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Monday, August 23, 2010     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Ahmadinejad’s regime and Iran’s culture:
Like oil and water

By Sheda Vasseghi

Iran’s secular culture and heritage is the complete opposite of Islamic teachings. It has become very clear that the two do not mesh, let alone compromise.

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In recent decades, it has taken Iranians a bloody revolution, a tragic war, and generations of lost dreams to realize that.

Now “experts” on Iran’s affairs are analyzing Ahmadinejad’s latest move to embrace a “nationalist” approach to Islam.


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First, this is a clear sign of the imminent fall of the regime in Tehran. The regime in its entirety, by and for the clerics, is in danger from the sudden National Revolution that started in June 2009.

Second, in order to counter this enemy, the clerics tried to use an apologist or “reformist” movement called the Green Movement to stop the people of Iran from revolting against the entire theocratic dictatorship. However, this pathetic attempt, supported in recent months by well-paid lobbyists and apologists in the Western countries, fell flat on its face as the regime confronted an opposition tsunami. So now the “reformist” trick is being replaced by a “nationalist” deception.

This latest maneuver from Tehran provides a slew of opportunities for the “experts” to write more articles and give more interviews making them and their institutions appear knowledgeable and relevant. It is, however, very clear that the so-called “experts” fail to note or convey a very important fact that is, Islam does not recognize nationalism or pre-Islamic culture, history, and philosophy any where, thus rendering the term “Iranian Islam” an oxymoron.

Iran’s population which is overwhelmingly under the age of 30 — hip and culturally modern — does not and will not become Arabized despite the clerics’ efforts to radically shove foreign beliefs, language, and way of life down their throats via three decades of Islamic Republic’s propaganda in textbooks and well-funded multimedia. The Iranian youth have clearly demonstrated they do not want religion to play a part in its social and political makeup. Further, they have mastered the concepts of secularism, equality, freedom of choice, and the pursuit of happiness.

Iran has suffered for over a century during its struggle for modernization, because of the opportunist theocrats’ use of Iran’s glorious pre-Islamic culture of tolerance, assimilation, and individual freedom when it suited Islam.

When Islam, as a political and social ideology, is endangered then its followers can change their tune or hide their true beliefs in order to fool the enemy. This is an Islamic psychological warfare! It is a strategy that has paid off — at least in Iran, the first nation to declare a bill of human rights 25 centuries ago, now thrown into 7th century mentality.

The regime in Tehran is now faced with harsher economic sanctions which directly affect the already abused and battered population of Iran, threat of foreign military strikes, internal political and religious factions, and domestic terrorism. History has shown that when an ideologue ruling party is in danger and running out of options, it will embrace momentary nationalism.

A sense of nationalism, the recognition of a unique culture and language, has been a part of Iranian existence since at least 1500 BC. The mullahs who made it their trade to control the Iranian masses are fully aware of this fact. Furthermore, since the spread of terrorism with the birth of an Islamic Iran in 1979, the citizens of the Free World have now realized they are facing a real threat — global terrorism — and not just isolated, random incidents. The citizens of the Free World are also on the side of Iran’s National Revolution as they have witnessed the crimes committed by that barbaric regime against the Iranian people. Therefore, the Islamic Republic faces isolation and resentment from all corners of the world.

Those who were and are part of the regime in Tehran will do everything they can to stay in power even if it means re-instituting the Iranian national “lion/sun” flag that was so symbolically ripped from the hearts of Iranians after the 1979 revolution. Despite the physical, emotional, and financial anguish brought on by the mullahs, what Iranians will not forget is the meddling of Sharia Laws in their Constitutions — both the 1906 and the 1979 versions. What Iranians have learned — that apparently the so-called “experts” have not — is that when it comes to Iran, one is either a “Nationalist” irrespective of religious/philosophical affiliations or not! The regime knows the majority of Iranians despise it and will not rest until they have brought it down. Its assessment in this regard is correct.

Sheda Vasseghi is on the Board of Azadegan Foundation and is a regular contributor to WorldTribune.com on Iran’s Affairs.



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