The Trigger and The Powder Keg: Riots in Iran


Faramak Zahraie recently appeared on my Truth Jihad Radio program (listen HERE). In this article, he offers a rare insider’s view of what is really going on in Iran.  –Kevin Barrett, VT Editor

The Trigger and The Powder Keg: Riots in Iran

by Faramak Zahraie

U.S. ambassador to U.N. Nikki Haley raised a ruckus on Tuesday January 3rd, 2018 as she called for emergency Security Council meeting over riots in Iran. Prior to the riots, U.S. President Trump  warned Iranian leaders, in particular the Supreme Leader, under the pretext of protecting rights of the protestors. At that time there were massive pro-revolution rallies across the country.

Trump’s anticipation of the riots and Nikki Haley’s rapid response to a few small riots, trying to make it an urgent international issue, for the purpose of imposing sanctions and/or waging war on Iran, indicates U.S. and foreign intelligence involvement in the riots in Iran.

Books such as “World as Laboratory: Experiments with Mice, Mazes, and Men” expose experiments to control human behavior beginning in the early twentieth century.  The internet, with all its benefits, has pushed the experiment and the project to a global level. The best antidote to this “rat race” phenomenon is Faith and the Spirit that makes us Human.

Earlier in the year, The New York Times had reported that a “Dark Prince” had been appointed to head the CIA alongside creation of special operations room at the Capitol for regime change operations in Iran. This time it was going to be the real thing. The “Dark Prince,” also called by a whole host of other strange names, was promoted as the real guy with a real plan that was supposed to get the “thing” finally done; i.e. regime change in Iran.

Thus, these riots must be deemed as part and parcel of regime change operations in Iran: operations that have come to face defeat, as they failed to hook the protesters with the rioters. Currently, the spectacle at the U.N.S.C. has done little but spread the delusion that there are still riots going on in Iran or that the riots were massive and that authorities killed protesters (not the terrorists they shipped in); all in hopes that the delusions become an illusion for the masses, which through agreement and social construct be turned into reality.

That prospect most likely will backfire as the failed “Green revolution” backfired and launched the “Arab Spring.”  Imperialism was able to hijack the “Arab Spring” in Libya and export the hijacked version to Syria. However, there may be no such luck this time. The defeat in Syria of U.S. backed terrorist forces, and the lackluster riots in Iran, indicate that forces of counter-revolution have been greatly weakened.

These regime change schemes and the wars waged and/or whipped up by Western imperialism are all counter-revolutionary attempts against the 1979 revolution in Iran that culminated in the establishment of the Islamic Republic.  Although counter-revolutionary efforts against the Islamic Revolution have increased in intensity and scope since the false-flag operation of September 11th, Iran has never been stronger in last couple of centuries in its struggle against colonialism and imperialism; thanks to a state of permanent revolution that has been  ongoing in Iran since the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

Zionists with the help of U.S. imperialism have imposed close to two decades of nonstop war on the world. It is time we become aware of the link between war and revolution. One day, Revolution can stop War. However, until that human awakening, wars are going to be the driving force for revolutions.

After World War One, we had the October revolution. After World War Two, we had myriad anti-colonial revolutions.  After Vietnam, we had the Iranian revolution.  Thus, it would seem that revolution(s) are to be expected, especially considering the scope and longevity of the current duplicitous never-ending “war on terror”—a war that became intermingled with revolution via a languishing “Arab Spring.”  In the end, revolution is the ultimate answer to war, especially unjust wars.

This regime change effort in Iran has entailed a massive operation. Its rapid and sudden dissolution is the whirlpool that is going to flush out this supposed “war on terror.”

The riots were small and seem to have been triggers for a greater operation that was based on the economic “powder keg” that the neoliberal government (most likely along with other corrupt elements in Iranian Parliament and Judiciary) had cooked up.

These prematurely executed riots and failed regime change operations can be traced back to JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action).  In Iran JCPOA is nicknamed BARJAM, which rhymes with “farjam,” which means the great successful ending, or the great achievement (Persian being a very poetic language).

JCPOA was pushed through by the mercantile capitalist class of Iran, who have traditionally operated primarily on imports, not production. JCPOA has been a rollback of Iranian national sovereignty, mainly for the sake of this mercantile class that felt helpless without access to the SWIFT international money exchange system.

China and Russia, facing sanctions, have created their own “SWIFT” systems. However, no such ingenuity can yet be detected from the mercantile class in Iran, as they prefer to wait for SWIFT to open up for their lackadaisical dealings. However SWIFT’s remaining closed in Iran after JCPOA, rather than opening as promised, can explain why the Obama administration handed over some of the money the US owes Iran. The recent riots in Iran make clear that Obama was not being benevolent with Iran, but was scheming.

As the Rouhani government (representing the neoliberal policies of the mercantile class) traded down Iran’s indigenous nuclear technology for supposed access to SWIFT, a government preference for imports was instituted, which led to the closing of many small and large scale industries in Iran.

The neoliberal policies of Rouhani government, which were begun with the Rafsanjani era, have also kicked into full gear the “Hollywoodization” of Iran promoting consumer society, via the arts and entertainment apparatus, with an Islamic flare.

Thus, with the allure of consumerism, the Iranian people were duped like a child, as with (promised) candy, to give away their most advanced technological achievement: their nuclear technology. However, in light of recent riots, the question for the Islamic Revolution is how reliable the mercantile class and its selected neoliberal policies are or can be.

Will there be a clash with this mercantile class, as has been hinted? Or, will ingenuity of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution prove facile again and preserve social unity and cohesion?

Nevertheless, changes in the relationship between the national bourgeoisie and the religious clergy should be expected. One has to predominate over the other.  Perhaps the actions of the Saudi regime and most of the “Arab” world have generated enough apathy among Islamic Revolutionaries to make them give up on the whole notion of Islamic unity.

However, the clergy allied with the Supreme Leader has already affirmed the rights of people to protest (but not riot), and the rights of workers and farmers. For now, it is the anti-imperialist clergy that are beginning to champion and perhaps lead the workers and farmers against neoliberal policies, as Iran continues to have a vibrant and dynamic political life.

The political life in Iran baffles many, in the West, especially with all the demonization and mischaracterization. However, I think as a primer, it is important to note that the primary divide in the Iranian State is the division of spirit over matter.  Imam Khomeini, the late leader of the revolution and founder of the Islamic Republic, helped preserve social cohesion in what has always been a multinational country.  The Supreme Leader stands as the spiritual mediator and guide, while the the three branches of the government deal with the material level.

While the material level may become corrupt, the spiritual remains aloof from corruption, mediating between various branches of government when necessary. There is a whole system of elections and checks and balances for both halves of the State, balancing spiritual purity and material dealings. As an individual, each person has their own connection with God, as they wish. But the ultimate arbiter for the myriad points of view and prevailing of social/spiritual norms is the Leader, who in essence has the power of “ijtihad,” i.e. to interpret and adapt Islamic law, a facet that was closed in Islamic world for over a millennia, until advent of the Islamic Revolution.

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution is leader of the Islamic Ummah, insofar as the people are willing to listen. The Leadership has been decisive in guiding the ship of revolution in the tumultuous sea, where imperialism lays various schemes to subjugate a people and nation. The State has survived many crisis, worse than that which brought down the government of Mossadegh, via the CIA engineered coup of 1953.  Thus, the Leadership of the Revolution remains a target of imperialism.

Today, there is rampant corruption in the three branches of the government. And corruption has proven to be the way Zionism-Imperialism rules globally, including in the United States of America. Material desires beckon, as the spiritual remain steadfast. The Leadership has navigated the ship of the revolution through many a storm. However, the neoliberal policies instituted by Rafsanjani and taken to new heights that prepared the groundswell for the recent riots is a threshold that may be putting unity of the two halves of the State into question, at least for while, as the Iranian society matures  and navigates out of this crisis.

The “powder kegs” prepared via neoliberal policies with their economic/financial discords did not ignite this time via a seemingly CIA engineered trigger, the riots. However, it does not mean that this situation of ‘luck’ and/or providence shall prevail forever, if proper measures are not taken.  It seems the Leader of the Islamic Revolution foresaw this, as he has given myriad warnings to the people and government, while JCPOA was being negotiated and thereafter, calling for a resistance economy.

The Leader’s advice has largely gone unheeded by the government. The allure and deception of the material world is great. Nevertheless, there is great commotion now, and a new chapter in class struggle has inevitably opened. To see how the Leader of the Islamic Revolution is going to navigate the ship of the revolution through these waters, without getting shipwrecked, shall be very interesting.

Zionism-Imperialism must be betting on a shipwreck. However, the Shia have been sailing the Ship of Imam Hussain, struggling for Justice with Love, since the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, back in 680 A.D. (61 Hijri). His martyrdom led to the downfall of the Umayyad dynasty. And, the ship has continued to grow in size, until today it holds the heartland of Islam.

The Friday Prayers speakers, selected by the Leader, have come out this Friday speaking in defense of the protesters against inflation and other economic matters, declaring them as righteous, while condemning the foreign backed rioters.  The clergy stands with workers and farmers, and the government is obliged to answer the questions and requests of the people.

The great aim of the Islamic Republic is to bring the spiritual and the material together inasmuch as possible. This outlook makes the State and people to strive for their constant betterment, individually and as a society. The current standoff between the spiritual and the material should not get anyone excited about the downfall of the Islamic establishment.

Because Shiism believes in reason and rationality, it should be expected that the two sides (material and spiritual) will be able to resolve their differences and find a higher order out of the chaos.  For now, it seems the foreign instigated riots have diminished and died down almost as fast as they started.  However, things are not like they were before. Ministers are interviewed in succession on television shows. The Leader of the Islamic Revolution has not spoken yet, but stated on the day after the riots that in due time, he will address the matter.

For now, the ministers and officials are all trying to explain and justify their actions, after which the Leader’s speech shall be of paramount importance. With the Friday sermon speakers coming out in defense of workers and farmers, naming them specifically, as a class, is a sign that the Islamic Revolution is at another turning point. Perhaps the CIA and Western imperialism are going to get something more than they bargained for when they pulled the trigger and launched the riots.

The Islamic Revolution in Iran is a new historic phenomenon with a novel philosophic outlook (unknown to the West). The Revolution has faced counter-revolution from beginning, as with Saddam’s imposition of war on Iran on behalf of the super-powers. The Islamic Republic remained steadfast to a foreign policy of “neither Western, nor Eastern, only the Islamic Republic,” standing with other anti-colonial and anti-imperialist movements as a newborn independent multinational country.

The survival of the Islamic Revolution for close to forty years is itself a testimonial to God. The rigor, self-sacrifice, wisdom, and faith of the Iranian people bear many lessons for all revolutionaries in the world, despite being painted as “evil” by imperialist and Zionist media in the West.

Iran is not a Marxist nor a Socialist country, but when the issue of economic justice arises, it will make the most of it—for it has been proven that economic justice cannot begin in the “underdeveloped” world, as the Russian and Chinese experiences have proven.

The detour of history is over.  The Socialist revolution knocks at Europe’s doors, just as Marx predicted it would, before it was shipped out, via World War One, by Zionist imperialist financial elites.

Thus the Iranian revolution must not be measured by the yardstick of socialism, as has become customary in Marxist circles in the West, but by the progress and strength it has been able to muster against imperialism, which seeks global domination. The best the Left can hope for at this juncture from the Islamic Revolution is that the national bourgeoisie becomes subjugated to Revolutionary Islam that is in struggle against both Zionist colonialism and Western Imperialism.

Miraculously, Iran has emerged stronger from every crisis. Today, Iran stands, again, as a regional power; not as a lackey of the United States (as the Shah was), but as the most independent republic in the world.

Iran’s revolutionary thesis and necessity is that without God and recognition of the human soul/spirit, “humanity” would be an empty shell; mere matter to be replaced by machine. Iranian poetry, inspired by Islam for over a millennia, is the voice of spiritual Man, echoing the ‘sound’ of God, inspired by Islam and the Quran.

It is this spiritual strength that has given the Iranian people the God given glory to stand in face of the most barbaric war machine in history, bravely forfeiting a nuclear defense.  If humanity continues to demonize the Islamic Republic of Iran, it will do so at its own peril, for there will be no one left to save the day, as ‘humanity’ self-destructs.

For now, Muslim Ummah needs to awaken to the reality that without the Iranian (Persian) empire, there would never have been an Islamic empire. Iranian contributions to Islam have been so great that in the post-Mongol period, Persian was the lingua franca of practically all Islamic empires: Mughal, Safavid, Qajar, and Ottoman.

True Islam can save Muslims from being used as imperialism’s lab rats. Some Muslims have been so used, as events in Libya and Syria have demonstrated.  Saudi-Wahhabism is an imperialist project for these sociological and psychological manipulations of the Islamic Ummah. If the Arab and Islamic world does not put aside its brainwashed prejudices against Shiism and/or Iran, and decide to fully include them, the demise of the “Islamic” Ummah may become a foregone conclusion.

Iran has overcome all conquerors from its inception by incorporating them. Iran was introduced to Islam by the sword. But today Islam is no longer an “Arab” thing, but led by Iranians, who are composed of Arab, Turkic, and Persian peoples.

In closing, I offer the following words of advice for the Iranian State, even though they may well prove to be more ingenious than me:

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  1. “Because Shiism believes in reason and rationality…”


    “Ismah is the concept of infallibility or “divinely bestowed freedom from error and sin” in Islam. Muslims believe that Muhammad and other prophets in Islam possessed ismah. Twelver and Ismaili Shia Muslims also attribute the quality to Imams as well as to Fatimah, daughter of Muhammad, in contrast to the Zaidi, who do not attribute ‘ismah to the Imams. Though initially beginning as a political movement, infallibility and sinlessness of the imams later evolved as a distinct belief of (non-Zaidi) Shiism.”

    • All religions/worldviews have “tenets of faith” that are not rational, i.e. cannot be completely proven through reason. Therefore since there is no such thing as “absolutely reasonable” we are always looking for the “relatively reasonable.” Three centuries ago, the Unitarians discovered that Islam was “relatively reasonable” compared to Christianity – as I wrote in this new article at Crescent International: . The core beliefs and practices in Islam are indeed very much in line with reason and rationality. So you have to wander far afield from the core beliefs and practices, to peripheral stuff like “ismah,” to find something strikingly non-rational.

      The Qur’an repeatedly tells us to use our reason. Some schools of Islamic thought including most Shia scholarship take this very seriously and are highly reason-oriented. Even anti-philosophical Muslim thinkers like al-Ghazali who insist that reason is quite limited and much of what’s really important lies beyond reason, still use reason to demonstrate that.

  2. Never forget who is responsible for all the misery in Iran. Remember Madeleine Albright´s speech about the 500 000 dead children in Iran by sanctions. And we all know who is behind this “Oil-Empire” do we ?

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