The Vision of the Anointed, part 1
Twelvers Shi’a Islamists Hijacked the Revolution in Iran and Became the Mighty Army of God.
Previously we reflected on the Shia-CIA relationship as being one of the great ironies of the 20th century. Ironic indeed, but perhaps mostly because each partner tried so hard to achieve its own objectives, only to end in frustration and “divorce.” As the Imams finally succeeded in their ancient dream of Islamic Government, the relationship fell apart and descended into the looming conflict we have today, bristling with the specter of nuclear confrontation. Much has been said about the so-called “Islamic Revolution,” but neither has its true history been understood, nor the fundamental nature of its religio-political structure in Iranian society.
Everyone characterizes Iran today as an Islamic government. This presupposes that all Muslims, including the majority Sunnis (87% of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims) or any other branch of the Shi’a Muslims have any say in running the social, economic, legal, and political affairs of Iran. This is a fundamental misunderstanding! Iran is not “governed” as is a country in the way we think of a modern Nation-State being governed. Rather it has been captured by a narrow sect of Islam known as Twelvers Shi’a Islam. Their vision of governance–in their own words–is that of a worldwide Islamic Nation in submission to the return of the 12th Imam, or Hidden Imam, in which world the concept, “Nation-State,” is not relevant. This means that their objectives and loyalty are to their larger Twelvers Shi’a belief system, in which the country of Iran is a stepping stone. This crowd of “believers” with its current generation of Shi’a “crusaders” has presented the world, especially the US, with one of its greatest unforeseen challenges. Our policy makers so far have given no evidence that they understand how conniving and deceptive these criminal-minded “crusaders” really are. And, we are getting no help from all the blabbering pundits and “experts,” most of whom are either too young to have actually experienced their history, or are actually supporters of the so-called “reformists,” disguised as academics and political writers. American architect Charles Luckman’s pithy observation that, “America is a series of vast, wide open spaces surrounded by teeth,” certainly applies to this cacophonous cabal. We need a more sober examination of the facts and a realistic understanding of the players in this drama, before we can launch any policies that either have relevance or hope of success.
The Ultimate Player
“The Enemy of my Enemy is my Friend.”
How many times have we heard that? Or seen it in action? But where did this “wisdom” come from? The most likely attribution is to the Prophet Muhammad himself (may peace be upon him)–in order to meet his “social and political responsibilities” during the ten-year period in which he engaged in his 64 or 65 battles—which, “If averaged out, will show that [Mohammad] had a military expedition every forty or fifty days.”
According to the late Iranian revolutionary ideologue, Dr. Ali Shariati (1933- 1977),
“He was a man who wielded so much power and might that even when his enemies wanted to abuse him, they would say: ‘He is a Prophet equipped with arms and his religion is the religion of the sword.’ For the world his image is projected as that of a warrior.”
The CIA’s own history of its notorious 1953 coup clearly identifies the group with whom the CIA allied itself: the Twelvers Shi’a Islamist “terrorist gang” (as the CIA called it), Fada’ian-e Eslam (Devotees of Islam). They were the key collaborators with the Agency in overthrowing the democratically elected secular government of Dr. Mohammad Mosaddeq and reinstalling the Shah back on the peacock Throne (see below). On May 14, 1945 Fada’ian-e Eslam was founded and lead by Seyyed Mojtaba Navvab Safavi (1924 – 1955), born Mojtaba Mir-Lohi. Safavi developed a simple, even primitive, utopian concept of pure Islamic government, which he derived from the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt. On 28 April 1945, this “godfather” of the modern Islamic Revolution launched his activist career by personally shooting Ahmad Kasravi (1890 – March 11, 1946), one of Iran’s most renowned historians and a Shi’a critic. Kasravi, however, survived.
At that time, a young cleric named Ruhollah Khomeini criticized Muslims and the Muslim establishment for not taking any action against Kasravi. Finally, on 11 March 1946, as Kasravi was entering the prosecutor’s office at Iran’s Ministry of Justice to respond to blasphemy charges made against him, two of Safavi’s followers, Seyyed Hossein Emami and Seyyed Ali Muhammad Emami (bazaari shopkeepers) brutally attacked Kasravi and killed him.
The First Act
By July 1953, CIA documents indicate:
“Nearly all important [Iranian] religious leaders with large followings [were] firmly opposed to Mosaddeq. Both the U.S. field station [CIA] and the [SIS-MI6] British group [had] firm contact with such leaders.” In its Initial Operational Plan, TPAJAX, the CIA portrayed “Mosaddeq Government basically anti-religious.” To spread rumors of “ties between Mosaddeq and Tudeh (communist party); and Mosaddeq and USSR,” just prior to the coup day, “CIA would give widest publicity to all fabricated documents proving secret agreement between Mosaddeq and Tudeh (Appendix A, IX-B #1 of the CIA’s “Secret History of 1953 coup in Iran,” The New York Times, April 2000).”
- “On the appointed day, stage attacks will be made against respected religious leaders in Tehran.
- Other religious leaders will at once say that these attacks were ordered by Mosaddeq as his reaction to the disfavor in which his government is held by religious leaders of the entire country
- A number of the more important leaders will at once take sanctuary in the Majlis [Parliament] grounds
- At this time, these religious leaders will release statements through their followers denouncing in the strongest terms the anti-religious attitude and behavior of Mosaddeq.
- At the same time… the fullest publicity will be given to the US station [CIA] fabricated documents which prove and record in detail a secret agreement between Mosaddeq and Tudeh [communist party], with the latter promising to use all their force in support of Mosaddeq and against the religious leaders, the army, and the police….”.
The CIA portrayed Mosaddeq as a premier who “favors the Tudeh party and the USSR (This will be supported by black [forged] documents.),” and that “Mosaddeq is an enemy of Islam since he associates with Tudeh and advances their aims.” Ayatollah Kashani, Navvab Safavi and the Fada’ian-e Eslam celebrated the coup d’etat as a victory over the danger of Communist and Soviet domination over Iran. Five days after the coup, on 25 August 1953, Ayatollah Borujerdi, the Grand Source of Imitation of Shiis, congratulated the Shah on his return from brief exile in Rome. On the same day, Navvab- Safavi published a declaration rejoicing over Mosaddeq’s fall and asking the Shah to follow the rules of Islam.
Also, Iran/ between tradition and modernity – Jahan Biglow Google Books, section, Sohrab Behrad: Utopia of Assassins: Navvab Safavi and the Fada’ian-e Eslam in Pre-revolutionary Iran-pp. 70-92
Safavi’s concept of [Shi’a] Islamic government and the formation of his ideal Islamic society was detailed in his Barnameh-ye Enqelabi-ye Fada’ian-e Eslam (revolutionary program). The ninety-page pamphlet was first published in October/November 1950, in the heat of the debates over the nationalization of the oil industry. The second printing came out in May/June 1953, about two months before the coup d’etat. The central theme of his program on the heading of the Declaration was God’s might, followed by the Persian words, din va enteqam (faith and revenge). They began equating God’s power with the Fada’ian-e Eslam’s punishment (qesas), revenge and (enteqam) were two key words in the general theme of the organization.
Exactly how much of Safavi’s Terrorist activities, speeches, and writings were known to the CIA or MI6 (British intelligence)–especially to those who were fluent in Farsi–remains unclear. However, to certain U.S. and British intelligence officials working undercover in Iran—such as Donald Wilbur, Richard Cottam (whom I have interviewed personally), John Waller, and Ann Lam Lambton, the British intelligence officer who played behind-the scene role during the time they all were working together to undermine Mosaddeq—none of this should have been any mystery. John Waller was a veteran of American clandestine services. According to Robert Dreyfuss (Devil’s Game, pp. 114-115, 2007), Ayatollah Kashani posed for Waller so that he could paint a portrait of “Mullah Kashani, in pastel.”
CIA and MI6 field intelligence officers certainly understood the concept of Navvab Safavi’s program for Shi’a Islamic government, because it induced them to collaborate with him and with Kashani to overthrow “red” premier and “communist collaborator,” Dr. Mossadeq, who was “against Islam.” Which they did!
One thing we know for certain is that Safavi had interviews with the New York Times in April 21, 1951 and on May 13, 1951. During these published interviews he made some remarkable statements! In a story on page 3, the homegrown Shi’a Islamist terrorist bragged that,
“He could wield greater influence over Iranian Communists, though not himself a Communist, than could Premier Stalin.” He went on to say, “In Iran, 95 per cent of the people are devout [Twelvers Shi’a] Moslems and even the Tudeh (Communist) party will first follow me rather than Stalin.”
Okay, clearly there was no “intelligence failure” going into the 1953 coup, EXCEPT, that of the short sighted stupidity of jumping in bed with known terrorists. And, forever after keeping it a “secret.”
Today, the Twelvers Shi’a Islamists in Iran are the (ancient) new Crusaders of Shi’a Islamic government, something that Khomeini had promised his followers in the early 1970s. More importantly and ominously, they now have their own Twelver Shi’a Islamic Army as well (see below), ready to strike anywhere at will for the good of Khomeini’s Shi’a Islam. The regime’s supreme theocratic leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, overtly praises Safavi’s contribution. Officially, they all praise Safavi and his organization for the murder of Kasravi as a “Revolutionary Execution.”
Kasravi was a very forthright and outspoken opponent of Shiite theology–not of Islam during Muhammad’s time. He exposed the Shi’a leaders treasonous role in the Iranian Constitutional Revolution of 1906-15.
The Shah executed Safavi, and other leaders of the terrorist gang, Seyyed Muhammad, and Vahedi, Khalil Tahmasebi in December 1955. However, long time members of Fada’ian-e Eslam remained active clandestinely. By 1962-63, Hajj. Mehdi Araqi, Habibollah Asgaroladi Mosalman, Seyyed Asadollah Ladjevardi, “formed a group called Islamic Coalition Society [ICS – Jamiat Motalefeh Eslami]. This organization’s military branch acted the way the Fedayyan-e Eslam did.” Essentially, ICS was an offspring of the Devotees of Islam.
In January 1965, they assassinated the Shah’s Prime Minister, Hassan-Ali Mansur. Habibollah Asgaroladi Mosalman and Mehdi Araqi participated in the plot. Hashemi Rafsanjani, one of Khomeini’s close aids, and later President of Iran, provided the gun used in the murder. This very same “terrorist gang” had assassinated, in addition to Kasravi, two of the Shah’s prime ministers, a minister of education, but failed in an assassination attempt against the Shah, Mosaddeq, and a number of other government officials—busy guys. Araqi and Asgaroladi were condemned to die, but on appeal, their lives were spared and their sentences were commuted to life in prison. For some mysterious reasons they both were released about a year before the 1979 revolution.
Haj Mehdi Araqi became one of Khomeini’s organizational kingpins in the 1979 revolution. Forgan a rival terrorist group that originally were Ali Shariati’s followers, assassinated Araqi and his young son on August 26, 1979.
Companions of the Revolution – Shaheed Mehdi Araqi – Farsi
When he was prime Minister under Khamenei, Mir-Hossein Mousavi appointed Habibollah Asgaroladi to be the Minister of Commerce. He then became deputy in the Majlis and was Secretary General of the powerful Islamic Coalition Society (ICS) for many years. Today, he is one of the most powerful and richest men in Iran.
Millionaire Mullahs, Paul Klebnikov, Forbes 07.21.2003:
Islamic Coalition Society (ICS) founding member, Seyyed Asadollah Lajevardi, earned the nickname, “the Butcher of Evin,” because he served Imam Khomeini as the warden of Evin Prison from 1981 to 1985. He was the central figure in the execution or indoctrination of members of the Mujahedin Khalq (MEK or MKO), officially listed by the U.S. Sate Department as a terrorist group. The ICS “terrorist gang” reportedly had an association with Ayatollah Morteza Motahhari, an Islamist Shi’a ideologue who had accused Ali Shariati of being a SAVAK agent. ICS also had a relationship with another Islamic Republic’s ideologue, Ayatollah Beheshti, the chief architect of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic.
The ICS “terrorist gang” had periods of political activity between the 1963 uprising and the 1978 – 1979 Revolution. In 1978, upon release from prison, they were very active paving the way for Khomeini’s triumphal return back to Iran in 1979. However, in spite of that, they served as the historical link between Navvab Safavi’s movement and the Shi’a Islamic Republic.
“At about the same time the Mojahedin Khalq promoted an interpretation of Islam, viewed by the Islamic orthodoxy as not too distant from Marxism. Then, Alliance of Islamic Associations turned into the Allied Islamic Parties.”
“These loosely formed, small associations constituted the organizational nucleus of the Islamic movement in the revolutionary and post-revolutionary years. In the decades between the political activities of Navvab Safavi and the formation of the Islamic Republic, much had changed in Iranian society.”
The fundamentals of Ayatollah Khomeini’s vision for the establishment and maintenance of [Twelvers Shi’a] Islamic Government rests on three key factors:
- Power [Governance] as reflected in today’s Twelvers Shi’a Islamic Government of Iran.
- Might [The Islamic military might] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHB0-_S_1ZQ
The battles would be waged at any cost for the welfare of [Khomeini’s] Islam, when “the seizure of a certain facility [like the occupation of U.S. Embassy and taking American diplomats hostage in 1979], the burning of a certain house [Like setting ablaze the Rex Cinema Theater in the oil city of Abadan, exactly on the 25th anniversary (Aug. 19, 1978) of the 1953 CIA coup, murdering over 500 innocent people, and blaming the Shah].
Or, the “annihilation of a certain race [Tayefeh] whose existence [seems] harmful to [Khomeini’s] Islam, [and] Muslims, are all considered just order.
As Khomeini stressed, these “distinct qualities are the essential part of a believer [a Shi’a Islamist] whenever he courageously performs justice with power, and shows no emotion.” These are his words not mine. (Explained below).
Apparently, all Twelvers Shi’a believers, including the Islamist ideologues [with (hardliners) or without (“reformists”) turban] that supported Khomeini’s Islamic Revolution had to know these things. It is clearly outlined in Khomeini’s book, Islamic Government (Vilayate-i faqih, ‘Hokomat-i Eslami’), especially under his Campaign [fight] Program for the “Establishment of an Islamic Government.”
In 1943 or 1944, Ayatollah Khomeini “began his political career with typical Shi’a ambiguities.” In his first political tract, Kashf al-Asrar Kashf al-Asrar (The Unveiling of Secrets), he “denounced the recently deposed Reza Shah for a host of secular sins: for closing down seminaries, expropriating religious endowments, propagating anticlerical sentiments, replacing religious courts with state ones… If on rare occasions they had criticized their rulers, it was because they opposed specific monarchs not the “whole foundation of monarchy.” He also reminded his readers that Imam Ali had accepted “even the worst of the early caliphs.”
“The most Khomeini asked in Kashf al-Asrar was that the monarch respect religion, recruit more clerics into Parliament (Majles), and ensure that state laws conformed with the sacred law. The sacred law, he argued, had prescriptions to remedy social ills; and the clergy, particularly the fuqaha, who specialized in the sacred law, were like highly trained doctors with knowledge of how to cure these social maladies.”
Khomeini, “explicitly disavowed wanting to overthrow the throne and repeatedly reaffirmed his allegiance to monarchies in general and to “good monarchs” in particular. He argued that the Shi’a clergy had never opposed the state as such, even when governments had issued anti- Islamic orders, for “bad order was better than no order at all.”
“However, one would search it in vain to find any discussion of such key subjects as revolution (enqelab), republic (jomhuri), martyrdom (shahdat), the oppressed masses (mostazafin), and even jurist’s guardianship (velayat-e faqih).
Khomeini retained traditional attitudes toward the state throughout the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. Even in 1963 when he emerged as the most vocal anti-regime cleric, he did not call for a revolution or for the overthrow of the monarchy.”
Ervand Abrahamian (Khomeinism 1993, pp.16-17)
In his book Khomeini attacked and condemned Kasravi. Khomeini called on his “faithful believers”, “honorable brothers”, and “Persian-speaking friends”, including “courageous youth”, demanding,
“Read these manifestations of crime, these shameful publications, these kernels of division and animosity, these invitations to Zoroastrianism,…these condemnations of our sacred religion, and try to do something; with a national uprising, with a religious uprising…. with a strong will, with an iron fist, rid the earth of the seeds of these dishonorable, shameless beings, … we are condemned in the court of our religion, we are disgraced in the eye of the prophet of Islam. Yes! Rise up courageously and honorably, so that the arrogant do not make you surrender.”
In the early 1970s, Ayatollah Khomeini wrote in his “Program” to fight for the “Establishment” of [Twelver Shi’a] Islamic Government:
“It is our duty to exert serious effort to create an Islamic [Shi’a] government. Our first activity rests with propaganda—And must move forward through propagation [propaganda].
Presently, you have neither a country nor an army, but you can propagate and the enemy has not been able to rob you from all means of propaganda [your ability to preach, guide and inform]. You should teach people worship issues of course. But, the important issues rest with political Islam, its judiciary [penal & social and economic issues [laws]. We have used before and should still use them as pivotal to our work. Emphasis by author.
Since Khomeini’s disciples, to whom he was presenting such an argument, were either Iranians or Iraqis Shiites and each respectively had a country of their own with strong armies at the time (1971-73), then what did he mean by those statements? Very simply, he was talking about Twelver Shi’a Islamic Government and an Islamic Army that neither Iran nor Iraq had then, but they surely have them now.
How did Khomeini plan to get this Twelver Shi’a Government and Islamic Army?
As of this moment, we must exert efforts to lay down the foundation for establishing a true [Twelver Shi’a] Islamic government, and propagate and give instructions and create like-minded people. We must build an intellectual propaganda wave [machine] through which a social movement would emerge. Thus gradually the duty-bound [Vazief-e Shenas] enlightened [agah] religious masses in an organized Islamic movement would revolt to establish an Islamic government.”
Excerpts of Ayatollah Khomeini Vilayate-i faqih, “Hokomat-i Eslami”, or Islamic Government (208-page book, published in Tehran 1357 by Amir Kabir [in cooperation with Qom Book Exhibition], pp. 173-74).
To justify reaching his goals by any means, Ayatollah (later Imam) Khomeini provided the “moral compass” and basis of his method:
“A just ruler is God’s messenger. When he ordered the seizure of a certain facility, the burning of a certain house or annihilation of a certain race [Tayefeh] whose existence was harmful to Islam, Muslims and [other] nations, he had given just order. If in such cases he had not given those orders, it would have been unjust, because, he did not consider the welfare of Islam, the Muslims and humanity.”
Anyone who rules over Muslims and human society must always be mindful of the public interests in general, and ignore his personal feelings and emotions. Therefore, Islam has sacrificed many individuals for the sake of the public interest, has eliminated many individuals for humanity’s welfare, and rooted out numerous tribes that were corrupt and harmful to society.
Since the Prophet Mohammad (may peace and payers be upon him) [found] the Bani Qurazah [also Qurayza], Jews a troublesome jamāʿat [tribe – that was] causing corruption in Muslim society, and inflicting damages on Islam and Islamic government, he annihilated them.
Principally, these two distinct qualities are the essential part of a [Shi’a Islamist] believer whenever he courageously performs justice with power, and shows no emotion.”
Ibid, (pp 110-11)