Red Guards ain’t all red: Who fought whom in China’s Cultural Revolution? (5/8)

by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog

Red Guards ain’t all red: Who fought whom in China’s Cultural Revolution? (5/8)

In Part 3 of this 8-part series I answered the question raised by that part’s title: Why was a Cultural Revolution needed in already-Red China? To recap: China wanted something which the Eurozone has none of: participatory economic planning. China also wanted much more participatory democracy (political empowerment) at the local level and to move even further away from an all-controlling, imperious central state.

But why did this require a decade-long Cultural Revolution (CR)? The answer to that question is: all Red Guards, promoted to install the CR, weren’t all red!

This article will explain something never even hinted at in Western (faux) histories of China: the differences between the two Red Guard factions – the one on the left of the spectrum of socialist political thought, and the one on the right side of the spectrum.

This explains why the primary victims of the Red Guards were… the Red Guards! But that likely needs further explanation….

These party differences were so deep, so broad, so ingrained and so fiercely held that China’s Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution is perhaps best conceived of as “China’s Socialist Civil War”. The CR truly was China’s center and left against their right-wing… but we must remember that “right-wing” in a socialist context is still far, far to the left of the “right-wing” in a capitalist context. Of course, China also had some unrepentant “Western right-wing” citizens who refused to adopt socialism who were also involved.

But we live in a world today where many disbelieve in the concept of a hard and scientific “political spectrum”. Many refute any sort of standardization of political thought, as if a person’s political ideas could be so incredibly unique that they defy labeling of any sort, despite the obvious hindrance to understanding and solidarity this belief can’t help but create. Given this widespread error, we should not be surprised that the Western Mainstream Media has no interest at all in fully describing the Chinese spectrum of battling forces during the CR; for them the CR is divided into murderous savages (the Party, the government, students) and totally-innocent victims (usually professors, intellectuals, and those forced to shovel manure instead of constantly talking it).

I will soon explain how Red Guards were the greatest victims of the CR, but to do so I must first dispense with the Western idea that China’s CR was some sort of power-struggle and byproduct of a Mao-cult, as opposed to being a truly democratic event.

The CR’s democratic bonafides are are proven by the fact that there was massive popular involvement. Conversely, the Eurogroup – which decides the economic policies of the Eurozone – is not democratic because there is extremely limited involvement in decision-making.

This is verified in The Unknown Cultural Revolution: Life and Change in a Chinese Village by Dongping Han, who was raised and educated in rural Jimo County, China and is now a university professor in the US. Han interviewed hundreds of rebel leaders, farmers, officials and locals, and accessed official local data to provide an exhaustive analysis of seeming unparalled objectivity and focus regarding the Cultural Revolution in China. Han was kind enough to write the forward to my brand-new bookI’ll Ruin Everything you Are: Ending Western Propaganda in Red China. I hope you can buy a copy for yourself and your 300 closest friends.

“These mass associations (definition coming shortly) were formed largely in the spirit of free association, and enjoyed tremendous independence and freedom. They cut across clan and family lines. It was common for people from the same clan and same family to join different associations. People came together because of their political views. With few exceptions, all of the adult population belonged to one mass association or another.” (emphasis mine)

The Chinese Socialist Civil War showed the one indispensable hallmark of producing a true & successful revolution: universal political participation. In Russia in 1917 or in Iran in 1979, everybody – and I mean everybody – talked politics all the time.

It should not be surprising that the opposite is true: in hugely reactionary cultures like the US or the UK serious political discussion is verboten among friends and family. This is the reason why far-right thinking dominates in these countries – conservatism and traditionalism go unopposed. However, in China the far-right had been (quite properly) banned in 1949; therefore, the CR was a battle among “Chinese right-wing socialists”…which shows how very much more advanced and evolved Chinese political discussion and culture is compared with Anglophone countries, where right-wing elements still are allowed to confuse, distort and champion horrid ideas.

The “mass associations” which Han refers to needs his explanation:

I personally feel there is a need to distinguish between mass organizations and mass associations. The former term would be applied to the organizations like the militia, the Communist Youth League, women’s association, workers’ unions and the official Red Guards which were set up by the CCP and were official in nature. The latter term would refer to the independent Red Guard groups formed largely in the spirit of free association. … Both the rebels and the defenders of the Party leaders were called Red Guards. The rebels were called zaofan pai (rebel faction) while the defenders were known as the baohuang pai (loyalist or royalist faction)….”

This distinction is the essence of the CR: the conflict was between those who were pushed by Mao to criticize the Party in a never-before seen manner – the Rebel Faction (associations) – and those who opposed such criticism and changes – the Loyalist Faction (organizations); both were “Red Guards”, however.

Essentially, the Loyalist Faction Red Guards didn’t know what they were getting into when they started the new CR, as they soon found themselves under attack.

Why the Cultural Revolution was totally different to China, from the Chinese perspective

Han relates in detail and in real-time how the CR came to Jimo County: who were the “rebel leaders”, who were the criticized Party members, who fought back against the CR, and how it evolved from what could have been just another “anti-rightist campaign”, like in 1957, or yet another of near-yearly “anti-corruption campaigns”, into something wholly new – a CR.

Let’s start at the beginning:

“At the beginning of the Cultural Revolution, the CCP had total control of Chinese political and economic life. …(the CCP) held the reins of power at each level.”

But what Mao and his supporters wanted was to provoke was something which was previously banned as “anti-party thought” – independent criticism of Party authorities. (Such criticism is widespread in Iran – the critics have not succeeded in persuading Iranians to abandon their revolution, however.)

The democratic bonafides of the CR are further strengthened by the fact that those who openly criticized the government were not punished, but given power. That is a very rare phenomenon. But we are skipping ahead – the first rare phenomenon is that poor rural people were given platforms to explain where their Party-led society had failed, and where the empowerment created by socialist revolution had not yet reached.

“It (the CR) differs from all the previous political campaigns because for the first time in the CCP’s history it circumvented the local party bosses and stressed the principle of letting the masses empower themselves and educate themselves.” (Han’s emphasis)

This is the revolution within a socialist revolution provided by Maoism – only installing a vanguard party is not enough to achieve on-the-ground, democratic socialism.

The first two months of the CR (June-July 1966) saw attacks on the “Four Olds” –in essence, attacks on outdated, repressive and capitalist customs, cultures, habits, and ideas. This was led by the Loyalist Faction Red Guards, to be distinguished from the Rebel Faction Red Guards who came to power later.

“Of course, from the point of view of local party officials, campaigns to destroy the four olds and attack landlords, capitalists and political enemies were convenient ways to divert attention from themselves and protect themselves from attack.” So in this way the first couple months of the CR was a really just a “pseudo-CR”, because it was led by many of the corrupt cadres themselves.

But what stopped this “pseudo-CR” was the August 1966 Mao-faction drafted “16 Points”, which boldly and correctly proclaimed as its headline: “A New Stage in the Socialist Revolution”. The 16 points is briefly summarized here, but to recap: capitalism is essentially a negative societal habit, and if this habit is not broken wherever it is found within a socialist society then it will lead to the unwanted restoration of capitalism-imperialism. Thus, the CR requires vigorous refutation and discrediting of proven anti-socialist thought and influence.

Crucially, the 16 Points, “…made the distinction between the Communist party as an institution and party bosses as individuals in a definitive manner, and which stressed that the targets of the Cultural Revolution were the capitalist roaders inside the Party.” (Han’s emphasis)

Capitalist roader” is, I feel, a rather inelegant but common English translation of this supremely important Maoist phrase. What it refers to is: a person who wants to get off the road of socialism and return to the road of capitalism-imperialism. It is not an effective translation because it lacks the necessary implication of betraying socialism’s already-acquired advances. “Capitalist re-roader” would be better, but also inelegant. However, one of the beauties of socialist jargon is its refusal to be elegant at all!

What we can also do is to call the capitalist roaders something more accurate – “anti-empowerment roaders”. Or we could call them “king-roaders”, for Muslim countries still oppressed by monarchies, and “CEO-roaders” for the Western republics suffering from bourgeois/West European/Liberal Democracy’s promotion of neoliberal ideals.

Let’s put the 16 Points in China’s historical context:

In a very real way we can say that after 17 years the CCP had definitely established themselves as the dominant and accepted political force in the country – no more Kuomintang, no more foreign powers, far fewer rightists – and thus they could “relax” their grip… by risking a healthy, re-dedicating CR to start focusing on improving the Party’s control rather than just cementing the Party’s control.

It is simply unrealistic politics to imagine that all revolutions don’t have this “consolidation phase”. I would contend that the Iranian Revolution is nearing the end of their consolidation phase; if the US had honored the JCPOA treaty – and if European nations had the courage to honor their word – the Islamic Revolution would have become totally legitimized domestically, and Iran would have to come up with a “New Stage in the Iranian Islamic Revolution” and their own “16 points”. Instead, a totally desperate US has just gone nuclear, by banning anyone from buying Iran oil. Iran’s enemies are as close to war as they can possibly get with that move, simply because they don’t want Iranian Islamic Socialism to spread any more than they want Socialism With Chinese Characteristics to spread.

Indeed, Iran is in a situation we can compare to China in 1963. People act like China was always an equal with the West, as they have been in the 21st century – back then China was still banned from the World Trade Organisation, under US sanctions which would not be lifted until Nixon in 1971, and watching the US wage war on its neighbors & set up nearby military bases. Revolutionary fervour is often imposed rather than chosen – Mao rejected Soviet revisionism and laxity because China did not have the leeway, options and power that the USSR had. If the incredibly belligerent decision of banning Iranian oil actually takes hold, we should thus not be surprised if Iranian “hard-liners” promote a 2nd Iranian Cultural Revolution as a result – indeed, how can socialist-inspired nations relent when compromise is certain death and disgrace? How can we say that China’s CR failed when it obviously convinced the West to call off their Cold War? Regarding Iran, all I can say is: Iranian Cultural Revolution II is far, far, far more likely than the eruption of an unpatriotic civil war which aims to ally itself with the US. LOL….

At this point in China’s CR history, Han elaborates the very essence of the unheard & the unreported point of view of the Cultural Revolution:

“After the ‘16 points’ was publicized, it became very difficult for individual party leaders to use ‘party leadership’ as a shield against criticism. … The ‘chaos’ that attacks on the local party leaders would cause was the price Mao was willing to pay in order to create opportunities to empower the masses. … The ‘16 Points’ and Mao’s support liberated the suppressed rebels throughout China. It also took away the sacred veneer from local ‘dictators’ whom ordinary people called ‘tuhuangdi’ (local emperors) and subjected them to mass criticism. … Former rebel leaders in Jimo like Lan Chengwu and Wang Sibo say that Mao called his 1966 revolution ‘cultural’ because he wanted to cultivate a more democratic political culture in order to eradicate the tuhuangdi phenomenon.”

This is the crucial evolution of socialism: away from the Party dictators and jingoistic loyalists, and towards the “rebels”, who should also be considered synonymous with “true socialists” and “true revolutionaries of empowerment”.

In many ways this encapsulates why the West essentially ends modern Chinese history with 1966 – to them, China always remained a “totalitarian” system with absolutely zero local democratic empowerment. Han agrees that the previous system was – in an genuine but certainly not complete sense of the word – “totalitarian” (centralized and dictatorial), but he shows that the CR specifically fought to change this reality; it was even led by the “totalitarians” themselves.

The West has remained stuck in their false mindset by misinterpreting and not discussing the CR. They have refused to tell the truth and do not even try to understand the CR. Again empowering Chinese and Iranian-style socialism, and not empowering their domestic leftists, are their malign motivations.

Han demonstrates that the CR represents a fundamentally-positive and democratic evolution in the quality of their socialist democracy. This evolution facilitated an explosion in rural-dominated China’s rural economies, industries and schooling and lay the foundation, taught the skills and started the industries which fueled their post-1980 economic success. Modern China’s success cannot be understood without grasping this evolution created specifically by the CR because it fundamentally changed the entire country, even if revolutionary fervour inevitably waned some with the arrival of Deng Xiaoping.

The CR was so intense, so thorough and so very democratic (China being 80% rural at the time), that it cannot be ignored by anyone who wants to grasp modern China; failure to understand the CR also means that one’s politics are stuck in the ‘60s, and certainly that is a fair assessment of the West – they have totally regressed to the right politically, culturally and economically since then. This link is never discussed.

Which Red Guards fought which Red Guards and why?

Now that the background running up until 1967 is laid, we can properly understand the fighting that came after. Without this fighting, the CR would have been just another “anti-rightist campaign”. The fighting was the result of the creation and state protection of totally-grassroots groups, which Han called “mass associations”; these mass associations sat in opposition to “mass organizations”, which represented the CCP status quo.

“With the issuing of ’16 points’, the official Red Guards organized under the auspices of local party leaders dissolved very quickly. Independent rebel associations began to appear,” and these are Han’s “mass associations”. In Jimo County a dozen new, independent Rebel Red Guard associations emerged through the spontaneous democracy guarded by the Mao-faction and the army (the left and center).

Han notes how the Chinese Constitution had always protected free assembly, but that it was never really permitted; these associations were the first time rural peasants could create unified groups which served as a challenge to Party domination. Han relates the universal political participation, and how political debate between associations was constant and transparent. This not only allowed the mastery and tweaking of political ideas, but it empowered the peasant masses by allowing them to speak publicly for the first time ever. These are the kinds of things which prove the CR’s democratic bonafides, but which the West cannot accept nor popularize. Indeed, how can the CR be undemocratic when it fostered, protected and promoted new grassroots institutions? What is more democratic than spontaneous grassroots organizations? We see here the truly revolutionary nature of the CR.

Each village Han studied had roughly three to five new mass associations, and he related how widespread the democratic participation was down to the household level. “The major difference between them was whether or not to overthrow the old village party bosses.”

Therefore, the CR was essentially a massive referendum on the performance of individual civil servants.

If you were a good boss, who maybe was in charge of some small town’s only mill or granary or whatever, everyone in that small town surely knew you were good…. because that’s how small towns are – they know your personal business. And such good bosses kept their jobs (and kept in line). But if you were a tuhuangdi who siphoned off the profits to buy presents to seduce married women, everyone in that small town already knew it – because that’s how small towns are – and you’d be exposed and publicly shamed. Public shaming is an Asian thing, perhaps, but I certainly see it as just punishment. I note that Han does not record that any such person died as punishment in Jimo County.

Han relates how workers and farmers joined the Rebel Faction out of dissatisfaction with local Party leaders. These Rebel Faction Red Guards (associations) were supported by the left-wingers in the Chinese Socialist Democratic System (Mao and those who thought like him), whereas the Loyalist Faction Red Guards (organizations) were the status quo-preserving establishment. All were Red Guards, though.

The Rebel Faction Red Guards were joined by idealistic students, and now the two sides began to really fight it out against the Loyalist Faction Red Guards. Many might assume that the army tipped the balance, but that’s not the case:

“The army was called upon to support the revolutionary leftists by the center. But since there was no concrete criterion for a revolutionary leftist, it was really up to the soldiers in the fields to decide who they wanted to support.”

Even though Mao, the center, and the left called for the army to support the Rebel Faction Red Guards, Han reveals yet another democratic bonafide of the CR: the army was not manipulated for political reasons, but was allowed to freely choose their own side. Therefore, if the right wing in China’s socialist spectrum was overwhelmed in the CR decade, and if the army did not intervene to prop them up, the only reason is because many in the People’s Liberation Army were genuine leftists themselves, i.e. democracy prevailed.

When the dust cleared, the Red Guards (Rebel Faction) beat the Red Guards (Loyalist Faction)

As expected, in the early years of the CR the Rebel Faction Red Guards initially faced much local official persecution for denouncing people like Police Chiefs for poor performance, capitalist-roading and abuse of authority. People talk about the CR as if there was no give-and-take of abuse, imprisonment and mistreatment, but of course the Loyalist Faction had many levers to pull and obstacles to throw up despite the opposition of Mao way over in the capital.

So when we talk about the violent excesses of the CR, we must keep in mind that the CR’s victors had to overcome much initial official repression. Revolutionary payback is usually not a bouquet of flowers with a thank-you card.

But the primary reason there was so much anger was likely because prior to the CR there simply, “…were no regular channels for ordinary villagers to air their opinions and grievances against the Party authorities.” It’s not that Chinese Socialism had failed, but that equality was not universal due to a clear urban/rural divide. The CR was essentially a rural explosion which demanded that equality. It is not for nothing the very first big character poster – the Chinese version of a free press back then, and that is no exaggeration at all – attacked the educational inequalities at China’s top university and demanded that the doors be opened wider to rural students. The Yellow Vests are doing the same… but less coherently, which should be expected – Westerners are not as intellectually politically advanced & experienced as the Chinese in 1964.

The Yellow Vests are essentially demanding a Cultural Revolution

In the end, the CR was about demanding that second pillar of Marxism – redistribution of power – for rural areas; the CR was China dealing with it’s rural/urban divide, whereas the West is only starting to come to grips with their divide with Brexit, the Yellow Vests, the “basket of deplorables”, etc.

“Some villagers say that before the Cultural Revolution villagers felt shorter before party leaders, and always nodded to them first when they met on the street. After the Cultural Revolution ordinary villagers no longer felt diminished before the village leaders and such leaders often greeted ordinary villagers first when they met on the street.”

Such “who greets whom first” etiquette is a classic small-town concern, LOL.

But it is a real concern, and public servants simply must address public concerns – that is their primary job. Public servants who expect to be feted like social superiors are clearly not “of” or “for the People”.

We can see why the Western 1% is so fearful of a CR occurring locally – capitalism is all about venerating the “Great Man”, whom we should be thanking for giving us the opportunity to work for peanuts.

The CR is supposed to be so bloody, but Han does not list any deaths in Jimo County as a result of CR violence. Han says with only a few exceptions the corrupt party leaders were rehabilitated. Heck, the CCP allowed Pu Yi, “the Last Emperor” to be rehabilitated and live his life out in peace, so why not the local emperors? It is capitalist legal systems which prioritize useless and unequal punishment over rehabilitation, not socialist systems.

The idea that 500,000 to 2 million people died in the CR is a number which seems to be invented by Western imaginations, because how many of these claimants did the in-depth study Han did… and yet Han reports zero deaths?

Considering this was both a revolution and a civil war, should such a deal toll stand as proof of the CR’s inherent immorality? Does anybody do that for the US Civil War, which cost 600,000 lives? Of course not. The big difference between the two is: nobody in the West does the work Han did and proves that the CR led to huge increases in economic, political, medical, educational, social and democratic empowerment. Time will show that the CR freed the Chinese rural slaves, in a very genuine sense. Maybe they weren’t freed enough, but neither were US Blacks, who went from slaves to Jim Crow… but these are undoubtedly two civil wars with positive overall results.

By the time local party organizations began to function again in late 1969, after almost three years of dormancy, the political culture had already changed.

Han recounts their characteristics and practices, and how they replaced the old structures, and my margin notes read “democracy” over and over and over and over.

The number of party members doubled in Jimo County from 1965-1978 (the year Deng took office), but this was not the error of Krushchev, who let in a bunch of ideologically-suspect Soviets in order to dilute the power of the Stalinist wing – China opened its doors to their true revolutionaries who made their bones during the CR decade.

In a very important sense, even if Deng’s more right-wing socialist line came to the fore in the 1980s, and even if there would be a purge of Rebel Faction leaders during the Deng era, the cadres and citizens pushed to the left during the CR (as Dongping Han seems to have been) have helped ensure that China has not at all fully switched to the capitalist road.

The CR undoubtedly brought untold wealth, progress and empowerment for rural areas (as I briefly related in Part 1). Trumpeting these achievements is verboten in the West, but is the focus of the next part in this series.

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This is the 5th article in an 8-part series which examines Dongping Han’s book The Unknown Cultural Revolution: Life and Change in a Chinese Village in order to drastically redefine a decade which has proven to be not just the basis of China’s current success, but also a beacon of hope for developing countries worldwide. Here is the list of articles slated to be published, and I hope you will find them useful in your leftist struggle!

Part 1 – A much-needed revolution in discussing China’s Cultural Revolution: an 8-part series

Part 2 – The story of a martyr FOR, and not BY, China’s Cultural Revolution

Part 3 – Why was a Cultural Revolution needed in already-Red China?

Part 4 – How the Little Red Book created a cult ‘of socialism’ and not ‘of Mao’

Part 5 – Red Guards ain’t all red: Who fought whom in China’s Cultural Revolution?

Part 6 – How the socioeconomic gains of China’s Cultural Revolution fuelled their 1980s boom

Part 7 – Ending a Cultural Revolution can only be counter-revolutionary

Part 8 – What the West can learn: Yellow Vests are demanding a Cultural Revolution

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of Ill Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television. He can be reached on Facebook.

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Ayatollah Khamenei: Europe has left the JCPOA in practice

Source

March 26, 2019

Ayatollah Khamenei: Europe has left the JCPOA in practice

The following is the full text of the speech delivered on March 21, 2019 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with a large gathering of pilgrims at the holy shrine of Imam Ridha (as) in the city of Mashhad. The meeting was held on the first day of the year 1398.

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and greetings be upon our Master and Prophet, Ab-al-Qassem Al-Mustafa Muhammad, and upon his pure, immaculate and chosen household – those who guide the guided, and who are infallible – especially the one remaining with Allah on earth

Allah, bestow as many greetings upon Your representative – Ali ibn Musa ar-Ridha – as Your knowledge encompasses. Bestow Your greeting upon him, one that is as permanent as Your dominions and Your authority. Allah, send as many greetings to Your representative – Ali ibn Musa ar-Ridha – as Your knowledge encompasses. Send Your greeting to him, a greeting that is as permanent as Your glory, Your greatness and Your magnificence

I would like to congratulate you on the birthday anniversary of the Leader of Justice and the eternal Commander of the Faithful throughout history – Hazrat Ali ibn Abi Talib – which is the real Nowruz. Also, I wish to congratulate you on the arrival of the new year and the Nowruz eid. Beautiful Iranian taste has chosen this day as the beginning of the new year and the Iranian solar year – the Iranian hijri year – begins from the outset of spring and from Nowruz.

Also, I would like to congratulate the enlightened hearts of the mutakefin [those who engage in itikaf] on the occasion of the days of itikaf [an Islamic practice during which one retreats a particular number of days to the mosque for prayers and studying the Holy Quran]. I hope that God’s mercy, blessings and attention to the pure souls of our mutakefin will be extended to all the people of Iran and all individuals from different social backgrounds – particularly our youth.

I thank Allah the Exalted for giving me another opportunity to meet with you dear people, residents of this city and pilgrims in the shade of the light of the Holy Shrine of Imam Ridha (as).

I have prepared four issues to discuss with you dear brothers and sisters and I hope that I can discuss them with you dear brothers and sisters in brief. One issue is about the current year – the year 1398. Another matter is about our issues with the west and western governments. The third matter is about the economy and this year’s slogan which is boosting production and the economy. And the fourth and last issue is a word with our dear youth about the issues of the country, future affairs and the affairs of the Revolution.

As for current issues, one witnesses that some spokespeople, writers and pundits have referred to this year as the year of threats. I do not agree with this in any way. I believe that by Allah’s favor, the year 1398 is the year of opportunities: the year of abundant resources and achievements. Of course, those who say otherwise and constantly speak of threats are knowingly or unknowingly under the influence of the bragging expressed by the enemies of this nation. In addition to what they do in reality, the enemies of this nation have also waged a psychological war. They express certain viewpoints and they boast. These boasts and brags should be understood for what they are. Throughout the year 1397, they were making the same boasts and they were trying to make some people lose heart.

One of those first-rate idiots, whom I introduced a while ago [Supreme Leader’s speech in meeting with the people of Qom, delivered on January 9, 2019], said in the beginning or in the middle of the year 1397 that if they- the US- get out of the Bar-Jaam [JCOPA], there will be riots in the streets of Iran and that the people will not even be able to buy bread. Another one of those first-rate idiots said that in the year 2019, these American gentlemen will celebrate Christmas in Tehran. Well, these are the statements they made.

I do not know. There are two viewpoints: one is that their analysis about regional matters and the affairs of the country is so weak and shallow and that they actually say these things seriously. In other words, such statements originate from foolishness. Another viewpoint is that they want to wage a psychological war in a malicious way. They promote these ideas in global media in order to wage a psychological war. It is not clear to me which viewpoint is correct. Both might be correct: both foolishness and malice.

I said that the year 1398 is the year of opportunities. I wish to explain this a little bit. At the moment, the main problem of our country is the economic problem and the issue of the livelihood of underprivileged classes. Part of this problem is related to the sanctions imposed by western powers– the US and Europe. And part of it stems from our internal shortcomings and our own managerial weaknesses. Sanctions can become an opportunity– later on, I will expand on this. And witnessing these shortcomings and weakness can provide us with precious experience for the future and for the management of the country in the future. Both these can be opportunities.

Sanctions can be an opportunity. Why? Because experience has shown that whenever the revenues of countries benefitting from natural resources such as oil decreases, they think of implementing economic reforms and they become motivated to develop these reforms. They become motivated to liberate themselves from dependence and they adopt appropriate measures. This happens when the revenues from natural resources are reduced. Later on, when those resources return to their prior state and when their financial resources increase again, they forget about continuing those reforms. So, the pressure stemming from a decrease in the revenues of natural resources has this great advantage, not only for us but also for all countries similar to us because it will save them from dependence on this natural resource, from being a one-product country and from this oil-based economy.

One of the main problems of our economy is that it is based and dependent on oil. This is really the truth of the matter. In the present time, extensive research is being conducted both at a governmental level and at a research-based and academic level in order to find ways to manage the country with non-oil revenues. This is a very important and good measure. When oil revenues are abundantly available to us, neither government officials nor others will naturally think of doing something else.

We have tangibly and vividly experienced something similar to this in the area of the defense resources of the country. In the Sacred Defense Era, during the war that was imposed on us, the materialistic powers of the east and the west– both capitalist and socialist and communist powers– would give the best weapons and resources to Saddam, while our hands were tied. As everyone knew at that time, they would not even sell us barbed wire. This was of course difficult, but this difficulty made our youth, our thinkers and our talented and creative personalities think of liberating us from our dependence on foreign weapons.

By Allah’s favor, today our condition in the area of defense resources is better than almost all countries in the region. Our enemies too are stressing this. They too are acknowledging this in order to use it as a tool to exert pressure. Of course, it will not be used a tool to exert pressure. Despite their foolish desires, we will continue to strengthen our defense capabilities. At that time, if they had sold us weapons, if they had given us tanks, missiles and ammunitions, we would not have thought of producing them on our own.

Well, if we had had them, we would have continued to be dependent and our need for others would not have been removed, similar to many other countries in our region which you are familiar with. Their countries are a warehouse of weapons, but these weapons belong to others and their use is contingent on the willpower of others. They themselves have neither power nor the scientific and practical capability to use them correctly. We would have become like them.

Today, by Allah’s favor, this is not the case. Therefore, need generates movement and motivation in us. When we cannot access oil revenues in their completely, we will naturally search for alternatives. This is a task that has been initiated and by Allah’s favor, it will produce results. The Iranian nation will taste the fruits of these endeavors later on. They will witness the results in the future.

I stress that we should not keep nagging about the sanctions. We should not have high expectations of those who impose these sanctions – the US and Europe – either. In the section related to the west, I will explain why. We cannot expect anything from them. We should sit and devise the plans for confronting sanctions and we should pursue them seriously. This is our responsibility. This is the responsibility of government organizations, of the research committees in the legislative branch and of our youth, thinkers and intellectual personalities in the country.

They should examine and find the ways to confront sanctions by considering the affairs of the country. There are many ways to confront the oppressive and malicious sanctions imposed by the enemy. Of course, I have received a report showing that high-ranking executive officials are preparing the ways to confront sanctions. They should address it in a more serious, urgent and practical way. The affairs of the country should not be delayed.

Today, everyone agrees that the enemy is waging an economic war against us. Everyone knows this. Of course, I have always repeated that the enemy is at war with us, but some people would not believe it. However, today everyone believes it. All officials have realized and agreed that the enemy is at war with us. War is not only about cannons and guns. Economic wars, security wars, intelligence wars and political wars: these are all different forms of wars and they are sometimes more dangerous than a military war. The enemy is at war with us.

Well, this war manifests itself through economic matters. Today, everyone has accepted this. Of course, we should defeat the enemy at this war and by Allah’s favor, we will defeat him. Yes, we will defeat him, but this is not enough. However, I want to say something else and my demand from all the various activists of the country – including in the government, in universities and among the people – is something else. What I want to say is that as well as defeating the enemy, we should create deterrence. This is what I want to say. Sometimes, you defeat the enemy, but he waits for another opportunity to deliver another blow. This confrontation is of no use.

We should reach a point which has a deterring effect. In other words, the enemy should feel that he cannot damage our dear country from the area of economics and that he cannot pressure the nation. We should reach this point: deterrence. This is possible. I would like to mention the military again as an example. Fortunately, we are in such a condition in the area of the military. One day, the enemy’s planes would bombard our cities at a high altitude while we could not do anything about it. We did not have enough defensive weapons. He used to fire missiles, but we did not have any weapons to respond.

After that, we developed our defense capabilities. Today, our enemies – at least the ones in the region or the ones who have forces in the region – know that the Islamic Republic can confront and strike every enemy in the region with its accurate and active missiles. They have realized this. This is deterrence! This means that the enemies who are sometimes tempted to launch a military attack should realize that it is not possible, that the Islamic Republic has a mighty fist and a strong hand which can retaliate. This is deterrent power. We should reach this point in the area of economic matters. So, this is an opportunity which is available to us because of the sanctions imposed by the enemies. Today, we can work on this. This was the first matter.

I said that we should not pin our hopes on westerners. Now, I want to enter into the second discussion which is about our confrontation with western powers and governments. We have many things to say in this regard. What I want to say is that in order to gain this deterrent economic power, we should completely forget about the help and cooperation of westerners. We should not wait for them. This is because westerners have shown that they cannot be expected to help. We can expect them to hatch plots, to act in a treacherous way and to stab us in the back, but we cannot expect them to help, to show sincerity and to cooperate.

Whenever you see that westerners help a government and a country, they are in fact preparing the ground for their own work. Westerners used to help the taghuti [Pahlavi] regime, but they were not actually offering help to him, rather they were helping themselves to sell their own weapons. They were serving their own unconditional dominance over the country’s oil. They were helping 60,000 military advisors in the country. The day when the Revolution achieved victory, there were about 60,000 American forces in the country –mainly in Tehran. They would feed from the public funds of Muslims and they would work for themselves. If they help somewhere, they are in fact serving their own goals and their own cause. They cannot be expected to help.

This is not particular to us either. It is not the case that westerners behave like this only towards the Islamic Republic or towards Iran. It is not like that. Western countries behave like this towards all countries which they can bully. Notice that three centuries of colonialism – the colonialism of weak countries – crushed hundreds of millions of people. It destroyed their lives and exerted great pressure on them. The Europeans – at that time, the Americans were not there – used to colonize Asia, Africa and Latin America and suck up their resources. They would loot their wealth, would prevent them from making scientific, practical and technological progress and would keep them backward. The phenomenon of colonialism was not particular to us. It happened to all those countries which could be bullied by those powers.

As for Iran, they began to deliver their blows from the mid-Qajar era. In the Iran-Russia wars, the English betrayed Iran. They entered the scene as mediators, but they stabbed us in the back. They acted in the same away on the issue of the tobacco monopoly and on the issue of Amir Kabir and the way they treated him. It was the pressures of the English and European embassies in Tehran which forced the foolish king to shed Amir Kabir’s blood, thus eliminating a man who could have transformed Iran. They behaved in the same way on the issue of bringing the dictatorial regime of Reza Khan to power. The Europeans and the Americans behaved in the same way on the issue of eliminating the government of Mosaddeq. They acted in the same way in different economic, political and security matters, on the issue of the imposed war and after that on the issue of the sanctions. We should not forget these events.

Westerners have always behaved like this towards us. We cannot have any hope for their help. On the recent issue, the issue of the Bar-Jaam, what was the duty of the Europeans? Well, a seven-sided agreement had been signed– six countries on one side and Iran on the other side. One of the parties– the US– got out of the deal. What was the duty of the other parties? Their duty was to stand up against the US and to state that they would be committed to the deal. Their duty was to lift sanctions completely. They should have stood firm, but they did not do so with different excuses. Not only did they not stand up against the US, but they also got out of the deal in practice, despite the fact that they would constantly say to us that we should not get out of the Bar-Jaam. They have even imposed new sanctions on Iran. This is how Europeans behave. What can we expect from them?

Recently, it is constantly being said that they have created a financial channel. Well, it sounds more like a joke! Of course, it is a bitter joke. This financial channel does not make any sense. There is a world of difference between what constitutes their duties and what they are saying in the present time. On our last international issue, the Europeans stabbed us in the back, just like what they did in the past. They betrayed us. They cannot be expected to do anything. We cannot have any expectations of them.

I will tell you that this is how things are, generally speaking. This is the result of extensive study and it is based on our own experiences and those of the others: I will tell you that politics and power in the west and in western countries – mainly the US and European countries – are oppressive, bullying, illogical and greedy. They know nothing about logic. Logic is not in their vocabulary. Deep inside, western politicians are savage individuals in the true sense of the word. You should not be surprised at this. They wear a suit, they wear a tie, they put on perfume and they carry a Samsonite brief case, but they are savages and they act in a bestial manner in practice.

Notice that in the recent incident in New Zealand during which Muslims were killed, an individual enters two mosques and fires many rounds of bullets at tens of individuals, killing and martyring more than 50 people in the process. Well, is this not terrorism? The Europeans– neither their politicians nor their press– were willing to refer to this as a “terrorist act”, rather they referred to it as an “armed attack”. Is that an “armed attack”? What then is terrorism? Whenever a crime is committed against even one single individual who is favored by them, they rally all human rights efforts and label it as a terrorist act in order to confront it, but in such a clear and vivid case, they do not call it a terrorist act. They are like this.

I do not know of a country in the region and perhaps in the world which is as bad as the Saudi government. The Saudi government is despotic, dictatorial, oppressive, dependent and corrupt. They provide nuclear resources for such a government. They have announced that they will build a nuclear power plant for them. They have announced that they will build centers for producing missiles. It is alright there, because that country is dependent on them. It is alright because it belongs to them. Of course, they are only announcing this. Even if they build such things, I personally will not be unhappy because I know that in a not-too-distant future, it will all fall into the hands of Islamic mujahids! [Crowd chants: “Death to America!”]

Therefore, malice and mischief is in the nature of western powers and there is no difference between the US and Europe in this regard. Of course, the US is more malicious. For different reasons, the US is more malicious and it is not particular to the person who holds office in the US administration, rather their whole politics is based on this. They delivered a report to me showing that in recently, the US Congress– these are interesting figures– has either passed or presented 226 bills and drafts against the Islamic Republic in the years 1396 and 1397. Two hundred and twenty six bills in order to show their opposition and malevolence against the Islamic Republic! This is malice.

Of course, I have a complaint about our own Majlis: how many bills and drafts has our own Islamic Consultative Majlis presented or passed against US malice? So, western powers are like this. We cannot have other expectations of them.

Of course, some people inside the country embellish the image of westerns. They justify malicious acts of westerners. They airbrush their image and prevent public opinion from realizing how much malice and malevolence exists in the nature of these apparently decent governments – governments such as France, England and other such governments. There are people from the press and the media among them: the likes of Taqizadeh. During the time of taghut, an individual like Taqizadeh said something like this: that Iran should become westernized from head to toe. He meant that the lifestyle in Iran should be westernized. Today too, new Taqizadehs make such statements. Of course, they do not say it with such naked clarity, but that is what they mean.

Those who keep injecting and promoting western thoughts, western lifestyle, western methods, and western nomenclature in our literature, our thought system, our universities and our schools are the new Taqizadehs. Those who stand behind the 2030 Education Agenda – the 2030 Education Agenda means turning the Islamic lifestyle into the western lifestyle – are today’s Taqizadehs. Of course, by Allah’s favor, our pious youth and our revolutionary people will not allow these Taqizadehs to establish their ideas.

You should pay attention to this point. I am saying this because some people misrepresent my statements. These comments do not at all mean breaking off our relations with western countries. It is alright to establish relations. During the term of different administrations and throughout all these years, I have always encouraged administrations to establish relations with different countries: with our neighboring countries, with Islamic countries, with different movements and orientations and with European countries, all in different ways. In the present time, I still believe this. It is alright to establish relations, but what is problematic is following and trusting others. What I am saying is that we should not trust them.

Many or at least some of our problems originate from trusting westerners. There is nothing wrong with establishing relations. You can establish relations, but you should know the other side. You should not confuse the path and take the wrong direction with their smiles, their deceit and their false statements. This is what I am saying. Otherwise, it is alright to be in contact. Of course, fortunately, our government officials have reached the conclusion today that one cannot take the same path as that of westerners. They have felt this. In the future, our behavior and conduct might differ as a result of this new knowledge, God willing.

Now that we have spoken about the west, I would like to add that there are two opposing orientations about the west, both of which are wrong: one orientation is based on unreasonable bias and prejudice and reluctance to see western positives. Westerners launched a good movement in the area of science. They endeavored hard and they made progress with persistence. The same is true of technology and some behavioral traits. I have spoken about them at length in different speeches. These things should not be denied. We should learn every good thing wherever it is in the world.

I have mentioned frequently that we have no objections to being pupils. We will learn from anyone who knows more than us and this is alright with us. However, we should not be pupils forever. Therefore, having a reactionary attitude towards the west and having an unreasonable bias against the west which makes us reject whatever comes from that region – no matter what it is – is renounced by us.

The opposite point to this is “westoxication”. Westoxication is a grave danger. In the heart of the westoxicated Pahlavi regime, an intellectual who was deep-rooted in religious matters – the late Jalal Al-e Ahmad who was the son of a clergy and who had deep religious connections: he used to be in contact with us and he would express his respect and love for Imam [Khomeini] during his exile – brought up the issue of westoxication. Today, the issue of westoxication is an important issue. We should not forget it. Therefore, both prejudice and bias on the one hand and westoxication on the other hand are wrong. As I said, the west cannot be trusted. We should keep in contact, but we should not rely on them. We should benefit from their science and their positive aspects, but we should not trust them in any way. This is what I wanted to say in this regard. This was the second matter.

Now, let us move to the matter of the economy. Now that we cannot trust the west, what should we do for the economy of the country? The issue of the economy of the country is an important issue. This is what I want to say in this regard: for the blossoming of the country’s economy, we need an endeavor which is both jihadi and scientific. The issues related to the economy of the country will not be resolved with laziness, with lack of energy and with lack of motivation. A jihadi endeavor should be made. Jihadi management should dominate the economic affairs of the country and decision-making. We should make a jihadi endeavor.

Jihadi endeavor means an endeavor accompanied by effort, tirelessness and purity. In other words, we should clearly see that such individuals do not work for the sake of filling their own pockets and that they work for the people and for God.

An endeavor should be like this as well as being scientific. They should sit and find the correct ways with scientific and precise methods. They should be knowledgeable and competent and they should have different resources at their disposal. Such individuals should sit and work. If this happens, the economy of the country will definitely be in full blossom.

I am not an economist, but I study and I ask for their viewpoints. I listen to their viewpoints carefully. Our experts believe that the capacities of the country for developing the economy are very rich and complete capacities. We have no shortcomings. Our human resource capacity is very good, our natural capacities are very good and our geographical capacity is also very good. In the statement on the ‘Second Phase of the Revolution’, I explained some of these capacities. So capacities exist and furthermore, there is money in the country.

Also there is constant complaints about cash liquidity. Of course, this is correct. If liquidity does not receive attention, it will deliver a blow. However, if it is managed efficiently and if it is guided towards investment, it will help the country blossom and it will develop the economy. Therefore, there is an abundance of capacities in the country.

Some executive organizations have performed well. Some people think that no tasks have been carried out. This is not the case. Some executive organizations have performed well in different areas including in the area of agriculture, water, soil and areas related to developing underprivileged regions and infrastructural tasks. Of course, in some areas too, this is not the case. There is lack of energy and negligence in some areas. Sometimes, tasks are carried out with delay.

In a letter which I think was written to me in the year 1393 or 1394, a high-ranking official said that they were preparing a bill related to reforming banking transactions and the banking system in general – one of our economic problems is the problem related to the banking system – and he said that the bill would be examined by the Majlis a few months later. However, they have reported to me that after the passage of four years, that bill has not yet been delivered to the Majlis. Well, this is a long delay and holdup!

The units that have performed well should be rewarded and encouraged and the units that have delayed work should be warned. I myself have issued warnings in this regard. I say these things in public and among the people only when I have already discussed them in private with the gentlemen themselves. These issues should become an inseparable part of public opinion and they should turn into a public demand.

Production should be supported. We named this year, “The Year of Boosting Production”. This year should be the year of boosting production. Last year, when I brought up the issue of supporting Iranian products, a good movement was launched. The people and some producers gave it a good reception. I have been informed that when the people – the majority of the people – go to different stores, they ask for Iranian goods and products. When the salespeople bring their foreign counterparts, they do not accept it. This means progress. However, I cannot claim that the slogan was completely acted on. The reports do not confirm this. Therefore, the slogan of supporting Iranian products continues to be equally important, but the main and the most important issue is to boost production.

If production is boosted, then there will be a huge transformation in different areas. If production is boosted, it influences employment and inflation, it affects the balance of the budget and it helps increase the value of the national currency. Notice that all these are our important economic problems. Experts and those who are well-informed about economic matters confirm that if production is boosted in the country, there will certainly be such advantages and results. This should be accomplished and it should be included in the agenda: both in the agenda of the administration and the Majlis, and in the agenda of those who have the capability to enter the arena of production.

We know certain individuals who had money and resources, who could have put the money in the bank to benefit from the interest without any trouble for many years, but they did not do so. Instead, they invested it into production, saying that they want to help the country move forward. Such people will be rewarded by God! The people who act like this will be rewarded by Allah the Exalted.

Producers, investors and economic activists – honest and sincere economic activists – should be assisted. Those who generate wealth for the country should be assisted. There should be an endeavor to improve the business environment. This should be done with necessary laws, methods and procedures.

Another condition is that we should be wary of those who take advantage of the situation. Some individuals took advantage of the situation and they continue to do so. Opportunists exist and there are different types of them. Just as Iranian creativity and the Iranian innovative mind can be utilized in good ways, it can also do mischief from time to time. One witnesses mind-boggling methods for taking advantage and we see it in the reports. Well, officials should be careful. The executive branch, the judiciary branch and other supervisory organizations should watch over the matter.

I discussed the matter with the honorable President. He said in one of his public speeches that they want to sell such and such a factory. I said to him that they should be careful because some people buy the factory from you not with the purpose of continuing the work and boosting production, rather they buy it in order to sell the machinery, fire the workers and turn the land into a skyscraper! One should be wary of such individuals. One should be wary of such opportunists.

Some people establish banks by benefiting from the law for establishing banks – one of the wrong measures adopted in the country was to allow people to create banks one after another – and then, they collect the people’s money, set up fake companies, give the people’s money to their own companies as debt, loans and banking facilities and thus fill their own pockets. They do such things. We should be careful of such people and we should not ignore them.

If they are prevented from doing these things and if we support honest entrepreneurs instead and boost production, then the problem of unemployment will be solved on the basis of what experts say. The problem of inflation, poverty among underprivileged classes, the banking system and the value of national money and even the issue of the administration’s budget deficit will be resolved through a boost in production. These problems can be solved this way. Therefore, the issue is an important one.

And when I speak about production, I do not only mean industrial production. Industrial and agricultural production, stockbreeding, developing large, medium-sized and small industries and even developing handicrafts, home-made products and animal husbandry – breeding livestock in villages – will greatly help the expansion of public welfare in societies. They should plan for such tasks. Of course, knowledge-based companies play a big part in this regard. They should receive due attention.

Unnecessary imports should be prevented. One of the important areas and articles of the economy of resistance – which I brought up and which is being discussed at length and clarified by others including the officials in the government and other individuals – is the issue of domestic production. And the condition for boosting domestic production is curbing unnecessary imports. They have reported to me that they are doing such and such things for the economy of resistance and that they have prepared such and such plans. Very well, surely these reports are compatible with reality. In other words, they have really done these things, however they have not showed themselves in reality.

The reason is the existence of imports. One witnesses that the market is full of imports. This will lead to the failure of domestic production! They import those goods which are produced inside the country. This will cause domestic production to fail. Officials should prevent this. These are important matters. If this happens, the economy of resistance will be implemented in the true sense of the word.

To sum up, I stress that government organizations should focus on boosting production this year. If there is a need for certain laws, they should ask the Majlis to take action. If there is a need for the presence of the judiciary branch and other supervisory organizations, they should ask them to take action and to cooperate – they gather in the meeting that I mentioned: the meeting between the heads of the three branches of government. Production should be boosted no matter what! This was the third issue.

My last point today is addressed to the youth. It is actually addressed to all the people, but particularly to the youth. First of all, I want to mention that the response to my statement on the Second Phase of the Revolution – the statement on the occasion of the 40th year of the Revolution – given by people from different social backgrounds including academics, the masses of youth, students, seminarians, the clergy and others was a very appropriate and gladdening response. This shows that there is a need for elucidation and that the level of preparedness throughout the country, particularly among youth, is good. The officials of the country should make the most of this preparedness. What I want to say to youth is that they should shoulder both small and big responsibilities. This is the cure to the problems of the country. In the second phase of the Revolution, we should place the country’s progress on the shoulders of the youth.

In the first phase of the Revolution, it was Imam who guided the people, but it was the youth who launched the movement and who turned on the engine of progress. It was they who launched the movement. Today, your efforts are focused on ensuring the independence and dignity of the country. It is you who are paying the price for it today. The price that the Iranian nation and our youth are paying is with the purpose of achieving complete independence – in different areas – national dignity and the dignity of the Islamic community.

Future generations will benefit from your achievements. In the past too, youth accepted to pay the price for fighting against the taghuti regime by going to prison and being beaten until the Revolution thankfully achieved victory and the taghuti regime was destroyed. Or during the imposed war, families paid the price for defending the country and so today, you are living your life with complete security. Today too, you should pay the price for standing up against the enemy so that future generations will benefit from your achievements.

The main point that I want to raise is that what should happen in the second phase of the Revolution is primarily gaining an understanding about our assets and taking them seriously. We should know what assets we have and we should take them seriously. We should know our advantages and capacities and those of the country and we should be serious about them. We should utilize them and benefit from them. The country has extensive capacities. Secondly, we should identify diseases and pests. We should identify the ways that the enemies use to penetrate and we should stand up against them in a serious manner.

Today, the second phase of the Revolution is this: identifying capacities and assets and benefiting from them. Similarly, we should identify maladies, rifts, shortcomings and setbacks and we should roll up our sleeves to solve them.

You should know that the west and the US have reached the conclusion that if the Iranian nation wills something, it will definitely achieve it! They have reached the conclusion that they cannot fight against the national willpower of the people of Iran. If they will something, then creating obstacles and mischief will be of no avail. So, what should they do? They have reached the conclusion that they should do something so that the Iranian nation no longer wills anything, to do something to weaken its willpower. They are thinking of this.

Today, billions of dollars are being spent in the world in order to create a rift in the political and religious beliefs of our youth with the purpose of destroying its determination to move and to rise. They want to destroy our willpower. They want to prevent you from making a decision. Their effort is focused on preventing the willpower of the Iranian nation from being shaped in the direction of progress, confrontation and the establishment of an Islamic society and an Islamic civilization. They know that if this willpower is solidified, it will certainly achieve its goals.

Of course, they did so in the past – many years ago – as well. During the time of the taghuti regime, they used to promote the idea among the youth of the country that if you want to achieve civilization and progress, you should put aside religion. They would say that religion, piety and religious faith is not compatible with science, progress and the like. Today, they should open their blind eyes and see that our best, our greatest and our most advanced industries – we are at the top of the list in these industries and competing with top-tier countries in the world – are being developed by youth who read Dua Kumayl, who say night prayers, who engage in itikaf, who are interested in Dua Nudbah and who are very pious! We are top of the table in advanced industries in today’s world: in nanotechnology, in nuclear technology, in missile-related technologies, in biotechnology and other advanced technologies in the world. We are on the frontline of such technologies.

The main people who do these tasks are pious youth whom I know up close. Youth should increase their efforts in the arena of science, intellectuality, politics and hard work. They should not attend to trivial and unimportant matters. They should not attend to matters which lead to discord. They should pursue unity, focused work and pious and jihadi actions. They should highlight our borders with the enemy in the areas which were discussed today. They should not create borders with insiders and with domestic forces because of slight differences of opinion.

As Imam said, they should let out all their cries on the enemies and on America! The administration, the Majlis, the judiciary branch and others should help youth as much as they can in order to achieve this progress. And I will tell you – as I have told you many times – that by Allah’s favor and grace, the future of the country will be very much better than our present-day condition!

Dear God, by the blessedness of Muhammad and his household, make what we said and what we do serve You and Your cause and accept it from all of us

Make us the real soldiers of Islam and true mujahids on the path of the truth.

Send our greetings to the Imam of the Age (may our souls be sacrificed for his sake). Help us benefit from the prayers of that noble personality.

Associate the pure souls of the martyrs and the immaculate soul of our magnanimous Imam, with their saints

Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings

source: http://english.khamenei.ir/news/6583/Europe-has-left-the-JCPOA-in-practice

فقه الصعود إلى النصر وتواصل الأجيال عند الإمام القائد…!

فبراير 19, 2019

محمد صادق الحسيني

لم يكن الطالب لتولي المناصب في أي لحظة من لحظات حياته المعجونة بمسار التحوّل المتعرج للثورة التي تقول بأنها وارثة نهضة الأنبياء والأولياء، لكنه المندفع بعزم راسخ للقيام بواجب بناء الدولة التي حلم بها منذ نعومة أظفاره وتحلم بها أجيال من شعبه وأمته مذ عرفت بلادنا فصول مشاهد العروج الى المثل العليا في مشهدية انتفاضة علماء الفيضية الخمينية وما بعدها…!

هكذا هو السيد علي الخامنئي دعوياً ومجاهداً وثائراً وجندياً ومسؤولاً حكومياً تدرج في مراحل البناء الثوري والحكومي حتى تولى قيادة رأس الثورة والحكم في دولة الولي الفقيه يظهر اليوم في منشوره الأربعيني المحمدي الأصيل…!

ومنذ ذلك الحين وهو يصبو بل وينحت بكل ما يملك من أدوات لوحة بناء ما يعتبره المشروع الإنساني المتكامل لما بات يصطلح عليه في الفقه السياسي الإيراني المعاصر بالحضارة أو المدنية الإسلامية المعاصرة…!

بعد أربعين ربيعاً عاشها بمرّها وحلوها وعجرها وبجرها، كما يقول المثل، ساهم في كثير من فصولها صعوداً وأهمها صعود سلم العلوم والمعارف و«قصّر» كما هو يصارح حوارييه في بعض فصول اضطراب حركتها عندما وافق على مقولة «تحديد النسل» الحداثوية باعتبارها فخاً أضرّ بإيران المدنية المعاصرة، قرّر في ذكرى الأربعين أن يطلق منشوره الاستراتيجي الأهم والأكثر تحدياً أن في الحفاظ على النصر الذي تراكم درجة فوق درجة طوال هذه المدة، او في تحدي خوض مجالات البناء الجديدة التي تنتظر المجتمع والدولة الإيرانيين…!

في منشوره الجديد الذي لخص فيه بسبعة فصول تجربة الصعود والهبوط التجريبي لثورة إيران الإسلامية التي انطلقت من الصفر وبنت كل إنجازاتها بختم ودمغة «صنع في طهران» وبإكسير الإسلام الخالد، أطلق إمام المقاومين ما سمّاه المرحلة الثانية مما أطلق عليه بالصعود الى الله أيضاً في سبعة فصول مدموغة بطابع الاستقلال والحرية والاقتصاد المقاوم والعزة الوطنية ومكافحة مفاسد السلطة وحفظ الحدود مع العدو واجتراح نمط الحياة الخاصة بالمشروع الحضاري المستقل…!

يرى هذا القائد المتطلع لفتح خيار ثالث بين عالم يأفل فيه نجم أقطاب الهيمنة العالميين التقليديين أن الفرصة باتت سانحة للإيرانيين الذين خاض معهم وخاصوا معه تجربة صمود نادرة، أن بمكان هذا الخيار خطوات جديدة واعدة وقادرة على شق طريق الصعود ليس فقط داخلياً، بل وعلى صعيد المنافسة والحضور الفاعل على المستويين الإقليمي والدولي..!

ويرى أن ما أرسته إنجازات سلفه القائد الكبير الامام الخميني الراحل والحرس القديم من كوادر الثورة بكل ثغراته وتعثراته التي أوصلت قطار المدنية الإسلامية الى ما وصلت اليه حتى الآن لقادر بفضل تصدر الشباب من الآن فصاعداً ليس فقط الدفاع عن هذا الخيار باقتدار، بل وأن يأخذوا به ليصبح البديل الناجع والمنقذ لعالم بدأت أقماره تأفل ونماذج تنميته تتكسر وتتهافت أمام تحديات الوعي العالمي المتنامي في تبني فكرة رفع علم الروح مقابل راية المادة ومنظومة التديّن مقابل تهافت الفكر الايديولوجي الغربي والشرقي…!

والأكثر تحدياً في هذا المضمار هو ان هذا القطار الجديد المستقل الذي أوجد له سكة مستقلة بين خطوط سكك التنمية المتدافعة أنه صار القطار الأكثر أمناً وأماناً والأكثر حصانة في مواجهة موجات الرياح العاتية في الميدان، بحيث ان لا أحد بات باستطاعته بعد كل الذي حصل أن يوقف هذا القطار في اي محطة من محطات استراحة المحارب التي اضحت محل جذب شعوب وأمم وجماعات عديدة تتمركز في سواحل وشطآن ومضائق وخطوط طول وعرض جغرافي وتاريخي باستراتيجية نادرة والتي انطلاقاً منها ستتم إعادة كتابة التاريخ من جديد وإعادة رسم جغرافيا العالم المستقبلي الواعد…!

من هنا وحتى تتم المحافظة على واحدة من أهم شروط مواصلة المسيرة التقدمية الصاعدة نحو القمة، ونحن نكاد نتجاوز عنق ومنعرج صعود الجبل يرى قائد هذه المسيرة أن على الجيل الاول من الثورة أن يرمي الحبل المتين الى جيل الشباب مطالباً إياه بالإمساك برسن التوجيه والإدارة وخوض تجربة الصعود الثانية نحو الأعلى باعتباره الضمانة الحقيقية لتواصل الأجيال والتي هي الشرط الضامن لاستمرار نجاح التجربة ونجاعة الحلول في مواجهة المستجدات وبروز التحديات الجديدة التي لا مكان فيها ولا دور أساسياً للحرس القديم، إلا اللهم بعض مهام الاستشارة والإشراف الأبوي والمساعدة في فك بعض رموز وطلاسم العقد المستعصية من أيام تجربة الاربعين ربيعاً…!

من منشور الإمام

الخامنئي…!

ولعل حجر الزاوية في ما ورد في البيان الاستراتيجي الذي أصدره قائد الثورة الإسلامية، الإمام الخامنئي في منشوره الآنف الذكر «الخطوة الثانية للثورة الإسلامية» هو التالي :

«تواجه إيران المقتدرة اليوم أيضاً كما في بداية الثورة تحديات يخلقها لها المستكبرون، ولكن بفارق ذي مغزىً كبير. فإذا كان التحدي مع أميركا في ذلك الحين حول تقصير أيدي عملاء الأجانب أو إغلاق سفارة الكيان الصهيوني في طهران أو فضح وكر التجسس، فالتحدي اليوم سببه وجود إيران المقتدرة على حدود الكيان الصهيوني وإنهاء النفوذ غير الشرعي لأميركا في منطقة غرب آسيا ودعم الجمهورية الإسلامية لكفاح المجاهدين الفلسطينيين في قلب الأراضي المحتلة والدفاع عن الراية الخفاقة لحزب الله والمقاومة في كل هذه المنطقة. وإذا كانت مشكلة الغرب في ذلك الحين الحيلولة دون شراء أسلحة بدائية لإيران فإن مشكلته اليوم الحؤول دون نقل الأسلحة الإيرانية المتطورة لقوات المقاومة.

وإذا كانت أميركا في ذلك الحين تظن أنها ستستطيع بعدد من الإيرانيين البائعين ذممهم وبطائرات ومروحيات عدة التغلب على النظام الإسلامي وشعب إيران، فإنها اليوم تجد نفسها لمواجهة الجمهورية الإسلامية سياسياً وأمنياً بحاجة إلى تحالف كبير من عشرات الحكومات المعاندة أو المرتعبة، وهي البتة سوف تنهزم في المواجهة رغم ذلك.

إن إيران بفضل الثورة تقف الآن في مكانة سامقة ولائقة بالشعب الإيراني وفي أنظار العالم، وقد تجاوزت الكثير من المنعطفات الصعبة في قضاياها السياسية…»

ها هي ثورة المستضعفين اذن وبعد أربعين ربيعاً إيرانياً تغسل أقدامها في المياه الساخنة من هرمز الى باب المندب الى شواطئ البحر المتوسط لتقول للعالم أجمع :

ولّى زمن الاسكندر وكسرى والناتو ووارسو

وجاء زمن بدر وخيبر

فهلّموا يا شباب العرب والمسلمين على خير العمل

لتحقيق قيامة فلسطينية تختصر انتصار القسط والعدل في العالم على الظلم والطغيان على امتداد التاريخ البشري…!

وثورة حتى قيام القائم

بعدنا طيبين، قولوا الله.

Nasrallah on ‘real reason’ why US continues ’40 years of war on Iran’ – English Subs

February 17, 2019

Note by the Saker: Middle East Observer (MEO) is now also uploading video content on its new channel on the DailyMotion.com, partly due to YouTube’s increasing intolerance for alternative viewpoints and voices. Below is MEO’s latest video, which can currently only be found on its Daily Motion channel.

Description:

Hezbollah’s leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah reveals the ‘real reason’ why the United States has been ‘waging war on Iran for the last 40 years’. Nasrallah was speaking at a ceremony marking 40 years since the ‘victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran’.

Source: Al-Manar Tv (YouTube)

Date: 6 February, 2019

Transcript:

O’ brothers and sisters, let’s properly describe what has been going on for the last 40 years, so we can determine where we are in this battle. No one try to deceive us and (fool) us with slogans. No one try to (fool) us with slogans. For example, today most Arab and world media outlets present an (evil) and dark image of Iran, while they remain silent regarding the oldest dictatorships and the worst and most corrupt regimes across the Arab and Islamic world, (silence towards) the worst rulers who rob their people, people who live in poverty, hunger, illiteracy, unemployment, without being able to marry etc, while some still give such (rulers glorious) titles.

Let’s go back to the description: some say that what is occurring in our region is an Israeli-Iranian war. Not true. Some say that it is a Saudi-Iranian conflict, and (they say) we wish to remain neutral in this Saudi-Iranian war. This (description) is not correct. Ofcourse even some of our friends and admirers in the region speak like this, that it is a Saudi-Iranian conflict going on in the region.

Firstly, when it comes to Israel, Israel’s conflict with the region, with the Palestinian people, with the Lebanese, the Syrians, the Jordanians, Egyptians, and the Arab people, and its war against our sanctities, this (conflict) began before the victory of the Islamic revolution in Iran. This ongoing (Israeli) war did not begin in 1979, it has been going on since 1948 and even earlier. This is first.

Second, this is not a Saudi-Iranian conflict, not at all. The correct definition of this battle is an ‘American war against the Islamic Republic of Iran ever since 1979’, and it will continue. Saudi Arabia is a tool within this war. (Merely) a tool, in this war. Certain Gulf states are tools in this war. Saddam Hussein, who portrayed himself as the ‘Knight of Arabism and the Qadisiyyah’, was a small tool of (Donald) Rumsfield and the Americans in this war. Those who are fighting the Islamic Republic of Iran today, through the media, politics, sanctions, issuing prohibitions, sowing chaos, and ‘takfir’, they are implementing an American project only.

Mohammad bin Salman admitted this with his very own mouth, that after 1979 America asked Saudi Arabia to work on spreading Wahhabism throughout the world. Why? He did not reveal or clarify the reason. Because the world began to develop an openness towards Islam. There was the Khomeini version (of Islam), and the Wahhabi version (of Islam), and there were other versions. The (Americans) said to the House of Saud, go ahead and spread the Wahhabi version around the world. And for this reason, we have two models, we have the Islamic Republic of Iran, and we have another model.

For example, why do they insist on saying the ‘Islamic State organisation’? We say ‘Daesh’. Today when Trump was speaking he says the ‘Islamic State organisation’. Everyone is insisting on calling it the ‘Islamic State organisation’, why? Because on the one hand when you present to me the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Islamic state that has technology, technical (expertise), education, sports, medicine, advancement, industry, cheap water and petrol (availability), electricity and gas reaching every single house, with its national sovereignty and elections, its freedoms, and power, dignity, and honour (for its people) in this world and the next, (this is one image), and in contrast, when you come present to me an ‘Islamic state’ that carries out beheadings, and destroys churches and mosques, and religious shrines, the burning of flags, swearing, insults, and cursing (by its followers), the cutting of human organs, the eating of (human) kidneys, the cutting open of chests, the burning alive of prisoners within cages, the drowning of whole regions with water, widespread destruction. This is the Islamic state that America wants, and this is the Islamic state that Imam Khomeini wants.

This ‘Islamic state’ of Daesh (was the result) of (the US) asking Saudi Arabia to promote its (Wahhabi) culture throughout the world, and it spent over $200 billion for this purpose. Hence, they are tools within this war, there is no such thing as a ‘Saudi war’. Who is Saudi Arabia to wage a war or to (lead) a project of confrontation against Iran? Saudi Arabia and others are tools within the American war. ‘Pay money here’ – ‘go to Syria and pay money’, they do so. ‘Send takfiris’, they send them. ‘Send weapons’, they send weapons. ‘Say this’, they say it. In contrast, to think that there is a (Saudi) strategic administration of a (grand) project and such things – what is this talk?

The correct description of what is occurring in our region – and accept this frankness from me for once, I am always frank with you, but I mean this extreme clarity in describing the situation. And I wish to say this not only to the Lebanese, but also to the Syrians, the Iraqis, the people of the region and North Africa and the Arab and Islamic world. This is the correct description, let no one misunderstand this issue at all.

Okay, why is America insisting on fighting this war against Iran? For two reasons. And here some of these words are directed at (the people of) Iran. The first reason: that Iran is an independent state, a sovereign (state), it makes its own decisions. Iran owns its oil and gas (reserves), it owns its steel, its metal, its owns all of its mineral (reserves), it completely owns its huge wealth of human (resources), it completely owns its huge wealth of material (resources), its owns its rivers, seas, borders, ports, land and skies, and it does not submit itself to the Americans, nor does it work for the Americans, it works in the interests of its people, nation, and country. (All) this cannot be tolerated by the Americans.

O’ people, (do you think) the Americans are coming to Venezuela for the sake of democracy? Or are they coming for the sake of the largest oil and gold reserves in the world? Trump’s brain, which only has the ‘dollar sign’ and ‘oil barrel’ in it – such a person is coming to Venezuela for the sake of democracy? Well then, let him see the democracy of his allies here in the region. (Trump) is coming for the oil. And Iran (is viewed) the same way by America.

And here I say to the Iranian people, who know this truth, yet there are fallacies coming from abroad, and some (people) within Iran are working (to promote) these fallacies: why does America have a problem with Iran? Here comes the second reason: (Iranians) are (always) told about the second reason – okay, let’s deal with the second reason.

So the first reason was the independence of Iran, Iran’s capabilities, and its exploitation of its own resources. The second reason: Iran’s regional position. Its support of the oppressed and downtrodden. Its principled position regarding Palestine, al-Quds, and the (holy) sanctities. Its support for the resistance movements. I tell you: the whole world may forsake Palestine, yet the Islamic Republic of Iran will never forsake Palestine, al-Quds, and the (holy) sanctities.

Okay, so there is another reason, that is true. That Iran supports Hezbollah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad, and the Palestinian resistance factions, and Iran helped in Iraq, and Iran intervened in Syria, and Iran (also) has a different position in Yemen and Bahrain, (and so) for this reason America is pressuring it. Yet let’s be precise, this is the second reason. This is not the first reason.

This is the second reason. Because in 1979, when America came and militarily mobilised the whole world against Iran and Imam (Khomeini), in 1979 there was no Hezbollah, nor Hamas, nor Islamic Jihad, nor had Iran begun aiding the (resistance) factions yet, it had only taken a political stance (at that time), nor did it intervene in Syria or do anything in Iraq. All this talk (of Iran’s involvement) in the region was completely non-existent back then, yet despite this, war was imposed on Iran (in 1980), and its scholars, leaders, and key figures were killed, and it was besieged. The sanctions on Iran are not because of its support for Hezbollah and the resistance in Lebanon and Palestine. The sanctions on Iran have been imposed since 1979. Hezbollah was born in 1982. Islamic Jihad and Hamas (were born) after 1982. Thus, there needs to be more attention paid to this (widespread) fallacy.

O’ brothers and sisters, America’s problem with Iran is this truth: that it is an independent state. (Iran) is not a policeman (that works) for America, otherwise (the US) would not have required to station this (huge) military presence in (the Middle East). Today what does Trump say? He says ‘we have a problem, our military, soldiers, and people, we spend trillions of dollars on this (military) presence (abroad), we need to find a solution for this’. The Shah (of Iran) was playing this role for them at that time, (now Trump) wants another (Shah-style) Iran to resolve this problem for him. Yet Iran (today) is not like this.

Hence this war on Iran, in its various shapes and forms, will continue, so long as Iran (remains firm) – with its leader, officials, scholars, religious authorities, elites and people – and it is indeed doing so. Regardless of any (internal Iranian) debates and differences relating to details. When it comes to the freedom, independence, and sovereignty of Iran, and the national and Islamic dignity of Iran, (these all) constitute a red line for the Iranians. They will not relinquish or back down from this (red line). As a result, this reality will continue in the region, until America backs down and is defeated, just as it has been defeated and is being defeated, from 1979 till today – there is no more time to provide you with a list of all the (successive) defeats of the United States of America and its projects in our region, and (all) the defeats of Israel in our region. And in the future more and more defeats (will follow).

At the same time, Iran will continue to stand with the people and movements of the region, and it must bear the consequences of this stance and the fulfilling of this responsibility, and it is thanked for this. And this (bearing of responsibility) is rooted in its religious faith, Islamic commitment, its ethical depth, its civilization and history, this is Iran, this is the people of Iran, this is the Islamic Republic of Iran.

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Cupid’s Zionist Arrows Missing Maduro

By Hussein Samawarchi

I wasn’t waiting to see if the Arabs participating in the most recent US charade against the free world would exchange Valentine’s love cards with the “Israelis” or not. That is something only a person who is acutely naive would doubt. I just wanted to see if they did it publicly or not. After all, the bosses of Pence and Pompeo are the same ones who need to ensure that the bloodthirsty Netanyahu continues his rampage against Palestinian children and that can only be accomplished by getting him to win elections, the results of which would be almost secured if the scandal-plagued Zionist PM proves to the settlers that he’s opening Arab airports for them.

One way or another, the “Israeli” media was going to celebrate candlelight dinners between the lords of Petroleum and the PM who, not so long ago, was shown on video speaking openly about the US public opinion being his to manipulate. They, the “Israeli” newspapers and TV stations, leak such news frequently. And, unfortunately, this is one aspect where public deception is not the case.

It is all related to Venezuela, whose legal president, Mr. Nicolas Madura, has proved that it is possible for a Latin to be more Arab than many of those who wear the traditional Dishdashah. Actually, more humanely correct and closer to the philosophy of Islam than most of them. Mr. Maduro and the brave people of Venezuela are living proof that the gap between Christianity and Islam is nonexistent when it comes to right and wrong.

The major Latin American nation has been subject to enormous pressures by the US for as long as we can remember. The Venezuelans’ natural tendency to refuse being dictated to has led them to be on the blacklist of the CIA; they are simply too proud to receive late night phone calls from some American ambassador and this is just unfathomable to the agency that orchestrated the infamous Operation Condor. They want to control Venezuela’s natural resources and its politics.

Nevertheless, it has become obvious that the objective behind the insistent campaign to destroy the very foundations of Venezuela and starve its citizens goes beyond wanting to turn it into another puppet state.

The graduates of Kissinger’s school of political terror have found that bringing a nation like this great Bolivarian one with all its top natural and human resources to its knees would serve as a lesson to the Arab leaders who were still hesitant regarding being seen in the same room with “Israel” and Cupid. If the CIA can starve the Venezuelans into overthrowing a government that says NO to imperialism, then the same could be done with the dictators of the Gulf region. It’s a very simple concept: Forget the Palestinians or we will bring someone in your place who would.

The exaggerated “Israeli” flag portrayed during the separatists’ demonstration in Venezuela was a signal to Arabs preparing to fly to Warsaw. Pompeo probably authorized the $10 payment to each person carrying it while planning the shameful seating arrangements for the summit along with the comical little microphone act that was staged.

Iran has been subject to crippling embargos for the past 40 years; high-quality medicine is not only produced there, but it is also affordable by everyone. There is no fear of falling sick in the Islamic Republic and not finding the proper medical attention for free. Even dental care which is not covered by insurance in so many so-called first world countries is available free of charge in centers around the Iranian capital. This is just one simple example of what an anti-imperialist government gives to its people.

President Maduro realizes this and so do the majority of his people. There is no doubt that Venezuela will pull through this ordeal and it will do so by primarily sticking to its high ethical standards in international affairs and then by keeping its close relationships with the countries supporting real independence and freedom of choice.

The assassin of Imam Mohammad Baqir Al Sadr was buried in disgrace. The kidnapper of Imam Mousa al-Sadr was buried in disgrace. Those trying to assassinate Palestine will be buried in disgrace. No amount of celebrating Valentine’s with Netanyahu by officials will make the Arab citizen forsake his true love, Jerusalem.

Iran looks East amid US trials and tribulations

February 12, 2019

Iran looks East amid US trials and tribulations

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

February 12, 2019

On the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, this past Friday, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei made an effort to express Iran’s geopolitical stance in simple terms: ‘We have good relations with all nations in the world, we don’t want to break relations with any European nation’, and an explanation of the slogan ‘Death to America’.

The Ayatollah said ‘Death to America’ “means death to Trump, John Bolton and Mike Pompeo. It means death to American rulers. We have no problems with the American people.”

So, the slogan is indeed a metaphor – as in death to US foreign policy as conducted for much of the past four decades.

That includes, of course, the dismantling, by the Trump administration, of the nuclear deal with Iran, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA).

In a rash rebuke of the centrist government of President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Muhammad Javad Zarif – who negotiated the JCPOA with the Obama administration, as well as Russia, China, France, the UK and Germany – Khamenei stressed he would not have signed it. His legendary distrust of the US now seems more than vindicated.

Payment system

For the Europeans who signed the JCPOA, what’s left is trying to pick up the pieces. Enter Instex – the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges, a mechanism backed by the European Union, with its headquarters in Paris and run by a German banker, which in theory allows European banks and companies to keep trading with Iran without being fined, extra-territorially, by the US Department of Justice, or being totally excluded from the American market.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian called it “an important geopolitical gesture.” But a “gesture” may not be enough, especially because initially it just covers humanitarian goods sold to Iran, such as pharmaceuticals, food and medical supplies.

Tehran pays Instex, and Instex reimburses the food and pharma companies involved. Further on down the road, small and medium-sized European companies might also use Instex to trade with Iran without being slapped with US sanctions.

What’s crucial in the long run about Instex is that the mechanism bypasses the US dollar. So, it will be under immense scrutiny all across the Global South. Instex won’t replace the Swift payment system anytime soon, because the capitalization is set at only $1 billion. The thing is whether other heavyweights, such as Russia, China and Turkey, will start using Instex to bypass US dollars and sanctions, trading way beyond “humanitarian goods”.

Instex, although an embryonic response, shows how Brussels and major European capitals are exasperated by the Trump administration’s unilateralism. Diplomats have been saying on and off the record that nothing will prevent the Europeans from doing business with Iran, buying their energy, investing in their market, and bypassing the US dollar in the process.

This has the potential to offer some breathing space to President Rouhani. The latest internal polls reveal that 40 years after the Islamic Revolution, over 70% of Iranians of all social classes have zero trust in any negotiations involving the US government. And that even includes an increasing number of millennials, for whom the Islamic Revolution is just an echo of a distant past.

That may not be the exact sentiment in Teherangeles, California – the capital of the Iranian diaspora, which may number over half a million people worldwide, mostly upper-middle-class. But it does reflect the pulse of the nation.

PayMon, crypto alternative

Over and over again, the Rouhani administration must tackle an insurmountable contradiction. National pride, boosted by Iran recapturing its role as a major power in Southwest Asia, is always undermined by intimations of social despair, as in countless families surviving on less than $200 a month, under rampant inflation and suffering the effects of the non-stop fall of the rial, whatever the feel-good factors constantly exhorted by the government.

An Iranian girl holds a poster of the late founder of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Khomeini on the 40th anniversary of his return from exile in Paris at his mausoleum in Tehran on February 1. Photo: AFP

Already in regard to Instex, there has been a backlash. Iran has been told it must join the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global body that seeks to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism, and that it must compromise on its missile program, which it regards as non-negotiable. The chief of Iran’s judiciary, Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani, branded the two conditions set by the Europeans as “humiliating”.

And on the European front, there’s no evidence yet that small companies trust that the Instex payment system will make them immune to retaliatory action by the US.

Iranians though are opening other creative fronts. Four banks – Bank Melli, Bank Mellat, Parsian Bank and Bank Pasargad – have developed a gold-backed cryptocurrency named PayMon, and negotiations are already advanced with the Europeans as well as Russia, Switzerland and South Africa to expand PayMon trading. Iranian officials are adamant that blockchain will be crucial to improve the nation’s economy.

The Iranian move mirrors Venezuela’s action in launching its own oil-backed cryptocurrency, the petro, last October. But count on the Blocking Iran Illicit Finance Act to swing into overdrive in the US Congress.

Meanwhile, Russia and Iran have all but bypassed the US dollar in bilateral trade, using only ruble and rial and “in case of urgent need, the euro, if we have no other options”, according to the Russian Ambassador to Iran, Levan Dzhagaryan.

China, Russia, Iran and Turkey – the four key vectors of ongoing Eurasia integration – are investing in bypassing the US dollar on trade by any mechanism necessary. The Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) is also working on a common system for “boosting economic sovereignty”, as defined by President Putin. It has free-trade agreements with an array of partners, including China and Iran.

Arab NATO roll-call

This is the background in the run-up towards what is essentially an anti-Iran conference convened by the Trump administration in Warsaw this Wednesday.

No one in Europe that really matters wants to be publicly associated with Iranian demonization. Federica Mogherini, the EU foreign policy chief, is not going. EU-wide businesses increasingly tell their puny political leaders that the way to go is Greater Eurasia – from Lisbon to Vladivostok, from Murmansk to Mumbai, with Tehran in between, and everything linked to the China-driven Belt and Road Initiative.

Poland is an exception. Ruled by hardcore nationalists, it has been lobbying for a permanent US military base, which President Andrzej Duda wants to call “Fort Trump”.

Unable to force France, the UK, Germany and Italy out of doing business with Iran, what’s left for Washington is to have Persian Gulf governors plus Israel assembled in the same room, pledging their efforts towards an ill-defined, anti-Iran Arab NATO.

What this will certainly accomplish inside Iran is to promote even more hardliners and “Principlists” who are lobbying for a return to former President Ahmadinejad’s “Look East” strategy.

Iran is already looking East – considering its top Asian energy clients and the close ties with the Belt and Road Initiative and the EAEU. Team Rouhani now knows, in realpolitik terms, they cannot trust the US; and the EU is an immensely problematic partner. The next major step would be for Iran to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. China wants it. And Russia wants it.

Venezuela looks to have been targeted for regime change essentially because it’s trying to bypass the US dollar on trade. That should not be a problem for Iran, which has been a target for regime change for decades.

“World Changing, World Powers Becoming More Fragile”

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi's

February 10, 2019

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi the world is changing and moving in a direction where major powers are becoming more fragile, allowing other countries an opportunity to take control of their own destinies.

Bahram Qassemi made the remarks in an interview with Mehr news agency on the achievements of the Islamic Revolution in the field of foreign policy.

“I believe that the world is moving in the direction where great powers are becoming more fragile every day, and other countries can take hold of their own destiny through wisdom, consensus and unity,” he said.

He went on to add, “we have to believe the fact that the world is changing. As you can see, the US today is not the same as it was yesterday, and the future US will certainly not be what it is today.”

Qassemi then explained the concept of ‘No to East, No to West’ as one of the slogans of the Islamic Revolution, adding “in my opinion, the meaning of the slogan is that interaction with the East and West is acceptable, but without being under the influence of either of them. We should have cooperation and engagement with them while maintaining our independence, and today this objective has been achieved.”

He stressed that the notion of ‘independence’ has been the most important factor in Iran’s foreign policy in the past forty years after the Revolution.

“The Islamic Revolution of Iran was not only a source of inspiration for neighboring countries and the region, but also for all other countries across the globe,” he added.

SourceMehr News Agency

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