Trump’s Gamble in Iraq Backfires: Assassination of Soleimani has Huge Cost for America

Funeral of Iran top General Qasem Soleimani. (Photo: via AJE)

January 24, 2020

By Iqbal Jassat

Despite conflicting official statements by the Trump administration about the reason behind its decision to target Iran’s most celebrated military official, the U.S. is adamant that its assassination of Qasem Soleimani and refusal to leave Iraq is about “protecting Americans”. 

From versions advanced publicly by former CIA chief Pompeo now serving as Trump’s trigger-happy defense secretary, during his TV-road show, the world was told that Qasem Soleimani was killed because he posed an “imminent” threat. 

This “official” narrative was spun to convince Trump’s domestic audience that though the Democrats had ganged up against him, he remained concerned about America’s safety and thus eliminated “bad” persons. 

The targeted assassination of Qasem Soleimani and a senior Iraqi military leader Abu Mahdi al-Mohandis, has raised serious questions about Trump’s real motivation. Notwithstanding the so-called justification being a vague, unproven claim of “imminent” threat of violence against Americans, Trump himself shot it down by saying that it “doesn’t really matter” whether Soleimani and al-Mohandis posed an imminent threat. 

In other words, as Commander-in-chief of America, I, Donald Trump can authorize the killing of anyone, regardless of whether the person singled out for extra-judicial execution is a serving official of any country, and it matters not whether the person poses an imminent threat. 

Strangely, the facts advanced by Iraq’s parliament particularly by Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi regarding the reason for Qasem Soleimani’s visit to Baghdad on the fateful day he was assassinated, have either been downplayed or ignored. 

In addition, the Iraqi parliamentary session reveals how the emergence of China and development of strong ties to Baghdad may be shaping America’s new Mideast strategy.

Clearly one cannot ignore what has been described as one of the most overlooked yet relevant drivers behind Trump’s current policy with respect to Iraq: preventing China from expanding its foothold in the Middle East. 

Indeed, some commentators have argued that the timing of Soleimani’s assassination was directly related to his diplomatic role in Iraq and his push to help Iraq secure its oil independence.

Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi’s insistence that America’s pressure on the Iraqi government arises from China’s growing ties especially in the oil sector, hasn’t received adequate media attention. While this may be due to much of the U.S. pressure being exerted on the caretaker government covertly and behind closed doors. 

Now that the Iraqi Prime Minister has lifted the lid on Trump’s bullying tactics, mainstream media has no reason to shy away from it. The evidence strongly suggests that America under Trump cannot countenance China’s presence nor Iran’s substantial influence in Iraq. 

The flip side is that both China and Iran are eager to free Iraq by ridding it of U.S. troops. Both have different means to do so which has the potential to saddle Trump with the prospect of exiting his army in ignominy. 

The Trump administration is thus faced with a huge dilemma: how to depart gracefully yet retain a presence? 

It knows that parliamentary approval to remove American forces along with all foreign troops means the end of the road. Challenging it as Pompeo is doing, is unsustainable and to defy Iraq is in effect defying international conventions. 

The martyrdom of Qasem Soleimani, Abu Mahdi al-Mohandis and a number of their colleagues on Iraqi soil, is the straw that proverbially broke the camel’s back. 

Far from attaining any of Trump’s stated objectives, the targeted killings have had results entirely unfavorable to his goals. 

Iran is firmly united behind its revolutionary leadership, while Trump is facing an impeachment trial in a country deeply divided. The notion of a superpower is in tatters while Iran’s regional status has grown immensely. 

China’s entry will have further ramifications for America. This as one commentator explained: “China has the means and the ability to dramatically undermine not only the U.S.’ control over Iraq’s oil sector but the entire petrodollar system on which the U.S.’ status as both a financial and military superpower directly depends”. 

– Iqbal Jassat is an Executive Member of the South Africa-based Media Review Network. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle. Visit: www.mediareviewnet.com

Willfully and Consciously Demonizing Shia: the Leadership of the Pious

Mansoureh Tajik for The Saker Blog

January 23, 2020

Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim, “In the Name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.” This essay may be billed as a companion to, or a rebuttal of, or a commentary on Pepe Escobar’s article titled, “The Roots of American Demonization of Shia Islam” posted here. I am uncertain about a suitable label. Perhaps the readers could formulate a mental tag & file as they deem appropriate.

The core thesis of Pepe Escobar’s article relates to “Shia Islam and the failure of the West to understand it.” It is stated, “the congenital incapacity of so-called US elites to even attempt to understand Shi’ism – thus 24/7 demonization, demeaning not only Shias by also Shia-led governments.” Let’s suppose we know what is meant by “US elites” here. Let us suppose it means a network of formal and informal financial, military, and political entities that have the power and the means to influence and control the ultimate decisions and the actions of the United States as a collective. The statement, as structured, appears to suggest that “demonization and demeaning Shias and Shia-led governments” is a consequence, a product, an effect, if you will, of an “incapacity” by those elites “to attempt to understand Shi’ism”. In other words, they bash it because they do not have the capacity to understand it. No evidence was provided to support this causal link.

In the essay before you, I assert precisely the opposite and provide empirical as well as logical evidence that demonstrate the demonization and demeaning of Shia and Shia-led governments is because those elites understand EXACTLY what Shia is all about. I would go even further and explain, with evidence, what core elements about Shia make those so-called elites so scared and horrified that they have little choice but to continue their demonization campaign against Shia. Before filling these two very tall orders, however, it would be useful to first discuss and respond to several key points raised in Pepe Escobar’s article as a prelude to the essay itself.

Firstly, the article upholds there is a “congenital incapacity of US elites to attempt to understand Shi’ism.”  To the best of our knowledge, there is no congenital (present at birth) defects that adversely predisposes anyone to be incapable of understanding Shia. Nor is there any evidence of any genetic disorder or hereditary predisposition in the world and among people (elite or non-elite) that bars anyone from understanding Shia people and/or governments established based on the principles of Shia school of thought. If there is, we, the Shia, would like to see it.

Of course, this is not to disregard freedom and rights afforded by poetic license and/or to show that effectiveness of caricatured expressions to drive a point home are not appreciated. Rather, we do not wish to help corner anyone, not even figuratively, into any sort of inescapable trap of imagined incapacitation to understand Shia.

Secondly and with respect to “some serious academic research about the appeal of Shi’ism,” there is already a large body of serious academic research that explores and examines not only the appeal of Shia school of thought but also the essential features that make it an effective force. Indeed, these are the very evidence that when we look into and examine, we realize the animosity of the “Western elites” (with the US being its current façade and flag bearer) is not out of some misunderstanding or a random and/or institutionalized ignorance but a calculated, deliberate, and conscious malevolence. A few of these research is addressed in the essay as well.

Thirdly, regarding the suggestion for “visits to selected sacred sites across Southwest Asia: Najaf, Karbala, Mashhad, Qom and the Sayyida Zeinab shrine near Damascus,” by all means, this is an excellent advice. But those who visit should do so with an open heart in order to truly experience how it feels like to be welcomed with open arms by true patrons of those holy sites. Knowing who they are, how they lived, and what they did is paramount to gaining a better understanding about why they are so revered and avidly guarded by the Shia.

Fourthly, with respect to the statement by Dr. Marandi quoted in the article, “The American irrational hatred of Shi’ism stems from its strong sense of resisting injustice,” more needs to be said. It is true that resisting oppression and aggression, fighting against injustice, and defending those who are oppressed in the world are all core beliefs in Shia school of thought. Also, it is true that we have living examples of martyrs who sacrificed everything they had for their belief. However, that is neither the whole story nor unique only to Shia. There are other schools of thought that might be engaged in similar efforts but are not demonized as Shia is. Not only that, some of those ideologies are even propped up, by these very elites, as examples to follow in Shia’s stead and to even fight Shia. Since I am familiar with Dr. Marandi’s work, I presume the above statement may have been extracted from a much larger and more comprehensive context and explanation.

Fifthly, with regard to Blake Archer Williams’ argument titled, A Reaction from Tehran to the Martyrdom of General Qāsem Soleymānī,” it is evident that he provided his real-time reaction to the news of the martyrdom of Shahid Sardar Soleymani in that essay. An analytical response to the question posed to him at a time when he is not in the midst of grieving will certainly produce a more cogent and focused response. Nevertheless, he wrote, “So the role of the politician in democracies seems not to be to try to understand anything but simply carry out the agenda of the elites who own them.” This is a fair assessment of the referenced politicians. However, it does not directly answer the reasons behind a serious aversion of their elite handlers and the barrage of sustained multi-pronged attacks against Shia. The answer is somewhat hidden within layers elsewhere in the article in a reference to the history of the West and Muslim interactions in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Furthermore, martyrdom is cited as a key deciding factor. Yes, martyrdom, by its very nature and design, makes things easier for Shia to fight and resist earnestly and robustly. At the same time, it makes it costlier for the oppressors to regress further into their corrupt and criminal ways. But martyrdom explains only one part, albeit a critical part, of Shia’s effectiveness. It does not explain the full picture. And it does not explain it as cause for adamant aversion demonstrated by US elites against Shia.

Lastly, regarding Princess Vittoria who “would rather frame the debate around the unquestioning American attitude towards Wahhabism” and stating she does not think “this has anything to do with hating Shi’ism or ignoring it,” for the sake of clarity, I must first state that Wahhabism to Islam is what homosexuality is to nature: an anomaly and a deviance. Full stop. Without sustained propaganda and active support by the West to shove either of them as anything legitimate down people’s throat, neither will see the light of the day and neither will amount to anything more than arbitrary aberrations meant to be expelled.

Therefore I found it odd that real origin of Wahhabism, both as an ideological tool and as a movement, which was adopted and perfected by Western elites, particularly Britain, to counter Islam and Muslims is overlooked. Given that Shia is (and has been) on the top of the Wahhabies’ hit list, based on what logic it could then be deducted that this has nothing to do with Shia? Here, too, I imagine extraction of a few lines out of a much larger context might have made the statement a curious one.

As for “Iranian revolution and Shia groups in the Middle East are today the only successful force of resistance to the US, and that causes them to be hated more than others. But only after all other Sunni opponents had been disposed of, killed, terrified (just think of Algeria, but there are dozens of other examples) or corrupted.” The point is well taken but it raises two more serious questions: 1) What made Shia the only successful force of resistance (thus the target of severe hatred. as asserted)? 2) What made the other Sunni opponents so disposable, terrified, and corrupt? The answer to these two questions, too, are addressed in this essay.

With this brief forward, we attend to main aims of the essay. One is to show so-called US elites demonize and demean Shia and Shia-led governments because they understand EXACTLY what Shia is. And the second is to answer the question of what the absolute essential elements of Shia are that make those so-called elites so horrified that they have no other choice but to continue their demonization campaign against Shia. We begin attending to the two aims using a few relevant examples in recent history.

In November 1891, Seyyed Mohammad Hassan Husayni Nouri Shirazi, better known as Mirzaye Shirazi, issued a short fatwa which simply read:

“Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim, On this day, use of tobacco and tobacco products in any way and shape is equivalent to a war with Imam-e Zaman (May God Hasten his return).”[1]

Handwritten Fatwa by Mirzaye Shirazi regarding Tobacco Prohibition

This seemingly simple line began what is now known as “Tobacco Movement” in Iran. Immediately following the distribution of that fatwa among the public, the people of Iran burnt and destroyed any and all tobacco products and any related paraphernalia. The fatwa, in effect, made null and void a series of concessions made in secret by then corrupt king, Naseriddin Shah Ghajar, to the British company, Talbot. The concessions had given Britain the exclusive rights to everything that had anything to do with tobacco in Iran for a period of fifty years. In exchange, Naseriddin Shah would receive an insignificant sum which itself was to be used to pay back for an extortionate loan the king had received from Britain for his decadence and wasteful indulgences. All these at the expense of the Iranian nation.

Plenty of archived documents, books, and articles are produced in English around this movement.[2,3,4] A simple search in the literature using relevant key words produces hundreds of documents dating back to the beginning of the movement in 19th Century. Everything including the roles played by the clergy, the merchants, the devout Shia population, the women of the royal court, westoxicated[5] intellectuals[6], and more is studied by academic and not-so-academic centers in Britain, France, US, and others in the West. It would take a unique form of tenacity to flip through page after pages of these documents and not admit that the West knows what Shia is all about.

From our side of the hedge, it is evident that Iranians, especially the clergy, knew what challenges would follow. In his memoires, Ayatullah Seyyed Hasan Modarres (1871-1937), revered scholar and Mujtahid, wrote,[7]

“When I went to Najaf, I visited Mirzaye Shirazi who was in Samerah. I told him the story of our triumph over the tobacco event. I saw signs of worry appeared on his face. He remained silent and tears began rolling down his face. I was surprised by his reaction. I had expected to make him happy with that news. When I asked him about it, he said, ‘Now, the malevolent powers and enemies of Islam realize where the main power of this nation and the focal point of Shia movements’ strength is. I am now seriously worried about the future of the Islamic nation.” [Page 138]

Ayatullah Modarres further wrote about the dynamic interplay between the role of the people and the role of ulama (pious and learned scholars of Islam and Quran) and in bringing about an effective outcome,

“Mirza’s fatwa was a flame that was set in caches of gunpowder hidden deeply within the hearts of the Iranian people. If these hearts were not filled with such gunpowder, a piece of paper with a few broken lines written with a faded ink could not have possibly produced such blazing flames.”[8]

Elsewhere he wrote,

“The tobacco event was like a canon fired at dawn. It awakened an astute nation from its slumber and informed people that a relentless quake must follow. The masses of people had not been informed of the depth of the matter but they felt the danger since they trusted their ulama. So, they mobilized and followed them.”[9]

Tobacco movement, or Nehzat_e Tanbakoo as it is called in Iran, and what transpired thereafter were only an exercise and a practice run for the next nehzat (movement), Nehzat_e Mashrooteh, or Constitutional Movement[10] of 1906. The pivotal role ulama played in this movement, too, is well studied —indubitably more by the outsiders than by the insiders. Those interested could do a literature search and find plenty of sources to keep them busy for months. A note of caution though, the framing of various research in this area to examine the role various groups played (like any other research in the world) often betrays the hidden agenda of those who financed the research for exploitative purposes. Therefore, it is important to “follow the money” as part of your overall assessment of any document. Beware, as well, that they often pull “a Harvard”[11] or “a Reuters”[12] and the actual sources of funding may be kept hidden for decades.

Notable clerical figures[13] in the constitutional movement included Sheykh Fazullah Nouri, Akhound Khorasani, Seyyed Abdullah Behbahani, Hasan Modarres, and Seyyed Muhammad Tabatabei. The clergy, again, played a critical role in informing, mobilizing, and leading the masses in support of the constitutional movement. The basic rationale was that anything that limits the power of corrupt kings and cuts off the hands of foreign powers is a positive step forward.

However, once the clergy and believing people realized the influence of Western agents and their operatives, secular and westoxicated intellectuals in drafting the constitution, they began their open defiance.[14] Every single one of the cleric directly involved in the constitutional were killed.

Late Imam Khomeini (God rest his soul) in a couple of his speeches dissected this tragedy as follows,

“In the constitutional [movement] they saw one or a few mulla in Najaf, a few turban-headed mulla in Tehran turned the foundation of tyrannical and despotic rulers upside down and established constitutional limits. Here, those who opposed did not sit still. They were active, too. If we were to tell the story, it gets really long. But about this very constitutional limits, Sheykh Fazullah Nouri (God rest his soul) stood up and said, ‘the constitution must be based on the rule of God. The rules must agree with Islamic rules.’ At the same time as he was saying these things, he also worked on the addendum to the constitution. That was his efforts, too. His opponents and the foreigners, when they saw such power in the clergy they pulled such tricks that, in Iran, Sheykh Fazlullah who was a Mujahid and high status Mujtahid, they fabricated a show trial and they put a deviant cleric look-alike to try and convict him. Then they hanged him in the middle of Tupkhaneh and in the presence of a large crowd.”[15]

“You gentlemen have all heard about the constitutional period. A bunch of people did not want Islam to have any power in this country. And they were after turning the situation to their own advantage. They poisoned the atmosphere so much that someone like late Agha Sheykh Fazlullah who was a notable figure in Iran then, and was favored, they made such a poisonous atmosphere that they hanged him in the middle of a square and some stood around and clapped. This was a plot to cast aside Islam. And they did. After that, the constitution was not the sort of constitution that the ulama in Najaf wanted. Even the subject of late Agha Sheykh Fazlullah was portrayed in such a distorted way that not even a peep came out of there [Najaf]. This climate they created in Iran and elsewhere, this climate facilitated Agha Sheykh Fazullah’s conviction in the hands of some of these very clerics of Iran itself. Then they brought him into the middle of the square and hanged him. Then, they stood and clapped. They struck a blow against Islam at that time. And people were heedless. And even the ulama were heedless.”[16]

A series of similar movements that followed could be presented, dissected, and examined at length. The Iranian oil nationalization movement in 1951 to cut off the British hand[17, 18], for example, in which Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh, then elected prime minister, was able to bring about (though it was very short lived) again with the help of very influential clerics such as Ayatullah Seyyed Abulghasem Kashani, Ayatullah Vaez-Zadeh Khorasani, Ayatullah Mohammad Taqi Khansari, and more who rallied the masses of people behind him. Once Mossadegh succeeded, however, he and his secular cabinet became too trusting of and too lenient toward another foreign power, the US. The coup d’etat of 1953 (Operation Ajax) by the US, followed by the Iranian Oil Consortium Agreement of 1954[19] gave foreign companies 40% of Iranian oil, effectively replaced Britain by the US as the master of the Pahlavi regime followed by decades of killing, imprisonment, torture, and sending to exile of thousands of people.

Imam Khomeini’s speeches in June 1963 and the uprisings that followed, his powerful speech in 1964 and the movement by the religious scholars, his exile that year and unrelenting struggles that led to the Islamic Revolution of 1979, have all been well examined and documented.

Finally, a fully functioning Islamic Republic based on tenets of Shia Islam was established thanks to two significant factors: 1) An active, aware, fearless, and devout Shia community ready to receive the message of its believing, pious, wise, and brave religious leaders; 2) An active, aware, fearless, and pious imam and leader. Article 1 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran confirms the establishment of an Islamic system of government based on “Iranian Nations’ long lasting belief in Quran’s authority in Truth and Justice following a victorious revolution under the leadership of eminent source of emulation, Grand Ayatullah Imam Khomeini.”[20]

Article 2 of the constitution clearly spells out the 5 pillars (primary principles) of Shia Islam and the responsibility of the Shia community as follows,

“Islamic Republic is a system based on a belief in:

  1. The Oneness of God (there is no god but God), the Governance and Laws belong to Him, the necessity to submit to God’s laws [Tawhid];
  2. The revelations and the essential role they play in describing the laws [Nubuwwah, or Prophethood];
  3. Mi’ad [The Hereafter, the Day of Judgment, Return of everything to God] and its constructive role in propelling human evolution toward God;
  4. God’s Justice [Adl] in all creations and rules;
  5. Imammat (the guardianship of infallible Imams) and uninterrupted leadership of the pious and their role in the continuation of the Islamic Revolution;
  6. Human dignity, human excellence, and liberty integrated with responsibility before God by means of: a) ongoing scholarship by the learned and fully qualified Faqih based on the Book and the tradition of the infallibles (God’s Peace be upon them all); b) use of science, technology, and progressive human experiences and struggle to move them forward; c) defiance of all oppressors, tyrants, and any form of oppression, and establishment of justice, equity, and independence in political, economic, social, cultural, and that which ensures national unity.”[21]

On March 21, 1979, nearly 98.2% of eligible voters in Iran said “yes” to an Islamic Republic. After 40 years, 9 months, and 13 days of sustained, relentless, and unparalleled multifaceted military, economic, and media attacks by so-called elites of the West, tens of millions of people poured into streets to mourn one of their most beloved soldiers of God. Why? Because he heard the commands of his wise and pious leader, his devoted wali, Seyyed Ali, and he obeyed in upholding the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the end. We congratulate and envy his martyrdom.

So, what is so special about this constitution? A lot but we will focus on what is more relevant to this essay. It contains the answer to the question why “24/7 demonization, demeaning not only Shias by also Shia-led governments by so-called US elites” that was posed by Pepe Escobar.

The constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran says the leadership, the governance, the imamat, if you will, the guardianship of the people and nations of the world and their affairs cannot be and must not be entrusted to anyone other than pious, righteous, non-corrupt, just, wise, learned, fearless, and selfless leaders. For Shia, it would be an Imam. In his absence, his rightful Nayib or vice-Imam, the one who most closely resembles him in piety of thoughts, words, and deeds.

The so-called elites would have had nothing to fear if Shia, too, accepted any corrupt, depraved, and sinful jester as their leader and the guardian of their affairs. Only if Shia could have been a normal community and satisfied with the choice between bad, worse, ugly, or the lesser evils. أَعـوذُ بِاللهِ مِنَ الشَّيْـطانِ الرَّجيـم (I seek refuge in God from the accursed Satan).

References

[1] Najafi M (1398). “Andisheh-ye Siasi dar Nehzat-haye Islami Tariq Mo’aser Iran” (Political Thoughts in Islamic Movements of Contemporary History of Iran). Special Collection No. 12On the Occasion of the 1st of Jamadi ul-Awal, the Anniversary of the Issuance of Fatwa in Prohibition of Tobacco. Available online at: http://moaser.iki.ac.ir/book/export/html/339

[2] Gillard D, Bourne K, Watt DC (1985). Great Britain Foreign Office. British documents on foreign affairs. Reports and papers from the Foreign Office confidential print. Part I, From the mid-nineteenth century to the First World War. Series B, The Near and Middle East, 1856-1914. Vol. 13: Persia, Britain and Russia, 1886-1907. Vol. 14: Persia, Britain and Russia, 1907-1914. University Publications of America.

[3] Keddie NR (1966). Religion and Rebellion in Iran: The Tobacco Protest of 1891-1892. Frank Cass & CO Ltd. Publisher. ISBN:071461971X, 9780714619712.

[4] Oxford Dictionary of Islam (2020). “Tobacco Protest (Iran): 1891 – 92.” Available online at: http://www.oxfordislamicstudies.com/article/opr/t125/e2389

[5] Westoxification is a term used as a translation of the term “Gharbzadegi” coined by Iranian scholar, Jalal Al-e Ahmad in his well know book by the same name.

[6] Mahmoodi K & Jelodar ES (2011). “Orientalized from Within: Modernity and Modern Anti-Imperial Iranian Intellectual Gharbzadegi and the Roots of Mental Wretchedness.” Canadian Center for Science and Education. doi:10.5539/ach.v3n2p19. Available online at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/272693398_Orientalized_from_Within_Modernity_and_Modern_Anti-Imperial_Iranian_Intellectual_Gharbzadegi_and_the_Roots_of_Mental_Wretchedness

[7] Najafi M, Isfahani Karbalaei H, and Ja’afarian R (1373 HS), Sade-ye Tahrim-e Tanbakoo (The Century of the Prohibition of Tobacco), In Persian. 1st Edition. Amir Kabir Publishing. Tehran, Iran.

[8] Ibid. Page 130.

[9] Ibid. Page 139.

[10] Oxford Islamic Studies Online (2020). “Constitutional Revolution (Iran).” Available online at: http://www.oxfordislamicstudies.com/article/opr/t125/e450

[11] Camila Domonoske (2016). “50 Years Ago, Sugar Industry Quietly Paid Scientists To Point Blame At Fat.” National Public Radio, September 13, 2016. Available online at: https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/09/13/493739074/50-years-ago-sugar-industry-quietly-paid-scientists-to-point-blame-at-fat

[12] Guy Falconbridge (2020). “Britain secretly funded Reuters in 1960s and 1970s: documents.” Reuters, January 13, 2020. Available online at: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-media/britain-secretly-funded-reuters-in-1960s-and-1970s-documents-idUSKBN1ZC20H

[13] Hermann D (2012). “Akhund Khurasani and the Iranian Constitutional Movement.” Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 49(3): 430-453.

[14] Shirkhani A & Rezaei M (1390 HS). Naqsh_e Rohaniat dar Enghelab Mashrouteh (The Role of the Clergy in the Constitutional Movement). Islamic Revolution Studies, Summer 1390. In Persian. Available online at: http://ensani.ir/file/download/article/20120419195128-8054-21.pdf

[15] Sahifeye Noor, Collection of speeches, messages, interviews, decrees, religious permits, and letters by Imam Khomeini. Vol. 13, Page 175.

[16] Sahifeye Noor, Collection of speeches, messages, interviews, decrees, religious permits, and letters by Imam Khomeini. Vol. 18, Page 181.

[17] Keesing’s Record of World Events (formerly Keesing’s Contemporary Archives), Volume VIII, July, 1951 Persia, Iranian, Page 11569 © 1931-2006 Keesing’s Worldwide, LLC -All Rights Reserved. Available online at: http://web.stanford.edu/group/tomzgroup/pmwiki/uploads/3195-1951-07-Keesings-a-OEP.pdf

[18] International Court of Justice Reports of Judgments, Advisory Opinions and Orders Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. Case (United Kingdom v. Iran) Preliminary Objection judgment of Jul 22nd, 1952. Available online at: https://www.icj-cij.org/files/case-related/16/016-19520722-JUD-01-00-EN.pdf

[19] Heiss MA (1994). “The United States, Great Britain, and the Creation of the Iranian Oil Consortium, 1953-1954.” The International History Review, 16(3): 511-535. Taylor & Francis, Ltd. Publishing.

[20] Fathi M & Koohi Isfehani K (Editors.). Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran with Commentaries and Interpretation by Guardian Council (1359-1396). Guardian Council Research Center, Tehran. 1397. Article 1, Page 14. Available online at: https://www.shora-gc.ir/files/fa/news/1398/9/21/4354_236.pdf

[21] Ibid. Article 2, Page 14.

Iran’s Cultural Attaché in Lebanon: Soleimani Was Transnational, Multi-dimensional Personality that Scared Trump

Iran’s Cultural Attaché in Lebanon: Soleimani Was Transnational, Multi-dimensional Personality that Scared Trump

By Nour Rida

The martyrdom of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani has created a ripple effect in Iran and the region, still being the talk of the town.

It is the political dimension of his assassination that is mostly discussed in the media. However, it is important to note that the martyr, was not merely a military personnel despite the fact that most of his pictures come in army clothing or on the battle fields. Gen. Soleimani was multi-dimensional personality that scared Trump, he was unique, humane, and fought against imperialism and the colonialism of minds.

In an interview with al-Ahed news, the Cultural attaché of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Lebanon, Dr. Abbas Khameyar said that media has not shed enough light on the reality behind martyr Soleimani’s personality, which he described as “transnational”. He assured that when he was alive, he foiled all attempts of dissecting the region and stood in face of all hegemonic schemes.

Military serves to protect civilization

“We should pay attention to the different dimensions of General Soleimani’s personality. He wore his military clothing most of the time, he was in the battlefields among the soldiers fighting Takfiri groups in the region. However he was like a shelter or umbrella protecting Iran’s civilization and culture,” Dr. Khameyar said.

He noted “When we talk about Iran and the major accomplishments of the Islamic Republic, the first thing that comes to the mind of people is: military accomplishments. Of course we confirm that Iran’s accomplishments and capabilities on the military level are amazing, but it is not the end. This strong military that Iran has built over a period of time and with perseverance is in fact a force of deterrence and serves as protection to all other accomplishments. In other words, the military was never a goal that Iran sought to reach, it is a means by which it protects its culture, civilizations, existence, sovereignty and other. It is a power of deterrence that protects Iranian accomplishments in the different scientific fields.”

The diplomat underscored that the military character of Hajj Qassem holds a lot of dimensions within its folds. He had a mission to protect Iran’s humanitarian, cultural and civilizational existence as well as its Islamic civilization. In fact, Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei stresses this aspect. “The battle between us and our foes is a battle of civilization par excellence. We have to realize that holding on to our civilization, customs and traditions is an integral part of our identity and existence and that the military serves to protect it.”

Targeting Civilization

Touching on US President Donald Trump’s threat to target 52 historical sites, Dr. Khameyar highlighted that “the uncivilized opponent knows that targeting our civilization hurts, and so he does it on purpose.”

Since the Islamic Republic of Iran decided to free itself from the manacles of American supremacy in 1979, the US has become so occupied with attempts to destroy Iran’s civilization and culture. This is not an unplanned thing, it is calculated and intentional. Iran’s heritage is the oldest among many across the world. It also enjoys a strategic geographical position which makes the US more obsessed about controlling it.

Targeting cultural heritage: a mindset

According to Dr. Khameyar, “Trump’s words and his threat to target Iran’s sites was not a slip of a tongue, but rather part of the hegemonic mindset. To understand this, we can look at historians like Bernard Lewis and the strong impact he had on the US decision-making. He wrote a paper in 1979 under the title “Iran in history” and presented it in Tel Aviv.”

Dr. Khameyar pointed out that “this policy of dissecting the region and ruining its heritage and culture was seen across the region in what some call the ‘Arab Spring’ and others call the ‘Arab awakening’; names do not really matter and it is the legacy of Lewis and people who have adopted his thought. We have seen the destruction of museums and libraries in Iraq after the collapse of the Saddam regime, and the same scenario in Egypt. The head of the National Museum of Iraq told me in person that in less than 36 hours after chaos spread when the Saddam regime collapsed, more than 15 thousand antiquities were either destroyed or stolen. Also in Syria, the Takfiri groups adopted the same policy of destroying cultural and historical heritage in Aleppo, Palmyra and other cities. If it were not for the popular and youth groups that quickly took action, all this heritage would have been destroyed.”

The diplomat noted “Lewis says Iran is one of the civilized countries that was immune in face of any attempts to ruin its heritage and culture for at least two centuries. His advice to confront such countries like Iran is through division, so Iran should be divided into a great Baluchistan, a great Khorasan, a great Azerbaijan and so on. ”

Bernard Lewis, a British-American historian of the Middle East, has been formidably influential in America – his policy ideas have towered over presidents, policy-makers and think-tanks, and they still do. For those who might not have known this: The “Bernard Lewis plan”, as it came to be known, was a design to fracture all the countries in the region – from the Middle East to India – along ethnic, sectarian and linguistic lines. A radical Balkanization of the region. He seems to be Mike Pompeo’s intellectual hero. For example, Pompeo says: “I met him only once, but read much of what he wrote. I owe a great deal of my understanding of the Middle East to his work … He was also a man who believed, as I do, that Americans must be more confident in the greatness of our country, not less.”

Soleimani preserves heritage, humanity

Assassinating General Soleimani comes within the same context.

Dr. Khameyar added “The military façade of general Soleimani is indeed a shield that protects and preserves the humanitarian, cultural and historical heritage of Iran and the region. His personality was also multi-dimensional. He was on the battlefields to help fight terrorist groups, but he was also among the poor inside Iran, trying his best to help them out. During the floods that struck Khuzestan last year, he was among the first to be there and provide help. Tens of stories have emerged after his assassination, showing a person of modesty, chastity and humanity and this is what made him so popular among the Iranians and this is why millions poured down the streets to participate in his memorial.”

The Iranian diplomat explained that the people called him the general of hearts and love. “This has its roots in Iranian poetry and literature. When we talk about “Eshq”, meaning love, the great poets of Persia cross our minds like Hafez and Rumi. They are internationally well-known for their ingenious and unique works. And when we mention the Shahnameh, which is the book of epics we talk about heroic characters. Today, General Soleimani is an epic, a real one though. He also exemplifies Karbala, which is an integral part of Iranian and Islamic culture and history.”

Demonstrations renew Iran legitimacy

Dr. Khameyar underlined that the millions of people who attended his funeral or headed to the streets in all the Iranian cities in fact were like a sea of human beings, with its tides extending outside the borders of Iran as well.

“The huge ceremonies in which most Iranians participated represents another referendum to the legitimacy of the Iranian government. It is also like a consensus and approval to the resistance front or what is known as the axis of resistance in the region. Despite the desperate American attempts to destroy Iran and despite the sanctions, pressure and different means adopted to harm Iran, the martyrdom of Hajj Qassem fixated the resistance front and united the Iranian people. Today, we can say that the resistance has become globalized, since martyr Soleimani is a transnational personality that transcends borders and geography.”

A smart-power personality

Describing the personality of martyr General Soleimani, Dr. Khameyar said that we can perhaps call it a smart-power personality; it combines both soft and hard power together.

“This smart-power is demonstrated in a few things: the spread of the culture of resistance among Iranians and other peoples of the region, the strengthening of the popular will, the persistence and perseverance of the Iranians in face of all difficulties and the rising voices “We are all Soleimani” across Iran and the region. It is also exemplified in what happened in the Iraqi parliament, where MPs urged US forces to leave the Iraqi territory, and in the marches of millions of people also outside Iran. Now hard power comes in the form of the missiles that precisely targeted the Ain al-Assad US military base located in Iraq, and maybe new strikes in the future to deter the occupiers, who knows. This military strike was not intended to kill, it was a clear message that US hegemony can be defeated, and that the US army is not invincible.”

Dr. Khameyar also noted “Today, the resistance axis is globalized, and the resistance forces are stronger on all levels. Again, when we say resistance we do not mean a military resistance only, we rather mean an axis of resistance that is developed on all levels.”

Describing General Soleimani with Iranian poetry, Dr. Khameyar said the poem of “The Breath of the Christ” fits him really well.

Hafez said “I am a hole in a flute that the Christ’s breath moves through-listen to this music.” The Music of the Divine, of the breath of Christ – Music that melts and opens the heart and frees the soul of any willing to listen.

For the Arabic version click here

“Death to the Islamic Republic” they chant now- and they call themselves Iranians

January 18, 2020

By Aram Mirzaei for The Saker Blog

Nobody has escaped the news of the so called “popular demonstrations” in Iran during the recent days. Hundreds of thousands of articles, updates and tweets have been made on this matter, and many have talked about what the reasons behind these protests have been. Many videos show groups so called Iranians tearing down the pictures of Martyr Qassem Soleimani, while others chant “death to the Islamic Republic” and “death to Khamenei”. Thousands of such people have appeared across Iran and many of those Iranians outside of Iran cheer on them while the Empire takes every chance to attack Iran as these protests are used by the Western Media to wage psychological warfare on the Islamic Republic.

This marks a new stage in the audacity of dissent in the Islamic Republic. In order to understand what I’m talking about; we should take a trip back in history to recognize the sworn enemies of the Islamic Republic. The Islamic Republic has since the beginning of its existence had two mortal, existential enemies – the MEK cult and the Monarchists. For a while, the Communists were a force too to be reckoned, especially in the 1980’s.

The MEK cultists, advocating “Islamic Marxism”, seek to replace the Islamic Republic’s old and conservative policies with their “modern interpretation”. In their quest for power, they’ve committed heinous acts, such as terrorism and treason, to the point where even the US, Canada and the European Union, enemies of Iran, had listed them as a terrorist organization. They have since lifted the designation and have been grooming them into becoming a “viable opposition group”.

After the 1979 revolution, the Islamic Republic had managed to drive away or execute most Monarchists and many of their supporters went into exile in the West, mostly the US, where they continued their opposition. With most of Iran’s wealth taken away by the monarchists in exile, the Islamic Republic defended by a group of ill-trained and poorly equipped group of men calling themselves “Army of Guardians of the Islamic Revolution”, fought against internal and external enemies during most of the 1980’s. The invading Iraqi Army, Communist guerrilla groups, MEK cultists armed by the Saddam regime, and separatist groups were fought vigilantly during the entire war with neighboring Iraq.

One by one, they were defeated and driven out of the country, into exile and the Islamic Republic won the battle for its survival. The communists were all but destroyed and driven into exile and the once powerful Tudeh party was split into several factions. The war ended when the MEK terrorist group were defeated in 1988, after they had been armed by the Saddam regime and launched an invasion into their own country. Saddam, who had been armed and supported by Western countries, including the US, was driven back from Iranian land and the war with Iraq resulted with a status quo ante bellum, and over a million dead Iranians. With the MEK driven back into Iraq, the Islamic Republic had survived this tremendous test and stood its ground and yet many more challenges stood in its way in the coming years. Only a year after the end of the war, the founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini passed away, leaving what many believed would be a vacuum for his successor to fill. The morning after Khomeini’s death, on June 4, 1989, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was elected as the new Leader of the Islamic Revolution despite not belonging to the rank of Marja (Grand Ayatollah), as required by the constitution, although this requirement was later removed through amendments to the constitution.

Throughout Khamenei’s rule, several rounds of rather large and widespread protests have struck Iran. The first significant one occurred in 1999, when students in Tehran protested against the closure of a reformist newspaper. The next challenge was the 2009 presidential elections and the aftermath of widespread protests due to the alleged election fraud in which Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected president for a second term. Both of these incidents were marked by violence and disaffection among the protesters, yet they never chanted against the Islamic Republic, they never rioted and attacked security forces in the ways that we have seen recently. In both of those protests, the protestors were pro-reformist and chanted in support for ex-president Mohammad Khatami and the presidential candidate of the 2008 elections – Mir Hossein Mousavi.

Yes, the 2009 protests were foreign backed, but not in the same obvious ways that we see today. For the first time in November 2019, I witnessed slogans calling for the death of Khamenei and outright regime change. The heinous act of tearing down Martyr Qassem Soleimani’s show these people’s absolute contempt for the Islamic Republic, but it also shows something else: that they are not protesting due to poor living standards or lack of freedom. It would make absolutely no sense to tear down the poster of Martyr Soleimani if they were poor or feeling oppressed since Martyr Soleimani’s struggle was mainly conducted abroad in an effort to liberate the region from the hands of tyrants. In fact, Iranians have Martyr Soleimani and the Quds Force to thank for their own safety from terrorism, as Imam Khamenei once said: “If we were not fighting Daesh in Aleppo or Mosul, we would be fighting them in the streets of Kermanshah and Tehran.”

If poverty was an issue, then the government reform to the gas subsidies should be welcomed by the poor since that money will now go to the poorest families in Iran. Yet the same “protestors” instead turned to rioting and set fire on banks and government buildings, rather strange isn’t it?

One should also take note of some curious things this time around. We all know that Iran announced that it accidentally shot down the Ukrainian airliner. On that same day, small anti-government began to spring up in Tehran, mainly led by university students, chanting “death to the liars”, the only problem is that nobody lied. Iran admitted to have accidentally downed that plane. Yes. it took a few days, because there had to be an investigation first before drawing any conclusions, despite whatever evidence other countries supposedly had. It’s not like these countries, allies of the Terrorist Empire, haven’t lied and pinned incidents on Iran before…

In any case, the media have been very anxious for this news. Barely any mention on the Yellow vests and the violent protests in Chile, instead they focus on a couple of thousands of protestors, with rather shady agendas, compared to the 25 million Iranians that mourned for Qassem Soleimani, and portray it as if three poster-tearing “free Iranians” represent the true Iranian sentiment for Martyr Soleimani.

Interestingly, the calls for foreign intervention among these protestors and their supporters abroad is on the rise. The so called protestors and their Twitter fans also deliberately spread videos of these “proud Iranians” who refused to step on the US and Israeli flags, as a way to bait US public support for “American help” while chanting that “the US and Israel aren’t our enemies, our enemy is right here”. There is no question as to who and what these so-called protestors represent. On some videos one can hear pro-Monarchist and pro-MEK chants. MEK communiques such as their social media platforms are filled with active propaganda and calls for regime change. Threats are constantly issued to the Islamic Republic along with instructions and encouragement to attack security forces and military bases. These people openly stand with the Terrorist Empire against their own country – and they dare to call themselves Iranians.

The Monarchists, MEK and the Terrorist Empire want people to believe that Monarchist Iran was a modern and prosperous country. In truth, Iran was a country in decline during the monarchy era, starting from the era of the Qajar dynasty in the late 1700s to the early 1900s, and continuing with the Pahlavi era to 1979. It was a country were up until 1978, 60% of the population were illiterate, where large parts of the population lived without electricity or running water, and a large majority of the country’s oil belonged to foreign powers, with a leader who had come to power through a foreign backed coup. Only the Islamic Republic has successfully ended 200 years of humiliation in the face of foreigners. Only the Islamic Republic can defend Iran from US colonialism. Only the Islamic Republic can lead the region into a rebellion with the aim of kicking the US out of West Asia. They have done more for Iran than any king has since the fall of the Great Safavid dynasty. True Iranian Patriots would wish for an independent Iran where she has retained her culture, instead of having switched it out for Western culture.

This is the Islamic Awakening. For the first time in more than a century, the Islamic world can regain its long lost honor and free itself from the shackles of colonialism and imperialism. But only with the Islamic Republic..

Historic Recurrence: Soleimani Immortalized

Jihad Sermon 27

By Nour Rida

A favorite theory of mine [is] that no occurrence is sole and solitary, but is merely a repetition of a thing which has happened before, and perhaps often.” Mark twain

The concept of historic recurrence has been applied to the overall of history of the world. Repetitive patterns in history provides what some theorists call the Doctrine of Eternal Recurrence. People, who see things with a worldly or materialistic perspective, simply get on with their lives and hope these appalling trends and conditions will go away. This school of thought believes that history is a human construct.

Conversely, the Graeco-Roman and the biblical tradition contributed to the history of this idea. This historic recurrence concept also exits in Shia belief, with one additional dimension that positivists do not believe in: Metaphysics. To understand Shia thought, one cannot but take the spiritual facet into consideration. In Shia thought, one needs to recognize the direction of world affairs and their connection to Quranic history.

Islam and the Qur’an believe that the process of inner and outer changes should proceed side by side so that man may reconstruct his inner faculties that is his spirit, his thinking, his will and his inclinations. This inner infrastructure should be in complete harmony with the outer superstructure.

Man cannot accept truth and act uprightly so long as a desire for a change for the better does not have a firm hold on his heart and he does not rebuild himself from within. Society cannot be shaped in a befitting manner unless man’s heart is replete with human values representing truth. Otherwise any talk of truth will be hollow and meaningless. One of the most important marks of a person’s faith or commitment to religious or ethical values is his readiness to defend that belief with life itself if necessary.

In Shia tradition, Hussein, the Grandson of Islam’s Prophet Mohamad is a martyr par excellence, who was killed to raise the issue of resisting injustice.  Martyr, according to Britannica encyclopedia, is one who voluntarily suffers death rather than deny his religion by words or deeds; such action is afforded special, institutionalized recognition in most major religions of the world. The term may also refer to anyone who sacrifices his life or something of great value for the sake of principle.

History recurrence and Ashura

How does this relate to recurrence in history? Hussein is an ideal for the oppressed vs. oppressors, justice vs. injustice, and to defend human values and piety. Ashura marks the martyrdom of Hussein and 72 of his companions in 680 AD in what is known today as the city of Karbala, Iraq. They refused to pledge allegiance to the tyrant ruler of that time, Yazid. The Battle of Karbala between a small group of supporters and relatives of Hussein and a larger military detachment from the forces of the Umayyad caliph represents the war as one between good and evil. Hussein’s martyrdom is considered by the Shia community as a symbol of humanity’s struggle against injustice, tyranny and oppression. Ashura has, according to Shia though, religious, spiritual, political, cultural, military and epistemological dimensions. This Ashura historical event formed a paradigm shift in Shia tradition and is one of the main pillars of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It does not matter if you are Shia or not, as long as you are oppressed you will be provided support in face of tyranny.

The moral fabric of society began to decay as Yazid ruled with his own interests in mind. Hussein was highly respected within society, and his endorsement would carry great weight. Yazid needed a man like Hussain to follow his rule in order to provide legitimacy to his corrupt government. But Hussain was a man of morals and strived for social justice. Hussain could not sit and endorse Yazid and spoke out against him, despite it being a risk to his life.

Hussein was martyred to preserve Islam and its teachings, and to defend justice and human values. His legacy is invoked as a source of strength when people face insurmountable challenges. The epic of Karbala is ultimately a legacy of resistance against wrong, with a central hero whose sacrifice immortalized him.

Immortalizing Soleimani

On Friday, 3rd of January 2020, US President Trump declared himself standing behind the assassination of head of the Quds Forces, General Qassem Soleimani. In 2015, Candidate Trump confused the Quds Force, an elite Iranian military unit then led by high-profile Maj. Gen. Qassim Soleimani, with the Kurds, a high-profile ethnic group in the Middle East. Well anyways, it is not the first time he does not seem to know his stuff. Gen. Soleimani had played a major role in defending Iran against its enemies and assisting regional countries fight foreign occupation and terrorism. He gradually became known as an adept commander during the US-backed Saddam Hussein 8-year war against Iran. He gradually became a forefront figure as he assisted regional states and helped fight US-backed terrorist groups a.k.a Daesh. In the recent years, the IRGC commander emerged as a key strategist and ingenious commander leading Iranian military advisers assisting Syrian and Iraqi troops in battles against terrorists.

Thinking he might run away from impeachment or get a full strike on preparing for a stronger presidential campaign, Trump ordered the assassination. Soleimani was killed and Trump turned him more alive than ever; he immortalized him. Iranians poured into the streets like never before; only once seen in the history of Iran when founder of the Islamic Revolution Imam Khomeini passed away. Iranians see Trump as a ‘terrorist in a suit’.

During the Karbala epic, Yazid was the embodiment of evil, as is Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Daesh, American Imperialism, ‘Israeli’ apartheid, African apartheid and the like; the analogy can be drawn here.

Paradigm shift: beginning of US withdrawal

The US rejects to see any form of independence, sovereignty or autonomy in the Middle East, not to mention that it’s all about the oil and economy.  In their book Going to Tehran, the Leveretts, former US National Security Council staffers, argue that the Islamic Republic is a powerful, rational actor in the Middle East. In their book, and based on their visits to Iran and first-hand experience, they note that it enjoys political legitimacy internally and is faithful to its constitution and accountable to its people. It is also the main impediment to the United States’ hegemonic dominance in the region. Since the 1979 paradigm shift of the Islamic Revolution, and Iran choosing to be independent and different, US governments have been putting immense pressure on the country; it has broken the norm of accepting colonialism and imperialism and chose to stand up for its values. Since then, the US consecutive governments and through a mainstream narrative has been launching soft and hard wars against Iran.

Trump killed Soleimani, the paradigm shift and a new beginning started. In retaliation for the assassination operation, Iran fired dozens of rockets hitting the two-trillion worth American military base in Iraq of Ain al-Assad. Iran broke the norms, and broke the US army invincibility just like Lebanon’s resistance broke the ‘Israeli’ army’s invincibility in 2000 when it forced the ‘Israeli’ occupation forces to withdraw from Lebanon. Today, Iran vows that the final revenge for the Soleimani will be only one thing: A US total withdrawal from the region.

Just like the martyrdom of Hussein preserved human values and Islam, the martyrdom of Soleimani and all those who believe in resisting oppression, hegemony, tyranny and imperialism will be fruitful. 

Iran slaps the US in the face after the murder of Martyr Soleimani as Trump backs down

January 09, 2020

By Aram Mirzaei for the Saker blog

Four days after the terrorist attack which killed Martyrs Soleimani and Al-Muhandis, the Islamic Republic retaliated with missile attacks on at least two military bases in Iraq where US troops were present. The retaliation was to be expected as popular demands and expectations were at an all-time high during the three day long funeral procession.

So on Wednesday night, on January 8th, at exactly the same time when the US conducted its terrorist attack four days earlier, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps launched their missiles on the largest and most significant US military base in Iraq, Ain al-Assad where the US had gathered a large number of its troops after evacuating many bases in Shia dominated areas around Baghdad. Ain al-Assad is located in the western Al-Anbar province, and was the same base from which the drones that killed Martyrs Soleimani and Al-Muhandis were launched. There was also a second US base in Erbil that came under attack that night.

According to reliable sources, the Iraqi prime minister Adel Abdul Mahdi was informed by Iran about the imminent attack and relayed the information to the US forces who were prepared in advance. The IRGC attack was conducted with two types of missiles – the Fateh 313 and the Qiam types. These Precision ballistic missiles targeted specific areas of the airbase and were deliberately aimed at avoiding casualties. The idea was to only send a message to Washington and its vassals: “Don’t test us because we can and will hurt you badly”. Despite reports by Iranian state media about 80 casualties, a number reported to appease the domestic opinion, it is more likely that there were very few or rather zero casualties for the US occupation forces. However, it should be noted that the US refused to allow any Iraqis to investigate the site for the attacks, and no pictures whatsoever were released until at least 14 hours after the attack. Indicating that Washington was hiding something.

So why did Iran intentionally avoid killing US troops? The obvious reason for this- de escalation. But the ingenious part of the Iranian plan was to de-escalate the crisis without actually de-escalating it in public. Of course, the leadership in Tehran aren’t so eager for a war which will result in millions of lives lost, Iranians are still traumatized by the 8 year brutal Iran-Iraq war which caused the deaths of over a million Iranians.

The message was aimed to achieve several goals, the first I mentioned above.

The second goal can be identified in the decision to attack the base in Erbil, to show the US that its forces will not be safe in Erbil, and that they should not dare to think that they can remain in their vassal state of Kurdistan.

The third probable goal was to send Israel and the Gulf states a clear message. Throughout the night it was reported by several sources and outlets that Hezbollah had threatened to launch attacks on Israel if the US were to respond to Iran’s retaliations, while the Houthis in Yemen had threatened to launch their missiles on the Gulf states that are harbouring US troops. Meanwhile the Hashd Al-Shaabi had also threatened to turn the US embassy into ashes should they dare to attack Iran. This was a show of force by the Resistance Axis – to show Washington’s allies that the entire region will be engulfed in fire if Iran is attacked directly. It was also reported that night that the IRGC had warned Qatar and the UAE that any country that allowed its territory to be used as a springboard for a US attack would be considered a legitimate target for Iran’s retaliation.

But like I mentioned in my latest article, the true revenge for Iran would not be to strike back militarily, but to kick the US out of the region. This was confirmed by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei when he held a speech on Wednesday morning:

“The talk of revenge and such debates are a different issue. For now, a slap was delivered on their face last night,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in remarks broadcasted live on national television.

“What is important about confrontation is that the military action as such is not sufficient. What is important is that the seditious American presence in the region must end,” he said to chants of “Death to America” by an audience in Tehran.

The Leader hailed the Iraqi parliament’s decision ordering US troops to leave the country as well as the Iranian parliament’s blacklisting of American forces as terrorists.

“This measure by the Majlis was a very good blow. The Iraqi parliament’s act for the expulsion of America from Iraq was also very good. May God help them continue this path.”

“The Americans want Iraq to be like the former idolatrous regime in Iran or Saudi Arabia today – a region full of oil to be under their control so they can do whatever they want – a milking cow in the words of that individual,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in reference to US President Donald Trump.  

“But the faithful elements and the Iraqi youth and their Marja’iya (religious authorities) stood up to these scenarios and Haj Qassem assisted this vast front in the capacity of an active adviser and an honorable supporter,” the Leader added.

The Islamic Republic’s allies lauded the IRGC’s attack with statements of support from Syria, Hezbollah, Hashd Al-Shaabi and Houthis. The Islamic Republic’s moral victory and bravery during this crisis has encouraged the region to muster enough courage to dare to speak of the Terrorist Empire’s inevitable expulsion from West Asia.

The strike has also shown the world and especially Washington’s vassals in the region that the billions of dollars spent on purchasing “the best military equipment” in the world are useless as a deterrence against the Islamic Republic. This realization will push them to seek rapprochement with Tehran, and could even entice countries to seek to purchase Iran’s missiles.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday afternoon, US president Donald Trump held his speech in response to the attack. Speaking from the White House, Trump backed away from threatening further strikes against Iran, describing Tehran’s stand-down as “a good thing for all parties concerned.”

“Our missiles are big, powerful, accurate, lethal and fast…The fact that we have this great military and equipment, however, does not mean that we have to use it.”

Trump did, however, vow to impose new economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic, in addition to the thousand or so already imposed since the US withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, or Iran nuclear deal) in 2018. “These powerful sanctions will remain,” he said, “until Iran changes its behavior.”

After boasting about America’s “big missiles,” Trump spent the remainder of his speech suggesting that under a new deal, Iran could become a “great country,” and could cooperate with the US on areas of mutual benefit.

“ISIS [Islamic State, IS, ISIL] is the natural enemy of Iran,” he said. “The destruction of ISIS is good for Iran. And we should work together on this and many other shared priorities.”

(Trump during the moment of the IRGC missile attack)

I’m certain that any intelligent person understood that Trump got the message quite clearly. He spent major parts of his speech talking about the JCPOA and other matters, and his how “great” the US economy is – neither of those had anything to do with the crisis. Many people surely noticed how his tone changed – from previously threatening to destroy Iran’s cultural sites if Iran responded, to suggest that Washington was hoping for negotiations, once more proving many people’s points of Trump’s total incompetence when it comes to diplomacy.

Now that the Iraqi parliament have voted for the expulsion of US forces, which can be seen as the first retaliation for Martyrs Soleimani and Al-Muhandis’ killings (the second one being the IRGC’s attack), the US occupation of Syria is also in danger. Washington and its pathetic vassals, unless they wish to send their troops home in coffins, will have to respect Iraq’s decision or face the wrath of the Iraqi resistance forces.

The time when Washington can just hit other countries and threaten them to stand down is over. The Empire has been exposed and will no longer be able to freely terrorize the region without suffering consequences. One way or another the US will be removed from West Asia, beginning with Iraq.

The Meaning of Honor: He Is Qassem Soleimani, The Man Who Propelled A Weak Revolution Into Internationalism

By Mohammad Ali Jaafar

Iran’s Islamic Revolution has triumphed internationally. We begin with the immensity of Qassem Soleimani’s funeral.

The time Hajj Qassem Soleimani spent on the path of jihad begins with the commencement of the Islamic Revolution in 1979 and ends with the revolution’s global victory in 2020. 

The Islamic Republic made the whole world understand the definition of honor. It introduced to the world the essence of Iran’s Islamic Revolution as well as its meaning and values which were never limited to a certain geography. On the contrary, they were meant to be global. The natural time prerequisites were the ones that delayed the Islamic Revolution from acquiring its international nature. 

Martyr Qassem Soleimani’s great burial ceremony that took place following the qualitative Iranian response marks the end of a chapter for the people of this world. The great leader was not laid to his final resting place until the door of a new stage that will be witnessed by everyone was opened. It is the stage of victory and glory that he always wanted.

The beginning of his jihadist career coincided with the start of the Islamic Revolution. Soleimani’s role was central in the Quds Force as he was responsible for exporting the revolution to support the oppressed people of the world.

The arrogant forces thought that by ending General Soleimani’s physical existence they would destroy his role and retract the effects of the Islamic Revolution. But they miscalculated. Where the Americans failed, the Iranians succeeded.

Washington’s move only served to introduce a new phase that ordained the Islamic Republic of Iran as the godfather of regional and world politics. Here, we are just assessing a series of facts.

In the standards of strength, there is a difference between having power and managing it. The essence of real power is in its management, not its possession. It is the delicate line that separates the behavior of the weak and the righteous from that of the people of falsehood who arrogate in the use of power.

In the world of power management, the Iranian nation succeeded where many empires, nations and countries failed. It succeeded because it realized early on the meaning of rebelling against tyrants and how to achieve glory starting from the victory of Imam Khomeini’s revolution during the 1970s. Didn’t the Shah of Iran represent the arrogance of the West in the East? Is it possible that those who have eliminated arrogance fail in managing a revolution against arrogance in the world? These are historical facts. But we are a nation that does not read the true lessons of history.

What is happening today is a consequence that the world has been late in understanding. However, the Islamic Republic found in the assassination of martyr Qassem Soleimani the right time for the world to know that values always triumph, even after a while. Hence, with a carefully planned method, it delivered a just punishment that matches the level of Iranian national security and the weight of a martyr belonging to the axis of resistance. Since Iranian national security interests are integrated with that of the axis of resistance, the image of the Islamic Revolution is complete. And its scenery turns towards internationalism.

The greatness and wisdom of the Iranian leadership appeared. An upsurge in the strengths of the righteous system also appeared. It was met with the fall of the U.S. as an arrogant power. A state of confusion and weakness also appeared. Iran has humiliated the head of arrogance. This is just the beginning. Soon, a collapse of the arrogant system with its political, economic, military and security dimensions will follow.

This as the burial ceremony came after retribution that translated the quality, style, location and timing of the meaning of managing power. With it, a new phase that would be called “glory to the vulnerable and humiliation of the arrogant” was opened throughout the world.

Is it not the first time in history that a great leader bearing the banner of truth is buried after carrying out retribution against his arrogant enemies? More importantly, if this was just the beginning, what would the next stage be? Here, it is necessary to pause at what happened before the response. Did Washington not mobilize all of its diplomatic ties to mediate with Tehran to prevent a response? Have major powers not moved to dissuade Iran from responding and for Iran to state its conditions that Washington was ready to agree to?

The first response took place. In assessing its results, the shift in the balance of power is clear. But this shift, with the pangs before the birth of the new world order, is considered the most difficult period. It is a stage in which the knives planted by the arrogant and the pains that came with them will be extracted from the body of the world. But it seems that for the sake of honor, the pain becomes a feeling of euphoria.

It is the beginning where the truth revealed the definition of glory and immortalized martyr Qassem Soleimani at the heart of time. And the beginning of the stage pushing the revolution of the weak towards internationalism is connected to his martyrdom.

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