinese Communist Party.

How can that be, Ramin, when Communists are atheists? Firstly, they are not. Maybe Marx was, but to hell with him on this point. Cuba is full of Catholics, but even more prevalent are those who practice Santeria; Vietnam has always constitutionally protected religion; Confucianism and Taoism, it is rarely recognised, are two sides of the same East Asian cosmological coin, and China’s intolerance on this point is being remedied. The USSR never reconciled religion and socialism, and this is a huge reason explaining why they are no more; a reason as big as Krushchevian corruption and capitalist-roading.

However, the structural and political similarities between the Basij and the CCP arise not from cosmological agreement but from the natural similarities of two countries who have had post-1917, socialist-inspired revolutions. The similarities are not “coincidental” at all, though those who misunderstand and reject socialism would surely explain away my comparisons with such sweeping, facile, pseudo-explanations. I’m not sure that you can have a vanguard party without the structures, policies and protections – as well as many of the aims and demands – which are greatly dissimilar from the CCP and the Basij? Few examples exist, sadly, for me to study and compare. Never say never, I suppose.

The idea of a formalised vanguard party – as in Iranian Islamic Socialism and other forms of socialism – does not mean totalitarianism. I suppose it could, but why can it not also mean elite governance performance? Why must we look only at the negative aspects, and not the positive? What are we – capitalist-imperialists?

The Corona crisis is not going to validate the support of formal, socialist-inspired vanguard parties in China, Iran, Cuba and elsewhere – they need no validation among their people; their bones are made.

What it will certainly do is discredit the Western model of “non-vanguardism”, “hidden-vanguardism”, “technocratic vanguardism”, “1%er-vanguardism” or whatever else you want to term their bankocratic, aristocratic, bourgeois oligarchies which govern.

The incredible spanner Western politicians have suicidally thrown into their economies will prove this: they have none of the unity, foresight, determination and especially the political modernity of countries like China and Iran, yet they are adopting similar Corona responses. It simply can’t be done without causing Great Depressions in the Lost Decade II-embarking Eurozone for certain, and also for the US economy, which disastrously combines a finance & service & consumer-based economy with non-Trumpian evangelism for self-harming globalisation.

It will take great pain, but this is what humans often require to make serious change, sadly. It will split apart families, but that is what civil war does.

I don’t know which nation will be the first to see their lower class starting to attack their neoliberal/neoliberal-client systems – and attacking as well the reactionary selfishness of the “first responders” whom they are repeatedly told to adulate – but they will all reach the same place as China and Iran: who is in charge? Who is the vanguard party to lead and staff the bureaucracy, which organises and decides on the logistics, and who needs to spread the night soil so we all can eat?

All workers are valid and equal, of course, but a vanguard party is needed to run a government. The alleged path goes capitalism, socialism, communism, anarchism – the idea that no vanguard parties are needed is anarchism, and Cubans will also correct you when you call them communist: they know they are not that far. The amount of self-empowerment espoused in anarchism may not even be possible on a billions-level? These are questions for a later date….

Allow me to disqualify myself from the vanguard party: I have been passed up for management over and over (of course everyone claims this), so maybe they are right? I am used to being a powerless cog in a machine, and I quite like it now!

The people who deserve to be in vanguard parties are those who evince both the capability for selflessness as well as the capability for superior political thought. After all, some have capabilities for great artistic thought, or great engineering thought, or have great social skills – political policy certainly requires input from all sectors and classes but their bureaucrats do need to have a masterful grasp of modern political ideology, as well as a grasp of what not to do: i.e., the ideologies held by the enemies of modern political ideologies. These qualifications are evinced by people like Xi, Khamenei, Diaz-Canel and France’s Yellow Vests.

The roar that the Yellow Vests will make when France’s lockdown in over… that’s another article.

I don’t think you can find a journalist writing in any Western language who has stood shoulder to shoulder with them more often, and I can promise France: put the Yellow Vests in charge and you’ll have exceptional national governance immediately. Unlike the Iranian clergy, Chinese commies and Cuban socialist-Santeriaists, the Yellow Vests’ actual support is hard to gauge: polls constantly showed over 50% support, yet the Animal Rights Party won 2.2% in the 2019 European Parliament elections, double the Yellow Vests parties combined.

Who is the vanguard party in the US? That I cannot say – I do not think one is apparent. I think Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders and their few public comrades are interesting given the limitations of the US political context, but they are still far from what’s necessary now, and especially far from what will be necessary given the trajectory of Great Depression 2.

The times make the man, as they say.

The West’s vanguard parties seem intent on making times as difficult for the lower classes as they possibly can. Time well spent would be turning of Western MSM, as well as social media, and reflecting on who you think should really be in charge.

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the upcoming ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’.

SITREP – Iran’s fight against the Coronavirus exposes Washington’s cruel nature

March 22, 2020

By Aram Mirzaei or the Saker blog

The Islamic Republic has entered its second month of battling the global pandemic caused by the Covid-19 disease. For long, Iran stood out as the hardest hit nation outside of China as the virus swiftly spread across the country, infecting several MPs and government officials as well. From the onset of the outbreak, some among the Western media were quick to criticize Iran’s handling of the outbreak, seizing a perfect opportunity to attack the Islamic Republic. Exiled opposition groups and individuals quickly took to Twitter, sharing disaster stories and videos of collapsed men and women on the streets all over Iran. Iran was immediately accused of hiding the true number of infected people and casualties, despite reassurances from the WHO that there was no evidence of a cover up in Tehran.

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2020/03/02/619989/WHO-Iran-coronavirus-

It could very well be true that the number of infected people in Iran are a lot higher than the official data from the Health Ministry, but unrecorded cases, so called hidden statistics exist almost everywhere. Those who aren’t considered at risk are told to remain at home and self quarantine – there’s no cover up or conspiracy in doing this. ¨

If there was a conspiracy, it would be the so called opposition activists only conspiring to mass produce fake news on Iran’s Corona fight and undermine the government’s efforts. Some of these “activists” openly call for people in Iran to make efforts to worsen the spread in a bid to bring the “regime” down. Others hoard and hide medical supplies and sanitizing products in order to undermine the country’s ability to handle the outbreak. Recently a warehouse in northwestern Iran was discovered to have hoarded 28 million masks and gloves!

Part of the reason for the quick and massive spread of the virus also lies with the government’s inability to confront the threat properly. The holy shrines remained open for a long time after the first confirmed cases in Qom, while the parliament elections were also held despite the imminent threat of an epidemic. Also, the government failed to enforce quarantines in cities such as Tehran and Qom, allowing the disease to spread across all of Iran.

The high amount of government officials and MPs infected are due to the fact that the source of the outbreak in Iran could be traced back to Qom, an important religious and political centre of Iran. A number of the infected officials have since succumbed to the disease and died during the recent weeks.

Amid this fight, it has become clear for the entire world how cruel Washington’s sanctions against Iran truly are. Not only have they refused to ease the sanctions, but they also imposed further sanctions in the recent days.

Bildresultat för iraj harirchi

Presstv:

The United States has announced a new round of sanctions against Iran as part of its so-called “maximum pressure” campaign against the Islamic Republic.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday that Washington had blacklisted three Iranian entities for engaging in what he called “significant transactions” to trade in Iranian petrochemicals.

While he did not name any firms or individuals, Pompeo said the measure included blacklisting Iran’s armed forces social security investment company and its director for investing in the sanctioned entities.

In a separate statement, the US Commerce Department also said it would boycott a number of entities, including five Iranian nuclear scientists, for aiding Tehran’s nuclear program.

The Iranian health sector has been hit hard by the sanctions.
Tehran’s ambassador to Madrid says Iran is the only country in the world that cannot buy medicine and medical equipment from the global market because of America’s “cruel and inhumane” sanctions, which are hindering the country’s fight against a coronavirus outbreak.

Hassan Qashqavi made the remarks in an interview with Spain’s La Razon newspaper on Wednesday.

He further said that any banking transaction requires permission from the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which blocks foreign firms from engaging in transactions and trade with countries on the US’s sanctions list.

Another interesting report:

The British government is pressing the United States to ease its sanctions against Iran amid a coronavirus outbreak in the country which has infected thousands of people, says a report.

The Guardian newspaper claimed in a report published on its website on Wednesday that UK authorities were privately negotiating with Washington for a respite to Iran sanctions.

The report did not elaborate on any further details, neither was there any mention of sources corroborating the claims.

Update Sunday March 22

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has described the US “the most evil enemy of the Iranian nation”, saying the offer by the United States to help Iran fight the coronavirus outbreak is strange.

“Today, we have no less of enemies but the most evil enemy of the Iranian nation is America,” the Leader said in a televised address on Sunday.

US officials have refused to lift draconian sanctions which are hampering Iran’s efforts to contain the coronavirus. They have instead claimed readiness to aid Iranians, with President Donald Trump saying “all they have to do is ask”.

Iranian authorities have dismissed the offer as hypocritical, saying it makes no sense when Washington keeps on imposing new sanctions which have made Iran’s access to food, medicine and other humanitarian supplies impossible.

Ayatollah Khamenei called US officials deceitful, saying they were lying as he touched on speculations that the United States has manufactured the extremely contagious disease.

“Americans have said several times that ‘we are ready to help with treatment and medicine; just ask us and we will help’. This is one of the weirdest things which they tell us to ask them,” the Leader said.

“Firstly, you have a shortage yourself and this is what American officials say. Secondly, you are accused of producing the virus. I do not know how true this accusation is, but when such an accusation is made, which wise person will ask for your help?” he added.

Ayatollah Khamenei said, “American officials are mendacious, deceitful, shameless and greedy. They are all kinds of charlatans who speak like charlatans. They are cruel, merciless, and terrorist.”

According to the Leader, “part of this virus is said to have been made for Iran by using genetic backgrounds which they have collected from Iranians, which of course is part of their hostility”.

Officials in Tehran have ordered all commercial centers closed except for major chain stores supplying foodstuff and other basic requirements as well as pharmacies as part of new restrictive measures to stem the coronavirus outbreak.

Deputy Governor of Tehran Province Hamidreza Goudarzi said on Sunday new social distancing directives about what activities were and were not allowed in the capital had been issued for the megapolis of some 12 million.

Only hypermarkets and drug stores are allowed to stay open and other businesses breaching the order will be penalized, he added. The new restrictions come as Iran is stepping up its campaign to curtail a further spread of the disease.

Head of Iran’s Food and Drug Administration Mohammad Reza Shanehsaz said pharmacies across the country are replenished with protective masks, hand sanitizers and other hygiene products and there is no shortage in this regard.

Alcohol production by Iranian companies has doubled in recent weeks. “We are currently producing 400,000 litres of alcohol on a daily basis,” Shanehsaz said.

Iranian Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said on Sunday that 1,028 new coronavirus cases had been diagnosed within the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of infected individuals to 21,638.

“With 129 new deaths in the past 24 hours, the death toll from the virus has reached 1,685,” he said.
Jahanpour further put the number of patients who have recovered from the viral disease at 7,913.

Meanwhile Iran’s Health Minister Saeed Namaki said as of Sunday morning 32.7 million Iranians had been screened for the new coronavirus.

The minister said up to 60 percent of the population had confined themselves to their homes and urged the rest of the people to abide by the stay-home directives to help prevent a second wave of infections as a result of cross-country trips during the two-week Nowruz holidays.

Bildresultat för iran coronavirus doctors

IT’S WEIRD: IRANIAN SUPREME LEADER SLAMS U.S. OFFER OF ‘HELP’ WITH COVID-19

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei casts his vote near his office in Tehran. Image source: Reuters

South Front

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei casts his vote near his office in Tehran. Image source: Reuters

Iran’s Supreme Leader has slammed the U.S. offer of “help” with the coronavirus outbreak in the country, questioning Washington’s real intentions.

In a televised address on March 22, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said the offer of help is weird. The Supreme leader also criticized Washington’s management of the pandemic, touching on speculations that the virus was developed by the U.S. itself.

“Americans have said several times that ‘we are ready to help with treatment and medicine; just ask us and we will help’. This is one of the weirdest things which they tell us to ask them,” the Leader said, adding “Firstly, you have a shortage yourself and this is what American officials say. Secondly, you are accused of producing the virus. I do not know how true this accusation is, but when such an accusation is made, which wise person will ask for your help?”

The Supreme Leader went on to call U.S. officials “mendacious, deceitful, shameless and greedy,” describing them as “all kinds of charlatans who speak like charlatans.”

Iran is witnessing a widespread of the coronavirus with more than 21,000 reported cases. The deadly virus has claimed the lives of 1,683 Iranians, so far.

The U.S. offer to “help” Iran with the pandemic appears to be a propaganda move. While Washington was offering its “help,” it was actively increasing sanctions on the Islamic country.

Earlier this week, the U.S. sanctioned nine entities based in South Africa, Hong Kong and China, as well as three Iranian individuals, for engaging in “significant transactions” to trade in Iran’s petrochemicals. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington will maintain its maximum-pressure campaign to choke off Tehran’s ability to export its oil.

These measures show that the U.S. maybe trying to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic in Iran by employing the disaster in its “maximum pressure” campaign.

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