Imam Khomeini’s Model: High and Mighty against the High-and-Mighty

By Batoul Ghaddaf

Beirut – From Islam vs. West to Islam vs Imperialism in all of their forms, Imam Khomeini proposed a groundbreaking worldview.

Prior to the Islamic revolution of Iran, Islamist groups declared war on the West, making it seem as if it is the West vs Islam, yet when Imam Khomeini came, he abolished this concept. He introduced a new term, a new strategy to act as he declared “Not Eastern nor Western, but an Islamic Republic”, stating the conflict as to be Islam vs Imperialism. This strategy gave life to a new worldview that has become a continued legacy. When other Islamists were speaking to the imperialist west as their rival, Imam Khomeini was saying they are not even our rivals, our rivals make them our equals, and we refuse to be equated with the imperialists.

This approach posed by Imam Khomeini broke the spirit of American hegemony on the Iranian people from one side and on the Arabs, who thought Camp David was the end of their dreams of sovereignty on another. It restored faith and confidence in not the governments, but the people, the individuals as creators of their own independence and future. This was most evident when the youth decided to attack the American embassy in Iran in 1979, where Imam Khomeini responded saying, “America cannot do a damn thing to us.” This statement became the headline of many big newspapers around the world. It was a shock to the American authorities. No one expected a “nobody”-state which just had its revolution to revolt this aggressively against the United States of America.

The supremacy Imam Khomeini stood against was not just limited to the Western world, although it seems as so today. In 1989, he sent a letter to the USSR predicting the fall of communism and inviting them to read about the Islamic revolution. The minister of foreign affairs of the USSR paid the Imam a visit to deliver the response. This man saw himself as the representative of the Eastern most powerful country in the world. To meet Khomeini, he was taken into a humble room with an old rug, where he had to take his shoes off to enter. He then waited for more than 30 minutes for Khomeini. He read the letter with stutters and shivers in the presence of Imam Khomeini. This reaction was mostly out of shock as he did not expect that the Imam would have the upper hand in this meeting. It is never that a weak state has the upper hand against a strong state. When he was done, Imam Khomeini spoke for only a minute and simply left before the translator could finish translating to the minister, paying no attention to the minister beyond what he came there for.

Slowly, this Khomeinist worldview shaped an Islamic political philosophy implemented in Iranian foreign policy today. A political philosophy which holds enmity towards arrogance and oppression and friendship and compassion towards the oppressed. This is evident in the friendship the Islamic Republic held with China and the help it offered, and still offers, to Palestinian leaders. The former has great economic relations with Iran, considering Iran a permanent exports partner. These relations have been made since the birth of the Islamic republic in 1979. The latter has been offered help and received training and weaponry. PLO leader Yasser Arafat called Iran “his own home” when he visited Khomeini in Tehran. In addition to these, the Cuban late president Fidel Castro visited the house of Imam Khomeini and his grave in 2001. He considered the victory of the Islamic Revolution as a major change in the power dynamics in favor of the oppressed countries against the colonial ones.

The legacy continues with the current Islamic Revolution Leader Khamenei through declaring enmity towards arrogant behaviors of Pompeo, as he speaks to the Arabs, and of Trump, the epitome of white supremacy which has not stopped in American politics long after slavery has ended. 

Therefore, according to the Islamic Republic’s foreign policy, these attitudes of supremacy and hegemony could not be tackled with a language of rivals and equals. Diplomacy has no place with oppressive states. The only attitude to be expected of Islamic Iran against such states is for Iran to be, as Khomeini planted, high and mighty against the high-and-mighty.

6 شباط: إسقاط 17 أيار…. وإسقاط صفقة القرن!

صفقة القرن.. طريق للتحرير

ناصر قنديل

يتعامل الكثيرون باستخفاف مع التزام قوى وحكومات محور المقاومة بإسقاط صفقة القرن، ويستعينون بكل ما لديهم من وسائل التعجب للقول إنها أميركا يا جماعة، ومعها الغرب والعرب، وما تقوله ثمرة دراسة وتوظيف مقدرات، وليس من الواقعية توقع سقوط صفقة القرن بعدما أعلنها الرئيس الأميركي، بل يمكن الاكتفاء بإعلان الاعتراض عليها، ويستعينون بالذاكرة ليستحضروا مثال كامب ديفيد، ليضيفوا أن أربعة عقود مضت على توقيعه ولا يزال على قيد الحياة، ورغم وجود معارضة واسعة له بقي أمراً واقعاً. وكي يكون النقاش مبسطاً وسهلاً على هؤلاء، لن نغوص في الفوارق الكبيرة بين حالتي كامب ديفيد وصفقة القرن، حيث لا وجود لشريك فلسطيني في صفقة القرن مقابل وجود رئيس مصري يزور القدس ويعلن استعداده للتوقيع في كامب ديفيد، وحيث الموضوع في صفقة القرن يتصل بالقدس ومستقبلها، بينما يتعلق الأمر بسيناء في كامب ديفيد، ومقابل تضمين صفقة القرن منح القدس لكيان الاحتلال، قامت تفاهمات كامب ديفيد على عودة سيناء لمصر، لكننا سنتخطى كل ذلك ونخفض مستوى النقاش بالعودة إلى الذاكرة فقط والمقارنة مع مخزونها.

عندما اجتاحت قوات الاحتلال العاصمة اللبنانية بيروت، وكشفت بوضوح عن تفاهمات دولية وعربية سبقت الاجتياح مضمونها أن يكون لبنان الدولة العربية الثانية التي توقع اتفاق سلام مع “إسرائيل” بعد مصر، جاءت القوات الأميركية إلى بيروت من ضمن تشكيل إطار قوات متعدّدة الجنسيات شاركت فيها فرنسا وإيطاليا وبريطانيا وتمركزت في العاصمة بيروت. وقام الخبراء الأميركيون بإعادة بناء وتسليح وتنظيم الجيش اللبناني لمواجهة أي اعتراض قد يواجه مشروع الاتفاق المطلوب بين لبنان و”إسرائيل”. وبدأت المفاوضات فوراً، برعاية أميركية تولاها المبعوث الرئاسي الأميركي من أصل لبناني فيليب حبيب، وخلال شهور قليلة أنجز الاتفاق الذي عرف بتاريخ إقراره في 17 أيار 1983، وصادق عليه وزير الخارجية الأميركية آنذاك جورج شولتز، وخلال عشرة شهور امتدت حتى 6 شباط 1984 كان الأميركيون يتلقون الضربات القاتلة، وكان الجيش الذي بنوه يتشقق وينهار، وكانت المقاومة بوجه الاحتلال تبلغ مراحل متقدّمة تفرض انسحابات على جيش الاحتلال بعد الانسحاب الأول من بيروت، وخلال أسابيع رحل الأميركيون وبدأ مسار سياسي انتهى بإسقاط اتفاق 17 أيار.

ما أشبه اليوم بالأمس، لكن مع فوارق الغلبة لليوم، فـ”إسرائيل” تواجه اليوم في فلسطين والمنطقة ما لم يكن موجوداً يومها، حيث تقع منشآتها الحيوية في مرمى صواريخ المقاومة الفلسطينية واللبنانية والعراقية واليمنية، ومحور المقاومة يخوض مواجهة عنوانها إخراج الأميركيين من المنطقة، وأين مقدرات الذين أخرجوا الأميركي من لبنان قياساً بمقدرات الذي يسعون لإخراجه اليوم، ويومها كانت أميركا و”إسرائيل” في مرحلة صعود القوة، وهما اليوم في مرحلة الانحدار، أما الموقف العربي فيكفي أن نستعيدَ دعم قمة الدار البيضاء لتوقيع لبنان على الاتفاق باستثناء سورية ورئيسها الراحل حافظ الأسد الذي تعهّد بإسقاط الاتفاق، كما تعهّد السيد علي الخامنئي اليوم بإسقاط صفقة القرن وموتها تحت عين الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب وهو على قيد الحياة. وموضوع 17 أيار كان لبنان بينما موضوع صفقة القرن هو القدس والعودة وفلسطين، واللبنانيون كانوا منقمسين حول الاتفاق بينما يتوحّد الفلسطينيون في رفض الصفقة، وأميركا هي التي تدرس كل شيء وتخطّط وتحسب الاحتمالات، وتجهز الفرضيات وتصدر الأوامر للعرب، فلماذا لم يتجرأ أحد منهم على إعلان التأييد لصفقة القرن وقرّروا رفضها في الجامعة العربية، بينما أيدوا اتفاق 17 أيار قبل أن يولد، وكيف فاجأتهم الأحداث واضطروا للهرب بحراً، وترك الاتفاق يسقط؟

الشيء بالشيء يُذكَر، لأنها أميركا، التي طوت الصفحة ومضت عندما تحققت من أن شيئاً لن يغير المعادلة ويعيد الاتفاق إلى الحياة، فتركت الذين راهنوا عليها يواجهون مصيرهم وحدهم، وتتمة الحكاية المعلومة جديرة بالتذكّر للذين يقعون في وهم الرهان اليوم، وما أشبه الأمس باليوم، ونحن في ذكرى انتقاضة 6 شباط، التي ربما ينظر إليها بعض اللبنانيين كفصل من فصول الحرب الأهلية، وننظر إليها كبوابة عبور من زمن الاحتلال إلى زمن المقاومة، ومن بوابتها ننظر بعين التقدير والإجلال والإكبار لرمزها الرئيس نبيه بري، وننتظر نبيه بري عراقي يستثمر تضحيات كل المقاومين ليخرج الأميركيين، ونبيه بري فلسطيني يقود وحدة سياسية وعسكرية بوجه مشروع الاحتلال ليسقط صفقة القرن.

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لماذا إيران معادلة ضروريّة في الشرق الأوسط؟

د.وفيق إبراهيم

تتضاعف الأسباب التي تجعل من إيران جزءاً أساسياً من معادلة الدفاع عن الشرق الأوسط. وتؤكد على دورها المحوري والمركزي فيه.

هذا استنتاج واقعيّ بعد زمن عاصف تجتازه الجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران منذ انتصار ثورتها في 1979، متواصلاً حتى الآن على شكل صراع إيرانيّ مع كل من الأميركيين والإسرائيليين في سورية والعراق ولبنان، والخليج وسط حصار أميركي مضروب عليها، اقتصادياً وسياسياً، تنتابه اعتداءات عسكرية أميركية وإسرائيلية ومحاولات خنق باستعمال النفوذ الأميركي العالمي لمنع معظم الدول من إقامة علاقات اقتصادية معها، وكل أنواع العلاقات.

ابتدأ هذا الصراع الإيراني ـ الأميركي بعد نجاح الإمام الخميني بإسقاط شاه إيران رأس المعادلة الأميركية في الشرق الأوسط وشرطي الخليج في 1979 .

لقد كان واضحاً أن برنامج عمل هذه الثورة يستهدف النفوذ الأميركي في إيران على قاعدة إسلامية، وبما ان الإسلام دين أممي، فكان طبيعياً ان ينتقل صدى النجاح الإيراني الى الإقليم العربي المجاور وآسيا الوسطى..

وهذه معاقل أميركية اساسية خصوصاً في انحائها التركية والإسرائيلية والمصرية والسعودية ـ الخليجية، وهي كبرى المعاقل في المنطقة.

هناك نقطتان اضافيتان تجب الإشارة اليهما، وهما تزامن الثورة الإيرانية، مع استسلام السادات الرئيس المصري السابق لـ”إسرائيل” في اتفاقية كمب ـ دايفيد 1979، وما أدت إليه من انسحاب مصر من الصراع العربي ـ الإسرائيلي وتحوّلها حليفاً كاملاً لـ”إسرائيل” وآلية أميركية.

أما النقطة الثانية فهي تراجع أهمية الاتحاد السوفياتي بسبب خسارة حرب افغانستان وإصابته بإرهاق بنيوي في حروب الايديولوجيا والتسلح بمواجهة الأميركيين والأوروبيين، ما جعل إيران وحيدة في صراعها مع الأميركيين واعوانهم الشرق الأوسطيين، هؤلاء الذين استعملوا ضدها كل قواهم لإسقاط دولتها، من تحشيد طائفي ومذهبي الى تمويل وتدريب لبعض المجموعات الإيرانية الداخلية وصولاً إلى شنّ حرب عليها بلبوس عراقي من صدام حسين مدعوم أميركياً وخليجياً وأوروبياً وإسرائيلياً، كان المطلوب استئصال إيران الإسلامية للاستفراد بعملية تفتيت الشرق الأوسط على نحو يبقى فيه تحت النفوذ الأميركي ـ الغربي قروناً طويلة.

إن انهيار الاتحاد السوفياتي في 1989 وتفرّغ الصين لتطوير امبراطوريتها الاقتصادية جعلا الأميركيين يستعجلون في عملية الأطباق على الشرق الاوسط، مدمّرين العراق منذ تسعينيات القرن الماضي الى أن احتلوه في 2003 بعد سيطرتهم على افغانستان في 2001، فركبوا على عجل مشروع الشرق الأوسط الجديد الذي يهدف إلى إعادة تقسيم دوله إلى كانتونات مذهبية وعرقية تسحب حيويتها ومصادر قواها.

لتنفيذ الخطة، استعمل الأميركيون طريقة الاحتلال المباشر والتدخلات العسكرية ومئات آلاف الإرهابيين، مكلفين بإدارتهم وتأمين ما يحتاجون اليه من سلاح وتدريب واعمال لوجيستية، كلاً من قطر والسعودية وتركيا والإمارات باعتراف وزير قطر السابق حمد بن تميم.

هنا، كانت إيران بمفردها بالمرصاد وسط غياب روسي، وصل إلى حدود التواطؤ في مرحلة الرئيس الروسي السابق يلتسين، فعملت على رعاية حزب الله تسليحاً وتدريباً وتمويلاً وربما أكثر، حتى نجح في تحرير جنوب لبنان رادعاً “إسرائيل” في أكثر من مرحلة.

كما جابهت الثورة الإيرانية المشروع الأميركي في سورية والعراق بدعم مفتوح للدولة السورية والحشد الشعبي في العراق اللذين انتصرا على المنظمات الإرهابية المحشدة لمئات ألاف العناصر.

هؤلاء استعملوا الحدود التركية والأردنية لاحتلال ثلاثة أرباع سورية والعراق، ولولا التحالف الذي جمع حزب الله والحشد الشعبي العراقي والدولة السورية مع إيران، لكان معظم الشرق الاوسط تحت سيطرة داعش والنصرة. هناك ثلاث نقاط اضافية أسهمت بنيوياً في حماية الشرق الاوسط وأولها الدعم الإيراني للقضية الفلسطينية في الداخل المحتل وبين اللاجئين الفلسطينيين في الدول المحيطة.

ها هو قائد منظمة حماس إسماعيل هنية يعترف بأن دعم إيران لمنظمته في غزة أدّى إلى صمود القطاع ومنع انهيار القضية، خصوصاً بعد انهيار سلطة محمود عباس في الضفة الغربية المحتلة، وتخليها عن تحرير فلسطين مقابل كانتون صغير.

أما الثانية فهي اليمن الذي تسانده إيران تسليحاً وتدريباً وتمويلاً في وجه حرب مستمرّة تشنها عليه السعودية والإمارات والاخوان المسلمون بتأييد أميركي ـ غربي إسرائيلي تركي منذ خمس سنوات متواصلة ومستمرة.

هذا اليمن اليوم يسجل النصر تلو الآخر ساحقاً القوات المهاجمة المغطاة بمقاتلات أميركية وإسرائيلية، بما يؤكد هزيمة المشروع الأميركي في اليمن والعراق.

أما النقطة الثالثة فهي في آسيا الوسطى حيث حاول الأميركيون استخدامها للنيل من إيران، فعلى جبهة البلوتش تلك الأقلية الموجودة على الحدود الباكستانية الإيرانية، فقد تمكّن الإيرانيون من إجهاض الاستعمال الأميركي ـ الخليجي لأدوار تخريبية لها داخل إيران بالصدام المباشر معها أو بالتنسيق مع باكستان.

كما أجهضت إيران المشروع السعودي ـ الإماراتي بتحريض طالبان الأفغانية عليها، وتمكنت من بناء خطوط اتصال وتأثير على القيادة الأفغانية، حتى أصبح لطهران نفوذ في باكستان أقوى من الاحتلال الأميركي فيها.

وهو نفوذ يجمع بين علاقات مع قيادات في الدولة الأفغانية ومنظمة طالبان والهزارة الأفغان المقيمين غرب حدودها.

بذلك تكون إيران قد تمكنت من تأمين حدودها مع العراق وتركيا وباكستان وأفغانستان بشكل كامل، ونجحت في دعم الخط اللبناني السوري العراقي اليمني، ما أدّى إلى فشل المشروع الأميركي بشرق أوسط كبير يواليها لقرون مقبلة.

ألا تكفي هذه الأدوار لاعتبار إيران قوة شرق أوسطية أولى، مقابل تراجع وظائف “إسرائيل” ومصر وتركيا والسعودية؟

لذلك فإن تطور الدور الإيراني أنما يتأسس على حساب تراجع النفوذ الأميركي عبر انحسار ادوار وكلائها وحروبها المباشرة.

وهذا يفسر اسباب الجنون الأميركي الذي يريد تفجير الدولية الإيرانية بأي وسيلة ممكنة.

فهل هذا ممكن؟ لم تتمكن أميركا من تحقيق هذه الأمنية في ال41 سنة الماضية، ما يؤكد أن حلف المقاومة ذاهب نحو المزيد من محاصرة النفوذ الأميركي حتى تحرير كامل الشرق الأوسط لمصلحة شعوبه وتاريخه وحضاراته.

The Instability of the East: Between Western Arrogance and Iranian Influence

January 1, 2020

Maaz

Any observer, biased or not, can clearly notice that the east was always unstable throughout history, however, what puts someone in awe is the relative stability in the west and the insusceptible regimes there.

After the Middle East’s borders were drawn relatively randomly between weird zigzags in the deserts and strange lines in mountains, the years of peace there can be counted to a number less than 10. East Europe and South East Asia are no different, with proxy wars and regime changes every now and then.

However, the thing is that these countries, from Egypt, Lebanon, and Iraq to Yugoslavia, Romania, and Ukraine, to Vietnam and such, is that they lack a national identity and common conscious causing them to shift from a camp to another with every regime change. These countries with time proved to be no more than puppet states where the supreme leader, king, or dictator can dictate the foreign policy and type of governance then get scratched and set on different grounds and political camps by the successor.

Modern Middle Eastern politics, or to be more precise and free this area from this dehumanizing phrase by calling it southwest Asia, was shaped after Egypt signed the peace treaty with Israel and Iran emerged as a counterbalance in the Arab – Israeli conflict after the 1979 revolution. During those days, the central and most agonizing political and military crisis was the ongoing tug of war between Israel, an irregular entity in the east, and the homogenous Muslim Arab nations.

With Egypt out of this war along with Jordan and Lebanon sinking deeper in its own political sectarian war, the Palestinian nation and resistance groups found themselves vulnerable to a final attack by the Israel army, IDF, strong enough to end the core of this struggle and finally integrate Gaza and the west bank into the so-called ‘state of Israel.’ And as events unfolded, the IDF triumphed through its invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and laid the foundation of the day of victory against what it called ‘terrorist Palestinian groups’ that threatened the security and well being of the citizens in the Galilee. Yet what no one expected is the emerge of non-state actors that one day with the help of a new emerging regional power to challenge Israel and not only the Galilee with few unguided and ineffective M-21OF 122mm missiles launched from southern Lebanon.

When SL Khomeini’s long fought for revolution overthrew the US assigned and backed dictator of Iran, kings of the kings “Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi”, Iran like almost every eastern nation not only shifted political camps but changed its Persian identity to an Islamic identity. Yet Khomeini did not lead an Islamic revolution to end it at the borders of Iran, his ideology was a region-wide anti-oppression anti-imperialist Islamic movement aimed to aspire the Muslims in the east.

And regardless of how the post events of the revolution happened, between unfair excluding of several political parties and the exile after intimidation of thousands connected to the murderous dictatorship of the shah, the new regime in Iran was not established by force but rather with a national referendum with a 98% turnout and 99% support. Yet for a first glance, these numbers might look odd, but their genuineness was demonstrated by the internal unity and cooperation during the Iraq – Iran war. Khomeini set the foundation of a democratic state supervised by an Islamic constitution written by the elite from Iran, Iraq and even Lebanon. Add to that anyone can argue that Iran is a dictatorship, but why bother with biased prejudiced DC-based think tanks that never studied law or understood the power limitation of each official in the republic.

The foundation of the current work of the current IRI foreign policy started in the late 1960s-1970s before the establishment of the republic itself by educating the masses and building up a conscious. It started with the work and words of the unjustly killed Shia scholars Sayid Mohamamd Baqr al-Sadr and Sayid Mohammed Baqr al-Hakim by the then supported USA president Saddam Hussein and with the work of the prominent scientific and military figure Mustafa Chimran in Lebanon. Mohammad Baqr was laying the foundation of an Iraq free from the Baathist regime who not only oppressed a whole religious sect in Iraq but rather genocided a race and forcefully created a refugee crisis in northern Iraq by Arabizing Kurdish cities.

While in Lebanon, the Lebanese Resistance movement Amal, was founded by Lebanese, born in Iran, scholar Sayid Moussa al Sadr, who arrived in Lebanon in 1959 to lead a civil revolution in the favor of the marginalized and poor Shia citizens of south and north Lebanon. Although these two causes might be different in detail, they were related in one thing: “Western-backed regimes”. Saddam enjoyed a healthy relationship with the USA, France, and the USSR who assisted him with weapons and experts from Europe to fortify his rule. Germany had its fair share of experts in Saddam’s MOD too.

Similarly in Lebanon, the USA initiated for the first time its Eisenhower Doctrine in which the U.S. announced that it would intervene to protect regimes it considered threatened by international communism on the 17th of July 1958 and later in assisting against the SSNP led coup. And thinking about it, it was the 1950’s the decade when the USA became a hated nation for Iranians when it led a coup against the democratically elected government of Mohammad Mossadegh. The USA in this decade took UK’s rule and became the new world police deciding who is fit for democracy and who is not.

Therefore, throughout the ME and Asia, several nations were being nourished on the hate of the United States of America whom they considered a force that is willing to battle every movement and government it considered unfit to its ‘standards of democracy.’ And so it was, and events started to unfold with coups orchestrated by the CIA in more than 15 nations and invasions that went deep even into the jungles of Vietnam.

However, what sets the atrocities and brutality of what the USA did from those done by China or Russia or any other regime in modern times is that they were done under the banner of democracy and free rights and free speech.

It’s the hypocrisy and lies of the West that made it impossible to feel warm-hearted toward them again. Add to that, it’s the selectivity of how Americans deals with state and non-state groups and the unjust naming of groups on the terror list that made things worse. For example, it seems that the USA is fond of the Gulf states that have a very bad human rights record, no elections, and a long list of minority persecution and murder, while it seems to be going against Iran and Syria with maximum pressure through sanctions and limited confrontations although both have elections and remarkable minority coexistence.

Moreover, the USA labels Hezb Allah on its terror list way back from 1996-1997, although Hezb Allah was formed as a reaction to the USA backed IDF invasion of Lebanon in 1982. Hezb Allah kept resisting up to the year 2000 when IDF left Lebanon on the 25th of May. Hezb Allah, unlike the IDF, never deliberately killed civilians during its wars with Israel.

On the other hand, USA labels Kataeb Hezb Allah, Asaeb Ahl Al haq, and other Iraqi groups as terrorist although they were created only as a response to USA’s invasion to Iraq in 2003. The Invasion led by USA and its allies that not only killed and injured up to a million Iraqi, but devastated Iraq and crippled the state till today. Kataeb and Asaeb, Hezb Allah, and the likes did turn to Iran for help in military aid, but does this mean that Hezb Allah, Asaeb, and the likes are Iranian proxies?

Generally speaking, a proxy is a group of pawns doing the work on the behalf of another. However, it seems that the word proxy in Middle Eastern politics has taken a more dehumanizing and mercenary vibe to it aimed to underestimate and devalue the effort and work of a certain group and shorthand it into a sectarian maniac tier groups used by Iran to spread its ‘terror’ in the middle east. Yet this term that sounds childish to use in international circles, became the dominant word used by American foreign policymakers today. Although if anyone read the 2019 American MOD report about Iran, they’d notice that the term partner is used to describe Hezb Allah and other groups in the middle east that are aligned with Iran ideologically. Thus we can conclude without any doubt that the USA has chosen to put its political interest and bias ahead of any reasonable and fair understanding of events in a show of arrogance and childish understanding of the complexity of the Middle East. USA is failing in the exact way the UK failed to understand the Middle East when it tried to shape its boundaries and future.

What happened today in Iraq and the march on the American embassy by the families of the 30 Kataeb Hezb Allah members killed by USAF ‘in retaliation’ is another example of how dangerous things can escalate to. Kataeb Hezb Allah and Asaeb Ahl Al Haq have more than 60,000 veteran soldiers who are ready to storm every single American base in Iraq and massacre the soldiers in retaliation of the unjust killing of Iraqi and PMF soldiers but chose not to. They even refrained from entering the embassy compound and chose to pressure a parliamentary resolution that forces USA forces to leave. If the USA was wiser they would have asked the Iraqi security forces to investigate the 107mm missile launches and capture the people responsible.

Not only would they have respected Iraq’s sovereignty, but rather actually knew who is really after these attacks and presented them as the criminals for attacking an Iraqi base and killing Iraqi and American soldiers.

Things kept evolving and events unfolding to a day when the USA is being challenged by Russia and China over world power, and its ally KSA in Yemen over influence, and its ally Israel by Hezb Allah over existence. The Anti-American axis today massed power and strength enough to challenge the existence of Israel and USA in the Middle East, with only time that will show how the limited attacks by both sides will lead to the war that will end one of the two combatants once and for all.

أمن المصريّين الاستراتيجيّ في خطر؟

أكتوبر 7, 2019

د. وفيق إبراهيم

استطاعت معاهدة كمب ديفيد التي وقّعها الرئيس المصري السابق أنور السادات مع الكيان الإسرائيلي في 1979 إلغاء الدور الإقليمي الكبير لمصر وحولته بلداً ثانوياً في الشرق الاوسط مستتبعاً لدول الخليج النفطية والأميركيين و»إسرائيل».

هذا ليس اتهاماً بقدر ما هو وصفٌ دقيق للوضع السياسي لمصر من كمب ديفيد وحتى الآن.

إلا أن معاهدة جديدة تلوح في الأفق، قد يكون له أثر وتداعيات أعمق من كمب ديفيد حتى على مستوى تهجير المصريين من بلدهم.

وهذه الخطة ليست جديدة لأنها بدأت قبل ثماني سنوات بمشروع بناء سد النهضة على نهر النيل في جانبه الإثيوبي ما أحدث في حينه اضطراباً في العلاقات المصرية الإثيوبية استدعت سلسلة لقاءات بين البلدان التي يعبرها نهر النيل العظيم. وتعهّدت فيها إثيوبيا باحترام المعاهدات والأعراف والقانون الدولي الذي ينظم اقتسام المياه بين البلدان ذات الأنهار الدولية العابرة للحدود.

ومنها نهر النيل الذي يعبر ست دول أفريقية قبل وصوله الى مصر، يكفي أن أبا التاريخ هيرودوت اليوناني الإغريقي قال إن مصر هبة النيل.

يمكن هنا الاضافة أنها من دونه لا قدرة لها على الاستمرار ككيان سياسي لأن المصريين ينفقون 90 في المئة من الكميّات التي تصلهم وهي 55,5 مليار متر مكعب على مياه الشرب والزراعة أي أن مئة مليون نسمة من المصريين يرتبطون بهذا النهر بشكل حيوي استراتيجي.

وبما أن مصر هي البلد الأكبر بين دول النيل وذات القدرة السياسية الأكبر في حوضه، فإنها ظلت قادرة على استهلاك معظم حاجاتها من النيل بمعدل 90 بالمئة منه و10 في المئة من مياه الأمطار.

ما كان ينظم تحاصص مياه النيل هي معاهدة رعتها الدولة المستعمرة في حينه بين بلدان الحوض، اشارت صراحة الى ضرورة امتناع اي بلد من بلدان النهر بأي بناء عليه تسيء الى حصة مصر. هذا الى جانب الأعراف والعادات المعتمدة تاريخياً وهو ما يشير اليه القانون الدولي ايضاً، واخيراً يرى القانون الدولي ان غياب المعاهدات والأعراف تفرض اللجوء الى معايير نسبة عدد المستفيدين ومرور النهر في كل بلد ومراعاة بلدان المنشأ والمصب.

وهذه عناصر تدعم بشكل واضح مصر التي يزيد سكانها عن سكان كل بلدان عبور النيل، كما أن مجراه فيها هو الأكبر لأنه في البحر المتوسط بعد اختراقه الحدود السودانية.

لكن كل هذه المعطيات القانونية لم تمنع إثيوبيا من بناء سد النهضة أكبر سد في افريقيا لحجز كميات ضخمة من مياه النيل أكبر من الحصة المصرية، وبشكل لا يراعي ضرورة التخزين في مدد طويلة وليس بسرعة لأنها تنعكس سلباً على مياه الشرب والزراعة في مصر.

سياسياً دعمت «إسرائيل» إثيوبيا في سدّ النهضة هندسياً وتمويلياً بالإضافة الى تجاهل أميركي لم يكلف نفسه عناء تدبر أي تسوية بين مصر والحبشة، أما الأكثر طرافة فجاء في بيان أميركي صدر بعد لقاء ثلاثي بين مصر وإثيوبيا والسودان في الخرطوم لم يتوصل الى اي اتفاق وسط انسداد كامل في المواقف، لكن البيان الأميركي رأى في هذا اللقاء عنصراً إيجابياً يعكس حسن العلاقات بين أطرافه.

أما الأكثر طرافة فبيان للرئيس المصري السيسي اعلن فيه عدم التوصل لأي اتفاق مع إثيوبيا واعداً المصريين بأنه لن يسمح لسد النهضة بتعطيش مصر.

لذلك فهناك موقفان مشبوهان: الاول هو الموقف الأميركي المحتجب في هذه الأزمة، تواطؤ مكشوف. وموقف الدولة المصرية التي سمحت لإثيوبيا بالتعاون مع «إسرائيل» ببناء سد النهضة منذ ثماني سنوات وهي الملمّة بأضراره الأكيدة على الاستقرار الاجتماعي المصري هذه المرة، وليس لتخفيض زيادة مائية مصرية تأخذها ارض الكنانة من مياه النهر الخالد. وهي عملياً بحاجة لكل قطرة ماء لتلبية الزيادة المرتفعة للسكان.

أما المعطيات التي تثير المزيد من القلق فتبدأ بعرض إثيوبي لمصر بتزويدها عشرين مليار متر مكعب فقط أي بخفض 35 ملياراً، مما تستهلكه حالياً ورفضته مصر بحدّة.

كما أن السودان بدوره عرض على مصر حصة تصل إلى 35 ملياراً بخفض نحو عشرين مليار عن استهلاكه الحالي.

إلا أن تطويق مصر مائياً لا يقتصر على إثيوبيا والسودان بتشجيع أميركي، فهناك «إسرائيل» التي طالبت بقناة من مياه النيل تصل الى فلسطين المحتلة عبر سيناء، وذلك مقابل دعمها حصة مصر في إثيوبيا.

فماذا يجري؟

سدّ النهضة هو الجزء الثاني من كمب ديفيد وربما يشكل خطراً اكبر منه لأن إنقاص حصة مصر من نيلها يؤدي الى تراجع كبير في قطاعها الزراعي وتهجير الفلاحين فيها الى اقصى زوايا العالم، باعتبار ان الاقتصاد المصري مضطرب ومتراجع وعاجز عن تلبية أي تدهور اقتصادي، خصوصاً في قطاع الزراعة الذي لا يزال يشكل عمود الاقتصاد المصري، لذلك فإن سد النهضة هو في جانب من جوانبه مشروعاً لإنماء إثيوبيا لكنه في جوانبه الاخرى يؤدي الى إفقار مصر وتهجيرها ووضعها في خدمة الأميركيين والخليج و»إسرائيل» في آن معاً.

فهل ينزح المصريون؟ هناك اعتقاد بأن النظام المصري هو المهدّد بالنزوح لعجزه عن الدفاع عن بلده ومكانتها الإقليمية ومياه نيلها واستمراره في التبعية لـ»إسرائيل» والأميركيين، ما يبقي مصر في دائرة الدول المنصاعة والفقيرة ولا حلّ إلا بعودتها من كمب ديفيد و»إسرائيل» الى بلدها العربي للعودة الى قيادة الإقليم نحو مستقبل تتعاون فيه الدول العربية لتحقيق التطور في الشرق الأوسط وصون النيل من كل مكروه.

إيران على رأس لائحة القوى الإقليمية !

أكتوبر 5, 2019

د. وفيق ابراهيم

أربعة عقود بدت كافية لتنتقل إيران من جمهورية اسلامية تتعرض لحروب ومقاطعات وحصار وبشكل متواصل الى دولة إقليمية وازنة تجيد الدفاع عن مسألتين: أراضيها وتحالفاتها وبالتالي إقليميتها.

لم تصل إيران الى هذا النجاح إلا بعد صراع مفتوح ومستمر مع الولايات المتحدة الأميركية التي استهدفتها منذ اعلان جمهوريتها الإسلامية في 1979، حتى استنفدت كامل آلياتها بدءاً من العراق في مرحلة 1980 1988 ومصر والسعودية و»إسرائيل» وتركيا وباكستان.

اليوم بعد 40 عاماً على ولادة جمهوريتها الإسلامية تشارك إيران اواخر هذا الشهر مع روسيا والصين في مناورات بحرية في المحيط الهندي المتصل ببحري الأحمر والخليج بما يشبه رسالة حادة لمن يهمه الأمر بولادة ائتلاف بين القطبين الروسي والصيني اللذين دخلا في نظام القوة الاساسية في العالم في اطار معادلة متعددة الرؤوس وبين إيران التي تمكنت من التربع على أعلى الدرجات في لائحة الدول الإقليمية في الشرق الاوسط.

كيف احتلت الجمهورية هذا الموقع؟

التأكيد على تميّزها، ليس مديحاً انشائياً ليس له ما يعادله، والدليل بدأ مع الحرب العراقية التي شنها الرئيس العراقي السابق صدام حسين عليها لثماني سنوات متتالية 1980 1988 مستغلاً حالة الضعف والإرباك التي عاشها بعد سقوط دولة الشاه في 1979.

اما خصائص هذه الحرب فعراقيتها عسكرياً وتغطيتها الأميركية وتمويلها الخليجي الكامل والتأييد العربي الإسرائيلي لها. سورية بمفردها وقفت ضد هذه الحرب، لكن إيران نجت بدفاع مستميت استلزم أعواماً ثمانية حتى دحرت العراقيين الى بلادهم في معارك عنيفة أوقفها الخميني عند حدود بلاده مع العراق.

وهكذا أسقطت إيران مشروعاً صدامياً كان يريد دوراً لبلاده في الإقليم.

كما منعت إيران مصر من نشر ثقافة الاستسلام باتفاق كمب ديفيد الذي عقدته مع «إسرائيل» 1979 فمولت وسلحت قوى فلسطينية ولبنانية مقاومة. ودخلت بشكل مباشر للدفاع عن عراق ما بعد صدام في وجه إرهاب مدعوم من تركيا وعالمياً وأميركياً فنجحت مع القوى العراقية المتحالفة معها في دحره وتحقيق توازن لمصلحتها في عراق لا يزال قسمٌ منه محتلاً من الأميركيين.

بذلك أعادت التوازن الى القضية الفلسطينية وحالت دون القضاء عليها، هذا بالإضافة الى دعمها المباشر لسورية تمويلياً وعسكرياً واستشارياً في وجه إرهاب دولي بمئات آلاف المسلحين 2001 2019.

لقد تمكنت إيران الإسلامية في الحروب على الارهاب من القضاء على ادوار قوتين إقليميتين هما تركيا و»إسرائيل» كما اصابت الدور الإقليمي السعودي في لبنان وسورية والعراق ومنعته من التمدد نحو الداخل الإيراني، كما كان يخطط ولي العهد محمد بن سلمان.

هناك اذاً دولٌ كانت تتمتع بأدوار إقليمية اساسية في الشرق الاوسط، وهي مصر والعراق والسعودية وتركيا تراجعت لمصلحة تقدم الدور الإيراني.

هذا الى جانب المجابهة الإيرانية الإسرائيلية في ميادين سورية والعراق والتي انتهت بدورها او على وشك ان تنتهي بعجز إسرائيلي عن إحداث اي تغيير في معادلة المنطقة.

لجهة تركيا فتحاول إيران استيعابها بتنظيم التباين في وجهات نظريهما في سورية والعراق، مقابل التعاون في وجه الحصار الأميركي المستهدف للبلدين معاً.

فلا يتبقى إلا باكستان من الدول القادرة على أداء دور إقليمي في الشرق الاوسط، لكنها تجنح تاريخياً لأداء هذه الادوار في آسيا الوسطى وتخشى من تحالف إيراني مع الهند العدو اللدود لباكستان.

لذلك اعتمدت إيران لتحييد باكستان النووية الخاضعة للنفوذ الأميركي وذات العلاقة المميّزة بالسعودية على عناصر عدة لمنع استغلال باكستان في حصارها.

أول هذه العناصر هو الغاز الإيراني الذي تستورد باكستان منه كميات كبيرة، الى جانب التبادل الاقتصادي بينهما الذي يصل الى 15 مليار دولار، أما العناصر الأخرى فتعرضهما المشترك لأخطار قومية «البلوش» الموجودين في مناطق حدودية بين البلدين ويريدون الانفصال عن إيران وباكستان. هذا بالاضافة الى ان 30 في المئة من الباكستانيين هم من الشيعة.

لذلك فضلت باكستان عدم الانجرار في إطار الخطة الأميركية السعودية لمهاجمة إيران. واكتفت بحياد دقيق حرصاً على أمنها الخارجي والداخلي.

بذلك تكون الجمهورية الإسلامية استهلكت بالكامل معظم الآليات الشرق اوسطية العاملة في اطار الخطة الأميركية، وهي مصر والسعودية وعراق صدام وتركيا و»إسرائيل» وباكستان. وهذا لا يعني انها انهتها كافة في المنطقة، لكنها استوعبت خطرها بوسائل عسكرية وسياسية واقتصادية واسهمت بتشكل حلف كبير يساندها من افغانستان الى اليمن فالعراق وسورية ولبنان.

فهل يمكن نسيان إسقاطها طائرة مسيرة أميركية واحتجازها بارجة بريطانية ونجاح حلفائها اليمنيين في تفجير مصافي أرامكو وتحرير 500 كيلومتر مربع في أعالي الحدود اليمنية، وسيطرة حلفائها في العراق وسورية ولبنان على السياسة في بلدانهم.

في إطار هذه المعطيات التي تؤكد على الدور الإقليمي الكبير لإيران وتفوقها على المنافسين، يمكن استيعاب اسباب الإصرار الروسي الصيني على التحالف مع إيران وتنظيم مناورات عسكرية معها في المحيط الهندي.

وهذا اعتراف واضح بنجاح الجمهورية الإسلامية في تثبيت دور إقليمي كبير يقف غير بعيد عن أبواب القوى العالمية المتعددة القطب، في معظم القارات التي أصبحت متيقنة من أن إيران باب رئيسي وازن للشرق الأوسط الجديد

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

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

Translated by Khamenei.ir

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

The following is part one of the interview:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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