Will Iran’s Rouhani Use Syria to Bargain?

Iran Commentary

After establishing the Iran nuclear deal as his first-term legacy, the question now is what new initiative will Iranian President Hassan Rouhani embark on during his second term? Should the international community have any expectations of Rouhani? And if Rouhani has the will to bring about any change in, for example, Syria, a big if, will it be for the better good of the Syrian people and the region? Or will he be merely looking to promote Tehran’s interests at the expense of others.

Iran’s policies in the region are considered by many to be based on double standards. How does Iran legitimize its interference in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and elsewhere in the region while millions have been left killed, injured and displaced as the entire Middle East remains in turmoil?

Iran claims to seek peace, stability and cooperation in the region through negotiations with neighboring countries. Yet the status quo has changed…

View original post 629 more words

Will Iran’s Hassan Rouhani negotiate on Syria?

After establishing the Iran nuclear deal as his first-term legacy, the question now is what new initiative will Iranian President Hassan Rouhani embark on his second term? Should there be any expectation from the international community in Rouhani’s second term as this regime’s president? And if Rouhani has the will to bring about any change in for example Syria, a big if, will it be for the better good of the Syrian people and the region? Or merely seeking Iran’s interests?

Iran’s policies in the region have been considered by many to be based on double standards. How does Iran legitimize its interference in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and across the region while millions have been killed, injured and displaced as the entire region remains in turmoil?

Iran claims to seek peace, stability, and cooperation in the Middle East through negotiations with neighboring countries. Yet the status quo has changed significantly for Rouhani’s second term. Donald Trump is now the U.S. President, bringing an end to Obama’s appeasement policy and calling on all countries to isolate Iran.

Many of Iran’s regional neighbors view the regime as an ally of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, who has massacred tens of thousands of his own people.

Iran, however, continues its support for Assad, arguing international law considers Assad as the president of a legal government in Syria. Does being a legal government legitimize such measures against its own constituents?

Tehran is validating its support for the Syrian regime based on a request placed by Assad and claiming 60% of the country’s lands are in the hands of ISIS and al-Qaeda. And the mullahs’ regime refuses to accept the existence of a Syrian opposition that enjoys international legitimacy and support.

While the international community accepts the fact that ISIS and other terrorists must be destroyed in Syria, this does not provide the grounds for Assad, with Iran’s support, to massacre innocent civilians. Former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon accused Assad of committing war crimes and using starvation as a tool in this regard.

UN special rapporteurs and envoys have levelled very concerning allegations against the Assad regime, and for Iran to continue its support for Assad is very troubling, to say the least. The UN Special Envoy to Syria, Staffan da Mistura, has also cited Iran providing $6 billion a year to Assad, considered a conservative figure by many.

Iran accuses other countries of recruiting terrorists from across the globe to fight against Assad and places the blame of enormous civilian losses on their part. And yet one cannot neglect the fact that Iran is providing arms, ammunition and tens of thousands of militias to prop up the Assad regime and killing tens of thousands of civilians, as reported by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

Iran accuses other countries of interfering in Syria and Bahrain, for example, and yet refuses to accept its role in the Levant as such meddling by an outside party.

Iran is proposing talks with the three other regional powers, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey to hold talks aimed at:

  • preserving the unity of Syria,
  • establishing a power sharing government, yet failing to determine the highly sensitive subject of the fate of Assad as president of Syria,
  • holding UN-supervised president elections.

The sensitive question is will Hassan Rouhani pressure Assad to accept such terms.

Although it is crucial to understand why Tehran’s regime is deeply interested in Syria. The Levant, under the rule of Assad, provides a land bridge to the Lebanese Hizb’allah, and thus the Mediterranean, for Iran, allowing this regime to spread its influence from its soil all across the region. In the case Iran loses its foothold in Syria, considering it its 35th province, it will be the beginning of the end of Tehran’s regional hegemony.

Such an outcome would rebound all of Iran’s dilemmas inwards and provide the grounds for social unrests to overcome the mullahs’ regime. As a result, the very nature of Iran’s ruling apparatus prevents the rendering of any meaningful change in its regional policy.

“Take into notice any change in behavior is no different from the change in the entire establishment,” said Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei recently.

via  Will Iran’s Hassan Rouhani negotiate on Syria? — Iran Commentary

ANALYSIS: Prelude to a showdown between the US and Iran?


Special to Al Arabiya English Tuesday, 6 June 2017
With the United States boosting “combat power” in southern Syria and bolstering measures with the Kurds in the north in preparation for a major assault on the self-proclaimed ISIS capital of Raqqa, word is in the air about a confrontation in the making between the US and Iran in the Middle East, with Syria acting as a launch site.
Does this piece intend to promote war against Iran? Absolutely not. While some do argue this would play into the Iranian regime’s hands and provide pretext for the clerics to rally fighters to take on the “World Arrogance” or “Great Satan,” as Tehran describes Washington, there is no basis to go that far.
Most importantly is the sheer fact that the regime lacks such a social base. Recall how former Tehran mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf said this regime represents four percent of Iran’s society. And yet the increase in US military presence in the Middle East should be considered a welcome measure, certainly so after the Obama administration disastrously created a dangerous void by prematurely pulling out US troops from Iraq in late 2011.

Iran’s destructive policies

Iran usurped the opportunity and opened the gates of hell into Mesopotamia. The destructive policies Tehran dictated to Baghdad under former Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki paved the path for the rise of ISIS in 2014 to storm the country’s north and central lands.
It has taken three dreadful years and a volume of human and financial resources to push the terror group out of Iraq, leaving large swathes of the country devastated and more importantly, Iran enjoying unprecedented and highly sensitive influence across the spectrum in Iraq through its conglomerate of militias.
The international coalition, led by the US, has provided air support for the Hashid al-Sha’bi in its advances against ISIS. The correct/incorrect nature of such a policy, however, is the topic of another debate.

Importance of the Levant

On Syria, there is no doubt in the importance of the Levant for Iran. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has, time and again, highlighted the imperative of Iran confronting its enemies in Syria far from its own borders.
“Had the ill-wishers and plotters not been prevented from their evil deeds in Syria we would have to prevent them in the Iranian provinces of Tehran, Fars, Khorasan and Isfahan, so it is better we do it there,” he said recently. “The door for martyrdom, which was closed by the end of the war with Iraq, is now open in Syria.”
So if no war with Iran is in suggestion here, what foreign policy advice can be provided to the West, and especially Washington?
Constant is the fact that non-military options are always preferred and have proven their effectiveness. Iran is undeniably a rogue and authoritarian regime determined to gain and impose an illegitimate dominance across the region, meddle in other nations’ domestic affairs, export terrorism/extremism/Islamic fundamentalism, and kill civilians and military personnel of all adversaries, including the United States, Saudi Arabia and all their regional allies.
Rajavi has provided the initial building blocks of how to tackle the Iranian regime dilemma. (AP)

Against all parties

Confronting Iran by military force is considered illogical by politicians from both sides of the aisle in Washington, and their counterparts across Europe and the Middle East. Iran’s policies in the Middle East have been against the interests of all parties, with the exception of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad and its slate of proxy forces behind the rampage we are witnessing today.
The question is how to confront Iran correctly. Those in control are taking advantage and misrepresenting Islam for their interests and their sponsored atrocities are against the teaching of all holy books, including the Torat, Bible and Quran.
Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran is a strong coalition providing a platform on how to take on the Iranian regime in the most effective of manners.
NCRI President Maryam Rajavi, herself a Muslim woman representing a tolerant vision of Islam in far contrast to the mullahs’ atrocities, held a gathering on Sunday in Paris marking the holy month of Ramadan.

Rajavi’s call

Encouraging “Interfaith Solidarity Against Extremism,” Rajavi provided the initial building blocks of how to tackle the Iranian regime dilemma. “I would like to propose a three-pronged initiative on behalf of the Iranian people and Resistance. And I urge all the states and countries in the region to support it.
First, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), which is the main operative advancing all the regime’s policies in the region, must be officially recognized and declared a terrorist entity. The presence of this force and its proxy militias in Middle East countries must not be tolerated and they must be evicted all together from countries in the region.
“Second, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) must expel the Iranian regime and grant Iran’s seat in this organization to the Iranian people’s Resistance.
“Third, they should recognize the Iranian people’s struggle to bring down the clerical regime and establish freedom and democracy.”

Source: ANALYSIS: Prelude to a showdown between the US and Iran?

Maryam Rajavi addresses the “Interfaith Solidarity Against Extremism” gathering


Maryam Rajavi and a number of prominent personalities from Arab countries and the Muslim community in France took part in a gathering in Auvers-sur-Oise on the occasion of the Holy month of Ramadan. The meeting was entitled, “Interfaith Solidarity Against Extremism.”
The participants initially visited a photo exhibition entitled, “Carnage and massacre, from Iran to Syria.” Photos of the resistance’s martyrs in Iran and Syria as well as images from popular demonstrations in Syria against the Assad regime were on display.Maryam Rajavi addresses the “Interfaith Solidarity Against Extremism” gathering

In her remarks to this gathering, Maryam Rajavi said:

Distinguished guests,
Dear sisters and brothers who have joined the Iftar reception of the Iranian Resistance from Palestine, Syria, Bahrain, Yemen, and other countries,
The sisters and brothers who are attending this ceremony from different parts of France,
Happy Ramadan!
I congratulate the advent of this month to my fellow compatriots in Iran, the brother nations neighboring Iran and the people of the region, also to the Muslims in France and all over the world.
The tenth of Ramadan is the anniversary of the passing away of Hazrat Khadijah al-Kubra (a), the honorable wife of the Prophet, the first believer in Islam and the great supporter of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The Prophet described her as a “God-given gift and blessing.”
Our endless salutes and respects to her who set an immortal example for emancipated and free women of all ages. She is the ideological mother of all believers and vanguards who have followed the Prophet’s path. This is why her name and memory inspire solidarity among all Muslims regardless of their sect or creed.
As it has been stated in the Quran, Ramadan is the month of Taqwa or piety.

شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِيَ أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِّنَ الْهُدَى وَالْفُرْقَانِ

Ramadhan is the month in which the Qur’an was sent down, as a guide to mankind, and as clear signs for guidance and judgment between right and wrong.
To differentiate Islam from perversion and reaction, and differentiate freedom from compulsion.
To differentiate the rituals of truthfulness, love and compassion and the rituals of Muhammad on the one hand, from deception and demagoguery entwined with merciless hatred and repression as symbolized by Khomeini, on the other.
Doesn’t Ramadan and fasting reject all forms of falsehood and duplicity? Doesn’t it bear the message of peace and solidarity? Doesn’t it aim to fight poverty and oppression?
So what does this atrocious ritual have to do with Islam when it is based on lies, flogging of people and enchaining them by poverty and scarcity?
Ramadan drives people closer, bonding their hearts. Ramadan gives warmth to human community, leads them to unity, and inspires sympathy, consensus and understanding of our shared values.
With this understanding, we are not to blame if we shed tears for the distress and division of our countries and nations in the Middle East and North Africa, for the blood-drenched Syria, for the occupied Iraq, for Yemen which is engulfed in war, and for the countries beset by terrorism and fundamentalism.
For this reason, I seek your permission to call on all Muslim nations, and all Sunnis and Shiites to join hands and stand up to those responsible for such a catastrophic situation.
Our call is to unite in solidarity based on a steel foundation over which the overwhelming majority of Muslims concur. Ideologically, this foundation which derives from the truth of Islam is to deny religious compulsion and compulsory religion.
Politically, it is to stand up to the religious tyranny ruling Iran, which is the common enemy of all nations in the Middle East and is the epicenter of belligerence and export of fundamentalism to other countries in the region.
This is the “rope” and the word that can unite us: Rejection of religious compulsion and standing up to the Velayat-e Faqih regime in Iran.
Of course, we do not intend to overlook the real differences existing among our nations in the region. Despite such differences, however, everyone believes that Islam does not approve of using force to impose an opinion or a religion. Once coercion, compulsion and vengeance are rejected, brotherhood and sisterhood which are the historical and collective conscience of our nations would find the opportunity to spread.
It is the common belief of our nations in the region that we regard one another as sisters and brothers. We follow the words of God in the Quran that says,

إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ إِخْوَة, indeed all believers are brothers.

Islam in its origin is the standard-bearer of brotherhood in the world.
Wasn’t it the Prophet who eliminated jealousy and vengeance from the relations among people?
Didn’t he make kind brothers out of people who thirsted for one another’s blood?
He brought for people the religion of freedom, compassion and forgiveness, the religion of tolerance and charity, heartfelt affection, the religion of solidarity, brotherhood, and sisterhood. This is just the opposite of sectarianism, bigotry, narrow-mindedness, intolerance and coercion under the pretext of defending Islam.
And remember with gratitude Allah’s favour on you; for ye were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, so that by His Grace, ye became brethren;
One of the main tools of religious compulsion and imposition is excommunication. This is a tool for getting rid of the opponents, for monopoly and for imposing despotic rule in an Islamic wrapping. Khomeini initiated the decree for the massacre of political prisoners in 1988 by excommunicating the PMOI.
Let us remember the words of Prophet Muhammad (S) who said: I have not come to curse, but to promote compassion.
He said: Everyone’s neighbor is like himself and it is not permissible to mistreat or use foul language against him.
And let us also remember that he obliged people to live in peaceful coexistence with followers and adherents of other faiths and religions. He also taught believers to cherish their differences as a blessing.
History attests that he suffered much oppression and mistreatment in his hometown, Mecca. However, he went to Medina with a message of peace and brotherhood and when he returned to Mecca his message was clemency and kindness.
Islam promotes tolerance towards adherents of other faiths and other fellow human beings. Islam espouses peaceful coexistence among mankind from every race, gender, faith and creed.

قُلْ يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ تَعَالَوْاْ إِلَى كَلَمَةٍ سَوَاء بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمْ 

Say: O People of the Book! come to common terms as between us and you
Accordingly, we argue that the dispute is not between Shiites and Sunnis, not between Christians and Muslims, not between Middle Easterners and westerners. There is not a war among civilizations. The main dispute and confrontation is between despotism and fundamentalism on the one hand, and democracy, freedom and the people who desire freedom and progress, on the other hand.
Dear friends,
Rejection of all forms of compulsion in religion also opens the way for the principle of separation of religion and state and leaves no room for tyranny and religious discrimination under the name of God.
As the Leader of our Resistance movement, Massoud Rajavi, has pointed out, “Islam does not need to prove its legitimacy, including its political legitimacy, through compulsion and coercion… We strongly believe that Islam thrives genuinely only when there is no discrimination, no political privilege and no social compulsion.”
As it has also been stated in the platform of the National Council of Resistance of Iran: The source of legitimacy for a government in power is the ballot box… No one will enjoy or be deprived of any privilege for belief or disbelief in a religion.
This will also ensure religious freedom, meaning that both Muslims and followers of other religions are free in their religious activities without experiencing any inequality.
In a charter written in the 11th month after the Prophet’s migration to Medina, he said, “Jews and Muslims are one people and one nation with the only difference being that Jews follow their religion and Muslims follow their own.”
What we mean is crossing out despotism under the cover of religion. These words are the essence of a big historical experience, namely the experience of defeating the religious dictatorship in Iran.
Yes, we can reach agreement and share a common view on a fundamental principle which is woven in all the warp and woof of Islam. And that is the rejection of religious compulsion, and the very principle of “There is no compulsion in religion” or La Ikraha Fed-Din.
So, in diametric opposition to the Khomeinist motto of “The only party is the party of God” in Iran, and in contrast to their ISIS successors who say, “Divine Sharia cannot be implemented unless by arms,” we say, “No, this is not Islam. Anything done out of compulsion contradicts the spirit of this religion; our religion and our Islam is what the Quran has said, “There is no compulsion in religion.”
The spirit of Islam abhors all forms of compulsion, coercion and forcible prohibition, ranging from imposing the compulsory veil to the forced observation of fasting and prayers by flogging and terror, to preventing the construction of Sunni mosques, and especially to imposing the rule of a government under the name of God and Islam.
Therefore, I call on all Muslims to unite in solidarity over this principle, over rejection of compulsory religion and religious compulsion.
Honorable guests, 
The incidents of recent years in the Middle East, particularly the slaughter of at least half a million innocent people of Syria with the complicity of the Iranian regime and the Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), have proven the mullahs’ endless hostility to Muslim and Arab nations.
In the past 38 years in Iran, the ruling mullahs have occasionally made deceptive claims of favoring reform and moderation. What has been permanent, however, the one thing that has not ever changed, is the gross violations of human rights and the brutal suppression of people in the country. On the regional level, the regime has always sought to dominate the region through invasions and promotion of fundamentalism and sectarianism under the name of Islam.
Two weeks ago, at the Islamic Arab American Summit in Riyadh it was declared that the clerical regime has deprived the region and the world from tranquility and stability and its activities in the Middle East and throughout the world are destructive. The Saudi and U.S. leaders also reiterated that the people of Iran have been the first and longest-suffering victims of the regime.
Fortunately, the Arab world, the world of Islam and the United States have finally touched on the origin of terrorism, belligerence and fundamentalism in the region, which is the theocratic regime in Iran. This is a stance in the right direction and now it must be able to stop the regime’s belligerence and bloodshed.
Long years of experience have proven first, that it is vital for the Velayat-e Faqih regime to seek domination and invade other countries, without which they cannot preserve their rule. Therefore, the regime will not give up this behavior voluntarily.
Second, it has been proven that the regime feels most endangered by the power of the Iranian people and Resistance and views them as a de facto existential threat. Therefore, it tries with all its might to prevent this force from actively coming to the scene.
The history of the mullahs’ regime also shows their unwavering enmity to the countries in the region.
Two weeks ago, Rouhani became the regime’s president for a second term. He deceptively claims to be a moderate. However, the regime continued to carry on its policy of aggression and invasions in the region over the four years of Rouhani’s first term, just as it did when Rafsanjani or Khatami were in office with claims of reform and moderation. It would be the same in the next four years, too. This time, the only difference is that the recent sham election has intensified the rift and crisis at the helm of the regime and on the leadership level, further paving the way for the regime’s overthrow.
Some people are wrongly impressed by the mullahs’ incessant deceptions and think that the clerical regime’s resort to war and carnage in the region stems from their power. Whereas the regime has resorted to a brutal tyranny inside the country and to export of war beyond its borders because it is beset by a nation poised for uprising. By fueling war in the region, the regime seeks to preserve its shaky rule inside the country. If the mullahs were limited to the borders of Iran, they would definitely end up being overthrown.
The orchestrated election two weeks ago, attested to the fragility and instability of the mullahs’ rule. Fearing a popular uprising, Khamenei suffered a setback and failed to unify his regime while he desperately needed to do so.
As a result, the election sham which was supposed to tune up the regime, ended up engulfing it in a paralyzing discord.
In the course of this so-called election, the candidacy of a detested executioner in charge of the 1988 massacre caused a general uproar over the executions of PMOI prisoners, engaged the will of the Iranian people and Resistance as a significant force and led to the regime’s failure. Of course, the regime had deposited millions of fake ballots and inflated the election outcome by several folds as a face-saving measure. Nevertheless, the regime is entirely engulfed in crisis and its overthrow is within reach more than ever before.
On this basis, I would like to propose a three-pronged initiative on behalf of the Iranian people and Resistance. And I urge all the states and countries in the region to support it.
First, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), which is the main operative advancing all the clerical regime’s policies in the region, must be officially recognized and declared as a terrorist entity. The presence of this criminal force and its proxy militias in Middle East countries must not be tolerated and they must be evicted all together from countries in the region.
Second, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) must expel the Iranian regime and grant Iran’s seat in this organization to the Iranian people’s Resistance.
Third, they should recognize the Iranian people’s struggle to bring down the clerical regime and establish freedom and democracy.
Dear sisters and brothers,
In these hours before Iftar, let us pray for the victory of this struggle which is the ultimate desire of all nations in the region.
There is no doubt that the enormous force of solidarity and fortitude among our nations will put an end to the mullahs’ religious dictatorship and realize the victory of the people of Iran as well as of the peoples of the region.
Hail to you all.

For watching the meeting click below link: 

LIVE broadcast: Interfaith solidarity against fundamentalism A Ramadan Iftar meeting

Live Webcast: Meddling of Iran’s regime in the region, Solidarity of Religions against extremism.

An important conference on solidarity of religions against extremism.

Solidarity against extremism Live.JPG

Paris, Saturday June 3, 2017 at 1930 Paris time.  The conference is about meddling of Iran regime in the Middle East and against extremism. “Solidarity of Religions Against Extremism.”, “United against extremism on the Ramadan.”.

Below is the live webcast of this session:

Live Webcast of the Conference

Also this link of broadcast of the conference:

Live Broadcast of the Conference


How Is Iran’s Hassan Rouhani A Moderate?


Iran Commentary

Following the May 19th presidential “election” in Iran and the incumbent Hassan Rouhani reaching a second term, there was an outpouring of Western mainstream media describing him as a moderate again.

As described by the National Review, Iran’s sham election was nothing but “a ridiculous farce. In reality, an anti-American jihadist beat a slightly-worse anti-American jihadist.”

Rouhani was the first Iranian regime official in the early days after the mullahs’ hijacking of the 1979 revolution who openly called for public executions.

He Is #Rouhani is he a #MODERATE?!!!
watch & share 2 others know him#humanrights#executions#humanity#UK#Terrorism#IranElections2017pic.twitter.com/R5mjOgwCdB

— Shawn HarrisⓂ️ (@HarrisShawn5) May 23, 2017

During Rouhani’s first tenure (owing it to the ultraconservative Guardian Council, a 12-cleric body appointed directly and indirectly by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, that vets candidates of all elections in Iran), the regime in Iran:

  • sent over 3,000 to…

View original post 881 more words