Understanding the Concepts of Imamat and Wilayat in Shi’a Islam: Iranian Revolution and Constitution, Part I

Understanding the Concepts of Imamat and Wilayat in Shi’a Islam: Iranian Revolution and Constitution, Part I

October 01, 2020

by Mansoureh Tajik for the Saker Blog

Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim, “In the Name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Who is qualified to be in the position of governing and based on what rules are two of the most essential questions with which human societies continue to wrestle. We are currently witnessing at the global stage how the fate and wellbeing of nations are tightly linked to the quality of, or lack thereof, the people in charge of their affairs and the quality of the rules with which they are governed. There is now multitude of nations and leaderships globally that operate based on many ideological shades and hues. From among them, one could choose a few systems to dissect, compare, and contrast to have a sober understanding of which system could offer the wisest framework for a given nation, why, and how. Here, I will focus on one specific form within Shi’a Islam frame of reference, that of Imamat with its extension Wilayat Faqih.

Admirers of secular and other non-secular persuasions could have their own picks and explain their version of things. While they are at it, they could also explain how theirs is working out for them but we request that they do so with intellectual honesty and solid evidence.

Happily, time is almost up for two specific groups of people who have actually been enablers of one another’s dysfunctions, true colleagues, if you will: 1) Religious hypocrites who have duplicitously used religion as a shield to further their selfish lusts and corrupt ways. 2) Non-believing seculars who have made misuse of religion by the first group a scapegoat for their ignorance, arrogance, and incompetence. They are in fact two blades of the same scissors, a match made in hell.

A genuinely interested and intellectually honest and fair person nowadays could examine all evidence about particular leaderships and nations that claim a given religion or ideology as their frame of reference and distinguish the real from the fake. Quite a few rulers around the world, for example, claim Islam as their frame of reference—let’s say, like Iran or Turkey or Saudi Arabia or Egypt or Pakistan or any other— but an impartial thinker could examine all the evidence and reach a reasonable conclusion that these nations have decidedly different systems of words and deeds even though they all claim Islam as the overarching framework. When, for instance, Ayatullah Khamenei of Iran speaks about which direction Iran and the Iranians should be, would be, and are taking, a diligent truth seeker has enough tangible, measurable, and truthful evidence to determine that this man is speaking and behaving as an honest, forthright, and God-fearing leader. In contrast, when the Sultan Al-junior Rajab Tayyib Erdogan of Turkey speaks of Islam, Muslims, and Quran, a fair person can clearly conclude based on real and tangible evidence that s/he is witnessing an Effendi Charlatan in operation.

Questions (be they real, cynical, or rhetorical) forming in the mind of those without real familiarity with Quran and Islam might include the followings: If Islam as a religion and Quran as a Book of God have qualities that they could produce such contrary products and opposite leaderships as a wise leader like Ayatullah Khamenei and a weasel like Sultan Erdogan Junior, then what good is such religion and of what use is such Book?! Random and lottery picking could have a 50/50 chance of either of the two outcomes, too. So, why bother with God, Islam, the religion, and the Book?

These are rational questions and I am glad that some are asking them, albeit with their inner voices. The short answer to these questions is that the two are not both products of the same religion and Book. They are the products of the degree to which they stay on or astray from the Right Path as set by this religion and this Book. The Leader is an example of someone who is genuinely striving to be on the Right Path to the best of his abilities. The weasel is an example of someone who has willfully deviated from the Right Path in deeds but is pretending to be on it in his ramblings. The long answer and evidence and documents supporting it constitute the core of these writings.

For the sake of transparency and for those who may be new to my essays, I must state once again that I am a Shi’a Muslim Twelve-Imami and a believer in Wilayat Faqih, the current system of governance in Iran. An important task before me here as I see it, is not to get anyone to accept or approve of this system of Imamat and Wilayat Faqih. Rather, I hope to provide enough and clearly enough explanations and examples to disentangle and clarify complex and at times decidedly contentious historical and religious facts and concepts in order to correctly convey the wisdom and the reasoning behind this particular system of leadership and governance to those who are interested and/or have an intellectual curiosity about the subject.

I am certain I cannot pack into one moderately-sized essay everything I ought to say to do a decent job of explaining without making this difficult article so lengthy that by the time people reach the middle, they will have already forgotten the beginning. Therefore, in as much a synopsis form as possible, I will Inshallah explain in this and most likely one or two follow-up essays how a delegated system of governance by God based on God’s rules as revealed in Quran and interpreted by scholars of Shi’a Twelve-Imami has worked both in theory and in practice. We shall see. I will also use historical examples from Islam and Iran in addition to relevant concepts to make the text less abstract and more comprehensible. We shall see as well how things have been working out for us the non-seculars specifically the Shi’a Muslims under Imamat and Wilayat Faqih, as operationalized in the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is not going to be an easy ride. So, do please bear with me and the essays.

“Islamic Republic, Not a Word More, Not a Word Less”

Fifty days after the victory of the Iranian Revolution in 1979, through a nation-wide referendum in which 98 percent of eligible voters participated, 99.25% of the participants voted “yes” to an Islamic Republic system of government in Iran[1] replacing a system of monarchy based on an inherited position transfer from a king to his eldest son.

The ballots were worded rather simply (See the image below): “The change from previous regime to Islamic Republic the constitution of which will be put to the nation’s vote for approval.” The “Yes” ballots were in crimson text on a green background. The “No” ballots were in red lettering on a beige background.

No gimmicks. No play on words. No deceptive tactics. It was on persistent urging of Imam Ruhullah Khomeini the referendum was held in the first place. Many were insisting that he, as the uncontested Leader of the Revolution, should just make a public announce about the change in Iran’s political system since the majority in the population was wholeheartedly supporting him anyway. Why mess with a referendum?

Imam Khomeini begged to differ. He insisted on a real tangible and measurable participation by the people of Iran. The people of Iran must put their choice into writing. A choice in which there is obligation and responsibility for their life on earth and for the Hereafter. Their decision had to be clearly documented and witnessed by themselves first and foremost, by the world at large, by the future generations, and above all, by God. A majority “yes” vote in this context could be thought of as a written Bey’at, or a written covenant of allegiance, to the very principles of Islam as the overarching framework of governance. The governed does not just consent. The governed enters into a contract to never desert the scene and to remain ever-vigilant and ever-present at war or at peace or wherever the battle is. For the past 40+ years, majority of the Iranian people, by Grace of God Almighty, have been in the scene.

It is useful to go into a bit more details about the events surrounding the referendum since it gives us an inside look into how things were back then at the beginning. Also, I might need to refer back to some segments later on in the essays. Late Sadiq Tabatabai, the spokesperson for then the transitional government, writes the details in his memoires as follows:

We were in the middle of Esfand (the 12th month in the Iranian calendar, March 1979) when Ahmad Agha (Imam Khomeini’s second son) called me from Qom. He said, “Agha says you must hold a referendum.”

I said, “That’s all good but I am not in charge!”

He said, “You should talk to the State Minister and tell him Imam says a referendum must be held.” I went to Agha Ahmad Haj Seyyed Javadi and relayed Imam’s message. He said, “A referendum needs tools. It requires provincial and regional governors. When we have none of these, how could we hold any referendum?! The State Ministry used to have a major office of elections but that is not currently active either.”

So, I called Ahmad Agha and told him what the State Minister had told me. An hour later, Ahmad Agha called again and said that Agha was asking how the referendum’s situation was progressing. I said, “Ahmad jan, this is not some dyeing barrel [an Iranian expression meaning it is not that easy].”

He said, “You know Agha and I know him, too! I am not going to go back to him a second time and say no! If you want, you come and tell him yourself.”

Immediately, I headed to Qom and went to see Imam. I said, “Agha, why a referendum? You should just make an announcement about it. The whole world knows that the entire population is behind you if you just announce that Islamic Republic is now our political system, all the people will be behind you and support you. Besides, a referendum is going to show exact same thing as well. Right now, we have no resources.”

He said, “You are not understanding things. Right now, it is as you say. But fifty years from now, they are going to turn around and say that they stirred people’s emotions and they just forced the system they wanted on them. They manipulated the public’s sentiment and had them say what they themselves told them to say. So, voting must be done and the precise number of people for and against it must be officially determined and publicly announced.”[2]

Those of us who observe on a regular basis what is spewed out of the media outlets of hostile regimes in the UK, the US, the Zionist entity in Occupied Palestine, and their regional oil wells with flags, we could see quite vividly how they are trying so desperately to distort and falsify the Iranian history and the history of our revolution. So, we find ourselves always remembering to salute Imam Khomeini for his prudence and foresight.

Within less than three weeks from the majority “yes” vote to change to an Islamic Republic, another nationwide election was held and 73 members of Majlis Khubregan-e Qanon Asasi, the Assembly of Experts for Constitutional Laws were elected directly by the people. This assembly formulated the first constitution of the Islamic Republic with Wilayat Faqih, or the Guardianship of Faqih, as its core custodial authority and stewardship through some 67 public and open sessions.[3]

The final draft of the constitution was once again put to a nationwide vote on November 22, 1979, just as it had been promised by Imam Khomeini and was clearly written on the ballots for the very first referendum (See above). Again, there were quite a few people who were insisting the constitution not to be put into another direct vote by the people. However, Imam Khomeini insisted once again on proceeding with another nationwide referendum so the people of Iran could cast their votes regarding the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The constitution was approved by nearly 95% of the eligible participants who voted positively.

Now, from among all existing systems of government, why this system and how is it different from other Islamic countries in the world? Why did it happen in 1979? Why in a Shia-majority Iran? What does “Wilayat” mean? What are the indicators of “Wilayat”? What does “Faqih” mean? What are the attributes of a “Faqih”? Why should a “Wali Faqih” become the supreme steward of the entire system? Where did this system and its principle concepts come from and why? Where is it headed, how, and why?

We will get to all these questions and more. But it is important to first contextualize the formation of this decidedly religious system by examining the global socio- and geo-political context in which it was being established during the last quarter of the 20th Century. I apologize for zigzagging back and forth through time. It is a necessary tactic here to get to some significant events.

The Iranian Islamic Revolution in a Global Context

Written in blood-red color and pasted on a solid black background a rhetorical question was plastered on the cover of Time magazine on April 8, 1966, about thirteen years before the victory of the Iranian Revolution. At the cost of 35 cents per issue, a willfully ostentatious question read: “Is God Dead?”[4] The cover, for the first time ever, used no figures, photographs, or drawings. Dismissal of a deeply-rooted system of belief in God was gleefully advertised. No need for any distractions and pictorial bells and whistles. The title aimed to rehash a rhetoric of Nietzsche from eight decades earlier written in The Gay Science:

“After Buddha was dead, people showed his shadow for centuries afterwards in a cave,—an immense rightful shadow. God is dead: but as the human race is constituted, there will perhaps be caves for millenniums yet, in which people will show his shadow.—And we—we have still to overcome his shadow.”[5]

A shadow play, heh?! In the Time article, the author had not failed to overestimate the power of the self-proclaimed liberals of the West. Nor had it faltered to underestimate God and men of God. He wrote, “Secularization, science, urbanization all have made it comparatively easy for the modern man to ask where God is and hard for the man of faith to give a convincing answer, even to himself.” He was, after all, catering to his bosses’ greed to sell a few more copies of the magazine at 35 cents a piece. His boss was catering to the greed of his masters at Meredith Corporation to keep his job. Meredith Corporation in turn was catering to the greed of its shareholders at New York Stock Exchange to show a noticeable rise in their stock price. Greed, a deadly Sin? Says who?

The harbingers of the self-declared liberal West intoxicated by a feeling of intestinal fortitude failed to see, or more accurately refused to believe, what was going on right under their aloofly laic noses in their most precious puppet kingdoms. While the West was busy closing the file on anything God might say about the governance and rulership of people and societies in the West itself and around the world, Imam Ruhullah Khomeini, a man of God in his sixties then, who was sent to exile in Najaf by Shah’s regime was hard at work to bring the Word of God into the governance of the people who believed in God, and in Iran of all places.

Around the time the Time article was being circulated in April 1966, Imam Khomeini gave a mission to his first son, Agha Mostafa Khomeini to take part in Hajj and make connections with other Muslim activists and inform them of the aims and the progress of the Islamic movement. Shah’s SAVAK (National Intelligence and Information Agency) in close collaboration with Istikhbarat (Information Ministry) in Iraq and Saudi Arabia is following the movement. A memo from the central office of Shah’s SAVAK that was forwarded to a local office of SAVAK in Qom (See the image below) reads:

“Information obtained indicates Mostafa Khomeini, the son of Ayatullah Khomeini, who in the current year went to Mecca, has had contacts with a few radical elements including Majdiddin Mahllati, one of the opposition clerics in Shiraz. They have made some decisions for the months of Muharram and Safar. Since it is probable that these types of people, upon their return to Iran, create incitements, you must order a complete surveillance of the known entities and make necessary arrangements and announce the outcome.”[6]

Iran was a country that was groomed by the lords of the West and through overt and covert operations and a major coup d’etat to become its most darling puppet secular regime and Gendarme in Persian Gulf. It was to be Shi’a only in name and a great model for the region. Even up until two years before the victory of the Iranian Revolution, Jimmy Carter referred to it as an “Island of Stability in one of the more troubled areas of the world.” How boorishly unschooled. (To be continued.)

References

[1] The Center for Islamic Revolution Documents, “Media Narrative Regarding the Islamic Republic Referendum on Farvardin 12, 1358.” News Code: 4822. Published online at 12:19, Farvardin 12, 1398 (April 1, 2019). Accessed online through the Center’s site: http://irdc.ir/

[2] Tabatabai S. “Social and Political Memoires of Dr. Sadeq Tabatabai.” Vol. 3, Pages 269-276. Translated from Farsi.

[3] Madani, Seyyed J (1382). “A Review of the Formation of the Islamic Republic’s Constitution.” Portal of Comprehensive Social Sciences, Zamaneh, No. 16. Social Sciences and Cultural Studies Research Center, Article Number: 9644. Online at: Insani.ir

[4] Time. Available online at: http://content.time.com/time/covers/0,16641,19660408,00.html

[5] Friedrich Nietzsche (2001). “The Gay Science.” Willimas B., the Editor; Nauckhoff J., the Translator. Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, UK. Available online at: http://www.holybooks.com/the-gay-science-friedrich-nietzsche

[6] SAVAK Memo #1432600011 to Qom’s SAVAK. Central Office of National Intelligence and Security Agency, Prime Minister’s Office, Farvardin 25, 1345 (April 14, 1966).

Imam Khamenei: Sacred Defense Established Security in Iran, Enemies Will Pay Dearly If They Invade Country

Imam Khamenei: Sacred Defense Established Security in Iran, Enemies Will Pay Dearly If They Invade Country

By Staff, Agencies

Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei says Iran’s decisively victorious defense against foreign-backed forces of Iraq’s former dictator Saddam Hussein proved that invading the country is a “very costly” undertaking.

“When a nation shows that it has the diligence and power to defend itself and delivers a crushing response to invaders, invaders would then think twice before perpetrating any incursion against this country and its people, and realize that such an act of aggression would be very costly for them,” the Leader said on Monday.

Imam Khamenei made the remarks via video-link during an even held in the capital Tehran to honor one million veterans of the country’s 1980-88 war against Saddam’s invading forces.

Successful engagement in the war, therefore, awarded the country its current level of security, the Leader noted, enumerating the rewards of the Sacred Defense.

The name signifies Iran’s eight-year-long struggle under the leadership of the late founder of the country’s Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini against the Iraqi aggressor.

The Leader said the defensive struggle also equipped the Iranian people with a sense of self-belief in its ability to fend for itself and put it on a course of technological and scientific development because it had to wade into many new areas to be able to buttress its defensive activities.

The war taught us that “some things that appear to be impossible, are actually possible,” Imam Khamenei stated.

While specifying the actual goal of the warmongers as being destruction of the country’s Islamic Revolution and its Islamic establishment, the Leader noted that Saddam and his Ba’ath party were just being used as “tools by powers, such as the United States, that had suffered serious blows from Iran’s Revolution.”

Others, like the Soviet Union, the Western military alliance of NATO, as well as some other Western and even European countries also contributed to the war because they were “concerned” about the emergence of a new phenomenon in the region that had been founded upon religion, Imam Khamenei said.

Documents that surfaced afterwards showed the US had entered some agreements with Saddam before the war, the Leader remarked, adding that during the war too, Washington would generously provide the former Iraqi dictator with intelligence and arms support.

Imam Khamenei reminded how weapon-laden vessels would dock at regional ports to shore up the invading forces against Iran on a daily basis during the wartime.

Imam Khomeini, however, identified the main forces lying behind the war well, and aptly advised that the Iranian nation to join the Armed Forces in fighting the invaders, the Leader said.

Imam Khomeini’s addresses at the time were marked by “truthfulness, innocence, acuity, and decisiveness,” while his leadership style featured appropriate discernment of the requirements of the battle’s different stages as well as proper moralizing of the Iranian servicemen, Imam Khamenei recalled.

His leadership of the country during the war was also “very prudent,” Imam Khamenei said, noting how his innovative wartime strategies would help the Armed Forces outflank the enemy at various stages.

In the meantime, Imam Khomeini brought about a “massive popular mobilization” during the war, helping recruit all the potentials that were being offered by the full spectrum of the country’s population into the battle, the Leader remembered.

This helped many potentials that lay latent in many people at the time to come to the fore, leading to emergence of many exceptional military, intelligence, and other leaders among the people, Imam  Khamenei said, citing the example of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, former commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps [IRGC], and many others.

The Leader said despite some attempts at casting doubt over Iran’s victory in the war, it should be known that the country’s triumph is “as bright as the sun” as neither did it lose a handspan of its soil, nor did its leadership take a single step back.

This is while the former monarchical regime’s reign was marked by regular unauthorized intervention of foreigners, including during the World Wars, Imam Khamenei noted.

The Leader said Sacred Defense constitutes part of the country’s national identity because it amounted to supreme manifestation of popular involvement.

The warfare, on the other hand, also betrayed the true and made-up face of the Western world to the Iranian people because it saw the entire Western front pool their forces to deny Iran everything and fortify its enemies to the limit, Imam Khamenei said.

The Leader recalled how the Western countries would outfit the aggressors with chemical weapons, thus going back on all of their pro-human rights claims

Imam Khamenei finally called for the promotion and preservation of the memory of the heroic struggle, especially through creation of rich textual materials that could yield many other instances of content, such as plays and motion pictures.

Prior to the Leader’s remarks, Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri briefed the participants on the country’s ongoing and pending plans to honor the memory of the war.

He unveiled a stamp printed out to honor the war’s 40th anniversary, and announced that the country would be inaugurating as many as eight Sacred Defense museums over the upcoming days.

“We are determined not to allow the distortion of the history of the Sacred Defense that is an invaluable resource for the next generation of the country’s independence, esteem, and pride,” the military chief said.

Related

Lebanese academic explains Khamenei’s roadmap for ‘New Islamic Civilization’

Source

Lebanese academic explains Khamenei’s roadmap for ‘New Islamic Civilization’

September 11, 2020

Middle East Observer

Description:

The following is a translation of an Arabic article by Lebanese academic Dr Muhammad Mohsen Olleik, in which he analyses the roadmap by Iran’s Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei for the building of a new “Islamic Civilization”.

Olleik, a lecturer in Education and Islamic Studies from the Lebanese University, says that the Islamic world today is before a “golden opportunity” that can bring about the revival of the Ummah (nation) based on the comprehensive roadmap put forth by Iran’s Khamenei.

Source: Khamenei.ir (Arabic website)

Date: 29 February, 2020

(Important Note: Please help us keep producing independent translations for you by contributing as little as $1/month here: https://www.patreon.com/MiddleEastObserver?fan_landing=true)


Transcript:

“The fate of the region depends on its liberation from the arrogant U.S. hegemony, and the freedom of Palestine from the domination of the Zionist foreigners, God willing. All nations are responsible to help achieve this goal. The world of Islam must erase elements of discord. The unity of Islamic scholars can present Islamic solutions for a new Islamic lifestyle. Cooperation between our universities can improve science and technology, and this cooperation will create the infrastructure for the new civilization. Coordination between our media will correct the culture of the people down to its roots. Communication between our armed forces will push war and transgression away from the entire region. Dealings between our markets will free our economies from the domination of plundering companies. Our people’s travels to one another’s countries will bring us solidarity, affection, unity and friendship”.

– An extract from the Arabic Friday sermon of Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei in Tehran on January 17, 2020

In this unequivocal manner, and during a Friday sermon imbued with the scent of martyrdom, crammed with masses of thrilled and excited people, and in clear, eloquent Arabic language, Imam Khamenei summarized the principles of the ‘Manifesto’ surrounding the necessary transformation of the Ummah (Islamic world) that “must open a new chapter”.

Although Imam Khamenei has already mentioned some of these ideas related to this structural transformation in previous key statements and sermons, nevertheless, this strategic concentration and in-depth description of the actions required to direct and carry out this desired civilizational transformation has paved the way for all scholars, leaders, decision-makers, influential elites in all fields, and every individual seeking to discover his practical (religious) duty.

Furthermore, the words of Imam Khamenei, that “all nations are responsible”, during this delicate and defining (historical) moment, has removed many popular misconceptions and ambiguities. The process of building the new Islamic civilization is not confined to any one country or nation, or even to the Islamic Republic of Iran. We have always heard this “deduction” being suggested or directly stated by influential personalities and officials from some Islamic movements and parties.

The idea of resistance, despite its sanctity, does not amount to a goal and purpose of action for our jihadi nations and (political) movements. Resistance is a (natural) human reaction to occupation, aggression, attempts to dominate, humiliate, and impose political, cultural or economic dependency. Comprehensive resistance is the path to liberation and to quelling injustice and occupation. However, it is neither an aim nor a goal that (can) define all the frameworks of action and thought.

The primary goal is establishing the new Islamic civilization as a prelude to the salvation of humanity by the ‘awaited justice’ (i.e. the reappearance of Imam Mahdi and Prophet Jesus). All the triumphs and achievements of the resistance movements and the Islamic revival and awakening must be employed to reach this comprehensive “positive” goal, in order bring about a fundamental transformation in the project of Islam whose aim is to achieve perfection (i.e. fulfillment of purpose) and happiness for humans and society.

It is useful to draw attention here to a very important issue which is the key difference between the concepts ‘leader’ and ‘leadership’, rather between ‘The Guardianship of the Jurist (Wilāyat al-Faqīh)’ and ‘The Guardian Jurist (Wali al-Faqih)’. To fulfill the lofty hopes and ideals, the Guardian Jurist – whether the divinely-protected Imam or his deputy – is the cornerstone for reviving, perfecting, and leading humans towards prosperity. However, throughout history till our present day, there have always been exceptional leaders – whether from the divinely-protected (Imams) or elite scholars – who have demonstrated unparalleled intellectual, administrative and political capabilities. The ‘leader’ has always been there. However, when we talk about ‘leadership’, it is a (totally) a different story. (Leadership) is the mutual interaction between the guardian leader and those (who pledge) loyalty to him, and the extent to which (this interaction) produces the greatest desired results and achievements in all areas of material and spiritual progress.

Implementing the plan of the leader requires a civilizational “mobilization” which is deeper and more crucial than the military and political battles, and even (more crucial) than fighting the soft war(s) and cultural invasion(s). This general mobilization must discover the (true) Islamic lifestyle, “the good life”, or what Imam Khamenei calls “the essence of civilization”. This is the area in which we have not advanced properly in yet.

This plan (of ‘Imam Khamenei’) raises many questions about our social behavior and problems plaguing our current lifestyle, such as weaknesses surrounding collective action, widespread consumerist trends, the divorce phenomenon, weak ties (between family members), the lack of mastery in industry and production, the way we dress, our food, architecture, entertainment and many other plagues and phenomena.

First, we need to determine the causes of these (plagues) and how they are entrenched in our societies; and second, we need to have faith in our abilities to change and move towards a good, genuine and contemporary lifestyle derived from the treasure trove of Islamic thought, sciences and values. This transformation (in our lifestyles) can be achieved directly, or by reproducing and innovating in the field of social trends and behaviors, in a way that does not imitate the anti-human Western-American civilization which seeks to destroy other cultures – through both hard and soft power – as it takes advantage of the lack of self-confidence of some culture producers in Islamic societies.

Accordingly, this highlights the necessity of a revolutionary reexamination, and deeper, bolder modes of thinking regarding the fundamentals and strategies (that guide) our work and management of people’s skills and energies in all fields. (These fields) have witnessed (great) jihadi (military) victories, and the masses are (now) eager to bring about a change in the “roots of (their) overall culture”, and are expecting the scholars and leaders to respond emphatically to the project of civilization building that is being spearheaded by the leader (Imam Khamenei). (By doing this), the scholars and leaders will ensure the process of mutual leadership and ‘Guardianship’.

By the blessings of this civilizational leader, the argument (that calls for the need for a new Islamic Civilization) is now complete and (rationally) binding upon all of us. The current favorable conditions and available opportunities are exceptional in (relation to the potential of) transforming this thought and civilizational proposal into strong and effective strategies. This argument makes this intellectual and cultural challenge a sacred priority. (This argument) oversees (and provides the vision for) the production of knowledge in the field of the Islamic Humanities, and (provides the vision for the production of) the tools for building a new civilization, that is, by solidifying (true) values, by “the production of discourses”, and a new good lifestyle characterized by justice, spirituality, and true human and economic prosperity.

“The world of Islam must open a new page. Awakened consciences and pious hearts must revive the self-confidence of nations. Everyone should know that the only path for the salvation of nations is by (developing) strategies, (practicing) steadfastness, and (enjoying) fearlessness of the enemy.”

This civilizational revival essentially demands first of all, the revival of the authentic intellectual and cultural works; making them the center for all political, social, organizational and planning activities; believing in the ability of good people to bring about change, and their ability to produce real mechanisms that enable people to participate in decision-making and electing responsible managers that truly represent them at all levels.

(These mechanisms) would derive inspiration from the experience of the Guardianship of the Jurist (Wilayat al-Faqih) and the popular religious sovereignty (model) that made the Islamic Republic (of Iran) an invincible power by granting it (various) domains of power, the most prominent of which being the atmosphere of intellectual freedom, and the ability of people to freely elect their representatives, whether at the municipal level, or even electing the Guardian Jurist (Wali al-Faqih ) via the Assembly of Experts.

“Bringing hearts and minds closer together” is another element of the principles of this civilizational “Manifesto”.  This is extremely crucial. It requires the scholars, movements and the producers of culture to have the courage to accept the other, (whether he differs with me on) a sectarian, national or religious (basis). This ought to lead to the broadening of the circle of unity based on lofty standards such as justice, serving people, defending the oppressed, and moving away from narrow fanaticism, whether in thought or in practice.

If we do not have a conscious, strong mind, and firm social, developmental and cultural views that are able to solve our enormous problems, we will neither be able to reflect and manifest “The Guardianship of the Jurist”, nor the “Leadership of the Leader”. The age of defending ourselves, and sufficing ourselves with resisting the enemy and being obsessed with the idea of preserving our existence has ended. In addition to these initial steps (i.e. defense, resistance, and preservation of existence) which (can) be referred to as ‘the minor jihad’, his excellency (Imam Khamenei) introduces the concept of the “the great jihad”, which refers to (seeking) independence, and developing ‘capabilities’ in all its forms, with the aim of preventing dependency upon the West on all levels. This in turn will lead to ‘the greater jihad’, and the road to spiritual perfection.

The “new chapter” which the nation (Ummah) – with all its youth, scholars, elites, mujahideen, and members of society, including men, women, and even children – comes under the title of ‘The cultural, social and economic challenge’. This (chapter) will be written by the strong members (of our nation), by those who will be able to produce great, creative ideas, those who will manage to produce new (forms) of knowledge and sciences (that facilitate) the administration and management of the desired transformation in our societies, organizations and movements.

(New forms of knowledge and sciences) from education, to art and media, to management and economics, to jurisprudence, wisdom/philosophy and mysticism, to all skills and crafts that contribute to ‘the happy life’. (Such knowledge) would be rooted in and derived from the two ‘precious’ sources (of Islamic thought), the Holy Qur’an and the traditions of the divinely-protected (leaders of Ahlul Bayt), peace be upon them. (These sciences) will also be rooted in the blessed principles of the revival of the great Imam Khomeini and his successor, the second Khomeini (Imam Khamenei), away from being captured, dazzled and fascinated by the West, or from calcification and fatal apathy.

Today is the period of great transformations, which will not come about unless we carry them out ourselves, and if we turn away, God will replace us with another people. It is a golden opportunity for the birth of a new Ummah (nation). Our leader is calling upon us. Will we respond to his call and help in building the great (Islamic) civilization, and by doing so preserve our victories which we produced through our struggle and martyrdom? (Will we) achieve the conquests of civilizational progress? Will we (succeed) in the (great) cultural battles? Will we be able to create the new ‘good life’ that is full of hope, energy and creativity?

For every leader, leadership and (loyal) helpers, and for every ‘Guardian Jurist’, ‘Guardianship’ and (steadfast) followers, the law of God, the All-Wise and the Bestower of Mercy, is clear: “And if you obey him, you will be [rightly] guided” (Holy Qur’an: Surat An-Nur, Ayah 54).

Say, “Obey Allah and obey the Messenger; but if you turn away – then upon him is only that [duty] with which he has been charged, and upon you is that with which you have been charged. And if you obey him, you will be [rightly] guided. And there is not upon the Messenger except the [responsibility for] clear notification.”

Iran slams West’s hypocrisy on freedom of expression

September 9, 2020 – 18:52

TEHRAN – In an indirect reference to the republication of cartoons insulting the Holy Prophet of Islam (PBUH) by the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Wednesday slammed “institutionalized hypocrisy” under the pretext of the freedom of expression.

“Freedom of Expression?
Or
Institutionalized Hypocrisy? 
Instigate violence and hatred against 1.8 Billion Muslims by stereotypical defamation and desecration of their Holy Book and Prophet,” Zarif tweeted on Wednesday.

However, in an indirect reference to the Holocaust which is not tolerated to be questioned in the West, Zarif said, “Touch party line about events in recent history—repugnant as they are. Enough already.”

Mojtaba Zonnour, the chairman of the Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, who met with French Ambassador to Tehran Philippe Thiebaud on Wednesday, slammed Charlie Hebdo’s republication of cartoons insulting Prophet Muhammad (S).

“This action, under the pretext of the freedom of expression, has hurt the Muslims’ feelings,” Zonnour told the French diplomat.

The senior MP predicted that the action will add to complications in the region.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has also condemned the magazine’s move, saying the move once again exposed the enmity of the political, cultural centers of the Western world toward Islam.

“The unforgivable sin of a French magazine in insulting the Holy Prophet (PBUH) once against exposed the enmity and the vile spite of the political and cultural centers of the Western world toward Islam and the Muslim community,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in a message on Tuesday.

He said freedom of expression is misused by some French politicians to not condemn such great crime. This is “completely wrong and demagogic,” the Leader noted.

The deep anti-Islamic policies of the Zionists and arrogant governments are the cause of such hostile moves, said Ayatollah Khamenei.

“This move at this time could also be a measure to distract the nations and governments of West Asia from the sinister plots of the United States and the Zionist regime for the region.”

“Muslim nations, especially West Asian nations, should maintain vigilance regarding the issues of this sensitive region and never forget the hostility of Western politicians and rulers towards Islam and Muslims,” the Leader concluded.
 
In a reckless and provocative move, on September 2 Charlie Hebdo republished the same cartoons about Prophet Muhammad (S) that prompted a deadly attack on the magazine in 2015.

The cartoons were republished so as to mark the start of the terrorism trial of people accused as accomplices in the attack. The magazine posted the cartoons online on September 1 and they appeared in print the next day.

13 men and a woman accused of providing the attackers with weapons and logistics went on trial on charges of terrorism.

Twelve people, including some of France’s most famous cartoonists, were killed on January 7, 2015, when two French-born brothers of Algerian descent, Said and Cherif Kouachi, went on a gun rampage at Charlie Hebdo’s offices in Paris.

The brothers identified themselves as belonging to the terrorist group al-Qaeda and cited “avenging the prophet” as their reason for the attack. The attack touched off a wave of killings claimed by Daesh (ISIS) terrorist group across Europe.

On January 9, 2015, Said and Cherif’s friend, Amedy Coulibaly, took hostages and killed four people at a kosher supermarket in Paris. Coulibaly and the Kouachi brothers, who were in contact during the attack, were killed in standoffs with the police.

10 months later, in November 2015, a group of Daesh gunmen and suicide bombers killed 130 people and injured more than 400 at multiple sites across Paris, which became the deadliest of the attacks.

Throughout the world, many Muslims see the publication of the cartoons as a renewed provocation by Charlie Hebdo, which has a history of publishing material considered racist and anti-Muslim.

Tehran on September 3 strongly condemned the French magazine, saying any insult against the prophet of Islam and other divine prophets is not acceptable at all.

“The French magazine’s offensive move, which has been repeated on the pretext of freedom of speech, has hurt the feelings of the world’s monotheists, is a provocative move and an insult to the Islamic values and beliefs of over one billion Muslims in the world,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a statement.

NA/PA
 

RELATED NEWS

“MISSING WORD” [*See Definition] from Iran to Lebanon to the US

September 04, 2020

by Mansoureh Tajik for the Saker Blog

The scale and complexity of plots against masses of ordinary people, select prominent individuals, and nations have grown so vast that existing words and expressions fail to adequately define and explain them. The word “conspiracy” is bandied about quite a lot, to the point that it feels inadequate, to frame some major and critical events by distinctly different groups of people with diverse backgrounds. Some, for instance, use the term to genuinely warn about intricate and multi-layered schemes that would ultimately result in severe harms to individuals and/or collective masses. Others use it disparagingly to delegitimize discordant statements and expressions that are nonetheless rooted in very legitimate concerns. There are also some who invent stories at an industrial and massive scale in order to deliberately drown signals of truly malevolent plots in deafening noises of colorful parodies.

It is not the aim of this essay to review and evaluate the roster of major nominees to which the term conspiracy has been applied. Nor is it about the people who invoke the term under given pretexts. Rather, I intend to use the standard definition of the word “conspiracy” in this essay to get us closer to disentangling and defining something analogous, a similar process. It is a process that is far more systematically applied, organically managed, and exceedingly convoluted. It is a method that is also much more sinister and one for which we will hopefully have a clearly defined description by the end of the essay but will not have any precise term that could neatly bundle all components together to offer us lexical conveniences.

Others have put much greater efforts into subjects far less serious. Douglas Adams and John Lloyd, for instance, spent good bit of their precious time writing a book of humor, “The Meaning of Liff,” in which they collected “hundreds of common experiences, feelings, situations and even objects which we all know and recognize, but for which no words exist” and joined them in a linguistic matrimony with hundreds of spare words that “spend their time doing nothing but loafing about in signposts pointing at places.” Their mission, as they figured, was “to get these words down off the signposts and into the mouths of babes and sucklings and so on, where they can start earning their keep in everyday conversation and make a more positive contribution to society.”[1]

The world may very well be littered with free-loading words which do not earn their keeps. I do not wish to assume a responsibility as a word sheriff. However, there are indeed some very seriously detrimental mechanisms and organic plots that are concocted by a few to wreak havoc with the existence and meaningful quality of life of many. Such mechanisms and plots, I think, are in dire need of being correctly explained in details and subsequently named. It is not because I consider naming as “an evolutionary necessity fundamental to our ability to distinguish predator from prey” as C. Chang would state,[2] but because naming is the most basic first step in recognizing and dealing with complex problems we are facing today that require much deeper awareness of our own potential roles in them than we are willing to admit.

Onward. Let us first begin with a standard definition of conspiracy. Online Cambridge dictionary defines conspiracy as “a secret agreement made between two or more people or groups to do something bad or illegal that will harm someone else.” The same entry expands the concept and defines a related phrase “Conspiracy of Silence” as “a general agreement to keep silent about a subject for the purpose of keeping it secret.”[3]

Fair enough. But what if there is a secret or a not-so-secret agreement made between two or more people to enlist and coordinate the activities of diverse groups of people and individuals who would each carry out, in disparate cells and compartments, isolated yet inter-linked tasks the sum total of which executes a plan that has as its main goal very serious harms to others or even to the enlisted participants themselves? What would be an appropriate and befitting term for this phenomenon? Furthermore, what if components of that vicious plan are also built upon identified and existing vulnerabilities and routine shortcomings of persons, places, and infrastructures in a given society? What would be the one word that could converge all those pieces and meanings into one distinct and logical bundle of letters?

In this article, I will discuss three specific real life examples of our contemporary societies to help detangle and shed light on individual segments of the above paragraph-long definition for which we do not have any, but would like to have, suitable words.

Example from Iran: Plans to Assassinate Iranian Nuclear Scientists

In a span of less than two years (2009-2011), six prominent Iranian scientists in nuclear physics were assassinated under multiple coordinated planning and executions courtesy of the intelligence agencies of the US, Israel, and the UK, and with immense intelligence help from an “independent” body, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Martyr Mustafa Ahmadi Roshan, Martyr Masood Alimuhammadi, Martyr Reza Ghashghaifard, Martyr Darius Rezainejad, and Martyr Majid Shahriyari were all killed. Freidoon Abbasi Davani and his wife, who was in the car with him at the time of explosion, were critically injured but survived the assassination.

The role of the countries and international bodies named above has been discussed at length by many writers and thinkers in the Western press and media. I do not wish to review their assertions or belabor any of their points here. I am going to briefly point to the role some individuals inside Iran played in these plots since that is actually one of the key points of our topic here.

In Iran, about 53 people were arrested and questioned in connection with those assassinations. The trials for 40 of the accused began in May, 2013.[4] Details about the investigations and the trials were never made public so that the general public could have a full and exact picture of what happened. In cases related to security, intelligence, and counter-intelligence issues, I do not believe there should be a full and detailed disclosure of any sort any way. However, bits and pieces of information from true and false confession interviews that made it through, although not satisfactory, revealed niches that were quite sobering and startling both to the general public and to some of the accused individuals themselves.

Excluding two to three people among the arrested who had direct roles in the killings, most others who had participated in performing apparently innocuous, but still unlawful, tasks did not know they were actually taking part in plans that would ultimately result in killing their own nuclear scientists and damaging their own social wellbeing. Some individuals, for example, had agreed to receive compensation in exchange for keeping a log of the frequency and exact times of targeted individuals’ whereabouts, schedules, their comings and goings for any reason to and from their offices. Apparently they had no knowledge or did not think such information could and would be used in any significantly harmful way. Their task was unlawful, unethical, and against the policy of the places in which they worked.

In addition, security breaches and infiltration by shady characters into the investigations within the Ministry of Information, among other vulnerabilities, led to the slithering away of some key culprits. Had it not been for a serendipitous detection by the intelligence arm of the Revolutionary Guard and an early intervention by the office of the Supreme Leader in the interrogation process, perhaps more damaging events and more killings would have occurred. Several of the people arrested were later freed and compensated a total amount of 4 billion Toman in 2013 for psychological, economic, and reputation damages, according to a statement made by the current Information Minister, Seyyed Mahmoud Alawi, during a closed-session in Majlis last September.[5]

Examining and reviewing the information from multitude of formal and informal sources over the last several years, I was not able to conclude that majority of those who had been arrested and investigated were innocent because most of them had done, albeit unknowingly, one to several unlawful and unethical deeds the sum total of which helped execute successful plans (plotted and coordinated by outsiders) to kill five Iranian nuclear scientists, to seriously injure one, and to cause severe security damages in other areas. I think and I hope that most of them, had they not acted out of carelessness, mindlessness, greed, or whatever other reason, they might not have become pons in a web of deception. God Knows. I, therefore, included this example here not for its importance with from legal, judicial, or intelligence aspects but as it relates to overall structures, components, and inter-linkages of the plots and the role the “insiders” blindly played in the process.

“It is not like you are imagining that the conspiracies against this country are due to delusions and hallucinations. No. This is a fact. Things are being conspired from all directions. It is possible that someone from inside the country moves in the same direction as these plots without knowing at all. To realize this, too, requires sagacity and perceptivity. Some do not possess this perceptivity. We have had experiences with some of them. They don’t know to whose tune they are dancing. But this does not change the facts. Whether they perceive or they do not perceive; whether they know or they do not know. These conspired plots exist. Nevertheless, this country, this system not only does it not crumble or weaken but its scientific institutions, its progressive societies—consisting of this youth who is you— is visibly more forward-looking and advanced today than ten years ago. What does this mean? It means legitimacy and truthfulness. It means authenticity. It means having roots and being original.[6] –Ayatullah Khamenei

Example from Lebanon: Planned “Accidents” in Beirut Port

In the major explosion at Beirut Port on August 4th nearly 200 people died and more than 6,500 people were seriously injured. A few are still missing. Damages to the infrastructure, the economy, and socio-physical fabric of day-to-day living of the ordinary people were enormous. The society as a whole was critically shaken. On Sunday, Sayyed Hasan Nasrullah, as parts of his speech delivered by on the occasion of Ashura, spoke about the incident and emphasized that:

“We ask the Lebanese Military to release the results from a series of technical investigations they have conducted in relation to the explosion disaster in Beirut Port. It is clear that releasing of the results and revealing the outcome of the investigation regarding that event will dismantle all sorts of allegations [against Hizbullah]. Therefore, it is necessary for the outcome of investigation to be announced to the public.”

“Once again, we also insist on a judicial investigation of the Beirut explosion disaster through the judiciary system itself and we believe the judicial bodies must, without considerations and calculations and with seriousness and decisiveness, proceed with its various dimensions and punish the guilty agents.”[7]

This disastrous occurrence would have made for an apt case example for this essay had the results of the investigation been made public already. It was brought about by multi-layer longitudinal plan built upon identified vulnerabilities and routine shortcomings of persons, places, and infrastructures in Lebanon. For the purpose of this essay though, no formal public announcement to which one could refer has been made. Therefore, I would defer dissecting it as an example .

Example from the US: Planned Dismantling of the Police

Articles, films, and other media items abound about the state and the role of the US Police, both as causes and as effects, in the current riots in the United States. It feels more like watching re-runs, or remaking, or sequels to some particularly violent shows every 10 to 20 years. Each new series is getting more violent, more graphic, and more spectacular than the previous ones.

Those interested in sensational aspects of these events, they could just follow the mainstream media presentations and/or some “independent” news blogs and media outlets. There are garden varieties befitting of most tastes. Those interested in a more analytical and academic aspects of the events, Perspective on Policing, published by the National Institute of Justice and US Department of Justice reports feature interesting articles. “The Evolving Strategy of Policing” by Kelling & Moore,[8] “Evolving Strategy of Policing: Case Studies of Strategic Change”[9] by Kelling & Wycoff, and “The Evolving Strategy of Police: A Minority View”[10] by Williams & Murphy are dated but informative, still relevant, and interesting examples.

For the purpose of this essay though, and to elucidate additional segments of the paragraph-long definition for which we have no words, I will briefly examine dimensions of these events that are not sufficiently discussed either in the sensational news or in the academic and analytical articles named above.

Getting help from the familiar health field, I would like to draw a (simplified) parallel between the structure and function of the police in a society and those of the immune system in a human body. Although the role our immune system plays in fighting invading foreign bodies is often highlighted, its most significant and critical role revolves around identifying, isolating, and destroying and/or repairing, and disposing of body’s own rogue and abnormal cells, cells that acquired genetic aberrations during division, toxic accumulations in tissues, organs, joints, and so on. Majority of these functions happen when we are sleeping at night (granted we have not eaten up to our throat before going to bed), or when the body is in a fasting state (which for many, it has become “almost never”. Losing one’s appetite when ill is a healing mechanism.

In cases of autoimmune disorders like allergies, lupus, Grave’s, Hashimoto, Rheumatoid Arthritis, etc., however, the immune system loses the ability to adequately distinguish the healthy and normal cells from the unhealthy and abnormal cells. This dysfunction manifests itself in different ways. For instance, the immune system cells begin to indiscriminately attack various cells in different organs and places in the body, including the healthy cells. They could also become jittery and over-react and make mess of things. [Just an important side note: the immune system is quite capable of gaining back its ability to distinguish and act properly.]

So, let us suppose similar things happen with the policing system in a society. That is, let us consider that the police system in a society loses the ability to distinguish between the good, the bad, and the ugly. Or that it over-reacts due to having been chronically badly trained, or chronically over stimulated, or chronically under nourished, or many other reasons that weaken this system. An abstract from more than thirty years ago (1988):

“Some people consider police services as inappropriate for privatization, arguing that such services are public goods that only government can practically provide. The work of E. S. Savas and others, however, has persuasively demonstrated that many government services are not public goods or, at least, not pure public goods. Police services, in fact, have been successfully financed, through user fees, and delivered, via contracting, by the private sector. Moreover, there are some surprising examples of fully privatized police services, both financed and delivered privately. The major barriers to police privatization include tradition and attitudes, concern about control and accountability, union opposition, legal restrictions, and the difficulty of encouraging all beneficiaries to finance these services voluntarily, or privately. All of these barriers can be surmounted under certain circumstances. There are even signs that the privatization of police services, especially some milder forms of privatization, is gradually taking place.”[11]

So in fact, in a very systematic and step-by step manner all the above-mentioned chronic factors have occurred in a sustained and deliberate ways for decades. But why would anyone, in his rightful, truthful, and just mind, want to deliberately weaken the immune systems of persons or the police systems of societies?

I cannot think of even one good reason for these to come from a rightful, truthful, and just mind. I can think of many reasons for these to ooze out of an otherwise mind. When the immunity of a human body or the police system of a society is dismantled, then their functions could be, for example, outsourced to pharmaceutical profiteers and private security firms. Replacing immunity and security apparatuses are profitable to a few at the expense of many.

I wonder, in the case of the police, do all those who are demanding to dismantle police departments in their local communities, or anywhere else for that matter, know that they, in their own isolated corners, are performing inter-linked tasks the sum total of which executes a plan, agreed upon decades ago by a crooked few, ta plan that has as its main goal very serious harms to the masses of ordinary people, including the enlisted participants themselves? In a society that its most vulnerable is not protected, no one is protected.

To UnConclude: Would it not be nice to have just one word that says all that?

*<em> “MISSING WORD”</em>noun

a secret or a not-so-secret agreement made between two or more people to enlist and coordinate activities of diverse groups of people and individuals who would each carry out, in disparate cells and compartments, isolated yet inter-linked tasks the sum total of which executes a plan that has as its main goal very serious harms to others or to the enlisted participants themselves.

a secret or a not-so-secret agreement made between two or more people about a plan the components of which are built upon identified vulnerabilities and routine shortcomings of persons, places, and infrastructures in a given society and to the detriment of that society and its members:

  • He was not aware that he was part of a <em> “MISSING WORD”</em> to dismantle the police.
  • Their ignorance and mindless participation helped the enemies of their nation to further their <em> “MISSING WORD”</em> to kill the scientists.

References

[1] Adams D & Lloyd J (1983). “The Meaning of Liff.” Published by Pan Books Ltd. Faber & Faber Limited, London, England. ISBN 0330281216.

[2] Chang CR & Bassman R (2019). “Psychiatric Diagnosis and the Power of Names.” Journal of Humanistic Psychology, doi:10.1177/0022167819852786.

[3] Cambridge Dictionary, “Meaning of Conspiracy in English” Accessed online at: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/conspiracy

[4] Tasnim News (2013). “From the trials of the accused in the terror of nuclear scientists to the accusations towards the candidates in the election.” TasnimNews, Khordad 6, 1392 @ 17:34. News Code: 64764.

[5] Tasnim News (2019). “Four Billion was paid to those accused in nuclear scientists’ assassinations after a not-guilty verdict.” TasnimNews, Shahrivar 12, 1398 @ 20:24. News Code: 2089952.

[6] An excerpt from Ayatullah Khameni speech to during a visit by the scientific and academic elites on Aban, 6, 1388 [Oct. 28, 2009]. Available online at: https://farsi.khamenei.ir/speech-content?id=8292

[7] Hussain Abadian R (2020). “Karbala was the scene of the battle of Truth against Falsehood; Today, the US is the epitome of falsehood.” Mehr News Agency, Shahrivar 8, 1399 @ 13:06. News Code: 5011311

[8] Kelling GL & Moore ML (1988). “The Evolving Strategy of Policing.” Perspective on Policing, A publication of the National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice, and the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. No. 4, November 1988, Pages 1-15.

[9] Kelling GL & Wycoff MA (2002). “Evolving Strategy of Policing: Case Studies of Strategic Change.” US DOJ Report on a Federally-funded grant, Award Number: 95-IJ-CX-0059. Doc. No. 198029, December 2002.

[10] Williams H & Murphy PV (1990). “The Evolving Strategy of Police: A Minority View.” Perspective on Policing, A publication of the National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice, and the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. No. 13, January 1990, Pages 1-15.

[11] Fixler PE & Poole Jr. RW (1988). “Can Police Services Be Privatized?” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 498; The Private Security Industry: Issues and Trends (July 1988), Pages 108-118, Sage Publications, Inc., DOI: 10.2307/1045386

USA TO IRAQ: WE WILL WITHDRAW BUT WITHOUT BEING HUMILIATED

Posted on  by Elijah J Magnier

By Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi is preparing to meet US President Donald Trump at the White House, about issues that are burdening Iraq. The country is struggling with a stifling economic crisis, the Coronavirus pandemic, the US military presence that is no longer desirable, the “unmanageable balance” between Iran and the US, and the omnipresent Turkish military activity and Turkey’s presence on Iraqi soil.

The Al-Kazemi team includes economic experts and diplomats who want to resume the second round of strategic talks that began between the two countries last June. This exchange has been imposed on both sides following the binding decision of the Iraqi parliament to order US forces to withdraw from Iraq, following the assassination of Major General Qassem Soleimani, leader of the “Axis of the Resistance” and commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard- alongside the Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis- together with their companions, in January 2020. 

Several groups of unknown affiliation have attacked US bases with Katyusha rockets and mortar shells, deliberately not inflicting fatal injuries. Moreover, Iraqi convoys transporting equipment belonging to the US forces have been intercepted and the contents set on fire- a warning to Iraqi drivers to refrain from providing any services to the US forces, otherwise they too will bear the consequences.

These “so-far unknown” groups shared a common goal: warn US forces that their presence in Iraq will no longer be tolerated unless they withdraw as requested by Parliament. It is to be expected that these groups will escalate, intensifying their attacks so as to put more pressure on both Al-Kazemi’s government and on Washington. Violent confrontation is no longer distant.

Iran has repeatedly indicated its support for Iraq as well as its support for the Iraqis who want to get the US out of Iraq. When Al-Kazemi visited Tehran last month and met with Iranian officials, Sayyed Ali Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, told him: “The US has killed your guest.” Sayyed Khamenei wanted to arouse Arab tribal feelings that sanctify and protect the guest, to remind Iraqi officials that they have done nothing yet to avenge a guest’s murder, and to underscore that if the Iraqis revolt against the killers, this is indeed their right.

Thus, the Iraqi Prime Minister – who is trying to find common ground between the US and Iran – is not mediating with the goal of a meeting between the two countries’ officials, because Iran refuses to engage with the killers of Major General Soleimani, the current US administration. Al-Kazemi would rather try to avoid a military clash in Mesopotamia. However, the chances of him succeeding in his endeavour between Tehran and Washington are weak so long as the Trump administration is in power. The big challenge that Al-Kazemi faces is the illegal Turkish presence in Iraq. For many years, 

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.


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