Iran's View » ISIS http://www.iransview.com The Persian Prespective Mon, 16 Oct 2017 21:56:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.20 ISIS Confirms Death of Group Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadihttp://www.iransview.com/isis-confirms-death-of-group-leader-abu-bakr-al-baghdadi/1760/ http://www.iransview.com/isis-confirms-death-of-group-leader-abu-bakr-al-baghdadi/1760/#comments Tue, 11 Jul 2017 08:40:57 +0000 http://www.iransview.com/?p=1760 ISIS terrorist group confirmed the group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead, Iraq's Al Sumaria TV channel reports.

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ISIS terrorist group confirmed the group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead, Iraq’s Al Sumaria TV channel reports.

According to Al Sumaria TV  ISIS announced the death of its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a very brief statement on Tuesday. The statement explains the new successor of Baghdadi would be declared “very soon” and urged its militants to continue “stability in the strongholds”.

Last month Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has confirmed that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the “Islamic State” (IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh) terrorist group, has been killed.

“The death of this terrorist [Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi] is certain,” said Ali Shirazi, a representative of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei at the IRGC’s elite Quds Force.

The Russian military also said in June that it may have killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in an airstrike in Syria in late May.

The Quds Force, which is an elite overseas operations arm of the IRGC, has reportedly been involved in the fight against ISIS in Syria and Iraq since the terrorist group began war against Baghdad and Damascus. Recently Iraq could defeat ISIS in Mosul in close cooperation with Iranian IRGC. 

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Iran Missiles Strike Killed 65 ISIS Terrorists in Syria: IRGChttp://www.iransview.com/iran-missiles-strike-killed-65-isis-terrorists-in-syria-irgc/1743/ http://www.iransview.com/iran-missiles-strike-killed-65-isis-terrorists-in-syria-irgc/1743/#comments Tue, 20 Jun 2017 13:11:17 +0000 http://www.iransview.com/?p=1743 At least 65 ISIS terrorists, including several high-ranking intelligence commanders, were killed in Iran’s recent missile attack against the Takfiri group’s targets in eastern Syria, according to a statement by Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC). Four ISIS positions were struck in the missile attack and Saudi, Kazakh and Afghan nationals among the terrorists killed in Iranian […]

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At least 65 ISIS terrorists, including several high-ranking intelligence commanders, were killed in Iran’s recent missile attack against the Takfiri group’s targets in eastern Syria, according to a statement by Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).
Four ISIS positions were struck in the missile attack and Saudi, Kazakh and Afghan nationals among the terrorists killed in Iranian missile strike.
The IRGC fired six medium-range ground-to-ground ballistic missiles into ISIS bases in Syria’s Deir Ezzor on Sunday in retaliation for twin terrorist attacks in the Iranian capital Tehran, which killed 17 people and injured over 50 others.
A Daesh weapons and munitions cache in northern Deir Ezzor was “precisely struck and completely annihilated,” the statement said, adding that several tanks, military vehicles and suicide cars and a huge number of long-range missiles were destroyed. It added that six ISIS terrorists were killed and 10 injured in the attack.

 ‘The enemy cannot slap us, we’ll slap them!’ only a few hours after Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued the warning to Iran’s enemies during a meeting with families of Iranians martyred in Syria, Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) launched 6 missile strikes at ISIL command centers in Syria’s Deir Ezzor in retaliation for the June 7 twin terrorist attacks in Tehran on Sunday. 

Missiles fired by Iran to the ISIS reportedly were of Zulfiqar type with a range of 750 km (466-mile). While Israel remains outside this range, Iran’s Shahhab ballistic missiles can reach the regime occupying Palestine. (The missile is named for the sword which the Prophet Muhammad gave to the Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib ahead of the 625 AD Battle of Uhud).
This became Iran’s first operational use of its missile arsenal since Iran- Iraq war while the US has increased its pressure on Iran to limit the country’s missile program.

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Deir Ezzor province is located in Syria’s border with Iraq on the shores of the Euphrates River. Subsequent to the defeat of the terrorists in Aleppo, leading to losing a key base in north-west of Syria, a huge number of terrorists relocated to Deir Ezzor in the west and the surrounding areas. Moreover, a great number of the terrorists having fled to Syria in the wake of the defeat in Mosul are operating in this region for the time being. 

 

 

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Why Iran Targets ISIS Positions in Syria’s Deir Ezzor?http://www.iransview.com/why-iran-targets-isis-positions-in-syrias-deir-ezzur/1729/ http://www.iransview.com/why-iran-targets-isis-positions-in-syrias-deir-ezzur/1729/#comments Sun, 18 Jun 2017 21:47:05 +0000 http://www.iransview.com/?p=1729 Early reports indicate full-fledged success as all Iranian missiles hit the predetermined targets; A large number of terrorists have been killed and their equipment and weapons destroyed.

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Tehran– ‘The enemy cannot slap us, we’ll slap them!’ only a few hours after Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued the warning to Iran’s enemies during a meeting with families of Iranians martyred in Syria, Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) launched 6 missile strikes at ISIL command centers in Syria’s Deir Ezzor in retaliation for the June 7 twin terrorist attacks in Tehran on Sunday. 

Early reports indicate full-fledged success as all Iranian missiles hit the predetermined targets; A large number of terrorists have been killed and their equipment and weapons destroyed.

Missiles fired by Iran to the ISIS reportedly were of Zulfiqar type with a range of 750 km (466-mile). While Israel remains outside this range, Iran’s Shahhab ballistic missiles can reach the regime occupying Palestine. (The missile is named for the sword which the Prophet Muhammad gave to the Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib ahead of the 625 AD Battle of Uhud).
This became Iran’s first operational use of its missile arsenal since Iran- Iraq war while the US has increased its pressure on Iran to limit the country’s missile program.

Hours before the missile strike, Iran Army’s Rapid Reaction Force were deployed to the western border areas of the country. Simultaneously, Iraqi People Mobilization Army, Hashd al-Shaabi, who fight ISIS are entering Deir Ezzor in Syria so they can help Syrian Army in liberating the important border area.

Deir Ezzor province is located in Syria’s border with Iraq on the shores of the Euphrates River. Subsequent to the defeat of the terrorists in Aleppo, leading to losing a key base in north-west of Syria, a huge number of terrorists relocated to Deir Ezzor in the west and the surrounding areas. Moreover, a great number of the terrorists having fled to Syria in the wake of the defeat in Mosul are operating in this region for the time being. 

Regarding the large number of terrorists in Deir Ezzor, their command centers as well as operations and logistical centers are located in this province in Syria.

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Iran Launches Missile Strikes Targeting IS in Syria (Video)http://www.iransview.com/iran-launches-missile-strikes-targeting-is-in-syria/1718/ http://www.iransview.com/iran-launches-missile-strikes-targeting-is-in-syria/1718/#comments Sun, 18 Jun 2017 19:50:02 +0000 http://www.iransview.com/?p=1718 IRGC launched multiple missile strikes at ISIL centers in Syria's Deir Ezzur in retaliation for the June 7 twin terrorist attacks in Tehran, the IRGC said in a statement issued on Sunday, adding that the mid-range missiles were fire from bases in Western Iran.

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Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) launched multiple missile strikes at ISIL command centers in Syria’s Deir Ezzor in retaliation for the June 7 twin terrorist attacks in Tehran, the IRGC said in a statement issued on Sunday, adding that the mid-range missiles were fire from bases in Western Iran.

Early reports indicate full-fledged success as all Iranian missiles hit the predetermined targets; A large number of terrorists have been killed and their equipment and weapons destroyed following the missile attacks launched by the IRGC from bases in Iran’s western provinces of Kermanshah and Kurdestan.

“The Takfiri terrorists’ command center, concentration points and logistical centers used for assembling cars for suicide attacks in Deir Ezzor region in Eastern Syria came under attack by the IRGC moments ago in a move to punish the terrorists for the twin attacks on the Iranian parliament and the holy shrine of the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini, on June 7,” the statement issued by the IRGC Public Relations Office said late this evening.

The IRGC said in the statement that the ‘crushing’ blow was in retaliation for the recent ISIS terrorist attacks on Tehran, which claimed the lives of at least 17 people and wounded over 45.

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps also warned all Takfiri terrorists as well as their regional and ultra-regional supporters that they would receive even more devastating responses if they repeat their ‘satanic’ moves against Iran.

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Iran Guards Blames Saudi, Pledges Revenge for Tehran Attackshttp://www.iransview.com/iran-revolutionary-guards-blames-saudi-pledges-revenge-for-tehran-attacks/1704/ http://www.iransview.com/iran-revolutionary-guards-blames-saudi-pledges-revenge-for-tehran-attacks/1704/#comments Wed, 07 Jun 2017 15:32:35 +0000 http://www.iransview.com/?p=1704 Hinting Saudi was behind the event in which at least 12 people were killed, the IRGC statement says Tehran attacks, only a week after US U.S. president’s visit of Saudi Arabia is “meaningful”.

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Iranian Security Forces targeting terrorists in the parliament.

Iranian Security Forces targeting terrorists in the parliament.

Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps condemned Tehran terrorist attacks on Wednesday in a statement and pledged retaliation for the attack.

Hinting Saudi was behind the event in which at least 12 people were killed, the IRGC statement says Tehran attacks, only a week after US U.S. president’s visit of Saudi Arabia is “meaningful”.

“This terrorist attack happened only a week after the meeting between the U.S. president (Donald Trump) and the (Saudi) backward leaders who support terrorists. The fact that Islamic State has claimed responsibility proves that they were involved in the brutal attack,” said the statement.

Brigadier General Hossein Salami, IRGC deputy commander also promised retaliation for the attack. “Let there be no doubt that we will take revenge for today’s attacks in Tehran, on terrorists, their affiliates and their supporters,” he said, as cited by the news agency Mehr.

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Saudi Minister Refuses to Condemn Tehran Shootingshttp://www.iransview.com/saudi-minister-refuses-to-condemn-tehran-shootings/1702/ http://www.iransview.com/saudi-minister-refuses-to-condemn-tehran-shootings/1702/#comments Wed, 07 Jun 2017 14:19:53 +0000 http://www.iransview.com/?p=1702 As countries of the world including Iran’s neighboring states are condemning today’s terrorist attacks in Tehran, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs refused to condemn the event. Adel Al-Jubeir was speaking in a joint press conference with his German counterpart in Berlin when he skipped a question asked by a reporter on terrorist attacks carried out […]

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Tehran Attacks

As countries of the world including Iran’s neighboring states are condemning today’s terrorist attacks in Tehran, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs refused to condemn the event. Adel Al-Jubeir was speaking in a joint press conference with his German counterpart in Berlin when he skipped a question asked by a reporter on terrorist attacks carried out in Tehran and asked for the next question.

Saudi Minister also threatened Iran few hours before the attacks carried out by terrorists in Tehran. Adel Jubeir said Iran must be punished for its interference in the region and support for terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda, Al Arabiya News Channel reported him as saying early Wednesday.

Although ISIS has taken the responsibility of Tehran terror attack, security experts and analysts in Tehran believe that Saudi is behind the attacks. A security source told Iran’s View that evidences show Saudi Arabia’s intelligence entities directly working along with the MKO agents in carrying out the terror attacks. Jihadi militias controlled by Saudi Arabia have been making connections with the MKO for almost a year now.

Earlier in May Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman al-Saud, the kingdom’s defense minister talked of his country’s efforts to take the battle inside Iran.

“We know that the aim of the Iranian regime is to reach the focal point of Muslims [Mecca] and we will not wait until the fight is inside Saudi Arabia and we will work so that the battle is on their side, inside Iran, not in Saudi Arabia,”he said.

In meantime Qatar that is accused by Saudi Arabia of siding with Iran has condemned the attacks. The State of Qatar has condemned and denounced the two attacks which took place in Iranian capital Tehran and left many more than 50 killed and injured.

The country’s Foreign Ministry stated Qatar’s firm stance against violence and its rejection of criminal acts, expressing condolences to the government and people of Iran and to the families of the victims.

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Iran Attacks: MKO, Saudi behind Parliament, Khomeini Shrine Shootingshttp://www.iransview.com/iran-attacks-mko-saudi-behind-parliament-khomeini-shrine-shootings/1688/ http://www.iransview.com/iran-attacks-mko-saudi-behind-parliament-khomeini-shrine-shootings/1688/#comments Wed, 07 Jun 2017 10:04:56 +0000 http://www.iransview.com/?p=1688 On Wednesday, two groups of armed men stormed the Iranian parliament building in central Tehran and Imam Khomeini Shrine in the southern Tehran outskirt. There are conflicting reports on the number of casualties but some unofficial sources have announced 9 security forces and civilians dead in parliament shootings. The assailants armed with two AK-47 and […]

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On Wednesday, two groups of armed men stormed the Iranian parliament building in central Tehran and Imam Khomeini Shrine in the southern Tehran outskirt.

There are conflicting reports on the number of casualties but some unofficial sources have announced 9 security forces and civilians dead in parliament shootings.

The assailants armed with two AK-47 and a handgun are still said to be inside the Parliament. It has been reported that a suicide bomber blew himself up in the parliament building.

Iranian security officer is seen inside the Parliament building.

Iranian security officer is seen inside the Parliament building.

In the other attack, three gunmen opened fire at the Mausoleum of Imam Khomeini, the founder of Islamic Republic, in southern Tehran wounding a number of people and killing one. According to Ilna, one of the assailants has been arrested, one has killed himself by taking cyanide, and the third detonated her vest. A suicide bomber’s vest found around the mausoleum has also been deactivated.

One of the terrorists  blew himself up in the Imam Khomeini shrine.

One of the terrorists blew himself up in the Imam Khomeini shrine.

Security forces have now surrounded the two sites of the terror attacks and the situation is said to be under control, with normal traffic reported in other streets of the city.

Although ISIS has reportedly taken the responsibility of Tehran terror attack, security experts and analysts in Tehran believe the attack are carried out in a way similar to MKO’s former terrorist operations. A security source told Iran’s View that evidences show Saudi Arbia’s intelligence entities directly working along with the MKO agents in carrying out the terror attacks. Jihadi militias controlled by Saudi Arabia have been making connections with the MKO for almost a year now.

Security forces could arrest alive one of the terrorists who attempted to kill herself with cyanide. Unlike Daesh, the MKO typically uses women in carrying out its terrorist operations.

Security observers in Tehran say the terrorists have planned for other attacks as well. Security forces are fully prepared to counter any other possible attack.

Earlier in May Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman al-Saud, the kingdom’s defense minister talked of his country’s efforts to take the battle inside Iran.

“We know that the aim of the Iranian regime is to reach the focal point of Muslims [Mecca] and we will not wait until the fight is inside Saudi Arabia and we will work so that the battle is on their side, inside Iran, not in Saudi Arabia,”he said.

In 2016 Saudi Prince Turki AlFaisal attended an MKO meeting in Paris, announcing a new round of his country’s cooperation with the terrorist organization. In that meeting a number of western leaders and politicians accompanied Maryam Rajavi, the head of the MKO, including US formal official John Bolton, Newt Gingrich and Rudy Giuliani .
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Jubeir said Iran must be punished for its interference in the region and support for terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda, Al Arabiya News Channel reported him as saying early Wednesday.

Updates:

Following the twin terrorist attacks in the Iranian capital, the country’s Interior Ministry has released a statement giving the details of the deadly incidents.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also will hold his scheduled meeting with the student unions delegations today despite the attacks in Tehran. It is expected he makes his first statements on the attacks in his today speech.

The full text of the statement released by the Iranian Interior Ministry on the Wednesday terrorist attacks on Tehran is as follows:

On Wednesday, two terrorist teams simultaneously tried to conduct blind terrorist acts in the vicinity of the Mausoleum of the founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini, and also in Iran’s Parliament.

The first terrorist team consisted of two people who entered the Imam Khomeini Mausoleum at around 10:30 a.m. One of them blew up her vest and the second was killed in a fire exchange with security forces.

The second team was composed of four people, who concurrently with the first team, tried to enter the administrative building of the Parliament. Facing reaction from the security forces, one of them detonated his vest and the three others were killed in a shoot-out with the police forces while trying to reach the upper floors of the parliament building.

Based on reports, 12 people have been killed and 42 other injured in these two incidents.

At the moment, both events are over and everything is fully under the control of security and military forces. Further news of these events will subsequently be published.

To verify the details and exact dimensions of the two incidents, Iran’s Supreme National Security Council will hold a meeting chaired by the Interior Minister later on Wednesday.

In order to prevent the spread of false news, it is advised that all the media outlets avoid publishing unofficial news.

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Iran, US and Clash of Values’ Dilemmahttp://www.iransview.com/iran-us-and-clash-of-values-dilemma/1637/ http://www.iransview.com/iran-us-and-clash-of-values-dilemma/1637/#comments Fri, 12 Feb 2016 12:28:28 +0000 http://www.iransview.com/?p=1637 By: Sonia Mansour Robaey * 1. Values and the West’s double standards approach to ethical pluralism. Ethical pluralism is focused on individual preferences in modern pluralistic societies.  It does not dictate what is ethical or what is not.  It only creates a space for rational dialogue on the diversity of values aimed at reaching a consensus […]

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (left) and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif walk in sideline of nuclear talks in Geneva.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (left) and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif walk in sideline of nuclear talks in Geneva.

By: Sonia Mansour Robaey *

1. Values and the West’s double standards approach to ethical pluralism.

Ethical pluralism is focused on individual preferences in modern pluralistic societies.  It does not dictate what is ethical or what is not.  It only creates a space for rational dialogue on the diversity of values aimed at reaching a consensus within the limits of reason.  Ethical pluralism is practised in West for controversial moral issues like abortion, gay rights and Euthanasia.  Although laws are legislated on these issues in some western countries, in many cases they do not constrain those who oppose them to live by them.  It is believed that ethical pluralsim creates more tolerance and more freedoms for the individual.  The essence of ethical pluralism is that moral codes cannot be forced, they emerge by consensus through a rational discourse and dialogue on values.   Ethical pluralism represents the culmination of many centuries of western thinking in political Philosophy, moral Philosophy and Ethics.  Ethical pluralism in western democracies is assumed for example in Jürgen Habermas’ ‘Discourse ethics’ where, within western societies, ethical diversity and pluralism require a commitment to rational discourse and dialogue. 

However,  wide dialogue, based on rational discourse and leading to consensus on moral values in western societies, is denied by the West to others when advancing its own set of values in non-western societies,

As such, western moral values, having emerged by consensus, are forced on other cultures and societies who did not participate in the rational discourse leading to a consensus on these values.  Another difficulty in implementing western moral values in most non-western societies is related on the status of the self in society.  Most non-western moral values are anchored, not in individual preferences, but in community norms, elders’ wisdoms and local laws, which ancient Greeks used to call ‘nomos’.   In non-western societies, core values are transmitted between generations where intergenerational dialogue and closeness are strong, contrary to western societies.  They are not discussed in the public sphere where they play a cohesive role in which the individual self identifies more with the community than with the ego.

There is a tension in the West’s approach to values which allows the individual a greater space of liberty within western societies but denies this liberty to individuals in other societies attached to their traditions and the norms of their communities.  In fact, there is a faulty assumption in West that the individual Self in non-western societies is modeled on the western Self, despite historical and cultural differences.  This tension has become palpable with the advent of the globalization of markets, cultures and ideas.  The West stands as the promoter of one set of values, its own, over others, without regard to context, History, and culture.   The West’s hegemonic approach to values is being tackled differently in non-western cultures, either by total assimilation, peaceful but active resistance, distrust and retreat, or violent resentful extremism directed against the West in the case of Sunni Islam.  Colonialism was built on the assumption that the colonized were different in humanity while globalization is built on the assumption that ‘there is no such thing as society’, only individuals exist, as Margaret Thatcher famously said.  Both colonialism and globalism approach non-western cultures with models of the individual self-forged in West and imposed on non-westerners, incompatible with many cultural and religious identities.

Ethical pluralism then, although unequally practiced by West, is not part of the relations the West establishes with other societies, where it is assumed that only individuals exist and that they must consume the product of the ethical consensus built by other individuals in West.  Since 911, as the assumption grew for a ‘clash of civilisations’,  there was an upsurge in this approach and the forcing of western values through military campaigns, invasions and occupations preceded and followed by violent backlashes from extremist fundamentalists.  Post 911, international relations have become a domain of confrontations thought to be confrontations of civilisations and values.

2. A broken dialogue on values feeds terrorism and simulates for us a ‘clash of civilisations’

Many Muslims today live in communities, societies and countries which emphasize traditional values and the supremacy of the community over the individual.   Although Muslims are not the only ones who live in traditions which are antagonists to western values, they are currently the main culture and religion to react and to be targeted by this confrontation and it is mainly Sunni Muslims who are engaged in this confrontation which has claimed many lives and wrecked many countries and their social fabrics through terrorism and the war on terror.

This is the reason why a dialogue on values is urgently needed between the West and Muslims.  Some in the West as well as in Muslim countries do not believe in the dialogue on values, firmly standing on both sides of the values divide, committed to wars.  But others believe in this dialogue. President Obama articulated his desire for dialogue with Muslims in his Cairo’s discourse early during his first mandate.  But due to many factors, including America’s previous war commitments and voices of confrontation inside his own administration, Obama wasn’t able to act on his Cairo’s discourse. We will never know if Obama was sincere about this dialogue.  But what we know is that he did not blindly follow those who wanted a confrontation to the end with Iran. Recently, Ayatollah Khamenei wrote on his twitter account that Obama wrote him a second letter in 2009 full of affirmative accounts about Iran. Ayatollah Khamenei said he had the intention to reply to the letter but after Obama supported the protests against the government in Iran in 2009 he refrained from doing so.  Obama acted against the voices of confrontation with Iran, but not before the failure of the 2009 colour revolution for regime change.  He finally succeeded in reaching a deal with Iran that, if its implementation is unhindered by more confrontation, should naturally open a dialogue on values between Muslims and the West.

On the Iranian side, the deal reached between Iran and the West silenced the voices of confrontation and opened possibilities to initiate a dialogue between Muslims and the West.  Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was first to open this dialogue on the values of Islam with his two letters to western youth (January 2015 letter and November 2015 letter).  Khamenei’s initiatives came in a context of a renewed wave of Sunni terrorism by ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria), more barbaric and more sectarian than the terrorism witnessed since 911, and threatening this time the Near East, the Levant and Europe.

While the nuclear deal was being worked out between the West and Iran during the year 2015, many terrorist attacks by Sunni Muslim extremists hit Muslim countries, especially Iraq and Syria, as well as Europe.  Most notable were the two attacks in France in 2015, both claimed by ISIS, attracting wide and sustained attention in western media.  ISIS is virulently anti-Iran and anti-Shia.  It promotes a return to the  Sunni Caliphate.  Khamenei’s first letter spoke of a different kind of Islam in an attempt to educate western youth on the real sources of knowledge on Islam, away from the terrible and negative image that was being presented to the West by ISIS.  The letter was deliberately addressed to youth because, as Khamenei argued, dialogue with western leaders was futile since they were the ones promoting the kind of Muslim extremism embodied by ISIS through the stigmatisation of Muslims and the religion of Islam.  There is unwillingness in West, especially among those who fear and stigmatise Islam, to learn about the true religion of Islam and Muslims beyond the terrorists clichés.  Ayatollah Khamenei’s second letter to western youth was published two weeks after the attacks on the Bataclan concert venue in Paris that claimed many youthful lives.  In it, Ayatollah Khamenei chides the West for its double standards towards the victims of terrorism and for the imposition of western culture by force uniformly on Muslim societies.

Learning about the true religion of Islam, lifting the peaceful image of Islam and Muslims against the hateful image propagated by terrorists, finding common ground among differences in values, reaching out to youth, were also the main topics of Obama’s speech, and the first, in an American Mosque in Baltimore On February 3, 2016. Obama’s speech at the Mosque was in many ways a foreign policy speech too in which he condemned sectarian policies implicitly criticising Saudi regional policy. At some point he addressed his critics who say his policy against ISIS is not clear by stating that clarity against terrorists can be found only in countering their message of division, sectarianism and hate.  Obama quoted passages from the Qoran more than once during his speech.  Only two years ago, such a move by Obama, going to a Mosque, delivering directly to Muslims a message of peace and quoting the Qoran, was unthinkable.  What happened between the Cairo speech and the Baltimore Speech?  The hate didn’t stop, the terrorism didn’t stop, the divisions and the confrontations didn’t stop.  To be fair to Obama, the Cairo speech was meant to inaugurate an era of dialogue between the West and Islam, but Obama couldn’t act on this alone, he needed partners among Muslims leaders in the ME.  The Baltimore speech comes after the nuclear deal with Iran, Iran’s participation in the fight against ISIS, and the endless possibilities for finding common ground between the West and Islam these events may produce. Obama also realized that an American Mosque and the Muslim American community are the best place to start this dialogue, not Cairo.  

3. A clash of values is not a clash of civilisations.

Although the lives lost to terrorism in France and the West in general aren’t more precious than other lives taken by blind terrorism elsewhere, the attacks in France and the West create a greater wedge between European and Muslim populations at large, inside and outside, in neighbouring countries around the Meditterranean basin, and beyond in the Asian and African continents where the majority of Muslims live.  While American neocons, who so much wish for the clash of civilizations, rejoice of the increasing wedge between Muslims and non-Muslims far from their own shores separated and shielded from this clash by two oceans, Europe is increasingly becoming the theatre of the clash.   

What is the nature of this clash?  It is important to make a distinction here between the clash of civllizations and the clash of values.  While the clash of civilizations includes also a clash of values, it is about more than values.  The clash of civilisations leads to wars because civilizations aim for self preservation and fight against their annihilation.  The term ‘civilisation’ implies not only values but a geopolitical, economic and military space.  The clash of values can be approached differently and resolved through dialogue.  Even inside western societies there is a clash of values.  This is why western societies practise ethical pluralism.  Values can intersect between two civilizations and common ground can be found amid differences.   Many values evolve from the inside, but also from contacts with other civlizations.  In the ancient times, these contacts were mostly established through wars.  The citizens of ancient Greece considered non-Greeks as barbarians and non-humans because ancient Greece was a ‘closed’ civilisation, that is until the advent of Alexander’s conquests and the Hellenistic period that followed.

The term ‘clash of civilisations’ is greatly misleading.  It implies a geopolitical confrontation.  It is both a testimony to the neocons’ warring agenda as well as to their backward thinking.  Wars aren’t needed today to establish contacts between civilisations or resolve differences in values between civilisations.  Today’s means of communication are many, multi-level, fast and easy. The fall of the former communist bloc countries should have led us to a more cooperative, less confrontational world, militarily speaking.  Instead, the neocons created the clash of civilisations set-up to produce more wars and more confrontations to advance American hegemony in a unipolar world.  With 911 and its aftermath, Sunni Muslim terrorism, initially born out from the collaboration of America’s cold war ideology and Sunni Wahhabism against the former communist bloc, set the scene worldwide for a spectacular and threatening clash of values with humiliations, provocations and blasphemy of religious symbols.  A clash of values enacted amid wars, fear and mongering on the world scene, leading to greater divisions, erasing the common ground between civilisations, fulfilling the ‘clash of civilisations’ prophecy.   

It is Europe and Asia where most people on the planet, and most Muslims live, that are set to take the full impact of this clash being prepared for decades now by the neocons. The neocons’ game in Europe is to treat Europe’s woes resulting from a clash of values between east and west, between  north and south, with more confrontations and wars.  The neocons who are the promoters of the clash of civilisations are the new enemies of the Open Society.

This is the post 911 reality created by the neocons. A world that has every possible tool to make communication and dialogue on many issues, including values, easy and natural, yet is locked in confrontations and wars. As it takes two to dance, the neocons’ project to produce a clash of civilisations is greatly helped by Sunni Muslim resentful extremism and its state sponsors.

Fortunately for us, the majority of Muslims do not want this clash of civilisations which has been hurting Muslim countries and Muslims more than others.  Fortunately for us too, Iran refuses to engage in the clash of civilisations.  Amid the tensions created by 911, Iran has shown the world it can make peace without losing its dignity by not responding to the humiliations and provocations of those who want wars for the sake of wars.  I have argued before that both the nuclear deal and Khamenei’s letter to western youth form a coherent approach by Iran to treat the woes of Islam and show the West that there is an alternative to confrontation with Islam and Muslims through dialogue on values and the respect for the dignity of others.

Those in the West who want a dialogue on values with Muslims to peacefully resolve differences instead of a clash of civilisations and wars can now count on Iran’s leadership.   A dialogue on values can be much more enriching than the forcing of western values on Muslim societies.  A dialogue on values doesn’t and shouldn’t end by one set of values taking on another but by finding common ground amid differences.  That’s the essence of communication and diplomacy and the respect for the dingity of others and our common humanity. 

Russia, which has worked hard to end Iran’s isolation, has a diplomacy which instinctively understands the potential of resolving the issue of the clash of civilisations that feeds today’s devastating terrorism eating at the heart of all civilisations.  Because Russia’s neighbour, Europe, is by excellence the theatre for this clash.  And because a clash of civilisations that counts on terrorism for self-realization will undoubtedly lead to the end of civilisations. 

The US however, despite the nuclear deal and the recent détente with Iran, is still very much sitting on the fence, between war and peace.  Hesitations and mixed messages, as well as Obama’s end of mandate, risk annihilating the dialogue that the Iran deal is promising, putting the initiative back in the hands of the neocons.  Obama’s last year in office must prove decisive in its open approach to the ills born out from the confrontation with Islam and Muslims if we are to bend the arc of History definitively away from the neocons.

As I wrote in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo tragedy, only a dialogue on values can silence the voices of confrontation. 

* Sonia Mansour Robaey, PhD, teaches Philosophy and Ethics, does counselling in Ethics. She is an observer and analyst of Middle Eastern and Levantine politics. Follow her on Twitter @les_politiques

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Interview: Joseph Nye on Iran and the End of American Exceptionalismhttp://www.iransview.com/interview-joseph-nye-on-iran-and-the-end-of-american-exceptionalism/1592/ http://www.iransview.com/interview-joseph-nye-on-iran-and-the-end-of-american-exceptionalism/1592/#comments Mon, 23 Nov 2015 17:24:30 +0000 http://www.iransview.com/?p=1592 Professor Joseph Samuel Nye Jr. is the former Dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He currently serves on the Harvard faculty as a University Distinguished Service Professor. Along with Robert Keohane, he founded the theory of “neo-liberalism” in international relations, and more recently coined the often-used phrases of “soft […]

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Professor_Joseph_Nye_(8719518195)

Professor Joseph Samuel Nye Jr. is the former Dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He currently serves on the Harvard faculty as a University Distinguished Service Professor. Along with Robert Keohane, he founded the theory of “neo-liberalism” in international relations, and more recently coined the often-used phrases of “soft power” and “smart power”. He is one of the world’s foremost intellectuals in the fields of political science, diplomacy and international relations. A 2011 TRIP survey ranked him as the sixth most influential scholar in the field of international relations in the last twenty years, and in October 2014 he was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to the Foreign Affairs Policy Board.

following is the Interview of Mojtaba Mousavi with Dr. Joseph Nye which first published in the October issue of the Age of Reflection monthly. 

A quarter century has passed since the fall of the Berlin Wall – November 1989. Many strategic analysts believe that the United States is still using the same pattern of collapse of communism in the East bloc to confront Iran. In the “Soft Power: The Means To Success In World Politics”, you have pointed to the American experience as well as the designation of the Marshall Plan as the means to undermine the Soviet soft power components. Do you believe that the same pattern can be adopted from the Cold War to undermine Iran’s soft power?

I do not think the situation of Iran today is like the Cold War. Communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union collapsed from it own internal economic contradictions. The Marshall Plan was forty years earlier and designed to help West European economies recover from the devastation of World War II. The Soviet Union lost soft power after its invasions on Hungary and Czechoslovakia.  If there is a lesson in this for Iran, it is to free up its markets and society, and beware of interventions in neighboring countries.

This rationale has major drawbacks: essentially because Soviet Russia and Iran are profoundly different in not just their ideological makeup but the nature of their soft power. Iran’s Islamic Republic draws its narrative from Shia Islam, while Soviet Russia was born from atheist Marxism. Several critics of the US actually believe the country has ignored those fundamental and philosophical differences which exist in between Iran and Soviet Russia. How do you understand Washington’s position vis-à-vis Iran and are we seeing a repeat of the Cold War strategy here? In which case can this approach really serve the US?

 That is correct, but remember that Shia Islam is a minority and Iran should be wary of intervening in sectarian disputes. I do not see this as a repeat of a Cold War strategy. President Obama expressed an openness to dialogue right from the beginning of his presidency. Iran was initially reluctant to engage in that dialogue.

Although the Soviet Union collapsed and communism was to some degree defeated – Russia after all came to embrace capitalism, Moscow nevertheless preserved its political independence by remaining a non-aligned superpower. Is it not possible therefore to envisage that Iran will accomplish such feat – in that its goals might stray from the initial “revolutionary mindset” but still act an opposition to American imperialism? After all there are more than one way to resist and challenge.

 Capitalism in Russia is highly distorted by corruption. As I show in my book, “Is the American Century Over?” Russia is heavily dependent on one “crop” (energy) for two thirds of its exports. It also faces a demographic decline. This is not good, because declining powers often take greater risks such as Putin engages in now in his invasion of Ukraine and his intervention in Syria. I have no idea what the future of Iran will be, but it would be a mistake to model it on Russia.

President Richard Nixon called the US’ negotiations with Soviet Russia a “victory without war”. What President Nixon introduced and President Ronald Reagan followed into was a series of non-military actions which led to the ‘internal collapse’ of a country.President Barack Obama alluded a similar strategy, when,  in an interview  he argued that the path taken by both Nixon and Reagan vis-à-vis the Soviet Union and China inspired his own policies. Taking into account that his comments were made on the wake of the Iranian nuclear deal do you think the US is looking for “containment” instead of a real rapprochement? Is Obama replicating a Cold War scenario?

As I said above, I do not think Obama is following a Cold War strategy. My personal view is that the Middle East is involved in decades long series of revolutions, primarily in Sunni areas, which outsiders like the United States have little capacity to control.  In that sense, containing the spread of ISIS and its successors makes sense, but large scale intervention like the war in Iraq does not make sense. Where Iran will fit in all this will depend on Iran’s behavior.

Will this Iran nuclear deal lead to an increase of America’s footprint in the ME and therefore see Iran lose influence?

I do not think the Iran nuclear deal will increase the US footprint nor necessarily erode Iran’s influence.  Much will depend on how Iran chooses to behave.

Do you think US’ efforts to increase its soft power and smart power in Iran will lead to a change in narrative within the country, in that Iranians will no longer look on America with suspicion and animosity?

In general, increased contacts can reduce the stereotypes of hostility that can develop among countries. I hope with time this will be the case between the US and Iran.  Soft power can be a positive sum game from which both sides gain.

In a recent piece for National Interest, you wrote that the real challenge that the US is facing could be called “the rise of the rest”. Some authors such as Fareed Zakaria in his “Post-Americanism World”, are pointing to the same challenge. There are also philosophers who believe that America as “the” world superpower is coming to an end – For example American philosopher, Richard Rorty wrote in a piece for Decent magazine: “The American Century has ended (…) The spiritual life of secularist Westerners centered on hope for the realization of those ideals. As that hope diminishes, their life becomes smaller and meaner.” In view of such analysis, do you think the US can overcome those challenges stemming from its power and hegemony? Or is it the US has no clear awareness of such challenge? 

Americans have worried about their decline since the early days of the founding fathers centuries ago. In the last half century there have been several cycles of declinism. This tells you more about American psychology than it does about relative power positions of countries. In my book, I explain why I do not think the American century is over. At the same time, the rise of transnational challenges like climate change, cyber terrorism, and international financial stability will require cooperation among countries. In that sense, the rise of the rest as well as the new transnational challenges will require the US to work with others.  There will be no American imperialism or hegemony, but as the largest country, there will still be a need for leadership in organizing global collective goods.

In his September 16 address at a meeting with the IRGC commanders in Tehran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said:  “cultural and political penetration is more dangerous than military and security threats.” You also referred to the ‘culture’ as one of the key elements of soft power – you mentioned both the US educational and popular cultures of America as powerful media – maybe here we could use the term Trojan horses. Iran’s leadership has repeatedly warned against such “cultural invasion”. Iranians have themselves naturally organized into movements to counteract Western cultural intrusion, thus manifesting a national trend. Do you see a situation where Iran would disappear to the US; or could it be that Iran will walk a different path than that of the Soviet Union?

Countries evolve over time, and I have no idea what future choices Iran will make, but I suspect that most of its future evolution will be determined from inside Iran.

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Iran N.Deal, Future of Islam and A.Khamenei’s Letter to Western Youthhttp://www.iransview.com/iran-n-deal-future-of-islam-and-a-khameneis-letter-to-western-youth/1562/ http://www.iransview.com/iran-n-deal-future-of-islam-and-a-khameneis-letter-to-western-youth/1562/#comments Thu, 27 Aug 2015 06:06:55 +0000 http://www.iransview.com/?p=1562 If you followed the nuclear deal and you didn’t pay attention to ‘Letter for you’, then you didn’t understand the most important thing about the deal: a dialogue of civilizations on the basis of mutual respect and dignity against the new barbarisms that threaten Islam.

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (R) and his Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) meeting with the country's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (R) and his Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) meeting with the country’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.

این مقاله را به فارسی بخوانید.

By: Sonia Mansour Robaey *

If I were a faithful and pious Muslim and if I were to take a look at the state of the religion of Islam and Muslims today, I would be extremely worried. And even though I am not a Muslim faithful but an Arab secular Christian woman, I can still worry for my Muslim sisters and brothers and the religion of Islam. This is not a selfless concern. The future of minorities in the Middle East depends largely on the state of the Muslim religion, which is the religion of the majority. Also, the Muslim religion and its people are part and parcel of my cultural background, of who I am as an Arab Christian, as much as Muslims of the Middle East are culturally shaped by their presence as pieces in a mosaic of religions and sects, which the region never ceased to be, until al Qaeda and its most notorious branch, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, ISIS, came to be.

Again, as an Arab Christian, I was educated not on the holy Qur’an, but on the religion of Islam and its History. I grew up seeing Islam as a religion of conquest and enlightenment in the Arts and Sciences. I grew up seeing Islam as a forward progressive religion. Of course, as in every religion, I could perceive some extremism here and there, some backwardness, but these seemed marginal, or so was my perception during the late seventies, early eighties, until al Qaeda and its most notorious branch, ISIS, came to be.

Since 911, I have been asking myself: what happened to Islam? More so since the emergence and mainstreaming of sectarian killings inside Iraq after the 2003 US invasion and the recent mass displacements of religious minorities by ISIS in the Middle East, the largest since the Ottoman Empire disintegrated.

To answer this question one must understand what happened between the late seventies and the early eighties and how the struggles born out of these years came to their conclusion as the iron curtain fell on the Soviet bloc ushering in a short era of revigorated and unchallenged American and western imperialism.

During these decisive years, we witnessed an Islamic revolution in Iran that rose against western imperialism while another Islamic movement in Afghanistan came to be subsumed, and consumed, by the goals of western imperialism. We also witnessed a war on Iran from the West, with Iraq as a proxy, meant to challenge to the nascent Islamic revolution of Iran. These events, which will lead to a profound misunderstanding inside Islam, took place after the strong anti-imperialist sentiment in the Middle East, in which Palestine was the main conduit, was sidelined through a partial peace between Israel and Egypt. The Palestine struggle was buried by partial peace and the Palestinian resistance lost the support of most Arab states. This was going to lead to the still-born Oslo peace process and the slow asphyxiation of the Palestinian struggle, while Israeli settlements flourished as they continue to do until today.

The eighties end with the triumph of western imperialism. But in the Middle East, the Islamic revolution of Iran stood in the way of this triumph, albeit weakened and its society profoundly wounded by the Iraq war. After the end of the Iraq-Iran war and Ayatollah’s Khomeini’s death, the Islamic revolution of Iran had survived but the country was going to spend the next decade rebuilding itself amid a climate of increasing hostility, unilateral and multilateral sanctions.

Iran’s Islamic revolution inspired many and in many ways in the region. Islamist groups and Islamist movements rose in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon. Only few survived and those who did, like Hezbollah, did so because they understood the spirit of the Islamic revolution of Iran, as it stood, as an Islamist insurgency, first and foremost, against western imperialism. Hezbollah resonated with the populations of the Arab world because it revived the Palestinian struggle and the struggle against western imperialism. At the same time, Hamas was born to challenge the occupation of Palestine, based on a non-compromising attitude toward the occupation, but with a different spirit marked by the context of inter Palestinian rivalry heavily weighed by outside and competing regional influences.

This is why Hamas and Hezbollah, two groups moved by the same goal for many years, find themselves today at odds because the forces that have been pulling Muslims apart since the event of the Islamic revolution of Iran, not only are still at work today, but they are now aided by scores of terrorist Takfiri groups claiming to be working for Muslims and Islam.

The Islamic revolution of Iran had clearly designated the anti-imperialist struggle as the defining project of modern Islam. But the Islamic revolution of Iran was not the only Islamic movement renewing the search to redefine Islam in modern times. However, the Islamist groups who came before it and most of those who were inspired by it sought a return to an era of Islam before western imperialism to find the tools to challenge western imperialism. Thus, the nostalgic return to Islam resulted in ambiguity toward the West. I am thinking here specifically of the Muslim Brotherhood. The ambiguity is in confronting modern western imperialism with conceptual tools that existed before this imperialism. This is at best a flight strategy, at worst, a legitimization of Wahhabism, the gangrene that’s been eating at the heart of Islam. Ambiguity exists also in the fact that running away from modernity prevents these movements from ever understanding imperialism, replacing understanding with mystification, leaving modernity to exert a fascination on their entire ideological conceptual apparatus without ever being able to understand it.

This is a tragic misunderstanding, by the insurgent Sunni branch of Islam, of how to conduct the struggle for relevance against western imperialism and renew the search to redefine Islam in modern times. Western imperialism, in its essence, is about the superiority of science and technology. By choosing nostalgia and pre-imperialist conceptual tools, insurgent Sunni Islam could then only fight western technical superiority and the way of life it implies with increased barbarism. Hence, al-Qaeda and ISIS.

The Islamic revolution of Iran, on the other side, has sought to fight western imperialism with the elements of its alleged superiority; technology. But contrary to other Muslim countries that had sought nuclear technology as a way to achieve military superiority, like the West, Iran sought nuclear technology only for civilian purposes and as a right to achieve equal status, to oppose to western imperialism the right to dignity. Because western imperialism sees itself as superior in status, it refuses dignity to others, to subdued countries, and it does so mainly through technology.

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