Feb 11, 2019, 8:15 AM
News Code: 83204825
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Iran Islamic Revolution, path toward new regional order

Tehran, Feb 11, IRNA - On the 40th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the country is emerging as playing a significant role in the regional and global politics, a reality could hardly be ignored by other global players, while it is deemed as initiating a process to establish a new regional order.

The massive overthrowing movement in 1979, launched and supported by Iranians from all walks of life, similar to a sprout grafted onto a tree, gradually transformed the nature of the tree to produce fruits enjoyed and cherished by a nation who was after a structural social, political and economic change in the country; a change that above all envisaged an end to the traditional role Iran used to play in the region: the so-called regional gendarme.

'There was literally a light that lit up' within the Iranian people 'and which bathed all of them at the same time,' wrote French philosopher, historian of ideas, social theorist, and literary critic Michel Foucault on the Iranian Islamic Revolution.

Now 40 years on, the 1979 Islamic Revolution, away from all the speculations surrounding the reasons behind its occurrence, is increasingly demonstrating itself to be a driving force for greater regional changes.

No doubt, the Islamic Revolution in Iran was a popular reaction to authoritarianism and global arrogance, an emphasis on the fact that the time of monarchies and despotic rulers, serving arrogant powers, were over. It was, at the same time, reminiscence of a will of the Iranian people to end the decades-long hegemony of trans-regional powers ruling the nation and deciding its fate and it was an endeavor aimed at guaranteeing the country the right to have its say on the international arena, and most of all, a campaign to steer the ship of state towards independence.

In fact, the revolution paved the way for the people to 'purge themselves of the psychic dependency and reclaim their autonomy of will'.

Embarking on the new path towards achieving these superb goals, though, has proven to be very costly for Iran. The country from the early days after the victory of revolution had to deal with extremist armed opposition groups who assassinated at least 17,000 people, including revolution figures and supporters, in a bid to derail the Islamic Revolution and to change its course to serve their own benefits and reach their own political goals.

Failing to secure an influential place with the Iranian people, however, these groups were wiped out by the very real supporters of the revolution and especially those who considered the Islamic Revolution to be the beginning of an end for the presence of the West and its mercenaries in the region, a trend the West led by the United Sates could barely bear with and a trend that resulted in the imposition of a war on Iran by the neighboring Iraq ruled by the Ba'athist regime of Saddam who had the backing of the Islamic Revolution enemies.

And Iran, again, had to pay price of continuing on the path toward materialization of the revolution ideals.

Official figures suggest that more than 200,000 Iranians were killed during the 1980-88 war, while there are around 6,000 Iranian soldiers who are still unaccounted for.

And above 600,000 Iranian soldiers were injured during the war.

This is while, a 2015 report put the economic loss inflicted on Iran as a result of the unequal war imposed on the country to undermine the Revolution, at 10.5 trillion dollars. Unequal as Iraq was enjoying all kinds of support by the world powers but Iran, as once appeared in the words of current Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif 'We went to one country after another, begging – I insist, begging – for a single scud missile to defend our people'.

“You were not the subject of war, where your cities were showered with missiles carrying chemical warheads, and you didn’t have a single missile to retaliate,' he told reporters in 2017.

But the Iranian people, without ceding even one centimeter of the country's soil to the enemy, managed to survive the ordeal, reconstruct the country and continue down the path of revolution.

Yet, there were still many obstacles in the path.

Disappointed to bring the Iranian people to their knees through imposition of more military wars, this time US and its Western allies started an economic war against Iran by placing the country under political and economic sanctions.

Nevertheless, it was under the same brutal sanctions that Iran succeeded in developing many scientific and technological areas, including the nuclear energy and space sciences. It was under the same brutal sanctions that Iran expanded its deterrent defensive military power to stand against the storm of terrorism sweeping across the region, and stay unharmed and safe. And it was under the same sanctions that the Iranian people learned how to turn stumbling blocks into opportunities and work toward independence and self-sufficiency, the ideals aspired by the nation from the inception of 1979 revolution.

Forty years have passed. It was a long bumpy road. But now, the sapling of the Islamic Revolution has grown to become a robust tree casting its shadow more and more in support of the nations aspiring to break free from the chains of oppression. Maybe today, 'We the Peoples', both in Iran and across the region, tend to better understand the real cause of the 1979 revolution.

It was the revolution in Iran that laid the foundation for a coalition among regional nations that have similar common interests to establish mechanisms to address issues without necessarily relying on foreign resources. What Iran did in Iraq to exterminate terrorists in the country and its cooperation with Turkey and Russia to bring to an end the crisis in Syria are good evidence.

Looking at the phenomenon from such a perspective tends to reveal yet another fact about Iran and the Islamic Revolution. That, it was not a simple phenomenon that overthrew a monarchy to replace it with an Islamic establishment, rather it should be viewed as the root cause of a new regional order.

Iran, through history, has demonstrated that it has the capacity and leverage to influence regional and global developments.

Now, four decades after the revolution and with globalization the dominant philosophy of the century, Iran and its people increasingly appear to be harbingers of peace and defenders of the oppressed, doing their share to end the hegemony of the big powers and foster peace and security.

Globalization follows a rough agenda in reshaping the world. Its harsh approach, however, is mainly the consequence of the will and actions of bigger world powers that seek to orientate it in a way to serve their own interests and to secure more control over the globe.

Revolutions, like the one in Iran, constitute an endgame in the process, thwarting plans to further devour the world or cause nations to melt away. As, similar to a wakeup call, revolutions promote awareness both inside countries and across regions urging unity and adopting the role of a player.

Iran in 1979 perfectly played its role to be part of the game.

*Reza Bahar is on the editorial staff of IRNA English news.


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