By Mohammad Mazhari

Youth can be permanent base for Islamic Revolution: ex-Lebanese foreign minister

January 20, 2021 - 10:46

TEHRAN – Noting that the letters that the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei penned to Western youth contain great humanitarian concepts, a former Lebanese foreign minister believes that the young generations in the world can be a permanent base and strong pillar for the Iranian Islamic Revolution.

 “This revolution must keep up with the coming young generations in order to understand their demands and stand by their side,” Adnan Mansour tells the Tehran Times. “So that these generations will be a permanent base and strong pillar for the Iranian Islamic Revolution.”

The former Lebanese foreign minister says, “These two messages can serve as a bridge to young people in the West to remind them about their human responsibility whilst they are facing new developments in the world.”

In a letter dated January 21, 2015, and another on November 29, 2015, Ayatollah Khamenei elaborated on the truth of Islam and malicious attempts by certain Western leaders to distort the image of Islam. 

The following is the text of the interview:

Q: Ayatollah Khamenei, Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, has penned two letters to the youth in Europe and North America, which are considered among the most important events in recent years, despite attempts by the Western media to boycott and hide the impact of the messages. How do you see the effect of these messages on Western youth and academia?

A: There is no doubt that the two messages that the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Ali Khamenei, penned to the youth in Europe and North America contain great humanitarian concepts due to the principles and values they addressed.

These two messages can build a bridge for young people in the West to remind them about their human responsibility whilst they are facing new developments in the world.

Since these young people are undoubtedly reflecting their nations anywhere in this world, Imam Khamenei turns to these young men to look at matters in a real and objective view in order to make appropriate decisions and adopt the right approaches regarding their societies and also with regard to the peoples of the entire world.

Iran encounters extremism while it rejects fanaticism, hegemony, and authoritarianism sponsored by the forces of terror who are seeking to tamper with peoples' rights.

There are peoples who suffer from domination and suffer from terrorism that strikes their countries, and we have many examples in this world. 

Terrorism, especially in the Islamic world, has destabilized or threatened many countries and regions, from Libya to Egypt, and extends to Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Indonesia, and Pakistan. 

Therefore, when Imam Khamenei pens these letters, they serve as a bridge to the youth to show them the reality of the Islamic Republic; a message of love, brotherhood, and friendship based on mutual respect, the rights of peoples, and the right to self-determination for peoples.

Q: Why did the Leader of the Islamic Republic directly address the youth generation?

A: Certainly, Western youth must think deeply over this message to know the truth of what is going on in this world, especially since there are misleading and hostile media reports directed against peoples in the world while some nations are seeking stability and justice and refuse hegemony and joining the policy of axes and alliances.

These young people in the West must understand well the values, message, demand, and advice that came in the letters.

Q: Do you think that the ground is appropriate for dialogue between the Islamic and Western worlds?

A: An understanding between the Islamic world and the countries in the Western world needs to take into consideration primarily political, ideological, and national issues.

There is no doubt that the difference between religions does not mean clash. It is a must to build bridges between the Islamic and Western worlds in order to understand each other. This matter requires great effort. It is not possible to talk about an understanding between the Islamic and Western worlds while the two worlds remain far from each other or show hostility.

Therefore, there must be forums and meetings at intellectual, cultural, and scientific levels to bring together the two sides to clarify the values, concepts, principles, ideals, and aspirations of both sides (Western and Islamic world).

Here we should focus on the role of the Islamic Republic, especially since Iran’s revolution, as it has actually carried the slogan of freedom and justice. 

Iran suffered a lot before its revolution during the Shah era and before him during the Qajar era. However, Iran has great capabilities to carry out this task and this is due to its political, geographical, cultural, intellectual, and literary position. All this makes Iran at the forefront in delivering the message of the Islamic world to the Western world.

As I said, the political differences between the two worlds have resulted in division, hatred, and enmity, as well as wars. Therefore, these issues must be overcome by building a bridge for communication and strengthening it at various political and social scenes as well as intellectual, cultural, scientific, literary, political, and diplomatic levels.

Q: Given your experience in the field of foreign policy and international relations, how do you evaluate Iran's foreign policy after the victory of the Islamic revolution?

A: Regarding Iran’s foreign policy, as I said, Iran's slogan has been a clear message since the victory of the Islamic Revolution.

Iran’s foreign policy has not seen fluctuations from time to time at all. 

Iran has remained consistent through its foreign policy and has maintained its clear approach and policy, which is extending friendship to friends and brothers and resisting everyone who wants to lie in wait for this nation, and the region.

Therefore, I say there are many opportunities in which to contain the challenges that dominate the arena. Undoubtedly, great efforts must be made. Iran must practice its policies with its friends in order to make its policies and role understandable, rather than looking at Iranian foreign policy from a narrow Western perspective which tries to portray Iran as a threat to security and peace in the region.

We know very well today how the Western media is mobilizing the Western public opinion against Iran and distorting its image, whether this is in the region or at the international level. Therefore, Iran's mission in this field is a big one, and it must face these challenges to show the actual truth of its role and mission in spreading peace, justice, and freedom.

Q: How do you see the influence of the resistance movement’s efforts and moves in the world, especially in countries that are suffering from U.S.-backed dictatorships?

A: The resistance within the Arab and Western public drew broad lines and gave great lessons to the peoples of the whole world, which is that when people are under occupation, there is no room for them but struggle and resistance.

Therefore, when a part of Lebanon was under Israeli occupation, the resistance had nothing but to confront this aggression. Over the years and decades, it managed to confront Israeli terrorism and was able to achieve victory and force the Zionist enemy to withdraw from the Lebanese lands.

When Lebanon was also exposed to the Israeli aggression in 2006, the resistance had no choice but to stand in the face of this aggression, whatever the price. 

Indeed, despite the tremendous destruction that the enemy inflicted on our hearts, and despite the human losses, the resistance was able to withstand and record a brilliant victory over the Israeli enemy.

This resistance was not only a lesson for the Arab public but rather a lesson for the whole world that how Lebanon was able, with its great resistance, to confront a regime that possessed a formidable military force in the region and was able to defeat its army and record victory over it.

So, this image for the Western audience must be taken from its positive side, to remind the right of any people in the world to stand in the face of aggression, especially since the West has experienced aggression and occupation by the Nazis during World War II.

Q: What is the message of the Islamic Revolution to the region and the world? 

A: The message of the Islamic Revolution is clear and explicit through its principles set forth in the Iranian constitution. It is a message of peace and love that seeks freedom wherever it is and seeks liberation, independence in the political and economic decisions. 

The Islamic Revolution must also take into account the aspirations of the younger generations, since each generation has its own concepts and aspirations, especially as the world is moving and developing for the better.

Therefore, this revolution must keep up with the coming young generations in order to understand their demands and stand by their side so that these generations will be a permanent base and strong pillar for the Iranian Islamic Revolution.

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