The Trigger and The Powder Keg: Riots in Iran
Disclaimer from WSF: The views of the author as expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of World Shia Forum or any of its managers or bloggers. Much raucous was raised by U.S. ambassador to U.N., Nikki Haley (Tuesday January 3rd, 2018) as she called for emergency Security Council meeting over […]
Disclaimer from WSF: The views of the author as expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of World Shia Forum or any of its managers or bloggers.
Much raucous was raised by U.S. ambassador to U.N., Nikki Haley (Tuesday January 3rd, 2018) as she called for emergency Security Council meeting over riots in Iran. U.S. President Trump had earlier and prior to the riots warned Iranian leaders, in particular Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, under guise of protecting rights of the protestors; at a time when there was massive pro-revolution rallies across the country.
Trump’s anticipation of the riots and Nikki Haley’s rapid response to a few small riots, trying to make it an urgent international issue, for the purpose of imposing sanctions and/or waging war with Iran, indicates U.S. and foreign intelligence involvement in the matter of riots in Iran.
Books such as “World as Laboratory: Experiments with Mice, Mazes, and Men” indicate how experiments to control human behavior as rats was begun from beginning of the twentieth century. The internet, with all its benefits, has pushed the experiment and the project to a global level. And, it seems the best antidote to this “rat race” phenomenon is Faith and the Spirit that makes us Human.
Earlier in the year, New York Times had reported that a “Dark Prince” had been appointed to head the CIA alongside creation of special operations room at the Capitol for regime change operations in Iran. This time it was going to be the real thing. The “Dark Prince,” also called by a whole host of other strange names, was promoted as the real guy with a real plan that was supposed to get the “thing” finally done; i.e. regime change in Iran.
Thus, these riots must be deemed as part and parcel of regime change operations in Iran. An operation that has come to face defeat, as it failed to hook the protesters with the rioters. Currently, the spectacle at the U.N.S.C. has been naught but to spread the delusion that there are still riots going on in Iran or that the riots were massive and that authorities killed protesters (not the terrorists they shipped in); all in hopes that the delusions become an illusion for the masses, which through agreement and social contract be turned into reality.
A prospect that most likely will backfire, as failed “Green revolution” fired back and launched the “Arab Spring.” Imperialism was able to hijack the “Arab Spring,” in Libya and export to Syria. However, there may be no such luck this time, as the defeat in Syria of U.S. backed terrorist forces and lackluster riots in Iran indicate, forces of counter-revolution are greatly weakened.
These regime change schemes and the wars waged and/or whipped up by Western imperialism are all a counter-revolutionary attempts against the 1979 revolution in Iran that culminated in the establishment of the Islamic Republic. And, although the counter-revolutionary attempts against the Islamic Revolution have increased in intensity and scope, since the false-flag operations of September 11th, Iran has never been stronger in last couple of centuries in its struggle against colonialism and imperialism; thanks to a state of permanent revolution that has been going on in Iran, since the victory of the Islamic Revolution, in 1979.
After World War One, we had the October revolution. After World War Two, we had myriad anti-colonial revolutions. After Vietnam, we had the Iranian revolution. Thus, it would seem that revolution(s) are to be expected, especially considering the scope and longevity of the current duplicitous never-ending “war on terror.” A war that became intermingled with revolution via a languishing “Arab Spring.” In the end, revolution is the ultimate answer to war, especially unjust wars.
From “waterboarding” to drowning out of war, it may be worthwhile to see how massive an operation this regime change operation has been in Iran. Then, we can appreciate how its rapid and sudden dissolution is the whirlpool that is going to flush out this supposed “war on terror.”
For one, the riots were small and seem to have been triggers for a greater operation that was based on the economic “powder keg” that the neoliberal government (and most likely, along with other corrupt elements in Iranian Parliament and Judiciary) had cooked up.
These prematurely executed riots and failed regime change operations, can be traced back to JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action). In Iran JCPOA is nicknamed BARJAM, which rhymes with “farjam,” which means the great successful ending, or the great achievement (Persian being a very poetic and meaningful language).
JCPOA was pushed through by mercantile capitalist class of Iran, who have traditionally operated primarily on imports, not production. JCPOA has been a sublimation of Iranian national sovereignty, mainly for the sake of this mercantile class that felt helpless without the access to utilize SWIFT, i.e. international money exchange system.
China and Russia, facing sanctions, have created their own “SWIFT” systems. However, no such industrial ingenuity could yet be detected from the mercantile class, in Iran, as they prefer to wait for SWIFT to open up for their lackadaisical dealings. However, since SWIFT was to remain closed to Iran after JCPOA, rather than open as promised, it can explain why Obama administration handed over some of the owed monies in cash. The recent riots in Iran make clear that Obama was not being benevolent with Iran, but scheming.
As the Rohani government, representing the neoliberal policies of the mercantile class, traded down Iran’s indigenous nuclear technology for dumbfounded access to SWIFT, a government preference for imports was instituted, which led to closing of many small and large scale industries, in Iran.
The neoliberal policies of Rohani government, which were begun with the Rafsanjani era, has also kicked into full gear the “Hollywoodization” of Iran promoting consumer society, via the arts and entertainment apparatus, with an Islamic flare.
Thus, with the allure of consumerism, the Iranian people were duped like a child, as with a candy (or promise of one), to give away their most advanced technological achievement; that was their nuclear technology. However, in light of recent riots, the question for the Islamic Revolution is how reliable the mercantile class and its selected neoliberal policies are or can be.
Will there be a clash with this mercantile class, as there are hints of? Or, will ingenuity of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution prove facile again and preserve social unity and cohesion?
Nevertheless, changes in relation of national bourgeoisie and religious clergy should be expected. One has to sublimate the other. Perhaps, the actions of the Saudi regime and most of the “Arab” world has generated enough apathy in Islamic Revolution, so as to give up on the whole notion of Islamic unity.
However, the clergy allied with the Supreme Leader has already declared rights of people to protest (but not riot), and standing for workers and farmers rights. For now, it is the anti-imperialist clergy that are beginning to champion and perhaps lead the workers and farmers against neoliberal policies, as Iran continues to have a vibrant and dynamic political life.
The political life in Iran baffles many, in the West, especially with all the demonization and mischaracterization. However, I think as a primer, it is important to note that the primary divide in Iranian State is the division of spirit over matter. Imam Khomeini, the late leader of the revolution and founder of the Islamic Republic, helped preserve social cohesion in what has always been a multinational country; whence the thousands year old monarchy was overthrown. The Supreme Leader stands as the spiritual mediator and guide, while the the three branches of the government deal with the material.
As the material may become corrupt, the spiritual remains aloof of corruption, mediating between various branches of government when necessary. There is a whole system of elections and checks and balances for both halves of the State, dealing with the spiritual purity and material dealings. As an individual, each person has their own connection with God, as they wish, however the ultimate arbiter for the myriad points of view and prevailing of social/spiritual norms is the Leader, who in essence has the power of “ijtihad,” i.e. to interpret and adapt Islamic law, a facet that was closed in Islamic world for over a millennia, until advent of the Islamic Revolution.
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution is leader of the Islamic Ummah, insofar as the people are willing to listen. The Leadership has been decisive in guiding the ship of revolution in the tumultuous sea, where imperialism lays various schemes to subjugate a people and nation. The State has survived many crisis, worse than that which brought down the government of Mossadegh, via CIA engineered and backed coup of 1953. Thus, the Leadership of the Revolution remains target of imperialism.
Today, there is rampant corruption in the three branches of the government. And, corruption has proven to be the way Imperialism rules globally, including the United States of America. The material desires beckon, as the spiritual remain steadfast. The Leadership has navigated the ship of the revolution through many a storm. However, the neoliberal policies instituted by Rafsanjani and taken to new heights that prepared the groundswell for the recent riots is a threshold that may be putting unity of the two halves of the State, into question, at least for while, as the Iranian society navigates and matures out of this crisis.
The “powder kegs” prepared via neoliberal policies, i.e. economic/financial discords did not ignite this time, via a seemingly CIA engineered trigger, the riots; however, it does not mean that this situation of ‘luck’ and/or providence shall prevail forever, if proper measure is not taken. It seems the Leader of the Islamic Revolution foresaw this, as he has given myriad warnings to people and government. Once, while JCPOA was being negotiated and after, calling for a resistance economy.
The Leaders advice has gone heedless by the government, as like kids who like to play and learn not but by experience, no matter how many times a warning is given. The allure and deception of the material world is great. Nevertheless, there is great commotion now, and a new chapter in class struggle has inevitably opened. To see how the Leader of the Islamic Revolution is going to navigate the ship of the revolution through these waters, without getting shipwrecked, shall be very interesting.
Imperialism must be betting on a shipwreck. However, the Shia have been sailing the Ship of Imam Hussain, struggling for Justice with Love, since the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, back in 680 A.D. (61 Hijri). His martyrdom led to the downfall of the Umayyad dynasty. And, the ship has continued to grow in size, where today it holds the heartland of Islam.
The Friday Prayers speakers, selected by the Leader, have come out this Friday speaking in defense of the protesters who condemned inflation and other economic matters, declaring them as righteous, while condemning the foreign backed rioters. As is, it has been announced that the clergy stands with workers and farmers, and the government is obliged to answer the questions and requests of the people.
The great aim, of the Islamic Republic, is to bring together the spiritual and the material together inasmuch as possible. This outlook makes the State and people to strive for their constant self and social betterment. Thus, this standoff between the spirit and the material, should not get anyone excited about the downfall of the Islamic establishment.
Because, Shiism believes in reason and rationality of everything, it should be expected that the two sides (material and spiritual) be able to resolve their differences and find a higher order out of the chaos. For now, it seems the foreign instigated riots have diminished and died down, as fast as they started. However, things are not like they were before. Ministers, are interviewed, in succession on television shows. And, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution has not spoken yet, but state on the day after the riots that in due time, he will address the matter.
For now, the ministers and officials are all trying to explain and justify their actions. After which the Leaders speech shall be of paramount importance. With the Friday sermon speakers coming out in defence of workers and farmers, naming them specifically, as a class, is a sign that the Islamic Revolution is at another turning point. Perhaps the CIA and Western imperialism is going to get something more than it bargained for, via instigating the trigger, that was the riots.
The Islamic Revolution in Iran is a new historic phenomenon with novel philosophic outlook (unknown to the West). The Revolution has faced counter-revolution from beginning, as with Saddam’s imposition of war on Iran, on behalf of the super-powers. The Islamic Republic remained steadfast to a foreign policy of “neither Western, nor Eastern, only the Islamic Republic,” standing with other anti-colonial and anti-imperialist movements, as a newborn independent multinational country.
Survival of the Islamic Revolution, for close to forty years, is itself a testimonial to God. The rigor, self-sacrifice, wisdom, and Faith of the Iranian people bears many lessons for all revolutionaries in the world; painted as “evil” by imperialist media in the West.
Iran is not a Marxist nor a Socialist country, but when the issue of economic justice arises, it will make the most of it, in lockstep with the rest of the world – for it has been proven that economic justice can not be begun in the “underdeveloped” world, as Russian and Chinese experiences have proven.
As is, the detour of history is over. The Socialist revolution knocks at Europe’s doors, just as Marx predicted it would, before it was shipped out, via World War One, by imperialist financial elites.
Thus, the Iranian revolution must not be measured by yardstick of Socialism, as has become customary in “Marxist” circles in the West, but by the progress and strength it has been able to muster against imperialism, which seeks global sublimation. The best the Left can hope for at this juncture from the Islamic Revolution is that the national bourgeoisie becomes sublimated to Revolutionary Islam that is in struggle against both colonialism and Western Imperialism.
Miraculously, Iran has come out stronger out of every crisis. Today, Iran stands, again, as a regional power; not as a lackey of the United States (as the Shah was), but as the most independent republic in the world.
Iran’s revolutionary thesis and necessity is that without God and recognition of the human soul/spirit, “humanity” would be an empty shell; mere matter to be replaced by machine. Iranian poetry, inspired by Islam for over a millenia is the voice of spiritual Man, echoing the ‘sound’ of God, inspired by Islam and the Quran.
It is this spiritual strength that has given the Iranian people the God given glory to stand in face of the most barbaric war machine in history, bravely forfeiting a nuclear defense. If humanity continues to demonize the Islamic Republic of Iran, it will do so at its own peril, for there will be no one left to save the day, as ‘humanity’ self-destructs.
For now, Muslim Ummah needs to awaken to the reality that without the Iranian (Persian) empire, there would never have been an Islamic empire. And, that Iranian contributions to Islam have been so great that in the post-Mongol period, Persian was the lingua franca of practically all Islamic empires: Mughal, Safavid, Qajar, Ottoman.
True Islam can save Muslims from being used as imperialism’s lab rats. Some Muslims have been used duly, in such manner, as events in Libya and Syria have demonstrated. Saudi-Wahhabism is an imperialist project for such sociological and psychological manipulations of the Islamic Ummah. If the Arab and Islamic world does not put aside its brainwashed prejudices against Shiism and/or Iran (deeming them inclusive), the “Islamic” Ummah may become a foregone conclusion.
Iran, as a country, has overcome all conquerors, from inception; taking and incorporating any and all the conquerors had. Iran was introduced to Islam by the sword, and today Islam is no longer an “Arab” thing, but led by Iranians. Iran being today composed of Arab, Turkic, and Persian peoples.
And, in closing, I would have the following words of advice for the Iranian State, even though they may well prove to be more ingenious:
- At this juncture, it has been proven that Iran can not move forward utilizing cheap labor, like the Chinese, but that has to utilize the most advanced technology, the development of which Iranians have proven to be very adept and capable of. The State must step in for such endeavors and change monetary system from loan basis to grant basis (no usury, no credit, no limit, but reason and truth).
- Duplicating the Federal Reserve based, American model, as the Iranian national bourgeoisie has done, so far, is no salvation for Iran, as it is in demise, even in America. Shifting organizational drive away from profit, to non-profit, would be more befitting for Islamic/spiritual ambitions, else Social Darwinism would mark the end of the Islamic revolution.
- And, advanced technology does not begin nor end with digital and/or knowledge based technologies, but that it must include all sciences and industries (including nuclear physics) that have been turned into consumer product importation and/or assembly, under current regime.
By: Faramak Zahraie
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