Islamic Republic of Iran’s Presidential Election 1400

Islamic Republic of Iran’s Presidential Election 1400

June 03, 2021

by Mansoureh Tajik for the Saker Blog

The list of candidates for the 1400 Islamic Republic of Iran Presidential Election has shocked and surprised only those analysts and reporters whose investigative skills have been rendered dull perhaps by covidus lifeosis (abnormal life caused by covid) or by sourcepenia crediblerrhexis (ruptured credibility due to an abnormal reduction in the number of informed sources) or by some other malady of unknown etiology. Had the baffled and the bewildered had their fingers on the right non-digitized social and political pulses inside Iran, especially those of the past twelve years, it is likely they would not have found the list shocking.

As a general personal rule, I do not get into peripheral details of political factions, personalities, and transient political lather, froth, and intrigues peculiar to election times and their aftermaths with audiences either inside or outside Iran. I often use the opportunity, however, to remind people of the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, relevant bodies and laws with respect to a specific election, and the degree to which given organs, oversight bodies, hopefuls, and candidates follow or deviate from those laws based on proven and credible public sources and records. When the Saker kindly asked me to write about the rationale behind the most recent finalized list of presidential candidates, I thought I could do something similar for this blog.

I am going to briefly discuss with you what I would, more or less, present inside Iran when I am invited to talk and hope the discussion proves useful in making sense of what is happening right now and what to expect in the future. I will focus this essay on three key areas: 1) The role and conduct of the Guardian Council as a review & decision-making body with respect to elections and candidates based on the constitution of the Islamic Republic; 2) Overview of “Who is Who” in the Iranian political scene as various political groups, factions, and personalities emerge and how these personalities and groups treating the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran with their words and deeds; and 3) The importance of the outcome of this year’s election for the Iranians, the people of the region, and the Resistance using an important official document released by the Leader, Ayatullah Khamenei, on the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Republic in 1397 [2019], titled “Gaam_e Dovvom_e Enghlaab,” or The 2nd Phase of the Revolution.[1]

1. The Guardian Council and the Final List of Candidates for Presidential Election 1400

The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran entrusts the Guardian Council with three major responsibilities: a) Oversight of all laws, legislations, and rules to make sure they are in accordance with the constitution AND fiqh according to Shi’a Islam; b) Interpretation of the Constitution where and when such interpretation is needed; and c) Oversight over all elections and their components including the qualifications and records of the applicants and their approval as candidates.[2] In a nutshell, the Council is obligated to use the tools and the authority given to it by law to guard and protect the Constitution and when an interpretation is needed, to make sure that interpretation is in accordance with Shi’a Islam fiqh.

As far as the presidential candidates are concerned, if someone openly and publicly expresses his rejection of the Constitution or its key components, for example, and there is solid proof of that, or if he acts in violation of key components of the Constitution and there is solid proof of that, or if he breaks the law and has a file in the legal system, then he should not expect to be approved as a candidate to run for the position of the president, which is the 2nd most important position in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is regardless of how popular that person may imagine himself to be. Should the person of that caliber be approved, then the Guardian Council must be held accountable for breach of duties. This is not some revolutionary idea or practice. It is a wise and reasonable expectation of a body with responsibilities of that nature in any system of governance anywhere in the world.

Related to the approved list, a key question we must ask is this: Does the Guardian Council apply its evaluation and assessment of the applicants in a fair and unbiased manner, or does it appear that some applicants are being treated as more equal than others?

To answer the above question, I explain the structure of the Council and we could take a look at a few records of their past decisions.

The Guardian Council consists of 12 members. Six members must be “faqih adil wa jame’ushumul,” or well-rounded, just and pious religious jurist with proven records in fiqh and in justice. These members are selected and appointed by Wali Faqih, or the Supreme Leader, in consultation with Majlis Khobregan Rahbari, or the Assembly of the Experts in Leadership which is an 88- member assembly directly elected by the people. The other six members must be just, pious, and knowledgeable legal experts with proven records in their expertise. These members are nominated by the head of the judiciary and approved by a majority vote by the members of Majlis Shoraye Islami, or the Iranian Parliament. So, six legal experts and six religious experts are responsible for safeguarding the laws of the Constitution and the laws of the Religion (Shi’a Islam).

Perhaps the nearest similar body to the Guardian Council in terms of function is the United States Supreme Court. Of course, I am using the term “similar function” extremely loosely here since the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Guardian Council is in charge of guarding and protecting a constitution that has defense of the oppressed in the world as one of its important principles and the US Supreme Court is in charge of guarding and protecting whatever it is guarding and protecting to ensure the Global Arrogance can continue to arrogate, aggress, and wreak havoc upon the defenseless.

At least 7 out of 12 votes are required for an applicant to be approved as a presidential candidate. Once the list is submitted and published by the Ministry of Interior, it is considered final. According to the law, however, the Supreme Leader can use what is called “Hokm_e Rahbari,” or the Leader’s Decree, to make a change to that list. In the past 40+ years, only once did this happen. During the 1384 [2005] presidential election, when the list was published, Ayatullah Khamenei sent a letter the Council and asked them to add two additional names to the list of candidates for that year’s election. The text of that letter is as follows:

“Ayatullay Jannati, the Secretary General of the Guardian Council,

With salaam and greetings. Thank you for the great efforts of the esteemed Council and the important task of determining the competencies of the presidential candidates for the 9th presidential election. With due observance of the law in this order, it is desirable for people with diverse political preferences to have the occasion as well as the opportunity for their great test in the election. Therefore, you should consider the announcement of the gentlemen, Dr. Mostafa Mueen and Engineer Mehralizadeh as candidates.

Wasalaam Alaykum.

Sayyed Ali Khamenei,

1384/3/2.”[3]

The phrase “great test” in the Leader’s statement carries with it a significant message. From the perspective of our responsibilities before God, these positions of power, regardless of the position and level, are tests through which the strength of our characters and purity of our beliefs get authenticated.

The two candidates added to the list by the Leader belonged to the reformist camp. The augmented list now reflected a more representative list of the most notable political factions of that time. Some analysts later speculated that this addition led to a split in votes for Hashemi Rafsanjani and an ultimate victory for Mahmoud Ahamadinejad who was supported by the principlist camp during that election. Their speculation was based on an assumption that those who voted for Mueen and Mehralizadeh (the reformist camp) would have voted for Rafsanjani (the technocrat liberal economy camp).

Perhaps a parallel to this phenomenon could be drawn with the 1992 US presidential election when Ross Perot entered the race as an independent candidate and that led to a split in votes for Bush Sr. and handed a victory to Bill Clinton.

I find the claims regarding a split in Rafsanjani’s vote unsubstantiated though. I think a widespread sense of “anyone but Rafsanjani” at that time was much stronger than what some of those analysts are willing to admit.

At any rate, in subsequent elections and since then, every time the Guardian Council released the final list, given personalities sent letters to the Leader and asked him to add specific people to the list. However, the Leader never intervened again. Those who sent letters to the Leader, I think, do not really “get” why the Leader used his Hokm_e Rahbari authority that once and why he is unlikely to use it unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Despite what foreign media and their echo chambers inside Iran propagate, I think the Guardian Council’s decision-making calculus has been ameliorated in favor of a more diversified and less conservative list in reviewing applications by the Council. I also think that one-time mandate by the Leader had something to do with this change. There has been a few names in the 1388 (2009), 1392 (2013), and 1396 (2017) list of candidates that should not have been there had the Council’s vetting been more by the letter of the law.

2. “Who is Who” in the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Current Political Scene

If we use the Pareto principle and apply the general 80-20 rule to the socio-political scene in Iran and assume that 80% of the general voting population is influenced by the 20% political elites, then we could divvy up the 20% so-called elites into six somewhat loose categories based on what we see of the present political currents. I constructed the table below to give an overall sense of various groups and notable personalities in three areas of social, economic, and foreign policy stance. I based this categorization on what each group’s actual records show and not what they theoretically claim. The candidacy of the names in green was approved by the Guardian Council. The names that are crossed are known personalities that did not make it to the final list.

Each member of the Guardian Council casts its vote in writing and it is “Gheyre Alani”. That means, the Council members discuss each candidate’s application among themselves but cast a secret vote. So, none of the members knows who exactly voted “yes” or who voted “no” for a given application. In cases when an applicant did not make it to the list and he wants to know why, the Council reveals the content of the discussion to him and him only. However, if the applicant wishes for the discussion to be made public, then he must submit a written request to the Council and the specific discussions will be revealed. So far, I could not find any records of any candidates having submitted any such written request.

Since we do not have any credible report from the Council’s discussions, I will briefly review some of the publicly available records on two of the notable personalities who did not make the list. We examine potential reasons for why these two candidates did not earn at least 7 out of 12 votes. I would like to reiterate that these are my assessments and I have absolutely no access nor am I privy to the records of undisclosed discussions by the Guardian Council. The two applicants are Ali Larijani and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Ali Larijani. He is a well-known figure in the Principlist camp and most recently served as the head of the Majlis Shoraye Islami, or the Parliament. His brother, Ayatullah Amoli Larijani, who was the head of the Judiciary is also one of the 12 members of the Guardian Council. It appears Ayatullah Larijani was not able to persuade enough other members of the Council in favor of his brother. After the final list had been released, Ayatullah Larijani made the following public statement:

“Since the beginning of my participation in the Guardian Council in 1380 [2001] nearly 20 years has passed. In all this time, I have defended the Guardian Council even during the years I was in the Judiciary. But I had never found the decision of the Council so much indefensible whether in approval or in lack of approval for qualifications. This chaos is to a large degree related to the interference by security organs through false reports that exert undue influence on the decision of the members of the Guardian Council.”[4]

Ugh. I find the fact that Ayatullah Larijani participated in the discussion and did not recuse himself due to conflict of interest disturbing. But let us assume he has reached a level of Taqwa that he can keep his bias on a tight leash and explore if his displeasure with fellow council members is warranted.

One factual, publicly available, and verifiable information is this: Fatemeh Ardeshir Larijani is Ali Larijani’s daughter, (Ayatullah Amoli Larijani’s niece). In 2010, she relocated to the United States and has been living and working there for the past 10 years. Whether she is a citizen, permanent resident, or on an H1 visa or what not is not an issue. It is also a fact that Ali Larijani, her father, the rejected candidate, has served as a key member of the Supreme Council on National Security, the head of the parliament, and in many other important high profile positions for decades. The relation between Fatemeh Larijani and her family and relatives is intact, quite close, and ongoing.

Here is another fact: Many times, Iran’s nuclear programs, generals, and scientists have been openly, publicly, and shamelessly sabotaged, threatened, and assassinated respectively under direct order from top officials in the United States of America. The role the United States played in bringing the Iranian society to a brink of collapse in 2009 is quite public and azharu mina-Shams (more evident than the sun).

This is where things get even worse: In certain instances, security breaches led to significant damages to critical infrastructures as well as to the assassination of key scientists and top commanders in Iran. Disturbingly, some of the intelligence leaks (let us suppose inadvertently) were traced to close family members of top ranking officials with access to classified information as discovered by members of the Intelligence Ministry.

Here is one of the core concerns: should the Guardian Council wait until leaks linked to this particular person and this particular candidate actually occur and another disaster to happen in order to take a stance and say enough is enough? If Larijanies and the likes of them want to be free to do as they wish as private citizens, then so be it. They must relinquish their sensitive positions and do as they wish according to the law. But if they aim to occupy extremely critical positions of authority and responsibility in the country, then they must know there are constraints for themselves and their family members. It is not just about them. It has something to do with life, death, security, and the fate of a nation. Why should a whole nation pay the price for the self-indulgences of a few families?

In 2018, some families of Americans who had been detained in Iran on espionage charges, wrote letters to Trump administration to deny US visas to the children of top-ranking officials in the Iranian government. An excerpt from an NBC report at the time reads:

“The families have provided the administration and several lawmakers with a list of Iranian nationals living in the U.S. alleged to be the children or relatives of senior Iranian officials, including President Hassan Rouhani himself… The daughter of the powerful speaker of the Iranian parliament, Ali Larijani, is also on the list. She is a resident in internal medicine at an Ohio hospital, according to medical directories. The nephew of President Hassan Rouhani attended college in New York City and now works there, according to LinkedIn. The nephew’s father was the former top adviser to Rouhani, who stepped down after coming under fire from hardline opponents of the Iranian president.” [5]

Double ugh. It is not surprising that the Guardian Council did not place Ali Larijani on the final approved list for presidential candidates. It is surprising that the Council members grew a spine.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Among all post-war presidents of the Islamic Republic of Iran, from the construction era to present, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may be viewed, without a doubt, as the most active and the most productive president in terms of construction, social justice programs, and public service during his 1st term of as the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran. His excellent record of public service continued well into the 2nd year of his 2nd term. I do not believe any fair and unbiased person would deny this.

With respect to Iran’s foreign policy and anti-imperial and anti-Zionist stance as well, one can name very few politicians that demonstrated the same level of boldness and courage as him. For sure, he pulled no punches.

Half way through his second term and beyond his time as president, however, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s priorities, statements, and conduct changed. The areas in which he was the strongest dimmed and areas in which he had weaknesses became more prominent. I do not wish to go into details of the political games into which he was drawn and questionable conducts of some of his closest associates from whom he failed to distance himself and a combination of factors that resulted in his political fall. Whatever the condition of his environment and associates, ultimately, he was the one who made the choice and he was the one who presented his application for the position of president.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had an excellent team of hardworking and honest ministers working with him. Many of those excellent workers and ministers, however, have long distanced themselves from him and have expressed unwillingness to work with him again for various reasons. A domineering and overbearing quality to his relationship with those who worked with him seem to be among those reasons. An attitude of “either my way exactly as I say or highway,” with various ministers and organs in the executive branch, with members of Majlis, with the Judiciary, with the Leader, and with many others and of a clear disregard for the law is not exactly an appropriate attitude for a wise chief executive officer of a country, an Islamic Republic at that.

Muhammad Vahdati, the former head of the Center for Studies of the Ministry of Interior, has spoken at length about what may have happened. I would like to quote for you here excerpts from his statements that I found illuminating:

“Of course, those public service works were the product of a team work that was done by a system consisting of the administration, the ministers, the governors who themselves now, those very same hardworking ministers and governors, more than 90 percent of them have distanced themselves from Mr. Ahmadinejad’s current position. Now, here is the question, a person who was once an eyesore for the arrogant powers such as the US and Israel, why is he marked and regarded today as a prey and a beacon of hope for those very arrogant powers? And why do the enemies sense that they must invest in him and that he could deal such hard blows to the system that the US Americans themselves are incapable of doing?”[6]

What Dr. Vahdati is alluding to is a series of interviews with Ahmadinejad conducted by Western/Saudi-financed media outlets and aired by their lie factories regarding the war in Syria. About three months ago, in a televised interview with the Lebanese TV Channel, Al-Jadid[7], Ahmadinejad lumped together the Resistance fighters and Russia in Syria with the ISIS, Jubhatu-Nusrah, and other West-Zionist backed fighters. He said they must all leave Syria as none of them are helping the Syrian people. He also made other noteworthy remarks of similar nature that one could usually hear from Zionist-controlled media.

I seek refuge in God Himself when He seeks to test us.

Here, I would like to bring a bit more of Dr. Vahdati’s interview from the archive of the Ministry of Interior since it sheds some light not only regarding Ahmadinejad’s attitude and conduct but also on social and historical context that ushered him into the office of the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran about 15 years ago. He states:

“But the reasons for his [Ahmadinejad’s] fall: the first one is his pride. Pride knocks down a human being. It is one of those types of sins that God will punish in this very world. Even if he is a believer, even if he is a warrior of God fighting in the warfront. If one becomes afflicted with pride, God will very quickly pinch his ear. Who do you think Satan was? An angel very high up in God’s Presence. Who had worshiped God as much as Satan?! Several thousand years of worship. But its pride and arrogance caused it to be rejected and become Satan, the Outcast.”

“The 2nd reason, I think, is Mr. Ahmadinejad’s inaccurate analysis of the reasons for his victory during his first presidential term. This incorrect analysis of his own situation caused his pride to be further inflated. He had this thinking that he and he alone had made this wave. So, you do know that main Principlists and other conservative camps at that time sought after more famous people. Even the Isargaran camp that Mr. Ahmadinejad was part of its main council, that council, too, went after another candidate. Well, at that time, Mr. Ahmadinejad was not very well known. He had just recently become the Mayor of Tehran. Even that opportunity was provided to him by the Principlists. He claimed that the Principlist factions did not support him. He even claimed that the Leader’s office had suggested to him to remain in Tehran’s Mayoral Office since he had just become the Mayor of Tehran. He, therefore, claimed, “I myself created this wave therefore I do not need any support from the Priciplists.” But the truth is this: Mr. Ahmadinejad did not create that wave. He rode it. Even the Leader and the Revolutionary forces had done a lot to raise awareness in those years and unravel the enemy’s complex plot. In those days, there were even talks of silent dismantling of the government. Many people did a lot to reveal the true essence and aim of the so-called Reformist movement that was being superintended by the [US] Americans.”

“It was the efforts of all these people that once again brought to the fore the revolutionary dialogue and a need for skillful management of the society. In the very first achievement of that wave, you saw in the victory of Chamran’s Team in Tehran City Council elections. But before that, a very different dialogue had dominated the scene. The atmosphere at that time was such that whoever was the most extremist and the most bellicose against the system, he would get the most attention.”

“For example, someone would say the religion and power must be separated. Another would say we must run bullets through Imam’s thoughts. Another would say religion is not only the opium of the masses but it is also the opium of rulers. Yet another would say ‘are our people monkeys to emulate?’ Mr. Abbas Abdi, for instance, was saying, ‘we could do street demonstration against God.’ And things like this.”

“Okay then, it took a lot to change those sorts of dialogues. Mr. Ahmadinejad relied on this new wave of reviving the revolutionary dialogue and began riding that wave and claimed he was more revolutionary than others. It was because now that dialogue had gained currency. On the other side, the Principlists who had gained an opportunity, they provided that opportunity to Mr. Ahmadinejad in Tehran Mayoral Office. It was under these circumstances that Ahmadinejad was able to beat his rivals in that particular arena and use the opportunity as a springboard.”

“The third factor was his grab onto power and an emergence of a serious power-seeking spirit from within him. That means, Mr. Ahmadinejad was gradually afflicted with the very same problem against which he had gone to war. His main reason to oppose Mr. Hashemi [Rafsanjani] was Mr. Hashemi’s [Rafsanjani’s] affliction with power grab and exclusivism. For instance, those around Mr. Hashemi [Rafsanjani] during his second term had been saying they should do something so that Mr. Hashemi’s [Rafsanjani’s] presidency becomes a life-long position but the Leader vigorously opposed this and said it is against the constitution. Mr. Mohajerani who was at the time the president’s [Rafsanjani’s] legal advisor was saying, ‘We need to change the constitution, to reform it, so that he could become a president for at least one more term.’”

“So, what they did to remain in power was the establishment of the Kargozaran Sazandegi and the formation of a coalition with the Leftists who had by then become isolated. Eventually, we saw those with whom the public was dissatisfied because of hardships and widening of the gap between the rich and the poor. So, those people returned with a new slogan and kept their grip on power.”

“Mr. Khatami’s administration in fact revolved around the Kargozaran as its main axis. This was a left-over administration from Mr. Hashimi’s [Rafsanjani’s] presidency. Similarly, Mr. Ahmadinejad, in the final days of his first term and the beginning of his 2nd term, had reached the conclusion that in fact the only one who can save the country is him. He believed the reformers had no religion and the Principlists did not have what it takes. Consequently, his main preoccupation was what would happen after his 2nd term was up.”

“So, we remember that the first appointment he made in his second term, he made Mashaei as his first assistant secretary. The Leader privately wrote to him that that decision is neither a prudent decision for the country nor a wise decision for himself. But in order for him to push this decision on the system, he brought forth all he had. In doing so, he set fire on his entire political capital. From 11-day Sulking to abandoning his office to picking fights with Majlis.”

“It is not necessarily a bad thing for a political current to try to bring its most powerful people to the scene in order to remain in power but Mr. Ahamadinejad’s idea was not this. He had very capable ministers in his team like Mr. Lankarani, Mr. Nikzad, Mr. Babaee, and Mr. Fattah. However, he told them if they came forward for candidacy, he would publically announce that they were not with him and he would not support them. He viewed them as the ‘system’s people.’ He wanted to bring someone to power who was his person.”

“The other factor was that ideological deviation with which Mr. Ahmadinejad became afflicted. Or, we could say his presence in power caused that disease to manifest itself. And the role the ring around him played to worsen his situation cannot be denied. Gradually, this mentality was formed in Mr. Ahamadinejad that ‘following a Wali Faqih is for the time that we have no direct access to an Infallible Imam (AS). Today, we are directly connected to the Imam (AS) and we no longer need to accept the wilayat of this faqih.’”

“So, you see we are facing two Ahmadinejads: One is the Ahmadinejad belonging to the beginning of the 9th Administration and with those worldviews and the other is the Ahmadinejad in the 10th Administration fully deviating from the frame of mind he had started his first term and, in many places, he even became defiantly oppositional with the first one.”

If I were to summarize Ahmadinejad’s situation, I must say that had he been on the approved list of the 1400 presidential candidates released by the Guardian Council, it would have been quite shocking. It would have demonstrated the Council was not living up to the responsibility of guarding the Constitution.

Just to close the file on the 20% political elites and all their protests and grievances, I would like to re-post a segment of Imam Ali’s (AS) letter to Malik Ashtar about the elites in the society that I had quoted in one of my previous articles regarding Imamat and Wilayat:

“O, Malik! Your most favored tasks must consist of the ones that are the most balanced with the truth, the most encompassing in justice, and the most comprehensive in gaining the public’s gratitude. That is because the public’s anger makes the satisfaction of a few elites useless and the anger of a few elites become null and void when countered with the satisfaction of the public. At the time of great abundance and comfort, no one is more wasteful for a governor than the elites. At the time of hardship and challenges, no one is more useless than the elites. At the time of fairness, no one is less pleased than the elites. At the time of asking and wanting, no one is more persistent than the elites. At the time of generosity, no one is more ungrateful than the elites. At the time of refusing to cater, no one is more unforgiving than the elites. At the time of calamities, no one less patient than the elites. So, the pillar of religion, the crowd of Muslims, and the most ready to fight with the enemies are in fact the public. So, your attentions and your desires must be devoted to them.”[8]

3. Election 1400 and the 2nd Phase of the Revolution

As stated in the introduction, on the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1397 [2019], the Wali Faqih Ayatullah Khamenei released a declaration titled “Gaam_e Dovvom_e Enghlaab,” or The 2nd Phase of the Revolution directly addressing the Iranian Nation. The document is important in that it gives a concise and significant overview of the past 40 years and notable lessons, a general assessment of the present, and a clear map and direction for the future.

When the document was released two years ago, many people, organizations, and movements at all levels from local mosques to academic centers of higher education took it and said “Labbayk” (i.e. “we heard your call and we will do what we must”). Several of the candidates that submitted their application for the presidency actually stated they were doing so in order to have responded to the Leader’s call. Those interested could find the link to the entire document here. I would like to highlight segments that I think provide important cues to what is ahead in terms of the upcoming election, the qualities of the next president, and the areas where both the nation and the officials must focus.

The Ideals of the Revolution: In the introduction segment, the Leader states,

“From among all oppressed nations, very few nations undertake a revolution. And among those who rise up and have a revolution, even fewer are able to carry the work to its final phase. Except for changing the ruling system, few have been able to preserve their revolutionary ideals. With the great revolution of the Iranian nation, however, which is the most significant people-based revolution in modern era, it is the only revolution that went through a forty-year honorable period without betraying its ideals. It protected and preserved the authenticity and dignity of its slogans despite all sorts of seemingly irresistible temptations. Now, it has entered into the 2nd phase of building self, the society, and the civilization. Salutations from the bottom of my heart to this nation, to the generation that began the revolution, and to the generation that is ushering it into the grand global process of its 2nd Forty-Year.”

Therefore, the next president must not only believe in the Revolution’s ideals but help realize them for the nation inside and for the oppressed outside.

Balance and Justice in Foreign Policy: In another segment of the document, the Leader clarifies:

“The Islamic Revolution of the Iranian nation has been strong but kind and tolerant even when unjustly treated. It has never committed the excesses and deviations that brought dishonor to many other uprisings and movements in the world. In no challenge, not even with the [US] America and Sadam, did it ever fire the first shot but always and in all cases, after the enemy had attacked, it defended itself and of course executed the counter attack with force. This Revolution, from the start until today, has neither been ruthless and bloodthirsty nor cowardly and hesitant. It has stood up unambiguously and courageously against arrogant bullies and transgressors and has defended the unjustly treated and the oppressed. This revolutionary valor and affability, this truthfulness, transparency, and strength, and this global and regional domain of action on the side of the oppressed of the world, is an honor for Iran and the Iranians. May it always remain so.”

In addition, the next president must be wise and courageous at the same time. Neither should he be bellicose to pick fights nor fearful to face a challenge with strength. Being on the side of the oppressed of the world is given. Ayatullah Khamenei highlights 7 specific areas that require great attention and defines each area in a way they serve as a roadmap for those who are willing to take action. I will close the essay with a particularly uplifting segment for the region.

“Strong Iran of today, just like the beginning of the Revolution, is facing many challenges from the Arrogant Powers but with a meaningful difference. If the challenge [for Iran] in those days was to cut off the [US] America’s and foreign hands from the nation or to close the Zionist regime’s embassy in Tehran or to expose the Den of Spies [the term that refers to US embassy in Tehran], today, the challenge for the US with Iran’s presence at the borders surrounding the Zionist regime and dismantling the illegitimate influence and presence of the [US] America from West Asia, Islamic Republic’s defense of Palestinian fighters at the heart of the occupied territories, and defense of holy flag of Hizbullah and the Resistance in the entire region. If in those days, the West’s problem was preventing Iran from buying even the most primitive forms of arms for its defense, today, its challenge is to prevent the Iranian arms, military equipment, and drones reaching Hizbullah and the Resistance everywhere in the region. If in those days, the [US] America imagined it can overcome the Islamic System and the Iranian nation with the help of a few self-selling Iranian traitors, today, it is finding itself in need of a large coalition of tens of hostile yet impotent governments to fight Iran. Yet, it fails.”

References

[1] Sayyed Ali Khamenei, “Gaam_e Dovvom_e Enghlaab” [The 2nd Phase of the Revolution]. 1397/11/22 [Feb. 11, 2019]. Accessed online at: https://farsi.khamenei.ir/message-content?id=41673

[2] The Islamic Republic of Iran Guardian Council. “The Responsibilities and the Authority of the Council.” Accessed online at: https://www.shora-gc.ir/fa/guardian-council

[3] IRI Guardian Council News Site. “The 9th Election: Participation and Competition in Two Rounds.” News Code: 3152; Published on line on Khordad 21, 1392 [June 11, 2013]. Accessed online at: Shora-GC.ir

[4] Mehr News Agency, “Amoli Larijani’s Criticism of the results regarding approved candidates list.” Khordad 4th, 1400, @ 17:31. News Code: 5220521. Accessed online at: mehrnews.com/xVpkg

[5] Dan De Luce, NBC News. “Families of Americans held in Iran ask Trump to pull visas for kids of top Iran officials.” Dec. 3, 2018, @1:22pm. Accessed online at: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/families-americans-held-iran-ask-trump-pull-visas-kids-top-n942781

[6] The reasons for Ahmadinejad’s fall: Sedaye Enghelab, Number 237; Muhammad Vahdati

[7] Al-Jadid TV Channel, Lebanon. https://www.aparat.com/v/rUAwg

[8] Ahdnameh Malik Ashtar (Letter #53), Nahjul-Balaqhah. Edit Sayyed Razi. Trans. Hussain Ansarian. Page 292. Darul-Irfan Publishing.

Leader: Revolution of Imam Khomeini is stronger than ever

Imam Khamenei Marks Imam Khomeini’s 32nd Demise Anniversary: Islamic Revolution Stronger Than Ever

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Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says Iran is stronger than ever as the country marks the 32nd anniversary of the passing away of its revolutionary founder Imam Khomeini.  

“I start the discussion from here that among the revolutionary systems and establishments that have been formed in the last one or two centuries, I do not know of any system that has been predicted as much as the Islamic Republic to collapse,” the Leader said Friday in a televised address. 

“From the first day of the revolution, the ill-wishers and those who could not digest and tolerate this great phenomenon, both inside and outside the country, said that the Islamic Republic would not last for another two months, six months or a year,” the Leader said.

“It was one or two years ago when the esteemed Americans said the same thing and a high-ranking American official stated that the Islamic Republic would not see its 40th anniversary. I do not remember so many predictions of decay and collapse to have been made about any other system,” he added.

Ayatollah Khamenei was apparently referring to former US national security advisor John Bolton’s infamous prediction while addressing a terrorist MKO convention in Paris in 2017.

At the conference Bolton said, “The outcome of the president’s policy review should be to determine that the Ayatollah Khomeini’s 1979 revolution will not last until its 40th birthday. And that’s why, before 2019, we here will celebrate in Tehran.”

“But, thank God, the revolution and the system of Imam Khomeini not only did not collapse and did not stop, but became stronger day by day,” Ayatollah Khamenei said Friday.

“It did not surrender, did not give up and rather showed its independence day by day. It achieved great success and overcame obstacles.”

The Leader said despite many successive political, security, economic obstacles created for Iran, “the Islamic Republic today is more developed than 40 years ago and is ahead in all respects by the grace of God.”

“The question arises, what is the secret of this permanence? Why did the Islamic Republic not face the fate of other revolutions in spite of all this hostility? Here I announce that the glorious and proud secret of this system is two words: the Republic and Islam. The existence created from these two words has every right to remain permanent, because it includes both people and Islam.”

Every year on the anniversary of the passing away, a commemoration ceremony is held at Imam Khomeini’s mausoleum in southern Tehran, with large crowds of mourners attending.

Like last year, authorities scrapped the ceremony and other events across the country this year to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Nevertheless, people in different cities attended local events by observing social distancing, to pay tribute to the late Imam.

Iranians pay tribute to late Imam Khomeini on 32nd anniversary of departure

Iranians pay tribute to late Imam Khomeini on 32nd anniversary of departureIranians are commemorating the 32nd anniversary of the passing away of Imam Khomeini, the revered founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Ayatollah Khamenei said Imam Khomeini’s outstanding initiative was that he created and introduced the idea of the Islamic Republic and then realized it.

“The great work of our esteemed Imam was to create this idea and theory of the Islamic Republic and to introduce it into the field of various political theories, in which there were various Eastern and Western political theories,” the Leader said, adding Imam Khomeini then took action and put his theory into practice.

“The Imam had many initiatives but the Islamic Republic is the most important initiative of the Imam,” the Leader said. “This is the same religious democracy that was recognized as the Islamic Republic.”

Addressing the youth, Ayatollah Khamenei said, “You, the youth, who have not experienced the pre-Revolution era, it is hard for you to feel that era.”

He recollected that people played no role at all in their destiny, especially during the dark tyranny of the Pahlavi dynasty.

“The Imam brought the people to the field with a leaping movement. The nation believed in itself and the Imam used the great capacity of the nation’s ability and will, and with his leadership and guidance, he was able to take it to a stage where he could do great things,” he added.

There was a time, the Leader continued, when the Islamic Republic was a sapling, and now it is a robust tree which cannot be uprooted by any storm.

Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Rouhollah Mousavi Khomeini, better known as Imam Khomeini, passed away on June 3, 1989 at the age of 87.

Plot to divide nation, eradicate religious democracy 

Ayatollah Khamenei called Iran’s religious democracy a “divine gift”, but warned of plots by the enemies to undermine it. 

“Thank God, after the departure of the Imam, the Iranian nation preserved this divine gift and this religious democracy,” he said. 

“The enemies of Iran, who made all kinds of efforts to separate the people and make them lose belief in religious democracy, had their plot thwarted and every time they tried a new way they faced the steel barrier of the Iranian people,” the Leader said.

“It is the same today. The enemies are lying in ambush to drive a wedge between the people and the Islamic system, but they are facing the steel barrier of the Iranian people. They plotted both security and intellectual invasion, all of which failed.”

Ayatollah Khamenei said there are some people inside Iran, who either knowingly or unknowingly repeat the claims of the enemies.  

“The idea that democracy does not go hand in hand with religion is also the claim of the enemies. Of course, some may say this out of negligence. They should know that this is the talk of the enemy and the enemy wants to eradicate Islam… It is a great mistake if we alienate democracy from Islamic thought and spirit.”


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Palestine Will Prevail Against Zionism

By Konrad Rekas

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Palestine Will Prevail Against Zionism

This political violence cannot last forever, and resistance to supporting Zionism is also growing in the West. Peace and justice are the only acceptable solutions for Palestine, and this must mean the end of the Zionist regime.

It’s not a coincidence that the great Imam Khomeini (blessed be His name) referenced Al-Quds Day in the last Friday of Ramadan. We are used to seeing the Palestinian cause in terms of mourning. So much Palestinian blood was shed by the Zionist occupiers, so much damage was done on Palestinian land, so devastating was Zionist occupation in the Palestinian capital, Al-Quds. These Zionist crimes must of course never be forgotten, the same as we will always remember the Nakba and never accept the existence of the Zionist occupation entity. The mood of Ramadan, its sacred atmosphere, perfectly fosters this absolutely necessary historical reflection.

But we must also think about the Al-Quds Day in terms of hope. Above all hope and future happiness! The great Imam Khomeini with His unparalleled acumen surely saw this as the inevitable event of the future: the return of the liberated Al-Quds to its role as the Palestinian capital, the city of the faithful. To a role that Jerusalem has never lost in our souls. This is what makes each Al-Quds Day event so profound and important, combining the memory of the tragic past, the awareness of the crimes still happening before our eyes, with the certainty of the irreversible victory that will be enjoyed by Palestine and all its friends.

Cut Off The Cancer

Of course, for now we are all in situation of a body attacked by a cancer.A cancer cell is a killer that pretends to belong to the body it kills. This is what the Zionist occupation regime is doing. It has no rights or any grounds for the occupation of Palestine other than its own crimes and the support of the American and British centres serving the Zionists. For centuries, the Jewish population in the Middle East lived in harmony and peace with their Arab neighbours, and thanks to the rule of Islam, they could develop freely, unlike in full-blooded and intolerant Western Europe. And it was from Europe that the invasion of foreigners, attackers of unknown origin, who declared themselves rulers of this land and the World as a whole fell on Palestine! On the basis of a sick, criminal Zionist ideology and invented genealogy children of Eastern European stallholders and Western European doctrinaires, they all turned out to be terrorists attacking a peaceful, friendly Palestine. They came out of the sea like the Jinns, and like the Jinns, they should be thrown back into the sea.

Over the years the Zionists enslaved not only all of Palestine, but also tried to impose their tyranny on their neighbours, especially Lebanon. With the help of their American servants, the Zionists also tried to create “Greater Israel” in Syria and Iraq, and in cooperation with the Saudi traitors of Islam, they tried to impose their power on the entire Middle East. This sect is no different in Europe, where, using especially the myth of the “Holocaust“, it imprints on European nations its ideological and financial dictatorship. Indeed, Zionism is a cancer, not only for Palestine and the Middle East, but for the whole World. And for the sake of all mankind, it must be cut down!

Path Of The Martyrs

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the great Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei, was the only one to present a viable and rational program for settling the Palestinian question via voting by all the true inhabitants of this land and their descendants. No other government, no state, including the European one, has devoted itself to such a profound and sensitive focus on the tragedy of Palestine. And this despite the fact that the crimes of the Zionists are not a secret in Europe. On the contrary, in many European countries, for example in Scotland, where I live, the social support movements for the victims of Zionist terror are more than strong. Governments, however, prefer to turn a blind eye, frightened by the myth of the “Holocaust” as well as under the pressure of the American Zionist chain dog, which, especially under Donald Trump, brutally forced the unconditionally pro-Zionist political line on its dependent states. And as we can see now, there is no big difference as far as Joe Biden’s administration concerned.

However, this political violence cannot last forever, and resistance to supporting Zionism is also growing in the West. Peace and justice are the only acceptable solutions for Palestine, and this must mean the end of the Zionist regime. Eventually, it will be forced to bow to the increased pressure of heroic Palestinian resistance, economic boycott from the rest of the World, and above all the unshakable will of Islam, led by the Islamic Republic of Iran and its Supreme Leader.

The road to a free Palestine is marked by the graves of the martyrs, and we all know that General Soleimani is one of the greatest of them. No one has ever caused so many losses to Zionism in his whole life, while saving so many believers and, in fact, helping the whole World. It is no coincidence that the Great General was targeted by the Zionist criminals and the American murderers acting on their behalf. However, the blood of the martyrs is the seed of faith. Faith in the final victory, in pushing the Zionists into the sea, in a free Palestine and in the Middle East without the imperialist troops and their Saudi henchmen.

At the same time, however, we must also remember that Zionism is not defenceless. On the contrary, the Zionist regime is held hostage by millions of Palestinians, the entire Middle East is hostage as it is threatened by Zionist nuclear weapons. It is of course possible to destroy the Zionist occupation by military means, but the cost would be enormous. Therefore, Zionism is actively fought wherever it is manifestly aggressive, just as General Soleimani did. However, we must overcome the Zionist occupation from within, by strengthening Palestinian potential and by intensifying the external blockade. Zionists are greedy people, thinking only about profits. Let’s deprive these bandits and thieves of the profits from the exploitation of Palestine and they will run away, rob Mars, work up a trillion-dollar debt to Jupiter or whatever the Zionists come up with. And this victory is inevitable, thanks to the example of General Soleimani and everyday heroes.

We Are Not With Palestine… Enough

In whole Europe we can see now thousands of people attending meetings of solidarity with Palestine. It is an important and touching experience. I have helped to organise some of them, but every time I have one, I share a strong message with the attendance:

We should not say and write “We are with Palestine” because we are… not there.

We were not banished from our homes during Nakba. We did not live in Sabra and Shatila. We were not kids shot at during the Intifada. Water was not shut off from our houses in the Autonomy. No one shot us when we were sailing towards the ships in Gaza. We are not where the Zionists are murdering Palestine.

And let’s not lie to ourselves that we can really do something for Palestine, that we change something by putting away on the shelf of a supermarket oranges fertilized with the blood of children from the West Bank. Because there will always be some other news of the day eventually. Because someday we have a whim to go on a trip to Eilat. Because the governments we vote for will talk us down again into making another deal with the Zionists.

Let’s not say we are with Palestine until we are truly consistent. As long as the chain of economic and political blockade around “Israel” is tighter than the barbed wire strangling the Autonomy. Until real sanctions against the Zionists hit Tel Aviv more accurately than their missiles hit Gaza.

The World conducts so many wars on our behalf, but against ourselves. This one, the one for the liberation of Palestine, let’s help lead it in our own well-understood interest. Not only for a moment, when we are once again saddened by another murdered Palestinian children, but for the final victory.

Otherwise – we will never be with Palestine.

Otherwise – we will become it ourselves.

IRAN WILL LEAVE VIENNA AT THE END OF THE MONTH IF BIDEN DOESN’T LIFT ALL SANCTIONS

By Elijah J. Magnier:

Iranian and Western delegations returned to their capitals after the third Vienna round, with optimism emanating from the statements of the gathered officials. Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi issued positive information about the US lifting sanctions on energy, economic sectors, shipping, freedom of transportation, banks, and on many Iranian personalities. The negotiations have reached a stage where the elaboration of complex texts is on the table. Also, there were talks about the US releasing more than 90 billion dollars withheld from Iranian funds and another 20 billion frozen in Iraq, Korea and China from oil revenues. No details have been discussed so far about the interest on these funds held for many years due to US sanctions.

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There was also talk about the possibility of exchanging Iranian prisoners held in America, who number 18, including 7 in critical health condition, and others of Iranian – Western double nationality holders (American and British) detained in Iran on charges of espionage. This is an old Iranian demand that Iran insists on ending everything in one single exchange.

However, after lifting sanctions against individuals and accepting all demands, the biggest problem lies in Iran’s request to ensure that the lifting of sanctions will be applied in a specific time frame. According to a particular pre-agreed timetable, Iran wants to ensure that all frozen funds will return to the Central Bank. Countries around the world will be allowed to deal with Iran in all sectors without intimidation.

Iran has never requested the return of diplomatic relations with the US, but rather the lifting of the sanctions imposed on it since 2015 and that President Barack Obama agreed to cancel. Moreover, Iran wants to lift all additional sanctions added by Donald Trump when the nuclear deal was torn apart in 2018.

Negotiations have reached a reasonable level, although Iran still refuses to communicate with the US directly because the US is no longer a partner in the JCPOA and that talks could blow up any time. The US flag was removed from the negotiating room at the request of Iran. The Iranian delegation stressed the need for the US delegate not to be present at the same hotel where the negotiations are taking place until the White House announces the end of all sanctions. This is when the US will become a JCPOA partner again.

An Iranian decision-maker in Iran said that “the Leader of the revolution, Sayyed Ali Khamenei, will not give an unlimited time-space to negotiate in Vienna. This is the last month before the announcement of the clinical death of the JCPOA agreement if all Iranian conditions are not met.” The source asserts that “Iran will not accept the American evasiveness that called for easing the sanctions by lifting those related to the nuclear file and placing other sanctions related to Iran’s missile capability, the Revolutionary Guards and others sectors until a future negotiation to be established later. Either all sanctions are lifted, or no deal is reached because mid-solutions are not accepted.”

Ayatollah Khamenei: Balance tipped in Islam’s favor, Zionist enemy in decline

Friday, 07 May 2021 10:12 AM  [ Last Update: Friday, 07 May 2021 10:58 AM ]1

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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)
Ayatollah Khamenei delivers a televised speech on the occasion of the International Quds Day on Friday, May 7, 2021. (Photo by Leader.ir)

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has marked the International Quds Day, saying Israel is not a country but a terrorist base against the people of Palestine and other Muslim nations.

“Since the first day, the Zionists turned the usurped Palestine into a terrorist base. Israel is not a country, rather it is a terrorist camp against the Palestinian nation and other Muslim nations,” the Leader said on Friday.

“Fighting against this despotic regime is fighting against oppression and terrorism. And this is a collective responsibility,” Ayatollah Khamenei added. 

The Leader voiced confidence that the downward movement of the Zionist regime has already started and “it will never stop”.

Ayatollah Khamenei said the issue of Palestine continues to be the most important and active issue for the Islamic Ummah collectively.

He said the policies of the oppressive and cruel capitalism “have driven a people out of their homes, their homeland and their ancestral roots and instead, it has installed a terrorist regime and has housed a foreign people therein.”

The following is the full text of Ayatollah Khamenei’s speech:

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and greetings be upon our Master and Prophet, Ab-al-Qassem Al-Mustafa Muhammad, upon his pure and immaculate household, upon his chosen companions and upon those who follow them until the Day of Judgment.

Palestine is the most important issue for the Islamic Ummah

The issue of Palestine continues to be the most important and active issue for the Islamic Ummah collectively. The policies of the oppressive and cruel capitalism have driven a people out of their homes, their homeland and their ancestral roots and instead, it has installed a terrorist regime and has housed a foreign people therein.

The logic behind the establishment of the Zionist regime

Can one find a logic weaker and shakier than that of the establishment of the Zionist regime? On the basis of their claim, the Europeans oppressed the Jews during the Second World War, therefore they believe that the oppression against the Jews should be revenged by displacing a nation in West Asia and by committing a horrible massacre in that country!

This is the logic which western governments have relied on with their wholehearted and blind support for the Zionist regime, thereby disproving all their false claims about human rights and democracy. It has been 70 years now that they have been sticking with this laughable and at the same time tragic story and every now and then, they add a new chapter to it.

Fighting against the Zionist regime is a collective responsibility

Since the first day, the Zionists turned the usurped Palestine into a terrorist base. Israel is not a country, rather it is a terrorist camp against the Palestinian nation and other Muslim nations. Fighting against this despotic regime is fighting against oppression and terrorism. And this is a collective responsibility.

Weakness and discord in the Islamic Ummah prepared the ground for the usurpation of Palestine

Another noteworthy point is that although that the usurping regime was established in 1948, the ground for occupying that sensitive Islamic region had been prepared years before that. Those specific years coincided with the active interference of westerners in Islamic countries with the purpose of establishing secularism and excessive and blind nationalism and also with the goal of installing despotic governments who were infatuated with or controlled by the West.

Studying those events in Iran, Turkey and Arab countries stretching from West Asia to North Africa reveals this bitter truth that weakness and discord in the Islamic Ummah paved the way for the disastrous usurpation of Palestine, allowing the world of arrogance to deliver that blow to the Islamic Ummah.

Westerners and Easterners colluding with one another over the matter of usurping Palestine

It is instructive that at that time, the capitalism and communism camps colluded with the rich Zionists. It was the English who masterminded the plot and who persisted in it and then, Zionist capitalists executed it with their money and weapons. The Soviet Union too was one of the first governments that officially recognized the establishment of that illegitimate regime and later on dispatched a large number of Jews to that area.

The usurping regime was actually an outcome of that situation in the world of Islam on the one hand, and of a European plot, invasion and transgression, on the other.

In the present time, the balance has been tipped in favor of the world of Islam

Today, the situation in the world is not like those days. We should keep this reality within sight. Today, the balance of power has swung in favor of the world of Islam. Various political and social incidents in Europe and in the United States have laid bare the weaknesses and the deep structural, managerial and moral conflicts among westerners. The electoral events in the US and the notoriously scandalous failures of the hubristic and arrogant managers in that country, the unsuccessful one-year fight against the pandemic in the US and Europe and the embarrassing incidents that ensued, and also the recent political and social instabilities in the most important European countries are all signs of the downward movement of the western camp.

On the other hand, the growth of the Resistance forces in the most sensitive Islamic regions, the development of their defensive and offensive capabilities, their growth of self-awareness, motivation and hope in Muslim nations, the increasing tendency to follow Islamic and Quranic slogans and the growth of independence and self-reliance in nations are auspicious signs of a better future.

The necessity for Muslim countries to cooperate with one another on the pivot of Palestine and Quds

In this auspicious future, cooperation between Muslim countries should be a main and fundamental goal and this does not seem unlikely. The pivot around which this cooperation turns is the issue of Palestine–the entirety of that country–and the fate of Holy Quds. This is the same truth that guided the enlightened heart of the great Imam Khomeini (may God bestow mercy upon him) towards the announcement of International Quds Day on the last Friday of Ramadan.

Cooperation between Muslims around the pivot of Holy Quds is an absolute nightmare for the Zionists and for their American and European advocates. The failed project called “The Deal of the Century” and the effort to normalize the relations between a few weak Arab governments and the Zionist regime were desperate attempts to run away from that nightmare.

I tell you with confidence: These attempts will not get them anywhere. The downward movement of the Zionist enemy has started and it will not stop moving downward.

The decisive factors in the future: The continued activities of the Resistance in the occupied lands and Muslims’ support for the Palestinian mujahids

There are two determining factors in the future: First and foremost is the continued activities of resistance in the Palestinian lands and the strengthening of the line of jihad and martyrdom and second, global support, on the part of governments and Muslim nations throughout the world, for the Palestinian mujahids.

All of us–government officials, intellectuals, religious scholars, political parties and groups, the brave youths and people of various social backgrounds–should determine our position in this public movement and play our part.

This is what nullifies the enemy’s plots and it will be a millennial manifestation of this ayah: “Or do they intend a plot? But those who defy Allah are themselves involved in a plot” [The Holy Quran, 52: 42], and “And Allah has full power and control over His affairs, but most among mankind do not know” [The Holy Quran, 12: 21].

I also wish to address the Arab youth in their own language…

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

Greetings be upon all liberated individuals in the Arab world, in particular Arab youth, and greetings be upon the resistant people of Palestine and Quds and the defenders in Masjid al-Aqsa.

Greetings be upon the martyrs of Resistance and the large number of the mujahids who laid down their lives on this path, in particular martyr Sheikh Ahmed Yasin, martyr Sayyid Abbas Musawi, martyr Fathi Shaqaqi, martyr Imad Moughniyah, martyr Abdul-Aziz Rantisi, martyr Abu-Mahdi al-Muhandis and finally, the most prominent personality among the martyrs of Resistance, martyr Qassem Soleimani. Even after their fruitful and blessed life, with their martyrdom, each of these personalities exerted a deep impact on the Resistance.

The endeavors of Palestinians and the pure blood of the Resistance martyrs have managed to hold up this auspicious flag and to increase the internal power of Palestinian jihad by a hundred times. One day, the Palestinian youth used to defend themselves by throwing stones, but today, they respond to enemy attacks with precision missiles.

Palestine and Quds has been described in the Holy Quran as the “Holy Land”. It has been tens of years now that the most impure and malicious human beings have been occupying this pure land: they are devils who massacre honorable human beings and then they confess to it with complete shamelessness. They are racists who have been harassing, for more than 70 years, the main owners of the land by murdering, looting, imprisoning and torturing them, but, thank God, they have not been able to break their willpower.

Palestine is alive and it continues to resist and it will finally overcome the malicious enemy with God’s assistance. Holy Quds and the entire Palestine belongs to those people [the Palestinians] and they will regain its possession again: “Nor is that for Allah any great matter.” [The Holy Quran, 14:20].

All Muslim governments and nations are responsible towards Palestine, but the Palestinians themselves are the pivot of the jihad and their population reaches about 14 million people inside and outside the land. The unity and the unanimous willpower of those people will work wonders.

Today, unity is the biggest weapon for the Palestinians

The enemies of Palestinian unity are the Zionist regime, the US and some other political powers, but if unity is not shattered from inside the Palestinian society itself, the extrinsic enemies will not be able to do anything.

The pivot of this unity should be national jihad and lack of trust in the enemies. The main enemies of the Palestinians-the US, England and vicious Zionists-should not be used as a source of support for Palestinian politics.

All Palestinians–including the Palestinians in Gaza, in Quds, in the West Bank, in 1948 lands and even the ones living in refugee camps–form a single unit and they should adopt the strategy of coalescence. Every part should defend another part and when under pressure, they should utilize the tools at their disposal.

Today, hope of achieving victory is stronger than ever. Today, the balance of power has swung in favor of the Palestinians. The Zionist enemy has become weaker year after year while its army, which used to describe itself as “the army which will never be defeated”, has turned into “an army which will never taste victory” after its debacle in the 33-day war in Lebanon and its experiences in 22-day and 8-day wars. As for its political condition, it has been forced to hold four elections in the space of two years. In terms of security as well, it continuously tastes defeat. Moreover, the increasing desire among Jews to emigrate from that country has become a source of embarrassment for that overconfident regime. Its serious endeavor to normalize relations with a few Arab countries, with the assistance of the US, is another sign of the decline of that regime. Of course, this will not help that regime in any way either. Tens of years ago, it established relations with Egypt, but since then, it has become much weaker and much more vulnerable. Therefore, will the normalization of relations with a few weak and small countries be able to help that regime? Of course, those countries will not benefit from the relations either, as the Zionist regime will transgress against their properties and their land and it will promote corruption and insecurity in their countries.

Of course, these truths should not make others forget about their heavy duty. Muslim and Christian ulama should announce the act of normalization as haraam from a religious perspective and intellectuals and liberated individuals should explain to everyone the results of this treachery, which is a stab in the back of Palestine.

Contrary to the downward movement of the regime, an increase in the capabilities of the camp of Resistance is a sign of a bright future: An increase in defensive and military power, self-sufficiency in building effective weapons, the self-confidence of mujahids, the increasing awareness of youth, the extension of the Resistance circle to the entire country of Palestine and beyond, the recent uprising of youth in defending Masjid al-Aqsa and the simultaneous promotion of the Palestinian nation’s spirit of jihad and innocence among public opinion in many parts of the world.

The logic behind the Palestinian cause, which has been registered in the United Nations documents, is a progressive and attractive logic. Palestinian warriors can bring up the idea of holding a referendum with the participation of the main inhabitants of Palestine. The referendum will determine the political system of the country and the main inhabitants, including the displaced Palestinians, no matter what their ethnicity and religion are, will participate in it. That political system will bring back the displaced [Palestinians] and will determine the fate of the foreigners inhabiting there.

This demand is based on the common democracy accepted in the whole world and no one can question its progressiveness.

The Palestinian fighters should continue their legitimate and moral fight against the usurping regime until it is forced to give in to this demand.

Move forward in the Name of God and know that: “Allah will certainly aid those who aid His cause” [The Holy Quran, 22: 40].

Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy


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Sayyed Nasrallah: Resistance Growing Stronger, We Won’t Tolerate Any Israeli Adventure

Sayyed Nasrallah
Hezbollah S.G. Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah via Al-Manar TV on International Al-Quds Day (Friday, May 7, 2021).

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Marwa Haidar

Stressing that the Axis of Resistance has been growing stronger while the Zionist entity is witnessing many rifts, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah warned the Israeli enemy against committing any folly during a maneuver  in the coming days.

Delivering a speech via Al-Manar on the occasion of International Al-Quds Day, Sayyed Nasrallah saluted Palestinian people for their steadfastness in face of continuous Israeli attacks.

Sayyed Nasrallah explored points of strength within the Axis of Resistance, noting that Iran has overcome the threat of war as all US and Israeli options against the Islamic Republic have failed.

His eminence also said that the war in Syria has been over, noting that several Arab states are contacting Damascus.

“We have overcome the stage where our front is targeted, and this is a source of concern to the Israeli enemy.

On the other hand, Sayyed Nasrallah said that the Zionist entity has been witnessing several rifts including the internal political crisis, the revive of Resistance spirit among Palestinian people and the emergence of Gaza to be a part of the equation of Resistance and West Bank Resistance against the Israeli enemy.

On the issue of border demarcation, Sayyed Nasrallah reiterated Hezbollah’s stance.

“The party who decides in this regard is the Lebanese state. The government here bears historical responsibility to defend our country’s rights.”

COVID-19 Infection?

Sayyed Nasrallah started his speech by reassuring his supporters that he is not a COVID-19 patient, noting that the cough he had was due to a tracheal disease.

His eminence was responding to speculations circulated after he repeatedly coughed during a religious sermon earlier on Wednesday.

International Al-Quds Day

Talking about the occasion, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that Al-Quds Day is an ideological, religious, humanitarian and moral issue.

“It’s about the absolute right of the Palestinian people that will never change by place or time.”

His eminence saluted Palestinian people for sticking to their right in Al-Quds, noting that such steadfastness gives legitimacy to the Axis of Resistance as well as to all forms of support this front offer to the Palestinian people.

“Palestinians did not abandon their land. Despite all these years they are still sticking to their rights. What we have been seeing in the latest weeks proves this. Unarmed Palestinians in Damascus Gate and in Al-Quds are heroically confronting armed Israeli forces.”

In this context, Sayyed Nasrallah hailed the Palestinian Resistance in Gaza for getting into the scene of the confrontation in Al-Quds, describing this development as important and in favor of Palestinians in Al-Quds.

“The Israeli enemy had been previously keen to separate between Gaza and Al-Quds. Hereby, I call upon Palestinian factions in Gaza to go ahead with this decision which falls in favor of Al-Quds and Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

Powerful Iran

Hezbollah S.G. described Iran as the most powerful state in the Axis of Resistance, despite all US and Israeli attempts to topple its establishment.

“All US and Israeli schemes against the Islamic Republic were foiled and Iran has overcome the threat of war. Ira has already retaliated to Israeli attacks on Natanz nuclear facility by enriching uranium up to 60 %, and this what scares the Zionist entity a lot.”

Hitting back at those who say that Iran allies must be concerned in case a rapprochement takes place with Saudi Arabia, Sayyed Nasrallah said the Islamci Republic and throughout 4 years did not abandon its allies and has been keen to preserve the national interests of their countries.

“Those who must be concerned are US allies,” Sayyed Nasrallah said.

Syria, Iraq and Yemen

Sayyed Nasrallah touched upon the situation in Syria, Iraq and Yemen as he stressed that the Axis of Resistance emerged victorious and more powerful.

“The war in Syria is over and several Arab states are reportedly having contacts with Damascus now. In Iraq, attempts to revive ISIL have failed so far.”

“Elsewhere in Yemen, Yemeni people are more steadfast and victorious in the seventh year of the Saudi aggression. The game-changing capabilities of Yemeni army which have been advancing make the Axis of Resistance more powerful.”

‘Israel’ Weakened

Sayyed Nasrallah then talked about rifts within the Zionist entity, noting that one of the prominent aspects of this rift is the internal political crisis.

“There is a real leadership crisis in the Zionist entity, and such crises indicate the extent of weakness which this regime has reached. Some Israeli analysts say that a civil war in the Zionist entity is possible.”

His eminence also cited when a Syrian anti-aircraft missile hit an area near Dimona nuclear site in the Zionist entity earlier last month.

“This incident proved failure of the Israeli defense systems. In case of a war in the region, would the Israeli defense systems be capable to intercept thousands of rockets?”

Sayyed Nasrallah noted, meanwhile, that the stampede in Mount Meron showed how the Israeli home front is not ready to deal with such situations in case of a real war.

“Zionists are worried about the revival of operations in West Bank and the emergence of Gaza to be part of the equation of confrontations in Al-Quds.”

His eminence added that failure of Israeli strategies on Iran is also one of the rifts within the Zionist entity.

Sayyed Nasrallah noted that the Israeli forces have been lacking morale, and this problem is prompting the Zionist army to intensify drills.

Israeli Drill

Sayyed Nasrallah warned the Israeli enemy against committing any folly during a drill that will start on Sunday.

“In light of this situation we are on high alert and we will closely monitor the enemy movements.”

“Any folly or any attempt to change the rule of engagement is an adventure that we won’t tolerate at all.”

In the end of his speech, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that the responsibility is to defend Al-Quds with all means, calling for more cooperation and patience among powers in the Axis of Resistance.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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Al-Quds day 2021 | Mideastream

Al Quds day is not a day to celebrate a city in occupied Palestine. It is the last Friday in the holy month of Ramadan launched by the leader of the revolution Ayatollah Ruhollah Al Khomeini to reiterate that the issue of Al-Quds Al-Sharif is the core of the Palestinian cause.

IRAN REJECTS IRAQI-US “COSMETIC SURGERY,” BUT US-IRAN COOPERATION IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE 1/6

Posted on  by Elijah J Magnier

By Elijah J. Magnier:

Following the assassination of Brigadier General Qassem Soleimani, head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps – Quds Brigade, the Supreme Leader Sayyed Ali Khamenei vowed before the world, but above all for his allies, that the US would pay the price by leaving West Asia. What Sayyed Khamenei said reflects his opinion and wishes as a Supreme Leader. These wishes do not always coincide with the State of Iran’s behaviour, which must build a relationship with other states according to Iran’s national interests. There is always a flexible line between what the Leader of the Revolution says and how he would like the Iranian government to act. 

However, when Sayyed Khamenei noted that no direct meetings would be accepted unless the US withdraw the harsh sanctions, he drew an unbreakable line the government will have to stick to, without necessarily including all sanctions but certainly the most important ones. Hence, Vienna’s indirect dialogue between the Iranians and those who signed the JCPOA (nuclear deal) but did not withdraw unilaterally as former President Donald Trump did.

Although Sayyed Ali Khamenei announced no time frame for the withdrawal of all US troops from West Asia, there is no doubt that Iran is ready to sit at the same table as its enemy if the outcome could help ease the economic situation in Iran. To Iran, the US administration, regardless of whether who sits at the top of its pyramid is republican or democrat, is not trustworthy. It can revoke international agreements, blatantly disregarding international law. However, in many circumstances, Iran’s supreme Leaders Ayatollah Khomeini and Sayyed Ali Khamenei have allowed the state to meet the Americans so as to favour Iran’s interests even if, from Iran’s perspective, the shadow of war with the US will always hover over the country as long as American forces are in the area. 

The Iranian officials are aware that the Biden administration faces many domestic and foreign challenges, with Russia and China as urgencies. However, for Tehran, its well-being represents the first urgency, and it is unwilling to understand the range of Biden’s priorities. This is why Tehran will not allow the US to rest in Iraq and why it continues to support its own allies in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and Gaza. 

In Iraq, officials are promoting some “cosmetic surgery” to apply to the US forces’ presence, as a compromise between what Iran wants and where Iraqis believe their interests lie. Suggesting replacing the US troops with a “European NATO” is a way to tell Biden’s administration that withdrawal is not really on the Iraqi agenda. With or without a nuclear deal, the US can only dream of a peaceful Mesopotamia for its forces in the months to come if the withdrawal is not reached or replaced by a “European NATO”. 

However, total compliance and return to the nuclear agreement will undoubtedly slow down the Iraqi resistance’s aggression against the US forces, which, more than ever, will not abandon Mesopotamia to China, Russia and Iran…

مركز ثقل العالم ينتقل شرقاً… وطهران مركز تقاطع التاريخ والجغرافيا The center of gravity of the world is moving east … and Tehran is the center of the intersection of history and geography

** Please scroll down for the English Machine translation **

محمد صادق الحسيني

ثمّة حدث بنيويّ على مستوى العالم في طريقه للوقوع من شأنه تغيير شكل وجوهر خريطة التحالفات وموازين القوى العالميّة.

وهو يؤسّس لمرحلة جديدة من التحوّلات والتحديات تتراجع فيها قوى فيما تصعد أخرى لتشكيل جغرافيا آخر الزمان أو ما يُسمّى لدى الأيديولوجيين جغرافياً عصر الظهور…

قوى تقليدية كبرى تتراجع وتضمر فيما قوى جديدة ستأخذ محلّ الصدارة في عالم مليء بالمفاجآت…

في العام 2002 وفي أوج تدافع العالم وتشابكاته بين مَن يدعو لصراع الحضارات (هانتينغتون) ومَن يدعو للحوار بين الحضارات (محمد خاتمي) يقوم الرئيس الصيني بزيارة إلى إيران هي الأولى له بعد الثورة الإسلامية ليعبّر عن تضامنه مع التيار الإيراني المعتدل والعقلاني مقابل الغرب المتوحّش الذي كان يريد الانتقام من كل ما هو غير أميركيّ، بما فيه اوروبا التي كانت بدأت تصفها معاهد الدراسات الأميركية بانها جزء من النصف المظلم من العالم وتحضر لصعود نظرية (نهاية التاريخ) لفوكو ياما، ويتوّج لقاءه بالإمام السيد علي الخامنئي…

يومها كان الخامنئي يعدّ لورقة سمّاها في ما بعد الخطوة الثانية للنهضة الإيرانية الصاعدة… وساعتها بالذات رأى الامام الخامنئي بان اللحظة مناسبة ليقترح على الرئيس الصيني تحالفاً استراتيجياً ضد العنجهيّة والتوحّش الأميركي المتفاقمين…

في تلك السنة اعتذر الرئيس الصيني قبول العرض موضحاً ان بلاده لم تنهِ بعد استعداداتها لعمل كهذا، وهي بحاجة لتنضج ورقتها الخاصة بها في المواجهة ضد أميركا أولاً ومن ثم لكل حادث حديث…

عاد الرجل إلى بكين من دون ان تحدث الزيارة تحوّلاً مهماً في علاقات البلدين عدا انطباعاً لافتاً لديه بوجود جرأة عالية لدى إيران على النظام الدولي التقليدي الذي كان يئن منه العالم واعتقاد راسخ بان لدى الإمام ما يقوله… لينهمك في ما كان يعدّه حزبه من منظومة تحدّ للإمبراطورية الأميركية عرفت في ما بعد بمبادرة «حزام واحد طريق واحد» القاضية بإخراج أميركا تدريجياً وبالاقتصاد وليس بالمواجهة العسكرية عن تصدّر المشهد الدولي للعالم كما نقل لنا السفير المخضرم يومها لي شينتاغ. لكنه لما عاد الى طهران في العام 2016 أي بعد 14 عاماً في ظلّ ظروف دولية اعتبرها مؤاتية وهي خروج إيران من حصار دولي منهك، ونضوج منظومة مبادرته الاقتصادية المعروفة بطريق الحرير، كان هذه المرة هو المبادر في عرض التحالف على الإمام السيد علي الخامنئي…

لعلّ المتابعين والمحللين والباحثين يذكرون انّ موضوع عقد اتفاقيه استراتيجية، بين جمهورية الصين الشعبية والجمهورية الإسلامية الإيرانية، إنما طرح لأول مرة في ذلك الوقت بالذات وأخذ يخضع للبحث والدراسة والتمحيص، من قبل الطرفين، اي منذ شهر 1/2016، حيث طرح هذا المشروع على بساط البحث، أي مباشرة بهد انتهاء الرئيس الصيني شي جين بينغ الى طهران في ذلك التاريخ، حيث جاء في بيان مشترك، صدر عن محادثات الرئيسين، بينغ وروحاني، «أن البلدين قد اتفقا على إجراء مفاوضات لعقد اتفاق تعاون موسّع لمدة 25 سنة»، ينص على تعاون واستثمارات في مجالات مختلفة لا سيما النقل والموانئ والطاقة والصناعة والخدمات».

أيّ انّ هذه الاتفاقية الاستراتيجية، التي تم توقيعها يوم السبت الماضي في طهران، من قبل وزيري خارجية البلدين وانغ يي ومحمد جواد ظريف، ليست وليدة اللحظة وإنما هي نتيجةً لدراسات وأبحاث معمقة، نظراً لطبيعتها الاستراتيجية، التي ستسفر عنها نتائج هامة، في المجالين الاقتصادي والسياسي، وعلى صعيد العالم أجمع، وليس فقط على صعيد العلاقات الثنائية بين البلدين، او على علاقتهما بدول الإقليم فقط، وذلك للأسباب التالية:

ـ أولا: الحجم الهائل للاستثمارات المتبادلة، التي سيتم الاتفاق عليها في هذه الاتفاقية، والتي ستصل الى 600 مليار دولار، خلال العقد الثاني من القرن الحالي. حسب ما كتبته صحيفة «بتروليوم ايكونوميست»، في شهر 9/2019، حيث أوضحت بأنّ الصين ستستثمر ما مجموعه 280 مليار دولار في صناعة النفط والغاز الإيرانية، إضافة الى استثمار 120 مليار دولار في قطاع النقل وبناء مطارات وموانئ الى جانب مبالغ كبيرة أخرى لم يعلن عنها حتى الآن، في مجالات أخرى .

أما صحيفة «نيويورك تايمز» الأميركية فقد نشرت في شهر 7/2020، أن هذه الاتفاقية هي عبارة عن شراكة اقتصادية وأمنية كاملة وأنها لن تقتصر على مجال دون غيره، اذ ان من بين المجالات الهامة، التي سيجري تطويرها في إيران، هو مجال البنى التحتية للجيل الخامس في شبكات الاتصالات (G5)، الى جانب تجهيز البنى التحتية لتشغيل نظام تحديد المواقع العالمي الصيني الجديد (ليكون بديلاً عن نظاكم: جي بي إس المستخدم حالياً).

ـ ثانيا: الطبيعة الشمولية أو الشاملة لهذه الاتفاقية، التي تغطي قطاعات الاقتصاد الإيراني الاساسية، مما يجعلها أقرب إلى خطة إنجاز للبنى التحتية اللازمة لتنفيذ جزء هام من مشروع الصين العملاق، حزام واحد طريق واحد، الأمر الذي يجعل هذه الاتفاقية أقرب الى قاعدة انطلاق، لتعزيز وتسريع الخطوات التالية، المرتبطة بتنفيذ هذا المشروع الصيني، خاصة باتجاه دول آسيوية عديدة محيطة بإيران، من خلال إنشاء شبكات سكك حديدية تربط هذه الدول مع الموانئ الإيرانية، إلى جانب الدول الأفريقية والأوروبية، من خلال الطرق التجارية التي تربط الموانئ الإيرانية عبر التاريخ بأفريقيا وآسيا، انطلاقاً من شمال المحيط الهندي ومضيق هرمز والبحر الأحمر (وهذا ما يفسّر مشروع الحرب الأميركية الإسرائيلية السعودية على اليمن بالمناسبة).

ـ ثالثا: إنّ هذه الاتفاقية الاستراتيجية سوف توفر لإيران عمقاً استراتيجياً هاماً وشريكًا دولياً يسارع الخطى للتربع على عرش العالم، اقتصادياً وسياسياً وعسكرياً، الامر الذي سيساعد إيران بقوة على تجاوز التأثيرات السلبية للعقوبات الأميركية، الاقتصادية والمالية، عليها، كما سيساعدها في الاستغناء عن الشركات الأوروبية المختلفة التخصصات والتي تخلت عن السوق الإيرانية خضوعاً للأوامر الأميركية.

اي انّ البدء بتنفيذ هذه الاتفاقات سوف ينعش الاقتصاد الإيراني بشكل كبير جداً، مما سيدفع بإيران الى مزيد من التقدم المعرفي والعلمي والتكنولوجي والصناعي، الأمر الذي سينعكس إيجاباً على حياة ملايين الإيرانيين الذين فرضت عليهم عقوبات قاسية حرمتهم من الاستفادة من ثروات بلادهم ونالت من مستوى حياتهم وزادت من معاناتهم ليس لسبب إلا لأنهم قرّروا رفض الهيمنة الأميركية على مقدرات بلادهم، التي قرّروا ان تكون تحت سيادتهم وفي خدمة شعبهم وليس في خدمة الشركات الأميركية والأوروبية المتعددة الجنسيات.

ـ رابعا: كما أنّ من الضرورة بمكان النظر الى هذه الاتفاقية من منطلق توقيت توقيعها، الذي يجري الآن، اي بعد مرور سنة على المبادرة الاستراتيجية الصينية، الخاصة بـ «الشرق الاوسط»، والتي طرحت في اجتماعات الدورة التاسعة لمنتدى التعاون العربي الصيني، التي عقدت في شهر تموز 2020 وأهم ما جاء في تلك المبادرة يومها :

الدعوة للاحترام المتبادل، الالتزام بالعدالة والإنصاف، تحقيق عدم انتشار الاسلحة النووية، العمل سوياً على تحقيق الامن الجماعي، وتسريع وتيرة التنمية والتعاون. وقد اتبع وزير الخارجية الصيني وانغ يي، الذي مثل بلاده في الاجتماع المشار إليه اعلاه، يومها طرح هذه المبادرة بتصريحات زادت من وضوحها وأكدت أهميتها، عندما قال خلال الاجتماع: «لا يجوز للمجتمع الدولي اتخاذ قرارات بشأن منطقة «الشرق الأوسط» بدلاً عن شعوب المنطقة». وتابع قائلاً: «إنّ الجانب الصينيّ يدعم بكل ثبات جهود دول «الشرق الأوسط» في الدفاع عن سيادتها واستقلالها وسلامة أراضيها… وأن الصين ترفض أي تدخل في الشؤون الداخلية لدول المنطقة مهما كانت الحجة».

وهذا يعني بشكل واضح جداً أن الصين ستدعم دول المنطقة، وعلى رأسها إيران، في التصدّي للعبث الأميركي الأوروبي فيها والمستمر منذ عشر سنوات، سواءٌ في سورية او العراق او ليبيا او اليمن او فلسطين المحتلة، التي تم تشريد شعبها وإقامة كيان الاحتلال الاسرائيلي على ارضه المغتصبة منذ عام 1948.

ولم يقف الوزير الصيني عند هذه التوضيحات وإنما أضاف وقتها ما هو أهمّ وأعمق لكلامه هذا، حيث قال: «إنّ الصين كعضو دائم في مجلس الأمن الدولي، وبلد كبير مسؤول، قد أصبحت (أيّ الصين) قوة محافظةً ومدافعةً ومساهمة بشكل حازم في النظام الدولي القائم (الراهن) والسلام والتنمية في «الشرق الاوسط».

وعلى الرغم من أنّ هذا الكلام ليس في حاجة للتفسير إلا انّ من الضروري التأكيد على أن الصين تكون قد أعلنت، من خلال هذا الكلام، أنها باتت قطباً اساسياً، ان لم تكن القطب الأساسي، في معالجة المشاكل الدولية والوقوف في وجه سياسات «الهيمنة الغربية وفرض الأمر الواقع بالقوة»، ما يعني انّ مثل هذه الأزمنة الرجعية والإمبريالية قد ولَّت الى غير رجعة.

ـ خامسا: كما لا بدّ من الإشارة الى ان هذه الاتفاقية سوف تفتح آفاقًا جديدةً، على كلّ المستويات، لكلّ من العراق وسورية ولبنان، للانخراط بشكل فعّال، في مشروع طريق واحد وحزام واحد الصيني العملاق، مما سيؤدي الى نهضة اقتصادية عملاقة في تلك البلدان. ويوسّع بالتالي مجالات التعاون بين الصين والدول العربية جميعها، التي قال عنها وزير الخارجية الصيني، في الاجتماع المذكور أعلاه، أنها أهم شريك تجاري دولي في العالم.

وعلى الرغم من أن إيران ليست دولة عربية إلا أنها، وبحكم الكثير من الأسباب والعوامل، جزء أساسيّ، لا بل قوةً إقليميةً كبرى، في منطقة غرب آسيا، الامر الذي يعني أننا أمام تشكل كتلة اقتصاديةٍ كبرى، يزيد عدد سكانها على 500 مليون نسمة وتمتلك ثروات هائلةً، يمكن ان تستثمر بالتعاون الإيجابي مع الصين، في تحقيق ازدهار شامل لشعوب المنطقة، على الرغم من بعض العقبات الموجودة حالياً، بسبب السياسات غير المدروسة لبعض الدول العربية، والتي لن توصل الى اية نتيجة ايجابية لشعوبنا، خاصةً أن هذه السياسات المتبعة من بعض حكامها، التابعة لواشنطن وتل ابيب، قد شكلت رأس حربةٍ لهجوم مضاد للمشروع الصيني طريق واحد وحزام واحد، وبتمويل من هذه السلطات الرجعية.

فها هو الرئيس الاميركي، جو بايدن، يقترح خلال حديثه الهاتفي مع رئيس الوزراء البريطاني بوريس جونسون قبل يوم فقط من زيارة الموفد الصيني لطهران، التفكير في إنشاء ما سماه «بديل ديموقراطي» لمشروع «طريق واحد حزام واحد» الصيني. ايّ انّ بايدن قد أعلن عن مشروع تخريبي للتعاون الصيني الإيراني ومن ثم تعاون الصين مع الدول العربية.

وهنا أيضاً من الضروري بمكان فهم ما اعلنت عنه الامارات العربية المتحدة، من استثمار 10 مليارات دولار في مشاريع اقتصادية مختلفة في الكيان الصهيوني، وذلك قبل أيام معدودة من جولة الوزير الصينيّ للمنطقة، على أنه خطوة أولى على طريق مسار تخريبي إماراتي، بالتعاون مع الكيان الصهيوني، لإلحاق الضرر بالمصالح الاستراتيجية لكلّ من الصين والدول التي تتعاون معها.

ومن هنا أيضاً فإنّ البعض يعتقد بقوّة، بأنه لا بدّ للصين من أن تعيد النظر في سياساتها الاستثمارية، في كلّ من تل ابيب وابو ظبي، خاصة انّ ولي عهد ابو ظبي هو من وقف شخصياً وراء تحريض وزير خارجية ترامب، مايك بومبيو، على تحذير تل أبيب بشدّة من الموافقة على تسليم إدارة ميناء حيفا لشركة موانئ صينية، كما انه هو نفسه الذي حرّض نتن ياهو، عبر دوائر يهودية معينة في الولايات المتحدة (رجل الأعمال اليهودي الاميركي رون لاودَر كمثال) على منع مشاركة الشركات الصينية، في مناقصة لبناء محطة توليد كهرباء، في منطقة بئر السبع، والتي بلغت تكاليف إقامتها ملياراً ونصف المليار دولار!

إنه التنين الصيني الذي يتقدم بخطى ثابتة ومحسوبة بدقة في منطقة نفوذ تاريخية للولايات المتحدة الأميركية ويلاحقها بفطنة عالية وبقدر وهي تتراجع القهقرى يوماً بعد يوم وتحزم حقائبها مغادرة بلادنا بما فيها خيار ستصل اليه في يوم قريب واشنطن وهو التفكير جدياً بإغلاق قاعدتها المتقدمة في المنطقة وهي «إسرائيل» التي باتت تشكل مع الزمن عبئاً ثقيلاً على كاهلها…

وبهذا نكون قد دخلنا بالفعل عملية انتقال مركز ثقل العالم شرقاً مع ظهور قوى إقليمية وأقطاب عالمية مهمة في المسرح الدولي تكاد تكون فيه إيران بيضة القبان في ميزان معادلاته الجديدة في التاريخ كما في الجغرافيا.

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله…

فيديوات ذات صلة

مقالات ذات صلة

The center of gravity of the world is moving east … and Tehran is the center of the intersection of history and geography

Iran – China: Brzezinski’s nightmare

Mohammed Sadiq Al-Husseini

A global structural event is on its way to being transformed into a map of alliances and the balance of global power.

It establishes a new phase of transformations and challenges in which forces are retreating while others are ascending o form the geography of the end of time or the so-called the age of the Savior’s appearance…

Major traditional powers are retreating while new powers will take the lead in a world full of surprises…

In 2002, at the height of the global scramble and entanglement between advocates of a clash of civilizations (Huntington) and advocates of dialogue between civilizations (Muhammad Khatami), the Chinese president paid a visit to Iran, his first after the Islamic revolution, to express his solidarity with the moderate and rational Iranian current in exchange for the Wild West, which wanted revenge on all that is un-American, including Europe, which was described by American studies as part of the dark half of the world and preparing for the rise of Fukuyama’s theory (the end of history), culminated in his meeting with Imam Ali Khamenei…

At that time, Khamenei was preparing a paper that he later called the second step of the rising Iranian renaissance … And at that very moment, he saw that the moment was appropriate to propose to the Chinese president a strategic alliance against the escalating American arrogance and brutality …

In that year, the Chinese president apologized to accept the offer, explaining that his country had not completed its preparations for a confrontation with America

The man returned to Beijing without making a significant shift in the relations of the two countries (with remarkable impression that Iran had a high boldness in the traditional international system from which the world was moaning, and a firm belief that the imam had something to say) to get involved in what his party was preparing to challenge the the American Empire with was later known as “One Belt, One Road” initiative to gradually drive America out, by economy, and not the military confrontation, at the forefront of the international scene of the world, as Veteran Ambassador Li Chintag conveyed to us at the time. But when he returned to Tehran in 2016, that is, after 14 years under international conditions, which he considered favorable, namely Iran’s exit from an exhausted international blockade, and the maturity of the system of his economic initiative known as the Silk Road, this time he was the initiator of presenting the alliance to Imam Ali Khamenei

Perhaps observers, analysts and researchers will mention that the subject of a strategic agreement between China and Iran, was presented for the first time at that particular time and was subject to research, study and scrutiny by both parties, that is, since 1/2016, when this project was presented. The discussion, started immediately after the end of the Chinese President Xi Jinping to Tehran on that date, as it was stated in a joint statement issued by the two presidents, Ping and Rouhani, that the two countries have agreed to conduct negotiations to conclude an expanded cooperation agreement for a period of 25 years, in various fields, especially transport, ports, energy, industry and services.

This strategic agreement, which was signed last Saturday in Tehran by the foreign ministers of the two countries, Wang Yi and Muhammad Javad Zarif, is not a product of the moment, but rather the result of in-depth studies and research, given its strategic nature, which will yield important results, in the economic and political fields. And at the level of the whole world, and not only at the level of bilateral relations between the two countries, or their relationship with the countries of the region only, for the following reasons:

This strategic agreement, which was signed last Saturday in Tehran by the foreign ministers of the two countries, Wang Yi and Muhammad Javad Zarif, is not a product of the moment, but rather the result of in-depth studies and research, given its strategic nature, which will yield important results, in the economic and political fields. And at the level of the whole world, and not only at the level of bilateral relations between the two countries, or their relationship with the countries of the region only, for the following reasons:

First: The huge volume of mutual investments that will be agreed upon in this agreement, which will reach $ 600 billion, during the second decade of this century. According to what was written by the newspaper «Petroleum Economist», in the month of 9/2019, where it indicated that China will invest a total of 280 billion dollars in the Iranian oil and gas industry, in addition to investing 120 billion dollars in the transport sector and building airports and ports in addition to other large sums that have not been announced. Reported so far, in other areas.

As for The New York Times ( 7/2020), the agreement is a complete economic and security partnership and will not be limited to one area alone. Among the important areas that will be developed in Iran is the field of infrastructure. For the fifth generation in communications networks (G5), in addition to preparing the infrastructure to operate the new Chinese global positioning system (to be an alternative to your system: GPS currently used).

Second: The comprehensive nature of this agreement, which covers the basic sectors of the Iranian economy, which makes it closer to a plan for the completion of the necessary infrastructure to implement an important part of the giant China project, one belt, one road, which makes this agreement closer to a starting base, to strengthen and accelerate the next steps related to the implementation of this Chinese project, especially towards many Asian countries surrounding Iran, through the establishment of railway networks linking these countries with Iranian ports, as well as African and European countries, through trade routes linking Iranian ports throughout history with Africa and Asia. From the north of the Indian Ocean, the Strait of Hormuz and the Red Sea (this is what explains the US-Israeli-Saudi war project on Yemen, by the way).

Third: This strategic agreement will provide Iran with an important strategic depth and an international partner that accelerates the pace to ascend the throne of the world, economically, politically and militarily. The specialties that were abandoned from the Iranian market in compliance with American orders.

The start of the implementation of these agreements will greatly revitalize the Iranian economy, which will push Iran to further knowledge, scientific, technological and industrial progress, which will positively affect the lives of millions of Iranians who have been imposed harsh sanctions that have prevented them from benefiting from the wealth of their country and have compromised their lives and increased their suffering for no reason other than their decision to reject the American hegemony over the capabilities of their country, which they decided to be under their sovereignty and in the service of their people and not in the service of American and European multinational companies.

Fourth: It is also necessary to look at this agreement in terms of the timing of its signing, which is taking place now, that is, one year after the Chinese strategic initiative for “the Middle East”, which was presented at the meetings of the ninth session of the Arab-Chinese Cooperation Forum, which was held in July 2020 and the most important things that came in that initiative on that day:

Calling for mutual respect, commitment to justice and equity, achieving non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, working together to achieve collective security, and accelerating the pace of development and cooperation. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who represented his country in the afore mentioned meeting, followed the day to present this initiative with statements that increased its clarity and emphasized its importance, when he said during the meeting: “The international community should not take decisions regarding the” Middle East “region instead of the peoples of the region. ». He added, “The Chinese side firmly supports the efforts of the” Middle East “countries in defending their sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity … and that China rejects any interference in the internal affairs of the countries of the region, regardless of the argument.”

This means very clearly that China will support the countries of the region, foremost of which is Iran, in confronting American and European tampering with it that has been going on for ten years, whether in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen or occupied Palestine, whose people have been displaced and the Israeli occupation entity has been established on its usurped land. Since 1948.

The Chinese minister did not stop at these clarifications, but added what is more important and deeper, as he said: “China, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a responsible large country, has become a conservative force, defending and contributing decisively to the existing (current) international order ,peace, and development in the “Middle East”

Although this talk does not need to be explained, it is necessary to emphasize that China has announced, through these words, that it has become a major pole, if not the main pole, in dealing with international problems and standing in the face of “Western hegemony and imposing the status quo by force », which means that such reactionary and imperial times are over forever.

Fifthly: It must also be noted that this agreement will open new horizons, at all levels, for Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, to effectively engage in the One Road and One Giant Chinese Belt project, which will lead to a giant economic renaissance in those countries. Consequently, it expands the areas of cooperation between China and all Arab countries, which the Chinese Foreign Minister said, in the afore mentioned meeting, that it is the most important international trade partner in the world.

Although Iran is not an Arab country, it is, by virtue of many reasons and factors, an essential part, and indeed a major regional power, in the West Asia region, which means that we are facing the formation of a major economic bloc, whose population exceeds 500 million people and possesses wealth. It can invest in positive cooperation with China, in achieving comprehensive prosperity for the peoples of the region, despite some obstacles that currently exist, due to the ill-considered policies of rulers of some Arab countries, affiliated with Washington and Tel Aviv, acting as the spearhead of a counterattack on Chinese project, One Road, One Belt, funded by these reactionary authorities.

Here is the US President, Joe Biden, proposing, during his telephone conversation with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, just a day before the Chinese envoy’s visit to Tehran, to consider establishing what he called a “democratic alternative” to the Chinese “one road, one belt” project. In other words, Biden announced a sabotage project for Chinese-Iranian cooperation, and then China’s cooperation with Arab countries.

Here, too, it is necessary to understand what the UAE announced, investing $ 10 billion in various economic projects in the Zionist entity, a few days before the Chinese minister’s tour to the region, as a first step on the path of Emirati sabotage, in cooperation with the Zionist entity to harm the strategic interests of both China and the countries that cooperate with it.

From here also, some strongly believe that China must reconsider its investment policies, in both Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi, especially since it was the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi who personally stood behind the incitement of Mike Pompeo, to warn Tal Aviv strongly against handing over the administration of Haifa Port to a Chinese port company, and it is the same who incited Yahoo, through certain Jewish circles in the United States (American Jewish businessman Ron Lauder, as an example) to prevent Chinese companies from participating in a tender to build a power plant In the Beersheba region, whose construction costs amounted to one and a half billion dollars.

It is the Chinese dragon that is advancing steadily and precisely in a historical area of ​​influence of the USA and is pursuing it with high acumen and as much as it retreats day after day and packs its bags to leave our country, including an option that will arrive soon in Washington, which is thinking seriously about closing its advanced base in the region, which is «Israel »Which has become with time a heavy burden on its shoulders.

Thus, we have already entered the process of moving the center of gravity of the world to the east, with the emergence of regional powers and important global poles in the international stage in which Iran is almost the egg in the balance of its new equations in history as well as in geography.

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Welcome to shocked and awed 21st century geopolitics

Welcome to shocked and awed 21st century geopolitics

March 23, 2021

With a Russia-China-Iran triple bitch slap on the hegemon, we now have a brand new geopolitical chessboard

By Pepe Escobar posted with permission and first posted at Asia Times

It took 18 years after Shock and Awe unleashed on Iraq for the Hegemon to be mercilessly shocked and awed by a virtually simultaneous, diplomatic Russia-China one-two.

How this is a real game-changing moment cannot be emphasized enough; 21st century geopolitics will never be the same again.

Yet it was the Hegemon who first crossed the diplomatic Rubicon. The handlers behind hologram Joe “I’ll do whatever you want me to do, Nance” Biden had whispered in his earpiece to brand Russian President Vladimir Putin as a soulless “killer” in the middle of a softball interview.

Not even at the height of the Cold War the superpowers resorted to ad hominem attacks. The result of such an astonishing blunder was to regiment virtually the whole Russian population behind Putin – because that was perceived as an attack against the Russian state.

Then came Putin’s cool, calm, collected – and quite diplomatic – response, which needs to be carefully pondered. These sharp as a dagger words are arguably the most devastatingly powerful five minutes in the history of post-truth international relations.

In For Leviathan, it’s so cold in Alaska, we forecasted what could take place in the US-China 2+2 summit at a shabby hotel in Anchorage, with cheap bowls of instant noodles thrown in as extra bonus.

China’s millennial diplomatic protocol establishes that discussions start around common ground – which are then extolled as being more important than disagreements between negotiating parties. That’s at the heart of the concept of “no loss of face”. Only afterwards the parties discuss their differences.

Yet it was totally predictable that a bunch of amateurish, tactless and clueless Americans would smash those basic diplomatic rules to show “strength” to their home crowd, distilling the proverbial litany on Taiwan, Hong Kong, South China Sea, “genocide” of Uighurs.

Oh dear. There was not a single State Dept. hack with minimal knowledge of East Asia to warn the amateurs you don’t mess with the formidable head of the Foreign Affairs Commission at the CCP’s Central Committee, Yang Jiechi, with impunity.

Visibly startled, but controlling his exasperation, Yang Jiechi struck back. And the rhetorical shots were heard around the whole Global South.

They had to include a basic lesson in manners: “If you want to deal with us properly, let’s have some mutual respect and do things the right way”. But what stood out was a stinging, concise diagnostic blending history and politics:

The United States is not qualified to talk to China in a condescending manner. The Chinese people will not accept that. It must be based on mutual respect to deal with China, and history will prove that those who seek to strangle China will suffer in the end.

And all that translated in real time by young, attractive and ultra-skilled Zhang Jing – who inevitably became an overnight superstar in China, reaping an astonishing 400 million plus hits on Weibo.

The incompetence of the “diplomatic” arm of the Biden-Harris administration beggars belief. Using a basic Sun Tzu maneuver, Yang Jiechi turned the tables and voiced the predominant sentiment of the overwhelming majority of the planet. Stuff your unilateral “rules-based order”. We, the nations of the world, privilege the UN charter and the primacy of international law.

So this is what the Russia-China one-two achieved almost instantaneously: from now on, the Hegemon should be treated, all across the Global South with, at best, disdain.

An inevitable historical process

Pre-Alaska, the Americans went on a charming offensive in Japan and South Korea for “consultations”. That’s irrelevant. What matters is post-Alaska, and the crucial Sergey Lavrov-Wang Yi meeting of Foreign Ministers in Guilin.

Lavrov, always unflappable, clarified in an interview with Chinese media how the Russia-China strategic partnership sees the current US diplomatic train wreck:

As a matter of fact, they have largely lost the skill of classical diplomacy. Diplomacy is about relations between people, the ability to listen to each other, to hear one another and to strike a balance between competing interests. These are exactly the values ​​that Russia and China are promoting in diplomacy.

The inevitable consequence is that Russia-China must “consolidate our independence: “The United States has declared limiting the advance of technology in Russia and China as its goal. So, we must reduce our exposure to sanctions by strengthening our technological independence and switching to settlements in national and international currencies other than the dollar. We need to move away from using Western-controlled international payment systems.”

Russia-China have clearly identified, as Lavrov pointed out, how the “Western partners” are “promoting their ideology-driven agenda aimed at preserving their dominance by holding back progress in other countries. Their policies run counter to the objective international developments and, as they used to say at some point, are on the wrong side of history. The historical process will come into its own, no matter what happens.”

As a stark presentation of an inevitable “historical process”, it doesn’t get more crystal clear than that. And predictably, it didn’t take time for the “Western partners” to fall back into – what else – their same old sanction bag of tricks.

Here we go again: a US, UK, EU, Canada “alliance” sanctioning selected Chinese officials because, in Blinken’s words, “the PRC [People’s Republic of China] continues to commit genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang.”

The EU, UK, and Canada didn’t have the guts to sanction a key player: Xinjiang party chief Chen Quanguo, who’s a Politburo member. The Chinese response would have been – economically – devastating.

Still, Beijing counterpunched with its own sanctions – targeting, crucially, the German far-right evangelical nut posing as “scholar” who produced the bulk of the completely debunked “proof” of a million Uighurs held in concentration camps.

Once again, the “Western partners” are impermeable to logic. Adding to the already appalling state of EU-Russia relations, Brussels chooses to also antagonize China based on a single fake dossier, playing right into the Hegemon’s not exactly secret Divide and Rule agenda.

Mission (nearly) accomplished: Brussels diplomats tell me the EU Parliament is all but set to refuse to ratify the China-EU trade deal painstakingly negotiated by Merkel and Macron. The consequences will be immense.

So Blinken will have reasons to be cheerful when he meets assorted eurocrats and NATO bureaucrats this week, ahead of the NATO summit.

One has to applaud the gall of the “Western partners”. It’s 18 years since Shock and Awe – the start of the bombing, invasion and destruction of Iraq. It’s 10 years since the start of the total destruction of Libya by NATO and its GCC minions, with Obama-Biden “leading from behind”. It’s 10 years since the start of the savage destruction of Syria by proxy – complete with jihadis disguised as “moderate rebels”.

Yet now the “Western partners” are so mortified by the plight of Muslims in Western China.

At least there are some cracks within the EU illusionist circus. Last week, the French Armed Forces Joint Reflection Circle (CRI) – in fact an independent think tank of former high officers – wrote a startling open letter to cardboard NATO secretary-general Stoltenberg de facto accusing him of behaving as an American stooge with the implementation of NATO 2030 plan. The French officers drew the correct conclusion: the US/NATO combo is the main cause of appalling relations with Russia.

These Ides of March

Meanwhile, sanctions hysteria advance like a runaway train. Biden-Harris has already threatened to impose extra sanctions on Chinese oil imports from Iran. And there’s more in the pipeline – on manufacturing, technology, 5G, supply chains, semiconductors.

And yet nobody is trembling in their boots. Right on cue with Russia-China, Iran has stepped up the game, with Ayatollah Khamenei issuing the guidelines for Tehran’s return to the JCPOA.

1. The US regime is in no position to make new demands or changes regarding the nuclear deal.

2. The US is weaker today than when the JCPOA was signed.

3. Iran is in a stronger position now. If anyone can impose new demands it’s Iran and not the US.

And with that we have a Russia-China-Iran triple bitch slap on the Hegemon.

In our latest conversation/interview, to be released soon in a video + transcript package, Michael Hudson – arguably the world’s top economist – hit the heart of the matter:

The fight against China, the fear of China is that you can’t do to China, what you did to Russia. America would love for there to be a Yeltsin figure in China to say, let’s just give all of the railroads that you’ve built, the high-speed rail, let’s give the wealth, let’s give all the factories to individuals and let the individuals run everything and, then we’ll lend them the money, or we’ll buy them out and then we can control them financially. And China’s not letting that happen. And Russia stopped that from happening. And the fury in the West is that somehow, the American financial system is unable to take over foreign resources, foreign agriculture. It is left only with military means of grabbing them as we are seeing in the near East. And you’re seeing in the Ukraine right now.

To be continued. As it stands, we should all make sure that the Ides of March – the 2021 version – have already configured a brand new geopolitical chessboard. The Russia-China Double Helix on high-speed rail has left the station – and there’s no turning back.

Iran-Russia Relationship: Requisites for Transition from Meager Tactical Actualities to Actualization of Deep Strategic Potentials

March 06, 2021

Iran-Russia Relationship: Requisites for Transition from Meager Tactical Actualities to Actualization of Deep Strategic Potentials

by Mansoureh Tajik for the Saker Blog

Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim, “In the Name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. On March 12, 2001, a near-comprehensive agreement was reached between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation in Moscow. The agreement was signed by Mohammad Khatami, Iran’s president at the time, and Vladimir Putin as the Russian president.[1] It has been in place for 20 years and is about to expire in a few days and needs to be either extended or replaced with another much more comprehensive and strategically-oriented long-term agreement. An important written message from Ayatullah Khamenei to President Putin was delivered by Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, the head of the Iranian Parliament, on Monday, February 8, 2021. It appears the latter scenario (i.e. a comprehensive long-term agreement) is inevitably the case.

Unsurprisingly, the mainstream media in the West and anti-Iran Persian language channels immediately focused on insignificant marginal issues about diplomatic and health protocol oddities that surrounded the method of message delivery and ignored entirely the strategic significance of the message and its timing. The timing itself had a message to the US and the European countries who are behaving as if it were high noon in the West while dusk has already settled in.

Image reads: “Those who are inclined to compromise must know that [US of] America is entering dusk.” – Sayyed Ali Khamenei. Extracted from Khamenei.ir available here.

The actual content of the letter has not been revealed either by Ayatullah Khamenei or by President Putin. However, Amir Abdullahian who is the head of international relations committee of Majlis (the Iranian Parliament) and a special advisor to Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, and who also accompanied the team to Moscow explained the overall goal of the message and parts of its content on national television during a program titled “Special File” on February 14th.[2] He said (I translate):

“The subject of the message relates to our long-term outlook toward a sustainable foreign policy and protection of security and interests of our nation. It pays particular attention to mutual interests of Iran and Russia, which could in turn affect our relationship with Russia. Of course, this trip and Leader’s message could affect the calculus of three Western players in Barjam (JCPOA) as well as the [US] Americans in their behavior towards Iran.”

Elsewhere in the interview, he also emphasized:

“The Leader’s message was strategically important and was delivered at a correct time. I will speak about the details of the message and the Russians’ response at a more appropriate time but it will suffice to say that the Russian counterparts promptly reviewed and regarded the message with serious attention and it was of particular importance to [President] Putin… In less than 24 hours, we received the first reactions and feedbacks to this message when we were meeting with the Supreme National Security Council of Russia and high-level officials.”

In an evaluation session regarding the trip and the Leader’s message to President Putin, Javad Niki Maliky, a geopolitical analyst with Mashriq News [East News] – the full title of this news outlet is “the Sun always Rises from Mashriq [the East]” – explains:

“Just as the current order of global balance is disintegrating, a new order is rapidly and relentlessly forming. Only nations that have the following four attributes will be among the victors in any future order: 1) those who deeply understand this strategic shift and could correctly identify macro currents, movements, and equations; 2) those who have the belief, the will, and the capacity to play significant roles and to have shares in shaping future global orders; 3) those who have increased the breadth and depth of their strategic assets and have meaningfully operationalized those assets; and 4) those who have, based on the maturing of their assets, increased and solidified their strategic relationships and partnerships. The overall theme of the Leader’s [Ayatullah Khamenei’s] speeches regarding the shift in global order during the past few years has revolved around the above 4 axes and his message to the president of Russia could be understood and explained within the framework of the 4th axis.”[3]

As such, Ayatullah Khamenei’s letter to President Putin aims to solidify the strategic relationship and partnership that has already been established between Russia and Iran in accordance to the maturing of each country’s respective assets. As soon as the Leader’s message was delivered to President Putin by his Special Representative, who is also the current chairman of State Duma, and while the Iranian delegation was still in Russia, Ayatullah Khamenei’s Tweeter account in Russian read: “The era of post [US] America has begun.”[4]

The upcoming long-term agreement (likely a 25-year agreement), would be similar in many ways but potentially and qualitatively different in nuanced ways with what was reached with China. There are some critically important social and historical factors that would affect the quality of the relationship between Islamic Republic of Iran and Russia in a very fundamental way regardless of current and future formal agreements. These factors, in my view, are the basic requisites for a transition from meager tactical actualities between Iran and Russia to an actualization of a deep strategic potentials. I would like to address, very briefly, three of those factors in this essay and they include: 1) A shift in the perspective of Iranians regarding Russia; 2) A shift in the perspective of Russians about Iran; and 3) A religious approximation between Shi’a Islam and Russian Orthodoxy.

1) A Shift in the Perspective of Iranians about Russia

First a quick note about perspectives. A nation’s perspectives could both regulate and be regulated by its overall perceptions. To be sure, national perceptions are like individual perceptions but at a more complex hierarchical level. They are not rigid and have a dynamic and ever-changing nature to them. Some socio-political environments have nurturing effects that help promote individual and national thoughts and perceptions in the direction of maturing and evolving cultures. Other environments encourage cultural stagnation wrapped in an illusion of real movement, or hamster-on-the-wheel phenomenon. There are also some environments that aid human minds and societies in the direction of ever-devolving mental and cultural atrophies and decay. Therefore, the media and its role in shifting perceptions.

About a decade ago, if you had asked almost any older Iranian of any background or younger Iranians in middle and high school about Russia-Iran relationships, you would have been highly likely to hear “Qaraardaad_e Nangin_e Turkmanchaai” [the Nefarious Treaty of Turkmanchai] and “Qaraardaad_e Nangin_e Golestan” [The Nefarious Treaty of Golistan].

Even now when people are weary and/or dissatisfied with any agreement reached with some foreign power, or when a propaganda and smear campaign is leveled at Iran for reaching meaningful agreements with any power outside of those in the Western circle, you hear the opposing side, too, uses phrases like “worse than Turkmanchaai,” or “the second Turkmanchaai.” We heard these ad nauseam from Western-backed Persian-language loudspeakers and media outlets regarding the 25-year agreement with China and we are going to be fortunate enough to hear them again with any agreement between Iran and Russia. Turkmanchaai has, therefore, been a “nefariousness standard” by which to measure or falsely portray to the Iranian public how bad, shameful, or dishonorable a particular agreement is. In recent years, Barjam (JCPOA) has become the catchphrase to invoke similar sentiment.

A bit of history about that. Golistan and Tukmanchaai treaties, reached in 1813 and 1828 respectively, were two agreements according to which major portions of the Iranian soil were ceded to Russia by the incompetent kings of the Qajar dynasty and 13 years (10 +3 years combined) of wars of aggression by Russia waged against Iran during Romanovs. Specifically, the areas ceded included the Caucus region of what is now eastern part of Turkey, Republic of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, 1360 kilometer of shorelines in Caspian Sea (approximately 20,000 square kilometer area of water), and 310 kilometer of shoreline in Black Sea (120 to 150 thousand square kilometer area of water).[5]

Before these two treaties, Iran (then Persia) and Russia had a formal and sustained relationship that had begun during Safavi Dynasty and went back to more than 300 years. The connection between the two nations was a strategic alliance of necessity against a common threat from an aggressive and ruthless power: the Ottomans. The Ottomans, for most parts but not always, were not only a menace to the security of Russia, but also were actively involved attacking Iran and the Shi’a and performing their “cleansing” acts. I provide more details about that history in the upcoming essays in Wilayat and Imamat series. For this essay, it is suffice to say that Iran-Russia alliance in earlier periods was based on common threat posed by the Ottomans.

Throughout the centuries, however, in multiple occasions and at very sensitive junctures, the Russians betrayed the Iranians and repeatedly broke the pledges and agreement they had made with them. There were different factors at play for this erratic behavior. One could point to conniving influence of some European powers especially the British over Russian ruling elites (the Europeans perceived a closeness between Russia and Iran as a threat to their own interests), progressive weakening of the Ottomans therefore diminishing of their threat, and Russia’s own expansionist and hegemonic dreams, especially under Romanovs with Peter I being the most prominent among them as the most prominent factors.[6]

These are, of course, painful historical facts. Naturally, any Iranian with minuscule amount of zeal, honor, and dignity would be disgusted and shamed and it is understandable that s/he would not look too favorably toward Russia given the experiences of the past 500 years. However, there is something more paradoxical going on here than simple facts of history. I extracted a map[7] from an Iranian news and information network, Raah_e Dana [or “Informed Path News Network”] and formatted, adapted, and annotated it (see below) to illustrate a specific point. The dotted yellow and pink areas of Iran were ceded to Russia. The dotted red and green areas plus the purple area (Bahrain) were ceded to the British.

If we add total territorial areas separated from Iran by aggressive means and mischief of foreign powers in the past two hundred years, for sure, the actual territorial loss caused by Britain is far greater than that caused by Russia. Qualitatively speaking the geostrategic importance of areas lost to Britain were not any less, if not more, than those lost to Russia. It is also important to note that even Golistan, Turkmanchaai, and Akhaal treaties between Iran and Russia were the handiwork of Britain. Furthermore, if we were to catalogue national calamities exacted upon Iran and the Iranians, the backstabbing, reneging of contracts and agreements, aggressions, and plundering of Iranians’ wealth and resources by Britain, France, and the US, and killing of half the Iranian population by starvation by Britain in particular, the West wins the race in shamefulness, malevolence, and aggression by a landslide.

By simply examining facts of history and separating them from historical fictions related to Iran’s interactions with foreign powers, Iranians should then be far more resentful of the Wes and less willing to cooperate with them than with Russia if those historical experiences were the deciding factors. How come such has not been the case? How come the number of person-hours by our statesmen in official trips and state-meetings (and even backdoor meetings) with a handful of Western powers –whose treacherous and criminal treatment of Iran and Iranians has been infinitely more widespread and deep— has been manifold (until recently) of that with Russians of any level, one might be curious to ask.

We will look at the short answers first and examine a few evidences next. The first has to do with a defunct perception of strength of the West and a perceived weakness of Russia. The second relates to an obsolete perception of relative “openness” of Western societies and a perceived relative “closeness” of Russian society. The third pertains to an outdated and crude perception of Russia as a “Godless” country.

A major shift in the above perceptions within the Iranian population occurred with the Islamic Revolution. The pace for various segments of the Iranian society to catch up with realities, however, has been different. Thankfully, global events of the past two decades have been great catalysts to speed up the shift in perceptions globally for everyone including various segments of the Iranian society.

In addition, a deepening and maturing of Iran-Russia relationship has occurred in these decades as well that could be justly attributed to the efforts of significant figures like Ayatullah Khamenei and Shahid Soleimani in Iran and to President Putin in Russia. I conducted a simple search in the archive regarding meetings with heads of states and high-level officials from 1368 to present. The following data[8] is simple yet telling. It is the search result for Russia and any of the Western triplets (US, Britain, and France):

97/6/16 [Sept. 7, 2018] – Meeting with President Putin

96/8/10 [Nov. 1, 2017] – Meeting with President Putin

94/9/2 [Nov. 23, 2015] – Meeting with President Putin

86/7/24 [Oct. 16, 2007] – Meeting with President Putin

85/11/8 [Jan. 28, 2007] – Meeting with Chairman [et al.] of Russia’s National Security Council

77/7/1 [Sept. 28, 1998] – Meeting with Chairman [et al.] of State Duma

Number of meetings with any head of state and high officials from the Western triplets: Zero.

It is quite clear to independent analysts that Russia has benefited greatly from the stewardship of President Putin than any other statesman in the history of the Iran-Russia relationships in terms of relative freedom from foreign influence. The Zionist entity wields some noteworthy influence but very soon that entity, too, will become a non-issue.

Amir Abdullahian’s candid interview (referenced above) highlights this “Putin phenomenon” this way:

“When we wanted to enter into talks with Russia regarding Syria, Shahid Soleimani told us, ‘I have worked with the Russians in Afghanistan and you must have dialogue with them and if the Russians are convinced of your logic and rationale, and know exactly how the mutual interests are defined, then you could see good results in working with Russia.’ I must say though that when I was working at the Ministry of Foreign Relations and during negotiations with the special representative from President Putin in Middle East relations, when I began to talk about Syria’s crisis, my impression was that you cannot work with the Russians. However, after working closely with them for 5 years, I must clearly state that Putin’s Russia is different from Soviet Russia and even different from Russia prior to Putin. This is what I could say in terms of attending to our own national interest and in our outlook with Asian and the Eastern domain.”

In another part of his interview, he provided additional clues but this time from the Iranians’ corner:

“Some, when they see an official going to Russia or China, they begin their allegations in virtual space claiming that, ‘See how these people are pushing the country in to the arms of Russia and Communist China!’ However, our motto of Neither East, Nor West means that in the political arena we will not be subjugated to any power [East or West]. In the event of looking out for our interests, we explore both sides. The legacy of the West, the history of the West with our nation, they created so many problems for us. With the East, we have the Turkmanchai and Golestan treaties, which are our bitter experiences from the previous eras.”

Evidence also shows that Ayatullah Khamenei is among the very few top Iranian statesman, religious scholars, and thinkers who has championed and promoted an in-depth, realistic, and nuanced look at Russian society, culture, and history compared to any other scholar and/or statesman close to his caliber in Iran. Just to illustrate by way of example, I have translated a part of his talk in a meeting with government officials during President Khatami’s administration on 1379/4/19 [July 9, 2000] for you:

“Here, our own television was showing images from CNN. We saw Yeltsin had climbed up a tank and was chanting slogans like, ‘No, we do not surrender to the coup!’ Then, he went to the parliament. But the coup organizers let Yeltsin, who was then sitting in protest in Duma, be. They did not go after him but they went to Gorbachev who was on vacation in Crimea and arrested him! And Yeltsin kept on shouting and chanting slogans! They created a media mayhem in the world and, of course, there was no traces of truth and reality to what they were saying! A few tanks appeared in the streets of Moscow but three days later, there was nothing. After three days, they announced they had arrested the coup organizers at night and in their sleep! The result from this coup was that Yeltsin who was the number two character practically became number one in charge!”

Right at that time, our foreign minister was visiting Central Asian Republics. Upon his return, I asked about his assessment and he said, ‘It’s clear that Yeltsin is in charge of the Soviet and not Gorbachev!’ It was also clear to the world that was the case. Then, the Republics demanded their independence one after another. For instance, Crimea would ask for its independence. Gorbachev would refuse but Yeltsin would say ‘We accept.’ Then, after two to three days, Gorbachev would accept it as well. Therefore, they had created a condition that Gorbachev would either feel compelled to pre-emptively agree and chant the same slogans so that he is not left behind; or, after a few days, he would follow the other one [Yeltsin] because the world-wide propaganda would not allow anything other than what Yeltsin was saying.

This trend had begun around the end of Khordad (3rd month in spring). After that, they brought up the issue of Gorbachev pulling out of the Party’s chairmanship, then the dismantling of the communist party, then the announcement regarding the defeat of communism – the exact things that made [US] Americans quite gleeful – and, finally, they spread the rumor about Gorbachev’s resignation. Right at that time, during an interview, they asked Gorbachev, ‘Will you resign or not?’ and he responded, ‘I am waiting for the [US] American secretary of state to come to Moscow to see what happens!’ The [US] American secretary of state came to Moscow and before making any contacts with Gorbachev, he went straight to Yeltsin. In main official meeting hall in Kremlin! That meant Gorbachev was finished! Three days later, Gorbachev resigned and Soviet disintegration was announced! This was a successful [US] American plot in the Soviet. That means, they were able to fully destroy a superpower with a very well-designed plot, a bit of money, purchasing some people, and extensive media propaganda; they were able to completely demolish it with a three-to-four-year plan and a six-to-seven-month implementation!”

“Of course, I must tell you that Russia, after disintegration of the Soviet, like they wished for, did not become the 2nd Brazil. They wanted to turn Russia into another Brazil – it means, into a 3rd rate country in the world – high production but afflicted with deep poverty and very little significant role in world’s politics. You look, where in the world the words and opinion of Brazil attracts anyone? They wanted to turn Russia into this but it did not happen. Why? Because Russia is a very strong and tough nation. Racially speaking, they are resilient people. Their progress in industry, in nuclear science, their scientists, their research works and other assets are quite noteworthy.”

“The plotters of these events (refers to the civil uprisings during late 1990s in Iran), too, were dreaming of similar dreams regarding the Islamic Republic. They were cutting and sewing for themselves. They cannot imagine that if the Islamic Republic of Iran were to face a similar fate as the Soviet, it becomes something like today’s Russia. No. They think Iran is a country at the level of Pahlavi era. That means, a level lower than Turkey! Because they imagine that there is no atom [nuclear research or bomb] here, no scientific progress, no 300-million population, no country as vast as Russia which even today is almost the largest country in the world. That’s what they are thinking!”[9]

The above sorts of detailed narrations and clarifications (and in simple terms for the public) are extremely effective in replacing shallow perspectives with insightful ones, especially at the population level. Even though these noteworthy forces counter a barrage of attacks in the past couple of decade or so, lots more work in all arenas are needed. These are other straight forward realities: Persian-language media (in all their forms from written books to children cartoons) available to the Iranians have been dominated by anti-Russia discourse. One can find something for everyone: For religious groups, the communist (read Godless) episodes in Russian history have often been emphasized. For the liberal-minded groups, some sorts of cultural rigidity and closed-system aspects have been highlighted. For national zealots, aggressive and expansionist dimensions of Russia’s past against Iran have regularly and artfully been flashed. For those who are quite distrustful, specific instances of Russia’s reneging on their pledges to Iranians have been put on display.

2) A Shift in the Perspective of Russians about Iran

For evidence on a shift in the perspective of Russians about Iran, I have to rely mostly on the publicly available information and reports of interactions that have revolved around socio-cultural, political, and security issues available to us here in Iran. This blog and the Saker’s writings and emails have been, by all means, invaluable sources of information, I must add. By design and their nature, these lenses allow a very limited point of view and cannot qualitatively compare to first hand empirical knowledge one gains by being personally present in a given society. Therefore, I apologize, in advance, to the readers of this essay and good people of Russia for the shortcomings of what I write.

I present segments of transcripts from video clips that are in Russian with Farsi subtitles. My translation here is of the Farsi translations of those segments which are in Russian. So, you could imagine this sort of flow inevitably gathers a good amount of verbal debris on its path. Nevertheless, for now, that is the best I could do and for the purpose of the points I am making, I think an illustration of approximate sentiments are adequate for now.

During a discussion panel shown in Rossiya 1 TV channel on the subject of a US Navy destroyer (I am guessing it is about McCain nav.-ship) which had accidently on purpose wandered into Russia’s territorial waters, Alexey Naumov, an expert at the Russian International Affairs Council (Russia) expressed the followings in that panel:

Alexey Naumov: “The American experts are saying it this way. They say that they are providing for the security of America. If they were moving near American borders, that is, if they were moving within 12 miles of their maritime, we, too, would have viewed it relatively positively. Also, let us remember how other countries react to American deception, especially Iran. This is an example of a good lesson for us. We remember how in 2016, the border patrols of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard brought the American navy personnel to their knees.”

Another participant: “They disarmed them and brought them to their knees!”

Alexey Naumov: “…this was while they had ‘accidently’ [he draws air quotes] entered into the Iranians’ water territories.

Another participant: “They had been ‘lost’! So long as we know.”

Alexey Naumov: “Next we remember how Iran targeted American bases in Iraq after General Soleimani was killed. But Russia behaves leniently. Sometimes they behave too leniently. But why are Americans doing this? Note that Americans do stupid things but we do not yield to their pressure.”

Another participant: “In fact, the issue here is what is it that we are proud of? What is the right thing to do? They violated our borders. Either we must shoot missiles at them in a way there wouldn’t be any damages like shooting one to the sky and one right behind its rear [other participants laughing], or we should aim straight for the deck.”

Alexey Naumov: “The violators must be arrested just as we do with others who violate our borders. Arrests would yield good results but the current anti-ship missiles do not operate this way.”[10] </blockquote>

In the above panel, based on the dialogue and the body language of the participants, one gets a distinct impression that they have a more positive view of Iran’s firm and decisive reaction when faced with the US infractions than what they perceive as Russia’s meek response. It is just human nature to root for the one who challenges a bully. It is rather simple.

A speech by the Chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, aired more than a year ago again in Rossiya 1 TV channel, included the following segment in reference to Iran:

<blockquote> “… See how they [US] occupied Iraq. They easily walked into Iraq. Without any resistance. Nine Iraqi generals got a few million dollars and went to London and Iraq no longer had any armies. That is it!”

“But Iran, whose regime is being criticized; it is Shi’a; it is in control of the situation. The Sunni world does not have a leader but Iranians do. Imam Khamenei, and before him Imam Khomeini. Because of this, the regime is resilient. Because of this, this country is not like Iraq. They [the Iranians] do not go off the path. Why were there millions of people in General Soleimani’s [funeral] walk? He had the charisma of Dzerzhinsky and … [cannot figure the names] in one. He was faithful to the revolution and destroyed all the enemies of the Iranian revolution and was very famous. Then everything happened together in Iran. They are on at the top of the Shi’a world. The killing of their most important symbol caused the nation to cry for him. Even some people who may not have supported him before cried.”

“This country is [one of] the youngest countries in the world. [Few] countries are as young as this country. It has 80 million population and very soon it will reach 100 million in the next 20 years. Median age is 25 and 70 percent are young. They will all work. There is no need for them to be sent to violence. They can make bombs in their own country. That means, they are ready for everything. Today, this system is a great system.”

“But what do we do? We destroyed our own religion. We filled our priests’ mouths with molten lead! Do you get it?! We threw away our young people. We destroyed our whistle blowers. We threw away our intellectuals. They don’t throw away anyone but we chase away everyone.”[11]

Some of the statistics about Iran in the above statement are inaccurate but the overall tone reflects the speaker’s positive view regarding Iran’s religious leadership, sacrifices of commanders like Sardar Soleimani, diversity of views, and the Iranian society’s endurance. Iran’s positive, energetic, and youthful outlook, too, holds promises and could increase the potential for greater exchange between Iranian and Russian societies.

I have translated one last segment from statements made by another Russian expert on regional security and military issues that is reflective of a Russian perspective that gives a more labyrinthine character to Iranians in general and its leadership and the Revolutionary Guard in particular.

“But what is more interesting is that if there is a conflict, Iran has the capacity for extensive retaliation against the Americans in Iraq. The Americans in Iraq have less than 10,000 military men but what is the paramilitary force that enters the conflict? That is Hashd Al-Shaabi. With more than 100,000 organized force and 40 diverse paramilitary units and Shi’a, among which there are smaller units of Assyrian Christians and Yazidi groups. When something happens there, of course the Iranian military advisors are there, too. On the other hand, these forces are equipped with American arms which had been specially shipped to Iraq during Daesh presence. Abrams tanks 2, 3, and so on. Exactly here, the Iranians could retaliate.”

“If we had been in place of Revolutionary Guard commanders, we would have planned what to do with the Americans. But how do the Iranians manage things? [They say,] ‘There is no need to take anyone to any of the bases there. Why should we do something stupid like that?! Let’s put the pressure on them in Iraq and exactly there demolish American forces. And we will show them that two billion dollars they spent and a thousand of their forces did not benefit them even a bit. In Iraq, we were present and we will continue to be present.’ This is a real and great victory from the perspective of military relationships. [They say,] ‘Let the Americans try and imagine they could control [things] there [in Iraq].’”[12]

These discussions and dialogue demonstrate great potential for a positive and nuanced change in perspective of Russians about Iran and the Iranians and a fertile ground to cultivate a mutually respectful and non-transgressive relationship between the two nations.

3) A Religious Approximation between Shi’a Islam and Russian Orthodoxy

Taqrib_e Mazahib (or, Religious Approximation) is the term used to describe activities by the Islamic Republic of Iran especially Qom Seminary to bring together scholars, practitioners, and representatives from diverse religions and denominations of the world for an ongoing and meaningful discourse in order to improve knowledge and understanding among these religions and help improve the condition of humanity in all material and spiritual domains.

To shed some light on the history of the relationship between Shi’a Islam and Russian Orthodoxy, I bring here a short presentation by Dr. Muhammad Masjidjamei, a scholar and thinker who has been quite active in the area of Taqrib related to Russian Orthodox Church. He delivered his lecture titled “We and the Russian Orthodox Church: Iran Eurasian Reality of Russia,”[13] during a two-day conference held by the University of Religions and Denomination in Qom in Shahrivar 1393 [2014/8/25-26] on Evaluation of Eight Rounds of Religious Dialogue between Muslims and Orthodox Christians over Seventeen Years. Since it contains many key points and gives a mini-history of the interaction (up until 2014), I have translated all but the very first greeting lines:

“…Under current critical conditions in the region and the world crises, perhaps one could say extreme crises, we desperately need gatherings of this nature so that we could find solutions for current crises or at least ways to reduce them by relying on meaningful cooperation and sharing of thoughts and ideas. Part of the reason for current difficult conditions is a lack of serious discussion and counsel among those who have shared view points and interests. I very much hope this conference could offer a real platform for these sorts of cooperation.

It was midyear 1991 when I was sent to Vatican as an ambassador for my country. It was a few months after the occupation of Kuwait and right at the heels of disintegration of the Eastern Block and Soviet Union. These events had great impacts on Europe especially the relationships among various churches, in particular two major and quite different Catholic and Orthodox churches. Even a very short explanation about the transformative events between these two churches would take a very long time. But the most noteworthy point for me was that reached a realization about the logic and thinking behind the behavior of the Orthodox Church. At that time and under those critical conditions, the Church was in a rather passive and defensive position. To discover the root of this logic, I needed to study extensively their works be those of the church officials or the others or what related to their contemporary history , or the history, culture and beliefs and their harsh experiences with the communist regimes, or their position and grievances with the Catholic Church, the media, and other publications.

This was my first serious encounter with the realities of Orthodox Church. A church that in those early years in 90s few open ears in Europe were willing to listen to what they had to say. The strong waves of criticism against communism was so fierce and widespread that no one was willing to see a single positive point in the Eastern Block of that time. The Orthodox Church, too, was being viewed as part of the ruling socialist system and was perceived to have been at the service of the system. The reality was that this distorted view and these sorts of propaganda had influenced the thinking of the Muslim World. The war of the Balkans and Bosnia was fueling it even further.

The reality was not at all like what was being portrayed. Probably, Iran realized this point faster than any other Muslim country and began to have a more open and active policy with Orthodox churches. At the height of the Bosnian war, many meetings took place between our ambassador in Sarajevo and Late Serbian Orthodox Patriarch Pavle. In addition, several meetings took place between some of our political and religious representatives and the bishop of Zagreb, Cardinal Kuharic, and the bishop of Sarajevo, Puljic, who had just become a cardinal.

What was important here was that Iran understood rather quickly that to solve the Bosnian problem, or at least to reduce tensions, first and foremost the venue of religion was instrumental, and secondly, Orthodox Church had the most fundamental role in this and should not be neglected because of negative propaganda. As such, Iran, in establishing relations with Serbian Orthodox Church was a maverick and a leader among the Islamic countries. So long as I remember, from among the Western countries, [US] Americans and the British tried to establish relations with Serbian churches much later.

It was more or less around this time, as well, that Iran realized the great importance of Russian Orthodox Church as a historical and cultural identity of Russian nation, as a reality that could help expand and deepen the reciprocal relation between the two nations (Iran and Russia), and in the internal scene, as a catalyst to improve the relations between the Russian Muslim minorities, the Russian society and the Russian State. This was especially critical since there were problems in Caucus and Northern Caucus regions. The sort of problems that kept on accumulating and getting worse.

In fall of 1993, I took a trip to Moscow and met with late Russian Patriarch Alexy II, There I became closely familiar with different sections and teachings of this church. Following that, the Russian Orthodox Church representative to Iran was assigned and the bilateral dialogue and relationship started and have continued to this date.

Even though Iran has had great many dialogues with many churches, its dialogue with the Russian Church has remained one of the most systematic, sustainable, and institutionalized one today. This demonstrates the importance of the relationship between the two and the resolve on both sides to continue this relationship. So, the question now is how this relationship could become even more active and constructive. What additional potentials does it have?

Russia is a Eurasian reality. This reality existed throughout ups and downs of history whether it was during the tsars, or the socialist rulers, or thereafter. And it will continue to exist in the future. The problem of the West with Russia, to some extent, is due to this very historical and identity reality. They want a Russia that is European not Eurasian. A Russia whose policies and politics are played within the European frameworks and by their standards. Russia wants to be Russia and remain Russia. From this perspective, this country, too, is parallel in line with everyone and all countries which want to have a life according to their own culture and identity.

In addition, Russia is one of the few countries that stands up to multi-faceted Western dictatorship. The clearest sign of this is seen in Russia’s Middle East policies in the aftermath of Arab springs. Another important point is that the Eurasian characteristic of Russia and its look towards Asia makes it a weighty Asian component in international relations. No doubt, a closer cooperation with Asian countries as well as China and India makes this share weightier and to the benefit of all Asians, us, and Russia itself.

Here, I cannot count all the points that relate to Eurasian reality/nature of Russia and its many significances. But I could very summarily say that it [Russia’s Eurasian nature] is to the best interest of us and all independent countries which want to rely on their own culture and potentials in life. What is important to remember is that Russian Church, both directly and indirectly, is the most significant cornerstone of this reality. Orthodox churches, including Russian churches, are far more eastern than the Catholic and Protestant churches. This is an intrinsic characteristic of this church.

We should not forget that Russia is the largest country in the world and has within it many diverse people, religions, and cultures and to be sure, Russian Church has its own unique place. This does not mean that other religions and cultures are pushed aside. Islam and Islamic culture, too, is an important reality and part of Russian identity. Also, the Eurasian characteristic of Russia, to a notable extent is due to its Islamic heritage as well. Besides, if Russia wishes to have independent policies in the international arena free of Western domination, it needs, at the least, receptive co-thinkers. For sure, among the Muslim nations, there are countries which can and want to stand besides Russia but this is possible only if the Muslim minority in Russia have a suited status. From this perspective, acknowledging other religions and groups, including Islam, is a necessity for Russia. Although a great portion of this attention relates to the state and the ruling system, Orthodox Church can play a significant constructive and facilitative role.

It is for certain that a cooperation between Iran and this Church is very valuable, nay, extremely valuable. Also, this cooperation can be instrumental in remedying takfiri thoughts and extremist groups in Russia. Parts of the causes of takfiri thoughts go to a lack of depth in understanding the religion itself. Without a doubt, Iran, for the richness of its religious, philosophical, and spiritual thoughts is one of the most suitable countries to help fill these gaps.

It is rather difficult to put all potential areas of cooperation in one short article. Certainly, scientific and academic cooperation is one of them. Right now, there are so many Western religious texts written by either formal religious figures or non-religious thinkers and translated into Farsi. However, you can rarely find authentic translations of Orthodoxy texts that have been written by the Orthodox themselves. This is also true of research in Christianity. Many books and manuscripts about history, culture, and beliefs of Protestant and Catholic churches are written but the Orthodoxy texts are quite sparse.

Another key point is the existence and continued presence in Middle East of Christians who are mainly Orthodox. They are part of the history and culture of this region and have had much greater impact on literature and culture of contemporary Arab societies relative to their numbers. However, the upheavals of Arab spring have shaken up their positions as well. This is while their presence in the region, for various reasons, is positive and beneficial to a social and cultural balance and prevention of a polarization in these societies. If they had played a more active role, takfiri thought would not have found an opportunity to expand and monopolize the scene.

Fortunately, the Christians in the region, especially the Orthodox, do not have evangelical tendencies which is an important point because such situation itself prepares the ground for salafi thoughts. Without a doubt, cooperation and co-counseling between Iran and Russian church, and other churches in the region, could help reform the conditions. If such relation had existed at the beginning of Syrian crisis, the overall condition of the country and the situation of its Christians would have been much better than what it is now.

Indeed, the areas for cooperation is far more than what has been mentioned here. Given the circumstances of the two countries and international and regional realities, when this cooperation starts, new opportunities will also emerge. What is important is that both sides must, having taken into account the actualities and the limitations, must pursue their collaboration and cooperation with serious will and make progress.”

It might be interesting for you to know that the exchange between Iran and the Russian Orthodox Church went on for several years before Sardar Soleimani could convince President Putin to commit Russia’s military to Syrian war as a practical step to block the spread of takfiries. The Church had already been convinced!

To wrap up the essay and put things succinctly, cooperation between Iran and Russia regarding Syria was only a pilot test and shifts in the Iranian and Russian nations’ perspectives have already occurred. However, a lot more media products, people-to-people exchange and interactions in socio-economic, scientific, and cultural fields are also needed to help promote a more insightful and culturally mature public perceptions on both sides.

References

[1] Center for Research of the Islamic Republic of Iran Majlis [Parliament]. “The policies pertaining to the agreement between the Islamic of Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation based on mutual relationship and principles of cooperation.” The Date of Approval: 1380/10/16 [Jan. 6, 2002]. Available in Farsi online at: https://rc.majlis.ir/fa/law/print_version/93690

[2] Entekhab News Site, Video Archive, “Explanation by Special Advisor to the Head of Majlis regarding Qalibaf’s trip to Moscow.” 1399/11/22 @ 22:41, News Code: 602070. Accessed online at: https://www.entekhab.ir/002Wco

[3] Niki Maleki J. (1399). “Why the Leader’s Message to Putin is important.” Mashriq News, the Sun always Rises from the East, Bahman 21, 1399 [Feb. , 2021]; 18:57; News Code: 1179189. Accessed online at: mshrgh.ir/1179189

[4] Mashriq News, Trans. from Farsi: “The Important Tweet from the Russian Account of the Publication Office of the Revolution Leader’s Works.” 20th Bahman, 1399, 14:36, News Code: 1178619. Accessed online at: mshrgh.ir/1178619

[5] Golistan and Turkmanchaai Treaties

[6] Karami J (1397 HS [2019]). Trans. from Farsi: “Iran and Russia in the Passage of History: Security Environment and the Issues of Threats and Alliances.” Quarterly of History of Foreign Relations, No. 75, Summer 1397, Pages 65-97.

جهانگیر کرمی، “ایران و روسیه در گذر تاریخ: محیط امنیتی و مساله تهدید و اتحاد.” فصلنامۀ تاریخ روابط خارجی، شماره 75، سال نوزدهم، تابستان 1397، صص 65 تا 97.

[7] Rah_e Dana Information Network. Trans. from Farsi: “Turkmanchaai, a Nefarious History in Auctioning off the Homeland.” 1396/2/12, 15:29, News ID: 1096763. Accessed online at: https://www.dana.ir/1096763

[8] List of official visits from heads of states with the Leader of Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatullah Ali Khamenei. Accessed online on March 2, 2021 @ 12:00 noon; at: https://farsi.khamenei.ir/tag-content?id=11172

[9] Sayyed Ali Khamenei. “Speech during visit with officials and members of government of Islamic Republic of Iran” on 1379/4/19 [July 9, 2000]. Accessed online at: https://farsi.khamenei.ir/speech-content?id=3016

[10] KavoshMedia, What They Say About Us. “Iranians disarmed and brought American navy personnel to their knees.” 2021/1/11 @ 13:01:28 Tehran Time, Original in Russian Language. Accessed on line at: https://kavoshmedia.com

[11] Tabnak Javan News Agency. “Nuanced View of the Leader of Liberal Democratic Party of Russia about Iranians.” 1398/12/8 [Feb. 27, 2020] @ 18:09; News Code: 14130.

[12] Kavoshmedia. “Russian expert’s view regarding Iran’s great victory in Iraq,” aired on Rossya 1, Posted 24/11/2020 @ 4:30 UTC.

[13] Masjidjamei M. “We and Russian Orthodox Church: Iran and Eurasian Realities of Russia.” University of Religions and Denominations, Publication date: 1393/6/12. Accessed online at: https://urd.ac.ir/fa/cont/355

Imam Khamenei Offers Condolences on Demise of Senior Lebanese Scholar

Imam Khamenei Offers Condolences on Demise of Senior Lebanese Scholar

By Staff, Agencies

Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei expressed condolences over the death of Judge Sheikh Ahmad al-Zein, head of Lebanon’s Association of Muslim Scholars.

In a message of condolence to Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Wednesday, Imam Khamenei hailed Sheikh al-Zein’s “dutiful, scholarly defense of Imam Khomeini’s movement and of resistance against the front of arrogance and Zionism.”

Following is the text of the message, according to the website of Imam Khamenei:

In the Name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful;

Hujjat al-Islam Hajj Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah [may his blessings continue],

I received news of the demise of the diligent scholar, Judge Sheikh Ahmad al-Zein – head of Lebanon’s Association of Muslim Scholars. I deem it my responsibility to express my condolences to the honorable scholars and to his family, admirers, students in Lebanon and other countries, and particularly to you.

His dutiful, scholarly defense of Imam Khomeini’s movement and of Resistance against the Front of Arrogance and Zionism along with his continual cooperation with the activities of regional nations against the Front of Arrogance throughout all these years will never be erased from the file of the history of Resistance.

Once more, I wish to offer my condolences to the people of Lebanon and particularly to his companions and comrades in Lebanon’s Association of Muslim Scholars. I ask God, the Exalted, to bestow His mercy and forgiveness on him.

Sayyed Ali Khamenei

Rajab 19, 1442 [March 3, 2021]

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Iran-America: A Nuclear File or Beyond That? إيران – أميركا: ملف نوويّ أم أبعد من ذلك؟

**English Machine translation Please scroll down for the Arabic original version **

Iran-America: A Nuclear File or Beyond That?

Brigadier General Dr. Amin MohammedHatit*

On the 42nd anniversary of its victory, and at a time when the Islamic Revolution in Iran boasted of its distinct and multi-heading achievements, including strategic, political, scientific, economic, and military, etc., it faces important challenges that are not the issue of the economic war waged against it or the blockade and sanctions related to the Iranian nuclear file and the international agreement around it, at least.

Iran has chosen, since the success of its revolution and its orientation to build a truly independent state, the state enjoying its sovereign rights and investing its wealth outside the major blocs, protected by self and allied power.

On the other hand, the West viewed the Iranian independence approach as a departure from the “international order” imposed on the world after the Second World War, which is based on the idea of ​​”ruling the victors’ club in that war” controlling the fate and course of the world and preventing new members from entering this club except through one of the two powers.

The contrast between Iran, and the colonial system system stems from a fundamental idea, namely, Iran’s quest for a strong independent state to exercise its sovereign rights, and the rejection of the club of victors in the second war and because. Iran rejected dependency and maintained its independence and rights and extended the hand to those who were able to help who were abused in the region and the world, Iran was also attacked by a destructive war for 8 years, followed and is still by escalating and brutal manner economic war and a continuous blockade to the extent that it affects the people in most of their rights up to Food and medicine.

The economic war “sanctions” is not the result of Iran’s entry into the nuclear field and its success in making an advanced centrifugal system or enriching uranium by 20% or its ability to enrich with higher rates. All these titles and details are pretexts begged to justify the Western aggression against Iran. The real reason for the Western aggression against Iran lies in Iran’s endeavour to build a strong and independent self and its readiness to support the oppressed, especially the Palestinian people whose homeland was robbed by the Zionist entity, and therefore the policy of the West in the face of Iran is to deprive Iran of its power and resources, which can later undermine its independence and prevent it from helping those who want to return to their homeland in Palestine.

Iran has realised from the start the reality of the West’s stances towards it, its goals and strategies adopted against it, and decided to defend itself, its principles and its people and move forward to achieve its goals: independence, the exercise of all rights, building the protecting power, and adopted a defensive strategy of “long breath”, “strategic patience”, “courage in the situation” without provocation or an un-calculated challenge, but a kind of “constructive ambiguity” that does not provide the adversary with an excuse or attack.

In this environment, Iran entered the nuclear field and passed the threshold of possession of technology, announcing its attempt to use this technology for peaceful civilian and humanitarian purposes, but the West found in the subject a door and a new pretext to do more blockade measures and economic war and impose what he calls “sanctions” to tame Iran, while waving military action to destroy Iranian infrastructure not only in the nuclear field but in every area can be destroyed to prevent Iran from developing and advancing.

But Iran, in its reality and alliances, has surprised the adversary and the enemy, as it has with characteristic intelligence that it has the military power to be able to defend itself as reliably and to respond punitively and retaliatory to the aggressor, whose bases, positions and strategic positions are at the reach of Iran and under the influence of the missile system are legitimate targets for the defensive response. Iran had succeeded in preparing itself and announcing it even before it revealed its level of nuclear status.

This reality prevented the enemy Iran from committing any stupidity Israel did on the day its planes destroyed the Iraqi Tammuz reactor, and the matter passed as if it had not happened.

The agreement that led to the 5+1 negotiations with Iran on its nuclear file, which was approved by the Security Council and converted into a legitimate UN document, was not the fruit of the morals and humanity of the 5 + 1 group and its desire to solve the issue peacefully, but rather the inability of that group to resort to military force to prevent Iran from pursuing its nuclear project. That’s why the agreement on the nuclear file was a way out for all. Iran has reserved its right to follow the nuclear path within restrictions that affirm its peaceful and civilian nature and dismantle a package of sanctions imposed on it in an malicious and criminal form, and the other side affirms “a right that it claims and sees as a right Acquired »by preventing anyone else from entering the military nuclear club.

But America, working to prevent Iran from independence, strength, and supporting the oppressed, turned against the agreement and carried out the strangest behaviour that anyone could imagine. America disavows everything it has committed the sanctions remained and even tightened, Iran smartly responded, by gradually retreating from its commitments, accompanied by the demonstration of its defensive military power capable of self-defence, presence and interests.

And it appeared that regardless of who lives in the White House, Trump or Biden, the policy of the Iranian and American parties has become clear, Iran wants to exercise a right, and America wants to blackmail and prevent Iran from exercising its rights, regardless of the titles of those rights, Who will be the predominant?

Mr. Ali Khamenei answered very clearly to this question, showing that the world has entered the “post-American phase” and the rational person must explain and realise that the pioneer of persuasive patience in the world is not ready to retreat and concede to a force that has entered a phase of decline. The American empire, as we said in a previous article, is preparing for its demise and someone who strengthens and tightens his grip on the sources of power wins, and if it takes some pain while awaiting the greatest victory. Biden must know that Iran believes and trusts that it is ultimately the victor, and he should not waste time returning to the nuclear agreement because delaying will not be in his interest, and he knows that there is no solution except through this agreement. Will the media debates today be a show of strength and preparation for negotiations for America’s return to a file that Biden claims is his priority?

It is a few weeks and the answer comes?

*University professor – strategic expert.

إيران – أميركا: ملف نوويّ أم أبعد من ذلك؟

 العميد د. أمين محمد حطيط*

في الذكرى الـ 42 لانتصارها وفي الوقت الذي تفاخر فيه الثورة الإسلامية في إيران بإنجازاتها المميّزة والمتعدّدة العناوين من استراتيجية وسياسية وعلمية واقتصادية وعسكرية إلخ… فإنها تواجه تحديات هامة ليست مسألة الحرب الاقتصادية التي تشنّ عليها أو الحصار والعقوبات المرتبطة بالملف النووي الإيراني والاتفاق الدولي حولها أقلها.

لقد اختارت إيران منذ نجاح ثورتها وتوجّهها الى بناء الدولة المستقلة فعلياً، الدولة المتمتعة بحقوقها السياديّة واستثمار ثرواتها، اختارت العمل في بناء الذات وحشد الطاقات وعقد التحالفات التي تمكّنها من بناء القوة التي تمكنها من ممارسة استقلالها الحقيقيّ العمليّ بعيداً عن الاستقلال الشكليّ النظريّ الذي تعيشه معظم دول العالم خارج التكتلات الكبرى، وبالتالي كانت استراتيجيّة إيران قائمة بشكل رئيسيّ على فكرة الاستقلال الذي تحميه القوة الذاتية والتحالفية وتتمتع بالثروة وممارسة الحقوق السيادية.

وفي المقابل نظر الغرب الى النهج الاستقلالي الإيراني بأنه خروج عن «النظام الدولي» المفروض على العالم بعد الحرب العالمية الثانية والذي يقوم على فكرة «تحكم نادي المنتصرين في تلك الحرب» تحكّمه بمصير ومسار العالم ومنع دخول أعضاء جدد الى هذا النادي إلا من باب إحدى القوّتين العظميين وبعد أن تؤدّى مراسم الطاعة وتعتنق التبعية عقيدة في السلوك.

فالتباين بين إيران الثورة – الدولة المستقلة ومنظومة الغرب الاستعماري ناشئ من فكرة أساسية، هي سعي إيران لإقامة الدولة المستقلة القوية الممارسة حقوقها السيادية، ورفض نادي المنتصرين في الحرب الثانية لفكرة وجود قوة في العالم خارج سيطرته بعيداً عن قراره، ولهذا… ولأنّ إيران رفضت التبعية وتمسّكت باستقلالها وبحقوقها ومدّت اليد لمن استطاعت ان تساعده من المظلومين المعتدى عليهم في المنطقة والعالم، لأنها كذلك فقد اعتُدي عليها بحرب تدميرية لمدة 8 سنوات، ثم أتبعت ولا تزال عرضة لحرب اقتصادية وحصار مستمرّ يمارس بشكل تصاعدي وحشي الى حدّ أنه يطال الشعب في معظم حقوقه وصولاً الى الغذاء والدواء.

إنّ الحرب والحصار الاقتصادي المنفذ بما تسمّيه أميركا «عقوبات»، ليس وليد الساعة وليس نتيجة دخول إيران المجال النوويّ ونجاحها في صنع منظومة الطرد المركزي المتقدّمة او تخصيب اليورانيوم بنسبة 20% او قدرتها على التخصيب بنسب أعلى، انّ كلّ هذه العناوين والتفاصيل هي ذرائع تتوسّلها القوى الاستعارية لتبرّر حربها وحصارها لإيران، اما السبب الحقيقي للعدوان الغربي على إيران – الثورة الإسلامية فإنه يكمن في سعي إيران الى بناء الذات القوية المستقلة واستعدادها او سلوكها في نصرة المظلومين وعلى رأسهم الشعب الفلسطيني الذي سُلب وطنه على يد الكيان الصهيوني، ولذلك فإنّ سياسة الغرب تقوم في مواجهة إيران على حرمانها من القوة ومصادرها، ما يمكن لاحقاً من نسف استقلالها وإعادتها الى ربقة التبعية للغرب الاستعماري كما يحول بينها وبين مساعدة من يريد العودة الى وطنه في فلسطين.

لقد أدركت إيران منذ البدء حقيقة مواقف الغرب حيالها وأهدافه واستراتيجياته المعتمدة ضدّها، وقرّرت الدفاع عن نفسها وعن مبادئها وعن شعبها والسير قدُماً لتحقيق الأهداف التي رمت اليها الثورة الإسلامية: الاستقلال، ممارسة الحقوق كافة، بناء القوة التي تمكن من حماية ذلك، واعتمدت استراتيجية دفاعية تحكمها قواعد «النفس الطويل» و«الصبر الاستراتيجي» و«الشجاعة في الموقف» من غير استفزاز أو تحدّ غير محسوب لا بل يقترب الى نوع من «الغموض البناء» الذي لا يوفر للخصم فرصة أو ذريعة للاعتداء.

في ظلّ هذه البيئة دخلت إيران المجال النوويّ واجتازت عتبة امتلاك التقنية معلنة سعيها لاستخدام هذه التقنية للأغراض المدنية والإنسانية السلمية، لكن الغرب وجد في الموضوع باباً وذريعة جديدة للقيام بمزيد من إجراءات الحصار والحرب الاقتصادية وفرض ما يسمّيه «العقوبات» لترويض إيران، مع التلويح بالعمل العسكري لتدمير البنى التحتية الإيرانية ليس في المجال النووي فحسب بل وفي كلّ مجال يمكن تدميره لمنع إيران من التطوّر والتقدّم.

لكن إيران في واقعها وتحالفاتها فاجأت الخصم والعدو، حيث إنها وبذكاء مميّز أفهمت الآخر أنها تملك من القوة العسكرية ما يمكنها من الدفاع عن النفس بالقدر الموثوق كما ويمكنها من الردّ العقابي والثأري على المعتدي الذي تشكل قواعده ومراكزه ومواقعه الاستراتيجية التي هي في متناول اليد النارية لإيران وتحت تأثير المنظومة الصاروخية تشكل أهدافاً مشروعة للردّ الدفاعي. وكانت إيران قد نجحت في تحضير نفسها للأمر وفي الإعلان عن ذلك حتى قبل أن تكشف عن المستوى الذي وصلت إليه في المجال النووي.

هذا الواقع منع الخصم والعدو لإيران من ارتكاب أيّ حماقة تذكر بما قامت به «إسرائيل» يوم دمّرت طائراتها مفاعل تموز العراقي ومرّ الأمر وكأنه لم يحصل، لكن إيران فرضت على الجميع معادلة ردع تحميها وتمنع من الاعتداء عليها وفرضت على الآخر الذهاب الى المفاوضات لبحث الموضوع.

إنّ الاتفاق الذي أفضت اليه مفاوضات 5+1 مع إيران حول ملفها النووي، والذي صادق عليه مجلس الأمن وحوّله وثيقة أممية شرعية، لم يكن ثمرة أخلاق وإنسانية مجموعة 5+1 ورغبتها بحلّ المسألة سلمياً، بل كان نتيجة عجز تلك المجموعة عن اللجوء الى القوة لعسكرية لمنع إيران من متابعة مشروعها النووي، ولهذا شكل الاتفاق حول الملف النووي مخرجاً للجميع، إيران احتفظت بحقها في السير في المسار النووي ضمن قيود تؤكد على طبيعته السلمية المدنية وتفكّ حزمة من عقوبات فرضت عليها بشكل كيدي إجرامي، والطرف الآخر يؤكد على «حق يدّعيه ويراه حقاً مكتسباً» بمنع أحد من دخول النادي النووي العسكري سواه.

لكن أميركا التي تعمل بسياسة منع إيران من الاستقلال والقوة ونصرة المظلوم، انقلبت على الاتفاق وقامت بأغرب سلوك يمكن ان يتصوّره أحد، سلوك مضمونه ان تستمرّ إيران بالوفاء بالتزاماتها في الاتفاق وأن تتنصل أميركا من كلّ ما التزمت به وان تبقي العقوبات لا بل تتشدّد فيها، وكان الردّ الإيراني الذكي بالتراجع المتدرج عن تلك الالتزامات، تراجع ترافق مع إظهار القوة العسكرية الدفاعية والقادرة على الدفاع عن النفس وجوداً ومصالح.

وظهر أنه وبصرف النظر عمن يسكن البيت الأبيض ترامب الخارج على الاتفاق ام بايدن الذي يوحي بأنه يريد العودة إليه بشروط، ان سياسة الطرفين الإيراني والأميركي باتت واضحة، إيران تريد ممارسة حق، وأميركا تريد الابتزاز ومنع إيران من ممارسة حقوقها وبصرف النظر عن عناوين تلك الحقوق، فلمن تكون الغالبة؟

لقد أجاب السيد علي الخامنئي بوضوح كلي على السؤال هذا، مظهراً انّ العالم دخل «مرحلة ما بعد أميركا» وعلى العاقل أن يفسّر وان يدرك أنّ رائد الصبر الاستدراجي في العالم غير مستعدّ للتراجع والتنازل أمام قوة دخلت مرحلة الأفول، فالإمبراطورية الأميركية كما قلنا في مقالة سابقة تتأهّب للزوال ويفوز من يشدّ ويُحكم قبضته على مصادر قوته وانْ تطلب الأمر تحمّل بعض الألم وهو ينتظر النصر الأكبر، وعلى بايدن أن يعرف انّ إيران تعتقد وتثق بأنها في نهاية المطاف هي المنتصرة وعليه ان لا يضيّع وقتاً في العودة للاتفاق النووي لأنّ التأخير لن يكون في مصلحته، وهو يعلم ان لا سبيل للحلّ إلا بالاتفاق هذا وليس متاحاً اليوم شيء سواه . فهل تكون السجالات الإعلامية اليوم عرضاً للقوة وتحضيراً للتفاوض لعودة أميركا الى ملف يدّعي بايدن بأنه يشكل أولوية لديه؟ ام النزعة الاستعمارية والتمسك بالعنجهية الأميركية والعداء ضدّ إيران سيطيح هذه الأولوية؟ إنها أسابيع قليلة ويأتي الجواب؟

*أستاذ جامعي – خبير استراتيجي.

فيديوات ذات صلة

Imam Khamenei: Post-US Era Has Started

Imam Khamenei

 February 8, 2021

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei said on Sunday that the post-US era has started.

The remarks were released in a tweet on the Leader’s official account, Khamenei.ir.

His eminence also tweeted the same remarks in Arabic and French languages.

Earlier on Sunday, Imam Khamenei stressed that Iran is the only party which has the right to set conditions on the nuclear deal.

The Leader said the US would need to lift sanctions before Iran meets its commitments under the 2015 accord.

Source: Agencies

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Imam Khamenei: Iran will Reverse Nuclear Steps only if US Lifts Sanctions First

Imam Khamenei: Iran will Reverse Nuclear Steps only if US Lifts Sanctions First

By Staff, Agencies

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei confirmed that Iran will retrace its nuclear countermeasures once the United States lifts its sanctions in a manner that could be verifiable by Tehran.

“Iran will return to its JCOPA obligations once the US fully lifts its sanctions in action and not in words or on paper, and once the sanction relief is verified by Iran,” Imam Khamenei announced, referring by abbreviation to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the official name of the landmark nuclear agreement that Iran signed with the P5+1 group of states – the US, the UK, France, Russia, and China plus Germany – in Vienna in 2015.

His Eminence made the remarks in Tehran on Sunday during a meeting with commanders, pilots, and staff members of the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force [IRIAF].

Under his signature “maximum pressure” policy against Iran, former US president Donald Trump withdrew Washington from the JCPOA and restored the economic sanctions that the deal had removed.

In his Sunday’s remarks, the Leader said it was the “definitive and irreversible” policy of the Islamic Republic that the United States ought to first fully eliminate the sanctions before Iran could reverse its retaliatory measures.

Trump’s successor, Joe Biden, has signaled a willingness to rejoin the JCPOA, which was inked when he was vice president. However, his foreign policy team has said Iran should take the first step by coming back into “full compliance” with the deal, a condition Tehran says is unacceptable.

“The Americans and the Europeans have no right to set any conditions [of their own] as they violated their JCPOA commitments,” Imam Khamenei stated, adding that Iran would pay no heed to the “idle talk” of some “undeserving” American and European officials in this regard.

He further added: “They initially put some of the sanctions in abeyance for a brief period, but then re-imposed and even intensified them,” in reference to Washington and its allies’ initial limited compliance with the JCPOA. “Therefore, they have no right to come up with any conditions,” the Leader reiterated.

Imam Khamenei pointed to Washington’s past failures to hurt Iran’s Islamic establishment as one of its numerous miscalculations concerning the country.

The Leader particularly recalled Trump’s national security advisor John Bolton’s failed prediction that Washington would successfully enable a “regime change” in Iran by early 2019.

“One of those very first-class idiots had said two years ago that they would be celebrating the New Year in Tehran in January 2019,” Imam Khamenei noted.

“Now, that person has entered the dustbin of history and his boss [Trump] has been kicked out of the White House in a humiliating manner. By God’s grace, though, the Islamic Republic still stands tall,” the Leader noted.

In parallel, Imam Khamenei named the US support for the riots that broke out in Iran in 2009 as another instance of Washington’s miscalculations in its efforts to bring about the collapse of the Islamic Republic.

Washington’s excessive trust in the Pahlavi regime’s military, the Leader said, was yet another calculation that was proven wrong when the air force personnel turned their backs on the US-backed regime.

His Eminence described the officers deserting the army and joining the masses of revolutionary people as a “miracle-like” development that hugely contributed to the Revolution’s victory.

Meanwhile, Imam Khamenei also pointed to Trump’s chaotic final days in the White House, which culminated in the invasion of the Capitol Hill by his extremist supporters.

The Leader said the incidents were not to be underplayed and judged only in light of the twilight of an American president. Rather, those developments in fact marked “the twilight of America’s reputation, power, and social integrity,” he noted.

He advised the Iranian officials to always beware of the enemy and its error-riddled calculations and “constantly increase the constituents of national power.”

He hailed the recent back-to-back military exercises featuring the Army and Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards [IRG] as attempts by “the children of this country to boost national security,” calling the maneuvers “a cause for pride.”

Imam Khamenei, meanwhile, denounced certain regional states for relying on extra-regional sources for their own security, noting that those very same foreign powers would desert them when their assistance is required.

The Leader cited the likes of Iran’s monarch including Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak or Tunisia’s Zine El Abidine Ben Ali as examples of regional rulers who mistakenly placed their trust in foreign powers.

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Ayatollah Khamenei opened door of dialogue via his letters to Western youth: Lebanese analyst

By Reza Moshfegh

January 20, 2021 – 10:50

TEHRAN – A senior Lebanese political analyst says that the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei opened a door for dialogue between the Islamic and Western world via his letters to the youth in Europe and North America.

In a letter dated January 21, 2015, and another on November 29, 2015, Ayatollah Khamenei elaborated on the truth of Islam and malicious attempts by certain Western leaders to distort the image of Islam. 

“The door to dialogue that was opened by Ayatollah Khamenei is a constructive step and we always say the door to dialogue, even if it is half open, is much better than closing it completely,” Amin Hoteit tells the Tehran Times.

“Ayatollah Khamenei knows that the Western media is hiding the facts, and this media is in the hands of the malicious colonial groups that besieges the youth and their minds,” according to the Lebanese university instructor and researcher.

The following is the text of the interview: 

Q:    What are the implications of Ayatollah Khamenei’s letters to young people in the West when he urged them to examine Islam first hand rather than believe prejudiced views?

A: The two letters that the Leader of the Islamic Republic wrote to the youth in Europe and North America were a move in consistence with a sound Islamic principle, which is to show the truth and the Islamic call through dialogue. 

Ayatollah Khamenei knows that the Western media is hiding the facts, and this media is in the hands of the malicious colonial groups that besiege the youth and their minds. 

For this reason, he decided to address the youth, showing them the clear and shining truth, and not leaving them prey to a shameless, lecherous, malicious and unjust media.

Q: Do you think that the circumstances are proper for dialogue with Western youth and coming generations?

A: There is no doubt that when the youth receive this message, they will be in a position of tension between two currents: the false path led by the media and politicians, and the path of truth that these messages represent it.

I think that a large number of Western youths will follow what was mentioned in the message of Imam Khamenei if they use logic and common sense.

Since Ayatollah Khamenei is telling the truth, this message will have a good and effective impact on the hearts of young people, and it will make them more prepared to receive other messages and then confront suppressive governments.

Q:    How would you assess the dominance of the Western media over the thought of the youth and the average citizen in the West?

A: I think that the reason that encouraged Imam Khamenei to write these letters was the fabrication and forgery that we find in the paid media that claim freedom of opinion while in fact, they are confiscating free opinion.

Western outlets claim freedom of expression but they are misrepresenting the truth. Therefore, this move was correct and timely which will lead to important results.

The door to dialogue that was opened by Ayatollah Khamenei is a constructive step and we always say the door to dialogue, even if it is half open, is much better than closing it completely.

That is why I think that although the platform for peaceful dialogue is not available in light of this Western regime’s crimes, restricted dialogue in the existing circumstances is better than a break and turning our back.

Q:    How do you see the position of the resistance in the world in the light of Western media propaganda?

A: Unfortunately, Western thought is mostly a prisoner of the media, so you find those who are not biased for injustice heading towards neutrality and a rare few who openly adhere to the truth, contrary to what the media propagates. 

Today, when you find someone who lights a candle in this dark tunnel in which the West moves, the truth-seekers will receive this light, no matter how weak it is. 

Therefore, I believe that the direct speech from the Leader of the Islamic Republic to the youth can push their thought and logic to search the truth, meanwhile addressing their minds is a very important matter and should be followed up.

The resistance plays a prominent and important role in various fields, but we should be aware that the resistance, with its media, its fields of action, and its scope of works under siege by regional dictatorships and their media.

Therefore, we should not lose any opportunity to gain access to the hearts and minds of the youth in a smooth way despite the obstacles. By dictatorships and their flags.

Q: What is the message of the Islamic Revolution to young generations in the region and the globe?

A: The message of the Islamic revolution to the world and the youth, in particular, is a clear message based on four pillars: first, building a secure society, secondly building a society of cooperation and brotherhood among human beings, thirdly preventing maliciousness and confronting arrogance, injustice, colonialism and domination, and fourthly building our homelands and our countries with cooperation, benevolence and peace, and live a safer world full of peace and prosperity. 

Consequently, the message of the Islamic Revolution is completely opposite to the message of colonialism, which wants hegemony and domination to possess and usurp wealth.
 

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Serious Evidences about ‘Israel’s’ Role in Scientist Fakhrizadeh Assassination – Hatami

Serious Evidences about ‘Israel’s’ Role in Scientist Fakhrizadeh Assassination - Hatami

By Staff, Agencies

Iran’s Minister of Defense Brigadier General Amir Hatami announced that there is “serious evidence” about the role of the ‘Israeli’ occupation regime in the November 2020 assassination of Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

Brigadier General Hatami made the remarks in a letter to his counterparts in over 60 world countries about Fakhrizadeh’s assassination.

Dr. Fakhrizadeh, Deputy Minister of Defense and Head of the Research and Innovation Organization of the Ministry of Defense of Iran, who was described by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as “a distinguished nuclear and defense scientist”, was assassinated and attained martyrdom on Friday evening, November 27, near the town of Absard, Damavand city, east to Tehran during a terrorist operation by the criminal agents of the Zionist regime.

At his letter, General Hatami wrote about scientific and research achievements and initiatives gained and developed by Dr. Fakhrizadeh.

He further stressed the need to put aside double-standard behavior towards the fight against state terrorism.

Then, he called on global community to take part in the campaign against “this inhuman, illegitimate and felonious move.”

Referring to the record “direct involvement” of Zionist regime’s spy services in assassinating Iranian scientists, Hatami said that there is also serious evidence about the Zionist regime’s role in this terror [assassination of Fakhrizadeh].

Iran sees silence on this terrorist act as an excuse for its repetition and insecurity in the world, the defense minister underlined.

He further announced that Iran preserves right to respond to the assassination.

“First to investigate this crime and firmly prosecute its perpetrators and its commanders, second to continue the martyr’s scientific and technological efforts in all the sectors where he was active,” Khamenei.ir quoted the Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei as speaking about the incident.

People inside U.S. may respond to assassination of Gen. Soleimani: Quds Force chief

January 1, 2021 – 16:44

TEHRAN – The Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force Commander Brigadier General Esmaeil Qaani said on Friday that some people inside the United States are likely to seek revenge for the assassination of his predecessor Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani.

Speaking at a ceremony held on Friday at the University of Tehran to commemorate the first anniversary of the assassination of the Lt. Gen., Ghaani said the U.S. assassinated the top Iranian commander at the behest of Saudi Arabia and Israel.

“By committing this crime, you [the U.S.] created a job for all freedom-seeking people across the globe. Be sure that it is possible that some people will be found inside your home to respond to your crime,” General Ghaani warned.

The general pointed out that enemies had been trying to target General Soleimani and his comrade Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), for at least 30 years.

“[But] during this period, the dirtiest man [Trump], with temptations from the Zionist regime and Saudi Arabia, went insane. All the world will condemn you. Those who committed this crime should know that throughout the world there would be a man who will punish the cowards behind this crime,” the commander of Quds Force cautioned.

He also said that the path of resistance and General Soleimani will continue and the U.S.’s acts of mischief will not stop the global support for the oppressed in Yemen, Syria, and Palestine, according to Tasnim.

Earlier on Wednesday, General Ghaani made similar remarks during a closed session of the Iranian Parliament, underlining that U.S. officials involved in the assassination of General Soleimani should learn how to lead a clandestine lifestyle in the future because Iran will take revenge against them.

“I warn the U.S. president, CIA director, secretary of defense, secretary of state and other American officials involved in the assassination of martyr Soleimani that they must learn the clandestine lifestyle of Salman Rushdie because the Islamic Republic will avenge the blood of martyr Soleimani which was shed unrightfully,” the Ghaani Twitter account quoted him as saying in the Wednesday session.

General Soleimani was assassinated in an American drone strike on January 3, 2020, along with al-Muhandis near Baghdad’s international airport. The strike was ordered by U.S. President Donald Trump, a reckless move that brought Iran and the United States close to an all-out war as General Soleimani was an influential figure in Iran and beyond. In response, Iran showered a U.S. airbase in western Iran with missiles, causing brain injury among dozens of American servicemen.

However, Iran has said time and again that the ultimate revenge for the assassination of General Soleimani would be far more important than a missile strike on a U.S. base. It would be the withdrawal of U.S. forces from the region.

Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, has recently said that the missile strike on the American airbase of Ain al-Asad was slap on the face of America. But the tougher slap, the Leader said, would be the soft victory over the superficial hegemony of arrogance and the expulsion of the Americas from the region.

The Leader also underlined the need to take revenge for the assassination of the top general.

“Millions attending Martyrs Soleimani and Abu Mahdi’s funerals in Iraq and Iran was the first severe slap to the U.S. But the worse one is overcoming the hegemony of arrogance and expelling the U.S. from the region. Of course, revenge will be taken on those who ordered it and the murderers,” the Leader stated.

As Iran prepares to mark the first assassination anniversary, Iranian officials reiterated their determination to seek revenge for the assassination of the general.

On Friday, IRGC Chief Major General Hossein Salami announced that Iran is ready to avenge the assassination of General Soleimani and al-Muhandis.

“We are ready to avenge the blood of these martyrs and to forever liberate Muslims from the political, economic and cultural domination and hegemony of the Western world led by the mischievous Americans,” General Salami asserted.

He said Iran is not worried by the recent activities of the U.S. in the region, adding that “We are ready to defend our independence, vital interests and the achievements of our great revolution.”

The IRGC chief noted that Iran has sought to boost its capabilities over the past decades and it is now prepared for any showdown with any power.

“Over the past 41 years, we have created this readiness, and today, we have no problem and concern whatsoever to confront any power. We will tell our final words to the enemies on the battlefield,” General Salami continued.

He made the remarks on the sidelines of the Friday ceremony at the University of Tehran.

MS/PA

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Geopolitical Tendencies of the Last Six Years

Geopolitical Tendencies of the Last Six Years

December 30, 2020

Paul Schmutz Schaller for The Saker Blog

1) China, Russia, and Iran – confronted with Western aggressions – develop their strength and collaboration

In my eyes, the most important evolution in the last six years is that now, the leading forces are China, Russia, and Iran, and no more Western hegemonism under the direction of the USA. China, Russia, and Iran have not only fended off different Western attacks, but were also able to strike back. Moreover, the economical and military development in these countries is better than that in the USA.

The political leadership in the three countries is stable and during the last years, it has become completely obvious that each of the three is much more intelligent than any leadership in North America or in Western Europe. One may also say that the three countries use the intelligence of their peoples in a much more coherent manner than Western countries. Moreover, in China and Russia in particular, new important laws have strengthened the inner stability.

Take the Ukrainian crisis as the first example. After the Maidan putsch, the Crimea went back to Russia. And in the east of the Ukraine, the Kiev’s troops were severely beaten, in the first months of 2015. Subsequently, the West took sanctions against Russia, but this had not a big impact on Russia. Finally, the result was a stronger orientation of Russia towards Asia, in particular towards China. During the last year, the West tried to use Belarus and the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan against Russia. But Russia had no real problem to ward off these dangers.

After the nuclear deal with Iran in 2015, an important part of the sanctions against Iran was lifted by the UNO in January 2016 (the UNO sanctions with respect to arms were only lifted in 2020). But the USA imposed new sanctions in 2018, together with the so-called maximum pressure. While this clearly had negative consequences for the Iranian economy, the USA could not achieve any important goal. Even the murder of Soleimani one year ago could not weaken Iran, quite the contrary. Iran was able to openly strike US military bases in Iraq, and the USA had to accept this shame without risking an answer.

There were various anti-Chinese campaigns, mainly organized by Anglo-Saxon countries. In particular, there were the riots in Hong Kong. However, China was not really disturbed and during 2020, the riots were brought to an end so that the model „one country, two systems“ prevailed. Moreover, China was able to strengthen the military presence in the key region of the South Chinese Sea, without worsening the relations with the neighboring countries. Beijing has also made very clear that any step of Taiwan in the direction of a declaration of independence is a red line, not to be crossed. All countries in East and South-East Asia are more and more ready to accept the emergence of China as a great power.

The common interests of China, Russia, and Iran with respect to Western aggressions have led to a much closer cooperation between the three countries, including military cooperation. However, each of the three keeps the own identity; their model of cooperation is much better than that of the European Union. They are well prepared for the so-called Asian century.

A good illustration of the changes in the last six years is provided by Turkey. Objectively speaking, this is an important country. Turkey uses a rather ambitious and dangerous politics and is a member of NATO. Five year ago, Turkey shot down a Russian aircraft and the two sides were near an open military conflict. Now, the relations between Turkey and Russia are significantly more rational and better under control than the relations between Turkey and USA as well as the relations between Turkey and the European Union. Moreover, the relations between Turkey and Iran are now quite solid.

2) Progress in Middle East

In 2015, three major events related to the Middle East took place; they remained of crucial importance until today. In March, the Saudi aggression war against Yemen began; in July, the nuclear deal about Iran was signed; in September, Russia started the direct military support for the war against terrorism in Syria.

In these six years, the situation has very much evolved; the Middle East remains the region with the fastest changes. There, the geopolitical conflicts are at its hottest. The terrorists of Daesh and Al Qaeda have been essentially beaten, in Syria and Iraq. Turkey, USA, and Israel had to intervene much more directly in order to keep the terrorism in Syria alive; this includes the direct stealing of the Syrian oil (before, this was done by Daesh). Big parts of Syria have been liberated. The Russian military commitment was a great success and has produced broad respect for the Russian army and the Russian arms.

In the Yemen war, Saudi Arabia is now loosing. They already lost some allies of the global south which were bought by Saudi money. Possibly, Israel and USA will henceforth take part in the war more directly, but as in Syria, this can only delay the end of the war, but not change the outcome.

Despite many attacks and complots, Hezbollah in Lebanon has noticeably gained in strength. Even if it is not yet fully obvious, Israel has mainly lost the military superiority in the region. Iran, Hezbollah, Syria, and Ansarullah (in Yemen) have got too strong, and also in Iraq, the patriotic forces are quite solid now. These developments may be a reason for the fact that Israel is not able to install a stable government despite different elections.

During the last four years, when Trump was president, the US aggressions were concentrated on the Middle East; understandably, this region is satisfied about the departure of Trump. However, the USA have not obtained much, Trump’s Middle East politics were a failure.

3) Internal crisis of the West: nationalism versus Western hegemonism

The rich Western countries have lost some of their economical power and they can offer less to their peoples. There is an increasing number of people who are neglected by Western hegemonism, I call them the forgotten classes. The latter have not yet found an own political identity (may-be with the exception of the Yellow Vests in France). On the other hand, this development has provoked the creation of new nationalistic movements in nearly all rich Western countries. In many of these countries, these new movements have become the main political opposition to the Western hegemonism. This does not mean that these movements are progressive. But objectively speaking, they have important positive aspects. This fact is often neglected by left wing oriented people in Western countries.

The leading figures of these nationalistic movements are quite different. Some came from traditional political parties such as Blocher (Switzerland), Trump (USA), Johnson (UK); others have created new political parties. Some have important economical power, examples are Berlusconi (Italy), Blocher (Switzerland), or Trump (USA). Some are quite close to Zionists, for example Trump (USA) or Salvini (Italy). The relation of the leading figures to the forgotten classes is quite varying. Personally, I would say that Marine Le Pen (France) is the most sympathetic one – while she is certainly not the most talented politician among the leaders of the new nationalistic movements.

The year 2016 saw two major political sensations, namely the vote for Brexit in the UK and the election of Trump in the USA. In both countries, the new nationalistic movements won, due to the support of the forgotten classes. The Brexit vote was confirmed by the clear election win of Johnson in UK in December 2019.

In most Western countries, the traditional political forces, which support Western hegemonism, have big difficulties in accepting the rise of the new nationalist movements. They intend to completely defeat these movements. They are not able to see that these movements are „fed“ by the forgotten classes and that the latter are a product of an objective situation and cannot be defeated. Therefore, the internal crisis of the West will continue.

4) Latin America, Africa, India

Latin America saw important developments in the last years. Generally speaking, this region is still in the phase of strategic defensive with respect to Western hegemonism. However, the strength of the anti-imperialist forces has somewhat stabilized. Despite major Western attacks against Venezuela, the elected government could resist. The same is true for Cuba or Nicaragua. And the putsch in Bolivia in 2019 was „corrected“ in 2020 quite quickly. These developments are supported by the increasing relations between the countries of Latin America with China, Russia, and Iran. Setbacks are still possible, if not probable, but the general tendency goes towards a solid implantation of the anti-imperialist camp.

Politically and economically speaking, the weight of the African continent remains small. Western countries and terrorist movements are disturbing the positive developments. The illusion that regional conflicts can be resolved by extern interference, is still quite strong. A recent example is Morocco which blundered into this trap, thinking that the USA and Israel will „help“ with the annexation of the Western Sahara. In general, improvements in Africa are still quite slow.

India is one of the countries which went in a negative direction during the last years. The Indian government had plenty of opportunities, but they took decisions which led to increasing conflicts with neighboring Asian countries such as China and Pakistan. India has also refused to participate in the new RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) of 15 countries (10 ASEAN countries, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand). Instead, India has reinforced relations with the USA, but, as experience shows, this kind of relations is built on sand. It is not by accident that the internal opposition in India against the government is growing.

5) Western Europe disappoints

In June 2015, I restarted writing political articles. This might be the reason why I speak here of the last six years. During this period, I made a number of judgements and predictions. And paradoxically, my biggest errors were with respect to Western Europe (where I live). I had the tendency to be too optimistic about Western Europe. I expected that they would develop politics which are more independent and more related to the geopolitical realities.

However, the leading classes in Western Europe are very stubborn. They are not at all ready to break with their colonial past. They continue to dream of regaining the paradise of global domination. Moreover, their big economic companies are very much dependent on the US economy. So, in each political crisis, they take backward decisions. Examples are Ukraine and sanctions against Russia, Hong Kong riots and sanctions against China, the Syria war against terrorism and sanctions against Syria, the recognition of the US puppet Guaido in Venezuela, the compliance with the aggression against Yemen, with the US sanctions against Iran, with the murder of Soleimani, of al-Muhandis (Iraq), and of Fakhrizadeh (Iran).

Iran’s Khamenei has always warned against making confidence in Western Europe, and he was right. For the time being, leaders in Western Europe exceedingly overrate themselves and keep their utterly unrealistic illusions. It seems that Australia is on a similar path.

Outlook for 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic has somewhat frozen the regional and geopolitical conflicts. At the same time, these conflicts were exacerbated. But this is barely visible. The states were very much occupied with their internal situation.

This might continue for some months in 2021. But finally, it will be impossible to contain the conflicts. Quite chaotic developments have to be expected. In this context, analyzing the tendencies of the last years should be useful in order to keep some orientation.

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