Tag Archives: Tehran

Iran Ayatollah: Introduce Youth of America, Europe to the Islam of Jihad

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(CNSNews.com) – In a speech translated into English and posted on his official website, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told Iran’s “Assembly of Experts” last week that “our goal and main guideline should be to pursue Islam in its entirety.”

“What we understand from all Quranic teachings is that Islam commands Muslims to create a perfect and complete Islamic government,” said the Supreme Leader. “Islam wants the complete implementation of Islam.”

The ayatollah also said Iran should use what he called “Islamophobia” and the “targeting of Islam” to reach out to youth throughout the world and “provide them with real Islam.”

“We should make efforts. In the Islamic Republic, the great and important feat is that all of us–anyone at any level and with any capability in this regard–should make efforts to introduce original Islam, one that supports the oppressed and that opposes the oppressor,” said the ayatollah. “The youth who live in Europe, America and distant countries become excited about this kind of Islam.”

Two paragraphs later, in explaining the “kind of Islam” he was talking about introducing to people, the ayatollah said: “We should introduce the Islam of mercy to the weak and the Islam of jihad and fighting against arrogant powers.”

Khamenei delivered this speech on March 12. It is currently the top item posted on the homepage of his English-language website. (It can be read in its entirety here.)

The ayatollah told the assembly that the promotion of Islamaphobia by Iran’s enemies had provided an opportunity to spread Iran’s vision to the West.

“Now, under such circumstances, our goal and main guideline should be to pursue Islam in its entirety,” said the ayatollah. “We should really do our best–Allah the Exalted does not expect us to act beyond our power and capability–to pursue this. Our effort and goal should be to establish Islam–in its entirety and with all its parts and constituents–in society. When this becomes our goal, they immediately bring up a certain issue, namely Islamophobia which is common in today’s world. In my opinion, we should not at all adopt a passive outlook towards the phenomenon of Islamophobia. Islamophobia exists.

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“Some individuals are frightening peoples, societies, youth and minds of Islam,” said the ayatollah. “Who are these individuals? When we delve deeply into this matter and when we think carefully about it, we see that they are the same minority of bullies and greedy individuals who are afraid of the rule of Islam. They are afraid of political Islam. They are afraid of Islam’s presence in the heart of societies. The reason for their fear is that Islam harms their interests. As a matter of fact, Islamophobia is a translation of powers’ fear and anxiety in the face of Islam. This is the truth of the matter.”

The ayatollah argued for giving the “masses” of the world a “little nudge” in the direction of the Iranian vision.

“Of course, despite what are they doing, their movement against Islam and their effort to create Islamophobia will produce the opposite result,” he said. “That is to say, their actions will make youth curious about Islam. If the masses of the people in the world are given a little nudge and if we attract their attention, they will begin to understand why the Zionist press and television networks–those which are dependent on powerful and well-to-do cliques–launch so many attacks on Islam. This will pose a question in their minds and we believe that this question has certain blessings and that it can turn this threat into an opportunity.

“We should make efforts. In the Islamic Republic, the great and important feat is that all of us–anyone at any level and with any capability in this regard–should make efforts to introduce original Islam, one that supports the oppressed and that opposes the oppressor,” said the ayatollah.

“The youth who live in Europe, America and distant countries become excited about this kind of Islam,” he said. “They become excited and it becomes clear to them that Islam means a force, motive and thought which moves against oppressors and transgressors and in favor of the oppressed. It becomes clear to them that Islam has plans to pursue this and that it considers it its responsibility to do so.”

A moment later, the ayatollah contrasted the kind of Islam he was talking about to what he called “secular Islam” and “secular Christianity.”

“We should introduce the kind of Islam that is present in people’s lives as opposed to secular Islam,” said the ayatollah. “Secular Islam is similar to secular Christianity which imprisons itself in a corner of church and which has no presence in real life. Secular Islam acts in the same way,” he said. “Today, there are some people who invite people to isolated Islam, one that has nothing do with people’s lives. This kind of Islam calls on people to perform some religious acts in a corner of mosques or houses. We should introduce the kind of Islam that is present in people’s lives. We should introduce the Islam of mercy to the weak and the Islam of jihad and fighting against arrogant powers.

“In my opinion, this is a responsibility that falls on everyone’s shoulders,” said the ayatollah. “Our promotional and scholarly organizations and our Islamic seminaries should pursue this goal.”

The Iranian supreme leader described those “targeting Islam” as “Zionists.”

“Today, they are targeting Islam on many occasions,” said the ayatollah. “And it is clear which, people, organizations and orientations are doing so. They are dependent on a powerful and well-to-do clique which is active in economic and political areas and whose members are mostly Zionist and Jewish.

“If not so,” said the ayatollah, “they are non-Jewish Zionists. Today, we have non-Jewish Zionists in the world as well. Against these people, we should benefit from the opportunity to pose this question in the minds of people and youth throughout the world so that they can think about why they are attacking Islam so vigorously.

“Then,” said Iran’s supreme leader, “we should provide them with real Islam.”

In the same speech, the ayatollah referred to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “Zionist clown.”

“As you can witness, the statements that they make are really ridiculous and disgusting,” said the supreme leader. “In the recent days, a Zionist clown [Benjamin Netanyahu] travelled to the U.S. and made certain statements there.”

The ayatollah also described America as a “deceitful” nation that supported terrorist groups like the Islamic State, whch he referred to by its Arabic acronym “DAESH.”

“America is deceitful and dishonest and it stabs people in the back,” he said.

“[T]he world can witness that the power and government that has supported and created the most vicious terrorists–such as DAESH and other such groups–is America as well as its allies,” he said.

The supreme leader also pointed to the open letter 47 senators signed to the Iranian leader warning that an agreement between President Obama and the ayatollah that is not ratified by the Senate or otherwise approved by Congress might not outlast Obama’s administration.

That letter, said the ayatollah, “is a sign that shows the total destruction of political ethics in America. It indicates that this system is one that cannot really continue. It indicates that this system is totally ruined.

In its latest report on human rights in Iran, the State Department described the totality of Ayatollah Khamenei’s power in that nation.

“While mechanisms for popular election exist within the structure of the state, the supreme leader directly controlled the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government as well as the armed forces,” said the State Department. “The supreme leader also indirectly controlled internal security forces and other key institutions. Since 1989 the supreme leader has been Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.’

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has testified in Congress that Iran’s decision on whether to build a nuclear weapon “would be made singly by the Supreme Leader.”

Early in his speech to the Assembly of Experts, the Supreme Leader said he felt a need to restate the goals of Islam in light of the challenge raised by “arrogant governments” including on the “nuclear issue.”

In this context, he noted that the Quran commands establishment of “a perfect and complete Islamic government.”

“Because of the conditions that dominate our region and the world,” said the ayatollah, “because of the challenge that exists between the Islamic Republic and some egotistic and arrogant governments on different issues–whether the nuclear issue or other issues–because of the economic discussions that have broken out in the country and the efforts that different officials are making, in different ways, for the sake of achieving Islamic goals and ensuring the interests of the people and finally because of the issue of Islamophobia which is one of the common phenomena in the arrogant and western world, I deemed it necessary to discuss this matter with you: what we understand from all Quranic teachings is that Islam commands Muslims to create a perfect and complete Islamic government. Islam wants the complete implementation of Islam.”

The Supreme Leader said that “global bullies and arrogant individuals” are the “main opponents” of this.

“There is another holy ayah from Sura ash-Shura which is related to God’s command to Noah, Ibrahim, Musa and other prophets: ‘You should establish religion’ [The Holy Quran, 42: 13],” said the ayatollah. “What God wants is to establish religion, all of it: ‘And make no divisions therein. Hard to the unbelievers is that which you call them to. Allah chooses for Himself whom He pleases, and guides to Himself him who turns to Him, frequently.’[The Holy Quran, 42: 13].

“Allah calls for the establishment of the entire religion with all its parts and constituents,” said the supreme leader. “And the main opponents of this movement and outlook–that is to say, the establishment of religion with all its parts and constituents–are global bullies and arrogant individuals: ‘Hard to the unbelievers is that which you call them to.’ It is difficult for atheists to accept what you invite them to do.”

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Exporting the Islamic Revolution

Iran’s hegemonic model is being reproduced in Iraq, Syria and Yemen by setting up shop the same way Hezbollah did in Lebanon

Iranian soldiers chant anti-Israeli and anti-US slogans during a ceremony marking the 36th anniversary of the return of Ayatollah Khomeini on 1 February 2015 in Tehran. (AFP/Atta Kenare)

Tony Badran

At a rally last month on the occasion of the 36th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani gloated: “We are witnessing the export of the Islamic Revolution throughout the region. From Bahrain and Iraq to Syria, Yemen and North Africa.” Although the subject of the “export of the Islamic Revolution” is often discussed, it’s seldom properly defined and understood.

 

Most people tend to focus on the “Islamic” in “Islamic Revolution.” Thus, they look for the imposition of strict religious norms in society and for movement toward the establishment of an Islamic system of government. However, when Iranian officials speak of exporting the revolution, they have a more comprehensive model and specific structures in mind that they look to clone abroad. It’s these structures, now visible from Yemen to Lebanon, to which Soleimani was referring.

 

As the Iranian-backed Houthis marched on in Yemen, an Iranian site affiliated with the IRGC illustrated this point. It did so by laying out Abdul Malik al-Houthi’s plan for securing the victory of the “revolution” in Yemen. This strategy drew on critical elements of the Iranian revolutionary model. Namely, the Iranian site underscored the role of “popular committees” in “protecting the revolution” and “strengthening the foundations of security” by going after those who “act against the revolution.”

 

These “popular committees,” the function of which is to control the streets and help consolidate the nascent revolution, recall the various revolutionary instruments in Iran, like the “revolutionary committees,” but also the Basij paramilitary force. The latter organ, also known as the “people’s militia,” was formed in 1980 and is a hallmark of the Islamic Revolution. It is the template the Iranians are cloning in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen.

 

In remarks made last year, IRGC Brigadier General Hossein Hamedani stated that “by establishing the Basij, the third child of the revolution is being born in Iraq after it was mobilized in Syria and Lebanon.” Hamedani was referring to Iraq’s “Popular Mobilization Forces,” or hashd which is Arabic for basij. These units, which are led by Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis—perhaps Qassem Soleimani’s closest lieutenant in Iraq and the head of the Kataib Hezbollah militia—form the second parallel structure to the Iraqi Security Forces, next to the IRGC-banner, Hezbollah-style militias.

 

“Popular committees” were likewise established in Syria in 2012, as was the “Popular Army”—both instruments modeled directly after the Basij, as openly acknowledged by Iran. “We fundamentally believe in popular defense,” said the IRGC’s Hamedani. “When the people entered alongside the military in Syria, the situation turned in favor of the resistance.”

 

The juxtaposition of “the people”, “the military,” and “the resistance,” in that last sentence echoes the mantra of “the Army, the people, and the resistance,” which Hezbollah insists represents the foundation of security in Lebanon. “The people” in this equation represent, in reality, “popular mobilization,” that is: the Basij. So, in successfully imposing this equation, Hezbollah has in fact only erected a fundamental structure of the Islamic Revolution.

 

This exported model of revolutionary organs acting parallel to the regular military, and at the same time determining its operations, was of course first implemented and perfected in Lebanon with Hezbollah. Indeed, Ali Akbar Velayati, the foreign policy advisor to Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei, recently expressed to a Houthi delegation in Tehran his desire to see the Ansar Allah group “play a role similar to Hezbollah in Lebanon.” How so? By operating “alongside” the military. And this way, the army “sides with the people.”

 

This is the model that the revolutionary clique sought to clone abroad since the very birth of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. This is precisely how Hezbollah came to be—as an extension of revolutionary instruments that emerged in Iran between 1979-1981. These instruments were followed by others, such as the numerous Iranian cultural and economic institutions that were copied in Lebanon, such as Construction JihadNow, Construction Jihad is seemingly coming to Syria on the back of the Basij, as the IRGC’s Hamedani recently announced: “Construction Basij has been established in Syria.”

 

Soleimani’s boast, then, is not rhetorical. When he talks about exporting the Islamic Revolution, Soleimani is referring to a very specific template. It’s the template that the Khomeinist revolutionaries first set up in Lebanon 36 years ago by cloning the various instruments that were burgeoning in Iran as the Islamic revolutionary regime consolidated its power. As a result, Hezbollah remains the most comprehensive and developed export of the Iranian model. And it is in this sense that Hezbollah was and remains “the Islamic Revolution in Lebanon.” Now the Islamic revolutionary model is being reproduced in Iraq, Syria and Yemen as well, by setting up those same structures. The “Army, People (Basij), Resistance” formula is not a mere slogan. It’s an Iranian blueprint dating back to the birth of the Islamic Revolution. And that’s what’s now being copied across the region.

 

Tony Badran is a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He tweets @AcrossTheBay.

Iran Nuclear Threat Five Times Greater Than Previously Thought

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The Iranian regime could have five times more advanced centrifuges capable of producing nuclear weapons-grade uranium than previously thought, according to a report in The Sunday Times.

As world powers prepare for renewed talks with Iran over its nuclear program, and only two weeks before the November 24 deadline to reach a deal, the former deputy head of the International Atomic Energy Association told the paper that while Iran has admitted to possessing 1,008 advanced IR-2m centrifuges, the real number could be as high as 5,000.

Iran “could have up to 4,000 to 5,000 centrifuges or raw materials for them” in locations other than its two major nuclear plants in Natanz and Fordow, where international agencies have focused their attention, said Olli Heinonen.

He said any agreement between the P5+1 powers and Iran should include IAEA access to all other nuclear plants as well, arguing that any other arrangement would “make no sense.”

“They have manufactured 1000 IR-2m centrifuges that the IAEA is aware of and the negotiations with the US are going to focus only on the known 1000 IR-2m and 18,000 IR-1 and not the additional centrifuges,” he noted. IR-2m centrifuges are five times more powerful than the older IR-1 model.

“There are indications Iran has acquired carbon fibre, the key raw material for the advanced IR-2m centrifuges, to manufacture several thousand. The IAEA has seen 1000 of them in Natanz and the key question is: where are the rest?” asked Heinonen, a senior fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Centre for Science and International Affairs.

“It is important to have in this verification scheme an agreement that the IAEA can also verify all the centrifuges in Iran and not only those which are in Natanz or Fordow.

“And when I say all, I mean all the things that have been manufactured there — whether it’s in a warehouse, whether it’s in storage, whether it’s installed somewhere else.”

“Iran needs to comply and provide the IAEA with the information and access so that the IAEA can do it… if they don’t get this authority then I don’t think it will be a good agreement.”

The alarming news comes just two days after an IAEA report said Iran is failing to answer key questions over its nuclear program, further raising suspicions that the entire negotiations process is being used as a smokescreen to by Tehran more time to develop nuclear weapons capabilities.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says Iran is complying with an agreement to curb uranium enrichment, but also notes it has made no progress in its investigation into possible military dimensions of the program.

Despite assurances it is confident of reaching a deal on November 24, Iran, has been toughening its stance in recent weeks. Araqchi recently said he sees no prospect for a deal unless the other side abandons its “illogical excessive demands”.

A senior Iranian official followed those comments by declaring that Iran will demand that all Western sanctions be lifted as part of a final deal, rejecting an American proposal of a gradual lifting of sanctions.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday that the negotiations would get more difficult if the November 24 deadline were missed, and the powers were not – for now – weighing any extension to the talks.

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