Iran's Quest For Power
The UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported on Friday that Iran has defied the UN Security Council by enriching uranium. Security Council members, the United States, Britain, and France are seeking sanctions against Iran for the violations. The two other permanent members of the UN Security Council, Russia and China, are openly against sanctions and could veto any attempt by the other three members to impose sanctions against Iran. It is clear that Iran is on a path that will probably not be deterred by diplomacy. Iran is on a quest for power.
Iran is a country that has fought against the reform of its Islamic regime for almost 30 years. The Iranian judiciary and military have remained under the tight control of hardline Islamic clerics since the days of the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Although Iran conducts elections for the office of President and for its Parliament (legislature), these government officials are subordinate to the unelected Supreme Leader, and the unelected Regime Expediency Council (REC), who hold the real power. Members of the REC are appointed by the Supreme Leader. In addition, the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance controls the media. (1)
Iran's record of human rights violations is well-documented by the UN's Commission on Human Rights (UNSR), Amnesty International, the United States Department of State, and others. Iranian citizens are routinely denied due process and are subject to the widespread use of arbitrary arrest, stoning, flogging, rape, torture, and summary execution. The regime severely restricts freedom of religion, speech and personal privacy. Members of differing religious groups are viewed as heretics, and subject to harsh treatment as prescribed by Islamic law (sharia). Reformist members of the Iranian Parliament have been prosecuted and jailed for statements made on the floor of the Parliament. (2)
Iran officially celebrates November 4th as the 'International Day Against the Global Oppressor', (3) a day that marks the storming of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran by Islamic militants during the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Iran held 52 American hostages for 444 days, until the day American President Ronald Reagan was sworn into office. Islamic clerics of the Iranian government routinely refer to the United States as 'the oppressor'.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is Iran's current president, is a hardliner and was the appointed mayor of Tehran before his surprise election to the office of the Iranian presidency in June of 2005. President Ahmadinejad holds a PhD in traffic and transport engineering from the University of Science and Technology in Tehran. (4) Ahmadinejad is committed to the development of nuclear technology in Iran, and announced a few weeks ago that Iran had successfully enriched uranium, and is moving ahead with its nuclear program. Ahmadinejad maintains that Iran is not interested in developing nuclear weapons.
In September of 2005 President Ahmadinejad traveled to UN Headquarters in New York. Speaking before the UN General Assembly, Ahmadinejad stated, "Greater power or wealth should not accord expanded rights to any (UN) member," adding: "The host country (US) should not enjoy any right or privilege over the rest of the memberships." (5) In October 2005, Ahmadinejad stated that Israel should be "wiped off the map" in a speech before a conference in Tehran. The conference was named "The World Without Zionism". Ahmadinejad's speech revolved around a "historic war between the oppressor and the world of Islam". Iran views the United States as the "Global Oppressor". (6) Iran is a major supporter of the terrorist group Hezbollah, which has regularly targeted Americans and Israelis.
In November of 2005 Ahmadinejad publicly stated that the Islamic Revolution's main mission is apocalyptic. Ahmadinejad stated that the Islamic Revolution will pave the way for the reappearance of the Twelfth Imam. The Twelfth Imam or Mahdi, is the Islamic messiah who will save humankind and establish peace and justice by establishing Islam as the global religion. The Mahdi, who is believed to be alive today but hidden by Allah (in the occultation), will re-emerge after a time of horrific war and chaos. The Iranian government has made provisions for the expected reappearance of the Mahdi in Article 5 of the Iranian Constitution. (7)
"Article 5 [Office of Religious Leader]
"During the occultation of the Wali al-'Asr (may God hasten his reappearance), the leadership of the Ummah devolve upon the just and pious person, who is fully aware of the circumstances of his age, courageous, resourceful, and possessed of administrative ability, will assume the responsibilities of this office in accordance with Article 107." (8)
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is personally committed to helping pave the way for the Mahdi. At the end of his speech last October before the UN, he made this known to the world:
"Dear Friends and Colleagues,
From the beginning of time, humanity has longed for the day when justice, peace, equality and compassion envelop the world. All of us can contribute to the establishment of such a world. When that day comes, the ultimate promise of all Divine religions will be fulfilled with the emergence of a perfect human being who is heir to all prophets and pious men. He will lead the world to justice and absolute peace.
O mighty Lord, I pray to you to hasten the emergence of your last repository, the promised one, that perfect and pure human being, the one that will fill this world with justice and peace." (9)
(1)http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/world/iran.htm, accessed 04/30/06; lgf
(2)http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/world/iran.htm, accessed 04/30/06; lgf
(3)www.iranfocus.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=4257,accessed 4/30/06; lgf
accessed 04/30/06; lgf
(5)http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/15E6BF77-6F91-46EE-A4B5-A3CE0E9957EA.htm, accessed 04/30/06; lgf
(6)http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/15E6BF77-6F9146EE-A4B5-A3CE0E9957EA.htm, accessed 4/30/06;lgf
(7)http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1564875/posts, accessed 4/30/06; lgf
(8)http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/world/iran.htm, accessed 04/30/06; lgf
(9)http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/DDC8398E-55B1-4513-9BA9-96FCDB75A4A8.htm, accessed 04/30/06; lgf