The Empire strikes back – US incited unrest in Iraq, Lebanon and Iran is Washington’s revenge against the Islamic Republic

By Aram Mirzaei for The Saker Blog

The Empire strikes back – US incited unrest in Iraq, Lebanon and Iran is Washington’s revenge against the Islamic Republic

Since October,riots and unrest have wrecked havoc across Lebanon, Iraq and Iran. Iraq has suffered the worst as reports suggest over 300 people have been killed in the riots. In Lebanon, the US and its vassals have been busy hijacking the people’s grievances over the massive corruption among government officials. Followers of US puppets Samir Geagea and Saad Hariri have been blocking roads in an attempt to shut down the country, and to provoke a response from Hezbollah, thus setting the stage for a new civil war. In Iran, protests over gas price hikes have been hijacked by US backed MEK terrorists and Royalists loyal to the son of the late Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, with acts of violence and thuggery as they have burned down bank offices and government buildings. Luckily, in Iran these rioters and terrorists were dealt with swiftly and decisively, with over 1000 arrests being made within days after the so called “protests” began.

To some of us, these riots were expected as the Zionist axis have made these threats since several years back. Two years ago, the eccentric psychopath Saudi Prince Mohammed Bin Salman threatened to incite riots and violence inside the Islamic Republic. “We won’t wait for the battle to be in Saudi Arabia,” he said, without elaborating on policies. “Instead, we will work so that the battle is for them in Iran, not in Saudi Arabia.”

Another reason for expecting the current chaos can be found in Syria and Yemen. Only fools would believe that Washington really would just pack their bags and leave Syria without seeking revenge for the humiliation they suffered after their defeat. It’s never that easy with the Zionist Empire. So they pull out of Syria and strike back with force against the Islamic Republic’s allies across the entire region, in an attempt to break the alliance between these countries. In Yemen, Washington suffered humiliation after the Houthis destroyed half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production within hours, effectively proving that the US Patriot Missile Defence system is useless.

Washington’s hand can be found in all three of these countries who have been targeted. In Iran, the initial protests were genuine, this is a fact that even the government admitted immediately. Reducing petrol subsidies on the cheapest fuel in the region has been an issue on Iran’s political agenda for years, one that became more urgent after Washington exited the JCPOA last year and imposed sanctions on Iran again. This move was necessary, and the money saved will go to the poor and needy. Western commentators immediately spinned it into “anti-regime protests”. Suzanne Maloney of the Brookings institution declared that “Iranian protesters strike at the heart of the regime’s legitimacy,” France 24 asked if is this “a new Iranian revolution?” And multiple other western media outlets slammed Iran’s “brutal crackdown” against its people, with false reports ranging from 100 to 2000 “killed by security forces”. Even though the Internet was disabled for nearly a week, somehow videos and pictures made their way to Twitter accounts of notorious anti-Iran commentators and “analysts”. All over the cyber space, so called expat Iranians, supporters of the Washington backed MEK terrorists ran rampant with massive propaganda campaigns. Hundreds of thousands of anti-Iran tweets exploded on Twitter as so called analysts, “think tanks”, media personalities, “activists” and politicians spewed lies on top of lies. And they wonder why the Islamic Republic shut down the internet?

Washington overtly offered its support to the rioters with the ever more despicable Mike Pompeo even taking to Twitter where he asked “Iranian protestors” to send him pictures and videos of the “regime’s crimes”. A few days later, Washington sanctioned the Islamic Republic’s minister of information for the Internet blackout.

Seeing as they couldn’t intimidate Iran into submission through threats of imminent war, they placed their hopes on subversion and internal attacks. Yet again they failed because they have failed to understand the Islamic Republic for over 40 years now. This country is NOT like most other country, it is not like Bolivia where Army chiefs openly backed by Washington easily could just topple the government. It is exactly for this reason that the IRGC was created. If the Iranian Army would ever attempt a coup, the IRGC, who is much more powerful than the army would immediately crush them.
In Lebanon, Washington exposed itself and its complicity in the riots when former US ambassador to Lebanon Jeffrey Feltmann said that ‘the demonstrations and the reactions to them by Lebanese leaders and institutions, fortunately, coincide with US interests.’ Wherever Washington “supports” protests and riots, it can be concluded that they have a hand in it. The protests in Lebanon are a bit more complicated than the rather obvious ones in Iran and Iraq.

The closure of the main roads and the deliberate inaction of the Lebanese army forces due to US pressure is not surprising. The main roads being closed have been carefully selected. They have closed the roads linking southern Lebanon to Beirut and linking Baalbek and the road to Damascus with the capital Beirut. These areas are mainly inhabited and used by Shia. The roads are being blocked mainly in certain sectarian areas controlled by supporters of the caretaker Sunni Prime Minister Saad Hariri and his Druze ally Walid Jumbblat. The closure of other roads in the Christian dominated Dbayeh and in Tripoli by followers of the Zionist and war criminal Samir Geagea, leader of the notorious “Lebanese Forces”, are to divert attention from the main aim: challenging Hezbollah.
The goal is to force Hezbollah into the streets to confront the culprits that are blocking roads. Hezbollah is aware of this and is trying to avoid responding to provocations.
The aim is not to see Hezbollah defeated by the initial clashes; the firepower, training and military organisation of Hezbollah cannot be defeated by enthusiastic mercenaries and locals. The aim is to deprive Hezbollah of its legitimacy and pay a heavy price for its “unforgivable” victories in Syria and Iraq and its support to the Palestinians and the Yemeni.
Despite what is being claimed about Lebanon’s economy, the country’s financial problems are not the primary issue. Their debt (around 35 billion dollars) is in line with what Saudi Arabia is bleeding every year in their tragic war of terror on Yemen.
Sectarian elements and foreign intervention are managing to divert attention from the real national demands that have been overwhelming the Lebanese since decades. The foreign intervention is not relying on the justified demands of protestors in its confrontation with Hezbollah. It is relying on sectarian Lebanese who want to contribute to the fall of Hezbollah from the inside. This is not surprising because Lebanon is a platform where the US, EU, and Saudis are strongly present and active against the Resistance Axis.

In Iraq, the Zionist Axis has continued on the same theme, grasping for a geopolitical angle: protests in neighbouring Lebanon and Iraq are being cast as a regional insurrection against Iranian influence. Zionist Mark Dubowitz, the CEO of the hawkish think-tank “Foundation for Defense of Democracies” shamefully claimed that the people of not only Lebanon and Iraq, but also the people of Iran, are “actively demanding their countries back from the occupying Islamic Republic”. In other words, he claims that the Islamic Republic is occupying its own country. This is the level that they stoop to.

Yet some elements among the protestors in Iraq have been attacking and torching Iranian consulates. Why is that? How will torching the Iranian consulates in Najaf and Karbala save them from poverty and disenfranchisement? Who are these people, claiming that Iran is at fault for Iraq’s misery? Have they suffered from a memory loss over what has happened these past 16 years? Who sanctioned Iraq, resulting in the death of half a million Iraqi children? Who claimed that it was all worth it on national TV? Who invaded Iraq and humiliated the country, occupied it for 8 years and stole their resources? Who dropped depleted uranium on Iraqi cities, causing children even today to be born disfigured and mutated? Who unleashed Daesh on Iraq? And most importantly, who stepped in immediately to save Iraq when Washington’s dogs were at the gates of Baghdad in the summer of 2014? It is here that it becomes clear that the Saudis and Americans are directing these thugs to attack Iran inside Iraq. Fortunately, in Iraq they have been exposed as well. The Iraqi Foreign Ministry condemned the incident in strongest terms, saying the attack had been perpetrated “by strangers … distant from the reality of demonstrations taking place in a number of Iraqi cities.”

“We believe that its purpose is clear; to harm the historical relations between Iraq and Iran and countries of the world whose missions are in Iraq,” it said in a statement.

The ministry further warned against “the entry of persons who want to divert the demonstrations with the right demands from the seriousness of legal discipline and its proper course. The consulate in Najaf has been exposed to clear evidence of their agendas that are distant from the national demands; we stress the need to secure missions and not to expose those working in them.”
Iraq’s top cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani has warned that enemies of Iraq and affiliated groups in the country are plotting to create internal strife and bring the country back to the “era of dictatorship”, an apparent reference to the former rule of Saddam Hussein.

Addressing worshippers during Friday prayers in the holy city of Karbala, the Grand Ayatollah urged protesters to prevent attacks on people and their property and distance themselves from those committing such acts.

“It is imperative on peaceful demonstrators that they separate their ranks from non-peaceful individuals and cooperate on shunning saboteurs – whoever they are – and not allow them to abuse peaceful protests to damage and attack the property of citizens,” a representative of Ayatollah Sistani said as he delivered the top cleric’s sermon.
“The enemies and their levers, in order to achieve their malicious goals, plan to spread chaos and plunge the country into internal strife and then return it to dictatorship, so everyone must work together to take away this opportunity from them,” he added.
A few months ago, the Lebanese Arabic-language daily newspaper al-Akhbar reported that Iraqi security sources have uncovered a plan seeking to install a military strongman favoured by the US by creating a power vacuum in the country.

The clear pattern seen in both Lebanon and Iraq is that this major plot is targeting the Islamic Republic.
Iran defeated the mainstream international community when it helped prevent the fall of the government in Damascus after years of war. It has effectively supported Hezbollah and the Palestinians against Israel, it has stood by Iraq and prevented terrorism from fully taking control of the country. Iran has also supported the defence of Yemen against Saudi Arabia’s pathetic and criminal war. These moves have created a lot of enemies for Iran, and they are all hell-bent on revenge for years of humiliation and failure.

This is the most important hour for the Resistance Axis, it must survive this plot, otherwise the entire region will burn and fall into Zionist hands.

Imam Khamenei Warns of Enemies’ Plots to Harm Security in Iraq and Lebanon

Imam Khamenei Warns of Enemies’ Plots to Harm Security in Iraq and Lebanon

By Staff

Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei tackled the recent events taking place in Iraq and Lebanon, warning of the enemies plots to harm security in those countries.

Imam Khamenei’s remarks came while addressing the joint graduation, inauguration, and epaulette granting ceremony, for cadets of Islamic Republic of Iran’s Army Academies that was held on Wednesday morning at Khatam al-Anbia Air Defense Academy.

His Eminence stressed that the biggest damage enemies can inflict on a country is to deprive it from its security, something that started in some regional countries.

“I advise those keen on Iraq and Lebanon to deal with riot and insecurity caused in their countries by the US, the Zionist entity and some western countries using the money of some reactionary countries,” Imam Khamenei said.

“People also have rightful demands,” Imam Khamenei stressed, but noted that “they have to know that their demands will only be achieved through the legal structures and frames of their country. Once the legal structure collapses, it becomes impossible to do anything.”

“They also plotted against our dear country but luckily people were present in the squares at the convenient time and foiled them,” Imam Khamenei noted.

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مناقشة هادئة لخطاب خالد حدادة الغاضب

أكتوبر 29, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– كتب الأمين العام السابق للحزب الشيوعي اللبناني خالد حدادة مقالاً نشره على صفحته على الفايسبوك، يناقش فيه المواقف التي أطلقها الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله، في إطلالته الأخيرة حول الحراك الشعبي والمخاطر والمخاوف والشعارات. ولغة حدادة القاسية الأقرب إلى نبرة القطيعة وليس الحوار، تستحق النقاش كما الحجج التي ساقها لتفسير موقفه، ليس فقط لكونها تعبّر بصورة غير رسمية عن مواقف تفسر اصطفاف الحزب الشيوعي اللبناني، وتفلسف هذا الاصطفاف، بل أيضاً لأنها الأشد جرأة ووضوحاً من بين همهمات في صفوف الكثير من اليساريين والوطنيين الذين يدعون حزب الله للانخراط في الحراك ودعمه والمشاركة في قيادته، ويأخذون عليه عدم ترجمة ما قاله من تقدير وتفهّم لأسباب الحراك ودوافعه بالانخراط فيه، بل بتغليب موقف التحفظ والحذر من الأفق الذي يرسمه الغموض في قيادة الحراك الفعلية، رغم طمأنة حدادة بأن كل شيء سيكون تحت السيطرة، لأن الفقراء في الشارع والمدافعين عن حقوقهم هم الذين سيحصنون الحراك كما حصنوا ويحصنون المقاومة .

– يبدأ حدادة مقالته بالقول إن خطاب السيد جاء تغليباً للبنية المذهبية للحزب، كشريك في نظام طائفي وأكثر من ذلك قدّمه السيد أمس، كحامٍ للنظام عبر إطلاق لاءاته الثلاث المناقضة لحس الناس ومطالبها: لا لإسقاط العهد، لا لاستقالة الحكومة، لا للانتخابات المبكرة . ويضيف باختصار وضع السيد خطاً أحمر هو النظام نفسه . وتناول حدادة مخاوف المقاومة من غموض القيادة والتمويل ودور السفارات والحاجة لتحصين الحراك بالقول للسيد بلغة التحدي هل فعلت أنت ما هو واجب لتحصين هذا الحراك الشعبي والوطني والمحقّ على حد تعبيرك؟ أعتقد أن خطابك بالأمس سيساهم في تقوية وزن ودور السفارات، في محاولة حرف التحرّك. نحن سنتصدّى لذلك، الفقراء في الشارع والمدافعون عن حقوقهم هم الذين سيحصّنون الحراك، كما حصّنوا ويحصنون المقاومة ، واصفاً دعوة السيد للحراك ببلورة قيادته وصولاً للتفاوض بالتحدّي قائلاً أنت تعرف يا سيد أن كل التحركات لا تبدأ بالتفاوض إلا مع البدء بالتنازلات من المسؤولين، سأطلب منك العودة الى مسار الثورة الإيرانية وليس ما سُمّي بالربيع العربي ، شارحاً خريطة الطريق التي يراها سبيلاً للحل بالقول مطالب الساحات واضحة، عدا عن الجانب المعيشي فإن الشارع، بعفويته، وضع مساراً مسؤولاً: استقالة الحكومة، تشكيل حكومة انتقالية موثوقة، إقرار سريع لخطوات إعادة المال المنهوب والأملاك العامة وسواها، إقرار قانون انتخاب جديد نحن نريده وطنياً خارج القيد الطائفي وعلى أساس النسبية ، إجراء انتخابات مبكرة ، مضيفاً ابدأوا بالخطوة الأولى عندها يصبح التفاوض مجدياً .

– مناقشة كلام حدادة لا تستقيم من الأعلى إلى الأسفل لأنه وضع النتائج في الأعلى وترك الأسفل للمقدّمات، فالقبول والرفض لاستنتاجاته وتقييمه لموقف السيد كحامٍ للنظام وللفساد، واعتباره أنه غلب البنية المذهبية للحزب كشريك في نظام طائفي، أو وصف دعوة السيد لتحصين الحراك بوجه تدخل السفارات بالتحدي واعتبار كلام السيد يخدم تعزيز نفوذ السفارات، سيتوقف على تفحّص ما عرضه حدادة من تصوّرات يمكن تلخيصها باعتباره أن توازن القوى في الحراك تحت السيطرة لصالح برنامج ينتهي بانتخابات مبكرة، وفقاً لنظام نسبي وخارج القيد الطائفي، وأن كل المطلوب من السلطة التي يشارك فيها حزب الله أن تنحني للحراك باستقالة الحكومة، وبعدها سيكون كل شيء قابلاً للذهاب نحو تحويل الحراك إلى ثورة. وهنا يعتقد حدادة أن دور حزب الله يجب أن يكون بالدفع لاستقالة الحكومة متخلياً عن دعوته لإسقاط العهد، بقوله، عند استقالة الحكومة يبدأ التفاوض، مستعيناً بالتشبيه بالثورة الإيرانية، لاعتقاده ربما بأن السيد لم يقرأ أو يطلع على تجارب الثورات الملوّنة التي شملت أغلب دول أوروبا الشرقية التي يعرفها السيد حدادة جيداً، ويعرف ما آلت إليه مع استقالة الحكومات، وأن حدود ثقافته السياسية تقف عند تجربة الثورة الإيرانية.

– المفصل إذن هو استقالة الحكومة، التي يثق حدادة ومعه آخرون أنها مفتاح الحلول، المفتاح الذي يدعون السيد نصرالله لاسترداده، وبهذه الاستقالة سيتولى الشعب ومعه المدافعون عن المقاومة الذين قاموا بتحصينها بتحصين الحراك ، فهل يبدو كلام حدادة دعوة لسيناريو قابل لسيطرة أم هو القفزة في المجهول التي تقف وراء الخشية والحذر اللذين طبعا كلام السيد، والتدقيق الذي هرب منه حدادة لا يمكن للسيد إغفاله، فلنفترض أن الحكومة استقالت اليوم، وبالتأكيد لا نظن أن حدادة يدعو لحكومة بديلة برئاسة الرئيس الحريري أو أي من رموز الطبقة الفاسدة كما يصفها، فهل لدى حدادة و الفقراء والمدافعون عن حقوقهم معه، الذين حصنوا المقاومة ويحصنونها، اسم لرئاسة الحكومة يناسب تحقيق الأهداف التي يسوقها باستسهال القدرة على حماية تحقيقها بموازين القوى الحاكمة للحراك، والتي تدخل فيها فعالية الحضور المنظم عبر أحزاب وجمعيات تملك مقدرات مالية وتنظيمية لا يمكلها حدادة و الفقراء والمدافعون عن حقوقهم ، ويتاح لها بقوة السفارات، التي يستخفّ حدادة بحضورها في الحراك، فرصٌ مستديمة للسيطرة على وسائل الإعلام الوازنة والفاعلة والمموّلة، والتي تكرس بثها لما هو أبعد من تغطية الحراك نحو الإمساك بدفته السياسية والتنظيمية ورسم خطواته. السؤال هو: ماذا سيحدث في اليوم التالي لاستقالة الحكومة، ولأن المنطقي أن الحراك الداعي للاستقالة سيتمسك بالدعوة للامتناع عن تسمية أي من رموز الطبقة الفاسدة لرئاسة الحكومة البديلة، أن تفشل الاستشارات النيابية بالخروج باسم مرشح يقبله الحراك، ويبقى أمام الفقراء والمدافعين عن حقوقهم والمقاومة التي يحصنها حدادة ويعد بتحصينها، ونحن نصدق صدق نياته هنا، خيار واحد، هو التساكن مع الحكومة المستقيلة كحكومة تصريف أعمال لا يمكن مطالبتها بشيء ولا مساءلتها على شيء، وعجز عن استيلاد حكومة جديدة، بل حتى تسمية رئيس للحكومة الجديدة، وتمضي أسابيع وشهور، ويبدأ التفاوض، نعم التفاوض، ولكن ليس مع حدادة ولا مع قيادة يبلورها الحراك، بل بين السفارات، على رمي اسم غامض يضمن الخارج تسويقه في وسط الحراك، بصفته من التكنوقراط والخبراء المشهود لهم بالكفاءة والنزاهة، ويخرج الحراك يحتفل بالنصر لبدء مسار حكومي جديد، يعوّمه الغرب والعرب مالياً، كما يقترح ديفيد أغناسيوس في مقالته في الواشنطن بوست تحت شعار منعاً لخسارة لبنان على طريقة خسارة سورية. ويبدأ شعار أولوية النهوض من الوضع المالي الصعب بالتسلل لفرض معادلة تحييد لبنان، تحت شعار النأي بالنفس، وبالتأكيد لا محاربة فساد ولا محاكمات ولا استعادة مال منهوب، والانتخابات المبكرة تصبح أحد اثنين، ذكرى جميلة أو انتخابات على القانون الحالي تعيد إنتاج المجلس الحالي مع حجز حصة للقوى التي سيطرت على الحراك، وليس للوطنيين واليسار حصة وافرة منه، بل للذين قادوا فعلياً وصاروا حزب رئيس الحكومة الجديد. فهل هذا هو المسار الشعبي والتغييري الذي يريد حدادة من السيد نصرالله فتح الطريق أمامه؟

– ربما لم يكن لدى حدادة الوقت ليتذكر أن الثورة الإيرانية كانت لها قيادة واضحة وبرنامج واضح وقائد مُجمَع عليه قبل أي بحث بكيف ومتى بدأت بالتفاوض، ولن يمانع السيد من التفاهم على اعتبار نموذج الثورة الإيرانية فيصلاً في بت الخلاف، بدعوته الواضحة لبلورة هذه القيادة والبرنامج. وليثق حدادة أن هذه هي بيضة القبان، وضوح القيادة والبرنامج وبعدها لن نختلف مع حدادة حول توقيت التفاوض قبل استقالة الحكومة أم بعدها، فبوجود الوضوح في القيادة والبرنامج تتغير أشياء كثيرة. وربما ايضاً لم يكن لدى حدادة الوقت للانتباه لمخاطر استقالة الحكومة في ظل غياب قيادة وبرنامج للحراك، ولا الوقت لفحص سيناريو آخر، هو البدء من رأس الدرج بشطفه وليس من أسفله، أي إلزام الحكومة والمجلس النيابي، بقوة الحراك وثقة حدادة بالقدرة على التحكم بضبط أدائه لمحاربة الفساد وإسقاط النظام الطائفي، بإصدار قوانين الانتخابات المنشود وقانون رفع الحصانات والسرية المصرفية عن كل من تولّى الشأن العام الموعود، وتحديد مرحلة انتقالية في هذه القوانين، التي تتشكل بنصوصها هيئات قضائية مستقلة للإشراف على تطبيقها. ووفق المرحلة الإنتقالية تصدر لوائح المتهمين بجرائم المال العام خلال ثلاثة شهور، وتتشكل حكومة من غير المرشحين بالتزامن، لتتم الانتخابات في نهاية المرحلة الانتقالية المحددة بستة شهور، لتنبثق الحكومة الجديدة من نتائج الانتخابات وفقاً للقواعد الدستورية، ويكون في المجلس الجديد وفق قانون الدائرة الواحدة والنسبية واللاطائفية فرصة تمثيل للقوى التي رسمت خريطة طريق نظيفة وواضحة للحراك، ومنها الشيوعيون واليسار، ويكون على حزب الله ومعه مَن يشاركه الرؤى في الحكومة ومجلس النواب كما وعد الضغط لضبط الإيقاع بالتناغم مع مطالب الحراك الواضحة بقيادته المعروفة لضمان السير بهذه الخطة، ويكون بقاء الحكومة الحالية كحكومة فعلية تسائل وتحاسب وتطالب بتنفيذ متتابع لبنود الخطة الإصلاحية وتصويب الخاطئ فيها، بدلاً من تصريف الأعمال الطويل بغياب أفق حكومة إنقاذ موعودة. فهل هذا السيناريو دفاع عن النظام الفاسد وتعبير عن بنية مذهبية غلبت روح المقاومة، وترسم خطاً أحمر حول النظام أم تضع خطوطاً حمراء حول مشروع غامض يُرشّ عليه بعض السكر الذي سرعان ما يزول بأول فركة يد، فيكشف لنا الخادم الحقيقي لتأبيد نظام الفساد بل تجديد شبابه بنسخة متوجة بشرعية شعبية تماماً كما فعل الربيع العربي.

– مشكلة بعض اليسار أنه يعيد في الحراك تكرار التجربة التي خاضها منذ التسعينيات بخروجه من المقاومة نحو سراب السلطة، والحديث عن منعه عن دوره فيها، ورمي مسؤولية تراجعه على حزب الله، لأنه يريد من حزب الله توظيف قوته في المقاومة لصناعة دور للآخرين في السلطة. وقد لا يُفهم الغضب والتحدي في نبرة حدادة إلا باعتباره ترجمة لهذا التكرار، الرهان على توظيف مكانة وقوة حزب الله لحجز مقعد فاعل في الحراك، لا يبدو أنه متاح اليوم، لكنه للأسف مقعد لا يخدم تحصين البلد والمقاومة ولا الحراك نفسه إذا بقي مصطفاً تحت شعار لم يكن له يد في رسمه. وما ورد في هذا النقاش ليس إلا دعوة للتفكير مجدداً ليضع اليسار والشيوعيون في مقدمتهم خريطة طريق موصلة للأهداف التي نثق بإخلاصه لها، ويقود حواراً مع شركائه في الخيارات المناوئة للهيمنة الأميركية والعدوانية الصهيونية، وصولاً لتفاهمات تتوزع فيها الأدوار كل من موقعه بدلاً من لغة الأحكام الظالمة، والتهم اللتي تصير افتراء، تترجمها نبرة التحدي والغضب، التي لن توصل إلى مكان ولا تقدّم شيئاً للبلد والحراك والمقاومة.

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Time: Imam Khamenei Emerged As the Most Powerful Person in the ME

Time: Imam Khamenei Emerged As the Most Powerful Person in the ME

By Staff, Time

Amid the escalating tension in the Middle East, the American Time magazine chose to shed light on the power of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei.

Admitting in the title that US President Donald Trump might not win his war on Iran, Karim Sadjadpour stated that Leader of the Islamic Revolution his Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali “Khamenei has quietly emerged as the most powerful person in the Middle East, with uniformed military fighting in Syria and loyal proxies dominant in Lebanon, Yemen and [despite a US investment of $1 trillion and thousands of lives].”

In this context, the writer claimed that: “He [Imam Khamenei] has also presided over an audacious and escalating campaign to raise uncertainty and global oil prices, shooting down a $176 million US drone, blowing holes in tankers and bombing the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil production, all without drawing a US military response.”

Reflecting Imam Khamenei’s wisdom in dealing with tensions, the Time mentioned: “For years, he has carefully calibrated Iran’s reaction to US pressure: an insufficient response might project weakness and invite more pressure. An excessive response, on the other hand, could trigger a serious US retaliation and risk outright war.”

“[Imam] Khamenei has shown a lifelong commitment to his: resistance against “global arrogance” – his moniker for American imperialism – is both ideology and strategic doctrine for the theocracy,” it added.

In this context, the magazine recalled that in June, Imam Khamenei told the Prime Minister of Japan, who had come bearing a message from the White House, “I do not consider Trump as a person worth exchanging any message with.”

Moreover, Sadjadpour also highlighted “in more than two decades researching Iran, both in Tehran and the US, I have learned the most important indicator of the regime’s behavior is in the speeches of the Supreme Leader.”

“Iran is the only nation in the world simultaneously fighting three cold wars – with “Israel”, Saudi Arabia and the US,” he added, pointing out that “Khamenei manages those conflicts with two crucial tools: Qasem Soleimani, the charismatic commander of IRGC operations abroad, is Khamenei’s sword. FM Javad Zarif is his shield, deflecting Western economic and political pressure. Soleimani deals with foreign armies, Zarif with Foreign Ministers.”

On the personal level, the daily underscored that “[Imam] Khamenei is a reader. He has frequently said Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables is the greatest novel ever written, and his Instagram feed shows him smiling as he reads a Persian translation of Fire and Fury, Michael Wolff’s unflattering account of Trump’s first year in office.”

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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.

Al Saud Regime in Final Stages of Its Life – Sayyed Nasrallah

Al Saud Regime in Final Stages of Its Life – Sayyed Nasrallah

By Staff, Agencies

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah stressed that the Al Saud regime may be in the final stages of its life, and the incumbent rulers are expediting the regime’s demise through their policies.

“The Al Saud regime is old and may be in the final stages of its life because of natural reasons like its cruel measures over the past 100 years and the systematic corruption in the regime, suppression of people, and totalitarianism of its rules,” Sayyed Nasrallah said.

However, he added, the performance of incumbent Saudi rulers – which is in contradiction to that of their predecessors – will expedite the collapse of the Saudi regime.

His Eminence further noted that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s war on Yemen, the crimes committed by the regime and the Saudi’s interference in other countries will seriously affect the future of the kingdom.

“We currently see for the first time that ‘Death to Al Saud’ slogan is being chanted in several Arab countries, and we see political and popular powers and governments that take explicit stances toward Al Saud and its interference in the region,” he noted.

Sayyed Nasrallah made the remarks in an exclusive interview with the office for preservation and dissemination of the works of Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei.

The resistance leader also blamed Saudi Arabia for the tension with Iran, saying it was Riyadh who started the animosity due to the Islamic Republic’s support for Palestinians and the resistance movements in the region.

“Saudi Arabia started its hostility toward Iran after the victory of the Islamic Revolution [in 1979] and the establishment of the Islamic Republic, which supported the issues of Arab and Islamic countries,” His Eminence said.

Sayyed Nasrallah also said US President Donald Trump’s recent comment about the kingdom’s payment of hundreds of billions of dollars to Washington in just one hour after his call, and the silence of Saudi media over the issue showed the Saudis’ ultimate humiliation against Trump’s laughter.

Trump in April boasted to his supporters about a bizarre phone call with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, where he made the monarch pay more money in exchange for the military support that the kingdom receives from Washington.

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