Azadegan Iran

       
   

Logo

 

         
 

About our Logo

The Supreme Land created by Ahura-Mazda is called Iran-Veg
Avesta-Yasna
بهترين سرزمينی که اهورا مزدا آفريد ايران زمين نام دارد
اوستا - يسنا
About Us

پارسی
English

 


   
Azadegan Iran
     
 
Select click, browse
Categories above contains essential reading. Submenu are opened for your convenience

If you encountered any broken link(s) or errors messages, please e-mail us with the link address or error message. This is not site e-mail please use for error messages only!
Powered by: Direcconnect
Some Files requires Adobe Acrobat Reader, to download click

Iran's Armed Forces:

Instrument for Freedom

"There are commands from the ruler which are not accepted." -Sun Tzu, The Art Of War


Following the end of every war, it is expected that a nation's leadership would use foreign and domestic resources (human and material) to regain the state's inter national stature while at the same time rebuilding its economic infrastructure. Six years after the ceasefire between Iran and Iraq, all reports indicate that the Iranian government of Hojatol Islam President Hashemi Rafsanjani has failed to achieve normal levels of domestic recovery and international status befitting a state of Iran's potential.

Instead, the clerical regime, through gross violation of the basic human rights of the Iranian people, and the mismanagement of the economy, has incurred the wrath of the people. The clerical regime's ill-advised and provocative foreign policy has also isolated Iran from that sector of the international community which is best suited to help expedite its recovery process.

The government in Tehran has associated itself with schemes and movements which are unacceptable not only to its own people but also to its regional neighbors and the majority of the international community whose help is essential to Iran's national priorities.

A few important examples of the clerical regime's policies are: its support for and complicity in state- sponsored terrorism; its proselytization of revolutionary Islam, and its undermining of the Middle East peace process by giving moral, political, and ideological support to radical groups such as the HezbAllah and Hamas. The persistence of this kind of behavior, which is antithetical to the Iranian national interest, and the increasing domestic repression combined with the worsening economic conditions have
caused riots in many cities over the past two years.

There has been spontaneous and violent unrest in the Iranian cities of Arak, Mashad, Tabriz, Isfahan, Najafabad, and lately in Qazvin and Zanjan. However, it is not only the civilian population that has become disenchanted. The Armed Forces - the professional military as well as some segments of the Pasdaran (Revolutionary Guards) - have also become dis-affected with the clerics' mishandling of both the domestic and foreign policies. In written statements over the past year, several retired and respected Army officers who sided with the revolution in 1979, have criticized, and on occasion denounced, the govern-ment and warned the clerics about the consequences of their dictatorial rule.

In August 1994, a group of active commanders from the Army and the Revolutionary Guard, in response to an order to deploy their forces in Qazvin and deal with the civil unrest, issued a statement declaring that the sworn duty of the Armed Forces was to defend the integrity of the country, not to suppress the people. Also, in early September 1994, a former head of the military police during the early years of the clerics' rule, Brig.-Gen. Azizollah Amir-Rahimi, issued a proclamation citing the bleak economic situation, the totalitarian rule of the clerics, and the ever-increasing violation of basic human rights of the people declared that the time had come for the clerics to return to the mosques and hand over power to a government of national salvation.

We believe that this crisis of confidence within the Armed Forces is a crucial turning point in the politics of Iran. Since the Anned Forces have always played a decisive role in Iranian politics, we are dedicating this issue of Focus On Iran to the discussion of this role and to the mission of the Armed Forces and their duty to help the Iranian people in their quest to bring peace, freedom, and security to their land.

Legator Of Identity

since the founding of the Persian Empire 2,500 years ago, the Army has traditionally been the national symbol of both the political and popular components of the nation as well as the legator of the Iranian Identity. The basic link between the people and their Army through these years is evident in the popular support for and admiration of the Army on one hand and the fact that only in rare exceptions has the Army turned on the populace despite, in some instances, orders to do so from the highest authorities of the state.

In more recent times, the Armed Forces have been virtually the only institution representing the national will of Persia (and later Iran), particularly in the period following the forceful imposition of Russian and British hegemonic spheres of influence after 1907.

In 1921, the Army was the source of political change that moved the nation towards modernization and upward progress. From its ranks came the strongman Reza Khan, subsequently enthroned in 1925 as Reza Shah, who founded the Pahlavi Dynasty. Reza Shah was able to overcome the disorder and chaos sweeping across the unfortunate and nearly dismembered Iran. This represents the dawn of the modern era in Iran, and Reza Shah dedicated himself to the rejuvenation of the Persian identity and national self-interest by concentrating on the social and economic modernization designed to bring Iran to an elevated standing in the international community.

As Kamal Atatitrk did in Turkey, Reza Shah limited the power of the clergy who represented obstacles to progress. With all of its drawbacks, many of the achievements of this period are acknowledged even by those opposed in principle to the Pahlavi regime. The Iranian Armed Forces under Reza Shah were transformed into a modern Army very much aware of its Persian heritage and identity. (In marked contrast, the present clerical regime, having chosen non-Persian names and identities for the Navy, Air Force, and Army units is attempting to de-Persianize the institutions of the Armed Forces, by putting all units of Armed Forces under the spying eyes of Nazi-style Islamic ideological bureau. This runs counter to the historic reality of Iran and the identity of its people as depicted by Ferdowsi.) The Army was effectively changed from an ill-equipped, un-coordinated band of soldiers into a well-disciplined, organized and responsive defensive force.

During and After World War II

During World War 11, while under partial British and Soviet occupation, the Iranian Army was instru mental in maintaining public order and safety, guarded against the very real threat of German inspired sabotage, and provided logistical and security support for the Allied Lend-Lease supply lines to the Soviet Union from the Persian Gulf port terminals.

The Soviet occupation of Iran, and the setting up of the separatist regime in the Iranian province of Azerbaijan, immediately after World War 11, and the subsequent creation of the puppet regime in Mahabad was rigorously opposed by the government in Tehran. Its threat to use its Armed Forces to oust the puppet government, irrespective
of the overwhelming superiority of its Soviet backers, was sufficient incentive for the United Nations, with the unqualified support of the United States, to back the Iranian demands and force the Soviets to abandon their occupation of Azerbaijan. Finally in 1946, Iranian forces marched into Tabriz thereby preserving the territorial integrity of Iran.

In the early 1950s, during the nationalization of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, and the premiership of the nationalist leader, Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh, the Armed Forces were fragmented by three opposing ideologies. One segment supported Mossadegh, one segment was completely under the sway of communist ideology and was directed by the Tudeh party, and the third segment was loyal to the monarchy and ultimately participated in the coup which toppled the Mossadegh government.

During the reign of Mohammed Reza Shah, particularly in the late 1960s and 1970s, with the training and material support of the United States, the Iranian Armed Forces became the most important fighting force east of the Suez. The Iranian Navy played the role of a stabilizer for two decades following the British withdrawal from the Persian Gulf in 1971. Indeed, the Iranian Armed Forces defended both north and south of Hormoz against Marxist subversion. On one hand they prevented the fall of Oman, and on the other hand thwarted Yemeni inspired guerrillas to subvert the Persian Gulf Sheikdoms.

After Revolution, The Purge

The revolution of 1979, resulting in the overthrow of the monarchy and the ascent to power of the radical clergy, was neither instigated nor implemented by the Armed Forces. However, a major factor in the ultimate triumph of the Islamic revolution was the announcement of the neutrality of the Armed Forces. Once in power, Ayatollah Khomeini and the Islamic Republic commenced a reign of terror against the Armed Forces in the name of misguided justice and retribution. This action resulted in the removal and execution of a significant portion of the higher echelons of the Armed Forces.

It was believed by the religious authorities that these officers were not loyal to the revolution, though there was never a question about their loyalty to the nation. Without doubt, the execution of the officers were political murders without legal foundation. This decapitation of the Armed Forces played a significant role in the initial failure of the Army to prepare for and counter the Iraqi invasion in 1980.

One is reminded here of the circumstantial similarities with the Stalinist purge trials against the leadership of the Red Army in 1937-38 and the subsequent disastrous failure of the Red Army to counter the German attack (Operation Barbarossa) in 1941. It is almost as if Stalin's actions served as the prototype for Iran's current radical revolutionary leadership.
Heroic Defense Against The Iraqi Invasion despite the decimation of the armed-forces professional leadership and the ineptitude of the political leadership in its handling of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, the heroic action of the combat forces,
including the Revolutionary Guards, ultimately blunted the Iraqi invasion to the point where a stalemate armistice was declared in 1988. Once again, the experience of the Red Army in World War II should be recalled: the principal motivating factor in its ultimate success against the Nazis was its realization that it was fighting for the "motherland" Russia and not for the Stalin's Bolshevik regime.

Similarly, the Iranian combat forces realized that they were fighting to save the Iranian Nation, not the Ayatollah's political theocracy. In spite of the mismanagement of the war effort by the clerical leaders, materiel insufficiencies, and many other shortcomings, the Armed Forces achieved its strategic goal by preserving the territorial integrity of Iran.

It is significant that although the Revolutionary Guards originated as instruments of the regime, they fought shoulder-to-shoulder with the professional Armed Forces in the defense of their country. (All indications are that the majority of the Pasdaran now identify with the people rather than the goals of the regime.)

The current govern-ment of Rafsanjani and the radical clerics is once more endangering the nation's security without concern for the harm that it might have on the Armed Forces' ability to maintain an acceptable level of readiness and morale. This development is manifested in the government's involvement with international terrorism and its attempts to foment political instability throughout the region.

Iran's regional and international activities have isolated it as a "backlash state" and caused the international community to refrain from helping the Iranian Armed Forces re-equip and recover from the devastation of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war. Only the communist regime in North Korea can be considered a reliable supplier of weapons, especially the Scud-C intermediate-range ballistic missile. Even China and Russia have revised their policies regarding unqualified arms sales to Iran due to its suspected support of terrorism, its policy of propagating revolutionary Islam, and its undermining of the Middle East peace process.
Dealing With Saddam.

T he recent meeting of Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati with Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz at the United Nations, just prior to the October crisis over Iraq's threat to Kuwait, and recent statements by Rafsanjani on Iraq have raised questions about Iran's interest and role in Saddam Hussein's activities. In the October 6, 1994, issue of the daily newspaper, Ettela'al, published in New York in Farsi, with the financial support of the Tehran regime, Hojatol-Islam Ataollah Mohajerani, an advisor to Rafsanjani, is quoted as saying that the meeting between Velayati and Aziz could lay a new foundation for rapprochement between Iran and Iraq. Apparently preparations have already been made for Velayati's visit to Baghdad.

For the Iranian clerics to become the new apologists for Saddam would result in incalculable harm to Iran and the Armed Forces by further cementing its pariah status.

It has come to our attention that some senior Iranian government officials are interested in establishing an anti-Western/anti-U.S., anti-Saudi, and anti-peace cooperation regime in the region - possibly they are moving to establish a "Tehran-Baghdad Axis". In the same October 6 issue of Euela'at, Mohajerani is further quoted as saying that both Iran and Iraq were Muslim countries, both were against the U.S. effort for peace between Israel and the Arabs, both could coordinate their OPEC policies, and both needed to have secure borders.

According to Mohajerani, they should therefore work together, especially in opposition to U.S. influence in the region. This Iranian-Iraqi cooperation would be antithetical to Iran's national interests and dangerous to the security of its Armed Forces. It should be remembered that Iranian casualties were over 400,000 killed and over one-million injured and/or maimed in the eight years of war with Iraq. It might be good for the immediate political goals of the regime in Tehran to make an alliance with the other pariah state of the region, but such an alliance would certainly not be in the long-term interests of Iran and the Iranian people.

Peace with the Iraqi people is acceptable, but peace with the unreliable and mercurial Saddam Hussein is not. Any such peace should be conditional upon Iraq's return of all Iranian POWs (reportedly numbering over 30,000), the payment of reparations for invading Iran and the damages it caused during the eight years of imposed war, and the full acceptance of the Algiers Agreement of 1975 over the Shatt al-Arab waterway.

So it seems evident that the Iranian Armed Forces should send a message to the clerical leadership that they will not accept any agreement with Iraq until these demands are met in full, and without any preconditions or alliances threatening the peace and stability of the region. While Iran must oppose the disintegration of Iraq, it must resist dealing with and legitimizing Saddam and the Ba'ath party.

Domestic Events

nternally in Iran, there is great economic and social distress. The Army has correctly made it clear that it will not act to harm the populace on behalf of the political goals of the regime. Since 1990 there have been increasing numbers of civil disturbances and riots throughout the nation due to these economic and social dislocations. Although these riots have been vigorously suppressed, this suppression has occurred for the most part without the participation of the armed force. Moreover, the Armed Forces have not shown any intention to either cooperate with the regime by supporting its repressive actions or, conversely, to overthrow it.

There seems to be an implied understanding that the Armed Forces would remain politically neutral, to the benefit of the Iranian people in their unhappy situation. It is reasonable to assume that the people of Iran expect the Armed Forces to protect them in the event that the paramilitary Bassij (Khameini's Red Guard) fire upon them.

The severe economic pressure, the harsh social repression, and the lack of freedom will inevitably force the Iranian people to take to the streets and demand the overthrow of the increasingly isolated clergy. Neither the Iranian people nor the free-world community can tolerate the repressive regime in Tehran.

The international community is sensitive to the reaction of Iran's Armed Forces, hoping that they will remain favorably disposed to the plight of their countrymen rather than become the instrument of the regime's repressive political goals.

The Iranian Armed Forces are committed to Iran and its people, and not the self-serving clerics. The role of the Armed Forces, as in the past, will be to insure public safety, to guard the nation's frontiers, and to provide security for the newly-established government. But, should the clerics not give in to the popular will and voluntarily relinquish power to a government of national unity, the Army's role will become paramount in throwing its active support behind the people in order to precipitate political change.

A hopeful appraisal can be seen for Iran's future in the statement issued in August 1994 by a group of key military officers who informed the clerical leadership that they should not count on the Armed Forces to support the regime's suppression of the civilian population. This statement shows that the Iranian Armed Forces are becoming disaffected with the national leadership.

The Armed Forces know that without a sound foreign policy, national strategy, and a strong political leadership they will be unable to fulfill their mission. It seems that even the Pasdaran are disaffected with the policies of the regime; policies which are catapulting Iran to the brink of disaster.

According to a secret document published in London's Farsi Kayhan newspaper on September I, 1994, the Revolutionary Guard is against participating in domestic suppression. In this letter to Mohsem Rezai, commander of the Pasdaran, Brigadier General (Pasdar) Gholamreza lalali, the commander of the Qazvin division, categorically refused the order to participate in the suppression of the riots in Qazvin in early August. Only the very top echelons of the Pasdaran high command remain fully supportive of the clerical regime.

Conclusion

The obvious solution to Iran's self-imposed political problems is the replacement of the current despotic, inefficient and incapable regime of the clerics with a civilian, moderate and democratic government which is responsive to the popular needs, aspirations and priorities. This new government would alter the current regime's failed domestic and foreign policies and bring Iran greater hope for a better future at home and abroad.

The historic mission of the Iranian Armed Forces is to help transfer power from the despotic clerics to the people. This should be done as soon as possible because the present ideological path the regime in Tehran is following has set it on a collision course with the western countries and the very real possibility of actual conflict. Such conflict would be extremely dangerous to the integrity of the Iranian nation.

The transfer of power which we are calling for should take place, if possible, by peaceful means. If this proves impossible, then the Armed Forces must act according to the national will: in a liberal fashion in what could be called a pronunciamiento.

We therefore believe the solution for transferring power from the current regime to the people rests in the support given by the Armed Forces for the adherence to democratic processes which will lead to the establishment of a new representative government.

 



 

 

 

 


 

 






BtmMenu Home | Articles | Interviews | Focus Articles | Contact | Parsi Pages | Contributions |