On the 22nd of June, PressTV published an article of Zarif’s latest speech in Paris which exemplifies Zarif’s special “skills” – each quotation is filled with hypocrisy and underneath the sugar-coated benign statements of peace and unity once can hear the rumbles of war and the cries of its victims.
Zarif is notorious for his hypocrisy on the war in Syria, on the fight against terrorism, on Holocaust denial and on human rights as can be seen in the following articles: “Zarif’s Hypocrisy Increase“, “Zarif’s Endless Hypocrisy” and “Zarif is “Breathtaking in his Hypocrisy“.
He knows how to talk about peace and unity while his government promotes sectarianism, terrorism and extremism in the region and in the world. He knows how to talk about the positive nature of Islam as a religion while his government pushes the fundamental nature of Islam to its bloody limits. He knows how talk about human rights of the “oppressed” people around the world while Tehran tramples repeatedly on the human rights of Iranians.
It’s a shame that people accept his smiling disposition and peaceful words at face value.
Muslim unity, extremism, terrorism and subversion
- “In the Islamic world, we need to show how we can fight, by ourselves, the extremism and terrorism that has affected the Muslim world”.
- “Instead of accentuating our differences, we must show how our common challenges are in the name of Islam and for development of the Islamic states and Muslim community”.
- “We follow a religion that can simply realize that if we don’t stand together, we will lose together. We need to be united so we can make a better future for our children”.
These three statement seems totally benign were it not for the fact that Iran is itself a supporter of terrorism through its elite Qods forces and through terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah.
Furthermore, Zarif’s statement sound hollow in regards to the outpouring of hostile statement from Tehran towards the government of Bahrain over the stripping of citizenship of Sheikh Issa Qassim because of his efforts to topple to incite “sectarianism and violence” in collusion with Iran. Qods chief Qassem Suleimani didn’t mince words when he called for a “bloody intifada” in which “the toppling of the regime will only be a small part of the repercussions that will also include armed resistance“. Meanwhile, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has repeated his call to support the “oppressed” in Bahrain. Even Hezbollah is invoking a military conflict in Bahrain by calling Bahrain’s actions as “very grave step that proves that the Bahraini government can no longer deal with the peaceful popular movement” and called on the people of Bahrain “to express its anger and rage decisively“.
And then, what about Russia? After continuously complaining about the ineffectiveness of the West’s efforts at fighting ISIS and warnings to the West not to enter the war in Syria, Tehran welcomed Russia’s military activity in Syria with open arms.
Zarif might say that he is calling the Islamic world to fight extremism and terror together but at the same time, Tehran is instigating extremism and terror on its Muslim neighbors. And remember, if an Iranian citizen criticizes the Iranian regime as the Sheikh Qassem did, not only would he be sent to jail and perhaps even the gallows, any hostile comments from neighboring countries, such as those from Ian to Bahrain, would be seen by Tehran as an act of subversion or even war.
Global Islam, peace and human rights
- “We belong to a religion which believes every human being is like all humanity and killing one human is like killing all humanity”.
- “We belong to a religion which considers the world as a united whole. It is not hard for Muslims to show to the world that their religion is a universal religion”.
There are two inherent problems with these statements:
The first relates to Zarif’s belief that under Islam, “killing one human is like killing all humanity”. Although this may be theologically true, the fact that it is being said by an Iranian FM is beyond irony. Tehran is ranked second in the world, after China, in the number of execution – ranked first in the number of executions per capita. Based on Zarif’s logic, since Iran executed over 1,000 people in 2015, Tehran is responsible for “killing all humanity” over one thousand times in executions in Iran alone. Furthermore, Iran is openly embroiled in wars in Syria and in Iraq (as well as other conflicts in Yemen, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia etc…) and its soldiers and the soldiers of its proxies such as Hezbollah, are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands in these wars alone. So now, Iran is “killing all humanity” hundreds of thousands of times beyond its borders. Finally, whether Zarif likes it or not, Islam is being abused by Muslim terrorists all over the world, including many terrorist organizations which are openly backed by Tehran such as Hezbollah and al-Qaeda, who are responsible for killing innocent civilians and thus, according to Zarif, “killing all humanity” over and over again.
The second problem lies in his call to “show the world” that Islam is a “universal religion” and that he views the “world as a unified whole”. Yes, there are Muslims living all over the world most in Muslim countries and others in non-Muslim countries all over the world. But Iran is unique in that it is the only country in the world which openly calls for the “Export” of the Islamic Revolution under the guise of a “Global Awakening”. His call for Muslim unity sounds sinister once you listen to Khamenei’s vision: “Today, it is our turn. Today is Islam’s turn…this century is the century of Islam…the goal is Islam…the New Islamic civilization“. When Zarif says that Islam views the “world as a whole”, what is to become to the rest of the world which doesn’t accept Islam? Are the non-believer, the “kefirs”, to be treated well under a universal Islamic religion? Will they be accepted just as the non-believers who were slaughtered for centuries by Muslim conquerors who offered them either to become Muslims or to die? Will they be accepted just as people in Iran who belong to minority religions such as Sunnis, Christian and Baha’is who are persecuted in Iran by the people and the regime? Islam is, like all religions, neither good nor bad and Muslims, like all believers around the world are neither all good nor all bad. Unfortunately, Islam, like all other religions, is abused by people who want acquire more power and to fulfil their religious visions regardless of whether people are hurt or killed in the process.
Injustice, Palestine and the Revolution
Finally, after portraying the positive sides of Islam, Zarif adds the classic touch: Islam isn’t the problem…Israel is: “The most important injustice is the injustice being done to Palestine. Against attacks and violence, we have to minimize our differences”.
Whether Zarif is correct about this or not depends on whose side you are on. But the constant threats by Iran to annihilate Israel, Tehran’s open support for armed conflict against Israel in Gaza, in Israel and around the world and its constant scapegoating of Israel calls into question the benign nature of all of his earlier statements.
Zarif would want Israel to become the “common challenge” of all Muslims around the world and in order to do so, based on the actions of Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas and other terrorist organizations in the past and in the present, terrorism and extremism are fair game to free the Palestinian people. And what is to happen to all the Jews in Israel one Israel is destroyed? Will they be accepted within the “united whole? Will the killing of on Jew or one Israeli also be like “killing all of humanity”? Of course not.
Zarif might portray himself as a benign diplomat who is searching for unity and peace while in fact he is fully in tune with the importance of Exporting the Revolution: Tehran has a “viewpoint that has the potential to be projected globally and change the international order…why doesn’t Malaysia face such problems? It is because Malaysia does not seek to change the international order…it may seek independence and strength, but its definition of strength is the advancement of its national welfare”. In other words, Tehran is not content to simply thrive in its own right within the boundaries of its country. Its worldview is one of leading a change on a global scale. Furthermore, underneath all of his flowery words awaits the Revolution as he wrote quite simply: “Without revolutionary goals we do not exist …our revolutionary goals are what distinguish us from other countries”.
Tehran’s benign version of Islam is really meant for Shiite Muslims alone. It is to their benefit alone to unite with Iran regardless of the amount of blood spilled in order to fulfil Khomeini’s vision of “Exporting the Revolution”.
If only Zarif really meant what he said. If only the regime in Tehran would emulate his peaceful vision? If only reality resembled Zarif’s spoken ideals. But no…Zarif knows how to talk but he certainly doesn’t know, or even want, to walk his talk