Sayyed Nasrallah’s Interview with Masseer Especial Journal [Part 1]

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Interview with Masseer Especial Journal [Part 1]

Translated by Khamenei.ir

Masseer Especial Journal, which belongs to Khamenei.ir, has conducted an interview with His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the Secretary-General of Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which is published for the first time.

The following is part one of the interview:

I would like to start the interview by asking you how the situation in the region was, at the time when the Islamic Revolution became victorious. How was the situation in the West Asian region? Particularly given that one of the important dimensions of the Islamic Revolution is its regional and international implications, what changes occurred in the regional equations following the Islamic Revolution and what events have we witnessed? With the Islamic Revolution gaining victory, what took place in the region in general and in Lebanon in particular?

In the name of God the Beneficent, the Merciful. First, I would like to welcome you. If we go back to the past and observe the developments, we will find that, very shortly before the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, a very significant incident took place in the region, namely the withdrawal of the Arab Republic of Egypt from the Arab-‘Israeli’ conflict and the signing of the Camp David Treaty. This event—due to the important and effective role of Egypt in the aforementioned conflict—had a very dangerous impact on the region as well as on the Arab-‘Israeli’ confrontation over the issue of Palestine and the future of Palestine.

After that incident, in the first place, it seemed that the confrontation was going on largely in favor of ‘Israel’. This was mainly because other Arab countries and Palestinian resistance groups were not able to confront major powers without the help of Egypt at that time. So, firstly, the occurrence of such an incident led to the emergence of a deep division among Arab countries.

Secondly, you remember that at the time, there was a US-led Western bloc opposing the USSR. Therefore, there existed a split in our region: the gap between the countries associated with the Soviet Union—that is, the Eastern bloc—and the countries depending on the United States, the Western bloc.

Accordingly, we could see a deep divide among the Arab countries in the region, and this gap had devastating consequences for the nations and of course, also had an impact on the Arab-‘Israeli’ conflict. At the time, the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States essentially affected our region and its developments.

In the case of Lebanon, it should be said that Lebanon is also part of this region, and thus, it has been severely affected by its developments, including ‘Israeli’ actions, the Arab-‘Israeli’ conflict, and the divisions in the region. At that time, Lebanon faced domestic problems as well, and was suffering from the civil war. The ‘Israeli’ enemy occupied parts of southern Lebanon in 1978, that is one year before the Islamic Revolution, and then created a security zone called the “border strip” on the Lebanese-Palestinian borders. The ‘Israeli’ enemy, through this security zone, continued its daily aggression against Lebanon, its cities, villages and people. Indeed, we faced a very serious problem: the ‘Israeli’ occupation in parts of southern Lebanon and its daily aggressions. ‘Israeli’ warplanes and their artillery bombed southern Lebanon; abduction operations and multiple explosions by the Zionist regime continued in its worst form, and people were displaced following these brutal acts. These events also took place between 1977 and 1979; that is, not long before the victory of the Islamic Revolution.

Did they use the Palestinian presence in Lebanon as the pretext?

Yes; the ‘Israelis’ objected the existence of Palestinian resistance and operations carried out by Palestinians. However, this was just an excuse because ‘Israeli’s’ runs of aggressions in southern Lebanon began in 1948, when Palestinian resistance was not present in southern Lebanon. Palestinian resistance set base in southern Lebanon in the late 60s and early 1970s, especially after the events in Jordan and the arrival of Palestinian groups from Jordan in Lebanon.

It was in those circumstances that the Islamic Revolution of Iran gained victory. This victory came at a time when an atmosphere of despair was dominant in the Arab and Muslim world and concern for the future was widespread. Egypt’s withdrawal from the Arab-‘Israeli’ conflict and the signature of the Camp David Treaty, the imposition of a humiliating political process on the Palestinians and Arabs, as well as the weakness of the rulers of the Arab countries all provoked the despair, grief, hopelessness, disappointment, and worry for the future at that time. Therefore, the victory of the Islamic Revolution of Iran in such an environment, revived the lost hopes in the region and among the nations to begin with, particularly the Palestinian and Lebanese people.

This victory (the victory of the Islamic Revolution) also brought about the resurgence of the hopes of a nation that had been cornered by the existence of ‘Israel’. Because the position of Imam Khomeini (Q.S. – May his spirit be blessed) regarding the Zionist project, the necessity of the liberation of Palestine, and standing shoulder to shoulder with Palestinian resistance groups was clear from the beginning. Imam Khomeini (r.a) believed in supporting the people of Palestine, liberating every inch of the land, and obliteration of the ‘Israeli’ entity as a usurping regime in the region. Therefore, the victory of the Islamic Revolution of Iran created a growing hope for the future and increased a hundred fold the moral and motivation of the supporters of the resistance as well as the resistance groups in the region.

The victory of the Islamic Revolution also created a balance of power in the region. Egypt fled the fight against ‘Israel’ and the Islamic Republic of Iran entered. Therefore, the balance of power in the Arab-‘Israeli’ conflict was restored, and for this reason, the resistance project in the region entered a new historical phase. This was the starting point for the Islamic movement and jihad in the Arab and Muslim world and among Shi’as and Sunnis alike.

Imam Khomeini (Q.S.) introduced several mottos regarding various subjects such as the question of Palestine, Islamic unity, Resistance, facing and confronting the United States of America, stability and sustainability, trust and confidence of nations in God and in themselves, revival of faith in one’s own power when confronting the arrogant powers and towards the realization of victory. Undoubtedly, these mottos had a very positive and direct impact on the situation in the region at that time.

In addition to the general atmosphere created by the Islamic Revolution and the new spirit that Imam [Khomeini (r.a)] inspired in the hearts of the people of the region, resurrecting the resistance, what memory do you specifically have of Imam Khomeini and his stances regarding the resistance in Lebanon and by Hezbollah?

Yes, in the year 1982. If we want to talk about it, we should consider the liberation of Khorramshahr in Iran. The ‘Israelis’ were deeply concerned about the war between Iran and Iraq, or Saddam’s imposed war against Iran. For this reason, after the liberation of Khorramshahr, the ‘Israelis’ decided to attack Lebanon. Of course, this action had its own root causes, and there was a profound connection between the victories in the Iranian front and the ‘Israeli’ aggression against Lebanon. This was how the ‘Israelis’ entered Lebanon, Beqaa region, Mount Lebanon Governorate, and Beirut suburbs. At that time, a group of scholars, brothers and fighters had decided to form the Islamic Resistance and establish the Islamic-Jihadi foundation of [the movement of] Resistance, corresponding to the aftermath of ‘Israeli’ invasion.

By then, ‘Israel’ had not penetrated in all of Lebanon and had only reached about half of Lebanon—that is 40% of Lebanon’s total area. 100,000 ‘Israeli’ soldiers entered Lebanon. They brought with them American, French, English and Italian multinational forces on the pretext of maintaining peace. Meanwhile, there were militias in Lebanon who were involved with and collaborated with the ‘Israelis’. By pointing to these facts, I mean to picture how very, very bad the situation was at that time.

Subsequently, a group of scholars (ulema), believers, and Mujahid brothers decided to launch a new movement for Jihad in the name of Islamic Resistance, which shortly afterwards was renamed “Hezbollah.” The formation of this front coincided with the decision of Imam Khomeini (Q.S.) to send Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) forces to Syria and Lebanon to oppose and confront ‘Israeli’ aggression. Initially, the intention was for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps troops to fight alongside Syrian forces as well as Lebanese and Palestinian resistance groups. But after some time the scope of ‘Israeli’ attacks became limited, so this was no longer a classic battlefield, and the need for resistance operations by popular groups was felt more than ever.

It was at that time that Imam Khomeini (QS) replaced the mission of direct confrontation by the IRGC and Iranian forces, who had come to Syria and Lebanon, by offering help and providing military training to Lebanese youth, so that they—i.e. the Lebanese youth themselves—would be able to deal with the occupiers and carry out resistance operations. This is the first [of Imam Khomeini’s positions].

Therefore, the mission of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps forces in Syria, as well as the Lebanese Beqaa region—in Baalbek, Hermel and Janta, that is, where there were training bases—was changed to providing military training to the Lebanese youth. They taught the Lebanese youths the methods of warfare and provided them with logistic support. The mere presence of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Lebanon at that time gave the Lebanese youth and Resistance groups a purpose and a high spirit to stand up to ‘Israel’.

As I said earlier, it was decided that a large group would be formed and nine representatives were selected on behalf of the pro-resistance brothers, including the martyr Sayyed Abbas al Moussawi (r.a), to pursue this important issue. Naturally, I was not among these nine people, because at that time I was young, about 22 or 23 years old. These 9 people travelled to Iran and met with the officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran. They also had a meeting with Imam Khomeini (QS). During their meeting with Imam Khomeini (r.a), while offering him a report on the latest developments in Lebanon and the region, they presented their proposal for the formation of an Islamic resistance front. They said to Imam Khomeini (r.a): “We believe in your guidance, your authority (wilayah) and your leadership. Tell us what we need to do.”

In return, Imam Khomeini (r.a) insisted that their duty was to resist and stand against the enemy in full force, even if you have limited means and are in smaller numbers. This is while Hezbollah had a smaller number of members then. He said: “Start from scratch: trust in the Almighty God, and do not wait for anyone in the world to help you. Rely on yourself and know that God helps you. I see you victorious.” It was an amazing thing. Imam Khomeini (r.a) regarded this path as auspicious, and thus, the meeting during which our brothers met with him, laid the foundation stone for the formation of the Islamic resistance front, under the auspicious title of ‘Hezbollah’, in Lebanon.

At that time, our brothers told Imam: “We believe in your guidance, authority and leadership, but in any case, you are very busy, and you are at an old age, and we cannot allow ourselves to continuously disturb you about different issues and problems. For this reason, we are asking you to name a representative to whom we can refer on various issues.” Then he introduced Imam Khamenei (May God continue his oversight), who was the president at the time, and said: “Mr. Khamenei is my representative.” Consequently, the relationship between Hezbollah and Ayatollah Khamenei (May God protect him) began from the very early hours of the establishment and foundation of this group; we were always in contact with him in different times, we met with him frequently and gave him reports on the latest developments and he always praised the resistance.

I remember the issue of several Hezbollah martyrdom-seeking members. You know that the first experience of a martyrdom-seeking operation took place in Lebanon, and was conducted by our brothers. The brothers sent a video file—before publicizing it in the media—containing oral testaments of those fighters seeking martyrdom, who had carried out a major martyrdom operation in Lebanon, and had shaken the invaders to their core. This video was played for Imam Khomeini, and he watched it and discussed it. The testaments were very beautiful and full of enthusiasm, mysticism and love. After watching the testaments, Imam Khomeini (r.a) said: “These are young [chivalrous] people. All of them were young.” He then said: “These are the true mystics.” The fact is that the Imam was strongly affected by the testaments.

Imam Khomeini’s collaboration, support for, and attention to the resistance and Hezbollah of Lebanon continued until the very last day of his auspicious life. I remember about one or two months before the passing of Imam Khomeini (r.a), when he was ill and rarely met with domestic officials and even less with foreign officials, I went to Iran as a member and an executive official of the Hezbollah council and met with Ayatollah Khamenei, late Ayatollah Rafsanjani and other Iranian officials, and asked if I could have a meeting with Imam Khomeini. I was told that he is ill and does not meet with anyone. I asked them to try and they agreed to do their best. Then I went to the office of Imam Khomeini (r.a) and put in a request for an appointment. At the time, one of our friends among Imam Khomeini’s household, Sheikh Rahimian (May God protect him)—who paid particular attention to the Lebanese—shared the matter with the late Sayed Ahmad Khomeini (r.a), and I was informed on the second day to get ready for a meeting. Naturally, we were all surprised. I went to meet Imam Khomeini (r.a) and nobody else was there, not even Sayed Ahmad; not even any of the Foreign Ministry’s officials or IRGC staff, who would usually attend the meetings, were there. Sheikh Rahimian accompanied me to Imam’s room but then went and left me alone with Imam. I was overwhelmed and awed by his presence.

Imam Khomeini was sitting on a high chair and I sat down on the floor. Awestruck by his grandeur, I could not say a word. Imam asked me to get closer. I went closer and sat next to him. We spoke and I handed to him a letter I had brought with me. Imam answered the questions I had shared with him regarding the developments of that time in Lebanon, then smiled and said: “Tell all our brothers not to worry. My brothers and I in the Islamic Republic of Iran are all with you. We will always be with you “. This was my last meeting with Imam Khomeini (r.a).

I wish we had time to hear more extensively from you about that time. Thanks again for the opportunity you gave us. You said that, Hezbollah was formed and began its activities during a very difficult time. You correctly mentioned that Iran itself was dealing with an invasion of its borders. In Lebanon, the Zionist regime periodically attacked the people and committed murder and plunder, and in any case, Hezbollah began its work in such a difficult situation. You also said that Imam Khomeini referred you to Ayatollah Khamenei to be in touch with him. I would like to ask you to point out some of the important pieces of advice that Ayatollah Khamenei (May God continue his oversight) gave you after the passing of Imam Khomeini, and let us know the measures that he guided you to take during his presidency. What we mean to make clear, when we reach the time of Imam Khamenei’s leadership, is the history of why Hezbollah was very pleased and reassured with his election as the leader of the Islamic Republic. What has happened that made you feel that way?

From the very first moment of our relationship with Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei, I call him, in my own words, Mr. Leader. So let me use the same word, the Leader, to refer to him. My brothers had a Hezbollah Council within Hezbollah, with 7-10 members—changing at each stage. The members of this council always met with the Leader during his presidency. What I wish to say about that time, almost 7 years of Ayatollah Khamenei’s presidency before the passing of Imam Khomeini…

Was there a specific person to go between Hezbollah and Ayatollah Khamenei?

I get back to this point. The fact is that the Leader particularly valued Lebanese groups and provided them with sufficient time. I remember meetings that sometimes lasted for 2, 3 or even 4 hours. He listened carefully to what we had to say. Our friends and brothers also described the issues for him in details. As you know, at the time, they were not all on the same wavelength, and our brothers had different views. The Leader listened to all the comments, views, and opinions. Naturally, there was no Arabic language problem either, because he was fluent in Arabic and spoke it well. He spoke Arabic beautifully.

Nonetheless, he preferred to be accompanied by an Arabic translator; He usually spoke in Persian, but had no need for translation when the Lebanese spoke in Arabic. His full mastery of Arabic language contributed greatly to his deep understanding of the problems and the views of our Lebanese brothers. The important point is that, despite having full authority from Imam Khomeini, the Leader tried to play the role of a guide, and helped us make the decisions ourselves. I always remember that in every meeting, at that time and after being appointed as the Leader, whenever he wanted to comment, he would indicate ‘my suggestion is’. For example, he had reached a conclusion, but he would ask us to “sit down, consult with each other, and make the correct decision.

Indeed, the Leader at that critical stage managed to play an important role guiding the group in cultivating Hezbollah leaders and commanders intellectually, scientifically, and mentally, so that our brothers could make decisions confidently and by relying on their own capabilities even during the most difficult situations. He would make comments but he would refer to a Persian proverb that said: the expediency of a country is recognized by its owners. His Eminence would say: you are from Lebanon and thus have a better command of your affairs. We can only make a few comments and you can apply them, but it is you who will make the final decision. Do not wait for anyone to make decisions on your behalf. Therefore, the role of the Leader in the training, growth and swift development of Hezbollah was very significant.

In the first years, our brothers went to Iran two or three times a year—that is, they would travel to Iran about every 6 months—to learn about the Iranian officials’ viewpoints regarding the developments in the region, as at that time, developments in the region were taking place very rapidly. Naturally, at that time there was also the war; the 8-year imposed war against Iran and its implications for the region. Therefore, our brothers constantly needed to exchange information, consult with and get support from Iran. At that time, if our brothers were faced with an immediate and urgent problem, they would send me to Iran. Because I was younger than the others, and there was no systematic protection, or anything similar in place for me. I was alone, carrying a bag with me. This means that my trips to Iran, since I was not well known, were not complicated and there was no security threat around me.

On the other hand, I was acquainted with Persian language more than my other brothers in Hezbollah, and for this reason, they preferred me to travel to Iran. From the very beginning, there was compassion and affection between me and my Iranian brothers. My brothers in Hezbollah would tell me: you like Iranians and the Iranians like you too. So you should travel to Iran. On behalf of my brothers in Lebanon, I met with the Leader for one to two hours. Even when all issues had been discussed and I was prepared to leave, he would say: “Why are you in a hurry? Stay, and if there’s anything left, let’s discuss it”. That stage was very important for Hezbollah, because Hezbollah had focused on fundamental issues, fundamental approaches and fundamental goals. They made a collection of varying opinions, but we eventually managed to compile a single united book. Now I can say that we have a unified viewpoint in Hezbollah. Different perspectives have been unified and consolidated due to the events and experiences that we have gone through, and thanks to the guidance, advice, and leadership of Imam Khomeini (r.a) while he was alive and of the Leader after the passing of Imam Khomeini.

I wish there was more time to listen to your memories at length…

You will at some point say ‘I wish’… [laughs]

Anyways, our time is very limited. Putting that period a side, now let’s talk about 1989, when Imam Khomeini passed away to the mercy of Allah, and our people and every devotee of the Islamic Revolution were mourning. Those moments were naturally critical moments for both our country and the devotees of the Islamic Revolution. Please explain briefly what the state of your affairs was, at the time when Ayatollah Khamenei was chosen as the successor to Imam Khomeini? Also tell us more about the events that you encountered at that time, after Imam Khomeini’s passing away, in the regional and international arena.

We had a very critical period at that time, because that era coincided with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the beginning of American unilateralism and the end of the Cold War. At the same time, we saw that the Zionist regime started talking about peace negotiations, and on the other hand, the Islamic Revolution was in a particular situation. Obviously, the Americans had plans for the post-Imam Khomeini (r.a) era. We would like you to talk about those circumstances and describe them to us, and about how the Leader responded to the important developments that took place at regional and international levels?
As you know, during the lifetime of Imam Khomeini, members of Hezbollah of Lebanon and the supporters of the resistance, had close ties with him, both intellectually and culturally. However, Hezbollah members were also emotionally and passionately dependent on Imam Khomeini. Like many Iranians who fought against Saddam’s war on Iran, they really loved Imam Khomeini (r.a). Members of Hezbollah of Lebanon regarded him as an Imam, a leader, a guide, a Marja’, and a father. I have never seen the Lebanese love anyone so much. Consequently, the demise of Imam Khomeini on that day brought about a mountain of sadness and grief to the Lebanese; a feeling definitely not less intense than the sadness and grief of the Iranians. This was the emotional connection between the Lebanese and Imam Khomeini (r.a).

But on the other hand, there was a major concern at that time, and it was that the Western media were constantly talking about the post-Imam Khomeini era (r.a), claiming that the main problem was this man and that Iran would collapse after him and a civil war would break out; that there would be no substitute for the leadership of the country. In this regard, a very intense psychological warfare had started in those years, in the last year of the glorious life of Imam Khomeini (r.a), [particularly in the light of other incidents including the dismissal of Late Ayatollah Montazeri and other issues]. For this reason, there were concerns. At that time, we were being told that your source of support—i.e. the Islamic Republic of Iran, upon which you rely and in which have faith—will start a downfall and collapse after the passing of Imam Khomeini. That was for the second issue.

The third issue, regardless of the psychological warfare, was our lack of information about the situation after the passing of Imam Khomeini (r.a). We did not know what was going to happen after him, and what turn the events were going to take; so we were worried. We were following up on the events after the death of Imam Khomeini (r.a) on television, and when we saw national security and the calm in Iran as well as the glorious presence of the Iranian people at his funeral, we regained some confidence and peace of mind.

We were reassured that Iran would not go towards a civil war, nor would it collapse, and eventually the Iranians would choose a suitable leader in a reasonable and sincere atmosphere. We, like all Iranians, were waiting for the decision of the Assembly of Experts on this matter. The fact is that the election of Ayatollah Khamenei as the Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran by the Assembly of Experts was unpredictable for the Lebanese. Because we did not know Iranian figures properly and we did not know if there was a better, more knowledgably and more competent person to replace the Leadership. We only knew the Iranian officials that we were in touch with. Electing Ayatollah Khamenei for this responsibility, surprisingly and unusually, made us feel happy, fortunate and confident.

In any case, we passed through this stage. We started our relationship and this relationship continued. After a short time, we traveled to Iran and offered our condolences for the passing away of Imam Khomeini (r.a) and we met with the Leader. He was still at the Presidential office and received people there. We pledged allegiance to him in person and directly. Our brothers told him: “During the lifetime of Imam Khomeini (r.a) you were his representative in the affairs of Lebanon, Palestine and the region as well as the President of Iran, so you had time [for us]. But now you are the leader of the Islamic Republic and all Muslims, and therefore, perhaps you do not have enough time as before. So, we would like to ask you to appoint a representative, so that we do not disturb you continuously.” At this moment, the Leader smiled and said: “I am still young and I have time, God willing. I pay special attention to the issues of the region and the resistance and therefore we will remain in direct contact with each other. ”

Since then, unlike Imam Khomeini (r.a), he has not appointed any representative to refer to about our issues. Naturally, we did not want to bother much, and did not require much of his time. Especially because in the first years, the early years of the establishment of the movement, he was involved in everything. The principles, goals, foundations, criteria, and guidelines that we had, provided a solution to every issue. All of this was a divine blessing; the blessing of guidance was quite clear and we did not need to constantly refer to him. So, we continued to do the same as the Leader had told. This should answer that part of your question about our relationship with Ayatollah Khamenei after his election as the Leader and the authority for Muslims [wali amr al muslimin] after the passing of Imam Khomeini (r.a).

But regarding the events that happened, it should be noted that the events after the passing of Imam Khomeini (r.a) were, naturally, very critical and dangerous. At that time, the important issue for us was to continue the path of resistance in Lebanon, an issue that the Leader had emphasized from the outset. The Leader provided the officials of the Islamic Republic with many recommendations and words of advice, to attend to the Resistance in Lebanon and the region, saying that, just as during the lifetime of Imam Khomeini (r.a), when we followed this path with the thoughts, methods, principles and culture of Imam Khomeini (r.a) on our agenda; today I persist on this path and insist on the need for it to continue.

Therefore, as a blessing from the Almighty God, there was no change in the position of the Islamic Republic in its support for the resistance in the region, especially in Lebanon, not even in the face of changes within ministries and official entities in Iran as well as some differences in their political policies. Therefore, not only such a change did not happened, rather things went on in a better way; because these stances were strengthened after each president’s and each official’s term and this happened as a result of direct attention by the Leader to Hezbollah of Lebanon and the resistance in the region.

Now we can enter the discussion on the events that took place. Where would you like me to start from? I am ready. I mean, we can now address the political events; because we have already elaborated on our relationship with the Leader and how we kept working with him after the passing of Imam Khomeini (r.a.).
The most important issue for us at that time, i.e. during the leadership of Ayatollah Khamenei, was the issue of domestic problems of Lebanon. At that stage, as you know well, there were some problems between Hezbollah and the Amal movement, and the Leader paid special attention to this matter. Hence, the most important thing that happened to us during the early years of Ayatollah Khamenei’s leadership was the resolution of discords between Hezbollah and the Amal Movement. This blessed resolution, was brought about as a result of special guidance and advice by the Leader, as well as contacts between the authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the leaders of Hezbollah and the Amal Movement, including the current chairman of the Lebanese parliament Mr. Nabih Berri and Syrian officials. Subsequently, Resistance groups in Lebanon got united and this was accomplished thanks to the Leader and his strong emphasis [on unity].

The Leader opposed any issue, any conflict or dispute among Lebanese groups and constantly stressed the need for extensive relations between them as well as achieving peace by any means necessary among them. These efforts took years to bear fruit. That is to say, it took 2 or 3 years for us to pass through that stage. The foundation of the close relations between Hezbollah and Amal that we see today were laid by the guidelines of the Leader, and today the relationship between Hezbollah and Amal is not strategic, but beyond strategic. Through the resolving of the problems between Hezbollah and the Amal Movement and the cooperation between the two, we were able to continue the resistance and attend to defending Lebanon and the south of Lebanon. The achievement and the great victory of 2000 against the Zionist regime were realized as a result of this unity. In 2006 and during the 33-day war of the Zionist regime on southern Lebanon, this unity helped us again, and we were able to resist during the “July War” and impose a defeat on the enemy. Today, political victories in Lebanon and the region continue to be achieved. One of the fundamental factors of Hezbollah’s political, national, and military power is this coherence, unity and friendly relations.

I recall that at that time, after the martyrdom of Sayyid Abbas al-Musawi (r.a), our brothers chose me as the secretary-general. Later, we met with the Leader. He brought up some issues, saying: “If you want to make the heart of Imam Mahdi (May Almighty Allah Speed His Reappearance) and also the hearts of all the believers happy, you have to work hard to preserve the calm in your country. You have work with each other, especially Hezbollah, Amal, Allama [scholar] Fadlallah and Sheikh Shams al-Din.” At that time, Sheikh Fadlallah and Sheikh Shams al-Din were both alive and the Leader strongly stressed reinforcing internal unity in Lebanon. His emphasis was on maintaining unity among the Shi’as, as well as between Shi’as and Sunnis and other Muslims. He also emphasized on the necessity of unity among Muslims and Christians and would insist on it during internal meetings; that is [he promoted] an open door policy for all Lebanese. This was the second issue. The primary issue was the relationship between Hezbollah, Amal and the domestic situation of the Shias. Another important issue that he emphasized was the open door strategy of Hezbollah towards other Lebanese political groups, despite religious, political, and ideological differences. The realization of this important project was also on account of his wise leadership.

There was an emphasis on continuing the resistance, confronting belligerence and determination to liberate southern Lebanon. That’s why the Leader also focused on the issue of resistance and its progress. He always insisted that resistance should progress, grow, and ultimately take back occupied lands. Hence, he always diligently encouraged the Resistance to persist on the path it had taken. You know that at that time there was a problem that some resistance groups, other than Hezbollah, had got entangled with internal political affairs, and thus, they had been gradually distracted from the mission of resistance. This would make the resistance limited to Hezbollah and the Amal Movement—chiefly Hezbollah. Even inside Hezbollah, there were some of our brothers who were inclined to get involved with domestic politics. But the Leader always emphasized the need to give priority to the mission of resistance and Jihadi tasks.

Why SAA Resumed the Military Operation to Clean Idlib Post Astana Talks

SAA Resumes Military Operation to Clean Idlib from NATO Terrorists

The latest 13th round of talks in Astana between the Syrian state with Russia and Iran as its guarantors on one side, and Al-Qaeda and the Turkish regime as it guarantor on the other side, would have slowly but steadily resolved the odd situation in the Al-Qaeda occupied Idlib province through the agreements it reached and the acknowledgment by Turkey, finally, that there are terrorist groups in Idlib and not only civilians and hospitals.

Hours after the announcement of the truce from the latest round of talks at Nur-Sultan (Astana), the commander of Nusra Front, or whatever name his group has adopted recently, declared his group’s rejection to the ceasefire. Nusra Front is the dominant power in the last NATO’s stronghold of terror in Syria.

Dima Nassif, chief of Damascus bureau of Lebanese news channel Al-Mayadeen details further in this report, we added English subtitles to, and the English transcript of the translation below the video:

Video also available on BitChute: https://www.bitchute.com/video/lHE6bM4DqXjT/

Transcript of the English translation of the above video report:

The Idlib truce could have passed peacefully had Nusra Front not declared its rejection of the ceasefire.

The Syrian optimism to give the agreement an opportunity to propose a solution that is in line with the Syrian situation, progressing even on the international conventions which allows the Syrian army to continue its operations on the fronts which involve armed groups participating in the agreement and the other rejecting it as the Nusra Front.

Despite that, the army froze its operations to strengthen the chances of a solution in Idlib on the basis of Ankara’s fulfillment of its obligations in the withdrawal of armed groups and its heavy and the medium weapons a distance of 20 kilometers and to isolate Nusra Front as stipulated by Sochi, which allows for the redeployment of Syrian forces and the adaptation of military operations to the remaining open fronts in the Lattakia and Aleppo countryside.

The military operations will not wait to resume again and to define its directions, and it will not wait for any political understanding with the parties sponsoring the talks of Astana and the Sochi agreement, for the first time, the Syrian army is issuing a statement announcing the resumption of the military resolution against terrorism in conjunction with its fighter jets hitting the strongholds of Nusra Front in the countrysides of southern Idlib and northern Hama.

Stopping the war on Idlib in order to balance the talks in Astana, was the strategy that Ankara bet on for a full year to secure an advantage for its factions represented in Astana’s political course and to enhance its bargaining ability politically and militarily in a province that it owns the decision and loyalty of all armed factions, including Al-Qaeda affiliates, and that is what the Syrian army will not allow being repeated.

Contrary to all the optimism that followed the Nur-Sultan (Astana) meeting, the cease-fire collapsed quickly although for the first time the talks put the political and military tracks on two parallel lines, and the absence of a reference to oversee the armed factions and Ankara’s lack of commitment to control it, reflect the fact that these factions retain a margin of maneuver or flip against any understanding or agreement whenever Ankara wants.

Dima Nassif – Damascus, Al Mayadeen

End of the English transcript.

:نص تقرير ديمة ناصيف مديرة مكتب قناة الميادين في دمشق

من دون إعلان النصرة رفضها لوقف اطلاق النار كان يمكن لهدنة إدلب أن تعبر بسلام

التفاؤل السوري بمنح الاتفاق فرصة لاجتراح حل يقارب الوضع السوري تقدم حتى على التصنيفات الدولية التي تتيح للجيش السوري مواصلة عملياته للجبهات التي تتداخل فيها مجموعات مسلحة مشاركة في الاتفاق وأخرى كالنصرة ترفضه

ومع ذلك جمد الجيش عملياته لتدعيم فرص الحل في ادلب على قاعدة إيفاء أنقرة بالتزاماتها في سحب المجموعات المسلحة وسلاحها الثقيل والمتوسط مسافة 20 كيلومتراً وفي عزل النصرة كما ينص سوتشي، ما يفسح في المجال أمام إعادة انتشار القوات السورية وتكييف العمليات العسكرية مع ما تبقى من الجبهات المفتوحة في أرياف اللاذقية وحلب

لن تنتظر العمليات العسكرية لتحتدم من جديد وتتضح وجههتها ولن تتنظر أي تفاهم سياسي مع الأطراف الراعين لمحادثات أستانا واتفاق سوتشي، فالجيش السوري سريعاً وللمرة الأولى يصدر بياناً يعلن فيه استئناف الحسم العسكري ضد الإرهاب بالتزامن مع ضرب طائراته معاقل النصرة في أرياف إدلب الجنوبي وحماه الشمالي

وقف الحرب على ادلب لتحقيق التوازن في محادثات أستانا استراتيجية راهنت عليها أنقرة عاماً كاملاً لتأمين أرجحية لفصائلها في مسار أستانا السياسي ولتعزيز قدرتها على المساومة سياسياً وعسكرياً في محافظة تملك قرار وولاء كل فصائلها المسلحة بما فيها القاعدية، وهو ما لن يسمح الجيش السوري بتكراره

بعكس كل التفاؤل الذي أعقب اجتماع نورسلطان، انهار وقف اطلاق النار سريعاً رغم أنه وللمرة الأولى وضعت المحادثات المسارين السياسي والعسكري على خطين متوازين. وعدم وجود مرجعية للفصائل المسلحة وعدم التزام انقرة بضبطها يعكسان احتفاظ هذه الفصائل بهامش للمناورة أو للانقلاب متى شاءت أنقرة على أي تفاهم أو اتفاق

ديمة ناصيف – دمشق – الميادين

باكستان: طهران تنتصر وواشنطن والرياض تخسران

أغسطس 4, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– ربما لم ينتبه المعنيون في العالم والمنطقة إلى أن زلزالاً جيواستراتيجياً يبدأ للتوّ. عنوانه انتبهوا إنّها باكستان، الدولة الإسلامية العظمى بعدد سكانها الذي يزيد عن مئتي مليون نسمة، والتي تمتلك وحدها بين الدول الإسلامية سلاحاً نووياً. وهي الشريك التقليدي لواشنطن والرياض في حصار التحوّلات المناوئة في العالم الإسلامي، من أيام جمال عبد الناصر إلى قيادة الحرب في أفغانستان بوجه الاتحاد السوفياتي، وتصدير الجهاديين كجيش رديف، حيث تفشل الجيوش الغربية. ولباكستان ما يسمّى بالجيش السري الضامن للاقتصاد والأمن في الخليج، بعدد من العاملين يُقدَّر بخمسة عشر مليوناً يتوزّعون العمالة المنزلية والوظائف المهنية المتنوّعة وصولاً للكثير من الأعمال في المؤسسات الأمنية والعسكرية. وباكستان دولة جوار لكل من إيران وأفغانستان والهند والصين، ولواشنطن مع كل منها حكاية. وكانت باكستان بيضة القبان الأميركية للسياسات تجاه الجيران الأربعة.

Image result for ‫عمران خان الوطني الباكستاني‬‎

– فاز بعد عشرين عاماً من الكفاح المتواصل ضد المشاريع الأميركية والهيمنة السعودية. عمران خان الحائز على دعم قيادات الجيش والنخب الثقافية، بأغلبية نيابية تخوّله تشكيل الحكومة وقيادة البلاد. وهو صاحب مواقف معلنة رفضت مشاركة بلاده في الحرب السعودية على اليمن. ومواقفه معلنة من رفض السياسات الأميركية في المنطقة، ودعواته لتعاون باكستاني إيراني، وحلّ إقليمي للحرب في أفغانستان، من ضمن هذا التعاون. وعمران خان الوطني الباكستاني الذي يدعو لسياسة تنطلق من مصالح بلده الذي يعاني فيه ملايين الأطفال من الأمية، وخطر الموت المبكر، وتعاني أكثرية شعبه من الفقر، يسأل لماذا لا نكون المستفيد الأول في مرور أنابيب النفط والغاز الإيرانية إلى الصين ونحن بلد غير نفطي نحتاج لموارد الطاقة وعائدات المرور؟ ويجيب أن التعاون الإقليمي في جنوب شرق آسيا سيجلب الكثير من العائدات لباكستان مع مشروع الحزام والطريق الذي تقوده الصين ويلحظ لباكستان محطات برية وبحرية مهمة.

– سقوط السياسة الأميركية والسعودية في باكستان هو أحد ثمار الفشل الاستراتيجي العام للمشروع الكبير الذي كانت الحرب على سورية ومساعي عزل إيران ومحاصرتها عنوانه. وباكستان الدولة المتعددة مذهبياً، حيث ربع سكانها من الشيعة، وثلاثة الأرباع من السنة تجد في وصفات خان فرصتها لمنع الفتن من تفتيتها وإدخالها الحروب الأهلية. وهو لا يمانع بالقول إن الوهابية هي آفة العصر ويجب استئصالها من باكستان، لأنها دخيلة على الإسلام. فأسماه السعوديون لهذا السبب بتلميذ قم، وبين التحوّلات التركية والباكستانية، تبدو إيران في قلب أكبر تجمع إسلامي سني، في بلدين يحتاجان للنفط والغاز ولمرور الأنابيب الإيرانية في أراضيهما. في لحظة ضعف أميركية، ومن خلف الثنائي الإيراني التركي تقف روسيا، ومن خلف الثنائي الإيراني الباكستاني تقف الصين، وعلى الواجهة الخليجية والمتوسطية لإيران تقف سورية والعراق، كعنوان للعلاقات العربية لإيران، بخمسين مليون عربي، وجيشين قويين ومقاومة تزداد قوة، ويصير الحصار الأميركي لإيران سراباً وأوهاماً، بل تبدو إيران وسط حلفاء يزدادون عدداً ومقدّرات وامتدادات، بحيث باتت آسيا أقرب لمدى حيوي لإيران، فيحق للإيرانيين القول إن ما جرى هو هدية إلهية تتحول معه إيران دولة عظمى، فيما خصمها في العالم الإسلامي يعيش نزاعاته الحدودية مع جارين مهمّين هما قطر واليمن، ويدّعي أنه سيقود العالم الإسلامي.

– الفتنة المذهبية مع تحوّل باكستان ستصير شيئاً من الماضي. فهي أول المتضرّرين منها. وهي صاحبة الشرعية بخوضها أو نبذها، ومهم التذكر أن باكستان دولة إسلامية عريقة وعميقة، لا تقلّ شأناً عن مصر وإيران والعراق بموقع مراجعها ومدارسها الدينية، وتسمية طالبان ذات منشأ باكستاني. وهي تطلق على تجمع طلاب المدارس الدينية. وبالنسبة للأميركي باكستان النووية العسكرية، قضية بذاتها. ويكفي القول إن صمود إيران وثباتها وتغييرها قواعد الاشتباك بين العالم الإسلامي والغرب، بين عبثية وتخريب التطرّف وتبعية الخليج، بالمعاملة الندية القائمة على المصالح والاحترام بدأ يعطي ثماره برسم المثال والنموذج تصوغه كل حالة على طريقتها. وهذا بعض متضمّن في الحالتين التركية والباكستانية، سينمو رغم كل التعرجات.

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Rouhani: We’re Ready for Cooperation with Muslim States to Defend Al-Quds

Local Editor

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the Islamic Republic is prepared to join hands with other Muslim countries and help defend the holy city of al-Quds against US-‘Israeli’ plots with no strings attached.

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“…The Islamic Republic of Iran stands ready to cooperate with each one of the Muslim countries to defend the holy Quds without any reservation or pre-condition,” Rouhani said on Wednesday, addressing an urgent summit in Istanbul on Washington’s contentious declaration on occupied al-Quds.

Representatives from 57 OIC [The Organization of Islamic Cooperation] members are attending the summit, which is meant to coordinate a response to a US decision to recognize al-Quds as the Zionist entity’s “capital.”

Rouhani also said attempts by certain regional countries to normalize ties with the apartheid ‘Israeli’ regime prompted US President Donald Trump to take the decision.
“I believe that other than any other reason, the attempts of some countries to establish relations and even consultation and coordination with the Zionist regime have incited such a decision”.

Instead of countering the threats of the Zionists, some countries in our region are aligned with the US and Zionists to prescribe the fate of Palestine-If such prescriptions are taken, the Zionists would permanently dominate the Palestinians, Rouhani stressed.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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Imam Khamenei: Palestine Muslim’s Number One Priority, The Key to Victory

Local Editor

23-11-2017 | 14:18

Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei pledged that Iran will rush to assist in the battle against the arrogance front wherever necessary.

 

Imam Khamenei


“We announce it clearly that the Islamic Republic of Iran will offer help when there is a need for partnership in the fight against disbelief and arrogance at any place,” Imam Khamenei said on Thursday, stressing that the country will have no consideration for any party when it comes to such assistance.

The Imam made the comments in a gathering of Muslim clerics and intellectuals visiting Tehran for the International Conference on Lovers of Ahlul Bayt [AS] and the Takfiri Issue.

The Imam also reiterated that Palestine remains the Muslim world’s number one priority, describing it as the key to victory against the enemies of Islam.

“By usurping the Islamic state of Palestine, the front of Kufr [disbelief], arrogance and Zionism has turned it [Palestine] into a base to disrupt security of regional countries,” Imam Khamenei added, calling for concerted action against the “cancerous tumor of ‘Israel’.”

The real blow to the arrogance front will be dealt when Palestine returns to its people, the Imam underscored.

Pointing to the plots the US and Zionist regime have hatched against the Islamic Republic over the past decades, Imam Khamenei said Iran has made great advances despite those hostile measures and has firmly stood against the arrogance front.

As regards the fall of Daesh [the Arabic acronym for terrorist ‘ISIS/ISIL’ group] in Syria and Iraq, Imam Khamenei urged vigilance against more US and ‘Israeli’ plots, warning that a new threat like Daesh could emerge in other regions.

Imam Khamenei also emphasized the need for Muslim unity and fraternity, for raising awareness in the Islamic community about foreign divisive plots, and for countering the factors showing hostility to the Muslim world.

More than 500 scholars from 94 countries attended the conference in Tehran to discuss the ways to counter Takfiri and extremist ideologies in the Muslim world.

The ongoing event, held by the World Assembly of Islamic Awakening, comes a few days after Daesh was flushed out of its last stronghold in Syria’s AlBukamal. The city’s liberation marked an end to the group’s self-proclaimed caliphate it had declared in 2014.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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Live from Baghdad: the secret of Iraq’s renaissance

November 14, 2017

by Pepe Escobar of the Asia Times (cross-posted by special agreement with the author)

BAGHDAD – On a sandstorm-swept morning in Baghdad earlier last week, Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, the legendary deputy leader of Hashd al-Shaabi, a.k.a. People Mobilization Units (PMUs) and the actual mastermind of numerous ground battles against ISIS/Daesh, met a small number of independent foreign journalists and analysts.

This was a game-changing moment in more ways than one. It was the first detailed interview granted by Mohandes since the fatwa issued by Grand Ayatollah Sistani – the immensely respected marja (source of emulation) and top clerical authority in Iraq – in June 2014, when Daesh stormed across the border from Syria. The fatwa, loosely translated, reads, “It is upon every Iraqi capable of carrying guns to volunteer with the Iraqi Armed Forces to defend the sanctities of the nation.”

Mohandes took time out of the battlefield especially for the meeting, and then left straight for al-Qaim. He was sure “al-Qaim will be taken in a matter of days” – a reference to the crucial Daesh-held Iraqi border town connecting to Daesh stronghold Abu Kamal in Syria.

That’s exactly what happened only four days later; Iraqi forces immediately started a mop up operation and prepared to meet advancing Syrian forces at the border – yet more evidence that the recomposition of the territorial integrity of both Iraq and Syria is a (fast) work in progress.

The meeting with Mohandes was held in a compound inside the massively fortified Green Zone – an American-concocted bubble kept totally insulated from ultra-volatile red zone Baghdad with multiple checkpoints and sniffer dogs manned by US contractors.

Adding to the drama, the US State Department describes Mohandes as a “terrorist”. That amounts in practice to criminalizing the Iraqi government in Baghdad – which duly released an official statement furiously refuting the characterization.

The PMUs are an official body with tens of thousands of volunteers linked to the office of the Commander in Chief of the Iraqi Armed Forces. The Iraqi Parliament fully legalized the PMUs in November 2016 via resolution 91 (item number 4, for instance, states that “the PMU and its affiliates are subject to military regulations that are enforced from all angles.”)

Its 25 combat brigades – comprising Shi’ites, Sunnis, Christians, Yazidis, Turkmen, Shabak and Kurds – have been absolutely crucial in the fight against Daesh in Samarra, Amerli, Jalawla, Balad, Salahuddin, Fallujah (35 different battles), Shirqat and Mosul (especially over the western axis from Qayarah base to the Iraq-Syrian border, cutting off supply chains and sealing Mosul from an attempted Daesh escape to Syria).

Retaking Kirkuk “in a matter of hours”

Mohandes describes the PMUs as “an official military force” which plays a “complementary role” to the Iraqi Army. The initial plan was for the PMUs to become a national guard – which in fact they are now; “We have recon drones and engineering units that the Army does not have. We don’t mind if we are called gendarmes.” He’s proud the PMUs are fighting an “unconventional war”, holding the high ground “militarily and morally” with “victories achieved in record time”. And “contrary to Syria”, with no direct Russian support.

Mohandes is clear that Iran was the only nation supporting Iraq’s fight against Daesh. Iraq reciprocated by helping Syria, “facilitating over flights by Iranian planes.” With no Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between Washington and Baghdad, “the Americans withdrew companies that maintain Abrams tanks.” In 2014

“we didn’t even have AK-47s. Iran gave them to us. The US embassy had 12 Apache helicopters ready to transport diplomats if Baghdad fell to Daesh”.

One year later, “Baghdad would have been occupied” were not for the PMUs; “It’s like you’re in a hospital and you need blood. The Americans would show up with the transfusion when it was too late.” He is adamant “the US did not provide a single bullet” in the overall fight against Daesh. And yet, Mohandes clarifies that the “US may stay in Iraq should the Iraqi government decide it. My personal opinion is well known.”

Mohandes considers the [Western] “media war waged against Hashd al-Shaabi” as “normal from the beginning”; “Countries that supported terrorism would not perceive that a popular force would emerge, and did not recognize the new political system in Iraq.” On that note, he added ruefully, “you can smell petrol”.

Mohandes was personally wounded in Halabja and also in Anfal – Saddam Hussein’s anti-Kurdish operations. He was “pleased to see Kurdistan saved after 1991”; stresses “we had martyrs who fell in Kurdistan defending them”; and considers himself a friend of the Kurds, keeping good relations with their leaders. Iranian advisors, alongside the Iraqi Army and the PMUs, also “prevented Daesh from conquering Erbil.”

Yet after a “unilateral referendum, Iraq had to assert the authority of the state”. Retaking Kirkuk – largely a PMU operation – was “a matter of hours”; the PMUs “avoided fighting and stayed only in the outskirts of Kirkuk”. Mohandes previously discussed operational details with the Peshmerga, and there was full coordination with both Iran and Turkey; “It’s a misconception that Kurdish leaders could rely on Turkey.”

Fallujah, finally secured

The PMUs absolutely insist on their protection of ethnic minorities, referring to thousands of Sabak, Yazidi and Turkmen – among at least 120,000 families – forced by Daesh rule into becoming IDPs. After liberation battles were won, the PMUs provided these families with food, clothing, toys, generators and fuel. I confirmed that many of these donations came from families of PMU fighters all across the country. PMU priorities include combat engineering teams bringing families back to their areas after clearing mines and explosives, and then reopening hospitals and schools. For instance, 67,000 families were resettled into their homes in Salahuddin and 35,000 families in Diyala.

Mohandes stresses that, “in the fight against Daesh in Salahuddin and Hawija, the brigade commanders were Sunnis”. The PMUs feature a Christian Babylon brigade, a Yazidi brigade, and a Turkmen brigade; “When Yazidis were under siege in Sinjar we freed at least 300,000 people.”

Overall, the PMUs include over 20,000 Sunni fighters. Compare it with the fact that 50 per cent of Daesh’s suicide bombers in Iraq have been Saudi nationals. I confirmed with Sheikh Muhammad al-Nouri, leader of the Sunni scholars in Fallujah, “this is an ideological battle against Wahhabi ideology. We need to get away from the Wahhabi school and redirect our knowledge to other Sunni schools.” He explained how that worked on the ground in Haditha (“we were able to control mosques”) and motivated people in Fallujah, 30 minutes away; “Fallujah is an Iraqi city. We believe in coexistence.”

After 14 years in which Fallujah was not secure, and with the Haditha experience fast expanding, Sheikh Muhammad is convinced “Iraq will declare a different war on terror.”

The inclusive approach was also confirmed by Yezen Meshaan al-Jebouri, the head of the Salahuddin PMU brigade. This is crucial because he’s a member of the very prominent Sunni Jebouri family, which was historically inimical to Saddam Hussein; his father is the current governor of Tikrit. Al-Jebouri decries “the state corruption in Sunni regions”, an “impression of injustice” and the fact that for Daesh, “Sunnis who did not follow them should also be killed.” He’s worried about “the Saudi accumulation of developed weapons. Who guarantees these won’t be used against the region?” And he refuses the notion that “we are looked upon by the West as part of the Iranian project.”

Military victory meets political victory

Far from the stereotyped “terrorist”, Mohandes is disarmingly smart, witty and candid. And a full-blooded Iraqi patriot; “Iraq now reinstates its position because of the blood of its sons. We needed to have a military force capable of fighting an internal threat. We are accomplishing a religious national and humanitarian duty.” Soldiers apart, thousands of extra PMU volunteers do not receive salaries. Members of Parliament and even Ministers were active in the battlefield. Mohandes is proud that “we have a chain of command just like the army”; that the PMUs harbor “thousands of people with college degrees”; that they run “dozens of field hospitals, intensive care units” and have “the strongest intel body in Iraq.”

In Baghdad, I personally confirmed the narrative accusing the PMUs of being Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s private army is nonsense. If that was the case, Grand Ayatollah Sistani should take the blame, as he conceptually is the father of the PMUs. Hadi al-Amiri, the secretary-general of the powerful Badr organization, also extremely active in the fight against Daesh, stressed to me the PMUs are “part of the security system, integrated with the Ministry of Defense”. But now “we need universities and emphasis on education.”

Pakistani Prof. Hassan Abbas, from the College of International Security Affairs at the National Defense University in Washington, went even further, as we extensively discussed not only Iraq and Syria but also Afghanistan and Pakistan; “Iraq is now in a unique position heading towards a democratic, pluralistic society”, proving that “the best answer to sectarianism is religious harmony.” This “inclusiveness against Takfirism” must now connect in the streets “with the rule of law and a fair justice system”. Abbas points out that the base for Iraq to build up is law enforcement via scientific investigation; “Policing is the first line of defense”.

Baghdad has been able, almost simultaneously, to pull off two major game-changers; a military victory in Mosul and a political victory in Kirkuk. If Iraq stabilizes, erasing the Daesh death cult, so will Syria. As al-Jebouri notes, “now every community must have a cut of the cake.” At least 7 million jobs and pensions are paid by Baghdad. People want the return of regularly paid salaries. That starts with decent security all over the country. Mohandes was the engineer – his actual profession – of key battles against Daesh. There’s a wide consensus in Baghdad that without him Daesh would be firmly installed in the Green Zone.

Hashd al-Shaabi is already an Iraqi pop phenomenon, reflected in this huge hit by superstar Ali al-Delfi. From pop to politics is another matter entirely. Mohandes is adamant the PMUs won’t get involved in politics, “and directly won’t contest elections. If someone does, and many individuals are now very popular, they have to leave Hashd.”

From hybrid warfare to national renewal

After days talking to Hashd al-Shaabi personnel and observing how they operate a complex hybrid warfare battlefield coupled with an active recruitment process and heavy presence in social media, it’s clear the PMUs are now firmly established as a backbone underpinning Iraqi state security, an array of stabilization programs – including much needed medical services – and most of all, introducing a measure of efficiency Iraq was totally unfamiliar for almost three decades.

It’s a sort of state-building mechanism springing out of a resistance ethic. As if the ominous Daesh threat, which may have led to as many as 3.1 million IDPs, shook up the collective Iraqi subconscious, awakened the Iraqi Shi’ite proletariat/disenfranchised masses, and accelerated cultural decolonization. And this complex development couldn’t be further from religious bigotry.

Amid Wilsonian eulogies and references to the Marshall Plan, Foreign Minister Ebrahim al-Jaafari is also a staunch defender of the PMUs, stressing it as “an experiment to be studied”, a “new phenomenon with a humane basis operating on a legal framework”, and “able to break the siege of solitude Iraq has suffered for years.”

Referring to the Daesh offensive, Jaafari insisted “Iraq did not commit a crime” in the first place, but hopefully there’s “a new generation of youth capable of reinforcing the experiment”. The emphasis now, following reconciliation, is on “an era of national participation”. He’s adamant that “families of Daesh members should not pay for their mistakes.” Daesh informers will be duly put on trial.

I asked the Foreign Minister if Baghdad did not fear being caught in a lethal crossfire between Washington and Tehran. His response was carefully measured. He said he had enough experience of dealing with “radical” neocons in D.C. And at the same time he was fully aware of the role of the PMUs as well as Iran in Iraq’s reassertion of sovereignty. His warm smile highlighted the conviction that out of the ashes of a cultish black death, the Iraqi renaissance was fully in effect.

خطبتا الجمعة للشيخ احمد بدر الدين حسون من جامع الروضة في مدينة حلب 14 7 2017

خامنئي: السعودية كالبقرة الحلوب بالنسبة لأميركا وسيُقضى عليها في النهاية..

خامنئي: السعودية كالبقرة الحلوب بالنسبة لأميركا وسيُقضى عليها في النهاية

قال المرشد الإيراني السيد علي خامنئي «إنّ السعودية كالبقرة الحلوب بالنسبة لأميركا»، معتبراً أنّ «المجتمع الإسلامي اليوم كبقية المجتمعات يعاني من مشاكل».

ولفت خامنئي إلى أنّ «هناك بعض الناس الوضيعين ممن سلبوا بعض عناصر الأمة الإسلامية حقها في تقرير المصير كالحكومة السعودية، وهذا بسبب البعد عن القرآن وانعدام الإيمان «.

وقال: «لا يجب الانخداع بالمظاهر وهؤلاء سيسقطون، لأنهم باطل وسيزولون ويُقضى عليهم، وسرعة ذلك مرتبطة بصحة عمل المجتمع المؤمن».

وأضاف «حماقة السعوديين جعلتهم يظنون أن بإمكانهم جلب صداقة أعداء الإسلام بالأموال، لكنهم في الحقيقة يفرطون بالثروات الوطنية لأعداء الشعوب».

وذكّر خامنئي بأنه «يوماً ما كانت هناك حكومة إيرانية قال لها الأميركيون صراحة إنها شرطيهم في المنطقة، لكن الشعب الإيراني تمكن من إسقاطها رغم كل الدعم الذي كانت تحظى بِه وجاء بنظام الجمهورية الإسلامية الذي لا تطيق القوى العالمية رؤيته».

ودعا الحكومة الإيرانية «للوضوح في التأكيد على أصول الإسلام»، معتبراً أنّ هذا الأمر «لا ينافي العلاقات العالمية». وأوضح المرشد الإيراني خلال جلسة «الأنس بالقرآن» في أول يوم من شهر رمضان المبارك أنّ «السعوديين أشداء علی المسلمین، رحماء مع الكفار، لكن سيقضى عليهم في النهاية».

‘Political’ Takfirism in #AlSaud Kingdom: From Ancestor to Grandson

September 8, 2016

 

Al Saud’s Mufti

Israa al-Fass

Saudi Mufti, Abdul Aziz Al Ash-Sheikh’s statement considering Iranians not Muslims was not unprecedented to what Muslims know concerning the Takfiri ideology upon which the Saudi kingdom was based. Takfirism wasn’t but the kingdom’s weapon in the battles to push up its political system. It recalls to demonize the rival, and ignores the same thoughts based on its interests.

The descendent of the Al ash-Sheikh family, which goes back to the master of Takfirism in the Arabian Peninsula “Mohammad Abdul Wahhab” (the ancestor), couldn’t but defend the “worst catastrophe in the history of Hajj”, according to France Presse, by claiming the Iranians are non-Muslims.

464 Iranian martyrs were among more than 7 thousand martyrs from over 30 Muslim nations. There is no harm in killing them as long as the Iranians are “the enemies of Muslims” according to Al ash-Sheikh who is far worse than the crime itslef.

Commenting to Saudi newspaper “Mecca”, Al ash-Sheikh considered that appealing Saudi special measures on the Hajj rituals “is not surprising for those (Iranians),” according to him. He further added that: “We must understand that those are not Muslims, they are Zoroastrians, and their animosity with Muslims is a very old issue, especially with Sunnis.”

The Mufti used Takfirism to respond to Imam Ali Khamenei, who embarrassed the Al Saud. He said that “Muslims should seriously consider solving the issue of the Two Holy Mosques and the Hajj pilgrimage issue.”

“Instead of apologizing, the Saudis boldly shuffled off forming a fact-finding committee on the Mina tragedy,” he added.

Imam Khamenei also unveiled that “the Saudis gathered those wounded from the Mina accident with those martyred in closed containers, so they killed them instead of treating them.”

For his part, Abdul Aziz Al ash-Sheikh responded to the evidences that indict the Kingdom with committing the crime as he considered the Iranians as non-Muslims, re-describing them as Zoroastrians. The mufti, perhaps, forgot to review the latest announcement of the kingdom’s officials regarding the Iranians. He said they are not Muslims, ignoring the praise Turki al-Faisal related to them in his last statement in the French capital city of Paris.

Some two months earlier, al-Faisal stood to hail the Presians, he recalled that they were among the first monotheist people before converting to Islam. He also honored the Persian heritage and the prominent Muslim scholars of Persian origin, namely al-Ghazali, Ibn Sina and Omar al-Khayyam.

The Saudi schizophrenia is not surprising… And the contradiction between the “Sheikh” and the “Emir’s” words won’t be viewed as disagreement in the opinions of a kingdom that knows nothing about a united vision.

The realistic explanation is politicizing Takfirism, once revived by Saudi practices to provoke against Muslims, and then ignored when its princes’ interests provide approaching those who are considered “non-Muslims”.

One day, Salman bin Abdul Aziz, the guardian of Abdul Aziz Al ash-Sheikh, started dancing and cheering as he received “the Gulf officer”, the Iranian Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. What was Al ash-Sheikh’s view towards the Pahlavi descendent?

Despite this, it wouldn’t be any weird that Takfirism is tongued by the grandson of Mohammad bin Abdul Wahhab, the first theorizer of Takfirism in the Muslim Peninsula. Abdul Wahhab’s ideology didn’t consider only the Persians as non-Muslims, but almost all other Muslims were excluded from this circle.

In the book of “Princes of the Sacred Country”, the Guardian of the Two Holy Mosques and Shafi’i Mufti in the late years of the Ottoman Empire, Sheikh Ahmad bin Zaini Dahlan al-Hasani, who witnessed the collapse of the first Saudi state, says the following: “Mohammad bin Abdul Wahhab and his group used to judge people (meaning Muslims) as infidels. They legalized killing and stealing them, and they violated the Prophet’s (PBUH) sanctity. They have been clear in considering the nation as infidel since 600 years ago. The first person to declare this was Mohammad bin Abdul Wahhab who used to say: I came up to you with a new religion. He believed that Islam is restricted with him and his followers, while the rest of people are all infidels.”

Wahhabism considered almost all Muslims as infidels. It started with Sunnis before any other Muslim sect. Mohammad bin Abdul Wahhab offered his service to label the people of Najd and al-Hijaz as infidels to legalize Mohammad ibn Saud and his sons’ invasions, upon which the first Saudi state was established. Now, the son of Al ash-Sheikh revives the history of his grandfather, to offer the same service now with considering the Iranians as non-Muslims. Hence, he approves crimes of killing and targeting them under the kingdom’s regional conflict, in which it is recruiting Muslims to kill Muslims.

“There isn’t any resemblance between the Islam of Iranians and most of the Muslims on the one hand, and extremism and intolerance preached to by Wahhabi scholars and masters of Saudi terrorism on the other,” according to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s Twitter account.

Zarif’s words represented the same thoughts approved in the Chechen’s Grozni Conference’s implications when ousting Wahhabism from Sunni Islam, before retreating the position under Saudi threats… the same is documented in the history of the Two Holy Mosques’ Guardians and the Shafi’i scholars.

To read the original article in Arabic, click here.

Translated by website team

Source: Al-Manar Website

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Iran’s Leader issues message on 2016 Hajj pilgrimage

(Saker note: note the *very* harsh words of Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei against the Saudi Wahabis)
Imam Khamenei issues message on 2016 Hajj pilgrimage

 In the Name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful And all praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and Allah’s greetings be upon our Master, Muhammad (PBUH), and upon his Immaculate Household and chosen companions and upon those who follow them rightfully until the Day of Judgment.Muslim brethren and sisters all over the world,

For Muslims, the Hajj season is a period of honor and glory in the eyes of [all] human beings, and a period for the illumination of hearts and humility and supplication before the Creator. Hajj is a sacred and mundane and divine and communal obligation. On one side, [the Quran] commands “Then remember Allah as you remember your forefathers, or with [much] greater remembrance” and “Remember Allah during [specific] numbered days” and on the other side, the declaration [that] “[Masjid al-Haram is a placIran’s Leader issues message on 2016 Hajj pilgrimagee] which We made for the people; equal are the resident therein and one from outside,” shed light on its infinite and diverse aspects.

In this one-of-a-kind obligation, temporal and spatial security bestows serenity upon the hearts of human beings like a clear sign and a shining star and frees the Hajj pilgrim from the siege of factors of insecurity [created] by hegemonic tyrants, which have always threatened all humanity, and let him taste the pleasure of security during a specified period.

The Abrahamic Hajj, which Islam has bestowed upon Muslims, is the manifestation of dignity and spirituality and unity and glory. It shows off the greatness of Islamic Ummah and their reliance on the eternal divine power to ill-wishers and enemies, and highlights their distance from the quagmire of corruption and humiliation and oppression, which international bullying powers impose on human societies. Islamic and monotheistic Hajj is the manifestation of [the Quranic verse, which describes the faithful as being] “firm against the unbelievers, [and] compassionate among themselves.” It is a venue for disavowal of polytheists and [promoting] friendship and unity with believers.

Those who have reduced the Hajj to a mere pilgrimage-tourism trip and have hidden their enmity and grudge against the faithful and the revolutionary nation of Iran under the title of the “politicization of the Hajj” are puny and belittled devils, who shudder as soon as the ambitions of the Great Satan, America, are put in jeopardy. Saudi rulers, who have obstructed the path to Allah and the Masjid al-Haram this year and blocked the way of the fervent and faithful Iranian pilgrims to the House of the Beloved, are disgraced misguided people, who tie their survival on the throne of [their] oppressive power to defending global arrogant powers and [forming] alliance with Zionism and America and making efforts to meet their demand, and they do not shy away from any act of treason to that end.

About one year has passed since the horrible Mina incidents in which several thousand people, on the day of Eid and attired in the Ihram [garment], lost their lives tragically under the [searing] sun and with thirsty lips. A short while before that at the Grand Mosque, a group [of pilgrims] were killed while they were in worship and circumambulation and [saying] prayers. The Saudi rulers are to blame in both incidents; this is something on which all attendants [in Hajj] and observers and technical analysts agree, and some experts [even] speculated the intentionality of the incident. Dawdling and negligence in saving the half-alive injured people whose enchanted souls and eager hearts were busy with dhikr [mention of God] and whispering the divine verses [of the Quran] on [the day of] Eid al-Adha are also definite and proven facts. The ruthless and criminal Saudi men locked them up along with the dead in tightly closed containers and martyred them instead of providing treatment to them and assisting them or even supplying water to their thirsty lips.

Several thousand families from a variety of countries lost their beloved ones and their nations were rendered bereaved. From the Islamic Republic, there were nearly 500 among the martyrs. The families’ hearts are still hurt and bereft and the nation is still in grief and enraged.

However, instead of offering apology and expressing regret and prosecuting those directly behind this horrible incident, the Saudi rulers even refused to set up an international Islamic fact-finding mission in ultimate shamelessness and impudence. Instead of taking the stand as defendant, they took the seat of claimant and brought further to the fore their age-old enmity with the Islamic Republic and with any Islamic flag, which stands against blasphemy and arrogance, with more wickedness and insolence.

Their propaganda mouthpieces, ranging from politicians, whose behavior vis-à-vis Zionists and America is a source of disgrace for the Islamic world, to non-pious muftis living on haram [prohibited] income, who openly issue fatwas against the [holy] Book and [the Prophet’s] Sunna, to media footmen, who cannot be kept from fabricating and spreading lies even by professional conscience, are making a futile attempt to hold the Islamic Republic responsible for the denial of Iranian pilgrims this year’s Hajj.

Seditionist rulers, who have embroiled the Muslim world in civil wars and the carnage of innocents and who have stained Yemen, Iraq, the Levant, Libya and some other countries with blood by forming and equipping Takfiri and evil groups; godless politicians, who have extended the hand of friendship to the occupying Zionist regime and have turned a blind eye to the heart-wrenching suffering and plight of Palestinians and have broadened the extent of their oppression and treason to cities and villages in Bahrain; [as well as] unfaithful and unconscientious rulers, who created the great tragedy of Mina and under the guise of [being] Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques flouted the sanctity of the safe divine sanctuary and slaughtered the guests of the Compassionate God on the Eid day in Mina and before that at the Grand Mosque, are now speaking about non-politicization of the Hajj and accuse others of the big sins they have themselves committed or caused to happen. They are a flagrant example of the clearly enlightening expression of the Holy Quran [where it says]: “And when he turns his back, his aim everywhere is to spread mischief through the earth and to destroy crops and cattle and Allah does not love mischief.  And when it is said unto him: Be careful of your duty to Allah, pride takes him to sin. Hell will settle his account, an [what an] evil resting-place [it is].”

This year too, according to reports, in addition to blocking the Hajj pilgrims from Iran and some other nations, they (the Saudis) have subjected Hajj pilgrims from other countries to unprecedented surveillance with the help of espionage agencies of America and the Zionist regime and have rendered the secure House of God unsafe for all. The Muslim world, including Muslim governments and nations, must know the Saudi rulers and truly realize the reality of their sacrilegious, unfaithful, dependent and materialistic nature; they must not let them go with impunity after [all] the crimes they have caused across the Muslim world, [but] in response to their unjust treatment of the guests of the Merciful God, they must think of a fundamental solution for the management of the Two Holy Mosques and the issue of Hajj. Shirking from this duty will expose the Islamic Ummah to bigger problems in the future.

Muslim Brethren and Sisters! This year, the eager and devoted Iranian pilgrims are missed in the Hajj ritual, but they are in attendance with their hearts and they are standing along Hajj pilgrims from across the globe and are concerned about them and pray for them to be spared any harm from the accursed tree of tyrants. Remember your Iranian brethren and sisters in your prayers and acts of worship and invocation, and pray for the Muslim communities to get rid of their troubles and to have the hand of arrogant powers and Zionists and their stooges cut off the Islamic Ummah.

I personally honor the memory of last year’s martyrs of Mina and the Grand Mosque and the martyrs of Mecca in [the Hajj pilgrimage in] 1987 and I pray to the Almighty God to bestow His forgiveness and mercy upon them and reserve them high positions [in the Heavens]. I salute Hadhrat Baqiatallah al-A’zam (Shall our souls be sacrificed for him) and request that venerable figure’s accepted prayer for the exaltation of the Islamic Ummah and salvation of Muslims from sedition and malevolence of enemies.

And providence belongs to Allah and reliance is on Him.

Dhu al-Qa’dah, 1437-September 2016

Seyyed Ali Khamenei

Al Saud... The Cursed Tree!

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The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant: A genocidal campaign – part 1: The origins of sectarianism in Islam

July 07, 2016

by Aram Mirzaei

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant: A genocidal campaign – part 1: The origins of sectarianism in IslamA plague upon the world, a terrorist group who hates humanity. Many are the words describing the Daesh phenomenon which has been unleashed upon humanity. The terrorist group who allegedly originated out of Iraq as a result of the US- led invasion in 2003 has now become a worldwide known phenomenon which few people have never heard of. Their atrocities are reported daily, and mainstream media have several times reported about this death cult’s genocidal campaigns in the Middle East, ranging from ethnic cleansing to attempts to wipe out the region’s culture and history. The highlighted targets have been Christians and the Yezidis of Iraq.

What the mainstream media however rarely mentions is their campaign against their true enemy, the Shia community of Iraq and Syria. This three-part article series will analyse and explain the motivational drive behind this terrorist group and its funders, and why they attack other Muslims who they deem to be “infidels”.

The practice of excommunication where one Muslim declares another one to be a “Kafir” or infidel, is called Takfir, a practice which is almost as old as Islam itself. One who practices this excommunication is called a Takfiri.

The first part of this article series will focus on the history of the concept and where it once originated from. The second part will focus on the imperial European powers and their relationship with Takfiris in the 18th century. The last part will focus on the modern Takfirism and its aims in the region amid the Syrian and Iraqi wars.

The historical background and the concept of Takfir

The Daesh terrorists are known by the Shia community mainly as Takfiris because they deem the entire Shia community and all other branches of Islam to be infidels who deserve death. There is a very wide range of ideas surrounding what could justify declaring someone to be an infidel (Kafir). Some Muslims consider this to be a prerogative of divine revelation, while others consider it to be the prerogative of the state (Caliphate) which represents the Muslim community as a whole. There is no consensus among the Muslim community as to what actually constitutes sufficient justification for declaring Takfir, as such, there are disputes among different scholars surrounding this topic.

In order to truly understand what the concept of Takfir means, and how it has formed the Islamic community, we need to go back in time to the early days of Islam, and study the predecessors of the Daesh terror group, a group known as the Khawarij.

The Khawarij

The Khawarij (the outsiders) were notorious Takfiris who appeared in the first century of Islam during what is today known as the First Fitna, the first Islamic civil war caused by disunity regarding the leadership after the death of Prophet Muhammad. The First Fitna, 656–661, followed the assassination of Uthman (Osman), the third Caliph of Islam, continued during the caliphate of Ali, and was ended by Muawiyah’s assumption of the caliphate. This civil war is often referred to as the end of the Islamic unity, also known as the Ummah.

Divisions began to grow as disagreement began to rise considering the capital of the newly established Islamic Caliphate. This was a result of a deep rooted rivalry between Syria, formerly under the rule of the Byzantine Empire and Iraq, part of the Persian Sassanid Empire. Ali was convinced to move his capital to Kufa, in Iraq.

Later Muawiyah I, the governor of Levant and the cousin of Uthman, refused Ali’s demands for allegiance. Ali opened negotiations hoping to regain his allegiance, but Muawiyah insisted on

Levant autonomy under his rule. Muawiyah began mobilising his Levantine supporters and refusing to pay homage to Ali on the pretext that his contingent had not participated in Ali’s election.

Ali then moved his armies north and the two armies encamped themselves at Siffin for more than one hundred days, most of the time being spent in negotiations. Although Ali exchanged several letters with Muawiyah, he was unable to dismiss the latter, nor persuade him to pledge allegiance.

When Muawiyah’s forces met with Ali’s forces in the battle of Siffin in 657 A.D, Muawiyah’s forces were on the brink of defeat. Muawiyah wanted to put the dispute aside and called for the two sides to arbitration according to the Quran.

The two armies finally agreed to settle the matter of who should be Caliph by arbitration. The refusal of the largest bloc (the Kufans) in Ali’s army to fight anymore was the decisive factor in his acceptance of the arbitration. Ali’s army suffered from mutiny led by the Kufans. The question as to whether the arbiter would represent Ali or the Kufans (Qurra) caused a further split in Ali’s army. Ali presented his representative for arbitration, the mutineers on their part, presented Abu Musa Ashaari, against Ali’s wishes while Muawiyah presented his representative Amr ibn Al-As.

Seven months later the two arbitrators met at Adhruh about 10 miles north west of Maan in Jordan in February 658. Amr ibn Al-As convinced Abu Musa Ashaari that both Ali and Muawiyah should step down and a new caliph be elected. Ali and his supporters were stunned by the decision which had lowered the caliph to the status of the rebellious Muawiyah. Ali had been betrayed. Rallying under the slogan “arbitration belongs to God alone”, the Qurra had turned on both Ali and Muawiyah.

Ali refused to accept the verdict of him stepping down and for an election to be held and found himself technically in breach of his pledge to abide by the arbitration. This put Ali in a weak position even amongst his own supporters. The most vociferous opponents of Ali in his camp were the very same people who had forced Ali to appoint their arbitrator. Feeling that Ali could no longer look after their interests. Also fearing that if there was peace, they could be arrested for the murder of Uthman they broke away from Ali’s force.

So the Qurra then became known as the Khawarij (the outsiders, referring to those who left Ali’s side). It is important to note that the Khawarij were not simply dissatisfied with a particular man or family or economics, rather their dissatisfaction was with the whole social structure which was represented by both Uthman and Ali. Before, they had freedom in the affairs of the tribe. Now they were in the “super-tribe” of Islam and could not behave as they had behaved previously. They wanted to go back to their old tribal structure where they could glory and boast about their tribe. Thus, it can be argued that the Khawarij were more motivated by their own selfish reasons to rebel, rather than of ideological reasons.

The fact that he was Muhammad’s nephew only confirmed them in their militancy of their perceived egalitarianism; that the true aristocracy was one of piety and not blood. This view fundamentally goes against the Shia view of the leadership being bound to the bloodline of the Prophet.

In time, the Khawarij began to develop twisted views. Early reports would speak of Khawarijs going out with their swords into markets and randomly stab people while shouting” no judgement except God’s”. In 659 Ali’s forces finally moved against the Khawarij and they finally met in the Battle of Nahrawan. Although Ali won the battle, the constant conflict had begun to affect his standing.

Ali won a pyrrhic victory but could not crush this group. Two years later, on the 19th of Ramadan 661 Ali was assassinated by the Khawarij while praying in the Great Mosque of Kufa. Legend has it that Khawarij Abd-Al-Rahmad ibn Muljam attacked him with a poison coated sword that struck Ali’s head. When Ali was killed, Muawiyah was the one who had the largest army in the Muslim Empire, thus he could easily ascend to the throne and so began the rise of the Ummayad Caliphate.

The Ummayad caliphate, although strong, could never assume the same authority over its vast territory as the first Caliphate could. In Iran, the caliphate was several times challenged, which lead to forced mass-conversion of Zoroastrians in Iran. As the empire grew, the number of qualified Arab workers was too small to keep up with the rapid expansion of the empire. Therefore, Muawiya allowed many of the local government workers in conquered provinces to keep their jobs under the new Umayyad government. Thus, much of the local government’s work was recorded in Greek, Coptic and Persian. This rapid expansion has also been argued to be one of the main reason for the decline of the Ummayad Caliphate.

Plagued by continued Khawarij uprisings both in Iran and Iraq, the Khawarij outlived the declining Ummayad Caliphate as continued uprisings during the Abbasid Caliphate were still a problem.

Perhaps the greatest challenge to the authority of the caliphate occurred between 866 and 896 when the Khawarij rebelled in the districts of Mosul in the Al-Jazira province (Mesopotamia). This rebellion lasted for thirty years despite several attempts to quell it. It was not until the Caliph Al-Muatadid launched major campaigns to restore the Caliphate’s authority that the rebellion finally was defeated.

In the next part of this article series, we will examine the second wave of Takfirism, originating in the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula during the 18th century.

SAYYED HASSAN NASRALLAH ON QUDS DAY 2016: CANCEROUS CELL CALLED ‘ISRAEL’ MUST BE ELIMINATED

Nasrallah Quds Day 2016

by Jonathan Azaziah

Know why Al-Quds and all of Palestine will be freed? Because Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah says so. And when Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah says something, ANYTHING, it’s only because he means it, believes it and will struggle until his last day to fight for its implementation. The Quds Day 2016 speech of the Lebanese Islamic Resistance’s Godwary and gallant leader was another blistering oratory that smashed the lies of the enemy, took the traitors to the woodshed, reinforced Sunni-Shi’a and Islamic-Christian unity in the face of the Takfiri scourge and once again highlighted that the most important task for ALL peoples in our region, whether it is achieved by our generation or the generations to come, is to eliminate the “cancerous cell” known as ‘Israel’. With his usual booming charisma, the Sayyed delivered a punch to the collective gut of every sectarian and every naysayer who dares accuse Hizbullah of “turning its weapons away from the Zionist enemy”, as if, number one, the Takfiris aren’t the stooges of the criminal, artificial ‘Israeli’ regime above all other geopolitical actors, and, number two, as if anybody else but Hizbullah is protecting Lebanon from this mental, murderous Wahhabism.

But it was this section here that was the crown jewel of the speech,

“If the financial, military, political and human efforts used against Syria and Yemen were used for the sake of Palestine instead, Al-Quds and the entirety of the occupied territories would have been liberated ten times over. So let all the agents and servants of America and ‘Israel’ in our region keep in mind that while the false ‘kings’ of certain ‘Arab’ regimes may have abandoned Al-Quds and Palestine, we will never abandon Al-Quds and the Palestinian people! Never! Neither wars of aggression nor weapons, mass media deception nor destabilization schemes and vicious sectarian incitement could ever force our Axis of Resistance to abandon Palestine and Al-Quds nor make us sit idly by as ‘Israel’ spreads its corruption.”

And this is the essence of it all, isn’t it? While the GCC tyrants, Jordan, Morocco, Egypt, the Neo-Ottomans in Turkey and basically every other “Arab” and “Muslim” country have betrayed the Palestinian cause, the Axis of Resistance has dug in and fought with blood, sweat, tears and more to continue the fight to liberate Palestine and preserve the sovereignty, independence, culture and history of each respective nation and movement which it is comprised of. And again, as it is only veracity which departs from Nasrallah’s lips, this was not “bravado” as it has been described by some idiotic March 14 officials and commentators, but a promise, a TRUTHFUL PROMISE, that Hizbullah and its partners will resist, thwart, frustrate and fight back until victory is theirs.

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah isn’t known as Wa3d al-Sadiq (Promised Truth/Truthful Promise/Promise of Truth) for nothing.

He promised that Lebanon would be liberated from ‘Israeli’ occupation and it happened.

He promised that Hizbullah would prevail during the July War and it happened.

He promised that the Lebanese Islamic Resistance would free its prisoners from the Zionists’ jails and it happened.

He promised victory in Syria and despite the continuing Western-‘Israeli’-GCC-Turkish-sponsored flow of arms, money and terrorists to the Takfiri scourge, victories and advancement unfold daily.

So when the Sayyed says ‘Israel’ has no choice but death, I know it is not a mere observation but a fact. And if we don’t see it in our lifetime, then I know, in my heart of all hearts, that our seeds will. Why? Because Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said so. And he isn’t known as Wa3d al-Sadiq for nothing.

‪#‎LabaykahYaNasrallah‬ ‪

#‎LongLiveHizbullah‬ ‪

#‎QudsDay2016‬

‪#‎DeathToIsrael‬ ‪

#‎Ta7yaFalasteen‬

‪#‎PalestineWillBeFree‬

‪#‎FromTheRiverToTheSea‬

Bashar Al-Jaafari: “Syrian-Syrian dialogue ready to go all the way with other opposition powers: no groups linked to foreign agendas in expanded government”

Syrian Free Press

Jaafari-20160420-4

Geneva, 20/4/2016 ~ Head of the Syrian Arab Republic’s delegation to the Syrian-Syrian dialogue in Geneva, Bashar al-Jaafari asserted that the dialogue can still go on with the Republic’s delegation and other delegations of the opposition even if the “Riyadh opposition” group wants to suspend its participation.

“There are several [opposition] groups that are present and support having the dialogue continue. However, those who want to walk away upon instructions they receive from the outside will have to take responsibility for their actions,” said al-Jaafari in an interview with several Syrian media outlets in Geneva, stressing that the Republic’s delegation is ready to go all the way with the dialogue.

He affirmed that the Republic’s delegation has shown the highest level of discipline and commitment among all the groups participating in the intra-Syrian dialogue.

Al-Jaafari criticized the fact that the United Nations, represented by its Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, has not treated all factions of the Syrian opposition on an equal footing, citing this as one of the problematic structure-related issues spotted since the first round of the talks.

He cited other problematic issues related to the representation and nature of the opposition delegations and the absence of a schedule by de Mistura, who, al-Jaafari said, likes to take up the UN Security Council resolution no. 2254 as a schedule, “which we say can only be taken as a road map and not a schedule.”

Jaafari-20160420-2-750

Al-Jaffari stressed that the Republic’s delegation’s reading of the resolution no. 2254 says that “our mandate here in Geneva stops at reaching the point of forming an expanded national unity government,” ruling out any discussion of the constitution, which he said would be “substantially in contradiction with the resolution itself.”

Discussion of the constitution at the talks, he elaborated, would mean undermining the right of the possible “temporary government or the expanded national provisional government to assigning a constitutional committee to draft a new constitution or amend the existing one.”

He went on saying that the formation of an expanded national unity government will include representatives of the current government, the opposition, independent figures and others, meaning a government of technocrats.

This issue, he added, has been explained to de Mistura, “with whom we engaged into active dialogue,” noting that the Republic’s delegation is waiting for reactions from other delegations to the amendments it made to de Mistura’s “basic elements” paper presented at the end of the previous round of talks.

“Our amendments to de Mistura’s paper are now the core of discussion,” al-Jaafari clarified, noting that the UN envoy has promised to put forth the amendments to the other groups and come back with reactions that will be represented to the Republic’s delegation during Wednesday’s session of talks.

Al-Jaafari denied that de Mistura officially raised the issue of the “vice-presidents”, stressing that he explained to the UN envoy that any such discussion is not acceptable as it is out of his mandate.

Al-Jaafri reiterated that Syria is ready to form an expanded national unity government that would engage some groups of the opposition, “but not any groups.”

Jaafari-20160420-3-750

He made it clear that the opposition groups who want to be part of an expanded national government should not be linked to terrorism or follow foreign agendas and should be living in Syria, adding that the “Riyadh opposition” group is linked to Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar.

Earlier in an interview with Reuters, al-Jaafari affirmed that talks in Geneva can be continued with other opposition powers although “al-Riyadh opposition” delegation has announced suspension of its participation.

“The opposition is not only restricted to the higher Commission for negotiations formed in Saudi Arabia, “al-Jaafari told Reuters , adding “If they wanted to boycott talks, they could do so, it is not a big problem for us because they are not the only representatives of the Syrian opposition.”

He went on to say that the pretexts marketed by al-Riyadh opposition are not convincing, saying that the other groups in the opposition don’t evaluate the situation in the same way, so talks will continue with all possible flexibility.

“Al-Riyadh opposition delegation stir problems since the beginning of the process in Geneva and threaten to suspend talks or postpone them as they wait for the orders from their supports in Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar,” al-Jaafari said.

He added that this is a political procrastination as you name it by the language of the UN; they delay in order to “blow up the talks as a whole.”

Jaafari-20160420-5-750


SOURCES:
SANA, Mazen/Reem/H. Said
Submitted by SyrianPatriots 
War Press Info Network at:
https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2016/04/20/jaafari-new-report/
~

S-300 Unveiled in National Army Day, Rouhani: Strong Army Safeguards Iran

Iran showcases newly received S-300 missile system on National Army Day

Source

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Sunday that the country’s powerful Armed Forces are defending and safeguarding the country’s national interests as well as geographical, political and cultural borders.

RouhaniAddressing a ceremony to mark the National Army Day in Tehran, Rouhani said, “If arrogant powers and their mercenaries in the region cannot have a covetous eye on the Islamic Republic, it is because of the country’s powerful Armed Forces.”

He added that Iran currently enjoys high security and stability in an insecure region due to its powerful Army.

Rouhani emphasized that Iran has both logic and hard power on its side, emphasizing that the country’s diplomats and Armed Forces are pursuing the same objectives, which are based on national security, Iran’s might and its stability and development.

During the ceremony, Iran displayed the first batch of S-300 surface-to-air missile defense system delivered by Russia recently.

The S-300 system has been on order since 2007 but Russia postponed the sale three years later after the UN Security Council passed a resolution relating to Iran’s peaceful nuclear program.

The Iranian president said the country’s power is merely for defensive purposes and will never target its neighbors and countries in the Muslim world.

Armed forces ready to repel any aggression: Rouhani

“I clearly announce here, just as I clearly announced in the presence of the heads of Islamic countries [at the summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Istanbul] a few days ago, that the power of the Islamic Republic of Iran, including our military, political and economic power will not be [used] against neighbors and countries in the Muslim world,” Rouhani added.

There is no rift among the Iranian nation, government and the Armed Forces, he said, emphasizing that the Iranian Army would repel any aggression against the country.

“However, our logic is [based on] peace and brotherhood with our neighbors and with the Muslim world,” Rouhani pointed out.

He also said that Iran’s diplomacy seeks to safeguard the country’s national interests, adding that during the nuclear negotiations with world powers, Iranian diplomats sought to maintain and boost the country’s military might.

Iran’s latest defense achievements were showcased during nationwide parades on the National Army Day, which is held to commemorate the role played by the Iranian Armed Forces in maintaining security and stability of the country.

The ceremony is held every year in the vicinity of the mausoleum of the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini, in the south of the capital.

Source: Press TV

17-04-2016 – 10:17 Last updated 17-04-2016 – 11:34

 

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The Debate – Divisive OIC (April 15th)

Iranian Delegation Boycotts OIC Closing Meeting

Local Editor

OICIn protest to 4 anti-Iranian articles in the final statement of the 13th summit of OIC in Istanbul, President Rouhani, FM Zarif and accompanying delegation did not attend the closing meeting, Mehr news agency reported.

To voice their protest to anti-Iranian articles in the final statement of the 13th summit of OIC in Istanbul, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, and the rest of the Iranian delegation did not share the table at the closing meeting of the summit.

In contrast to President Rouhani’s call of unity, Turkey and Saudi Arabia tried to frame Iran as a supporter of terrorism.

In response to these moves, Foreign Minister Zarif, On Wednesday, described Saudi Arabia’s move to include statements against Tehran and Hezbollah as “destructive,” and reminded the Saudis of the destiny of Saddam’s regime who was trying to use the OIC mechanism in favor of his political interests against Iran during the war of 1980-88.

Saudis who denied Iranian diplomats visas to attend expert-level meeting of the organization in February in the Saudi port city of Jaddah, prepared a draft against Iran and Hezbollah and passed it in Istanbul.

Source: Agencies

15-04-2016 – 19:08 Last updated 15-04-2016 – 19:08

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Imam Khamenei: US, West Not Serious in Fighting Terrorism

Local Editor

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei said certain powers, naming the US in particular, are neither sincere nor serious in the campaign against terrorism.

Imam Khamenei: US, West Not Serious in Fighting Terrorism

In a Monday meeting with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in Tehran, the Imam stressed the importance of enhancing cooperation between Tehran and Astana in different political, economic and international fields as well as in the fight against terrorism.

“Certain powers, particularly the US, are not sincere and serious in [their] alleged campaign against terrorism, but Muslim countries can distance the Muslim world from such threat through honest cooperation,” the Leader added.

He further referred to Washington’s aid to Daesh [the Arabic acronym for the Takfiri “ISIS” group] terrorist militants operating in Iraq as an example of dishonest behaviors by various self-declared anti-terror coalitions, saying: “In a bid to justify their double-standards, they classify terrorism into good and bad [categories].”

Besides, Imam Khamenei stressed that terrorists of European nationality are massively wreaking havoc in Iraq and Syria.

“These realities prove the lack of seriousness on the part of the West, particularly the Americans, in the fight against terrorism,” he stated, adding that Muslim nations are facing the threat of terrorist groups “acting in the name of Islam but in fact [acting] against Islam and Muslims.”

“On the other hand, certain Western powers are not willing to see Muslim countries united and stand by each other.”

The Imam later stressed that tackling the threat of terrorism and the double-dealings of world powers requires enhanced cooperation among Muslim countries within the framework of wise and logical policies.

For his part, the Kazakh president also echoed Imam Khamenei’s call for unity in the Muslim world, saying Islam is the religion of progress, unity and fight on terrorism.

12-04-2016 | 09:20

 

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