By Batool Subeiti

Ten rays for the dawn of a nation

February 15, 2021 - 13:15

The Islamic Republic is the identity of Iran. Indeed, the world acknowledges religion as a system of governance for the individual. It is seen as a way to organise an individual’s life.

1. A nation with an unmistakable identity

The Islamic Republic is the identity of Iran. Indeed, the world acknowledges religion as a system of governance for the individual. It is seen as a way to organize an individual’s life. Despite all the so-called 'Islamic' dynasties that have ruled in the world after the governments of the infallibles, the rest have used the name of Islam as a cover for their interests. For the first time, a state like Iran is using the religion of Islam as a determining factor and a real identity for the state and for society. 

At the same time, it acknowledges that religion is a free choice for the individual and there is no jurisdiction over one’s private beliefs or actions. However, on a societal level, it is compulsory to observe the laws of Islam, in order to respect the democratic will of the overwhelming majority. 

Imam Khomeini’s leadership was such that he expected the people to create the change, not him as an individual, and he led in such a way that the people came to the realization that their presence on the streets is what will bring about the change, as the revolution itself was led whilst he was in exile.
Even today, the strength of the Islamic Republic comes from its people approving the system, and it is through this system that progress and changes are made if elements prove unworkable in any field; it is a system that has the capacity to renew itself and to absorb any noticeable problems that may surface – and the moment the nation’s people decide to collectively abandon the Islamic Republic and its leadership, the system will fail to stand as it does today.

2. A nation of unified and well-monitored institutions, not owned by individuals
The Islamic Republic of Iran sought to strengthen and protect its nation through the creation of institutions from scratch, such as the Islamic Consultative Assembly, Guardian Council, Expediency Council, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and the Basij. All these bodies are either directly or indirectly elected by the nation, who therefore have a say in the appointment of officials, whilst these bodies are designed to monitor each other, not allowing any possibility of diversion or abduction by those in power. This naturally leads to strong adhesion between the nation and the leadership, whereby the people feel they are agents, participating in the decision-making process. 

These institutions are cohesive and cover all aspects of ruling the country, based on serving the public to the maximum ability, and were built in such a way that they depended on the masses and not select individuals; thus, it has not allowed for the interest of those in power to dominate or to exit from the line that has been drawn, no matter the importance of their position. 
As a result, the Islamic Republic became a deep state that is overpowering, such that its principles penetrated the heart of the nation, whilst issues, semi-uprisings, or seditions caused in the aftermath occurred at the surface and were diffusible.

3. A free, independent nation
It was the Iranian people who chanted on the streets ‘No East, No West, Islamic Republic’, and the world, specifically the superpowers, had witnessed this slogan materialize with respect to their own relationship with Iran, and the independence and freedom the nation got from the monopoly of the Western superpowers- over their land and affairs, is now something well known and speaks for itself.
With independence, it means the country has been able to depend on its real power and its domestic resources. Right from the start, the Islamic Republic took an independent line from the superpowers, exploring their own methodologies and ways of improving their potentialities, in a way befitting to any mission or policy they wish to go forward with. 

4. A nation with principles overshadowing their national interests
The Islamic Republic added a new dimension to the political system of governance, by showing the world that principles ought to overshadow a nation’s interests; that is to say, interests need to be built on core principles. Indeed, a nation’s interests are very important, and they simply cannot be ignored; nations need to be ambitious, need to collaborate, and seek ways to improve and fulfill their needs, however, it is interests built on principles that are missing from governmental practices and policies of the past and present, that simply lack ethics and morality.
Indeed, the Iranian nation is even losing out on many ‘benefits’ it may otherwise gain in the short term because it is sticking by these human principles. For example, its proactive stance towards the Palestinian liberation cause, whether that is through strengthening the resistance groups on the ground, or establishing Al-Quds Day as an international day to remember all the oppressed groups around the world, in the name of Palestine. 
Prior to the Islamic Revolution, no entity dared to speak out against the oppressive superpowers, and this is what has led the most powerful states in the world to sanction Iran, in hopes to get the nation on its knees. Despite this, the Islamic Republic has not once abandoned the Palestinian cause.

5. A patient nation
In order for a nation to sustain itself under high external pressure and sanctioning, sub-characteristics ought to exist within the morale of its society. For example, it has to possess a high degree of patience and ability to see the long term. Iran has demonstrated this under many circumstances, such as its endurance in the face of the maximum pressure policy imposed by the American administration, the long-term negotiations for the JCPOA that were scrapped by Trump, and not to forget the 8-year imposed war on Iran by Saddam who was pushed by the West. Iran did not accept defeat and insisted on not compromising until equality was established, and until it liberated all areas occupied. 
It is worth pointing out that what got the nation through this 8-year crisis and the aftermath- without giving up- was sticking to their principles. Their slogan throughout was, ‘if you starve us, we are the children of Ramadan; if you kill us, we are the children of Ashura.’ 

6.  A nation with an open hand policy
The Islamic Republic’s foreign policy rests on the principle of supporting all oppressed people, no matter their religion, sect, and ethnicity, and many examples can be given in this regard; for example, its long term practical and moral support of Venezuela in the face of the U.S. sanctions, despite the further sanctions Iran has had to face as a result.
When America entered Iraq in the 1990s, during the (Persian) Gulf War, and during the 2003 invasion, Iran was in a position where they opened their hands, even to those groups that had opposed them but had the common interest of fighting the American presence in the region; they were able to distinguish between the primary foreign enemy and the secondary, local power that opposed them. They opened their hands of support to whomever was willing to resist the American occupation, supporting various Iraqi factions in this regard. 
In addition to this, the ensuing vacuum created in the Iraqi economy and national infrastructure was accommodated for, for example, through the support of building its institutions, the supply and export of electricity and fuels, and the support of martyred families through the Shaheed Foundation, that has branches in many other countries, such as Lebanon, Palestine, Nigeria, etc. More recently, Iran has provided tactical military support to the Syrian, Iraqi, and Kurdish factions fighting ISIS on the frontlines. 
This policy of having an open hand for all and looking for the common interests with other parties, whilst dealing mercifully is a long-term strategy, not only informing the security and sovereignty but the building of institutions that serve people and nations, where there is a willingness for the other party to work with them. 
This is the case, despite the psychological barriers the West has sought to create in the minds of the people, through their demonization towards the Islamic Republic, leaving many who would rather be slaves of their imperial masters, than receive support from a nation that is predicated on providing support to others.

7.  A nation with consistency
The Islamic Republic has proved that it is consistent with its actions and does not react based on impulse or in response to provocations, whilst looking at the whole picture strategically. For example, in response to the assassination of its top major general and scientists, they did not respond in the same manner to the perpetrating entity, because they consider assassinating individuals in such a manner to be wrong. Their focus is on taking calculated measures and opting for the long-term, that is the removal of the superpowers from the entire region, which is an even greater blow. A key characteristic the nation has proved is that nobody pulls them to the square they want them to be in; they respond from their own lane and based on their policies. 

8. A nation with practicality
Due to the oppressive nature of the world order system, which is manipulated and subservient to the superpowers, the Islamic Republic has had to deal with this unfair system as it is, whilst seeking their own rights within that system. For example, Iran’s right to produce nuclear energy for peaceful use is denied by a world baselessly accusing them of seeking to possess nuclear arms. In their practicality, the nation has sought to reach compromises and agreements within that unfair and oppressive world system, whilst obtaining the maximum they can get from it. 

Within its constraints, the Islamic Republic has sought to build strengthening components for themselves and are creative, therefore they do not stick to conventional routes and follow their needs with high practicality. For example, they are not interested in following the typical yardstick of the more powerful militaries, regarding the quantity and advancement of their equipment; Iran’s strategies are fixated on the type of equipment and weapons that are suitable and fit for their needs. Whilst their archenemies are ahead of them in military aircraft and quality production, they do not seek to compete in this regard, through the purchase of Russian or Chinese military aircrafts, for example, that the Americans will still be more advanced in; rather, they tend towards the use of anti-craft missiles, drones, strengthening their sea marine presence, and have demonstrated the defensive rather than offensive strategy. As a result, their enemy has failed to use its magnanimous strength to its advantage in this regard, whilst the focus of Iran has been on using the necessary resources in the best possible way, whilst producing technology of such accuracy, such that it knows precisely where to hit targets.
Despite being a developing country, its cyber capabilities are that of a first-world country, as Iran has a broad spectrum of sophisticated cyber networks. 

9. A nation that renews itself in a dynamic way
It has been over four decades since the Revolution, and it is still alive within the hearts and minds of the Iranian people and beyond, whilst there are overpowering feelings in the new generation, that have not even witnessed the Revolution or the Iran-Iraq war themselves, and despite the enemy’s plot to target their belief through the soft war. This implies the Revolution has a dynamic understanding of the needs of the new generation that is attracted to it, despite the great challenges that come about with sustaining revolutions and the prevalence of subsequent generations losing touch with the original causes, however, this has not been the case with the Islamic Republic. 

10. A nation seeking a new world order

The Islamic Republic has displayed ambitions in doing things. They look for a new world order system, despite being a developing country, and have a major say on world politics. The current world order system is an aggressive and oppressive one, in favour of the strong maintaining monopoly over the weak, with no compromises or shame to impose themselves as the rulers of the world. The Islamic Republic presented a model of a new world order standing on justice, mutual respect towards other nations as representatives of people, and contracts built on co-operation, exchange of expertise, and growth. This necessitates the elimination of monopolies, aggression, states offending others, and imposing their interests at the expense of the people’s interests. 

Indeed, the equation of the more powerful subjugating the weak has been going on since the creation of man, and what the Islamic Republic brought forward is policies that have not been seen before in the dirty world of politics.
This moral dimension, whereby interests are abandoned if they are not in line with principles and consequences are even faced as a result of being steadfastness on the principles, is something other nations, particularly the West fail to understand, believing there is some special interest behind this model of governance.

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