The Imam Khomeini Legacy and the fall of US Imperialism

The Imam Khomeini Legacy and the fall of US Imperialism

By Elham Hashemi

He started a revolution from the sleepy village in France where he was in exile. Him being thousands and thousands of miles away did not prevent the words of justice to reach the ears and hearts of millions across Iran as well as seekers of freedom across the world.

France was the last platform of Ayatollah Imam Ruhollah Mousavi Khomeini during the late 1978 and early 1979 before his return to the Islamic Republic of Iran. It was his last stage abroad; he stayed for long years of exile in Turkey and Iraq before arriving to France later on.

There were key ideas on which Founder of the Islamic revolution Imam Khomeini based his revolution; most importantly being independent from any external powers, being genuine, depending on popular power and will, and basing life style and the constitution on the teachings of Islam (which promote justice, equality, and preserving human dignity and other human values). The Islamic Republic, its wise leader and free people decided at a historical moment to be different; unique in a sense that they decided and dared to break the manacles of imperialism and colonialism.

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini; Iran’s most revered spiritual figure brought a vivid revolution to Iran, which was a US ally monarchy that had no independent identity. On the 31st annual commemoration of his passing, the architect of the Islamic revolution’s spirit still lives among not only Iranians but many free people of the world.

Although many theorists, think tanks, and media outlets now believe in the growing decline of the United States, one of the most unique and first predictions about the fall of the American Empire has been made by the late Imam. It should be noted that Imam Khomeini’s predictions about the fall of the United States in the future came at a time when the United States, in competition with the Eastern bloc, had apparently become an undisputed hegemony and power in the world and at the height of its power.

Today, we see the US at the height of its fragility as the American people rise in face of probably the “clumsiest and foulest” US President Donald Trump who prefers using superlative forms in his speeches.

In one of his speeches mentioned in Volume 18 of Sahifeh Nour, Imam Khomeini pointed out that the oppressed will reach a phase when they will not tolerate the injustice inflicted upon them by the oppressor, and that is when they will rise. This includes the people of America, who will stand up one day to social injustice to which they are being exposed.

Also, in another speech mentioned in volume 11 of the Sahifeh Nour, Imam Khomeini assured that “the people of America will gradually wake up until they rise.”

Today, we see a revolution at the heart of the United States as the US regime’s violence reaches a peak and by the merciless killing of George Floyd which is only the starter of protests; much anger lies underneath.

The American regime, over the years has done injustice not only to the peoples of the world, but also to its own people. Today, anger and dissent across the American community and people unravels.

In a speech he made in Qom city in 1979 addressing the reporter of the Time Newspaper, Imam Khomeini that “The American government has done injustice to us in that it has robbed us of our possessions and properties through its agent in Iran, called Muhammad-Rida. It has done injustice to    the American nation in that it has jeopardized their decency and pride.”

Imam Khomeini had always differentiated between the American administration and the American people, a fixed belief that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has as well. For instance, in his words and speeches, there was a clear differentiation between the Carter regime and his conspiracies versus the American people who were made to believe Iran was evil due to misleading information disseminated around the clock.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Khamenei has reiterated Imam Khomeini’s views numerous times.

“The arrogant power of the US and the seditious and malicious power of the Zionist regime, from 40 years ago onwards, have increasingly declined. We should consider this in our calculations. The political, social and economic condition of the US in the past and in the present time should be considered in our calculations. Again, this has been acknowledged by some Americans. Some have referred to it as “a termite-like decline.” This has been coined by an American writer. He compares the decline of America decline to what occurs with termite. That is to say, it is becoming hollow from the inside like what termites do. The Americans have said this themselves. This is the case in economic, social and political areas.

Ayatollah Khomeini and Ayatollah Khamenei’s views and futuristic readings are based on divine tradition and reading of recurrent history.

As Ayatollah Khamenei expressed “The US is declining. And the factors in the decline of the US have not come into being in the present time or in the recent past so much so that someone would try to cure them. They have come into being throughout history. The factor and element which has brought about such a condition for the Americans is a long-term factor. They have created a condition in the course of history which has led to the current situation, and it cannot be cured so easily. –This is a divine tradition. They are condemned to decline and disappear from the scene of global power.”

Today, 3 decades to the demise of the leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Khomeini who is remembered and revered by not only popular masses in Iran and elsewhere but also by leaders across the world, his legacy of human rights and justice remains alive and the world witnesses his reading of history and facts.

Quds Day: Reminder of Palestinian struggle

By Salman Parviz

May 21, 2020 – 14:5

Originating in Iran with the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini declared the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan as Quds Day with the aim of forging unity among the Muslims and Arab nations so that they will unanimously express their backing for the Palestinian nation each year.

To mark the occasion amid the novel coronavirus pandemic the International Quds Day Conference was held online May 18 and 19.

This year’s Quds Day has special significance in the denunciation of the so-called “Deal of the Century” and proposed annexation of Jordan Valley and occupied West Bank, a display of shocking disregard for international law. The deal has given green light to Israeli sovereignty on the illegal settlements built since the 1967 war, which is now colonized by more than 600,000 Israeli Jews.

Protests in the region on May 15 marked the 72nd anniversary of the Nakba or “catastrophe”, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forced into exile following creation of the Zionist state in 1948. It was another opportunity to denounce the policies of U.S. President D. Trump’s ultra-right policies and alliance with Israel.

While successive U.S. presidents and administrations have supported Israel, none has done as much in such a short time to embolden its right-wing settler-led colonialist government than Trump whose administration recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 2017, stalling the road map for a two-state solution.

Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner worked closely with former U.S. special envoy for the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, to design the “Deal of the Century”. The plan was announced in January after several months of delay. What Palestinians saw as a “surrender note”, referred in one of the Tehran Times’ headlines as the “Highway to Hell” and what many consider “Heist of the Century”.

After three inconclusive elections in the Zionist state a three-year power-sharing agreement was announced in April which allows Netanyahu first bite at leading before handing power to Benny Gantz. At the heart of that agreement is the illegal annexation of large swathes of the West Bank, including the Jordan Valley and the Northern Dead Sea.

Israel is 21st century’s Middle East version of apartheid-era South Africa, the only remaining apartheid state where Palestinians remain, at best, second class citizens in Israel, under occupation in Gaza, East Jerusalem and West Bank.

Of historical significance is the plight of residents of Gaza Strip. In January 2006, Hamas won a sweeping majority in the Palestinian Legislative Council elections ending more than 40 years of domination by Fatah, the political faction built by the late Yasir Arafat.

Following the elections U.S., EU and Canada cut off funding to the Palestinian Authority despite Canada having helped to facilitate and monitor the elections. Worth mentioning is that the Israel-Hezbollah conflict ensued during the summer of 2006.

Gaza Strip was put under Israeli and Egyptian blockade in 2007 when the Hamas resistance movement started controlling the enclave. As a result of Israel’s stifling measures the UN has warned in the past that the Gaza Strip would become “uninhabitable” by 2020.

More than two million people cramped up in a 362 square kilometer area, deprived of their fundamental human rights including freedom of movement. Under strict air, sea and ground siege imposed by Israel and Egypt for the last thirteen years, Gaza Strip is considered the largest open-air prison in the world.

This prison verdict is backed by international community, mainly the Western powers and the U.S. During the siege the coastal enclave has undergone three major Israeli offensives.

Today around 6.5 million Palestinians live abroad as refugees or members of the diaspora.

Quds day is a reminder of the plight of Palestinian people.
 

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يوم القدس العالمي..دعوة لإنعاش الذاكرة في زمن التهويد والتطبيع

د.خليل حمدان

في الخامس عشر من شهر آب 1979، وفي العام الأول لانتصار الثورة الإسلامية الإيرانية أعلن قائد الثورة الإسلامية الإيرانية الإمام الراحل السيد روح الله الموسوي الخميني، يوم القدس العالميّ، إذ دعا شعوب العالم لإحياء هذا اليوم في آخر جمعة من شهر رمضان المبارك، في محاولة حثيثة لإنعاش ذاكرة الشعوب بعد محاولات محوها من قبل حكامٍ لأنظمة استبدادية لا تقيم للقيم وزناً، ولا للمقدّسات حرمة. إنّ مواكبة القادة في إيران الثورة للقضية الفلسطينية، ليس مستجدّاً، بل تشكّلت في أسباب هذه الثورة وأهدافها. فمعظم الثورات اندلعت في العالم لأسباب محلّية لمواجهة طاغيةٍ عاث في الأرض فساداً وأفقر العباد وأقفر البلاد، وقد تكون ميزة للثورة الإسلامية الإيرانية أنّ أسبابها ليست فقط داخلية على الرغم من وجود كلّ المبرّرات لاندلاعها، وما ظلم الشاه وجلاوزته إلا السبب الكافي. ولكن كان الاعتراض الأشدّ على شاه إيران، علاقته بالكيان الصهيوني الغاصب على حساب الشعب الفلسطيني والقدس. ففلسطين من اسباب الثورة. ومن هنا نجد أنّ أدبيّات قادة الثورة الإسلامية في إيران في كلّ مناسبة، ومن خلال مؤلّفات ومنشورات وتسجيلات، نجد أنّ الهمّ الأكبر لهذه الثورة نصرة القدس وفلسطين وشعب فلسطين، وهي ميزة من ميزاتها على الرغم من أنّها إسلامية، إلا أنّها لم تقسم العالم إلى ديار الكفر وديار الإيمان كما هي حال بعض الحركات الأخرى في العالم، بل ثبّتت علاقتها ومواقفها على أساس جبهة المظلومين في وجه الظالمين، أو جبهة المستضعفين في وجه المستكبرين. فلا تكفير ولا تنفير ولا فتن، بل وحدة من أجل العدالة لكل إنسان والانسان كلّه. وما دعم قضيّة الشعب الفنزويلّي والتضامن معه، إلا مصداق حيّ، وترجمة حقيقيّة لتلك الأسس والقناعات الراسخة لدى قادة هذه الثورة. وإن كانت مناسبة إحياء يوم القدس، حيث نستذكر من خلالها القادة والشهداء الأبرار، الذين قضوا ومضوا على هذا الدرب، ولا يمكن ان يستقيم الكلام عن تحرير القدس من دون أن نستذكر قائدنا الامام السيد موسى الصدر. ويبقى الإمام السيد موسى الصدر (أعاده الله وأخويه) علامةً فارقةً في هذه المسيرة، حيث صدح باسم الله ثائراً وقائداً: “إنّ القدس هي قبلتنا وملتقى قيمنا، وتجسّد وحدتنا ومعراج رسالتنا، إنّها قدسنا وقضيتنا”.

وإنّ الإمام الصدر كان يعتبر أنّ القدس وفلسطين هما المكوّن الجمعيّ للعرب والمسلمين والمسيحيين والأحرار والعالم.

على درب الإمام مضت أفواج المقاومة اللبنانية أمل، وكان الشهداء في مواجهة الاحتلال الصهيوني. على درب الإمام الصدر، ما زالت هذه القضية حاضرةً في فكرنا وقلبنا وعقلنا. ومع الأخ الرئيس نبيه برّي، الذي في أكثر من مناسبة حذّر من عبث العابثين المحاولين لإسقاط القدس، داعياً ومطالباً بإغلاق السفارات العربية في واشنطن، وإنّ محاولات إسقاط القدس هي بداية، بل نهاية معظم العواصم العربية بالضربة القاضية.

في يوم القدس العالمي نستذكر شهيداً كبيراً عاش للّه واستشهد في سبيله، أحد كبار المسؤولين في حركتنا، الشهيد القائد مصطفى شمران، إذ تشهد له مواقع النضال والجهاد في لبنان وإيران. نستذكره مستعرضين خريطة آماله وآلامه حين قال: “أسعد لحظات حياتي، سقوط شاه إيران، وأكبر أمل عندي تحرير القدس، وأكبر ألم عندي، تغييب الإمام السيد موسى الصدر”.

أجل ستبقى القدس المؤشّر الحقيقي للجهاد والنضال، وهي البوصلة لمواجهة الظلم الأكبر المتمثّل باحتلال فلسطين. يوم القدس العالمي يجسّد وحدتنا بتعبير الإمام الصدر، هي مناسبة لتوجيه تحيّة لجميع الشهداء والجرحى والأسرى والقادة، والمستمرّين في حفظ هذه المسيرة من فلسطين والى كلّ العالم.

تحيّة إلى الإمام القائد السيد موسى الصدر الذي دفع ثمن إخلاصه للقدس وكامل القضية الفلسطينية، فأخفوه وأخويه خدمةً للمشروع الفتنوي والمعتدي، المتمثّل بالاحتلال الصهيوني، وعلى يد المجرم صنيعة “إسرائيل” معمّر القذافي.

أجل، ينبغي أن تبقى القدس حاضرةً لدى الأجيال على مساحة العالم، فإن كان رهان الصهاينة على مقولة أنّ الكبار يموتون والصغار ينسون، فإنّ حفظ القدس وتحريرها على عاتق الأجيال المؤمنة، وذلك بتحرير الوعي وإنعاش الذاكرة في مواجهة تكبيل الوعي، حيث ما زالت أبواق إعلامية صفراء عربية وإسلامية، مدفوعة من أنظمة التطبيع والتهويد وذلك بتعميم اليأس بين الناس.

أجل، ينبغي أن تبقى القدس حاضرة وتتقدّم على ما سواها، لأنّ تهويدها لم يعُد احتمالاً في ظلّ إصرار الإدارة الأميركية بدعم الصهاينة بتصفية القضية الفلسطينية، أرضاً وحجراً وبشراً، من مقدّمات دعم الكيان الكامل وتغطية جرائمه، الى محاولة الإدارة الأميركية لحشد أوسع تأييد دولي لتنفيذ صفقة القرن. هناك الكثير ما يمكن قوله فيما لا تحتويه سطور، ولكن نورد ما يستنبطه تصريح السفير الأميركي لدى الاحتلال الإسرائيلي دايفيد فريدمان مؤخّراً: “ليس من المنطق أن تتنازل إسرائيل عن الخليل وبيت إيل، تماماً مثلما أنّ الولايات المتحدة لا يمكن أن تتنازل عن تمثال الحرّية”. وأضاف: “إنّ مسألة الإعلان عن ضمّ أجزاء من الضفة الغربية وغور الأردن ستكون مسألة أسابيع وستنتهي”. لعلّ القضية الفلسطينية تمرّ بأخطر مراحلها. فإن لم يستشعر البعض بخطر تهويد القدس وكلّ فلسطين، فإنّه يعيش في سبات عميق، وقد لا يفيد إن استُدرك الأمر بعد فوات الأوان. أليس السكوت على الظلم هو نوع من أنواع الظلم؟

يوم القدس يوم التأكيد على المقاومة ودورها واستمرارها. يوم وحدة الموقف لجميع القوى الفلسطينية واللبنانية والعربية والإسلامية والمسيحية في العالم، على قاعدة أنّ “إسرائيل” شرّ مطلق والتعامل معها حرام، و”إسرائيل” غدّة سرطانية.

*عضو هيئة الرئاسة لحركة أمل.

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في العام الحادي والأربعين ليوم القدس العالميّ

 رامز مصطفى ابو عماد

رامز مصطفى

في شهر رمضان المبارك من كلّ عام، وفي جمعته الأخيرة، شعبنا الفلسطيني كما سائر شعوب الأمة وأحرار العالم يحيون يوم القدس العالمي، الذي دعا إليه الإمام الخميني، رحمه الله، بعد أربعة أشهر من قيام الجمهورية الإسلامية في تموز من العام 1979، في نداء أراد منه:

1

ـ تحذير وتنبيه الأمة إلى ما يُخطط ويُراد للقدس من تهويد وسيطرة صهيونية على المدينة ومقدساتها الدينية. وفي ذلك رؤية استشرافية من قبل الإمام الخميني، رحمه الله.

2

ـ دعوة خالصة إلى شعوب الأمة من أجل توحيد كلمتها، كشعوب مستضعفة. والوقوف صفاً واحداً للدفاع عن القدس عاصمة فلسطين، وحشد إمكانياتها ومقدراتها لتحقيق هدف الدفاع والتحرير، من خلال إعلان ثورة الشعوب المستضعفة في وجه المستكبرين.

3

ـ الدعوة إلى عدم الاكتفاء على رفض سياسات الكيان وحركته الصهيونية، بل التحرك والنزول إلى الساحات والميادين للتعبير عن هذا الرفض، الذي يشكل في مجموعه الردّ على تلك السياسات الإجراميّة، وفي مقدّمتها الاستيلاء على القدس، بهدف حسم الصراع لصالح الكيان.

4

ـ تخطّي الحدود القطرية لأيّ بلد، أو أيّ شعب بعينه بمن فيهم الفلسطينيون، بهدف إعطاء القدس بعدها العالمي. لأنّ قضية القدس على وجه الخصوص، كما قضيتهم بالعموم لا تعني الشعب الفلسطيني، بل قضية الأمة وسائر الشعوب والقوى، التي ترفض هيمنة قوى الاستعمار والاستكبار والرأسمالية العالمية، وفي مقدّمتهم الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، وقاعدتهم المتقدمة الكيان الصهيوني.

5

ـ الردّ الحاسم على حالة التردّي التي تعيشها الأمة المُتخلِّفة أنظمتها عن نصرتها للحق الفلسطيني والدفاع عن حقوقه وعناوينه الثابتة والمشروعة، والذوْد عما تتعرض له القدس من تهويد وتغيير متعمّد لمعالمها الدينية والثقافية والتاريخية والديمغرافية. بل هي اليوم في أغلبها تهرول للتطبيع مع الكيان على حساب الحق الفلسطيني وحقوق الأمة، وحجتهم الواهية والمغرضة أنّ الجمهورية الإسلامية الإيرانية تتهدّدهم.

6

ـ التأكيد على أنّ قضية القدس هي الخط الفاصل بين قوى الخير وقوى الشر. لذلك يجب إبقاء الصراع مفتوحاً، إلى أن تتحقق هزيمة قوى الشر والبغي والعدوان ومشروعهم الصهيوأميركي على أرض فلسطين وفي عموم المنطقة، بل وفي العالم أجمع.

يكتسب يوم القدس هذا العام أهمية إضافية، لما تتعرّض له مدينة القدس من عمليات تهويد متمادية لم يسبق لها مثيل، يشنّها قادة الكيان الصهيوني في معركة مفتوحة من أجل حسم هويتها الثقافية والدينية والتاريخية والعمرانية والديمغرافية لصالح كيانهم المغتصب. حيث تأتي تلك السياسات الصهيونية أولاً، في ظلّ ما تسمّى بـ “صفقة القرن” التي أعلن عنها الرئيس الأميركي في كانون الثاني من العام الحالي، واليوم تُستكمل فصولها من خلال حكومة الرأسين لنتنياهو وغانتس، في ضمّ واسع للمستوطنات في الضفة والسيطرة على منطقة غور الأردن وشمال البحر الميت. وثانياً، بالتزامن مع مضيّ 72 عاماً على نكبة الشعب الفلسطيني في الخامس عشر من أيار عام 1948، حيث يؤكد فيها شعبنا الفلسطيني على تمسكه وتصميمه على عودته إلى أرضه فلسطين مهما تعاظمت التحديات وكبرت التضحيات. وثالثاً، مع الذكرى العشرين لانتصار المقاومة في لبنان بقيادة حزب الله، الذي تمكن من دحر الاحتلال الصهيونيّ عن أرض الجنوب، من دون قيد أو شرط.

ونحن نحيي يوم القدس العالمي هذا العام، نفتقد وتفتقد فلسطين وعاصمتها القدس، شهيدها وقائد لوائها المجاهد الكبير اللواء قاسم سليماني. الذي أتى استشهاده في مرحلة بالغة الدقة، أحوج ما نكون إليه في معركة الصمود والتصدّي للهجمة الأميركيّة الصهيونيّة على أمتنا، بهدف إخضاعها لمشيئتهم ومشروعهم، الذي يتهاوى سريعاً في عموم المنطقة، على وقع ما تحقق ويتحقق من انتصارات في الميدان السوري، بفضل صمود الجيش السوري وحلفائه. ونحن نفتقد الشهيد الكبير القائد قاسم سليماني، نؤكد أننا سنبقى على عهدنا للشهيد وما تركه من أثر كبير وفعّال على تطوير قدرات وتوفير الإمكانيات لقوى المقاومة في فلسطين ولبنان والعراق واليمن، التي كان لها الدور الكبير والحاسم في صمودها وانتصارها.

بعد مرور 41 عاماً على النداء الذي أطلقه الإمام الخميني، رحمه الله، بإعلان يوم القدس العالمي، لا تزال الجمهورية الإسلامية الإيرانية ومرشد ثورتها سماحة الإمام القائد السيد علي الخامنئي، على التزامهم وتبنّيهم المطلق لقضية القدس عاصمة فلسطين والأمة. وتوفير كلّ أشكال الدعم والإسناد لها، على الرغم مما تعانيه إيران من حائجة الحصار والعقوبات غير المسبوقة التي تفرضها الإدارة الأميركية والدول الذيلية لها. إلاّ أنّ ذلك لن يؤثر على توجّهات والتزامات إيران اتجاه قضايا الأمة، والقضية الفلسطينية في مقدّمتها.

*كاتب فلسطيني

لماذا يفشل الغرب في مواجهة إيران؟

العميد د. أمين محمد حطيط

منذ أن نجحت الثورة الإسلاميّة في إيران في إقامة دولة مستقلة فعلياً تحوّلت إيران إلى عقدة للغرب الاستعماريّ لا يطيقها ويبحث عن أيّ وسيلة تقود إلى إنهاء هذه الظاهرة التي شكلت كابوساً للغرب عامة ولأميركا و«إسرائيل» خاصة. ولم يحاول الغرب التعايش مع هذا المتغيّر الدولي بل رأى أنّ الحلّ الوحيد له هو الإجهاز على هذه الدولة قبل تفاقم خطرها المتمثل بما أطلق عليه «تصدير الثورة» واجتياح الفكر التحريري الاستقلالي جيران إيران أولاً، وفي طليعتهم دول الخليج التي تشكل محميات للاستعمار يحكمها عبر عائلات تتحكّم بها وتمكّنه من وضع اليد على نفطها ومالها.

ولأجل التخلّص من النظام الإسلامي في إيران شنّت الحرب عليها من قبل صدام حسين بتوجيه أميركي وتمويل خليجي خاصة السعودية التي أفهمها الأميركيّون أنّ بقاء هذا النظام في إيران يشكل خطراً على العائلة المالكة في السعودية وكلّ العائلات المالكة في الخليج.

بيد أنّ إيران رغم حالة التفكّك والتضعضع الذاتي التي كانت عليها في الأشهر الأولى لانتصار الثورة، استطاعت ان تصمد وتستوعب الهجوم العراقي رغم أنها خسرت أرضاً في البدء وتكبّدت خسائر فادحة، لكنها صمدت واستعادت أرضها وقبلت بإنهاء الحرب من دون أن تتمكّن من معاقبة المعتدي، لكن أميركا لم ترضها تلك النتيجة وتحت عناوين وذرائع شتى فرضت عليها تدابير كيدية أسمتها عقوبات رغم عدم انطباق التسمية على الحقيقة القانونية لتلك التدابير. ومنذ 32 عاماً وحتى الآن ترزح إيران تحت وطأة ما يسمّى عقوبات متنوّعة منها ما هو أحادي كتلك التي تفرضها أميركا، ومنها ما هو جماعي خارج مجلس الأمن كتلك التي يفرضها الاتحاد الأوروبيّ وأميركا، ومنها ما هو دولي أممي كتلك التي تفرض بقرار من مجلس الأمن بضغط أميركي.

لقد لجأ الغرب إلى العقوبات التي من شأنها أن تخنق إيران وتجعلها تتراجع عن سياستها الاستقلاليّة، وعن دعمها لحركات التحرّر والمقاومة في العالم ومنعها أيضاً من امتلاك مصادر القوة (العسكرية والاقتصادية والعلمية) لإبقائها دولة من العالم الثالث وسوقاً استهلاكية لسلع الغرب وفرض التبعية الاقتصادية بعد السياسية لمجموعة المنتصرين في الحرب الثانية.

لكن إيران سفّهت أحلام محاصريها وثبتت على سياستها الاستقلالية، رغم ما أحدثته الحرب الاقتصادية من شرور وأضرار في الداخل الإيراني، لا بل حققت إيران رغم الحصار قفزات في مجال القوة الإنتاجية والصناعية يكاد المراقب يقول معها إنّ إيران وصلت إلى المستوى الذي زرع اليأس في النفس الاستعمارية وأفهمها انّ إسقاط إيران بات حلماً لا يُدرَك.

لقد طوّرت إيران نفسها بشكل تكاملي متعدّد الاتجاهات وفي كلّ المجالات التي تميّز الدول المتقدّمة في العالم المعاصر، سواء في ذلك على صعيد السلع الاستهلاكية المعيشية وقد حققت فيه شبه اكتفاء ذاتي بلغ 85% او في المجالات العلمية والصناعية، وقد طرقت بنجاح الباب النووي السلمي ووصلت أيضاً إلى مستوى مَن يطلق الأقمار الصناعيّة ويضعها بنجاح على مدار تشغيلي استثماري، او على صعيد البنية التحتية خاصة في مجالات النقل والكهرباء والاتصالات والخدمات العامة، والأهمّ كان في مجال التصنيع العسكري الذي تمارس فيه القوى العظمى احتكاراً صارماً وتمنع مشاركتها فيه، لكن إيران عرفت كيف تلج مجاله وتؤمّن لنفسها ولقواتها المسلحة من جيش وحرس ثوري وتعبئة شعبية ما يلزمهم من السلاح والذخيرة المتطوّرة التي تمكّنهم من تأمين دفاع موثوق محكم عن إيران أرضاً وشعباً ونظاماً وثروات، كما ويمكّنها من مؤازرة الحلفاء في ممارستهم لحق المقاومة والدفاع المشروع عن النفس. وهنا يطرح السؤال كيف نجحت إيران حيث فشل الآخرون؟

بكلّ تأكيد نجحت إيران في المواجهة طيلة السنوات الـ 41 من عمر ثورتها، أما سبب النجاح برأينا فهو عائد إلى عوامل تميّز الواقع الإيراني من وجوهه كلها، عوامل تضافرت بشكل ليس من شأنه تخطي الصعوبات والمآزق بل من شأنها أيضاً أن ترتقي بإيران إلى مصاف الدول الكبرى في نظام عالمي قيد التشكل على أساس المجموعات الاستراتيجية، حيث تتجه إيران اليوم لتكون نواة مجموعة استراتيجية تفرض نفسها في النظام العالمي الجديد ويمكن ذكر أهمّ عوامل القوة هذه:

1

ـ العامل الفكري العقائدي الديني. أقامت إيران نظامها السياسي على أسس دينية عقائدية، تتفتح فيه على مقولة إنشاء الدولة المستقلة القوية الممهّدة للإمام المهدي، وباتت العقيدة الدينية حافزاً للتضحية والإقدام والتطوّر خلافاً لما جعلها آخرون من المسلمين عامل تخلّف. فالإسلام الحركيّ الذي تعمل به إيران هو إسلام يقود الحياة ويطوّر المجتمع وينافس من أجل الرفاه دون انحراف إسلام محفز وليس مثبطاً. ويضاف ذلك إلى طبيعة الإنسان الإيراني المتميّز بالصلابة وطول النفس والعناد والإصرار على النجاح والتمسك بالحقوق.

2

ـ العامل السياسي: اعتمدت إيران نظاماً سياسياً متماسكاً تحتلّ الإرادة الشعبية الصلب والأساس في إنتاجه وتجديد السلطة عبر انتخابات نزيهة تجعل منه منتجاً شعبياً وتجعل الشعب مدافعاً عنه يرفض أيّ مسّ فيه، لأنه نظامه الذي اختاره ويجدّد أشخاصه بإرادته، هذا في الأصل؛ أما في الهيكلية فالنظام السياسي الإيراني نظام قوي متماسك قائم على المؤسسات المنفصلة والمتعاونة والتي يراقب بعضها بعضاً في حدود الدستور ويعمل في ظلّ قيادة رشيدة تجمع الديني إلى السياسي في أدائها فيطمئن الشعب إلى حكمتها وقوتها والتزامها بالدستور وفلسفته وأحكام الشريعة الإسلامية ومقاصدها.

3

ـ العامل الجغرافيّ الطبيعيّ. تمتلك إيران موقعاً جغرافياً ومساحة وثروات طبيعية تجعلها في موقع الاستغناء عن الآخر بنسبة عالية من دون أن يكون الآخر بموقع الاستغناء عنها اقتصادياً او سياسياً. وهذا العنصر مكّن إيران من النجاح في سياسة الاكتفاء الذاتي اقتصادياً والوصول إلى موقع التأثير دولياً وإقليمياً في المجالات الأخرى.

4

ـ العامل الاستراتيجي التحالفي. في هذا العامل أمرأن الأول طبيعة الخيار الإيراني في تقديم الدعم وإنشاء التحالفات دولياً والثاني النجاح في تشكيل محور المقاومة الإقليميّ. فإيران تبني تحالفاتها على أساس دعم قضية حق لرفع ظلم، وتقيم علاقة مع الأشخاص والمكوّنات الذين يؤمنون بعدالة هذه القضية ويستعدّون للدفاع عنها وخير مثال هنا موقفها من قضية فلسطين التي جهد الآخرون في إبعادها عنها ففشلوا. وهنا التباين بين إيران ودول الغرب الاستعماريّ التي تقيم التحالف انطلاقاً من المصالح الفردية والذاتية التي تريد اقتناصها من الآخرين. ففي الحالة الإيرانيّة يكون التكتل أو المحور او التحالف انطلاقاً من المبادئ التي تجمع المتحالفين ولذا تقيم تحالفاتها على مبادئ وحقوق وقضايا عادلة ثم تبحث في الأشخاص الذين يخدمونه. وبهذا أنشات إيران شبكة تحالفات متفاوتة السقوف أهمية وتأثيراً، أولها محور المقاومة يليها التفاهم مع روسيا والصين، وبعدها العمل في منظومة شنغهاي الاقتصادية وغيرها. وتوصف السياسة الإيرانية بأنها أخلاقية إنسانية لا غدر فيها، وحليف إيران مطمئن، في حين يوصف أداء الغرب باللاإنساني أو اللاأخلاقي وحليفه قلق.

هذه أهمّ العوامل التي منحت إيران مناعة وقوة وقدرة جعلتها تستعصي على الحرب والحصار وفرضتها لاعباً إقليمياً مركزياً وطرفاً دولياً لا يمكن تجاوزه وأبعدت ضمن المنطق والمعقول شبح الحرب عنها، وأكسبتها قدرة تمكنها من المسّ بهيبة أميركا الدولة المتصدّية لقيادة العالم. وعليه نرى مع وجود إيران هذه نستبعد حرباً تشنّها أميركا او «إسرائيل» على محور المقاومة، ونرى أنّ الأشهر والسنوات المقبلة ستحمل ترهّلاً وتراجعاً في صفوف أعداء إيران مترافقاً مع تقدّم إيران وحلفائها بشكل حثيث نحو تحقيق أهدافهم الاستراتيجية الكبرى خاصة لجهة المحافظة على الاستقلالية الوطنية وحمل الآخرين على التسليم بها ونصرة قضية فلسطين وصولاً إلى تحصيل حقوق شعبها وليس من فراغ يحتفل بيوم القدس العالم سنوياً وبشكل ثابت.

*أستاذ جامعي – خبير استراتيجي.

Friday’s Talk from Tehran- Nasser Kandil حديث الجمعة من طهران – ناصر قنديل

Friday’s Talk from Tehran- Nasser Kandil

Iran after the assassination of Soleimani celebrates the commemoration of the revolution and the preparation for the parliamentary elections.

The consensus around the choice of resistance thatSoleimaniwas asking for has been achieved by his martyrdom and has frustrated the external bet on the interior

The reformist movement faces the dangers of the loss of the parliamentary elections in which it dreamt of a majority.

The nuclear file is not for the negotiation with Washington, if Europe withdraws, Iran will leave the UN treaty.

The linkage between the ousting of the Americans and the fall of the Deal of the Century needs an Iranian country that can build a resilient economy.

The political diversity is present strongly and the vitality of discussions presents Iran as an example of a 41-year-old vivid revolution.

Introduction:

This Friday’s Talkwill be devoted for one file: Iran which is still living the repercussions of the assassination of the Commander QassemSoleimani and celebrates the forty-first commemoration of the victory of the Islamic Revolution and is preparing for the parliamentary electionsat the end of this month. My visit to Tehran has allowed me to meet a number of senior officials, to discuss many issues, ideas, hypotheses with a number of elites, intellectuals, and journalists, and to listen to some examples deprived from analyzing the trends of the public opinion and the points of view of its classes regarding many titles. So this pushed me to share these impressions, conclusions, and readings with the widest number of readers and followers.

The martyrdom of Soleimani is the earthquake of conscience:

The photos of QassemSoleimani fill the streets, the facades of the big buildings, the offices of the government officials and the armed forces, and the advisory offices working with the Leader of the Revolution Al Sayyed Ali Al Khamenei. Soleimani’s name is repeated tens of times in every talk with any official or a leader in Iran. The talk starts with an idea in which Soleimani is mentioned then it continues with another idea to mention Soleimani once again. The feeling of fulfillment to this leader is accompanied with the feeling of underestimation, and maybe with the feeling of guilt, but the feeling of the burden of responsibility and the collective love to him is felt by everyone.

This young man who is religious, devotional, and humble in his relationship with God, Prophets, and the People of the house, who is faithful in every word he says, who loves the poor and the needy, who is concerned about the future of Iran from all kinds of obsession, the obsession of authority, the obsession of money, the obsession of corruption, the obsession of bureaucracy, and the obsession of laziness and inactivity, and who is sixty-year old, has become the difficult number to Israel, America, and Al-Qaeda and ISIS organizations and a number of the Gulf countries until the date of his martyrdom. This leader made the contemporary glory of Iran, so that it turns through his leading position into a fearful superpower. As he was during his life the guard of the revolution and the republic behind the enemy’s lines amid a large political internal division over his role, he has become after his martyrdom the guard because of the deterrent popular gathering against every thought of escalation against Iran which is fortified with a popular flood that emerged to revenge for the blood of Soleimani contrary to the bets and hypotheses based on the decline of the popular support of the choice of revolution, republic, and their leader Al Sayyed Al Khamenei and his policies. Iran which is technically and militarily capable and which targeted Ain Al-Assad base showed that it has the resolution and the will along with the war techniques sufficient to evade from the targets of the American technical capacities. It frustrated the bet on the American technical superiority as it frustrated the bet on Iranian internal division.

Soleimani was spending a lot of time and effort before the nuclear file and after it to make out of the option of supporting the resistance against the American hegemony and the Israeli aggression a subject that gets a political consensus among the competing movements for the power in Iran. Despite his conviction of the decisive reference role of Al Sayyed Khamenei in such strategic matters, but he was seeing in neutralizing this trend a strength to Iran and a message to the abroad that enhances the position of Iran in the confrontation of its opponents and rationalizes the internal political conflicts by making them just political competition that deals with the problem of economy, construction, education, health, services, the constitutional organizations and their activation and combating corruption. But what has been achieved during the negotiation on the nuclear understanding and after signing it through unifying the position inside the ranks of the Iranian leaderships has enhanced the position of the Iranian negotiator through the abidance of the conservatives and fundamentalists especially the leadership of the Revolutionary Guard with this position which it started to be affected after the American withdrawal from the nuclear understanding and the emerge of positions that behold the role of the Guard especially the role played by Soleimani the responsibility of the deterioration of relationships with the Americans which has been culminated with the withdrawal from the nuclear understanding. However the martyrdom of Soleimani at the hands of the Americans and the subsequent announcement of the Deal of the Century reveal the goals of America in the region especially in Iran, and how Soleimani and his role were an additive value to Iran and an insurance policy that protects it, and how the resistance option was not mere an ally that is given capabilities from Iran to do its active role in the confrontation of the region but rather a partner in protecting Iran and raising its status. Therefore, every investment spent by Iran in supporting the resistance forces is a serious investment in favor of its national security and a protection of its political independence and food sufficiency, it is not an attrition of its resources which are supposed to be allocated to its internal affairs as some symbols of the reformist movement said, or as their supporters chant in demonstrations. Therefore, the funeral of Soleimani and the accompanied popular flood formed a message far from being addressed to the Americans and many people who deal with the public affairs in Iran in the authority and in the opposition only but to reveal the truth of the position of the Iranian people towards the confrontation with the Americans and towards the higher policies drawn by Al Sayyed Al Khamenei that most of which Soleimani was entrusted with.

The elections and the coming change:

The feeling of remorse expressed by those who did not respond to Soleimani’s efforts of the unification of the interior is no longer enough according to those who share with him the opinion and the choice and to the most of those belong to the conservative and fundamentalist movement who speak out in what they believe in terms of the call to question the reformist movement in the parliamentary elections since the martyrdom of Soleimaniwhich has no relation with the parties in the interior formed an end of a phase and a start of another, in other words the end of the bets promoted by the reformist movement on making understandings with Washington with good intentions. The announcement of the Deal of the Century completes what is interpreted by the assassination of Soleimani from the point of view of those who call to follow a strict policy regarding the future of the relationship with Washington, the nuclear file, the economic construction, and the social and cultural fortification, reforming the role and the position in the region in a way that is appropriate to the change caused by the assassination of Soleimani and the Deal of the Century. Those consider that this strategic burden that must be bear by the constitutional institutions cannot be entrusted to those who have opposite convictions because those cannot be entrusted to lead Iran according to the orders of Al Sayyed Al Khamenei while they are talking in their assemblies that they do not believe in them.

The traditional conservative movements expect the winning in the parliamentary elections. It is remarkable that the groups that support the former President AhmadiNejad are among them.  The expectations of relative neutral sources talk about a great winning of the conservatives that may range between two-thirds to third-quarters of the new parliament. It is remarkable as well that the speaker of the parliament Ali Larijani whose term is at its end did not submit his candidacy for the elections in preparation for the candidacy for the presidency of the republic which its elections will take place after a year and a half, where the former mayor of Tehran Mohammed BaqirQalibaf is the most prominent candidate for the presidency of the council. The President Hassan Rohani expressed his protest against the Guardians ’Council’s refusal of dozens of reformist candidates including nearly eighty deputies. The objections of the Guardian Council as shown by sources of reformists and conservatives have no bias or politicization rather these objections are based on an a fundamental factor related to the files of corruption and the illicit wealth which the council had investigated when it studied all the applications of candidacy, therefore, it refused the nominations of many reformists and conservatives, since it reflected what has happened to many politicians after forty years in power and after the winning of the revolution, but it reveals that the supervision strong independent institutions are still have the spirit of revolution and held accountability according to assets and rules where there is no favoritism or nepotism. Just for that, when the President Rohanirefused the nominations by saying we do not want to turn the elections into appointments he got a direct response from Al Sayyed Al Khamenei without mentioning his name, but it was understood that he was meant by his saying: those who object the role of a prestigious and efficient institution in ensuring the right electoral process; the Guardian Council forget that they reached to their positions through elections.

Those who follow-up and those who are interested along with the opinion polls do not expect that the Iranians who want to elect the parliament within less than twenty days are more than 50%. This ratio may decrease in Tehran to only 30%. One of the reasons of reluctance is that the voters do not know that the Supreme Leader needs a wider representation of options, demands, and objects in the parliament which represents people in all its different classes and moods, because some consider strongly that there is a part of voters cannot be ignored think that their participation will not cause a change as long as everything belongs to the country and its decisions is under the control of the Higher Leader so what is the advantage  of such participation? But those who are close from the source of decision say that this reluctance contradicts the understanding of the role of the Wilayat el Faqih who does not make a decision from nothing or illegally, but he makes balance between what is shown by the institutions that represent the choices of people in a legal wayand the interest, so he made out of them orders to authorities. So those recognize the weak needed mobilization under the title that the Higher Leader needs your participation to build on them decisions so your absence confuses his decision.

Those who are close from the authority refuse to say that this reluctance is a result of despair, on the contrary they consider it stems from trust, this trust is the same that appeared in the crowds of millions who pledged allegiance to the Higher Leader in order to revenge for the blood of the Commander QassemSoleimani. Furthermore, the people who participated in the festivals of the commemoration  of revolution after forty-one years of its founding do not do that out of courtesy or fear but because it knows the gains which it got from the revolution which brought Iran not only to the rank of the superpowers politically and militarily but also to be a country that lives a food sufficiency and a semi- industrial sufficiency, a scientific progress in which it competes the countries of the industrial world, and it provides the main services with cheap prices as electricity, gas, internet, and fuels which despite the increase of its price it remained the cheapest in the world, where the price of a liter of water equls twice times the price of a liter of gasoline.

In the commemoration of revolution: Independence and Development

The four decades that have passed since the revolution and the building of the country and what they have achieved at the levels of independence and development formed the criterion for the rise and the fall of the liberal projects in the third world. Iran has passed them but looking to pass them fully. The upcoming challenges which the conservatives, the fundamentalists, and the extremists are looking to wage to manage the country in the last period of the term of the President Al Sheikh Hassan Rohani are related to the nuclear file and the issues of poverty, corruption combating, and the issues of the regional environment whether they are related to the relationship with each of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and Yemen as arenas of the resistance forces or  related to the Gulf and the management of the relationship with the positions which it lives at the forefront Saudi Arabia.

According to the conservatives there is no return to negotiation with the Americans regarding the nuclear file, but this does not mean the final exit from the nuclear agreement and from the treaty of non-proliferation of the Nuclear Weapons but it means leaving the issue related to how to deal with the remaining partner in the agreement, it means Europe including France, Britain, and Germany. If the Europeans go to the Security Council to work under the terms of leaving the agreement, the talk about the exit from the agreement and the treaty will become on table. The understanding with the Americans is hopeless and there is no interest for Iran to have an agreement with them, if the other partners dare to carry out the agreement despite the threat of the American sanctions, since the sanctions that concern Iran are those which restrict Europe, the American military exit from the region will not be a slogan, but rather an independent project that many countries do not dare to present. Iran bears the responsibility on the behalf of everyone to make it the title of the future stage, it does not matter how far it is. Iran cannot expect the results of the American elections, but until then Iran will interpret its commitment through cooperation with the peoples of the region and the resistance forces to impose that withdrawal, where the Iranian and the Iraqi people have said their word regarding along with the majority of the Lebanese and the Afghans. Syria is approaching form the moment of deciding the fate of the American troops on its land.

The relationship with Washington is determined by the issue of the blood of the Commander QassemSoleimani and the future of Palestine. The Deal of the Century which has shown the credibility of the options of the resistance forces has provided an opportunity to form a wide front, it is not important to be organized under one institution but rather it is a popular political resisting front spreading on the Islamic world rises up for the right of return of  the Palestinian refugees and against the tamper with the future of Jerusalem in favor of the occupation. Therefore, the region is going to confrontation. Iran cannot behave as if its issue is confined to how to build its international relationships but tohow to lead the region under the titles of the American withdrawal and the fall of the Deal of the Century and how Iran can be a component that integrates with the people and the Revolutionary Guard and under the supervision of the Higher Leader and can win in these two battles. So this requires a review of the economic and political approach taken by the governments which linked the fate of their plans with the hypothesis of partnership with the West whether through the nuclear understanding or through understandings in politics and economy that reflects the regional position of Iran. These hypotheses have led to a waste of time and money in the investment on an illusion that will not be realistic except by showing more ability and imposing more of the policy of fait accompli.

Many experts and thinkers from the conservatives and extremists see that one part of the problem of the Iranian people with the governmental policies is a result of the leakage of resources resulting from the siege, and one part is a result of the emergence of economic problems as the tyranny of the rentier economy in the real estate market and currencies in the major cities especially in Tehran, and the failure of integrating the national capital which most of it was accumulated during the revolution in a productive investment process, and another part is the result of the corruption phenomenon and the illicit wealth which is the main  concern of the political process and which must turn in the successive governments into an institution that is not affected by the authority circulation and the policy changes.

It is remarkable that the Iranians whom you meet in Tehran as officials, advisors, experts, and military leaders do not feel embarrassed to talk about the problems of state- construction experienced by the revolution and the country, but they consider that it is a courage to talk in such issues to show that the revolution is still vivid and capable to face these problems. Despite the economic and financial suffocation they feel comfortable with the situation of their country which they assure that it has passed the most difficult consequences of sanctions, and began to adapt to the economic and investment alternatives of the sectors which are linked to the opportunities of openness and transcended the foundational stage of turning the challenges into opportunities.

The vivid discussions experienced by Tehran and the diversity and the multiplicity of movements, ideas, and visions are an expression of the strong project launched by Imam Ruhollah Khomeini whichits leadership and patronage has been continued by Al Sayyed Al Khamenei. Iran is a real state and has real institutions, serious economy and judiciary, a highly prepared combating ability, a professional diplomacy, and a wide variety of media that expresses the opposing ideas in the community, a life cycle lived by the Iranians away from the austeritybut under controls related to Islam, and a high degree of tolerance found in restaurants, streets, and the public parks. This confidence is worthy to respect, the next generation which did not live in the time of revolution to owe it the getting rid of the previous regime gets the opportunities of modern education and the partnership of the scientific research and innovation,without forgetting that the creativity spreads in the atmosphere of dream and freedom will reflect in the young enthusiastic political interpretations that are not in their view a cause for concern but rather a hope, because the whole world changes where people searches for peace and the internal balance of individuals and peoples. The Iranians see that they get the high ratio of this balance comparing with what is known and lived by the peoples on these two levels.

Translated by LinaShehadeh,

حديث الجمعة من طهران – ناصر قنديل

إيران بعد اغتيال سليمانيّ تحتفل بذكرى الثورة وتلاقي الانتخابات البرلمانية: ‭}‬ الإجماع الذي كان يطلبه سليمانيّ حول خيار المقاومة تحقق باستشهاده وأسقط الرهان الخارجيّ على الداخل ‭}‬ التيار الإصلاحيّ يواجه مخاطر خسارة الانتخابات البرلمانيّة التي حلم بتحقيق الأغلبيّة فيها ‭}‬ الملف النوويّ ليس للتفاوض مع واشنطن وإن خرجت أوروبا ستخرج إيران من المعاهدة الأمميّة ‭}‬ الربط بين إخراج الأميركيّين وإسقاط صفقة القرن يحتاج دولة إيرانيّة تبني اقتصاداً قادراً على الصمود ‭}‬ التنوّع السياسي حاضر بقوة وحيوية النقاشات تقدّم إيران نموذجاً لثورة حيّة عمرها 41 عاماً

حديث الجمعة من طهران – ناصر قنديل

حديث الجمعة هذا الأسبوع سيكون مخصصاً لملف واحد هو إيران التي لا تزال تعيش ارتدادات زلزال اغتيال القائد قاسم سليمانيّ، وتحتفل بالذكرى الحادية والأربعين لانتصار الثورة الإسلامية، وتستعد للانتخابات البرلمانية نهاية هذا الشهر. وقد أتاحت لي الزيارة التي أقوم لها إلى طهران اللقاء بعدد من كبار المسؤولين ومناقشة الكثير من القضايا والأفكار والفرضيّات مع عدد من النخب والمثقفين والإعلاميين، والسماع لبعض النماذج المستقاة من تحليل اتجاهات الرأي العام وتوزّع شرائحه حول العديد من العناوين، ما جعلني أرغب بتشارك هذه الانطباعات والاستنتاجات والقراءات مع أوسع عدد من القراء والمتابعين.

استشهاد سليمانيّ زلزال الضمير

صور الجنرال قاسم سليمانيّ تملأ الشوارع وجداريات الأبنية الكبرى ومكاتب المسؤولين في الحكومة والقوات المسلحة، والمكاتب الاستشارية العاملة مع مرشد الثورة السيد علي الخامنئي، لكن اسم سليمانيّ يتردد عشرات المرات في كل حديث تجريه مع أي من المسؤولين والقادة في إيران، ويدور الحديث حول فكرة تبدأ بذكر سليمانيّ ثم يعود ليدخل فكرة ثانية من مدخل سليمانيّ آخر. فالشعور بالمديونيّة لهذا القائد لدى الكثيرين، يرافقه شعور بالتقصير في التقدير، وربما شعور بالذنب لدى آخرين، لكن الشعور بعبء المسؤولية التي خلّفها والحب الجامع الذي أظهره له الشعب تلمسه لدى الجميع.

هذا الشاب المفعَم بالإيمان الديني والمتعبّد والخاشع في علاقته بالله والأنبياء وأهل البيت، الصادق في كل كلمة يقولها، المحب للفقراء والمساكين، القلق على مستقبل الدولة الإيرانية، من كل أنواع التغوّل، تغوّل السلطة وتغوّل المال وتغوّل الفساد وتغوّل البيروقراطية وتغوّل الكسل والخمول، هو الستينيّ الذي صار الرقم الصعب بالنسبة لـ»إسرائيل» وأميركا وتنظيمي القاعدة وداعش وعدد من دول الخليج، حتى تاريخ استشهاده. وهو القائد الذي صنع مجد إيران المعاصر لتتحوّل بموقعه القيادي وشكل توظيفه لهذا الموقع إلى دولة عظمى مهابة الجانب. ومثلما كان في حياته حارس الثورة والجمهورية خلف خطوط “العدو»، وسط انقسام سياسي كبير داخلياً حول دوره، صار بعد استشهاده الحارس بقوة ما أظهره استشهاده من مناخ شعبي رادع تجاه كل تفكير بالتصعيد بوجه إيران المحصّنة بطوفان شعبي خرج يطلب الانتقام لدم سليمانيّ بعكس الرهانات والافتراضات القائمة على تراجع التأييد الشعبي لخيار الثورة والجمهورية وقائدهما السيد الخامنئي، وسياساته، وإيران المحميّة باقتدار تقني وعسكري أظهرته الصواريخ التي استهدفت قاعدة عين الأسد، قالت إنها تملك العزيمة والإرادة وتملك معهما تقنيات حربية كافية للتملص من قدرات التقنية الأميركية لبلوغ أهدافها الحربية، وأسقطت الرهان على التفوق التقني الأميركي بمثل ما سقط الرهان على الانقسام الداخلي الإيراني.

كان سليمانيّ ينفق الكثير من الوقت والجهد، قبل الاتفاق النووي وبعده، ليجعل من دعم خيار المقاومة بوجه الهيمنة الأميركية والعدوانية الإسرائيلية موضوع إجماع سياسي عابر للتيارات المتنافسة على السلطة في إيران، رغم قناعته بالدور المرجعي الحاسم للسيد الخامنئي في مثل هذه الأمور الاستراتيجية، لكنه كان يرى في تحييد هذا التوجه عن خطابات التنافس قوة لإيران ورسالة للخارج تعزّز موقع إبران في مواجهة أعدائها وخصومها، وتعقلن الصراعات السياسية الداخلية، وتضعها في نصابها كتنافس سياسيّ يطال مشاكل الاقتصاد والعمران ومكافحة الفساد والتربية والصحة والخدمات والمؤسسات الدستورية وتفعيلها، لكن ما نجح بتحقيقه في فترة التفاوض على الاتفاق النووي وبعد توقيعه على هذا الصعيد، بتوحيد الموقف داخل صفوف القيادات الإيرانية، عزّز موقع المفاوض الإيراني، بالتزام المحافظين والأصوليين، وخصوصاً قيادة الحرس الثوري بهذا الموقف، بدأ يتصدع بعد الانسحاب الأميركي من الاتفاق، وظهور مواقف أخذت تتسع بين صفوف الإصلاحيين تحمّل دور الحرس وخصوصاّ الدور الذي اضطلع به سليمانيّ مسؤولية تدهور العلاقات مع الأميركيين الذي توّج بالانسحاب من الاتفاق النووي، ليأتي استشهاد سليمانيّ على أيدي الأميركيين وما تلاه من إعلان لصفقة القرن، فيكشف طبيعة ما كان يعدّه الأميركيون للمنطقة، ولإيران في المقدمة، وكيف أن سليمانيّ ودوره كانا قيمة مضافة تملكها إيران وبوليصة تأمين تحميها، وكيف أن خيار المقاومة ليس مجرد حليف توفر له إيران مقدّرات تضمن قيامه بدور فاعل في مواجهات المنطقة، بل هو من الباب الخلفي شريك في حماية إيران نفسها ورفع مكانتها؛ وبالتالي كيف أن كل استثمار تنفقه إيران في دعم قوى المقاومة هو استثمار جدي لأمنها القومي ولحماية استقلالها السياسي واكتفائها الغذائي، وليس استنزافاً لموارد يُفترض تخصيصها للشؤون الداخلية، كما كان يقول بعض رموز التيار الإصلاحي، أو كما كان أنصارهم يهتفون في التظاهرات، لتشكل جنازة سليمانيّ وما رافقها من طوفان شعبي رسالة أبعد مدى من كونها موجّهة للأميركيين، بل أيضاً للعديد من متعاطي الشأن العام في إيران، في السلطة وفي المعارضة، لاكتشاف حقيقة موقف الشعب الإيراني من خيارات المواجهة مع الأميركيين، ومن السياسات العليا التي يرسمها السيد الخامنئي والتي كان سليمانيّ مؤتمناً على أغلبها.

الانتخابات والتغيير المقبل

الشعور بالندم الذي عبّر عنه الذين لم يستجيبوا لمساعي سليمانيّ الوحدويّة في الداخل، لم يعد كافياً بنظر الذين كانوا يشاركونه الرأي ويشتركون معه في الخيار، والذين ينتمي أغلبهم للتيار المحافظ والأصولي الذين يرون ويجاهرون بما يعتقدون، لجهة الدعوة لمحاسبة التيار الإصلاحي في الانتخابات البرلمانية، لأن استشهاد سليمانيّ شكّل نهاية مرحلة وبداية مرحلة. والأمر ليس انتقاماً لسليمانيّ من أطراف في الداخل، بل إن استشهاد سليمانيّ أعلن نهاية الرهانات التي سوّقها التيار الإصلاحي على فرص التفاهمات مع واشنطن، وفرص الأخذ بالنيات الطيبة، وما يعنيه إطلاق صفقة القرن يكمل ما يقوله اغتيال سليمانيّ، من وجهة نظر الداعين إلى سلوك سياسة متشدّدة تطال النظر لمستقبل العلاقة بواشنطن، والملف النووي، والبناء الاقتصادي، والتحصين الاجتماعي، والثقافي، وإعادة صياغة للدور والموقع في المنطقة بلغة تناسب التغيير الذي حمله تزاوج اغتيال سليمانيّ وصفقة القرن. وبرأي هؤلاء أن هذا العبء الاستراتيجي المطلوب أن تتحمّله مؤسسات الدولة الدستورية لا يمكن أن يركن لمن يحملون قناعات معاكسة ليتولوا مسؤوليّاتها، ولا يمكن أن يؤتمن هؤلاء على قيادة إيران وفقاً لتوجيهات السيد الخامنئي وهم يتحدثون في مجالسهم، أنهم لا يؤمنون بها.

التيارات المحافظة التقيلدية تتوقع فوزها في الانتخابات البرلمانية، واللافت أن جماعات مؤيدة للرئيس السابق أحمدي نجاد موجودة بين صفوف هؤلاء، وتوقعات المصادر المحايدة نسبياً تتحدّث عن فوز كاسح للمحافظين قد يتراوح بين نيلهم ثلثي أو ثلاثة أرباع المجلس الجديد. واللافت أيضاً أن رئيس المجلس الذي تنتهي ولايته علي لاريجاني لم يقدّم ترشيحه للانتخابات، في خطوة ربما تتصل بالتحضير للترشّح لرئاسة الجمهورية التي تستحق انتخاباتها بعد سنة ونصف، بينما ترشح للانتخابات البرلمانية رئيس بلدية طهران السابق محمد باقر قاليباف الذي يرجّح أن يكون أبرز المرشحين لرئاسة المجلس، بينما وجد السؤال حول كيفية تعامل الرئيس الشيخ حسن روحاني وحكومته مع هذا الوضع نصف جواب بكلام الرئيس روحاني الاحتجاجي على رفض مجلس صيانة الدستور لترشيحات العشرات من المرشحين الإصلاحيين، ومنهم قرابة ثمانين نائباً حالياً، واعتراضات المجلس كما تقول مصادر من خيارات متباينة بين إصلاحيين ومحافظين، ليس فيها تحيّز أو تسييس بل هي مبنية ومؤسسة على عامل جوهريّ يرتبط بملفات الفساد والثراء غير المشروع التي يحقق فيها المجلس عند دراسته لكل طلبات الترشيح، وقد رفض على أساسها ترشيحات لإصلاحيين ومحافظين، وهي تعبّر بالتالي عما لحق بعديد من المنتمين للطبقة السياسية بعد أربعين عاماً من الوجود في الحكم، ومن انتصار الثورة، لكنها تكشف بالمقابل أن مؤسسات الرقابة المستقلة والقوية لا تزال تحمل روح الثورة وتحاسب وفقاً لأصول وقواعد لم تدخلها المحسوبية والمحاباة، ولذلك عندما اعترض الرئيس الشيخ روحاني على رفض الترشيحات قال لا نريد للانتخابات أن تتحوّل إلى تنصيبات، لقي رداً مباشراً من السيد الخامنئي لم يذكره بالاسم، لكن كان مفهوماً أنه موجّه إليه بالقول، إن الذين يعترضون على دور مؤسسة مرموقة وكفوءة هي مجلس صيانة الدستور، في ضمان عملية انتخابية صحيحة ينسون أنهم وصلوا إلى مراكزهم عن طريق الانتخابات.

الإيرانيّون الذاهبون للانتخابات النيابية خلال أقل من عشرين يوماً، لا يتوقع المتابعون والمهتمون ومثلهم تفعل استطلاعات الرأي أن تزيد نسبة مشاركتهم عن الـ 50% إلا قليلاً، ويرجّح أن تنخفض في طهران إلى 30% فقط، وأحد أسباب العزوف هو أن الناخبين لا يعلمون أن المرشد يحتاج إلى أن يجسّد البرلمان أوسع تمثيل للخيارات والطلبات والاعتراضات التي تمثّل الشعب وشرائحه ومناخاتها ومزاجها، لأن البعض يعتقد بقوة أن نسبة من الناخبين لا يمكن تجاهلها تعتقد أن مشاركتها لن تغيّر كثيراً طالما أن المرشد سقف الدولة وقراراتها فما فائدة المشاركة؟ ويقول هؤلاء المقرّبون من مصدر القرار إن هذا العزوف بهذه الطريقة بالتفكير يتناقض مع فهم دور الولي الفقيه الذي لا يصنع قراراً من العدم، أو من فوق المؤسسات، بل يتولى إقامة التوازن بين ما تظهره المؤسسات من خيارات يريدها الشعب، ويقيسها بمعايير الشرع والمصلحة لتتحوّل إلى توجيهات للسلطات، ويعترف هؤلاء بضعف التعبئة اللازمة بهذا المضمون تحت عنوان، المرشد يحتاج مشاركتكم ليبني قراراته على بيّنة، وغيابكم يُربك القرار.

ويرفض هؤلاء المقرّبون القول بأن هذا العزوف باعتبار المرشد سقف القرار نابع من يأس، بل يرونه نابع من ثقة، هي الثقة ذاتها التي ظهرت في حشود الملايين التي بايعت المرشد للانتقام لدم القائد قاسم سليمانيّ، والناس التي تشترك في احتفالات ذكرى الثورة، بعد مرور واحد وأربعين عاماً على قيامها، لا تفعل ذلك مجاملة ولا خوفاً بل لأنها تعرف بتفاصيل حياتها المكاسب التي جنتها من الثورة التي لم تنقل إيران إلى مراتب الدول الهامة سياسياً وعسكرياً وحسب، وفي هذا مكانة وكرامة وعزة للإيرانيّين، بل نقلت إيران لتصير دولة تعيش اكتفاءً غذائياً وشبه اكتفاء صناعي، وتضاهي دول العالم الصناعي بتقدمها العلمي، وتوفر الخدمات الأساسية بأسعار رمزية من الكهرباء والغاز والإنترنت والمحروقات، التي رغم رفع أسعارها بقيت الأرخص في العالم، وبقي سعر ليتر المياه فيها أضعاف سعر ليتر البنزين.

في ذكرى الثورة: الاستقلال والتنمية

العقود الأربعة التي مضت من الثورة وبناء الدولة، وما حققته على مستوى مفهومي الاستقلال والتنمية اللذين شكّلا معيار صعود وهبوط المشاريع التحررية في العالم الثالث، وقد اجتازتهما إيران حتى الآن بدرجة جيد جداً، ولكن ذلك لا يجب أن يعني عدم التطلّع لنيل درجة ممتاز، لذلك فالتحديات المقبلة التي يرى المحافظون والأصوليّون والمتشدّدون أنهم سيخوضونها لإدارة الدولة حتى في المهلة الباقية من ولاية الرئيس الشيخ حسن روحاني، تطال التعامل مع الملف النووي كما تطال التعامل مع قضايا الفقر ومكافحة الفساد، وقضايا البيئة الإقليميّة سواء ما يتصل منها بالعلاقة بكل من العراق وسورية ولبنان وفلسطين واليمن كساحات لقوى المقاومة، أو ما يطال الخليج وإدارة العلاقة مع منوّعات المواقف التي يعيش في ظلها وأبرزها بالتأكيد ما تمثله السعودية.

في الملف النووي لا عودة للتفاوض مع الأميركيين، وفقاً لمنطق المحافظين، دون أن يعني ذلك حكماً الخروج النهائي من الاتفاق النووي، وكذلك من معاهدة عدم انتشار الأسلحة النووية، بل ترك الأمر بالنسبة والتناسب مرتبطاً بكيفية تعامل الشريك الباقي في الاتفاق وهو أوروبا، بثلاثيتها الفرنسية البريطانية الألمانية، فإن ذهب الأوروبيون إلى مجلس الأمن بداعي العمل بموجب أحكام الخروج من الاتفاق، يصير الحديث عن الخروج من الاتفاق والمعاهدة مطروحاً على الطاولة، أما الأميركيون فميؤوس من التفاهم معهم ولا مصلحة لإيران لإبرام اتفاق معهم، إذا تجرأ الشركاء الآخرون على تنفيذ الاتفاق رغم التهديد بالعقوبات الأميركية، لأن العقوبات التي تعني إيران هي تلك التي تقيّد أوروبا وليس العقوبات المباشرة من أميركا، ومع أميركا ملفات وملفات لا فرص لحلها بالتفاوض. فالخروج العسكري الأميركي من المنطقة ليس شعاراً، بل هو مشروع استقلاليّ، تعجز دول كثيرة من المنطقة عن طرحه وإيران تتحمّل المسؤولية عن الجميع بجعله عنوان مرحلة مقبلة ليس مهماً كم تطول وكم تقصر، ولا يدخل في الحساب الإيراني التنبؤ بما سيحدث في الانتخابات الأميركية وتأثيراته من هذه الزاوية. فعندما تنتهي الانتخابات لكل حادث حديث وحتى ذلك الحين إيران تتقدم لترجمة التزامها بالتعاون مع شعوب المنطقة وقوى المقاومة لفرض هذا الانسحاب. وقد قال الشعبان الإيراني والعراقي كلمتهما في هذا الشأن وتشاركهم بذلك النسبة الغالبة من اللبنانيين والأفغان، بينما تقترب الدولة السورية من اللحظة التي ستضع فيها على الطاولة مصير القوات الأميركية على أراضيها.

مع واشنطن حساب يصعب إغلاقه بدمج عنواني دم القائد قاسم سليمانيّ، ومستقبل فلسطين، ولذلك توفر صفقة القرن التي أظهرت بقوة لشعوب المنطقة صوابية خيارات قوى المقاومة، فرصة لتشكيل جبهة واسعة، ليس مهماً أن تنتظم في مؤسسات واحدة، بل هي جبهة شعبية سياسية ومقاومة مترامية الأطراف على مساحة العالم الإسلامي خرجت تنتفض على تصفية حق العودة للاجئين الفلسطينيين والعبث بمستقبل القدس لصالح الاحتلال، ولذلك فالمنطقة ذاهبة للمواجهة وإيران لا تستطيع أن تتصرّف وكأن قضيتها تنحصر في كيف تبني كدولة علاقاتها الدولية، بل كيف تقود المنطقة نحو عنواني الخروج الأميركي وإسقاط صفقة القرن، وكيف تكون الدولة في إيران مكوّناً يتكامل مع الشعب والحرس الثوري، وتحت إشراف المرشد، لصناعة معادلة قادرة على الفوز في المعركتين. وهذا يستدعي مراجعة للنهج الاقتصادي والسياسي الذي سلكته حكومات ربطت مصير خططها بفرضية الشراكة مع الغرب، سواء عبر التفاهم النووي أو من خلال توقع تفاهمات في السياسة والاقتصاد تترجم موقع إيران الإقليمي، وقد ترتب على هذه الفرضيات إهدار وقت ومال كثيرين، في الاستثمار على وهم لن يتحوّل إلى فرضية واقعية إلا بإظهار المزيد من الاقتدار، وفرض المزيد من حقائق الأمر الواقع.

يرى الكثير من الخبراء والمفكّرين على ضفة المحافظين والمتشددين، أن مشكلة الشعب الإيراني مع السياسات الحكومية في جزء منه نتاج لضعف الموارد الناتج عن الحصار، لكنه في جزء آخر نتاج لبروز ظواهر مرضية اقتصادياً بطغيان الاقتصاد الريعي في سوق العقارات والعملات في المدن الكبرى، وخصوصاً في طهران، وعدم النجاح بإدماج الرأسمال الوطني الذي تمت مراكمة أغلبه في زمن الثورة، في عملية استثمارية منتجة؛ وفي جزء ثالث جراء ظواهر الفساد والإثراء غير المشروع التي تشكل اليوم الهاجس الرئيسي للعملية السياسية، والتي يجب أن تتحوّل مع الحكومات اللاحقة إلى مؤسسة لا تتأثر بتداول السلطة وتغييرات السياسة.

اللافت والمثير للإعجاب هو أن الإيرانيين الذين تقابلهم في طهران من مسؤولين ومستشارين وخبراء وقادة عسكريين، لا يحرجهم الحديث عن مشاكل البناء التي تعيشها الثورة والدولة، بل يعتبرون الشجاعة في التحدث عن هذه المشاكل علامة ثقة بأن الثورة لا تزال حية وقادرة على التصدي لهذه المشاكل. ورغم الضيق الاقتصادي والمالي فهم مرتاحون لوضع بلدهم التي يؤكدون أنها تخطت الأصعب من نتائج العقوبات وهي بدأت بأسواقها تتأقلم مع الاتجاه نحو البدائل الاستثمارية والاقتصادية للقطاعات التي ارتبطت بفرص الانفتاح، وتجاوزت المرحلة التأسيسية لتحويل التحديات إلى فرص.

الحيوية في النقاشات التي تعيشها طهران والتنوّع والتعدد في التيارات والأفكار والرؤى، تعبير عن مستوى قوة المشروع الذي أطلقه الإمام روح الله الخميني، وواصل قيادته ورعايته السيد الخامنئي، ففي إيران دولة حقيقية ومؤسسات دولة حقيقية، واقتصاد جدي، وقضاء جدي وبناء للقوة بكل جدية، وقدرة قتالية عالية الجهوزية والجدية ودبلوماسية شديدة الاحتراف، وإعلام متنوّع واسع التعبير عن مروحة الأفكار المتقابلة داخل المجتمع، ودورة حياة يعيشها الإيرانيون بعيداً عن التزمّت تحت سقف الضوابط المرتبطة بالإسلام، لكن بدرجة عالية من التسامج تلحظها في المطاعم والشارع والحدائق العامة، والجدير بالاحترام هو هذه الثقة بأن الأجيال الجديدة التي لم تعش زمن الثورة لتحفظ لها جميل التخلص من النظام السابق، تنال فرص التعليم الحديث وشراكة البحث العلمي والابتكار، مع معرفة صناع القرار بأن الإبداع يعيش في مناخ من الحلم والحرية سينعكسان بتعبيرات سياسية شابة واعتراضية وحماسية، لا تشكل بنظرهم سبباً للقلق بل للأمل، لأن العالم كله يتغير ويبحث الناس عن السكينة فيه وعن التوازن الداخلي للأفراد والشعوب. ويرى الإيرانيون أنهم يحصلون على النسبة الأعلى من هذا التوازن بالمقارنة مع مستويات ما يعرفه الأفراد وتعيشه الشعوب على هذين الصعيدين.

Al-Ahed Reveals Commander Soleimani’s Leadership Secrets through Major General Mohsen Rezaei’s Outlook

Al-Ahed Reveals Commander Soleimani’s Leadership Secrets through Major General Mohsen Rezaei’s Outlook

Source

Note: The mystery surrounding the leadership skills of martyred leader Hajj Qassem Soleimani drew public attention and that of the elite in the Islamic world. A compilation of articles authored by leading university professors as well as experts in the sciences of defense and military leadership at the Imam Hossein University (PBUH) in Iran is set to be published. Major General Mohsen Rezaei, the secretary of the Expediency Discernment Council and the commander-in-chief of the Revolutionary Guards Corps at the time of the Sacred Defense, was asked to write an introduction to this compilation, which will soon hit the shelves.

Al-Ahed got a hold of the introduction and is making it available to our esteemed readers for the very first time.

In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.

{And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our ways.} (Surat Al-Ankaboot, verse 69)

Qassem Soleimani’s battlefield journeys and his leadership role date back to the time of the Sacred Defense when he was still a young man.  Prior to that, he did not attend any military school or have any military leadership training.

Most of the Revolutionary Guards Corps’ unit commanders acquired their experience on the battlefield during the period of the Sacred Defense. This is also true in the case of Hajj Qassem. They then became senior commanders who exposed the shortcomings of the most arrogant and highly equipped armies as well as the most formidable offensive organizations in West Asia.

On the opposite side of the aisle are generals from the most well-equipped and advanced armies in the world. Medals of varying colors decorate their military uniforms. They acquired their military knowledge and skills in no less than twenty consecutive years after passing specialized courses from the best and most prestigious military schools. They depended on the most advanced and most expensive technologies as well as on tens of billions of dollars. These same generals demonstrated very weak capabilities and were forced to retreat when confronted by hundreds of Qassem Soleimanis on the battlefield. Why? What are the secrets behind these victories?

My brother, the commander, the martyred General Qassem Soleimani believed that in addition to commemorating the martyrs and operations, the educational and leadership points of the Sacred Defense period must also be noted. And this matter was raised during one of the Iftar ceremonies I host in honor of the commanders each year. It was stressed that in addition to remembering the memories from the frontlines, it would be good to raise these meetings to another level and discuss jihadist principles used to manage the Sacred Defense. My brother Major General Rashid then gave a deep, concise, and detailed speech in this regard during the commanders’ Iftar, which came at the right time.

I’ll take this opportunity to put forward a piece of research on the mutual relationship between Qassem Soleimani and the Sacred Defense, hoping that the spirit of that high-standing martyr will be overlooking and complementing the research.

The bulk of the growing defense and security successes by the Islamic Revolution and the holy and popular system of the Islamic Republic of Iran are the result of the special approach in managing human resources during the Sacred Defense period.

Hajj Qassem Soleimani used to say repeatedly: “All I have is from the Sacred Defense period.” We also know that all that the Sacred Defense period had was from Qassem Soleimani. The secret of this relationship is the very precise compatibility between the two.

The key components in the management of the Islamic Revolution and the Sacred Defense are “smart collective learning” and the “bilateral training or mutual training”. These are the main factors that turned the Sacred Defense fronts into a comprehensive school. Imam Khomeini (may God be pleased with him) and Imam Khamenei have repeatedly emphasized the need to focus on the educational side of the fronts and that researchers and investigators in various universities, especially Imam Hossein University, should go in this direction. In-depth studies should be also be conducted in this field.

So, what does the “smart collective learning” of the Sacred Defense mean? This is a leap from individual learning to group learning, and from individual training to mutual training between multiple parties – from interim learning to permanent and continuous learning, and from stationary learning to dynamic learning.

In fact, we call this amazing phenomenon, a divine human miracle, and the gift of inspiration that was formed under the wilaya and with the blessing of jihad and martyrdom on the fronts of “smart collective learning”. The Quranic text describes it in Surat Al-Asr (Al-Tawasi) as a diverse spectrum of approaches and activities that transform all types of competitive incentives to cooperation and collaboration, and this cooperation develops and is used in the path of growth as well as individual and collective skills.

“Mutual learning” in Sacred Defense is often divided into two forms:

Mutual learning between the upper and lower ranks:

In this type of learning, the battalion commander with the commander of the legion, the division commander with the commander of the headquarters, and the commanders of the military headquarters with the commander-in-chief of the Revolutionary Guards Corps are all in a state of mutual interdependence. They learn from each other and exchange experiences and expertise.

The Revolutionary Guards do not have a series of officer ranks going in one direction without any interconnection. As a commander-in-chief of the Revolutionary Guards, there was no operation I did without holding meetings with the battalion leaders, where I taught and learned. There was no operation done by Qassem Soleimani and the commanders of other legions, even the lowest ranks in the Guards such as group leaders and even company commanders, in which mutual learning was not applied.

Mutual learning between equal classes:

In this type of learning, leaders from equal ranks, for example headquarter commanders or corps commanders, adopt a mutual learning style.

Ultimately, “smart collective learning” is achieved through an organized and creative set of individual and group procedures, routines, processes, and instructions, in a way that everyone learns from each other while maintaining the hierarchy of leadership.

In this way, the traditional teacher-classroom style of learning is put aside to allow everyone in this comprehensive university to be both a teacher and a student at any given time and place. They become teachers and seekers of knowledge at the same time.

The next and most important step in achieving “smart collective learning” in Sacred Defense is for this type of learning to transcend time and become a continuous, future-oriented reality (with the ability to make changes, to be flexibile, and build the future). At this point in particular, soft power is generated.

The military and security dimensions of the soft power of the Islamic Revolution and the regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran lie in its ability to be flexible and adapt to changes, especially since its been able to establish itself in the equations of southwest Asia.

Some experts divide people into four groups when it comes to generating change:

1- Those who make change

2- Those who predict change

3- Those who align with change

4- Those who confront change

The soft power of graduates from the Sacred Defense school who influenced the region through their will and work lies in their ascension from the aforementioned third group to the second and to the first, thus enabling them to bring about change, manage it, and ultimately build the future.

Collective learning in Sacred Defense includes two important characteristics: an “experienced person” and “an educational system that is prone to change”. In this way, creative flexibility is rooted in both the individual and the group in which the self can be quickly and accurately adapted to various experiences. Here, not only will the quality of the self be preserved, it will also continuously and progressively rise to reach the “capacity for renaissance and progress”. This “ability to change” will be a prerequisite for civilization.

It is appropriate to include some examples of this:

In the fall of 1985 and in the midst of the Sacred Defense period, Iran faced the crisis of hijacking aircraft. One January night in 1985, the late Hajj Sayyed Ahmad Khomeini called. We were then with the southern operations command in the midst of preparing for the Badr Operation. Orders from the Imam were conveyed, in which he said: The Guards should speed up efforts to position themselves inside airports, and secure flights.

Of course, the Revolutionary Guards lacked any experience in deploying its forces at airports to secure flights. Everyone knows that protection and air security require careful and sophisticated training and experience in the field of aviation. However, the flexibility of the Revolutionary Guards and the capabilities of the sons of the Islamic Revolution allowed the Guards to accomplish this mission immediately. It quickly adapted to this new and different environment and task.

With the deployment of forces at airports and securing flights with minimum capabilities and in the shortest possible time, great success has been achieved so far. Dozens of hijackings have been thwarted. And over the past 36 years, the Guards have been fully successful in this mission.

In any case, as a result of the culture of “smart collective learning”, the ability and effectiveness of the Qassem Soleimanis were demonstrated in Operation Fath-ol-Mobin. They were even more evident in Operation Tariq al-Qods. In Valfajr-8 and Karbala 5 operations, we witness first-hand their advanced capabilities.

After the end of the war and during his leadership of the southeastern headquarters, our dear Hajj Qassem managed to put an end to the absence of security and malicious acts that were then prevailing in Sistan and Baluchestan Province and extended towards Sirjan. He did so with the lowest possible cost, the most available means, and his forces. He also benefited from the participation of residents.

Moreover, he featured in the 33-day war with the Zionist entity as he employed his creative experiences alongside the brave and heroic Hezbollah leaders. He also triumphed in the battle against the Deash terrorist organization, using his experiences from the Sacred Defense period to defeat the organization with sophistication and intelligence. 

These facts are a prominent example of Imam Khomeini’s immortal statement: “During the war, we exported the revolution to the world.” There is also Imam Khamenei’s statement regarding “the Islamic Revolution’s second step” which is based on “efforts to achieve modern Islamic civilization”.

This “mutual effect” mixed with “mutual growth” or “mutual construction” between leaders and warriors of the Sacred Defense had an effect not only in the arenas of jihad or between warriors, but also on the interaction between two or more leaders.

In addition to the “shared principles of the jihadist leadership school”, each of the Sacred Defense leaders had distinct and different characteristics because of their active and creative participation in the field of jihad. In fact, the jihadist school of the Sacred Defense developed within each of the prominent leaders while they were on the battlefield.

Hajj Qassem exemplifies the jihadist leadership school of the Sacred Defense where the most positive features of jihadist management were demonstrated.

Qassem Soleimani achieved victories on the field of military jihad, including persuading the forces under his command and creating a kind of mutual support and harmony along the front. And whenever opportunity presented itself, he revealed his great capabilities in the field of political jihad as well as in the political and military discussions that required the ability to persuade and demonstrate affection, rapprochement, and alignment among the world’s political leaders. We witnessed this when he succeeded in his discussions with world leaders such as Putin, Erdogan, Bashar al-Assad and other political leaders.

In examining the mutual effect between the Qassem Soleimanis and the Sacred Defense, it appears that our defense during the past eight years is a beautiful painting from the hadith of the Messenger of Islam (PBUH) in which he says: “Every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his subjects.” We used to teach and learn from each other. In fact, we made each other.

The same is true when we used to say that Qassem Soleimani is a Sacred Defense trainee and one of the Sacred Defense trainers as well. On the one hand, he played a role in Sacred Defense, and on the other, he was creating it. Hajj Qassem always asked for martyrdom, and God Almighty honored his jihad with martyrdom.

In conclusion, I send my sincere greetings to the souls of the martyrs of the Islamic world, especially the martyrs of the Sacred Defense period and the resistance front, and in particular the commander and Major General martyr Hajj Qassem Soleimani, martyr Hajj Abu Mahdi Al-Mohandes, and their companions. I hope that through reading this valuable book, which is seeing the light of day due to efforts of my brothers at the Imam Hossein University (PBUH) who deserve praise, our young generation will learn about the secrets and mysteries of the jihad and divine providence that Hajj Qassem was bestowed with and carry them as a method in their way of life. 

May God grant success

Mohsen Rezaei

نقاش هادئ مع من يتحدث عن صراع نفوذ في المنطقة بين أميركا وإيران

إبراهيم ياسين

منذ انتصار الثورة الإيرانية على نظام الشاه التابع لأميركا، والداعم لكيان العدو الصهيوني، شنت الولايات المتحدة الأميركية ولا تزال بالتعاون مع الدول الغربية والأنظمة العربية التابعة لها حروباً متعدّدة الأشكال للقضاء على هذه الثورة وتقويضها ومنعها من الإستقرار والتقدّم وتحقيق استقلالها الوطني على كافة المستويات. فكانت الحرب الإيرانية العراقية التي شنّها العراق بدعم من الدول الغربية وأنظمة الخليج، والتي زُوِّد خلالها بأحدث الأسلحة الحربية وبأسلحة كيماوية، وحصدت آلاف القتلى من الجانبين، وخسائر مادية قدّرت بمليارات الدولارات، كما كان للحرب الإعلامية التي شنّتها واشنطن دور خطير في محاولة لتشويه صورة الثورة الإسلامية الإيرانية التحررية لدى الرأي العام العربي والإسلامي وحتى على المستوى العالمي، بهدف محاصرة الثورة ومنعها من التنامي والتجذُّر لما كانت تشكله من خطر على الهيمنة الأميركية الإستعمارية في المنطقة، وعلى أمن ووجود الكيان الصهيوني الغاصب في فلسطين المحتلة، واستطراداً الأنظمة الرجعية التابعة لواشنطن. وقد وظفت في هذا السياق الأموال الطائلة لشراء نُخبٍ وكُتّابٍ وإعلاميين، عدا عن الوسائل الإعلامية من صحف ومجلات وإذاعات ومحطات تلفزيونية و…

منذ ذلك الحين وحتى اليوم لا يزال الهدف الأميركي الغربي الصهيوني والعربي الرجعي هو محاصرة إيران الثورة وإضعاف قدراتها لكونها لعبت دوراً مهماً، وما زالت تلعبه حتى اليوم في إسناد المقاومة ضدّ الإحتلال الصهيوني، ومكّنتها من إلحاق الهزيمة به في لبنان وقطاع غزة، كما أسهمت إسهاماً هاماً في دعم المقاومة العراقية ضدّ الإحتلال الأميركي وكذلك ضُدّ تنظيم داعش الإرهابي صنيعة الأميركيين وإلحاق الهزيمة به، كما كان لها دور هامّ في دعم الدولة السورية في حربها ضدّ قوى الإرهاب التكفيري المدعوم أميركياً انطلاقاً من التحالف الإستراتيجي الذي جمع طهران بدمشق منذ بدايات الثورة الإيرانية حيث وقف الرئيس الراحل حافظ الأسد منفرداً بين الرؤساء العرب إلى جانب هذه الثورة التحررية المنتصرة، التي عوّضت سورية عن خسارتها لمصر بعد توقيع الرئيس أنور السادات لإتفاقية كامب ديفيد مع كيان العدو الصهيوني.

انطلاقاً من ذلك أصبح في المنطقة محوران لا ثالث لهما: محور مقاوم تحرري ضدّ الإحتلال الصهيوني، وضُدّ كلّ أشكال الهيمنة الإستعمارية في المنطقة، ويضمّ كلاً من إيران وسورية والعراق ولبنان وفلسطين واليمن الآن، وبالتحالف تحديداً مع روسيا.

ومحورٌ آخر استعماري بقيادة الولايات المتحدة الأميركية ويضمّ إليها الكيان الصهيوني والأنظمة العربية الرجعية التي تدور في فلك الهيمنة الأميركية.

في الصراع بين هذين المحورين، لا يوجد موقف رمادي أو محايد تحت عنوان النأي بالنفس، أو الوقوف على مسافة واحدة من أميركا وإيران وروسيا وتركيا تحت عنوان “صراع على النفوذ” في المنطقة بين هذه الدول.

والمقصود من ترويج هذه المقولة، الإساءة لدور إيران الثورة وتشبيهها بالأميركي ودوره الإستعماري القذر الهادف إلى وضع المنطقة تحت هيمنته لمزيد من نهب ثرواتها الطبيعية.

هذا المنطق الخطير يستهدف الخلط المتعمّد بين من ينصر قوى التحرر والمقاومة ضدّ الإحتلال والإستعمار، وبين من يسعى إلى فرض هيمنته وإحتلاله في المنطقة وسرقة ثرواتها وتكريس وجود كيان الإحتلال الصهيوني وتصفية القضية الفلسطينية. فكيف يُمكن أن يُصوّر للرأي العام أنّ إيران لا تختلف عن أميركا لناحية السعي للسيطرة على المنطقة. فهل إيران تُمارس الهيمنة الإستعمارية ضدّ أيّ دولة عربية وتنهب خيراتها وتتواطأ مع كيان الإحتلال الصهيوني ضدّ الشعب الفلسطيني ومقاومته أم أنها تدعم الدول العربية التي تقاوم الهيمنة الإستعمارية وتدعم المقاومة الفلسطينية في مواجهة الإحتلال الصهيوني.

كلّ متابع موضوعي يُدرك أنّ إيران تُحارَب وتُحاصَر اقتصادياً لأنها تدعم المقاومة وتُساند قضية فلسطين، في حين أنّ أميركا والأنظمة العربية الرجعية تتآمر على المقاومة وتعمل على محاصرتها وتصفها بالإرهاب، كما تقوم بالتآمر على القضية الفلسطينية وتمكين الكيان الصهيوني من فرض مخططاته وتشريع وجوده عبر إقامة العلاقات العلنية معه (التطبيع) والتمهيد لتمرير “خطة أو صفقة القرن” لتصفية القضية. فهل هذا الإختلاف الجذري بين إيران الثورة والولايات المتحدة الأميركية يندرج كما “يزعم البعض” في إطار صراع النفوذ في المنطقة أم في إطار الصراع بين قوى التحرر والمقاومة وقوى الإستعمار والرجعية؟!

كما أنّ روسيا التي تقيم علاقات تحالفية مع سورية وإيران في مواجهة الهيمنة الأميركية وقوى الإرهاب، لا يُمكن مساواتها بالولايات المتحدة الأميركية. فروسيا صديق وحليف، بينما أميركا عدو يفرض هيمنته وسيطرته وينهب خيرات المنطقة ويدعم عدو الأمة الكيان الصهيوني. كما لا يمكن مقارنة إيران الثورة بدور تركيا أردوغان التي انخرطت بالحرب الإرهابية الأميركية على سورية في محاولة مكشوفة لإستعادة أمجاد الإمبراطورية العثمانية الإستعمارية الغابرة.

لقد كانت قيادة الثورة الإيرانية قبل انتصارها بقيادة الإمام الراحل الخميني على علاقة وطيدة مع الرئيس الراحل جمال عبد الناصر الذي وقف إلى جانب نضالات الشعب الإيراني، وأيضاً في زمن ثورة مُصدّق عام 1953 التي تآمرت عليها الولايات المتحدة الأميركية وأسقطتها. وهذه العلاقة كانت تنطلق من نفس المبادئ التحررية التي سار عليها الرئيس جمال عبد الناصر في مواجهة قوى الإستعمار الغربي والرجعية العربية.

إنّ إيران الثورة كانت ولما تزل صديقاً وسنداً قوياً لحقوق العرب العادلة وداعماً قوياً لمقاومتهم ضدّ عدوهم الصهيوني، ولذلك فإنّ العلاقة معها إنما هي علاقة أُخوة وتعاون وتنسيق من أجل تحقيق الأهداف المشتركة التي تسعى إليها الدول والقوى التحررية والتقدّمية في المنطقة التي تسعى إلى التحرر من الهيمنة الإستعمارية والإحتلال الصهيوني وقوى الإرهاب التي تدور في فلكها…

IS IRAN ILL-ADVISED TO FINANCE ITS REGIONAL ALLIES WHILE UNDER SANCTIONS?

Posted on  by Elijah J Magnier

By Elijah J. Magnier:@ejmalrai

Many Iranians question the benefits of arming and financing Iran’s many allies in the Middle East while Iran is suffering the harshest ever US “maximum pressure”. Iran’s allies are spread over Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine. Is Iranian support for these allies the main cause of the US’s aggressive attitude towards the Iranian people and their state, or there are other factors? What makes Iran finance these allies and strengthen them with the most advanced warfare equipment, and be ready to fight and die on their territory?

Since Iran’s “Islamic Revolution” prevailed in 1979 under the leadership of Imam Khomeini, the country has been heavily sanctioned, sanctions increasing with the advent of almost every new US President. In 1979, Iran had no allies but was surrounded by enemies.  Its regional neighbours joined western countries in supporting Saddam Hussein’s war (1980-1988) on the “Islamic Republic”. The US war on Iran has its origin in the fall of its proxy the Pahlavi Shah. It was disclosed how the CIA brought Pahlavi to power in an organised Coup d’état against the democratically elected Prime Minister Mohamad Musaddeq in 1953 in order to keep Iranian oil under US-UK control. Democracy has never been the real issue: western-provoked wars can be understood as motivated by self-interest and the quest for dominance. But attempts to overthrow regimes are always publicly justified by the West in the name of freedom and democracy.

In 1979, the US set a trap to drag the Soviets into invading Afghanistan by supporting the mujahedeen from whom al-Qaeda was born. This catastrophic result and similar destructive phenomena are habitually described as “unintended consequences” in order to rationalise the devastating costs of these savage interventions into other people’s lives and in world affairs. However, in 2001 the US fell back into exactly the same type of quagmire and invaded Afghanistan with tens of thousands of US troops. The US plan was to block the path of a possible return by Russia to Eurasia; to weaken the Russians and to encircle Iran with a chain of hostile elements; to bully all countries concerned into submission, particularly the oil-rich states, thus preventing any possible alliance with Russia and China. This is still the US objective in the Middle East. History has never been a good guide to powerful leaders and their administrations because they apparently consider themselves not subject to its lessons.

Iran found itself deprived of allies. With the consent of the Gulf states, notably Saudi Arabia, Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982 to remove and subdue the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) led by Yasser Arafat, who had rejected King Fahd’s peace initiative. However, the “unintended consequences” of the invasion and the occupation of the first Arab capital by Israel (Beirut) offered Iran an excellent opportunity to respond to the demands of a group of Lebanese asking for help to stand against the Israeli aggressor. Imam Khomeini replied to his Lebanese visitors (who described the horror and the killing committed by the Israeli war machine): “al-kheir fima waqaa”, meaning “What has happened is a blessing”. His visitors did not understand the meaning of Khomeini’s words until many years later. 

Iran found in the Lebanese Shia fertile ground to plant seeds for its ideology. The ground was already prepared in 1978. Lebanese Islamist followers of Sayyed Mohamad Baqer al-Sadr were already receiving training in various Palestinian camps, including the Zabadani training boot camp (Syria), and had embraced the Palestinian cause. When Imam Khomeini took power in Iran, Sayyed Mohammad Baqer al-Sadr asked his followers in Iraq and Lebanon to declare loyalty to Imam Khomeini and “melt into him as he has melted into Islam” (which means “adopt Imam Khomeini as your Imam and Marja’ al-Taqleed”). Iran established great ideological compatibility with the Lebanese Shia, who had historically been considered second-class citizens in Lebanon. Their territories in the south of Lebanon were considered disposable and were put on offer to Israel by Lebanese leaders (Maronite President Emile Eddé suggested to detach South of Lebanon and offer it to Israel to reduce the number of Muslim Shia) , elites and governments.

The Iranian constitution (articles 2 and 3) stipulates that the Iranian government will support any group or country suffering from an oppressor. Its outlook fit perfectly with the oppressed Lebanese Shia. 

The Iranian IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) travelled to Lebanon and shipped their weapons via Syria to strengthen the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon, known later as Hezbollah, and defend their country from the occupier. It was, therefore, necessary to establish a strategic relationship with the Syrian President because most shipments arrived via Syria. 

The Iranian-Syrian relationship went through various ups and downs. It had reached its high point in the last years of President Hafez al-Assad’s rule when his son Bashar was responsible for the relationship with Lebanon and Hezbollah in particular. 

The destinies of Lebanon, Syria and Iran became linked. President Bashar al-Assad was struggling to keep his country out of the conflict when the US-occupied Iraq in 2003. The circle around Iran became tighter, and US forces occupied neighbouring Iraq. Even though getting rid of Saddam Hussein was a blessing for the Iranian regime, Saddam was so weak that he did not represent any real danger to Iran. The US embargo had weakened him, and he had no friends in the Gulf countries after his invasion of Kuwait and his bombing of Saudi Arabia.

The US prevented Iran from moving forward to support the Iraqi resistance to overthrow Saddam Hussein, instead of establishing its own control over Baghdad. The next US objective was Syria and Lebanon. Secretary of State Colin Powell warned President Assad that he was next on the list of presidents to be taken down if he continued offering support to Hamas and Hezbollah. The US declared itself an occupying power, and the Iraqi right to defend their country was acknowledged by the United Nations resolutions. Assad, like Iran and Saudi Arabia, supported the insurgency against the US occupation forces in Iraq. The Saudis rejected Shia-dominated governance over Iraq. The Iranians were next on the US list. So, Iran chose to fight the US on Iraqi ground, which was much less costly than fighting on Iranian ground. Strengthening Iraqi allies was, therefore, an essential component of Iranian national security and an important line of defence. 

In 2006, the Bush administration pushed an unprepared Israeli Prime Minister Olmert to agree to destroy Hezbollah and was expecting the war to be expanded to Syria. This was an opportunity to conquer Syria and cut the supply of Iranian arms. The US and its allies were aiming to close the circle around Iran by eliminating its strong ally in Lebanon. Hezbollah was an impediment to the US-Israeli project of bringing all the Arabs to the negotiating table, eliminating the Palestinian cause and its defenders, and weakening Iran as a prelude to overthrowing its government.

When Israel bombed and invaded Lebanon in 2006 with the goal of defeating Hezbollah, President Assad opened his warehouses and offered dozens of game-changing anti-tank missiles and anything Hezbollah needed to fight back, regardless of Israeli air force superiority. Assad became an essential partner in the successful defeat of Israel in Lebanon. The fall of Hezbollah would have had devastating consequences for Syria and Iran. Joining the destinies and alliances of the Lebanese-Syrian-Iraqi-Iranian front was necessary for the survival of each.

In 2011, the world declared war on Syria. It took President Assad two years before he realised the plot was both regional and international, aiming to create chaos in the Levant and to produce a failed state dominated by jihadists. The same ideological jihadists first planted in Afghanistan were expanding and offered a perfect tool for the US to destroy Iran and its allies. The regional and world intelligence services infiltrated the jihadists, and well understood their strengths and weaknesses. They were well suited to fighting the Iranian ideology and Iran’s ally. Wahhabi jihadism was perfect cancer to destroy Iran on many fronts.

Jihadists were growing in Iraq and expanding in Syria under the eyes of the US, as US intelligence sources themselves revealed. The Levant was the perfect and most desirable ancient place for jihadists to mushroom and expand. This was when President Assad asked his allies for support. Iran’s IRGC forces came to Damascus and the journey to liberate Syria started. Syria, like Iraq, offered a vital defence line to Iran. It was another platform to fight – on non-Iranian soil – an enemy that was about to migrate to Iran (had Syrian been defeated). An opportunity that Iran could not miss because of Syria’s strategic importance.

It took Russia until September 2015 to wake up and intervene in the Middle Eastern arena, in Syria in particular. All these years, the US was planning to leave no place for Russia to create alliances, preparing to vanquish Iran and its allies, the “Axis of the Resistance” standing against US hegemony in the Middle East. All Gulf countries succumbed to US power, and today they are hosting the largest US military bases in the region. The US had deployed tens of thousands of troops to these bases and through them enjoyed superior firepower to any country in the world. Still, Iran and the Levant (Syria and Lebanon) remained impervious to the US attempt at complete dominance.

Without Iran’s allies, all US military efforts would have been concentrated on Iran alone. The US would have moved from sanctions to military attack with little fear of the dire consequences. Today, the US needs to consider the now unquestioned fact that if Iran is attacked, its allies in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq will open hell for the US and its allies in the Middle East. Forty years of Iranian support for its allies have created a wall of protection around it and a bond whereby the allies join their fate to that of Iran. There are no allies in the world any country could count on to sacrifice their men more readily and stand for a common ideological motivation and shared objectives.  Iran is not only investing in its partners, but it is also investing in its own security and well-being. Iran is prepared to offer the same sacrifices provided by its allies to support them when needed. 

Many Lebanese and Iraqis fought in the Iraq-Iran war. Thousands of Iranian, Iraqi and Lebanese Hezbollah (and other allies) lost their lives in Syria protecting the well-being of the Syrian ally and preventing the country from falling into the jihadists’ hands.

Many Iranians and Lebanese were killed in Iraq to support the Iraqis against the terror of ISIS. Iranians and Lebanese Hezbollah are today in Yemen, supporting it against the Saudi-led genocidal massacres. Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah took the risk of supporting the Palestinians and their cause to free their land, to have their own state and the right to return home. No US allies anywhere in the world are ready to offer comparable solidarity to the US. Iran has created deep alliances whereas the US has failed to do so.

Iran openly attacked the US Ayn al-Assad military base following the unlawful assassination of Major General Qassem Soleimani. No other country in the world has dared to attack the US face-to-face and inflict over a hundred casualties on US service members while continuing to challenge US hegemony. There was no need for Iran to ask its allies to act on its behalf. Iran and its partners on the battlefield are united against their enemies. The US wants Iran without missiles, without armed drones, and without access to intelligence warfare. These vital programs have proved crucial to protecting the country and preventing it from becoming vulnerable. If Iran did not have the allies it has today and the missiles it has manufactured, the US would already have retaliated without hesitation.

The war is far from over. Iran and its allies are still in the heart of the struggle, and the US and Israel are not sitting idly by. Solidarity between Iran and its allies is needed more than ever. The question of how much of its annual budget Iran is spending on its partners is less than relevant, though ordinary Iranians may complain and even challenge its benefits. The spirit of sacrifice that unites allies in mutual protection cannot be limited to monetary considerations. It is priceless.

Proofread by: Maurice Brasher and C.G.B

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A Different Islamic Constitution; Transparent Elections and a Healthy Turnout

By Nour Rida

Tehran – With the nearing of the parliamentary elections in Iran, anti-Iranian news outlets have rushed to attack the electoral system in Iran and underscore that the disqualification of most candidates was decided based on their loyalty to the system. Mainstream media tried to put this in the context of disqualifying Reformist candidates only. This is not unprecedented. Let us remind that in June 2017, when Iran witnessed the presidential debates between the current Reformist president Hassan Rouhani and the Principalist candidate back then Seyed Ebrahim Raeesi, media outlets also rushed into suggesting that the “undemocratic” system will not allow the Reformists to win, claiming that Raeesi coming into office would mean the end of diplomacy and international relations for Iran. Rouhani won the elections.

Iran elections: a different Islamic constitution

The nationwide votes for the parliament and the midterm election of the Assembly of Experts will be held simultaneously on Friday. A total of 7,148 candidates, including dozens of Iranians from the religious minorities, are running for the parliament. There are 290 seats in the parliament up for grabs. The lawmakers are elected for a 4-year term, with no limitation for the incumbent or former parliamentarians to run again.

Parliamentary elections in Iran go as far back as 1906 and the Constitutional Revolution, calling for a Constitutional Monarchy. Post-Islamic Revolution however, Parliament is called the Islamic Consultative Assembly, and it passes laws within a very different Constitution; one based on Islamic Sharia Law.

As with the previous round, the major rivaling camps are those of Principlists and Reformists. In the last legislative elections, the Hope List comprising Reformist candidates secured relative majority at the parliament after winning 122 seats over two rounds of elections. In all, the Reformist camp together with moderate candidates took 137 seats against 120 seats that went to the Principlists.

Part of the fair elections also is that Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Armenians and Assyrians are getting ready to cast their ballots in Iran’s eleventh parliamentary elections. Under the Constitution, there are five reserved seats in the legislature for Iran’s religious minorities.

One week before Iranians are expected to head to the polls for the country’s 11th parliamentary elections, the interior minister says inspection teams assigned by the ministry are comprehensively monitoring the electoral process against any potential fraudulent activity.

According to IRNA, the observer teams have been watchful of the candidates’ electoral engagement and the behavior of those associated with them over the past month.

A healthy turnout

Western mainstream media outlets claim that much of the country’s youth, particularly in the capital Tehran, plan to stay at home, foreshadowing what’s expected to be the lowest voter turnout in years.

But this is a judgment from afar. Many young people particularly in Tehran, despite being upset with the economic situation which is part of an economic crisis swiping across the region, have said they will take part in the elections. Others said they prefer to abstain from voting, but that is part of any normal elections isn’t it?  Also, Tehran is the capital of a country of 80 million people at least, and the turnout of elections in the capital is usually 35 to 40 percent for multiple reasons. First of all the low turnout in Tehran is due to the long voting process and the lack of interaction between voters and candidates, as experts note. It is not the best way to evaluate the elections of a country by looking at its metropolis or capital. All other cities count too, especially in a big country geographically and demographically speaking. 

Also concerning Tehran, there is no real connection between the voter and the candidate, unlike other cities across the country. In addition, the lack of TV debates makes it less interesting than presidential elections, which is normal as well. Moreover, experts point out that while Reformists do not do well across the country, they do much better in the capital.

Western governments, media and think tanks do not recognize that all major Iranian factions are disgusted with the regime in Washington. The turnout of people participating in the funeral of General Soleimani and the millions who poured into the streets on a snowy day to take part in the rallies on the anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution says a lot. Simultaneously, some media outlets claim that the assassination of Soleimani will probably tilt the turnout towards Principlists, but that is a miscalculation because General Soleimani was popular among all Iranian political groups and camps and hence that will not have any impact on the attitude of the voters. Western governments topped by the American regime should end their miscalculations.

According to Iranian experts, turnout for parliamentary elections throughout the country over the past four decades has been between 50 and 70 percent. If the turnout is significantly below 50 percent then that would be seen as unhealthy.

Iran vs. US elections; transparent vs. non-transparent

The American administration also criticized the disqualification of the candidates in Iran, accusing the Islamic Republic of being “undemocratic”.

On this note, the Iranian Foreign Ministry on Monday urged U.S. officials to focus on fixing their own country’s “nontransparent” and undemocratic system before calling into question the legitimacy of elections in other nations.

Abbas Mousavi, spokesperson for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, told reporters that the U.S. system “ignores the vote of the majority of people” and said “American officials had better address questions” about the country’s elections from the US public.

Mousavi appeared to be referring to the Electoral College, the archaic system the US uses to elect its president every four years. Two of the last three presidents—George W. Bush and Donald Trump—have lost the popular vote yet won the presidential election thanks to the Electoral College.

However, the Guardian Council states that the vetting process was done fairly, pointing to the fact that both Reformists and Principlists were among the disqualified.

In an exclusive interview with Fars news agency on Sunday, the spokesman for Iran’s election supervisory body, the Guardian Council, Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei said, “Despite the enemies’ false propaganda, and wrong allegations by some people inside the country, elections in Iran have never been symbolic and ceremonial and the Guardian Council, as a national judge of elections…, will not enter any deal on people’s right in the face of political pressure or in order to appease [political] factions.”

Kadkhodaei also noted that the Guardian Council approves qualification of nominees only based on the Constitution and believes that allocation of quotas for various political factions lacks legitimacy.

“Definitely, the Guardian Council assures the noble Iranian nation that it has made all necessary preparations to guarantee healthy and competitive elections, and will fulfill its supervisory duties with more accuracy,” Kadkhodaei said.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has called for a high turnout in the upcoming elections, saying a lively vote guarantees the Iranian nation’s security and contributes to efforts towards resolving the problems.

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الشباب ينتزعون السلطة والثوار يشكّلون الحكومة في عهد سليماني الجديد

محمد صادق الحسيني

على عكس ما أرادت أميركا وخلافاً لكل توقعات الغرب وأمنيات الأعراب والمنافقين والذين في قلوبهم مرض والمرجفون في المدينة..

تستعدّ طهران الجمعة المقبل ومعها المحافظات الإيرانية الحادية والثلاثين لاجتياح الشباب الثوري لمقاعد البرلمان الجديد الذي سيتشكل بإرادة شعبية مصمّمة على الدفاع عن قيم الثورة الإسلامية والقرار الوطني المستقل من خلال ملحمة مليونية جديدة وعرس وطني انتخابي هو الأكثر حماسة في تاريخ إيران…

وكأن الحاج قاسم سليماني كان منذوراً لهذه اللحظة التاريخية التي استشرفها الإمام السيد علي الخامنئي مبكراً يوم أطلق منشورها التاريخي الذي سماه بالخطوة الثانية للثورة الإسلامية…

أربعون عاماً من الكفاح المضني الذي لم يكلّ ولم يملّ يوماً سيبلوره الإيرانيون يوم الجمعة من خلال انتخاب وجوه جديدة من الشباب الثوري السائر على نهج ومدرسة الحاج قاسم سليماني..

كل المؤشرات والعلائم واستطلاعات الرأي تفيد بأن المزاج الشعبي العام في إيران قد تحوّل تحولاً كبيراً منذ نحو سنتين لغير صالح المراهنين على الحوار والمفاوضات مع الغرب..

وجاءت العملية الحمقاء والغادرة في مطار بغداد لتقصم ظهر البعير والعجل السامري اللذين ظنّا أن بإمكانهما قلب معادلات الداخل الإيراني لصالح الغرب الاستعماري الأعمى…

كتب جاك سترو وزير خارجية بريطانيا الاسبق وأحد الأعمدة الثلاثة من مفاوضي الغرب الخبثاء الذي راهنوا يوماً على ما بات يعرف بـ “توافقات سعد أباد” النووية في حينها يوم كان الشيخ حسن روحاني أميناً عاماً للمجلس الأعلى للأمن القومي الإيراني والتي مهدت للاتفاق النووي الحالي المتنازع عليه اليوم داخلياً وخارجياً بشدة، فكتب في مذكراته:

“أردنا من خلال هذه الاتفاقية ورهاننا عليها هو ان نخلق جيلاً من الشباب في الداخل الإيراني يمسك بعد نحو 10 الى 15 عاماً بتلابيب الإدارة في طهران يؤمن بأهمية وجدوى الحوار والمفاوضات بدلاً من المقاومة”…!

لكن هذا الذيل الأميركي القصير النظر ومعه منظرو الكاوبوي الأميركيون الذين يجهلون عمق وحيوية الروح العقائدية والوطنية الإيرانية التاريخية، لم يكونوا يدركون أنه سيأتي يوم على إيران هذه التي “ساكنتهم” مؤقتاً تظهر فيها العناصر الواقعية والاساسية المكونة للهوية الوطنية الإيرانية التي لطالما كانت “محافظة” وأصولية ومتديّنة حتى قبل دخول الإسلام الى إيران، فكيف بها اليوم وبعد تأثيرات الإسلام المحمدي الأصيل القوية ومن ثم الإسلام الثوري الخميني وخلفه إمام المقاومة الخامنائي كما يحبّذ أهلنا العرب تسميته…. وأخيرا وليس آخر مدرسة الحاج قاسم الأممية العابرة للحدود والموانع القومية والعرقية والطائفية والمذهبية…

يعني ليس فقط لن يأتي ذلك اليوم الذي سيبقى حسرة في قلب جاك سترو وقلب كل المنظرين من جنسه خارجيين كانوا او داخليين، بل إن ما ينتظر إيران من بعد استشهاد قاسم سليماني وأبو مهدي المهندس ورفاقهما على يد رأس محور الشر والاستكبار العالمي والشيطان الأكبر، ليس إلا إدارة مؤمنة حازمة نواتها الأولى في عهد الخطوة الثانية برلماناً شبابياً ثورياً سيتم انتزاع مقاعده بوسائل ديمقراطيتكم الغربية (الانتخابات) يا جاك سترو، ومن ثم الاستعداد لانتخابات ايضاً مفصلية وحاسمة أخرى في الربيع الذي يلي هذا الربيع لرفع رجل من جنس الحاج قاسم سليماني تعرفه الناس، الى سدة الرئاسة لتكتمل لوحة السجادة الإيرانية الجديدة التي تناسب عصر الشهيد القائد الحاج قاسم سليماني…

سيندم الغرب وأميركا بشكل خاص عندما سيطلعون على نتائج انتخابات مجلس الشورى المزمع إجراؤها هذه الجمعة، وسيندمون أكثر عندما سيفاجأون برئيس جمهورية قادم من جنس الحرس الثوري الإيراني وخريج كلية الاشتر التابعة لجامعة الإمام الحسين الطهرانية يعتلي منصة الرئاسة ليطالب هذه المرّة ليس فقط بدعم حركات التحرر في المنطقة وفي مقدّمتها لبنان وفلسطين واليمن، بل ليترجم أيضاً منشور خامنئي الثوري لإعادة رسم خريطة العالم على قواعد جديدة من جنس معادلة ونريد ان نمن على الذين استضعفوا في الأرض… اي ما بعد بعد تحرير فلسطين…!

المعلومات المتوافرة للمتابعين الفطنين لمجريات الاستحقاق الانتخابي الاول تؤكد أن ما لا يقلّ عن سبعين بالمئة من مقاعد مجلس الشورى الجديد ستكون من نصيب الأصوليين الثوريين الذي ستكون أولى مهامهم التشريع لقوانين جديدة تؤسس لاقتصاد إسلامي إيراني مقاوم ومن ثم التوجه فوراً الى المنطقة لاستكمال بناء قوة إيران الصاروخية وقوة جيش العشرين مليون لتحرير القدس، وهو الجيش الذي بدأ يتشكّل من هرمز الى باب المندب ومن البصرة الى بنت جبيل ومن مزار شريف الى أسوار جزائر المليون شهيد…

هذا ليس كلام شعارات تُصرَف في الخطابات الجماهيرية ولا للتحشيد الشعبي في هذا الاستحقاق أو ذاك. هذا برنامج متفق عليه في غرفة عمليات المقاومة المشتركة أعدّ له أسطورة الشرق القائد الملهم قاسم سليماني وسيتابع تنفيذه بدقة إسماعيل الوعد الصادق قاءاني، شاء مَن شاء وأبى مَن أبى…

هي سنن الله في أرضه.

من رحم الشهادة الملحمية في رافدين العراق سيخرج شرقنا الجديد انطلاقاً من المنازلة الكبرى ويوم قيامة فلسطين التي تنتظر وصول قوافل المهاجرين والأنصار إليها من امصار الوطن العربي الكبير والعالم الإسلامي الثوري الجديد…

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله.

Hajjah Saada Badreddine Mughniyeh to Al-Ahed: In God’s Eye, I Saw Nothing but Beauty

Hajjah Saada Badreddine Mughniyeh to Al-Ahed: In God’s Eye, I Saw Nothing but Beauty

By Al-Ahed News Team

Hajjah Saada Badreddine is puzzling. She doesn’t hail from the world of philosophy or the world of knowledge and thinkers. Perhaps she is a combination of all of these worlds.

There is no journalistic flattery in this description, nor is there a lot of creativity. The wife of [Hajj] Imad is similar to him, exceptional. In Hajjah’s house, there is an unmatched tranquility. She conceals her tears as she welcomes people to her living room. Here, the martyrs are present. There is a large picture of the great jjihadi leader Hajj Imad with his son, martyr Jihad. There is another picture that adorns the wall, that of martyr Sayyed Zulfikar. A third picture was recently added – that of martyr Qassem Soleimani, the master of the martyrs of the resistance axis.

She is a woman of many traits. She is often referred to as the mother of the martyr, the sister of the martyr and the wife of the martyr. With composure, she holds a picture of Jihad smiling. She recollects memories with Sayyed Zulfikar, her closest brother. But she is overcome by the lump in her throat when she mentions the name Imad, despite the fact that it’s been twelve years since his martyrdom.

She is a unique woman. Her husband Imad as well as her brother Zulfikar are both martyrs. She proudly proclaims, “We did not wash Jihad.” She had courage to tell us why, but we lacked the courage to write it. We were thinking about her immense degree of patience. Was this a human trait or did it come from God?

Hajjah Saada knew Hajj Imad from his visits to their house. He was a friend of Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine. She saw in the young man a revolutionary who thought, planned and then implemented that plan. When they got married, Hajj Imad did not have any of the requirements expected for present-day marriages. He did not even have the financial capabilities to rent a house. For years, she lived with him in a room in the family house of Hajj Imad. As for the rest of the years, they spent it with their children, moving between work centers (the jihadi work of Hajj Imad), from one center to another.

Hajjah Saada speaks to her guests with a lot of kindness even with those she is meeting for the first time. She spent years detached from a regular social life that most families enjoy. But she still mastered the art of entering people’s hearts without asking permission. She invites us into the room of her martyred son Jihad. Everything is in its place. As if Jihad was just there. Even his prayer rug is still in the corner of that warm room, waiting for his return.

Her longing for Hajj Imad, her life companion, is still unique. She cries more than once when mentioning his name, and repeats, “I do not cry and mourn him because he is a martyr. I cry for him because, praise be to God, he knew the way to reach God.”

“He was not a person who gave advice directly. He did not educate others through the use of words. His manner towards his jihadist work, which I had closely examined throughout his career, was more profound than words and advice. It was a practical will,” she recalls.

As for the bitterness of separation from loved ones, the abundance of longing, and the long march of patience, she sums them up by quoting the school of Sayyida Zainab (PBUH): “In God’s eyes … I saw nothing but beauty.”

Below is the transcript of the first interview conducted by Al-Ahed news with Hajjah Saada Badreddine, the wife of martyr Imad Mughniyeh:

1- Tell us about the beginning of the journey of Hajjah Um Mustafa with Hajj Imad? Where did it begin?

There wasn’t much distance between the homes of the Mughniyeh family and the Badreddine family. It was the same distance that separated the two mosques – the Chiyah mosque and the Imam Zain al-Abidin mosque in Ghobeiry. The two houses were beside the two mosques. The Chayah mosque, whose imam was Sheikh Muhammad Qubaisi, was very close to the house of the Mughniyeh family. Meanwhile, the Ghobeiri mosque, whose imam was Sheikh Awwad, was adjacent to the house of the Badreddines. At that point, the two mosques were frequented by young men who wanted to make a difference, especially since the prevailing tradition at the time was that mosques were only attended by the elderly, and young men had no business there.

The young men met spontaneously over a simple goal, which posed a challenge to the prevailing customs. This goal brought together the pioneers of the two mosques, among which were Imad Mughniyeh and Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine. This acquaintance between the two young men led to mutual visits, and during one of Hajj Imad’s visits to our home in Ghobeiri, I got to know him. I met a young revolutionary man who thought, planned and then implemented that plan. Like my brother Sayyed Mustafa, he saw things from a different perspective than that of their peers. This simple goal that the young men sought to accomplish grew as they were faced with increasing challenges, including the civil war, the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, the martyrdom of Sayyed Muhammad Baqir Al-Sadr in 1980 and the invasion of Beirut in 1982. All of these made the young men pioneers in facing these challenges and seizing opportunities.

2- What did Haji Imad own at the beginning of your marriage?

When we were getting to know one another, he had nothing. We got married and moved directly to Iran where I lived with one of the Lebanese families there because Hajj Imad did not even have the financial capacity to rent a house.

When we returned to Beirut, our home was the balcony of his parents’ house in Chiyah. It was fixed in a way to be habitable. That room was my house until after the birth of my daughter Fatima. After the birth of my eldest son, we began moving around with him from one work center to another.

He continued to change his workplace for several years until we finally settled down at his final place of work between 2000-2006. By that time, I already had Jihad. We spent 6 years in our last place of residence, and those were the most stable years, until the July 2006 war broke out. The nature of his work forced us to move with him constantly to maintain his security. We experienced hardship due to the circumstances imposed on us as a family, which included none of our relatives coming to visit us. But we still felt a sense of responsibility towards him not only as a husband and father, but also as a leader.

3- What can you tell us about the beginning of his jihad and the long journey of patience?

We all know that life is a struggle. The philosophy of affliction is to fight life in order to know it and know ourselves. Religious literature and the literature of the Prophet’s Household (PBUT) call on us to be patient with these misfortunes in order to attain a degree of humanity that God has honored us with. I recall the words of my husband, Hajj Imad – the most important component in all jihadi equations is the human being. Each of us must be aware that for man to progress, he must achieve his humanity on this earth. From the first moment I got married, I realized that I was on a difficult and thorny path. After that, I identified my role and mission. I chose to continue because I believed that this was the road to perfecting myself as a human being.

And that was a conviction that was rooted deeper every time we overcame an affliction that befell us as a family, without taking into account the reasons and intensity of this scourge. We grew to know that Hajj’s life was complicated because of his jihadi work. The circumstances required that we live with him in the shadows as he lived. This way of life had its own characteristics: We could not identify ourselves using real names, disclose our relationship with him or reveal his name. We were continuously on the move. Relatives and neighbors were not allowed to visit us. We did not have our own house as I mentioned earlier.

4- How was Hajj Imad’s sincerity reflected in his work? What were his recommendations to his family?

Hajj Imad was known for being quiet from a young age. And this was confirmed by his late mother, Hajjah Um Imad. This is also what I saw during my marriage. He never talked about anything related to his jihad work during our family gatherings. He was kind and funny. And he was always distracted. I knew he was constantly thinking about his work. His entire life, Hajj never separated himself from his work. Every shred of his soul and body was work.

During our family gatherings, when he learned something new or something grabbed his attention, I automatically knew that he was thinking of investing this newly acquired knowledge in his work even if we regarded it as simple and normal. He had love, which was blended with intelligence and foresight. He also had this ability not to attribute any of the resistance’s achievements to himself. This I cannot grasp, but it is a special gift granted to him.

He never had difficulty being discrete. It was part of his nature. He did not acquire it as a skill due to the peculiarity of his security work. Sincerity is the result of a daily behavior and persistence in repeating Dhikr [short phrases or prayers]. He asked me to search for prayers to help him perform his work, and I searched and inquired. I even suggested he recite prayers when I saw him fatigued, and he recited them.

He was not a person who gave advice directly. He did not educate others through the use of words. His manner towards his jihadist work, which I closely examined throughout his career, was more profound than words and advice. It was a practical will. His priority was ‘to give’ in order to preserve this resistance and for it to continue to thrive. And this was the distinguishing quality of the resistance’s martyred leaders. Sayyed Abbas Al-Mousawi clearly expressed the conviction of Hezbollah in his final speech before his martyrdom – “the main will is to preserve the resistance”.

5- Could you please reveal some of his traits as a husband, a father and a leader?

He was a servant not only in worship, but also toward his nation and all the oppressed. He harnessed himself, his soul, mental abilities and physical skills for his nation and for the establishment of the truth. He was not a traditional husband and father. He did not have specific time with the family that was calculated. But when he attended our family gatherings, he was friendly and often laughing. He shared our spontaneous moments, interacted with us on general or personal topics. While we spent time with him, we never felt the burden of the responsibilities he carried.

6- How do you prefer to be addressed – the wife of martyr Imad, the sister of martyr Zulfikar or the mother of martyr Jihad?

Labels are nothing compared to martyrdom. I am a ‘good servant’. God has granted me the blessing of life to accompany these martyrs: my husband, my brother and my son, in different stages of their lives for them to obtain martyrdom.

7- What are the most difficult and most beautiful experiences you had on your journey of jihad with Hajj Imad?

In God’s eyes, I saw nothing but beauty. I even thought that the most difficult experience was beautiful. I think the most difficult experience we had as a family during those years was waiting for him to come back home every time. The best experience was when he came home every single time.

8- How did His Excellency the Secretary-General express his condolences to you for the martyrdom of Hajj Imad, martyr Jihad and Sayyed Zulfikar?

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah made no exception when he expressed his condolences to us. He offered us consolation the way he would with all the families of the martyrs. When it came to the martyrdom of my son Jihad, I asked him a direct question about how he was martyred. He replied to me, “I envy him on this martyrdom.”

9- Can Hajjah Saada tell us about the food episode and her first encounter with Hajj Qassem Soleimani during the July 2006 war?

During the July 2006 war, I used to meet Hajj Imad and get him his Iftar meal because he was fasting during the entirety of the war. Before the year 2006, I did not know Hajj Qassem Soleimani. But one day during the war, I had agreed to meet up with Hajj to give him food. Hajj arrived on a motorbike with another person. When he took the food from me, he asked me to greet the person accompanying him. So, I greeted him, and that was the first time I saw Hajj Qassem. Our relationship with Hajj Qassem was strengthened later after the martyrdom of Hajj Imad. But before that, there was no personal acquaintance.

10- Is it true that Hajj Soleimani asked Hajjah Saada to pray for his martyrdom?

Two months before his martyrdom, Hajj Soleimani asked me to pray for him to attain martyrdom similar to that of Jihad. And I prayed for him repeatedly.

11- What message does Hajjah Saada have for the youth of Hezbollah and their leader?

Thank you for the sacrifices. I thank them for giving us the opportunity to be part of their jihad and stand beside them. I thank them for the experience, knowledge, strength and the pride they gave us. The human experience that we shared with them is unique and exceptional. This experience, according to our religious and ideological understanding of this universe, has its rewards in the afterlife.

I tell them that the presence of His Eminence, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, as a scholarly figure among us at this time, is a great opportunity that we should invest in, be keen on, know and always be thankful for. Hajj Imad’s most prominent trait was creating opportunities and turning threats into opportunities. This was confirmed by the enemy and the martyrdom of a friend. And Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah is an opportunity for us as a nation to establish the truth and reject any injustice.

On the personal level, I am ready for any task Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah asks of me on this jihadi path.

العربي الذي هزّ عرش الشاه

 

شوقي عواضة*

بعد إعلان دولة الكيان الصهيوني على أرض فلسطين بدعم بريطاني وغربي ولدت ثورة 23 يوليو/ تموز عام 1952 بقيادة جمال عبد الناصر والضباط الأحرار، وكان ذلك تحولاً مفصلياً على مستوى المنطقة. تلك الثورة التي أرعبت الأنظمة الملكية وعلى رأسها شاه إيران ومملكة آل سعود اللتين كانتا متحالفتين في وجه تلك الثورة الوليدة والتي كانت أولويتها تحرير فلسطين من الاحتلال الصهيوني.

وقد شكلت ثورة عبد الناصر بارقة أمل كبيرة لكلّ أحرار العالم لا سيما بعدما عمد عبد الناصر إلى دعم كلّ الحركات التحررية ونجح في دعم حركات التحرر من الاستعمار في الجزائر وليبيا والسودان واليمن، وإيران حيث كان الشاه محمد رضا بهلوي حليف الغرب والمعترف الأول بالكيان الصهيوني وأحد أقطاب حلف بغداد الذي شكلته الولايات المتحدة الأميركية وضمّ بريطانيا وتركيا وإيران وأفغانستان وباكستان والعراق.

ذلك الحلف الذي رأى فيه عبد الناصر خطراً حقيقياً على الأمة قامت الثورة الأولى بقيادة الإمام الخميني في 15 حزيران – يونيو 1963، وبعد فشلها اتهم شاه إيران جمال عبد الناصر بأنه كان يموّلها ضدّه، وتمّ اعتقال الإمام الخميني وحكم عليه الشاه بالإعدام لكن تغطية الحوزة العلمية له في قم وكبار المراجع فيها أنقذ الإمام من الإعدام فتمّ نفيه إلى تركيا ومنها عاد الى العراق حيث استقرّ في النجف 1964 حتى نفاه صدام حسين عام 1978 فجاء إلى (نوفل لوشاتو)، وكان الإمام الخميني قد وجه رسائل عديدة إلى الرؤساء العرب شارحاً مأساة ومظلومية الشعب الإيراني وما يعانيه من نظام الشاه القمعي، لم يستجب أحد لتلك الرسائل باستثناء الرئيس عبد الناصر الذي كلّف رجل المهام الخاصة لديه ومهندس حركات التحرر وأحد مؤسّسي جهاز المخابرات العامة فتحي الديب وكمال الدين رفعت، وبدأ العمل وتمّ افتتاح إذاعة للمعارضة الإيرانية وكانت ناطقة باللغة الفارسية في قلب القاهرة موجهة للشعب الإيراني مع إعطاء الثورة الإيرانية حيّزاً كبيراً في الإعلام المصري إضافة إلى فتح معسكرات تدريب وتأهيل الإيرانيين عسكرياً وأمنياً وإعداد كوادر إعلامية من أجل فضح نظام الشاه.

رحل عبد الناصر قبل أن يشهد سقوط الشاه الطاغية وشهدت مصر بعده تحوّلاً قياسياً في سياستها لا سيما بعد استلام السادات الحكم وتوقيع اتفاق الذلّ في كامب ديفيد في 17 أيلول/ سبتمبر 1978. بعد عام من توقيع الاتفاق وخروج مصر من دول المواجهة انتصرت الثورة الإسلامية في إيران بقيادة الإمام الخميني الذي عاد الى طهران قادماً من نوفيل لوشاتو ليعلن شعار الثورة وهدفها الأسمى اليوم إيران وغداً فلسطين، كاشفاً أنّ الرئيس جمال عبد الناصر هو الرئيس العربي الوحيد الذي دعم الثورة ليهدي الانتصار له ولكلّ أحرار العالم لينتصر عبد الناصر في تربته ضدّ طاغية العصر بإنتصار الإمام الخميني.

ثمة أسئلة كثيرة تطرح اليوم بوجه كلّ من يتحدّثون عن العداء التاريخي الإيراني ـ العربي وعن الأطماع الإيرانية في المنطقة العربية، لا سيما في ظلّ رحيل الرئيس عبد الناصر. ألم يكن انتصار الثورة الإسلامية بقيادة الإمام الخميني تعويضاً للعرب عن خسارة مصر عبد الناصر وخروجها من معسكر المواجهة مع الكيان الصهيوني؟ وماذا قدّم العرب بعد عبد الناصر لفلسطين باستثناء سورية الأسد؟ وهل ما قدّمته طهران للقضايا العربية وعلى رأسها فلسطين انتقص من كرامة العرب والمسلمين أم زادها عزة وشموخاً؟

*كاتب وإعلامي

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Iran Votes: Rouhani Urges Attending February 11 Rallies As another Strike on Enemies

By Staff, Agencies

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani described the presence of the people on the stage of the country’s upcoming elections as a key to victory, saying “the key to resolving our society’s problems and resisting hostilities is unity and trust and confidence between the establishment and the people.”

Speaking on Wednesday at a cabinet session, Rouhani said, “Today, we need to stand together on February 11 more than ever and tell our enemies that we have stood by our revolution for 41 years and that we will be in the path of the revolution, Imam [Khomeini] and Iranian Leader until the end of our life.”

We are glad that our great nation is preparing again for the great, glorious celebration of the victory of the Islamic Revolution, which will be celebrated after 41 years of effort, self-sacrifice, and devotion that this nation had made for the aspirations of the Revolution.

The climax of our Islamic Movement was since the beginning of the year 1962 when our dear people stepped on the stage, Rouhani added.

He further stressed that any day that people came to the stage, that day was the climax of the Revolution and weakening dictatorship and defeating the ill willing against the Iranian people.

People’s presence is a big social capital, Rouhani stated. “That is, the day when the people took to the streets with the 100% trust they had on the leaders of the Islamic Movement and especially our dear Imam [Khomeini] and stood up to the then regime that was armed to the teeth and achieved victory, Imam relied on people.

He did not let any division happen between people and the armed forces of that regime, but with the attraction he had, he attracted all of the other side’s forces and –except a few specific ones- he forgave them.

If it were not for Imam Khomeini’s moderation and attraction, radical groups and hardliners would have torn the country and people apart, Rouhani stressed.

Iran Marks 41st Anniversary of Islamic Revolution

February 1, 2020

Iranians have started the 10-Day Dawn celebrations to mark the 41st anniversary of the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, which overthrew the monarchy of the US-backed Pahlavi regime in Iran.

The nationwide ceremonies started at 9:33 a.m. local time (0603 GMT), the time when the late founder of the Islamic Republic Imam Khomeini returned to the Iranian capital on February 1, 1979 after a 15-year exile in Paris.

Every year, Iranians mark the anniversary of their Islamic Revolution from February 1 to 11, known as the Ten-Day Fajr ceremonies.

Imam Khomeini spent more than 14 years in exile, mostly in the Iraqi holy city of Najaf. He also spent some time in Turkey and France before his return to Iran.

Millions of people converged on the capital from across the country on the day of his return. His arrival gave considerable momentum to popular protests against the US-backed Pahlavi regime, which eventually led to its overthrow ten days later.

SourceMehr News Agency

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Imam Khomeini had a rather practical turn of mind: Falk

TEHRAN – Forty-one years have passed since Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, upon failure to attract popular support, fled Iran forever

January 17, 2020 – 13:2

Over the past decades, despite being faced with threats, provocations, harsh sanctions, and even a variety of covert interventions, Iran has been more stable than ever- a fact even acknowledged by Professor Richard Falk as the former UN Special Rapporteur.

Falk, who came to Tehran as a member of an American delegation in 1979, has an interesting narrative of Bakhtiar’s desperation on the day of Shah-Escape. 

As Iran marks 41th anniversary of Islamic revolution, we asked Professor Falk to share his experience from this historical trip and the visit he later had with the founder of Islamic republic of Iran Ayatollah Khomeini. 

Richard Anderson Falk is an American professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University. He is the author or co-author of 20 books and the editor or co-editor of another 20 volumes. In 2008, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) appointed Falk to a six-year term as a United Nations special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territories occupied since 1967.   

Following is the full text of the interview:

Q: Before Iran’s Islamic revolution, as a member of an American delegation, you had a visit to Iran. What were the objectives of that trip?

A: I was chair of a small committee in the United States with the name, “Committee for the Defense of Human Rights in Iran,” which sponsored events with Iranian students and some prominent figures. It became active within university settings as the revolutionary movement gathered momentum in 1978.

The Committee had almost no funding, but had dedicated members, and achieved a certain visibility as there was so little attention being given to these historic developments in Iran unfolding as the months passed. The treatment of these issues in the mainstream media was not only mostly very pro-Shah but also quite uninformative, and even uniformed.

It was in this context that I received as chair of the Committee an invitation from Mehdi Bazargan to visit Iran in a delegation of three persons for a period of two weeks. The stated purpose of the visit was to convey to several Americans a better understanding of the revolution underway. I felt that it was important to accept this invitation precisely for the reasons given in the letter of invitation. Our objective, then, was to achieve this better understanding of the revolution movement in Iran, and do our best after returning to share the experience and our impressions as widely as possible, and this is what we did.

In this spirit I did my best to find two persons who would benefit from such a visit, possessed an open mind toward the challenge being posed to imperial rule in Iran, and had some access to media and influential audiences back in the United States. My first two choices both agreed to become members of the delegation along with myself. Ramsey Clark was my first choice. He had been prominent in government, having been Attorney General, was part of a well-known political family, and had previously been considered a possible candidate for the American presidency. Besides being extremely intelligence, Ramsey had a high profile that generated great media interest and had a reputation for telling unpleasant and inconvenient truths.

My second choice was Philip Luce, a prominent religious activist who achieved world fame by his public acts of opposition to the Vietnam War. He was a person of the highest integrity, and fearless in searching for the truth in controversial political settings.
The three of us made the trip without deep prior personal associations, but we got along very well throughout our time together in Iran, and subsequently. 

Q: How different was what you witnessed from the US media narratives of the Iranian revolution’s developments?

A: The differences were spectacular. The US media conveyed very little understanding of the character of the movement in Iran, and was perplexed by its strength and outlook. At the time, the Shah’s government was a close ally of the United States in the midst of the Cold War, and Iran’s strategic location with respect to the Soviet Union made it very important to Washington to keep the Shah’s regime in control of the country. As well, the US Government, having played an important role by way of covert intervention in the 1953 coup that restored the Shah to the Peacock Throne, there was a particularly strong commitment made in Washington to doing whatever was necessary to defeat this nonviolent mass movement led by a then still rather obscure religious figure. It was deemed unthinkable within the United States government that such a seemingly primitive movement of the Iranian people could produce the collapse of the Iranian government that had mighty military and police capabilities at its disposal, possessed a political will to use lethal ammunition against unarmed demonstrators, and gained the geopolitical benefits of a ‘special relationship’ with the most powerful state in the world deeply invested in upholding its regional interests. In such a setting the media reflected the propaganda and ideological outlook of the government, and was not a source of independent and objective journalism.

It was in such an atmosphere that we hoped that we could bring some more informed and realistic commentary on the unfolding revolutionary process in Iran, including identifying its special character as neither left nor right, seemingly led by a religious leader who remained virtually unknown in the West. It was even unclear to us at the time of our visit whether Ayatollah Khomeini was the real leader or only a figurehead, a temporary phenomenon. We hoped to provide some insight into such questions, as well as to understand whether the new political realities in Iran would produce confrontation or normalization. Was the United States prepared, as it was not in 1953, to live with the politics of self-determination as it operated in Iran or would it seek once more to intervene on behalf of its geopolitical agenda? 

Indeed, we did have some effect on the quality of Western media coverage of the developments in Iran. Ramsey Clark and myself were invited to do many interviews and asked for to describe our impressions by mainstream TV channels and print outlets. As a result, at least until the hostage crisis, discussion of Iran Politics became more informed and some useful political debate emerged, at least for a while.  

Q: You met the then Prime Minister of Iran Shapour Bakhtiar on the same day when Mohammad Reza Pahlavi left Iran. What was Bakhtiar’s assessment of the developments including Shah’s departure?

A: We had the impression from our meeting that the Prime Minister was uncertain about the situation and his own personal fate. Of course, we met with Mr. Bakhtiar at a tense time, only a very few hours after the Shah was reported as having left the country. Bakhtiar had a reputation. of being hostile to intrusions of religion in the domain of politics, and had a personal identity strongly influenced by French culture along with its very dogmatic version of secularism. When we met, the city of Tehran was in a kind of frenzied mood, with cars blowing their horns in celebration, and posters of Khomeini appearing everywhere. We had trouble maneuvering through the traffic so as to keep our appointment.

We found Mr. Bakhtiar cautious and non-committal, and possibly intimidated, not by us, of course, but by the dozen or so others in the room who were never introduced, and wore the clothes associated with security personnel. We assumed that at least some of these anonymous individuals were from the SAVAK, and maybe explained partly why Bakhtiar seemed so uncomfortable. When we asked his help in arranging a visit to prisoners confined in Evin Prison, he seemed unable to answer until he received guidance from one of these advisers present in the room. After a short, whispered instruction, the Prime Minister told us that a visit could be arranged on the following day to the political prisoners, but that we would not be allowed to enter the part of the prison reserved for common criminals. After being at the prison, we felt that the political prisoners were treated well, seen as possibly of a future ruling elite, while the ordinary criminals held no interest for past or present, and lived in crowded cells often with no windows.

Overall, we were left with not much clarity about how Bakhtiar viewed the future of his caretaker government. We had no real opinion on whether what he was saying to us with the others in the room was what they wanted him to say, or expressed his real views, or maybe reflected some sort of compromise. Would he be soon replaced, and his own role challenged as unlawful, or even criminal? We had the impression of a frightened bureaucrat lacking in leadership potential. Maybe our impressions were distorted by the reality that our visit took place at such a tense and difficult moment, which turned out to be transformative for the country and its people. As a result these impressions of a sad and entrapped individual may leave too negative a picture.  

Q: What was the Central Intelligence Agency’s assessment of the Iranian revolution’s developments? Did CIA have a lucid exact assessment of the revolutionary forces and Iran’s future political system?

A: We had no contact with the CIA, but did meet with the American ambassador to Iran at the time, William Sullivan, who had a counterinsurgency background with a militarist reputation. He gave us a briefing that was much more illuminating as to Iranian developments than was our meeting with the Prime Minister. Sullivan acknowledged that the U.S. was caught off guard by both the character and the strength of the movement, and was struggling to keep up with events. He told us that the Embassy had previously constructed no less than 26 scenarios of political developments that might threaten the Shah’s leadership, but not one was concerned about a threat to the established order mounted by Islamically oriented opposition. The American preoccupation, reflecting Cold War priorities, limited its concerns to containing the Marxist and Soviet-oriented left, and the belief that to the extent there was a political side to Islam it was aligned with the West in its anti-Communist agenda as evident in the setting of the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan. 

Somewhat to our surprise, Sullivan spoke of his acute frustrations in dealing with the Carter presidency, especially with the National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, who he claimed to be unwilling to accept the finality of the Shah’s loss of power or of the outcome of the revolutionary movement. Sullivan advocated coming to terms with the emerging new realities as representing America’s national interests, but he spoke very clearly of the resistance to this view at the White House. Sullivan partly attributed this stubbornness to the influence of the Iranian ambassador on. Brzezinski, a view later supported by State Department officials. 

Q: What were the issues discussed at a meeting you had in Neauphle-le Chateau with the late Islamic Republic’s founder Ayatollah Khomeini and how would you describe his personality?

A: We met for a long time, maybe three hours, and covered many issues. During the conversation, after some rather long introductions on our sides about our experience in. Iran, we listened and responded to concerns expressed by Ayatollah Khomeini. After that we posed a series of questions. I will mention here a few topics discussed that have a lasting interest. 

Ayatollah Khomeini’s first and understandable concern was whether the US Government would try to repeat the intervention of 1953 or live with the outcome of the revolution. Of course, we were not in a position to give a clear answer. We did think there was less disposition by the US to intervene than 25 years earlier, but we knew of the strategic importance attached to keeping Iran allied to the US in Cold War contexts and of the personal as well as ideological closeness between Carter and the Shah, especially after the Carter family spent New Year’s Eve in Tehran as the Shah’s guest in 1978, and Carter made his famous toast about the Shah being surrounded by the love of his people.

Ayatollah Khomeini was also concerned about whether the military contracts with the United States would be fulfilled now that there would be a change of government in Iran. This line of questioning gave us a sense that Ayatollah Khomeini had a rather practical turn of mind.
At the same time, he volunteered the view that he hoped that soon he would be able to resume his religious life, and explained taking up residence in Qom rather than Tehran seemed consistent with such an intention. Ayatollah Khomeini told us that he has reluctantly entered politics because in his words ‘there was a river of blood between the Shah and the people.’

When we asked for his hopes for the revolutionary government, this religious leader made clear that he viewed the revolution as an Islamic rather than an Iranian occurrence. He stressed this issue, but without any sectarian overtones. He did go on to say that he felt that the basic community for all people in the Islamic world was civilizational and religious, and not national and territorial. Ayatollah Khomeini explained in ways I subsequently heard from others, that territorial sovereign states built around national identity did not form a natural community in the Middle East the way it did in Europe.

Ayatollah Khomeini also made clear to us that he viewed the Saudi monarchy was as decadent and cruel as was the Shah, and deserved to face the same fate. He felt that dynastic rule had no legitimate role in Islamic societies.

We also asked about the fate of Jews and Bahais in the emergent Islamic Republic of Iran, aware of their close working relationships with the Shah’s governing structure. We found the response significant. He expressed the opinion that Judaism was ‘a genuine religion’ and if Jews do not get too involved in support for Israel, they would be fine in Iran. His words on this, as I recall them, were ‘it would be a tragedy for us if they left.’ He viewed Bahais differently because of their worship of a prophet after Mohammad, leading him to adopt the view that Bahais were members of ‘a sect’ and did not belong to ‘a true religion,’ and thus its adherents would not be welcome in the new Iran. Afterwards, I learned that Ayatollah Khomeini intervened to oppose and prevent genocidal moves being advocated in relation to the Bahai minority living in Iran, but I have no confirmation of this. 

Q: What was the last US Ambassador to Iran William Sullivan’s mission? He is known to be an anti-riot man. Did he give any intellectual help to Iran military or SAVAK (the secret police, domestic security and intelligence service in Iran during the reign of the Pahlavi)?

A: Of course, Sullivan never would tell us about his covert activities. He had the reputation of being ‘a counterinsurgency diplomat’ as he had served in Laos as an ambassador during the Vietnam War. It was at a time that the embassy was being used to take part in a Laotian internal war that included directing US bombing strikes against rebel forces.

With this knowledge, I was invited to testify in the U.S. Senate to oppose his confirmation. Unfortunately, my testimony did not prevent him from being confirmed as ambassador to Iran, although several senators at the time indicated to me privately their agreement with my testimony, but were unwilling to reject President Carter’s choice so early in his presidency. When in Iran I urged the meeting, and Ramsey Clark was skeptical at first, saying that he had had an unpleasant encounter with Sullivan some years earlier. I convinced Ramsey that the credibility of our trip would be compromised if we made no effort to get the viewpoint of the American Embassy. We did make an appointment, Sullivan’s first words as we entered were “I know Professor Falk thinks I am a war criminal..” Yet he welcomed us, and talked openly and at length about the situation and his efforts to get Washington to accept what had happened in Iran. In retrospect, I think he hoped we would be a vehicle for making his views more publicly known.

He made the point that there were no social forces ready to fight to keep the Shah in power. The business community, or national private sector, was alienated by the Shah’s reliance on international capital to fulfill his development plans. The armed forces were also not favorable enough to the throne to fight on its behalf, complaining that the Shah’s abiding fear of a coup mounted against him, created distrust of his own military commanders, and led him to frequently shuffle the leadership in the armed forces. This resulted in a low level of loyalty, and helps explain why the military watched the political transformation take place without showing any pronounced willingness to intervene, despite being nudged in an interventionary, especially in the context of a visit by an American NATO general at the height of the revolutionary ferment. The general was widely reported to be exploring whether it was plausible to encourage the Iranian military to defend the established order. 

We also asked about what would happen to the surviving leaders from the Shah’s government who had been accused of crimes against the Iranian people. Ayatollah Khomeini responded by saying that he expected that what he called ‘Nuremberg Trials’ would be held to hold accountable leading figures from the fallen government, and some from bureaucratic backgrounds, including SAVAK officials. We wondered why this plan was not later followed, and why those from the Shah’s regime accused were often executed after summary, secret trials. We knew some of those who had led the revolution had received support from the CIA during their period as students overseas or even when serving as mosque officials, which would be damaging and confusing to make public at a time of such uncertainty. It is important to remember that until the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Western intelligence assumed that the anti-Marxist approach of those of devout Islamic faith would make all religiously oriented personalities strong allies of Western anti-Communism, a view that persisted to some extent until after the Afghanistan resistance to Soviet intervention which was headed by Islamic forces, and was only decisively shattered by the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon in the United States. 

Q: Why did the liberal–Islamist groups fail to secure the support of Ayatollah Khomeini at the end of the day?

A: It is difficult for an outsider like myself to comment on the internal politics in that revolutionary period. The situation in Iran was still fluid, and worries about a counterrevolutionary coup to bring the Shah back to his throne a second time were widespread. Added to this, the change in Iran came so quickly. Several secular personalities of liberal persuasion told us that ‘the revolution happened too quickly. We were not ready.’ 

Ayatollah Khomeini while still in Paris, seemed originally to believe that liberal Islamically oriented bureaucrats would be needed to run the government on a day to day basis. He may have envisioned a governing process relying on technical experts, especially to achieve good economic policies and results that he thought necessary to keep the support of the Iranian masses. Such expectations seem to be not entirely consistent with the vison of Islamic Government set forth in his published lectures, available to us in English, that were written while he was living as an exile in Iraq. His insistent theme in the lecture was that a government consistent with Islamic values could not be reliably established on democratic principles without being subject to unelected religious guidance as the source of highest authority.

We also were aware of several other explanations for this about face on the governing process. Some in Iran believed that Ayatollah Khomeini only discovered his political popularity after he returned to the country, and this made him believe he had a mandate to impose a system of government that reflected his ideas. Others offered the opinion that he became convinced by his entourage of advisors that the revolutionary spirit and agenda was being lost by the liberals, and hence were urging him to take direct and visible charge of the government. And finally, there arose the view that the liberals were given a chance, and their performance disappointed Ayatollah Khomeini, leading him to reenter politics and move to Tehran to lead the country. As far as I know, this story of transition from the Pahlavi Era to the Islamic Republic remains veiled in mystery.  Hopefully, before long the mystery will disappear with the appearance of more authoritative accounts of what transpired after the Ayatollah Khomeini returned to the country.

What we do know is that what was established in this transition period has survived for more than 40 years despite being faced with threats, provocations, harsh sanctions, and even a variety of covert interventions. Arguably, Iran has been as stable as any country in the region, and more stable than most. This is impressive, although it does not overcome some criticisms directed at violations of basic human rights of people in Iran.

Willfully and Consciously Demonizing Shia: the Leadership of the Pious

Mansoureh Tajik for The Saker Blog

January 23, 2020

Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim, “In the Name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.” This essay may be billed as a companion to, or a rebuttal of, or a commentary on Pepe Escobar’s article titled, “The Roots of American Demonization of Shia Islam” posted here. I am uncertain about a suitable label. Perhaps the readers could formulate a mental tag & file as they deem appropriate.

The core thesis of Pepe Escobar’s article relates to “Shia Islam and the failure of the West to understand it.” It is stated, “the congenital incapacity of so-called US elites to even attempt to understand Shi’ism – thus 24/7 demonization, demeaning not only Shias by also Shia-led governments.” Let’s suppose we know what is meant by “US elites” here. Let us suppose it means a network of formal and informal financial, military, and political entities that have the power and the means to influence and control the ultimate decisions and the actions of the United States as a collective. The statement, as structured, appears to suggest that “demonization and demeaning Shias and Shia-led governments” is a consequence, a product, an effect, if you will, of an “incapacity” by those elites “to attempt to understand Shi’ism”. In other words, they bash it because they do not have the capacity to understand it. No evidence was provided to support this causal link.

In the essay before you, I assert precisely the opposite and provide empirical as well as logical evidence that demonstrate the demonization and demeaning of Shia and Shia-led governments is because those elites understand EXACTLY what Shia is all about. I would go even further and explain, with evidence, what core elements about Shia make those so-called elites so scared and horrified that they have little choice but to continue their demonization campaign against Shia. Before filling these two very tall orders, however, it would be useful to first discuss and respond to several key points raised in Pepe Escobar’s article as a prelude to the essay itself.

Firstly, the article upholds there is a “congenital incapacity of US elites to attempt to understand Shi’ism.”  To the best of our knowledge, there is no congenital (present at birth) defects that adversely predisposes anyone to be incapable of understanding Shia. Nor is there any evidence of any genetic disorder or hereditary predisposition in the world and among people (elite or non-elite) that bars anyone from understanding Shia people and/or governments established based on the principles of Shia school of thought. If there is, we, the Shia, would like to see it.

Of course, this is not to disregard freedom and rights afforded by poetic license and/or to show that effectiveness of caricatured expressions to drive a point home are not appreciated. Rather, we do not wish to help corner anyone, not even figuratively, into any sort of inescapable trap of imagined incapacitation to understand Shia.

Secondly and with respect to “some serious academic research about the appeal of Shi’ism,” there is already a large body of serious academic research that explores and examines not only the appeal of Shia school of thought but also the essential features that make it an effective force. Indeed, these are the very evidence that when we look into and examine, we realize the animosity of the “Western elites” (with the US being its current façade and flag bearer) is not out of some misunderstanding or a random and/or institutionalized ignorance but a calculated, deliberate, and conscious malevolence. A few of these research is addressed in the essay as well.

Thirdly, regarding the suggestion for “visits to selected sacred sites across Southwest Asia: Najaf, Karbala, Mashhad, Qom and the Sayyida Zeinab shrine near Damascus,” by all means, this is an excellent advice. But those who visit should do so with an open heart in order to truly experience how it feels like to be welcomed with open arms by true patrons of those holy sites. Knowing who they are, how they lived, and what they did is paramount to gaining a better understanding about why they are so revered and avidly guarded by the Shia.

Fourthly, with respect to the statement by Dr. Marandi quoted in the article, “The American irrational hatred of Shi’ism stems from its strong sense of resisting injustice,” more needs to be said. It is true that resisting oppression and aggression, fighting against injustice, and defending those who are oppressed in the world are all core beliefs in Shia school of thought. Also, it is true that we have living examples of martyrs who sacrificed everything they had for their belief. However, that is neither the whole story nor unique only to Shia. There are other schools of thought that might be engaged in similar efforts but are not demonized as Shia is. Not only that, some of those ideologies are even propped up, by these very elites, as examples to follow in Shia’s stead and to even fight Shia. Since I am familiar with Dr. Marandi’s work, I presume the above statement may have been extracted from a much larger and more comprehensive context and explanation.

Fifthly, with regard to Blake Archer Williams’ argument titled, A Reaction from Tehran to the Martyrdom of General Qāsem Soleymānī,” it is evident that he provided his real-time reaction to the news of the martyrdom of Shahid Sardar Soleymani in that essay. An analytical response to the question posed to him at a time when he is not in the midst of grieving will certainly produce a more cogent and focused response. Nevertheless, he wrote, “So the role of the politician in democracies seems not to be to try to understand anything but simply carry out the agenda of the elites who own them.” This is a fair assessment of the referenced politicians. However, it does not directly answer the reasons behind a serious aversion of their elite handlers and the barrage of sustained multi-pronged attacks against Shia. The answer is somewhat hidden within layers elsewhere in the article in a reference to the history of the West and Muslim interactions in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Furthermore, martyrdom is cited as a key deciding factor. Yes, martyrdom, by its very nature and design, makes things easier for Shia to fight and resist earnestly and robustly. At the same time, it makes it costlier for the oppressors to regress further into their corrupt and criminal ways. But martyrdom explains only one part, albeit a critical part, of Shia’s effectiveness. It does not explain the full picture. And it does not explain it as cause for adamant aversion demonstrated by US elites against Shia.

Lastly, regarding Princess Vittoria who “would rather frame the debate around the unquestioning American attitude towards Wahhabism” and stating she does not think “this has anything to do with hating Shi’ism or ignoring it,” for the sake of clarity, I must first state that Wahhabism to Islam is what homosexuality is to nature: an anomaly and a deviance. Full stop. Without sustained propaganda and active support by the West to shove either of them as anything legitimate down people’s throat, neither will see the light of the day and neither will amount to anything more than arbitrary aberrations meant to be expelled.

Therefore I found it odd that real origin of Wahhabism, both as an ideological tool and as a movement, which was adopted and perfected by Western elites, particularly Britain, to counter Islam and Muslims is overlooked. Given that Shia is (and has been) on the top of the Wahhabies’ hit list, based on what logic it could then be deducted that this has nothing to do with Shia? Here, too, I imagine extraction of a few lines out of a much larger context might have made the statement a curious one.

As for “Iranian revolution and Shia groups in the Middle East are today the only successful force of resistance to the US, and that causes them to be hated more than others. But only after all other Sunni opponents had been disposed of, killed, terrified (just think of Algeria, but there are dozens of other examples) or corrupted.” The point is well taken but it raises two more serious questions: 1) What made Shia the only successful force of resistance (thus the target of severe hatred. as asserted)? 2) What made the other Sunni opponents so disposable, terrified, and corrupt? The answer to these two questions, too, are addressed in this essay.

With this brief forward, we attend to main aims of the essay. One is to show so-called US elites demonize and demean Shia and Shia-led governments because they understand EXACTLY what Shia is. And the second is to answer the question of what the absolute essential elements of Shia are that make those so-called elites so horrified that they have no other choice but to continue their demonization campaign against Shia. We begin attending to the two aims using a few relevant examples in recent history.

In November 1891, Seyyed Mohammad Hassan Husayni Nouri Shirazi, better known as Mirzaye Shirazi, issued a short fatwa which simply read:

“Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim, On this day, use of tobacco and tobacco products in any way and shape is equivalent to a war with Imam-e Zaman (May God Hasten his return).”[1]

Handwritten Fatwa by Mirzaye Shirazi regarding Tobacco Prohibition

This seemingly simple line began what is now known as “Tobacco Movement” in Iran. Immediately following the distribution of that fatwa among the public, the people of Iran burnt and destroyed any and all tobacco products and any related paraphernalia. The fatwa, in effect, made null and void a series of concessions made in secret by then corrupt king, Naseriddin Shah Ghajar, to the British company, Talbot. The concessions had given Britain the exclusive rights to everything that had anything to do with tobacco in Iran for a period of fifty years. In exchange, Naseriddin Shah would receive an insignificant sum which itself was to be used to pay back for an extortionate loan the king had received from Britain for his decadence and wasteful indulgences. All these at the expense of the Iranian nation.

Plenty of archived documents, books, and articles are produced in English around this movement.[2,3,4] A simple search in the literature using relevant key words produces hundreds of documents dating back to the beginning of the movement in 19th Century. Everything including the roles played by the clergy, the merchants, the devout Shia population, the women of the royal court, westoxicated[5] intellectuals[6], and more is studied by academic and not-so-academic centers in Britain, France, US, and others in the West. It would take a unique form of tenacity to flip through page after pages of these documents and not admit that the West knows what Shia is all about.

From our side of the hedge, it is evident that Iranians, especially the clergy, knew what challenges would follow. In his memoires, Ayatullah Seyyed Hasan Modarres (1871-1937), revered scholar and Mujtahid, wrote,[7]

“When I went to Najaf, I visited Mirzaye Shirazi who was in Samerah. I told him the story of our triumph over the tobacco event. I saw signs of worry appeared on his face. He remained silent and tears began rolling down his face. I was surprised by his reaction. I had expected to make him happy with that news. When I asked him about it, he said, ‘Now, the malevolent powers and enemies of Islam realize where the main power of this nation and the focal point of Shia movements’ strength is. I am now seriously worried about the future of the Islamic nation.” [Page 138]

Ayatullah Modarres further wrote about the dynamic interplay between the role of the people and the role of ulama (pious and learned scholars of Islam and Quran) and in bringing about an effective outcome,

“Mirza’s fatwa was a flame that was set in caches of gunpowder hidden deeply within the hearts of the Iranian people. If these hearts were not filled with such gunpowder, a piece of paper with a few broken lines written with a faded ink could not have possibly produced such blazing flames.”[8]

Elsewhere he wrote,

“The tobacco event was like a canon fired at dawn. It awakened an astute nation from its slumber and informed people that a relentless quake must follow. The masses of people had not been informed of the depth of the matter but they felt the danger since they trusted their ulama. So, they mobilized and followed them.”[9]

Tobacco movement, or Nehzat_e Tanbakoo as it is called in Iran, and what transpired thereafter were only an exercise and a practice run for the next nehzat (movement), Nehzat_e Mashrooteh, or Constitutional Movement[10] of 1906. The pivotal role ulama played in this movement, too, is well studied —indubitably more by the outsiders than by the insiders. Those interested could do a literature search and find plenty of sources to keep them busy for months. A note of caution though, the framing of various research in this area to examine the role various groups played (like any other research in the world) often betrays the hidden agenda of those who financed the research for exploitative purposes. Therefore, it is important to “follow the money” as part of your overall assessment of any document. Beware, as well, that they often pull “a Harvard”[11] or “a Reuters”[12] and the actual sources of funding may be kept hidden for decades.

Notable clerical figures[13] in the constitutional movement included Sheykh Fazullah Nouri, Akhound Khorasani, Seyyed Abdullah Behbahani, Hasan Modarres, and Seyyed Muhammad Tabatabei. The clergy, again, played a critical role in informing, mobilizing, and leading the masses in support of the constitutional movement. The basic rationale was that anything that limits the power of corrupt kings and cuts off the hands of foreign powers is a positive step forward.

However, once the clergy and believing people realized the influence of Western agents and their operatives, secular and westoxicated intellectuals in drafting the constitution, they began their open defiance.[14] Every single one of the cleric directly involved in the constitutional were killed.

Late Imam Khomeini (God rest his soul) in a couple of his speeches dissected this tragedy as follows,

“In the constitutional [movement] they saw one or a few mulla in Najaf, a few turban-headed mulla in Tehran turned the foundation of tyrannical and despotic rulers upside down and established constitutional limits. Here, those who opposed did not sit still. They were active, too. If we were to tell the story, it gets really long. But about this very constitutional limits, Sheykh Fazullah Nouri (God rest his soul) stood up and said, ‘the constitution must be based on the rule of God. The rules must agree with Islamic rules.’ At the same time as he was saying these things, he also worked on the addendum to the constitution. That was his efforts, too. His opponents and the foreigners, when they saw such power in the clergy they pulled such tricks that, in Iran, Sheykh Fazlullah who was a Mujahid and high status Mujtahid, they fabricated a show trial and they put a deviant cleric look-alike to try and convict him. Then they hanged him in the middle of Tupkhaneh and in the presence of a large crowd.”[15]

“You gentlemen have all heard about the constitutional period. A bunch of people did not want Islam to have any power in this country. And they were after turning the situation to their own advantage. They poisoned the atmosphere so much that someone like late Agha Sheykh Fazlullah who was a notable figure in Iran then, and was favored, they made such a poisonous atmosphere that they hanged him in the middle of a square and some stood around and clapped. This was a plot to cast aside Islam. And they did. After that, the constitution was not the sort of constitution that the ulama in Najaf wanted. Even the subject of late Agha Sheykh Fazlullah was portrayed in such a distorted way that not even a peep came out of there [Najaf]. This climate they created in Iran and elsewhere, this climate facilitated Agha Sheykh Fazullah’s conviction in the hands of some of these very clerics of Iran itself. Then they brought him into the middle of the square and hanged him. Then, they stood and clapped. They struck a blow against Islam at that time. And people were heedless. And even the ulama were heedless.”[16]

A series of similar movements that followed could be presented, dissected, and examined at length. The Iranian oil nationalization movement in 1951 to cut off the British hand[17, 18], for example, in which Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh, then elected prime minister, was able to bring about (though it was very short lived) again with the help of very influential clerics such as Ayatullah Seyyed Abulghasem Kashani, Ayatullah Vaez-Zadeh Khorasani, Ayatullah Mohammad Taqi Khansari, and more who rallied the masses of people behind him. Once Mossadegh succeeded, however, he and his secular cabinet became too trusting of and too lenient toward another foreign power, the US. The coup d’etat of 1953 (Operation Ajax) by the US, followed by the Iranian Oil Consortium Agreement of 1954[19] gave foreign companies 40% of Iranian oil, effectively replaced Britain by the US as the master of the Pahlavi regime followed by decades of killing, imprisonment, torture, and sending to exile of thousands of people.

Imam Khomeini’s speeches in June 1963 and the uprisings that followed, his powerful speech in 1964 and the movement by the religious scholars, his exile that year and unrelenting struggles that led to the Islamic Revolution of 1979, have all been well examined and documented.

Finally, a fully functioning Islamic Republic based on tenets of Shia Islam was established thanks to two significant factors: 1) An active, aware, fearless, and devout Shia community ready to receive the message of its believing, pious, wise, and brave religious leaders; 2) An active, aware, fearless, and pious imam and leader. Article 1 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran confirms the establishment of an Islamic system of government based on “Iranian Nations’ long lasting belief in Quran’s authority in Truth and Justice following a victorious revolution under the leadership of eminent source of emulation, Grand Ayatullah Imam Khomeini.”[20]

Article 2 of the constitution clearly spells out the 5 pillars (primary principles) of Shia Islam and the responsibility of the Shia community as follows,

“Islamic Republic is a system based on a belief in:

  1. The Oneness of God (there is no god but God), the Governance and Laws belong to Him, the necessity to submit to God’s laws [Tawhid];
  2. The revelations and the essential role they play in describing the laws [Nubuwwah, or Prophethood];
  3. Mi’ad [The Hereafter, the Day of Judgment, Return of everything to God] and its constructive role in propelling human evolution toward God;
  4. God’s Justice [Adl] in all creations and rules;
  5. Imammat (the guardianship of infallible Imams) and uninterrupted leadership of the pious and their role in the continuation of the Islamic Revolution;
  6. Human dignity, human excellence, and liberty integrated with responsibility before God by means of: a) ongoing scholarship by the learned and fully qualified Faqih based on the Book and the tradition of the infallibles (God’s Peace be upon them all); b) use of science, technology, and progressive human experiences and struggle to move them forward; c) defiance of all oppressors, tyrants, and any form of oppression, and establishment of justice, equity, and independence in political, economic, social, cultural, and that which ensures national unity.”[21]

On March 21, 1979, nearly 98.2% of eligible voters in Iran said “yes” to an Islamic Republic. After 40 years, 9 months, and 13 days of sustained, relentless, and unparalleled multifaceted military, economic, and media attacks by so-called elites of the West, tens of millions of people poured into streets to mourn one of their most beloved soldiers of God. Why? Because he heard the commands of his wise and pious leader, his devoted wali, Seyyed Ali, and he obeyed in upholding the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the end. We congratulate and envy his martyrdom.

So, what is so special about this constitution? A lot but we will focus on what is more relevant to this essay. It contains the answer to the question why “24/7 demonization, demeaning not only Shias by also Shia-led governments by so-called US elites” that was posed by Pepe Escobar.

The constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran says the leadership, the governance, the imamat, if you will, the guardianship of the people and nations of the world and their affairs cannot be and must not be entrusted to anyone other than pious, righteous, non-corrupt, just, wise, learned, fearless, and selfless leaders. For Shia, it would be an Imam. In his absence, his rightful Nayib or vice-Imam, the one who most closely resembles him in piety of thoughts, words, and deeds.

The so-called elites would have had nothing to fear if Shia, too, accepted any corrupt, depraved, and sinful jester as their leader and the guardian of their affairs. Only if Shia could have been a normal community and satisfied with the choice between bad, worse, ugly, or the lesser evils. أَعـوذُ بِاللهِ مِنَ الشَّيْـطانِ الرَّجيـم (I seek refuge in God from the accursed Satan).

References

[1] Najafi M (1398). “Andisheh-ye Siasi dar Nehzat-haye Islami Tariq Mo’aser Iran” (Political Thoughts in Islamic Movements of Contemporary History of Iran). Special Collection No. 12On the Occasion of the 1st of Jamadi ul-Awal, the Anniversary of the Issuance of Fatwa in Prohibition of Tobacco. Available online at: http://moaser.iki.ac.ir/book/export/html/339

[2] Gillard D, Bourne K, Watt DC (1985). Great Britain Foreign Office. British documents on foreign affairs. Reports and papers from the Foreign Office confidential print. Part I, From the mid-nineteenth century to the First World War. Series B, The Near and Middle East, 1856-1914. Vol. 13: Persia, Britain and Russia, 1886-1907. Vol. 14: Persia, Britain and Russia, 1907-1914. University Publications of America.

[3] Keddie NR (1966). Religion and Rebellion in Iran: The Tobacco Protest of 1891-1892. Frank Cass & CO Ltd. Publisher. ISBN:071461971X, 9780714619712.

[4] Oxford Dictionary of Islam (2020). “Tobacco Protest (Iran): 1891 – 92.” Available online at: http://www.oxfordislamicstudies.com/article/opr/t125/e2389

[5] Westoxification is a term used as a translation of the term “Gharbzadegi” coined by Iranian scholar, Jalal Al-e Ahmad in his well know book by the same name.

[6] Mahmoodi K & Jelodar ES (2011). “Orientalized from Within: Modernity and Modern Anti-Imperial Iranian Intellectual Gharbzadegi and the Roots of Mental Wretchedness.” Canadian Center for Science and Education. doi:10.5539/ach.v3n2p19. Available online at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/272693398_Orientalized_from_Within_Modernity_and_Modern_Anti-Imperial_Iranian_Intellectual_Gharbzadegi_and_the_Roots_of_Mental_Wretchedness

[7] Najafi M, Isfahani Karbalaei H, and Ja’afarian R (1373 HS), Sade-ye Tahrim-e Tanbakoo (The Century of the Prohibition of Tobacco), In Persian. 1st Edition. Amir Kabir Publishing. Tehran, Iran.

[8] Ibid. Page 130.

[9] Ibid. Page 139.

[10] Oxford Islamic Studies Online (2020). “Constitutional Revolution (Iran).” Available online at: http://www.oxfordislamicstudies.com/article/opr/t125/e450

[11] Camila Domonoske (2016). “50 Years Ago, Sugar Industry Quietly Paid Scientists To Point Blame At Fat.” National Public Radio, September 13, 2016. Available online at: https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/09/13/493739074/50-years-ago-sugar-industry-quietly-paid-scientists-to-point-blame-at-fat

[12] Guy Falconbridge (2020). “Britain secretly funded Reuters in 1960s and 1970s: documents.” Reuters, January 13, 2020. Available online at: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-media/britain-secretly-funded-reuters-in-1960s-and-1970s-documents-idUSKBN1ZC20H

[13] Hermann D (2012). “Akhund Khurasani and the Iranian Constitutional Movement.” Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 49(3): 430-453.

[14] Shirkhani A & Rezaei M (1390 HS). Naqsh_e Rohaniat dar Enghelab Mashrouteh (The Role of the Clergy in the Constitutional Movement). Islamic Revolution Studies, Summer 1390. In Persian. Available online at: http://ensani.ir/file/download/article/20120419195128-8054-21.pdf

[15] Sahifeye Noor, Collection of speeches, messages, interviews, decrees, religious permits, and letters by Imam Khomeini. Vol. 13, Page 175.

[16] Sahifeye Noor, Collection of speeches, messages, interviews, decrees, religious permits, and letters by Imam Khomeini. Vol. 18, Page 181.

[17] Keesing’s Record of World Events (formerly Keesing’s Contemporary Archives), Volume VIII, July, 1951 Persia, Iranian, Page 11569 © 1931-2006 Keesing’s Worldwide, LLC -All Rights Reserved. Available online at: http://web.stanford.edu/group/tomzgroup/pmwiki/uploads/3195-1951-07-Keesings-a-OEP.pdf

[18] International Court of Justice Reports of Judgments, Advisory Opinions and Orders Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. Case (United Kingdom v. Iran) Preliminary Objection judgment of Jul 22nd, 1952. Available online at: https://www.icj-cij.org/files/case-related/16/016-19520722-JUD-01-00-EN.pdf

[19] Heiss MA (1994). “The United States, Great Britain, and the Creation of the Iranian Oil Consortium, 1953-1954.” The International History Review, 16(3): 511-535. Taylor & Francis, Ltd. Publishing.

[20] Fathi M & Koohi Isfehani K (Editors.). Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran with Commentaries and Interpretation by Guardian Council (1359-1396). Guardian Council Research Center, Tehran. 1397. Article 1, Page 14. Available online at: https://www.shora-gc.ir/files/fa/news/1398/9/21/4354_236.pdf

[21] Ibid. Article 2, Page 14.

Hezbollah Deputy SG Sheikh Naim Qassem: Murderer Will Face Thousands of Hajj Soleimani’s Likes Who Will Avenge Him

By Fatima Deeb Hamzah

Lebanon – Hajj Qassem Soleimani wasn’t just a person. He was also a project, and a project does not die. From Beirut to Tehran to Kerman, Baghdad and Damascus, Soleimani was at every place and at every time, specifically in al-Quds [Jerusalem], the final destination of the broader jihad in the project of the resistance and its axis.    

But the international and regional scene changed significantly. The assassination of the commander of the axis, which extends along the aforementioned cities, has reshuffled cards and accounts. What comes after the assassination? How did the crime impact the capital of the Islamic Revolution? And what about Lebanon?

In an attempt to outline the features of the coming stage, al-Ahed sat down with Hezbollah’s Deputy Secretary-General, His Eminence Sheikh Naim Qassem, just days after his return from Iran.

Hajj Qassem Soleimani’s martyrdom reignited the revolution

Before talking about the dimensions of the developments and their importance, Sheikh Qassem talked about what he saw during his participation in the funeral procession and consolation ceremony of Hajj Qassem Soleimani.

From Tehran to Kerman, His Eminence described a monumental scene.

“Neither contemporary nor ancient history witnessed a funeral procession on this scale. Various Iranian regions saw million-man marches in which the youth element was predominant. This aspect bears the connotations of a revolution that is still radiant and rooted in the spirituality of the Iranian people.”

Sheikh Qassem recounted how the large crowds on the streets and squares prolonged the journey from their place of residence to the University of Tehran. He also told us how he saw Soleimani in all the faces of the participants and those who loved him. After talking about the family of martyr Soleimani and the manner of reception, communication and solace, Sheikh Qassem said that “the conclusions that embody the reality that took place is that Hajj Qassem’s martyrdom reignited the revolution. It was as if we are at its beginning when everyone took to the streets to confront the tyrant.”

A new reality in the region

“Hajj Qassem accomplished a lot in his life. His project was to drive the Americans out of the region, so his martyrdom fueled the decision to expel the US military forces from our region. Hence, we are facing the stage of ending the American presence in the region, and this carries significant implications, dimensions and effects on regional states and their peoples,” Sheikh Qassem added.

The Deputy Secretary General of Hezbollah pointed out that “the significance of the assassination, its nature and magnitude created a new reality in the region, a foundational and fundamental reality, one in which the American prestige will be broken in preparation for expelling its forces from here.”

The killer will face thousands of Qassem Soleimani’s likes who carry his thoughts and will avenge him

Sheikh Qassem asserts that “Qassem Soleimani was the field commander of the axis of resistance, which is a liberation project. Despite his assassination, the project will not die. Rather, it will continue with greater and stronger momentum and a renewed thrust that will be sensed by the murderer soon. The murderer will know that he did not get rid of this project, and that after Hajj Qassem, he will face thousands of Qassem Soleimani’s likes who carry his thoughts and will avenge him.”

Hezbollah is continually working on addressing complications in the government

As for Lebanon, the problem is not in any regional or international change or developments, but rather in “the mentality that this country suffers from. It requires a bit of modification and attention to the reality of the people’s lives and their deteriorating conditions, especially as we are at a stage that is farthest from external influences on Lebanese internal affairs.”

The Deputy Secretary General of Hezbollah concluded by saying that “Hezbollah is continuing to seek resolutions to complications in the government. It will talk with the prime minister-designate and the parties concerned with the formation of the government to get some facilities and concessions that will contribute to the formation of the government as soon as possible because without that we will face further deterioration.”

Iran keeps openly blaming itself, yet there is a Ukraine Air cover-up?

Source

Monday, 13 January 2020 3:40 PM  [ Last Update: Monday, 13 January 2020 4:16 PM ]

Iranian mourners gather around a vehicle carrying the coffin of slain top general Qasem Soleimani during the final stage of funeral processions, in his hometown Kerman on January 7, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

By Ramin Mazaheri

Many people have been quite shocked by Iran’s response to the tragic, mistaken downing of a Ukraine International Airlines flight.

Iran’s President Rouhani said, “I will never apologize for Iran – I don’t care what the facts are.” Tehran plans to never apologize, admit wrongdoing nor to accept responsibility.

All of the Iranian soldiers involved were awarded Combat Action Ribbons, the air-warfare coordinator received a Commendation Medal and the commanding officer was awarded the Legion of Merit for “exceptionally meritorious conduct.”

No one in the Iranian armed forces will ever be punished.

Many believe Iran shot down the plane purposely in order to instigate war.

No intention to cover up cause of Ukrainian plane crash: Shamkhani
The secretary of Iran

Obviously, all four of these paragraphs are totally false… but only when applied to Iran and not the US. The shocking belligerence, shamelessness and inhumanity I just recounted was the very real response from Washington after they shot down civilian Iran Air Flight 655 in 1988, killing 290 people. Anyone who has been following the recent tragic events is aware that Iran’s official response has been the complete opposite of how Washington handled a very similar tragedy.

But firstly: I find it incredible that some accuse Iran of a cover-up?

While, of course, the Western Mainstream Media will commit any lying exaggeration to further their billionaire masters’ instructions to topple Iran’s popular revolution, I lay the blame primarily at the unreasonable demands modern society puts on government servants via the 24/7 news cycle.

Iran admitted it was their missile which felled the airplane just three days afterwards, and – crucially – in conjunction with prepared apologies, self-recriminations and promises of punishing the negligent and/or fatally erroneous.

Iran’s reaction to Trump’s tweet: Don’t dishonor our language Iran has called President Donald Trump

However, three days was too long for some. I really wonder at the naiveté of such, often well-meaning, people.

Is no delay acceptable? No verifications needed at all?

In such a situation doesn’t everyone know there is a protocol to be followed? We are talking about the armed forces – does not everyone understand (as every nation has an army) that they have a chain of command, rules and a bureaucratic hierarchy which must be followed? The more important something is – especially for a horrific admission such as this – the longer the verification process necessarily takes. If the soldier who had pressed the “fire” button had rushed out of the base and declared to all who would listen, “It was my fault!”, he would be treated as a dangerous madman in any nation. However, it is as if some people expected this type of an instantaneous confirmation in the Ukraine Airlines tragedy?

I suggest such impatience – from those who want to get it “now” instead of getting it “right” – has been fostered by a 24/7 news cycle which does not want to hear about the need for interviewing those involved, testing and calibrating equipment, reviewing all the data, etc. Three days… well, I just find it hard to believe that anyone would find that unacceptable? Some people – due to their quite understandable grief over this tragedy – are being unreasonable, but many Western media and politicians do not have such sincere motivations for such a complaint.

A verification process like I have described would have been an acceptable delay – at least to me – under normal circumstances. Here, of course, the Western Mainstream Media is doing all they can to sweep under the rug the fact that Iran was in a state of high military alert provoked entirely by the recent assassination of Iran’s top general, a top Iraqi general and retaliatory missile strikes which had been fired by Iran just hours before the plane’s downing.

Iran’s retaliation for the appalling assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani was nowhere near as severe as US aggression merited. Washington tapped CNN to produce a propaganda report entirely designed to give the impression that the missile attack was not significant, but the point was not proportional revenge: the Leader of the Iranian Islamic Revolution Seyyed Ali Khamenei said it was merely to give a “slap in the face”. Therefore, nobody can say that Iran overreacted. However, the assassination proves to many in Iran that Washington is hell-bent on fomenting war with Iran. “High alert” is no exaggeration of the tensions at the time of the take-off of the Ukrainian airliner.

US troops knew Al-Asad air base would be attacked and sheltered in bunkers, exclusive tour reveals United States troops at the Al-Asad air base in Iraq were aware that an Iranian attack was imminent, allowing them to take shelter two-and-a-half-hours before missiles struck on Wednesday, CNN has been told during an exclusive tour of the devastated site.

Therefore, it is incredible that Iran is somehow being portrayed as being wholly responsible for the tragedy of the Ukraine plane downing? The bulk of the condemnation for the tragedy must obviously be aimed at Washington for creating this atmosphere which produced the tragedy, if anyone truly cares about justice.

Unfortunately, I am reminded of the old saying: “Everybody talks about peace, nobody talks about justice.” The incident is being used as the latest plank in the 40-year Iranophobia campaign, sadly.

Is the alleged ‘cover-up’ occurring in between the public lamentations and self-criticisms?

Soleimani’s assassination may trigger end of US military presence in Iraq: Paper General Soleimani’s assassination may trigger the ultimate objective of ending the US military presence in Iraq, a British paper says.

 The Ukrainian airliner downing shattered the peace of many families, but what we can say with total certainty today is that nobody in Iran wanted the destruction of a civilian airliner.

It was US President George Bush who famously refused to apologize, not Rouhani, but there are too many obviously sincere apologies from every level of Iran’s government. What cover-up? The commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards testified to Parliament, “I swear to almighty God that I wished I were in that plane and had crashed with them….” Two days earlier the chief aerospace commander told a press conference, “I wish I was dead and such an incident hadn’t happened….”

Where is the defiance, deflection and distraction of this alleged “cover-up”?

Trump warns US has 52 Iranian targets to hit if Iran launches attacks Trump posts tweets warning that US would respond to Iranian retaliation for general’s assassination.

There is obviously – at all levels of the Iranian government and military – sadness, regret and complete acceptance of responsibility. I feel sorry for those Iranian soldiers involved because they express such feelings of culpability – if you feel sorry for George Bush, or the soldiers he decorated, I don’t know what basis you have for such feelings because they were never uttered?

The 1988 IranAir flight was downed in the final month of the Iran-Iraq War. The US shot down the Iranian plane as an expression of their frustration that their proxy war with their ally-dictator-mass murderer Saddam Hussein had failed. It was a message that Washington would still act with murderous impunity, and that their war was not finished – they have stayed true to this murderous posture all these decades hence. Compare that with the situation in 2020.

Despite the illegal, inhuman slaying of Soleimani Iran is not about to be baited into war, which was Washington’s true intention. Tehran is not going to put all of Iran – and the region – at risk over the decision of an idiot/assassin, who is trying to distract from his impeachment trial (as well as from the indictment trial of his ally in Tel Aviv) and who may be back on reality television in 11 months.

Zarif: Iran missile strikes legitimate self-defense against US terrorism Foreign Minister Zarif says Iran’s retaliatory missile attack on American bases in Iraq was an act of “legitimate self-defense” against “legitimate targets” in response to US terrorist act.

The Ukraine Airlines flight was – unlike for Washington in 1988 – undoubtedly not a provocation, nor an incitement to continued conflict, assassination and war.

This is the reality which the West cannot see, as they are blinded by Islamophobia and Iranophobia: the Iranian government showed the humane response which one would expect of a truly progressive government, which they are. They did not respond with belligerence, defiance and a Washington-style cover-up. But the Iranian government gets no credit in the West ever – it’s their editorial policy.

Frankly, while this is obviously a tragedy, I want more information as to how it happened: I find it extremely coincidental that the plane came from Ukraine, which has undoubtedly been the site of (yet another) far-right coup/civil war supported by Washington. I am not disparaging all Ukraine, of course, but it’s fair to assume that the Pentagon has unlimited access to Ukrainian planes as well as a history of using cyber warfare and sabotage against Iran.

And we know they have already shot down civilian airliners in Iran with zero expressions of regret.

Try as they might, this tragedy cannot overshadow the Soleimani assassinations

The assassination of Soleimani and the tragedy of Ukraine Airlines must not be mixed: the former is an illegal, inhuman slaying of an anti-terror hero which must remain in the spotlight until Washington – the boasting perpetrator! – conforms with international justice; the latter is a tragedy, and Iran has made it crystal-clear that they will work openly with countries like Ukraine, France and Canada to find the root cause.

No one in Iran is pleased, openly or secretly, about the Ukraine Airlines tragedy, but the boasting murderers in Washington are no doubt glad the spotlight is now off their actions. Their assassination laid bare their aggression to Iran and their view that Iraq is a powerless US colony.

That is injustice on a grand scale, and it cannot stand.

Nasrallah says Iran missile strikes showed all US bases in West Asia within range“Look at the faces of the US leaders… Do they look like victorious faces?” Nasrallah asked.

There were protests in Iran after the Ukraine Airlines downing, and it is natural: many students were aboard the airplane, therefore many Iranian students had personal connections with the departed. This is why students led protests.

However, as is the case so often in Iran, counter-revolutionary groups stepped in to dangerously hijack the protests. That is proven by the video circulating of a “protester” dressed like Black Bloc member stomping on and pulling down a picture of Soleimani, a man who just days earlier had inspired millions to publicly attend his funeral.

The orders-of-magnitude support in Iran for the government as opposed to those who want to topple is revealed by the orders-of-magnitude larger turnout for Soleimani compared with the initially sincere, student-led grief protests. This is a simple, factual reality, but – as is the case with every protest in Iran – the Western MSM tries to pervert everything in Iran to topple the popular democratic revolution of 1979.

Of course, they are in overdrive now because they are being told to distract from the Soleimani slaying. That must not last.

Sadness in the world and Iran over the Ukraine Airlines tragedy will continue, especially for the bereaved families.

But if we are judging by responses to accidentally shooting down civilian airliners, one would think people would be clamoring for the fall of the American system and not the Iranian one?

Ayatollah Khamenei: Iran’s retaliation against US only ‘a slap’ Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has said Iran’s early morning retaliation against US assassination of Gen. Qassem Soleimani was just “a slap”.

Finally, I’d like to point out that due to Western sanctions airplane tragedies in Iran are woefully common. If the West really wants to make Iranian air travel more safe they could – as any humane person would – allow the sale of replacement parts for these machines which carry so many lives between their wings.

Another way the West could avoid such tragedies? End the hot, cold and assassinating war against Iran.

Iran has accepted responsibility for the mistake – assuming further investigations do not reveal new facts – but the West needs to accept overall responsibility for the Ukraine Airlines tragedy as they fabricated such a dangerous, anti-democratic, inhumane climate of war.

(Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the upcoming ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism.’)

(The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.)

The Meaning of Honor: He Is Qassem Soleimani, The Man Who Propelled A Weak Revolution Into Internationalism

By Mohammad Ali Jaafar

Iran’s Islamic Revolution has triumphed internationally. We begin with the immensity of Qassem Soleimani’s funeral.

The time Hajj Qassem Soleimani spent on the path of jihad begins with the commencement of the Islamic Revolution in 1979 and ends with the revolution’s global victory in 2020. 

The Islamic Republic made the whole world understand the definition of honor. It introduced to the world the essence of Iran’s Islamic Revolution as well as its meaning and values which were never limited to a certain geography. On the contrary, they were meant to be global. The natural time prerequisites were the ones that delayed the Islamic Revolution from acquiring its international nature. 

Martyr Qassem Soleimani’s great burial ceremony that took place following the qualitative Iranian response marks the end of a chapter for the people of this world. The great leader was not laid to his final resting place until the door of a new stage that will be witnessed by everyone was opened. It is the stage of victory and glory that he always wanted.

The beginning of his jihadist career coincided with the start of the Islamic Revolution. Soleimani’s role was central in the Quds Force as he was responsible for exporting the revolution to support the oppressed people of the world.

The arrogant forces thought that by ending General Soleimani’s physical existence they would destroy his role and retract the effects of the Islamic Revolution. But they miscalculated. Where the Americans failed, the Iranians succeeded.

Washington’s move only served to introduce a new phase that ordained the Islamic Republic of Iran as the godfather of regional and world politics. Here, we are just assessing a series of facts.

In the standards of strength, there is a difference between having power and managing it. The essence of real power is in its management, not its possession. It is the delicate line that separates the behavior of the weak and the righteous from that of the people of falsehood who arrogate in the use of power.

In the world of power management, the Iranian nation succeeded where many empires, nations and countries failed. It succeeded because it realized early on the meaning of rebelling against tyrants and how to achieve glory starting from the victory of Imam Khomeini’s revolution during the 1970s. Didn’t the Shah of Iran represent the arrogance of the West in the East? Is it possible that those who have eliminated arrogance fail in managing a revolution against arrogance in the world? These are historical facts. But we are a nation that does not read the true lessons of history.

What is happening today is a consequence that the world has been late in understanding. However, the Islamic Republic found in the assassination of martyr Qassem Soleimani the right time for the world to know that values always triumph, even after a while. Hence, with a carefully planned method, it delivered a just punishment that matches the level of Iranian national security and the weight of a martyr belonging to the axis of resistance. Since Iranian national security interests are integrated with that of the axis of resistance, the image of the Islamic Revolution is complete. And its scenery turns towards internationalism.

The greatness and wisdom of the Iranian leadership appeared. An upsurge in the strengths of the righteous system also appeared. It was met with the fall of the U.S. as an arrogant power. A state of confusion and weakness also appeared. Iran has humiliated the head of arrogance. This is just the beginning. Soon, a collapse of the arrogant system with its political, economic, military and security dimensions will follow.

This as the burial ceremony came after retribution that translated the quality, style, location and timing of the meaning of managing power. With it, a new phase that would be called “glory to the vulnerable and humiliation of the arrogant” was opened throughout the world.

Is it not the first time in history that a great leader bearing the banner of truth is buried after carrying out retribution against his arrogant enemies? More importantly, if this was just the beginning, what would the next stage be? Here, it is necessary to pause at what happened before the response. Did Washington not mobilize all of its diplomatic ties to mediate with Tehran to prevent a response? Have major powers not moved to dissuade Iran from responding and for Iran to state its conditions that Washington was ready to agree to?

The first response took place. In assessing its results, the shift in the balance of power is clear. But this shift, with the pangs before the birth of the new world order, is considered the most difficult period. It is a stage in which the knives planted by the arrogant and the pains that came with them will be extracted from the body of the world. But it seems that for the sake of honor, the pain becomes a feeling of euphoria.

It is the beginning where the truth revealed the definition of glory and immortalized martyr Qassem Soleimani at the heart of time. And the beginning of the stage pushing the revolution of the weak towards internationalism is connected to his martyrdom.

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