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.

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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السيد نصرالله… انتصارات ووقفات عزّ

فبراير 9, 2019

سعيد معلاوي

مساء الأربعاء الماضي تسمّر الملايين في لبنان والعالم العربي أمام شاشات التلفاز لمتابعة خطاب أمين عام حزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله بمناسبة الذكرى الأربعين لانتصار الثورة الاسلامية في إيران. وذلك للوقوف على آخر المستجدات في المنطقة وكلّ ما له علاقة بالمسألة الفلسطينية.

في خطابه أشار السيد نصرالله إلى أنّ إيران دولة عظمى بكلّ ما للكلمة من معنى، وينبغي على الولايات المتحدة الأميركية وكيان العدو الصهيوني أن يتهيّبا قدراتها التي لا حدود لها، عسكرياً، وعلى كلّ المستويات. وهذه رسالة لأميركا وحلفائها مفادها أنّ إيران تمتلك كلّ عناصر القوة التي تمكنها من إلحاق الهزيمة بأعدائها، ومن يقف في صفهم.

لبنانياً كان لكلام السيد نصرالله وقع كبير، فهو أبدى استعداداً للمساهمة والمساعدة من أجل حصول لبنان على منظومة دفاع جوي من إيران، ولتسليح الجيش اللبناني بكلّ ما يحتاجه للدفاع عن أرضه وسيادته بمواجهة العدو الصهيوني وكلّ قوى الإرهاب. ولم يغفل الحديث عن تأمين التيار الكهربائي لكلّ لبنان في خلال أقلّ من سنة وبكلفة زهيدة جداً وإضاءة الطرقات والأنفاق.

مواقف السيد نصرالله هذه، والتي تؤيدها الغالبية العظمى من اللبنانيين المتمسكة بمعادلة الجيش والشعب والمقاومة، نزلت كالصاعقة على أصحاب نظريات الضعف والنأي والحياد، المسكونين بالعقد. وما ضاعف من قوة الصعق، الاهتمام والمتابعة الدولية للخطاب وتحليل أبعاده واستهدافاته في هذا التوقيت بالتحديد. ولكونه عزّز الروح المعنوية لدى جميع المؤمنين بنهج المقاومة والممانعة انْ كان على الساحة المحلية والقومية، أو الإقليمية أو الدولية، وأكد ثابتة أننا نعيش زمن الانتصارات ووقفات العز.

The Islamic Revolution In The Service Of The Palestinian Cause

By Staff

Gaza – ““Israel” is an invader. It must leave as soon as possible. The only solution is for the Palestinian brothers to destroy this corrupt entity as soon as possible.”

The above is an objective laid out by Imam Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini following the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. While the Shah’s Iran was the most prominent supporter of the “Israeli” occupation entity in the region, the Imam’s revolution constituted an actual uprising against this reality. The Islamic Revolution, which closed the door to relations with the US and closed Washington’s embassy, opened its doors at that time to the late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat. It opened the Palestinian Embassy in the Islamic Republic by removing the flag of the usurper entity and jointly raised the Palestinian flag with the Palestine Liberation Organization.

“In order to liberate Al-Quds (Jerusalem), it is necessary to take advantage of the machine guns that depend on faith and the ability of Islam, leave the game of politics that reeks of surrender and abandon the idea of appeasing the great powers,” Imam Khomeini said.

From here and since the victory of the Islamic Revolution, Iran has been an essential supporter of the various resistance factions in occupied Palestine.

According to the leader of the Islamic Jihad movement in Palestine, Khader Habib, the Islamic Revolution has placed Iran squarely among those with a bias towards the cause of the Palestinian nation.

“Imam Khomeini’s statements and terminologies such as when he said that “Israel” is a cancerous gland that must be eradicated so that the health of the region and the Arab and Islamic nation is restored overlapped with what the Islamic Jihad movement believed in the era of the start of the Islamic revolution in Iran. It is still holding on to these beliefs,” Habib told the Al-Ahed news website in an exclusive interview.

“After the revolution, Iran became a major supporter of the Palestinian resistance against the Zionist enemy,” Habib added. “Iran realized under the leadership of Imam Khomeini and still does that the existence of the Zionist entity in the Arab and Islamic region poses a major regional threat and that efforts should be made to eradicate this cancerous tumor from the body of the nation.”

He pointed out that Iran has maintained its biased policies for the Palestinian cause and is the main supporter of the Islamic and non-Islamic resistance in Palestine.

The Islamic Jihad leader said that “Iran moved from the square of spiritual, political and intellectual theft to the square of having a biased towards the nation, its culture and to the great [religion of] Islam. Early on, Imam Khomeini declared his support for the Palestinian resistance. This was translated when the “Israeli” flag was lowered from the embassy and the Palestinian flag was raised instead. This confirmed a new phase titled the full support for the Palestinian cause.”

Habib also stressed that the Islamic Republic is a fundamental and unwavering supporter of the Palestinian cause.

“We never felt that this support was aimed at asserting dominance over the resistance factions or that it is conditional. Iran supports Palestine because it believes that Palestine must be returned to its people who should live in security before the existence of the Zionist project,” he explained.

Regarding the deal of the century, Habib stated that “the positions of the Islamic Jihad completely overlap with the position of the Islamic Republic regarding the deal.”

He explains that the deal of the century is part of the bid to  impose US, “Israeli” and Western dominance over the region.

“Everyone is targeted by the deal, including Iran and the Arab and Islamic nation. We are working to ensure its failure. It will fail due to the stability and resistance embodied by the Lebanese resistance, and all the resistance movements rejecting the “Israeli” and American hegemony as well as the Palestinian people who are spearheading the confrontation against the Zionist project,” Habib concluded.

Al-Ghoul: The Islamic Revolution marked a shift in Iran’s pivotal role

For his part, member of the Political Bureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Kayed Al-Ghoul, applauded the Islamic Revolution for transforming “the region and Iran’s pivotal role in it.”

“The Shah’s regime was hostile to the Palestinian people and the people of the Ummah. It allied itself with the Zionist enemy. The Islamic Republic is its opposite. Its policy supports the Palestinian people and the Ummah. It provides support for the resistances forces. By doing so, it is supporting the Palestinian people in their fight against the Zionist occupation,” Al-Ghoul said.

Speaking to Al-Ahed, Al-Ghoul congratulated the Islamic Republic’s leadership, government and people on the 40th anniversary for the Islamic Revolution.

“One of the main features of the Iranian Revolution is the strict position not to recognize the Zionist enemy and to consider it an enemy not only of the Arab nation but also of Iran and the Islamic people. From this position, Iran defined its dealings and support for the Palestinian people in their struggle and quest to attain their full rights,” he added.

Al-Ghoul explained that “Iran supported the Palestinians, not just politically or through the media, but in a material sense too. It supported the resistance forces facing the occupation with weapons and greatly strengthened the ability of our people and the resistance in the face of the enemy.”

“We did not feel that there was pressure, especially on the popular front in the direction of adopting certain policies. Iran confirmed that its support stems from its standing alongside the Palestinian people and the forces of resistance,” Al-Ghoul said.

According to the PFLP leader,

“a common political position among the axis of resistance is the recognition of the seriousness of the deal of the century, which is aimed at liquidating the Palestinian people’s cause and its national rights. It is also aimed at paving the way towards a formal normalization of ties between [Arab] countries and the Zionist enemy. Thus, there are common political positions and coordination, but we have not reached a unified plan on how to address the deal [of the century].”

“We recognize the need to organize the efforts of the different forces in each of the Arab countries to face the risks of the deal at the level of the country itself, at the level of the interests of the nation and then the Palestinian cause,” Al-Ghoul pointed out.

He concluded by stressing the “need to form a framework that includes the various forces in the Arab countries to create a front that confronts the deal of the century and is dependent on all our allies and friends, both in the axis of resistance or other forces at the regional or international level.”

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Mir-Salim: Iran’s Defense System One of Best Achievements

By Nour Rida

Tehran – Commemorating the 40th victory of the Islamic Revolution, al-Ahed news interviewed Vice-president of the Islamic Coalition Party Council Seyed Mostafa Mir-Salim, who was active during the revolution and had served as police chief following the revolution. He was proposed by then president Abulhassan Banisadr in July 1980 as a candidate for prime minister. He filled different posts during his career years and was also former minister of culture and guidance. Mir-Salim was also named as Islamic Coalition Party’s nominee for Iranian presidential election, 2017 in December 2016. He launched his campaign in April 2017.

Mr. Mir-Salim told al-Ahed news

“The Islamic revolution passed through several stages before arriving to its victory. We can say that the inception point came with the movement of Ayatollah Khomeini, especially in the year 1963 when he stood up to the oppressive Shah regime which led eventually to the events of 15 Khordad.”

The demonstrations of June 5, 1963, known as 15th of Khordad Uprising, were the public protest against the arrest of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini after his strong remarks on Iran’s Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, ‘Israel’ and the United States. The protestors were harshly suppressed but the event marked the vitality and power of the opposition against Pahlavi dynasty and the support Iranian nation had for their religious and political figure, Ayatollah Khomeini, who 15 years later led the Islamic Revolution to establish the Islamic Republic of Iran.

“The uprising in 1963, during which many Iranians lost their lives, was one of the main events that culminated in the Islamic Revolution some 15 years later,” he noted.

The politician continued

“Then, the period of intense repression and suppression of the struggle continued until 1974. During that year, the nature of dissension of the Mojahedin Khalq Organization MEK was revealed, and the fighters of the Islamic revolution eliminated themselves from the existence of these hypocrites. The Shah regime’s humiliation of the people and their beliefs and its neglect to their needs and principles prompted the people to continue their popular uprising.”

As Mir-Salim pointed out, the negligence of the regime and its offenses towards Imam Khomeini flared the sparks of anger across the different cities such as Qom, Tabriz, Yazd and other cities.

“The leadership of Imam Khomeini who was in exile at that time brought the people together, and on as the events continued and many were martyred, the victory saw light on the 22 of Bahman (February) 1979. It was a soon and unexpected popular victory owing to the strong faith, popular will and the wise leadership of Imam Khomeini.”

During that time, Mir-Salim was already member of the Islamic Coalition Party. However, he emphasized that

“during the early days of the revolution, no political party was officially active due to the violence and suppression of the regime Shah. However, after the Islamic revolution, political parties started to take shape, one of which is the Islamic coalition party.”

The party is a pivotal organization within Front of Followers of the Line of the Imam and the Leader and is considered a lay ally of the influential Combatant Clergy Association.

Asking him about what memories he holds from those days he said “I have bitter and sweet memories of that time. One of the shortest sweet memories that is still alive in my mind and heart is once when I was taking part in the rallies on the way to Azadi square. Suddenly, someone pats my shoulder from the back and says from behind “Sir, the speeches you gave were not futile, the revolution did triumph!” He was one of my committed students.”

As for progress and development that was realized since the days of the Islamic revolution, the vice-president says these are abundant.

“However I will mention what I believe was one of those achievements of which we should be very appreciative. I believe that Iran’s capability to defend itself since the very beginning of the birth of the Islamic Republic of Iran is an important attainment that helped all Iranians achieve independence and liberty in face of arrogance and oppression. It also helped establish an independent and religious democratic system, thanks to the guidance of Imam Khomeini and help of God. We must be thankful to see Iran’s successful defense system which allowed Iran to stand in the face of aggression during the imposed war, and this has made the US very furious to an extent it has used different methods and means to prevent the Islamic Republic from being self-sufficient and ready to confront any attack.”

Reminiscing the Islamic Revolution: Hezbollah Deputy SG Remembers Imam Khomeini

By Staff

Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General His Eminence Sheikh Naim Kassem recounts memories during the victory of the Islamic Revolution and of late Imam Khomeini.

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Sayyed Nasrallah: Resistance Axis Stronger than Ever, Iran Not Alone in Any Coming War

Zeinab Essa

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered on Wednesday a televised speech in which he focused on the Islamic Revolution and Iran’s position after 40 years on the revolution.

From A Man to Revolution

Addressing thousands of people commemorating the victory of the Islamic Revolution, Sayyed Nasrallah hailed the Islamic Revolution that started with a man and spread after 40 years to make Iran in the top of the world countries.

“Iran is the most influential country in the region,” he said, noting that “the Shah Mohammad Rida Pahlavi has made Iran a state that belongs to America and is run by Washington. He was its servant.”

Back to the mid of the last century, Hezbollah Secretary General recalled that “this was the case until a courageous man came out of Qom after years and years of observation, and stood against the Pahlavi regime’s dictatorship and its complete submission to the US.”

“Before the sixties, Imam Khomeini prepared for the revolution and settled the environment against the Shah,” he said, underscoring that “the Iranian people have endured all the tortures and massacres committed by the Shah.”

According to His Eminence, Sayyed Nasrallah stated that “this revolution was patriotic par excellence. It was a revolution of hungry, deprived and oppressed people.”

“The divine nature and essence of the 1979 Islamic Revolution distinguishes from other uprisings [in the world]. Late Imam Khomeini led the revolution against the poverty created by the Pahlavi regime. People from all strata of the society participated in it as it was an uprising of the oppressed against injustice,” he said.

Achievements

Meanwhile, Sayyed Nasrallah viewed that “one of the main achievements of the Islamic revolution is toppling the Shah Regime and bringing America and “Israel” out of Iran.”

“Iran today is one of the first independent countries in the region and among the few truly independent countries in the world,” he mentioned, highlighting that “another achievement scored is maintaining national unity and steadfastness in face of all internal conspiracies.”

He further said that “among other political achievements is the establishment of a new regime on basis of popular sovereignty and referendum. Iran in 40 years turned to become the state of institutions, constitution, law and popular sovereignty under the mandate of the Supreme Leader.”

“Elections have never been suspended in Iran, even when it was being bombed by Saddam. They did not extend the terms of the president or the parliament. They held elections on time and committed to “sovereignty of the people,” Sayyed Nasrallah elaborated, noting that “Iran today is a neither an Oriental state nor a Western nation. Unlike others, it is not submitted to the American will.”

The Hezbollah leader said Iran has made great achievements under the rule of the Islamic Jurisprudence, and is now leading in the region concerning the number of university students, international researchers and scholars, share of science production besides activities in the fields of nanotechnology, space technology and sports.

Listing some aspects of the victories scored by the Islamic Revolution, Sayyed Nasrallah said: “Iran does not need to import medicine, but Iran makes 97% of its pharmaceutical needs. Iran ranks 1st in the region in Mathematics and 13 in the world in Math and Physics. Iran produces 90% of its defense needs and exports $ 5 billion to the world. Today, the gas reaches 20 million Iranian families through pipes that reach homes.”

On the current situation, Sayyed Nasrallah praised the fact that “one of the major achievements of the Iranian revolution is the revival of religion, not just the Islamic religion.”

Iran and The Region

He went on to say: “Despite the eight-year war on it, Iran did not abandon its responsibility towards the region, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Afghanistan,” noting that “Iran stood in face of the Zionist entity, where the victory of the revolution restored the balance and placed a large wall in the face of the “Israeli” scheme.”

“One of the greatest achievements of the Iranian revolution is its serious resistance to the American hegemony and to say no to humiliation. In this context, Iran stood by the Iraqi people and had a quick intervention with its officers and cadres, headed by Haj Qassem Soleimani.”

In addition, Sayyed Nasrallah confirmed that “At a time when the whole world has abandoned Palestine and Al-Quds, Iran will never do this, because Iran honors the holy places – because of this, the US imposes sanctions on it.”

Iran Ready to Arm LA

On the Lebanese front, His Eminence “announced that as a “friend of Iran and I’m willing to bring the Lebanese Army air defense systems from Iran to confront “Israel”.”

“In the military field, wouldn’t people make an uproar and accuse Hezbollah of dragging Lebanon into war should the party shoot down an “Israeli” aircraft attacking Lebanon?” Sayyed Nasrallah wondered, noting that he is also ready to talk to Tehran on supplying the army with any arms and equipment it needs.

“Lebanon does not lack expertise and yet we are confused about the electricity file.” He mentioned, denouncing the US logic stating that there should be no Lebanese cooperation with Iran.

Saudis A US Tool

Turning to the region, His Eminence stressed that “As acknowledged by Trump, the US administration created Daesh in Iraq in order to return to the region.”

“MBS admitted that America had asked Saudi Arabia to spread Wahhabism in the world,” he said, adding that “Saudi Arabia was asked to promote the culture of Daesh.”

Sayyed Nasrallah also assured that “claims that there are “Israeli”-Iranian or Saudi-Iranian wars or conflicts in the region are untrue.”

“There is an American war on the Islamic Republic of Iran that has been running since 1979 and Saudi Arabia and some Gulf countries are tools in this war.”

Iran Not Alone

In parallel, the Resistance Leader vowed that In case a war was waged against Iran, it will certainly not be left alone in it.”

Stating that “We were affected by the US sanctions on Iran,” Sayyed Nasrallah vowed that Hezbollah would “overcome the difficulties” through its “firmness, will and resolve.”

Once again, he reiterated that “The resistance axis is stronger than ever and the US will further withdraw from the region and Israel is heading towards more fear and panic.”

“We see the struggle in the region may escalate and may take different forms but in all cases, today the Islamic Republic is the strongest state in the region … and America is headed for more withdrawals and retreats from the region,” Sayyed Nasrallah concluded.

Source: Al-Ahed

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Memories Of The Days Of Struggle & Revolution

By Mokhtar Haddad

Iranian journalist Seyed Ismail Alawi Yakana is a revolutionary who lived through the days of the Islamic Revolution. Because of his participation in the struggle against the Shah’s regime, he spent nearly three years in the SAVAK prisons.

He was also an activist during the revolution and educated a number of its men.

During the period of the sacred defense, he was present as a journalist and a fighter along the frontlines. He was responsible for reporting on the sacred defense for an Iranian newspaper during those days. Today, he still works in the same field, seeking to spread the values of the Islamic Revolution and the sacred defense among the new generation.

On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution, Al-Ahed website met with Seyed Ismail Alawi to ask him about the days of struggle and victory.

Q: How would you describe the Islamic Revolution, which you lived through?

A: I must talk about the start of this revolutionary movement and its peak. There are things that led the people to resent and oppose the former regime.

The incident involving the publication of an article that was offensive to Imam Khomeini in late 1977 in a regime-run newspaper was the spark that ignited this popular resentment and anger toward the Shah’s regime.

It is true that Imam Khomeini’s uprising began in 1963, after which he was exiled. But the peak of the popular movement and the start of the final drive that eventually led to the overthrow of the tyrannical regime began after the publication of the offensive article. But before that, there was revolutionary activity by activists, which was suppressed by the Shah and his police system.

Following the publication of the article, the residents of the holy city of Qom rose against this abusive measure. The Iranian people regard the holy city of Qom as a religious symbol. The revolutionaries were religious and the revolution was of religious nature. All the people had religious tendencies.

The demands of the religious revolutionaries represented the demands of all the Iranian people and even the rest of the elites and sects in society.

The former regime had such an experience. On June 4, 1963, when Imam Khomeini was arrested and the scholars were insulted, the next day they carried out a major uprising in Tehran and across various cities. The struggle was ongoing, but the regime was suppressing it.

It is true that the regime suppressed the June 5, 1963 uprising. But the revolutionaries formed a revolutionary nucleus for the political or armed struggle. In the early 1970s, we witnessed the regime’s crackdown on the revolutionaries. But the revolutionaries did not retreat.

Then, in the mid 1970s, the political struggle escalated in universities and mosques.

In late 1977, after the publication of that offensive article, the Shah’s regime was surprised by the reaction of the people.

I remember even some of the revolutionaries believed that revolutionary action needed extensive work. But when the people rose up, everyone was surprised with the speed.  Some did not expect the people to overthrew the Shah that quickly.

Q: Why did the Islamic Revolution accelerate?

A: First, the Shah’s regime did not pay attention to the demands of the people. But there is another important point which is the love for Imam Khomeini. The Iranian people loved Imam Khomeini. This was thanks to God Almighty.

Q: The Shah’s regime was dependent on America and the West. Even Carter, who visited Iran during the regime’s final last months, described the country as the island of stability. Why did the monarchy collapse?

A: The former regime was the front line, countering the influence of the former Soviet Union with the support of the West. During the Cold War, they considered Iran an important state for them. And the Westerners were supporting the Shah.

When the West wanted the help of its allied countries, including the countries in the NATO alliance, it was done through the Shah’s regime since it was trusted by the West and was regarded as the region’s policeman.

The Shah relied on this support and thought that in case of any popular movement he would be fully supported.

Q: In this context, we see that in the final days of the Shah’s regime, Washington sent its special envoy, General Robert Huyzer. What was this man’s mission in Tehran?

A: America sent General Robert Huyzer to maintain the Shah’s regime and carry out a military coup as it did in the fifties. This is all documented, even in the memoirs of this American general.

Huyzer was tasked with supporting the Shah and maintaining his regime. Before that the American spies who used to work in the US Embassy in Tehran had prepared for him all the polls and statistics for him to carry out the mission.

But he saw that the armed forces were not prepared to carry out this mission and massacre the people, so his mission failed.

Many members of the armed forces, including Air Force officers, joined the people.

Q: But America came up with new plans to target the revolution.

A: Using several schemes, Washington wanted to deter the Islamic Revolution because the victory of the revolution had damaged the interests of Washington in the region.

The Islamic Revolution was inspiring to the people. The Zionist enemy was occupying Islamic countries. During that stage, we saw an Islamic awakening that was confronting the Zionist plan. Therefore, we see that the Islamic Revolution has become the inspiration for the resistance, revolutionaries and the people in the region.

This led to growing concerns by the Zionists and the Americans. Washington became concerned about the future and the fate of the Zionist entity.

I remember that in the first months of the revolution’s victory there were rallies in which they were asked to go to Palestine to support the Palestinian people.

We saw the “Israeli” Embassy in Tehran transformed into the Palestinian Embassy in the first week of the Islamic Revolution.

Therefore, we saw that the Americans and the Zionists carried out many plans in the first months of the revolution’s victory in order to limit the revolution to slogans and internal issues. Therefore, they activated the separatist movements such as the events in Kurdistan province in which Saddam’s regime and other regional regimes played a large role. But these projects failed.

After the failure of this project and the revolutionary forces overcoming the internal problems, they came up with another plan, which is to impose Saddam’s war on Iran.

Q: Why did Imam Khomeini from the start of his uprising raise slogans greater than Iran, like supporting the Palestinian people against the Zionist enemy?

A: This is due to the cultural and religious nature of the Islamic Revolution. It was not only focused on internal issues or economic issues. This revolution had wide and comprehensive goals and visions. Imam Khomeini’s first speech during the sixties in the holy city of Qom and the beginning of the uprising is the most evident proof of this. He raised issues such as the Muslim awakening and confronting the colonial and Zionist schemes, etc.

Q: How did you enter the revolutionary work and why did the Shah’s regime arrest you?

A: Religious circles were directly related to the revolution and the revolutionaries. When a person participates in the activities in the mosque, Hussainiya or places where the Holy Quran was taught, his sense of fighting the corrupt regime of the Shah strengthens since Islam and the Quran both stress the importance of standing up to the oppressor. We saw that the policies of the Shah’s regime were contrary to the teachings and objectives of Islam.

When I started the revolutionary work I was 15 years old during which I experienced this atmosphere. I met the leaders of the revolution during those days, including Ayatollah Khamenei, martyr Ayatollah Beheshti and engineer Mahdi Bazarkan. We learned and were inspired by them. So, I entered the revolutionary work. We worked in the mosques and Hussainiyas, spreading the ideas of Imam Khomeini and distributing His Eminense’s statements and messages.

Then we founded a revolutionary student group. We were, then, arrested by the SAVAK and spent about three years in prison.

In prisons, revolutionaries were subjected to the most severe forms of torture. There were people in the SAVAK who specialized in the implementation of systematic torture.

In 1971, the Shah established a joint committee between the SAVAK and the police to counter sabotage as he claimed. The committee had a very scary prison that housed the revolutionaries who were arrested. They were also tortured.

I was detained for a while in that prison.

Q: What sort of relationship did the SAVAK have with the Mossad and the CIA in confronting the revolutionaries?

A: It is natural that there be a relationship between the SAVAK and the Mossad and the CIA because the Shah had a close relationship with the United States and the Zionist entity. So, both the Mossad and the CIA used to transfer their security experiences to the SAVAK.

As you know, some of our revolutionaries used to go to Palestine and Lebanon for training. So the Mossad sent these people’s information to the SAVAK.

Q: Do you have some memories of the last days before the victory of the revolution and the day Imam Khomeini returned to the country?

A: I was one of the members of Imam Khomeini’s reception committee. I was in the third circle to safeguard the security of the Imam. We were positioned in the Paradise of Zahra (PBUH) cemetery where Imam Khomeini was supposed to deliver a speech honoring the revolution’s martyrs. We were there for 10 nights and days. We had concerns of acts of vandalism that might be carried out by the regime during the Imam’s reception ceremony.

And I remember one of the brothers, a Lebanese revolutionary. His name was Shaher. He trained our group, which was made up of 100 people, in order to maintain the security of the Paradise of Zahra (PBUH).

Imam Khomeini’s reception was historic. Millions of people lined up from Maharabad Airport to Freedom Square and Revolution Street until the Paradise of Zahra (PBUH). It was the final victory of the revolution. I still remember the happiness and joy on the faces of the people that day.

For The Sake Of the People, For The Sake Of the Revolution

 

By Nour Rida

Former Minister Dr. Marandi:  40 years after revolution, Iran enjoys high status 

Forty years after the victory of the Islamic Revolution, Iran stands in a very different position on the domestic and international levels, and is considered to be a major player in today’s world order. The unexpected revolution at that time took the world by surprise, and it had occurred while the Shah’s power was at its peak with the US backing. However, Iranian people on the different levels and from different social classes, those residing in the country and some abroad rose to support the revolution and the ideals of the founder of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini whose main philosophy was to support the oppressed.

To narrate one story of those times when the Shah fled and Imam Khomeini came back from exile to lead the revolution, and of the ongoing and gradual progress of the revolution Al-Ahed news interviewed Dr. Seyed AliReza Marandi to recall some aspects of his life which he dedicated to the revolution while inside Iran and in the US where he was a practicing physician.

For those who do not know him, he is an Iranian physician and Professor of Pediatrics and Neonatology at Shahid Beheshti University. He was also an associate professor at Wright State University before returning to Iran, during the Revolutionary days. During his nine years in office as Minister of Health and Medical Education, medical education was integrated with health care delivery. In each of the 29 provinces, one University of Medical Sciences was established, thus making the country self-sufficient in health human resources. Of his major contributions, was a highly successful national vaccination program (which also included a program for terminating polio in Iran), the significant reduction of infant and child mortality rates, as well as organizing one of the most successful national birth control programs in the World.

He is Chairman of the Iranian Society of Neonatologists; member of the Board of Directors of the Islamic Republic of Iran Breastfeeding Promotion Society; and the National Committee for the Reduction of Perinatal Mortality and Morbidity. He is also Chairman of the Academy of Medical Sciences of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the laureate recipient of the United Nations Population Award (1999).

Before the revolution broke…

Sitting at his office in the Academy of Medical Sciences in Tehran, former Minister Dr. Marandi spoke calmly recalling the events of his life as member of Iranian society, a physician dedicated to serve the people, a minister who before and after being in office felt great responsibility towards the revolution.

The story starts years before the revolution, in 1963 when Alireza Marandi was arrested during the 15th of Khordad uprising (June 5 and 6). These were protests in Iran against the arrest of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini after his denouncement of Iranian Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and Israel. At that time, Dr. Marandi was a medical student. He was different because he was among the few students who would frankly stand against the Shah and were not afraid to take action at the time.

Dr. Marandi describes this phase saying “I think all the students were against the Shah’s regime but they were scared, so not many were active. We had some demonstrations at the University of Tehran where I was a student, however at that time, the army did not have the authority to enter the University. Demonstrations were not huge but some students participated, including myself. There was a number of us who decided to have a small organization at the campus of university. We invited figures like Mohandes Bazargan, Ayatollah Motahhari, Ayatollah Rashed to give speeches on campus. Our activities were more or less focused on the same area of interest.”

However, this was not the only way he expressed objection to the Shah’s regime. “I had some other activities like carrying and distributing Imam Khomeini’s speeches in hard copies or in voice tapes. One night the army came to the campus and they had a list of people who should be arrested and I was among them. At the time jails were full with prisoners, therefore they took us to an army base, Jamshidieh, where we were imprisoned for three months. Some of us were beaten on a daily basis and interrogated. We had no access to the world outside, with no radio, newspapers or anything. However, for unknown reasons we were released suddenly one day. I had finished my sixth year of medical school and I was about to become an intern in my seventh year.”

This phase, which must have been difficult for Dr. Marandi and his peers, did not stop them from adopting their values, and they still resisted in one way or another. “As soon as I finished medical school, I went to the Health Corps, and I travelled to different villages for health purposes. I would give some speeches to people regarding health issues. The Shah regime would send us frequently to participate in celebrations such as the Shah’s birthday or his son’s birthday, or the so called White Revolution, they would offer us money and ask us to take part in the celebrations. I would never use this money for personal needs, but would rather buy medicine and such things to help people. However, in one of the villages, there were several members of the gendarmerie, who had their own celebrations and occasions. They would invite me to give speeches to the people. They would specifically ask me to talk about Shah’s White Revolution for instance. I always started my speeches with discussing medical and health issues and would never get to talk about anything in that regard. So, they would frequently send reports to the Shah’s office about what is happening. Eventually I was accused of being political and I am acting against the Shah, so during the last few days in the Health Corps, they had a military court and they asked me some questions which was only two or three days before the end of my work. To be able to have my specialty and training, I had arranged to go to the US and had booked my ticket which was exactly two days after the termination of my tenure at the Health Corps. Exactly one day after I had left the country with my wife, a verdict was issued to put me in jail. They took my father and put him under pressure and thought I was hiding, and when they figured out I had traveled they tried to put pressure on him to bring me back so that I would go to jail, but that was nonsense!”

Support overseas; a physician in the US

Dr. Marandi went to the US where he earned his specialty of pediatrics and subspecialty in neonatology, and had his American board of subspecialty in neonatology as well. Then he became an assistant professor at Wright State University and then associate professor at the same University. After that, he then became the chairman of the department of pediatrics at Wright State University, and also director of the neonatology intensive care over there, and that was at the time when the revolution materialized and the professor came back to Iran.

Asking him on how he continued his support to the revolution, Dr. Marandi elaborated “The city in which we lived did not have that many Iranians. They were physicians and they became members of the medical community. However, we had our own discussions on the situation. My wife and I tried to purchase books and tapes from Iran, not directly, but through the Students’ Islamic Organization who had their own means of bringing these into the country. I would purchase books and tapes from them; we practically had a small library at our home. So whoever needed these books or tapes, whether students or others we would lend them the material. This was more or less what we were doing because we were not students but physicians and had our own community. The last year or two before the revolution, we established an organization for physicians who were residing in the United States and Canada. I was the director of the organization. We had a small newspaper that we would distribute among the members. We also would get together and have some discussions whether in our state, or in Chicago or somewhere else.”

Dr. Marandi said he and his wife were “fortunately very interested in the revolution”.

However, he said “all what I could do was send some money to Iran, lower wage earning people were on strike and were facing a financially difficult situation. We had three TVs to follow up on news coming from Iran. Short wave radios did not exist practically, and few people in the US, practically speaking, even knew where Iran was on the map. With great effort, we were able to purchase a radio from New York and tried to listen to the radio to follow up on the news. When we heard on the radio that the revolution was realized, at that very same moment my wife and I decided to go back to Iran. Right on the second day after my children finished the school year they returned to Iran with my wife and I stayed on a little longer to sell my office, our house, and our properties which took a bit of time. When I arrived in Iran it was the 4th of November, the day when the embassy was occupied.”

Dr. Marandi was making a great deal of money in the US, however his personal interest did not stop him from returning to Iran to play his role in the revolution.

Duty calls…

For quite some time, Dr. Marandi did not have a job after returning from the US even though he had received numerous letters and messages telling him that all kinds of subspecialties are needed in Iran.

Dr. Marandi explained he was interested in academic research and work, and was not willing to take up any administrative job.

“One night, a friend, who has passed away now, told me: “I am having some guests over tonight, you do not know any of them but since you have nothing to do why don’t you come to our house and get to know these people.” When I went I discovered he was right, I didn’t know any of them except for the host. While we were sitting someone called and one of them picked up the phone. He said Ayatollah Beheshti is on the line and says that they are sitting in the revolution council now and are trying to find a Minister of Health. Ayatollah Beheshti said they wanted to pick Dr. Abbas Sheybani as a minister but soon figured out that since they didn’t have a suitable Minister of Agriculture they picked him for that. Dr Zargar, was the one who picked up the phone, and was himself assigned to be the Minister of Health. I did not know him at that time. He came and asked “friends I am assigned as the Minister of Health, who is ready to help me?”

“One of the men answered “I am ready to help you, I’ll be the undersecretary for curative medicine,” later on I found out that he was Dr. Velayati. The other one said “I am ready to help you as undersecretary for welfare” and I found out later that he was Martyr Lavasani and so on. When it was my turn, I said I am not interested in an executive job, I said I was an associate professor in the US and I am only interested in teaching and nothing else.”

At that time, Dr. Marandi was trying to find his own path of contributing to the Revolution. “I went to the organization of Construction Jihad which existed at that time to see a friend there. I said I want to go to the different villages and immunize children. I said I have my own car and I do not need money, so I asked if they can provide some vaccines so that I could go and immunize the children. But he said they had been doing this until three weeks earlier when they stopped it and that they referred the matter to the Ministry of Health. So I couldn’t do that either.”

One day when he came back home, his wife said that the Minister of Health had called a few times and said that he needs to go to the ministry immediately. The minister told Dr. Marandi he must go immediately to the Children’s Support Organization (Anjomane Hemayate Koudakan), which he figured out later belonged to the overthrown Shah’s wife Farah.

“I was quite uninterested in anything linked to the Shah and I said no. A few of the minister’s deputies tried to talk me into it and convince me but I said no.”

After sleeping on the matter and discussing it with his wife, Dr. Marandi was still not interested. “I went back to see the minister and rejected the job. Before I left his office he said, “Well, one last word I have to say, if anybody ever asked you why you came back to Iran just say because of my own interest in education and not because of the Revolution! The Revolution does not need you to teach but rather do this sort of job.”

Dr. Marandi explained “It took me by surprise and I had no answer to that argument. He was right, I had claimed that I came back for the sake of the Revolution but I was not willing to accept an executive job that I did not like and I wanted to do something else. So I eventually accepted the job.”

Whether during the time when he headed that organization, or when he was deputy of Minister of Health, deputy to curative medicine, or Minister of Health, his concern was always to support the oppressed and the deprived.

When Saddam imposed the war on Iran, he was deputy to curative medicine. The situation was not stable and his responsibilities were very heavy. A few months after that and due to the tremendous pressure he had a heart attack, and was hospitalized. After a month his physician forced him to resign from the Ministry of Health. A couple of years later after returning to the ministry, Dr. Marandi was assigned as Minister of health, which he did not want saying, “I did not think I had enough piety to take up such a huge responsibility and I told then I am not a suitable manager for this job. I was always short of time despite working day and night just as a deputy minister.” However, despite his reservations he was introduced to the parliament as Minister of Health.

A Health sector for the people

Asked about the accomplishments of the health sector and the situation before and after the revolution, Dr. Marandi said that a “Primary health care system did not exist in Iran. Imam Khomeni was demanding that all of us should be working for the deprived and the oppressed. And I thought about what my duty as a deputy minister was back then, so I thought planning the establishment of a nationwide primary health care system would be the best idea. We could start with the 60-70 thousand small deprived villages across the country. It was very difficult because it was during the war time and there was not enough money for anything.”

However, Dr. Marandi said the parliament did not initially accept his suggestion, until they accepted to allocate a very small budget which was not near enough.

“It was enough money to carry out work in one city in every province which was a chance to prove how successful the project would be. It soon proved how effective it was and the parliament decided to give us funding for two cities in each province.”

The former Minister explained “Soon we were able to cover the whole country with this primary health care system. Our health industry improved drastically; for example the maternal mortality rate which was 278 or so before the Revolution soon decreased to 51 at that time, and now it is 18 per 100 thousand life births. Another example is the infant mortality rate which was 120 before the Revolution and came down dramatically, at the present it is only 14. Back then we had all kinds of children dying from diphtheria, Copen cough, tetanus, measles and tuberculosis. Rooms of hospitals would be filled with sick children and many of them would quickly die. For example, tetanus killed 11 thousand new born every year because mothers did not receive tetanus injections.”

The medical achievements of that period was driven by the beliefs and values of the revolution which Dr. Marandi and others had. Dr. Marandi told al-Ahed news “Through this project, we were able to immunize mothers and their children. From the first year of immunizing mothers, the numbers came down from 11 thousand to 7 or 8 cases and there were also Afghan refugees who came into the country illegally and did not know how to receive immunization. The health sector became much more active in the rural areas rather than big cities like Tehran and Esfahan because it focused on deprived areas and we did not have enough physicians and could not cover all cities.”

Self-sufficient Islamic Republic

On another note, Dr. Marandi noted that before the Revolution, the regime had brought physicians from India, Iraq, Pakistan and the Philippines. These would come without even knowing the local languages and most of them were not physicians and had not even passed their internship.

“Because of these issues, most were not able to be very helpful and they were paid more than a hundred million dollars per year at a time that our budget was very low because of the war situation and because Saddam Hussein was bombarding the country every day, half of the country was under missile strikes. Our oil which was the only major source of income for the country was limited to one million barrels per day. Saudi Arabia with the help of the US and other Western countries brought the price of oil down from over 40 dollars to 8 dollars per barrel. This income was mainly used for defense and to cover warzones, and I would use the little left over money for healthcare.”

This was the biggest achievement of the health sector after the Revolution.

There was a huge lack in medical students, and this prompted the former Minister to take action. As soon as a draft law was passed in parliament, the ministry immediately started to establish a school of medical science in every province.

“For example in the Kurdistan province, the only gynecologist who was there had left the province and therefore they had no specialist. The situation was terrible. But by establishing a medical school in every province the problem would be solved, however we had a problem of a lack of professors who would teach. I asked professors of medical schools that existed at that time like Tehran, Beheshti, Esfahan, and Mashhad to travel and teach at those universities as well. So, the professors were taking care of casualties and covering the war zone, teaching their own students and were also teaching at these newly established universities across the country.”

This way Iran could increase its medical school graduates and become self-sufficient.

“We did not need foreign physicians anymore.”

Dr. Marandi also introduced the establishment of subspecialties in Iran.  “At that time, people would travel abroad to get the medical care required, like kidney transplants for instance, however when we became self-sufficient people were able to get treatment inside the country and we saved a lot of money.”

Before the revolution, the number of medics was some 7 thousand. It rapidly went up to 14 thousand and today there are more than 150 thousand medics across the Islamic Republic.

Not easy, but I am proud

You cannot mention the Revolution of Iran without touching upon Saddam Hossein’s war on Iran. Dr. Marandi, despite being a minister had a son who was injured during the Karbala 5 operations at the warfronts. Asked about how he allowed his son to join the fighters he recalled “The first time my son mentioned he wanted to go to war he was 16, only three years after we had come back from the US. He could not even speak Farsi perfectly. I asked him why do you want to go to the warzone? If you think you will come back as a national hero and a martyr celebrated by the people and praised for what you have done then it is of no good. But imagine that you will be going to the fronts and that you will be killed in a field and nobody would bring your body back, and within days your body will be destroyed by the animals and no one would know your name anymore. If you accept this and this is how you see it then that is for God and you can go.”

It was important for the father that his son go for the right reason.

“My son waited for moments and said maybe I am not ready for that. My wife was very upset and said why did you stop him from going to the war fronts? It did not take him too long though, two weeks later he came and said he had thought about what I have said and he thinks he is ready for any condition. My wife and I were very happy.”

It is not easy for any father or mother to see their kid become a martyr, however what makes it tolerable and even desired is its value and meaning.

“He is your child, you do whatever you can for your children, every father and mother would devote their own lives for their children. It was obviously not very easy to let him go. But the ideology, the just aim and goal of his choice was important and it is the highest degree of our religious beliefs so we were proud of that.”

Revolution and divine support 

Addressing people who did not live the Revolution or the war, Dr. Marandi explained, “The revolution today enjoys a very high status. I was lived in Iran before the Revolution and after the Revolution. Because of my job I had to travel to all the deprived villages and small cities and I would see how the situation is. I understood how miserable the life of people was. I saw there were no roads, no electricity or water and as deputy minister of health I became involved in transferring water to these villages and we were able to teach the workers how to add chloride and make it safe. There was nothing at all. I witnessed how back then we were not even able to produce anything for the country, not even a needle and thread for sowing a wound.”

He went on to say “Today, despite the 8 year war and the sanctions and all the tough circumstances, we have achieved a lot. What makes me extremely hopeful is that I see that God the Almighty really helped the people as well as Ayatollah Khomeini and Ayatollah Khamenei. There were many examples of divine support, and as a result we became more hopeful. The spiritual aspect is very important and if you see it you will not become disappointed. As long as we stay on the right track we will see victory.”

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Flowers in Rifle Muzzles; a Peaceful Revolution of Love

By Nour Rida

Iranian author: Imam Khomeini, women and peaceful protests are the essence of the revolution

Forty years to the victory of the Islamic Revolution, al-Ahed news interviewed one of the prominent authors on the revolution and the holy defense or the imposed Iraqi war on Iran, who was active during the Islamic revolution. He spoke with enthusiast, recalling the days that he describes as “the best moments of his life”. He emphasized the role of women in the revolution, and stressed that tremendous numbers of the army were unable to confront the people with violence. He discussed what he saw as the essence of the victory of the Islamic Revolution and underscored that the revolution and Iran today are at their best statuses.

Hamid Davood Abadi is an Iranian scholar, author, translator and writer. He began writing in 1987. He has written some 40 books, with his 2012 autobiography Az Meraaj Bargashtegan attracting the most attention. He witnessed the victory of the Islamic Revolution and participated in the holy defense war and has many stories that have not been documented yet.

The first thing Davood Abadi emphasized in an interview with al-Ahed news is the role of women during the Islamic Revolution.

Women support was central

According to the author, “People see the role of women in any revolution as a cliché and something repetitive. But especially in the Iranian revolution, this cannot be the case. Starting with Imam Khomeini, if his wife was not there to support him I do not think he would have been able to be the leader of the Islamic Revolution.”

He pointed out “Iran’s revolution differs from any other revolution that took place across the globe, and the reason is because the leader of the revolution was bigger and mightier than the revolution. Also, standing behind Imam Khomeini, I reiterate was his wife, who supported him day and night and this is a central point when we talk about the victory of the revolution.”

For Davood Abadi, when women take action, it spurs the men on, it doubles their strength or even bolsters it ten-fold, because men cannot simply stand by and watch as the women take action. Not only that, but also women turned the movement into a familial one, it was not the case that men went to protests and women and children stayed home. It was rather a movement where women, children and men poured into the streets; it was a real popular movement.

“I was 15 years old. My mother would wake us up in the early morning and prepare breakfast for all of us. My two brothers, my sister, my father and mother and I would recite our prayers and eat breakfast together. Then my mom would say let us get up, get ready and go together, we will go all together to the protests,” the author recalled.

He added “Many in the Iranian society would go as family to the protests and demonstrations. It was a social movement, a movement where mothers were the engine. I think that women constituted 50% if not more of the power of the revolution. Mothers, sisters, and wives were the ones who supported the men, encouraged them to go even though these women knew their husbands, brothers or fathers might not come back alive.”

Women also stood up to the regime, they voiced their ideas, participated in rallies, and became social activists. And alongside men they were arrested, tortured and even martyred for their cause.

Change from within

An important reason to the victory of the revolution, as Davood Abadi describes, is the fact that “Imam Khomeini did not believe in an armed movement or revolution. He always believed that peaceful protests are the correct means for demanding reforms and rights. When the people change peacefully, everything around changes.”

He explained that “even though Imam was in exile, but he was able to communicate with the hearts of the people. He prompted them to change, he prompted people to differentiate between right and wrong.”

Davood Abadi recalled from the days when people decided to abandon sin and vice. “I still remember there was a bar and a cinema that would show immoral movies. Young people would regularly go there to watch vulgar movies and they would get badly drunk. These very same young women and men came down to the streets and destroyed the cinema and the bar; they are the ones who decided to change their lifestyle and change their entire existence in the country. These very same drunk people were the people of the uprising, they were tired of corruption and these became the martyrs of the revolution. The change was from within, from the people themselves.”

“I remember once when my mom stood facing a soldier who had his rifle pointed at her. It was the time when we had a military government. My mom simply and firmly told the soldier to put his rifle away, and that she is not out on the street to kill anyone. She was expressing her rights peacefully. She was so calm and firm and I believe that it was the revolution that gave her that strength. This revolution is for the people and by the people. And I think it is sort of a cycle; the revolution made women strong and powerful, these women supported men which made them in their turn powerful, and eventually there was an entire society so powerful and peaceful simultaneously that was seeking reforms and change for the better.”

Peaceful protest, peaceful action

Davood Abadi told al-Ahed news that for Imam Khomeini, it was essential that the revolution continues to be peaceful and that there is no justification for violence. “There were numerous political groups, and protests would take place in all the provinces. One of the political groups at that time was the Marxist group of Khalq, who in fact were the ones to attack the US embassy in Tehran with arms. They started shooting at the embassy, but Imam Khomeini soon declared that no one has the right to use arms in protests and no one has the right to fire at the embassy. The second time when the students raided the embassy, it was with bare hands.”

He went on to say “Also, on 22 Bahman, I was on the street with the people. Imam Khomeini had told the people to put a flower in every muzzle of a rifle held by soldiers on the streets. He was not a supporter of violent protests, he did not believe in armed revolution. He also said the army members are your brothers. However, some political parties were opposed to this and thought that the use of arms was the most effective means of reaching the goal.”

Vahdat tent

The Vahdat tent is a major point in Davood Abadi’s memories which includes more of a personal experience within the folds of the revolution. He even published a book about this tent recently.

Davood Abadi recollects saying “We were a group of young people who decided to set up a tent in front of the university main campus and we called it Vahdat (Farsi for unity). During that period of time, Tehran University had become the central point where all political groups and factions were present. We were 35 people only. We sold books and tapes in the tent, and started participating in all events taking place, whether protests or debates or else. What prompted us to start our small movement is because we saw that some political groups were deviating from the goals and values of the Islamic Revolution so we had to peacefully stand up for that. It was basically the Khalq, (mujahidin Khalq – MEK) that I am talking about, they were violent and believed in an armed revolution. We wanted to emphasize that the revolution was peaceful and must remain peaceful, and that we do believe in the values that Imam Khomeini had taught to the people.”

Voicing the truth, justice  

Davood Abadi suddenly mentioned Rachel Corrie.

On 16 March 2003 in Rafah, occupied Gaza, 23-year-old American peace activist Rachel Corrie from Olympia, Washington, was murdered by an Israeli bulldozer driver. Rachel was in Gaza opposing the bulldozing of a Palestinian home as a volunteer with the International Solidarity Movement.

The academic said “Rachel was one person only, and she stood with bare hands in face of an Israeli bulldozer. Rachel was killed, but she tried to tell the world loudly as she was killed that Israelis are not supposed to be destroying the homes of innocent Palestinians. She is never mentioned by mainstream media, they tried so much to keep her in the dim light, but she did her duty. The same goes with us in the Iranian revolution; we had to stand up and loudly voice our objection to corruption and injustice and we had to also confront certain political parties that were trying to hijack the revolution.”

Imam Khomeini, as Davood Abadi mentions, always emphasized that “the revolution cannot see light and victory with death and killing, and that means do not justify ends. This, in the view point of the author is at the essence of the revolution of Iran, and this is what made it truly successful. It was a humane and good-willed revolution that was popular, with men, women and children seeking change. It was essential that the people standup for themselves and for the oppressed and carry out their duty wholly.”

الثورة الإسلامية في إيران بعيون فلسطينية استراتيجية

فبراير 4, 2019

محمد صادق الحسيني

أربعون ربيعاً ولا تزال الثورة حية في صدور أهلها كما في محيطها الخارجي وكأنها ولدت بالأمس او اليوم، وممتدة في تأثيراتها وتداعياتها الزلزالية من أعماق أوراسيا حتى سواحل المتوسط وكلّ المياه الساخنة من هرمز الى باب المندب…!

فعلى الرغم من مرور أربعين عاماً على انتصار الثورة الاسلامية في إيران إلا انّ تداعياتها وتأثيراتها العميقة، في موازين القوى الاستراتيجية في العالم أجمع وليس في غرب آسيا وحدها، لا زالت متواصلة، بديناميكية عالية الوتيرة حاملة وسائل تجددها الذاتي بداخلها، الامر الذي يؤكد ان لا خوف لا على الثورة ولا على أهدافها، التي تمثلت منذ اللحظة الاولى بالاضافة الى إطاحة الاستبداد الداخلي في مقاومة الهيمنة الاستعمارية الأميركية على مقدرات الشعوب في العالم وتحقيق الحرية والسيادة والاستقلال الوطني الكامل لكافة شعوب الارض.

ومن الجدير بالذكر، في هذا السياق، انّ الثورة الاسلامية في إيران قد جاءت كحلقة من حلقات الصراع الدولي، بين القوى الاستعمارية وقوى التحرّر الوطني، سواء في ما يسمّى بالشرق الأوسط أو في غيرة من بقاع الأرض. وقد جاء انتصار هذه الثورة بعيد ضربة كبرى تلقتها حركة التحرّر الوطني العربية، تلك الضربة التي تمثلت في زيارة السادات الخيانية للقدس المحتلة سنة 1977، ثم توقيعه اتفاقية الخيانة في كامب ديفيد بتاريخ 17/9/1978.

حيث إنّ هذه الاتفاقية التي احدثت زلزالاً استراتيجياً، سياسياً وعسكرياً، في المنطقة والعالم، وذلك من خلال خروج مصر من مشهد المواجهة العسكرية العربية مع العدو الصهيوني، وبالتالي مع الولايات المتحدة، التي كانت تستميت في محاولاتها لاستعادة بعض الهيبة السياسية والعسكرية، التي فقدتها بعد هزيمتها المدوية في حرب فيتنام عام 1975.

فخروج مصر من المواجهة ادى الى خلل استراتيجي، في موازين القوى الشرق أوسطية ، كان لا بد من اصلاحه وبأقصى سرعة، لإعادة التوازن الاستراتيجي، بمعناه الشامل وليس من خلال مقارنة حسابية لأعداد الدبابات والطائرات، الى مسرح المواجهة، وذلك حفاظاً على ما تبقى من القوى المنخرطة في قتال العدو الصهيوني الإمبريالي، مثل سورية والثورة الفلسطينية وحلفائها اللبنانيين.

ولَم تتأخر القوى الثورية المعادية للإمبريالية في الردّ، على الخلل الذي أحدثته سياسات الخيانة الساداتية، حيث شرع الشعب الإيراني العظيم بوضع برنامجه الثوري الإسلامي قيد التنفيذ الفعلي، الأمر الذي أدى الى حصول زلزال طهران في بداية عام 1979 والذي ادى الى اقتلاع عرش شاه إيران، العميل للولايات المتحدة و إسرائيل والذي كان يمارس ليس فقط دور شرطي هذه القوى الاستعمارية في المنطقة وقمع الشعوب العربية، بل إنه كان قد حوَّل إيران قاعدة تجسس ضخمة ضد الاتحاد السوفياتي، صديق حركات التحرر العربية والعالمية. ذلك الزلزال الذي أفضى الى انتصار الثورة الاسلامية وعودة قائدها العظيم، سماحة آية الله العظمى الخميني، من منفاه في باريس الى طهران بتاريخ 11/2/1979.

وها هو الرئيس الاميركي الحالي، دونالد ترامب، يحاول اعادة عجلة التاريخ الى الوراء، من خلال تصريحاته لبرنامج واجِهة الأُمة التلفزيوني الاميركي Face the Nation الذي تمّ بثه أمس، والذي أكد فيه ترامب على ضرورة بقاء القوات الاميركية في العراق بهدف مراقبة إيران…!

حيث كان يشير الى الوجود الأميركي في قاعدتي عين الأسد واربيل العراقيتين. مما يعني ان الولايات المتحدة لا زالت تنفذ السياسات العدوانية السابقة نفسها والتي كانت تتبعها إبان الحكم الشاهنشاهي في إيران.

وقد شكل هذا الانتصار في إيران ضربة استراتيجية كبرى للمشاريع الاستعمارية في المنطقة، وفِي مقدمتها المشروع الاستيطاني الصهيوني في فلسطين المحتلة، حيث كانت دولة الاحتلال الإسرائيلي حليفاً استراتيجياً لصيقا لنظام شاه إيران، لكن الثورة الاسلامية اغلقت السفارة الصهيونية في طهران وحوّلتها سفارة لدولة فلسطين.

وهذا ما أكده الزعيم الفلسطيني، ياسر عرفات أبو عمار في أول لقاء له مع قائد الثورة الاسلامية في طهران يوم 17/2/1979، عندما قال: إن جبهة المقاومة أصبحت تمتد من صور الى خراسان… فماذا يعني هذا الكلام من ناحية المفاعيل الاستراتيجية؟ على صعيد موازين القوى في ميادين المواجهة.

أولاً: إن سقوط نظام شاه إيران قد خلق أفقاً استراتيجياً واسعاً للقوى المعادية للامبريالية في المنطقة العربية بشكل عام، ورغم اضطراب العلاقة بين دول وتنظيمات وأحزاب وفصائل تلك القوى آنذاك، كما يتضح من طبيعة التوتر الذي كان يسود العلاقة بين منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية وسورية مثلاً…!

وعلى الرغم من التناقضات الداخلية، بين أطراف حلف المقاومة آنذاك، إلا ان الدور الإيراني حافظ على حيويته وديناميكيته، من خلال تقوية علاقات الجمهورية الاسلامية الإيرانية مع كافة أطراف قوى الثورة والمقاومة اللبنانية والفلسطينية في لبنان، إضافة الى بدء علاقة تحالف إيرانية سورية متينة شملت مختلف مجالات التعاون. الأمر الذي شكل ارضية صلبة لتشكيل محور مقاومة متجانس ومتناغم.

ثانياً: كما ان انتصار الثورة الاسلامية في إيران قد أوجد، ومن الناحية الموضوعية المجردة والبعيدة عن العواطف والمواقف الشخصية، وبالنظر الى العقيدة الجهادية الثابتة التي اعتمدتها الجمهورية الاسلامية في إيران، قد خلق ليس فقط عمقاً استراتيجياً لقوى المقاومة الفلسطينية واللبنانية، وانما خلق قاعدة استراتيجية ثابتة وقوية ومبادرة وقادرة يمكن الاعتماد على دعمها لتامين الاستمرارية في المقاومة وتطوير عملها التحرري.

وهو الأمر الذي شهد على صحته التصاعد المستمر في إنجازات المقاومة، خاصة المقاومة الاسلامية في لبنان والمقاومة الفلسطينية في فلسطين المحتلة. هذا التصاعد الذي عبر عن نفسه بجلاء من خلال الانتصار الأسطوري الذي تحقق في لبنان، ضد الجيش الإسرائيلي، وذلك خلال الحرب التي شنها على لبنان عام 2006. وكذلك الامر عندما عجز الجيش الإسرائيلي من ضرب المقاومة الفلسطينية في غزة، عبر أربعة حروب شنت على قطاع غزة والذي كان آخرها عدوان شهر 11/2018 الذي انتهى بهزيمة مدوية للجيش الإسرائيلي…!

هذا الجيش الذي خبر مفاعيل المساعدات العسكرية، المباشرة وغير المباشرة المقدمة للمقاومة الفلسطينية من إيران، سواء عبر استخدام صواريخ الكورنيت المضادة للدروع أو باستخدام الصواريخ الدقيقة في قصف عسقلان وإصابة أهداف فيها بدقة متناهية.

ثالثاً: بناء وتطوير قاعدة علمية تكنولوجية صناعية عملاقة في إيران، وذلك من خلال تطوير القدرات الذاتية للشعب الإيراني وإطلاق العنان لإبداعه، عبر تنمية ورعاية الطاقات العلمية الإيرانية، وتعميق العلم والمعرفة في وجدان الشعب الإيراني، المحب للقراءة والمعرفة والعلم تاريخياً. وهو الأمر الذي تؤكده حقيقة ان مجموع ما ينشر في إيران من صحف محلية يومية قد وصل الى الف ومئة صحيفة يومية وأسبوعية وفصلية، الى جانب ثلاثة وسبعين ألف كتاب جديد تمّ نشرها سنة 2018 السعودية نشرت 2800 كتاب فقط ، وافتتاح أكبر حديقة للكتب في العالم، في شهر تموز 2017، بمساحة اجمالية تبلغ مئة وعشرة آلاف متر مربع، وهي بذلك تكون اكبر من مكتبة بارنز ونوبل في نيويورك.

رابعاً: وفِي إطار تطوير القاعدة العلمية في إيران فقد نجحت قيادة الجمهورية الاسلامية في إيران في تحويل البلاد مركزاً هاماً للعلم والمعرفة. اذ بلغ عدد الطلاب المسجلين في الجامعات الإيرانية خمسة ملايين ونصف المليون طالب سنة 2017، بالاضافة الى خمسين ألفاً آخرين يتلقون علومهم في الجامعات الاوروبية، واثني عشر ألفاً الى جانبهم في الجامعات الأميركية.

علماً أن عدد الطلاب في الجامعات الإيرانية قبل انتصار الثورة الاسلامية لم يتجاوز المئة الف طالب. وهو الأمر الذي جعل إيران قادرة على تأهيل الكوادر والطاقات العلمية المحلية الضرورية لتسيير وتطوير قاعدتها الصناعية الضرورية وتأمين النهضة المستدامة للاقتصاد الإيراني المقاوم. وما الدليل على ذلك الا تسجيل ستة وثلاثين ألف براءة اختراع جديد، لطاقات إيرانية شابة، خلال عام 2017 فقط، ما يجعل الجمهورية الاسلامية من الدول العشر الأولى في الاختراعات العلمية المختلفة.

سادساً: اذن فحملات العداء المتواصلة، والعقوبات المختلفة، ضد الجمهورية الاسلامية في إيران، من قبل القوى الاستعمارية والصهيونية، وعلى رأسهما الولايات المتحدة ودولة كيان الاحتلال الصهيوني، ليست مرتبطة لا بالأسلحة النووية المزعومة ولا ببرنامج الصواريخ الحربية الإيرانية أي ما تُسمى الصواريخ البالستية وهي بالمناسبة تسمية خاطئة، حيث إن كلمة بالستي، أو – Ballestic بالإنجليزية – هي كلمة يونانية الأصل وتعني: علم دراسة حركة او حركيات المقذوفات – وانما باتساع العلم والمعرفة لدى الشعب الإيراني، المقترنة بإرادة سياسية حديدية وقرار واضح وصريح، من قبل قيادة الثورة الاسلامية وقائدها، والذي ينصّ على ضرورة تطوير البلاد وتحصينها ورفع مكانتها بين الدول، عبر الاعتماد على الذات والإمكانيات المحلية والاقتصاد المقاوم غير الخاضع لقوى الهيمنة والاستعمار.

وهذا يعني بالطبع: العمل على إنجاز الاستقلال الوطني الكامل والانفكاك من نير التبعية للقوى الاستعمارية الأجنبية، وبالتالي وضع حد لنهب خيرات البلاد البترولية والمعدنية خامات معدنية ، من قبل شركات الدول الاستعمارية.

وبما أن المواجهة الشاملة، بين الولايات المتحدة والجمهورية الاسلامية، لا تقتصر على الميدان العسكري فقط، فقد اقامت الجمهورية الاسلامية الإيرانية منطقة منع دخول اقتصادي، او Anti Access، في وجه الدول الاستعمارية، مانعة إياها من مواصلة نهب خيرات الشعب الإيراني كما كان عليه الحال في عهد نظام شاه إيران السابق.

من هنا فإن القراءة الدقيقة، للأهداف الاميركية تجاه الجمهورية الاسلامية في إيران، لا تدع مجالاً للشك بان إسقاط النظام الإيراني بحد ذاته ليس هو الهدف الأميركي. بل ان الهدف يتمثل في إعادة التبعية حتى لو بقي من يحكم البلاد مرتدياً الجلباب والعمة. ولنا في الدول المجاورة لإيران والتابعة للولايات المتحدة اوضح مثال على ذلك.

سابعاً: وعلى الرغم من النجاحات الكبرى التي حققتها الثورة الاسلامية في إيران، وعلى مختلف الصعد، فان الاخطار المحدقة بهذه التجربة الناجحة لا زالت كبيرة جداً وتستدعي اتباع سياسة خارجية غاية في الحزم الى جانب سياسة داخلية ديناميكية تكون بوصلتها تعزيز كرامة المواطن الإيراني، من خلال تأمين احتياجاته اليومية ورفع قدرته على مواجهة متطلبات الحياة، المتزايدة الصعوبة بسبب مواصلة اجراءات الحصار الاميركي الخانق.

بمعنى ان العمل على قطع الطريق الداخلي على العدو الخارجي يجب ان تكون له الأولوية المطلقة وذلك لتعزيز القدرة على المواجهة وتأمين فرص النجاح والتطور للجمهورية الإسلامية وشعبها المقتدر. وهو الامر الذي لا يساورنا اي شك في انه سيتحقق قطعاً بفضل صمود شعبه العزيز وحكمة قيادته العالية الحنكة.

بعدنا طيبين، قولوا الله.

From the Founding Father to the Leader…

By Staff

Info-graphics marking the 40th anniversary of the victory of Iran’s Islamic Revolution, with the most known characters featuring both the founder of the revolution, late Imam Ruhollah Mousavi Khomeini and its current leader Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei.

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