Revolutionary Guards on Sanctions and Islamophobia

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The IRGC affiliated weekly Sobh-e Sadeq carries an article which addresses the issue of sanctions during the Iran-Iraq war. The op-ed begins, “The new intensification of sanctions which in fact is an economic war, has similarities with the eight year “sacred defence” [the official term used to refer to the 8 year conflict with Iraq]. The enemies’ goals and cowardly methods are identifiable in any period and in our confrontation with them it is possible to benefit from those valuable experiences. In the same way the Islamic Republic resisted in the face of a war on all sides while under sanctions, and which increased inequalities, it is today able to face the enemy and neutralize the economic war through reliance on the “resistance economy” [Supreme Leader Khamenei has called on the government and country to forge a “resistance economy” in the face of Western-led sanctions].

The article then goes on to enumerate the factors which allowed Iran to fight against the Ba’athist regime of Saddam Hussein while also under the pressure of sanctions. These included nimble and brave commanders and managers, the use of native excellence, the domestic production of armaments, including missiles and mortars, trust in “insider forces”, the circumvention of sanctions, and “wariness of the influence of traitors”.

The front page of Sobh-e Sadeq also features an article by the influential IRGC commander Yadollah Javani entitled “The Strategy for Confrontation with Islamophobia”. Javani, who is one of Supreme Leader Khamenei’s advisers in the IRGC, argues that “with a brief look over the last three decades it can be well seen that these kinds of insulting actions are undertaken on the basis of a set politics. The publication of the “Satanic Verses” and the widespread support of Western governments and the Zionists of this book, the publication of the insulting caricatures from a Danish caricaturist and the support of European governments of this caricaturist and now the making of this insulting film to the sacred Prophet in America shows that behind the scenes of this behaviour, are the control rooms of the imperious regime ”.

He continued by stating that “the Islamic world must now reach this understanding that to end the West’s Islamophobia, the only route is confrontation with the ringleaders in the White House and their other allies. Combatting the western world must be done intelligently. In the face of all this impudence, audacity and insults to the sanctities of Islam, a couple of marches, gatherings and the issuing of condemnatory statements, must never be thought sufficient…imagine if the same sense of honour which these days is being seen in the Islamic community, which was absent amongst the rulers of Islamic countries…closed the oil valves for only a couple of days, what would happen to the Westerners?”

Javani earlier this month also said former President Mohammad Khatami, sought to overthrow the regime, and cannot run in the 2013 presidential election.

The head of Iran’s armed forces, Commander Hassan Firuzabadi, while at a military rally on the anniversary of the beginning of Iran-Iraq war, held close to the shrine of the Islamic Republic’s founder, Ayatollah Khomeini, has stated that “Iran’s armed forces do not have any military presence in any one of the countries, and if it wants such a presence it must take place on the basis of international regulations and agreements.”

In reaction to recent U.S.-led war games in the Persian Gulf, the General stated “this manoeuvre doesn’t create a threat for us”.

When asked about Iran’s response to an American attack Firuzabadi replied, “know that the reply to diplomacy is diplomacy, the reply to war is war”.

He added finally, “the language of Iran is the language of Islam, the Koran and wisdom and the American’s can’t understand our language, just as in the last 31 years they couldn’t understand the language of the Islamic Republic.”

In other news

President Ahmadinejad at a ceremony marking the start of the Iran-Iraq war, has finally commented on the controversial film, “The Innocence of Muslims”, which has sparked outrage across the Muslim world. He said, “this issue is an indicator of their deceitfulness. The uncultured Zionists plan dissension in order to save themselves, and has created tribal and religious conflicts, and the rulers of the domineering regime submits to them, and justifies the wicked actions of the Zionists”.

The office of the Chief Inspectorate of the Country, Mostafa Pourmohammadi, has denied  he will be competing in the 2013 presidential race.

The head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Agency, Feridun Abbasi, has said in the event of a probable attack against Iranian nuclear installations, the IAEA will be held responsible. Abbasi alleged that the IAEA has repeatedly revealed information pertaining to Iran’s nuclear facilities to other states prior to their release at the IAEA General Conference.