The revolution, which had a ripple effect across the Muslim world, marked a watershed moment in the never-ending fight against the Western imperialism and allowed the newly-formed Islamic Republic to assert its sovereignty and establish social justice based on sacrosanct Islamic values and beliefs.
While the revolution shored up resistance against the US in Iran, it also inspired anti-Western movements across the region that valiantly stood up to imperialistic domination.
What made this revolution different from the Chinese and Russian revolutions were its Islamic ideological precepts, motto of freedom, and emphasis on the ideals of Karbala uprising.
“The Iranian people’s revolution is only a point in the start of the revolution of the great world of Islam,” Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini – the founder of the Islamic Republic – said then, referring to the Islamic revival across the world.
Four decades on, the visionary leader’s words still resonate, the effects of which can be felt in the region and beyond, unceasingly inspiring the campaigners of truth and justice.
Imam Khomeini had proposed a model of governance based on social welfare and freedom. He also laid the foundation of a force that would not only defend the country but also the revolution.
That is how the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) came into being in April 1979, first as a volunteer force comprising youth that secured neighborhoods from Pahlavi regime’s marauding troops, and later it evolved into a full-fledged institution with involvement in different realms.
“The Islamic Revolution Guard Corps, organized in the early days of the triumph of the revolution, is to be maintained so that it may continue in its role of guarding the Revolution and its achievements,” states Article 150 of the country’s Constitution.
From Mohsen Rezaee, who led the corps for about 16 years between 1980s and 1990s, to Hossein Salami, the present-day chief, the IRGC has played its role commendably in not only preserving the ideals of 1979 revolution, but also diversifying its activities into social, economic and cultural domains.
The biggest accomplishment, however, has been its no-holds-barred resistance to America’s hegemonic ambitions and destabilizing activities in the region, which was the basic goal of the revolution.
In the last four decades, many governments have assumed power in Tehran, each following their own domestic, regional and international policies, in the true spirit of a vibrant democracy.
Under Hashemi Rafsanjani (1989-1997) and Mohammad Khatami (1997-2005), Iran pursued a flexible foreign policy, but not much success was achieved in ending hostilities with the US. During the eventful tenure of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (2005-2013), Iran adopted confrontational policy in the face of crippling US sanctions, which only led to heightened tensions. Under Hassan Rouhani’s administration, the policy swung from flexibility and peace overtures to confrontation, especially after the megalomaniac former US President [Donald Trump] unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal.
At times, there were concerns about Iranian officials giving concessions to the US and its European allies in a bid to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). At times, pressure tactics were used to bring Tehran to its knees. However, Iran survived all waves of hostility and aggression, and came out stronger.
Amidst these political upheavals, the role of country’s revolutionary corps, in particular its extraterritorial wing, the Quds Force, has been noteworthy. It has ensured that the Islamic Republic’s foreign policy continues to be in tune with what was envisioned by the founder of the Islamic Republic.
This is where the role of former Quds Force chief, Lt. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, deserves a mention. Understanding the broader ideology of Islamic Revolution and the principles of resistance is essential to comprehend Iran’s involvement in the region, especially in places where the US and its notorious regional allies have been carrying out their destabilizing activities.
His role in eliminating the Zionist threat in southern Lebanon, annihilating Daesh from Syria and Iraq, strengthening the resistance front in Palestine, and making Houthis in Yemen a force to reckon with cannot be whitewashed. As President Hassan Rouhani remarked on Wednesday, he stood tall in both the battlefield and in diplomacy.
That does not mean that he substituted the country’s top diplomats in designing foreign policies. He only complemented them, which is the beauty of Iran’s Constitution.
Iran, as a proud democratic republic, pursues an independent foreign policy and believes in fostering deep ties with countries across the globe. It also does not shy away from protecting its sovereignty and territorial integrity and those of its neighbors and regional allies.
That’s what Imam Khomeini meant by Islamic governance, which goes beyond lip service and forms the basis of the country’s Constitution.
In a speech delivered in August 1984, the founding leader of the Islamic Republic explicitly underlined that “he who says that religion is separate from politics, has denied God, denied the Prophet of Allah, [and] denied the Imams.”
Contrary to what pundits in the West want you to believe, all shades of political opinion in Iran bear their allegiance to the Islamic revolution and agree that the movement needs to be preserved and the ideals of the revolution need to be incorporated into governance and rule of law.
Since this revolution does not approve meddling of foreign powers in the country’s domestic affairs, and calls for resistance against the forces of global hegemony, the United States and its allies understandably have a problem with it.
Many efforts have been made and myriad conspiracies hatched to cause a schism within Iran, along the imaginary lines of pro-revolution and anti-revolution, between those in the battlefield and those at the negotiating table.
But, as always, the plots have failed and the forces of resistance have always emerged stronger.
As the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said on Feb 2019, on the 40th anniversary of the revolution, the Islamic Revolution has “never suffered from, and will never suffer from stagnation and recession.”
He noted that the world today is witnessing an “Islamic awakening” based on the model of resistance to American and Zionist dominance, and that the US and its allies have failed while Iran has thrived.
This has been possible due to the efforts of those who have guarded this revolution with their pure blood. This has been possible due to adherence to the lofty ideals of the Islamic Revolution.
By Syed Zafar Mehdi from Presstv