by Abu Dharr (Guest Editorial, Crescent International Vol. 34, No. 2, Safar, 1426)
It is deja vu again. The Reagan conservatives – Rumsfeld, Feith, Perle, Ledeen, Bolton, etc. – are back, except that this time they are under "the Bush." This time around they are operating under the label ‘neo-conservatives'. Whatever they may be called – neo-conservative, liberal double-crossers or democrats-cum-republicans – they are now running the show when it comes to US-Iranian relations. The first act of their drama peaked during the Reagan administration, when they went to Tehran in secrecy and offered the officials of the Islamic State what was reported in the West to have been a chocolate cake "prepared in a kosher bakery in Tel Aviv". They also offered Iran's battle-hardened officials six Blackhawk .357 Magnum pistols in presentation boxes, and a pallet of spare parts for Iran's Hawk missiles. This was the episode that exposed such tawdry officials as Vice Admiral John Poindexter, Col. Ollie North, and National Security Council head Robert McFarlane. Of course there had also to be an Israeli specialist among them, Amiram Nir, an Israeli ‘counter-terrorist' expert and confidant of Shimon Peres the prime minister of the zionist regime. This political theater was approved by Washington for the release of hostages in Lebanon. The rest is history. What we are seeing now is act two.
The Israeli national interest today, well-represented in American officialdom, is beginning to bloom with overtures to a politically de-Islamizing Iran. The pretext for this political drama today is the nuclear technology that the battle-hardened Islamic state has been acquiring for many years. The underlying object of the drama, then and now, is to try to subvert the cultural, social, political, and religious fabric of the Islamic State founded by Imam Khomeini (ra) In the 1980s, the government in Washington was making headway against the Soviet Union, pounding it indirectly in Afghanistan and penetrating it meticulously in Moscow by way of Washington's intelligence operatives and services. Then, perestroika and glasnost were already emerging, and the Soviet system was doomed, and the White House turned to look for a breakthrough against Islamic Iran. That did not happen because there were tough-minded Islamic mujahideen who were toughened in the crucible of an American-imposed war and the blood of itsshuhada'. The ‘weapons-for-hostages' ploy fell flat because the foreign policy of the Islamic State echoed the hopes and fears of the downtrodden, the oppressed and the deprived who were fighting against America's zionist-inspired and Iraqi-implemented war of aggression.
Yet the same American officials are making a comeback, and Israel's obsession with Tehran's nuclear technology is defining American policies in the area. Now there is a team of zionist insiders, American contacts and Muslim turncoats who are converging in a grand attempt to encircle and undermine Islamic Iran (or what remains of it). The confluence of Jews for Israel, evangelicals for imperialism and Muslims for America has conjured up a "nuclear threat" in Iran. Everyone in this alliance is looking for an Iranian Mu‘wiyah or Yazid, or a Lech Walesa or Gorbachev, or even a Yazdi and Shari‘atmadari. Anything will do as long as it helps to bring Tehran into the American sphere of influence.
As divine providence would have it – and not as the zionist-imperialists want it – the Satanic axis is getting a taste of its own medicine in Iraq. Nonetheless, the Euro-American-Israeli triumvirate remains set on de-nuclearizing Islamic Iran even as they are being drawn into a protracted insurgency in Iraq.
There now seems to be an emerging agreement between European governments and America on the need to cater to the economic and financial instincts of Iranian officials. The notorious chocolate cake in act one is now a bakery. The Iranian government and people may be in for some tempting offers: joining the World Trade Organization (WTO), lucrative bilateral trade deals with European and even American companies and corporations, and maybe even a de facto recognition by Europe and America of Iran (instead of Saudi Arabia) as the Islamic pace-setter. From an opportunist politician's point of view, Iran is sitting pretty. If only it can break out of the legacy of Imam Khomeini, it will be assured a front seat in international forums, a leading position in inter-Islamic relations (the OIC, fiqh committees, etc.), and possibly a "union" of sorts with Iraq to become the top-ranking OPEC member (the combined petroleum resources of Iran and Iraq are second to none). Obviously, these temptations are testing the Islamic quality of decision-makers in the Islamic Republic, especially as they know that the alternative to these mouth-watering carrots is a big American stick.
Officials in Tehran with pro-American tendencies should ask themselves: why should Washington, having orchestrated most of the difficulties that have befallen the Islamic Republic since the triumph of the Islamic Revolution over a quarter of a century ago, be so generous as to offer Iran what amounts to honorary status in the West's globalization project, just when the Islamic Republic is making significant progress with its nuclear programme? Why is virtually everyone picking on the achievements of a generation of Muslim scientists who learned from the experiences of their country's post-Revolution predicament? Islamic Iran is flanked by other nuclear nation-states: Israel, India, Russia and Pakistan. So why isn't the world up in arms about these established nuclear powers, instead of pointing fingers of accusation against Iran? The nuclear programme in Iran dates back to the time of the American puppet, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Why, then, was it acceptable for Pahlavi and his like to acquire nuclear technology, but now it is unacceptable for an independent, Islamic government to do the same?
A balance of nuclear power has long been a feature of international politics. During the Cold War, it was the US vs. the USSR. In south Asia, it is India vs. Pakistan. Yet in the Islamic East – as we should think of the ‘Middle East' – there must be no nuclear power to balance Israel's well-established arsenal. Considering Israel's record of aggression against its neighbours, its record of ignoring international opinion and law, and the oft-demonstrated inability of the international community to rein it in, it is hardly surprising that the Islamic State might consider it necessary to develop a nuclear deterrent to balance the Israeli threat. Washington's hyper-sensitivity to Tehran acquiring nuclear technology, despite its acceptance of New Delhi, Tel Aviv, and Islamabad having it, is also not surprising, given the close links between the Israeli and American elites. What is more important and more of an immediate concern to the global Islamic movement is why officials in Tehran are so sensitive to Washington's opinions on their own internal affairs? If we were to believe that the world is as Washington says it is, Washington would be more concerned with Pakistan’s having nuclear technology because the ‘threat' of al-Qa‘ida obtaining a nuclear device is more likely to happen through Islamabad than through Tehran. But of course we know that this is not happening because Washington feels that it is in control in Pakistan, while it knows it is not in control in Islamic Iran.
The lesson that the politicians in Tehran should have learned by now is that Washington has an Israeli problem. American politicians follow an agenda written in Tel Aviv. The problem that the Islamic movement has (Iran included) is an American problem. Unfortunately many supposed leaders of the global Muslim Ummah still work to an agenda determined by their Saudi connections, which themselves are dictated by the imperialists in America.
The US and Israel are pursuing a multi-fronted campaign against Islamic Iran. On the one hand, officials in Washington and their Israeli counterparts, along with their copper-penny Muslim scholars, will continue to try to cultivate an Iranian Ataturk, or an Iranian Sadat, or maybe even an Iranian Islamic leader who will promote a depoliticized Islam. These are the types who would be willing to "play ball" with America. As this column is being written, US and Israeli forces are involved in a month-long joint military exercise in occupied Palestine. This is supposed to send a clear signal to Tehran: America and Israel may be are talking for the time being, but they carry a big stick. Nor is this only an Israeli-American enterprise. That is clear from the pressure on the Hizbullah in Lebanon, where the established influence and power of the Hizbullah is under attack from an alliance of Paris and Washington. The armchair revolutionaries in Iran's foreign ministry should note the true behind-the-scenes cooperation between the Elysees and the White House.
The elections to the Majlis last year prove, if nothing else, that the political instincts of the majority of theIran's people are still sound. If the coming presidential elections consolidate the balance of power in the Majlis, the pro-Washington diplomats in Iran's foreign office will surely be exposed for their fantasy that it is possible to be good Islamic Revolutionaries and be on good terms with the West at the same time. And not a day too soon.
The Islamic Uprising in Iran a quarter of a century ago is too important and too special for Muslims to simply watch it wander from its original and true course. We remember all too clearly the impact this breakthrough had on Muslims everywhere. For the first time in modern history, Muslims had risen against a corrupt government and its imperialist and zionist sponsors, and were able to take control of their own country, and begin to show the rest of us how things should be done.
Of course, the road forward was not likely to be smooth. The sponsors of the Pahlavi regime could not be expected to sit and watch a people shape their own future on the basis of their Islamic faith and commitment. Throughout the last 25 years, America and Israel have been working to bring the Islamic government in Iran to its knees, with the support of their Western allies, Iran’s pro-Western neighbours and even supporters within Iran. Iran’s borders amount to some 8,000 kilometers; American troops are now based across six thousand kilometers of this border. This grim scenario has been gradually built over 25 years, and has passed almost unnoticed by most Muslims, and even most Iranians. There has never been any cessation of hostilities between the followers of the line of Imam Khomeini (r.a.), who refuse to compromise when it comes to the independence and sovereignty of the Islamic state, and the numerous other interests wanting to shape the state on their terms.
Part of our object in this new column is to look at some of the gaps that have developed since the passing of Imam Khomeini (r.a.), many of which are rooted in earlier events, and how these gaps have caused serious problems about which we can no longer remain silent. But before we walk into this sensitive area, one point needs to be made absolutely clear. This is that none of the points we make are intended to express any criticism of Imam Sayyid Ali Khamenei, the successor to Imam Khomeini (r.a.) as Rahbar of the Islamic State. Many of the points we make will be highlighting natural processes in the evolution of post-Revolutionary state and society. Others will indeed involve criticism of errors and failures in Iran, mainly on the part of those who have been responsible for aspects of Iranian government and policy at the executive level. It was inevitable that such errors and failures should emerge over a quarter of a century in an unprecedented and highly-pressured historical situation; unfortunately they have contributed greatly to what many now see as the Islamic experiment’s current stagnation.
Sometimes frank statements of truth can be bitter pills to swallow; we hope no-one will consider this column to be too bitter a pill. We say what we say only to express our honest understanding of the issues. If we are correct, we appeal earnestly to Allah to accept our humble words to our humble readers. If not, we request Allah’s forgiveness and correction from anyone able to do so; without, we hope, descending into personal issues or hidden agendas. Ameen.