SHAFAQNA – On January 8, 2017 Iran lost one of its foremost revolutionaries and clerics, a man whose lifework and dedication to his people allowed for the thick imprint of imperialism to be lifted and dignity restored upon a nation. With the passing of Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, it is a son, a brother and a father Iran mourns.
However great and meaningful his imprint may have been on Iran’s political life, however deep his friendships and loyalty to Iran’s Islamic Revolution may have run, his death should not be understood as a great shaking, or a sign that Tehran is in fact breathing its last. Those arguments are that of western nations so that they could weave a new narrative of war in the region, and paint righteous defiance as a plague to be annihilated under the boot of covert imperialism.
There is an interesting irony in arguing Iran’s decline when in fact it is the explosion of western imperialism we are witnessing in the Greater Middle East. If any model of governance is in fact at risk of being disappeared it is not Resistance but Globalism – as architected by neocons.
But then again it is most likely because the Establishment feels threatened, and very much cornered that War has become the only cry worth uttering, promoting and rationalising. The West needs its wars if it is to avoid socio-political implosion.
The West needs to absolutely exist in opposition and negation of an enemy if it is to feed its pyramidal system and distract from those injustices its elite impose on the populace. It is fear today that drives western capitals – not as they claim, out of a sense of democratic duty. Nations need not be told how to define their political future; especially when it equates to enslavement and economic capitulation.
And so the West has projected its own shortcomings and insecurities onto others, failing to comprehend the nature of Iran’s stand and belief system.
Iran’s Islamic Revolution it needs to be said is more than just a political movement, or even a rejection of imperialism. Iran’s Revolution is rooted in the belief that for people to stand free, they need to do so under an Islamic system of governance – that, which the Prophet Muhammad put forth and that his progeny carried.
Iran’s Islamic Republic is the enactment of a belief system: Wilayat al-faqih also known as the governance of the jurist, that exists outside the temporal to assert a divine model of governance that asserts, guarantees and protects people and communities’ individual rights within the limits of common good, without compromising on such principles as Justice and Freedom.
Whether western powers care to admit or not, whether even they fathom it or not, Iran’s Islamic Republic sits stronger than any one man, regardless of stature, charisma or traction. It is truly fascinating to see just how dismissive western capitals, and one may add, the world in general, have been of Iran’s political model on the basis that they do not understand its premise.
Maybe it is time for world powers to get off their high horses and meet those men, those clerics and jurists who, long ago, recognised the liberation offered by Islam when embraced in its entirety. And though Iran’s model of governance may not appeal to all – such is nations’ prerogative, it nevertheless offers an interesting philosophical approach to the very western institutional monopoly the world learnt to accept as the cornerstone of political governance: separation of powers.
The death of a cleric today has been exploited as a soft weapon of propaganda to together denigrate Iran’s standing in the Greater Middle Eastern region, and argue pre-emptive belligerence on account Tehran rose an enemy to Democracy.
It is likely you read how isolated and divided Iran finds itself following Ayatollah Rafsanjani’s passing, or how a nation awaits in anxiety as political grievances have been laid bare. Once again, the West is portraying Iran as a binary construct: hardliners versus moderates, failing to comprehend that what it sees as tensions are merely the expression of pluralism.
“His [Ayatollah Rafsanjani] death ahead of May’s presidential elections is a blow to moderate president Hassan Rouhani who allied himself with Rafsanjani to win the 2013 election and went on to resolve Iran’s long standoff with the West on the nuclear program,” read a report in the Huffington Post earlier in January.
Abbas Milani, director of the Iranian Studies program at Stanford University, said his death could not have come at a worse time, as President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take office.
“With what is happening in the U.S. and the possible instability that is going to come in U.S. policy you needed a voice of reason and pragmatism that had some heft to it. He was that voice.”
“Losing that voice is going to make it more likely that any mishap or miscalculation by the Trump team will beget a more unreasonable, more radical, more potentially destructive response by the Iranian regime,” he added.
This particular set up would imply that President Hassan Rouhani lives in opposition and defiance of Iran’s Leadership – Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. This set up would imply a fracture in between Iran’s religious leadership and its political elite.
This is not how Iran functions. There is no line of demarcation in between the governance of the jurist and those men and women entrusted with the administration of the republic’s daily affairs. Iran’s Leadership provisions, guards and preserves both the integrity of the state and its obedience to that which God dictated.
Whatever upheaval there may be, exists only in the mind of neocons.
We ought to realise that neocons are really only exploiting the death of one of Iran’s Islamic Republic’s forefathers to sell war as the only rationale to be had. The nuclear deal here is but an excuse to invoke conflict under the cover of peace and national security.
By Catherine Shakdam – Director of Programs for the Shafaqna Institute of Middle Eastern Studies
This article appeared first in Crescent International