The Methods Adopted by the Arrogant Countries
Hojjat al-Islam Hashmi Rafsanjani
Former President of Islamic Republic of Iran
Friday Prayer Sermon 9: (November 9, 1984)
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent the Merciful
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and Allah's peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah and upon his descendants, the infallible Imams. I take refuge with Allah (SWT) from the accursed Shaytan.
The Almighty Allah says in His Book:
"O you men! surely We have created you of a male and a female, and made you nations and tribes that you may know (deal respectfully with) one another; surely the most honourable of you with Allah is the rnost pious, God fearing; surely Allah is Knowing, Aware (49:13)."
Taqwa - The Sole Means of Salvation
A summary of the major and minor issues discussed in the previous khutab (sermons) is that there is no school of thought like Islam which can set up a system which justly substantiates and treats the situation of the races. Islam has specified the social rights on the basis of taqwa and true human values. It has set aside illusory values and recognized taqwa as the criterion for the relations between the nations, races, governments and peoples. And it is a criterion for the competence of the government and its running of the affairs of the people. By this course, the social justice can be achieved. We have also pointed out that the systems, which were ruling over the white people of Europe, and which were not based on taqwa and human values, have adopted the course of transgression, oppression, prejudice, and trampling on the rights of other nations. For five hundred years, they have oppressed the people who were not white-skinned and who had coloured skins. According to the teachings of Islam, we invite everyone to observe taqwa. We consider taqwa as the means of salvation which would sustain man in the environment; with the spirit of doing research and acquiring capabilities.
In various parts of my speeches, I have cited examples indicating how the white people of Europe and the Westerners have treated the oppressed people of the world.
Today I am referring to another special point which for the past tens of years up to the present and perhaps till the far off future, is one of the problems besetting us and the world which is kept backward, and which is one of the important tools at the service of global arrogance. And that is the issue of privileges or preferences. The matter of privileges is one of the means by which Western countries and industrial powers continue their oppression. These come into being through contracts signed between them and the oppressed nations by way of weak and puppet governments all over the history. Today too, it unfortunately continues in a very bad form. Our people are well aware of this painful matter and of what the whites, who are the pivots of this movement, have done and still continue to do to the people with coloured skins.
Principally, what is the mechanism for the creation of such a situation that the governments of backward countries should mete out privileges to other governments for some works and services in their own land? I am going to state these matters in a few sentences. Then I will cite a few examples and delve into this very crucial and distressful issue.
The License for Seeking Privileges from the Deprived Nations
When the Europeans got ahead, seized industry and progressed in materialistic branches of knowledge, and got possession of an advanced technology, there emerged a wide gap between them and other nations. On the other hand, the spirit of not practising taqwa, of seeking exploitation and monopoly, and self-centredness as well as the false philosophy of the superiority of the Aryan race over other races had given them a license for seeking privileges from the deprived nations. With the weapons of knowledge, technology, and military power, they started harassing the world people.
They adopted various methods for their supremacy and exploitation of other nations. One of them was military aggression. Another form of it was the issue of advancing loans, which I have already dealt with. Another method, which is very commonly used, is to obtain privileges from the countries under the pretext of their development, construction, education and training.
This method is mostly adopted in seemingly independent countries, because they already possessed sovereignty over the countries which they had officially exploited and colonized and so they needed no privilege in places such as Palestine, Syria, Iraq, and African countries. Many other regions are still their colonies although their colonization has already been declared null and void by the United Nations. But there were countries such as Iran which had an independent visage before the Islamic Revolution. The number of such countries is large. To possess these countries, they used to enter them by resorting to obtaining privileges and signing contracts for development.
A contract is something normal. In a way, it served as a privilege for the country under oppression, but the truth of the matter was something else, and they were pursuing another aim. Well it was evident that with the wealth of the colonized countries, the European countries built streets, roads, highways, dams, ports, machine tools, factories, and other infrastructures and also excavated mines. The backward countries lacked all these and, in addition, there was a dearth of universities, engineers, doctors, technicians, and vast scientific and technical facilities. This is a self-evident phenomenon and a very natural matter that with better facilities, it is possible to build better ports, excavate better mines, set up a better factory, build a better power plant, give better military training and perform all other works better. Well it is obvious for the backward countries to invite them to come and work.
If the root of knowledge springs at one point, it belongs to the entire world. This is something everyone will seek. But throughout the history, it has not been materialized in the form the man expects and even today the same trend continues. They decided to misuse their progress and privileges and enslave the nations. This is how the contracts are signed. They sign a contract to bring telegraph and railways to a country, another to excavate a mine, and yet another to build a port. When signing the contracts, these devilish agents bear in mind only their own interests due to their non-observing taqwa, and because of the inhumanity dominating over them. They work on these projects in such a way that the countries would always remain their slaves and these contracts serve as a net for their further exploitation.
Normally, this is the case. In the past century, this misfortune has fallen upon the backward countries in the garb of a blessing given to them by the West. Even now it is befalling them in the same form, but at a large scale. There seems to be no other way of salvation for these countries except the path which Iran has chosen.
Instances of Seeking Privileges
Now we will cite a few instances of these contracts. Recent history books put it that in the year 1913 - a year prior to the First World War - one-fourth of Britain's national income and one-sixth of France's national income were spent abroad in the manner I have already pointed out. See, the figure is so high, that is, the French used one-sixth of the income of their companies which should have been spent inside the country, and the British used one-fourth of their revenues outside their own borders, in the manner I have pointed out. In Iran, this trend started from about one hundred and twenty years ago, and has continued till recently. After the victory of the Islamic Revolution, a massive blow has been dealt to it, but a total freedom from this matter is very strenuous, and our people should be aware of the depth of the issue, so that if they suffer a difficulty in this path, they would know. that it is truly worth suffering. The first privilege they obtained was the telegraph. Well, telegraph is something everyone needs.
Especially, one hundred and twenty years ago, if they came and said, `come and have a line of telegraph', this would be counted a blessing for a large country such as Iran. For Britain to send a message to India, which was its colony, it took three months so that a message could be sent, and its reply could be received, because at that time there weren't electronic nor telegraphic devices. Russia too, was the rival of Britain so the message could not pass through Russia either. There was only Iran. Iraq too, was its colony. To set up a telegraph link with India, the British were compelled to pass through Iran. Thus, this privilege belonged to Iran not to them. If Iran had a sound and sensible government, the British should have given it thousands of other privileges, and spent large sums of money, so that Iran would permit the installation of telegraph line. But the case turned out quite to the contrary. They behaved as if they have done a "favour" for Iran. They said: "We want to give you telegraph facilities." Then they imposed an inauspicious contract.
According to the judgement the French made, this was the first misfortune of Iran, though seemingly it looked like prosperity as telegraph wires started operating. All of a sudden, people in Bushehr could speak to people in Tehran. This seemed to be an important development. But British agents spread all over the country under the guise of telegraph officials. What a havoc they wrought on the people, and what crimes they committed! Well this was one story. Some time passed (I think it occurred about 121 years ago). They savoured the taste of having a privilege in Iran, and came to get another privilege. These discussions might seem a bit insipid for those who have less information on the subject. But I believe these are very necessary and must be made known to the people for the sake of the anti-arrogance movement which we now pursue.
Seven or eight years later, in 1872, they returned to Iran and got another privilege called the privilege of construction of railways. See what kind of governments we had, and what kind of devils they were that they termed this process as the "colonization without a flag".
Contract or Enslavement
Nasiruddin Shah gave a privilege to a person called Baron Paul Julius Reuter (Reuter News Agency takes its name from him). Under this treaty, they gave to the British whatever used to serve as a means of power for Iran. It was the project of railways from the Caspian Sea to the Persian Gulf, but in the treaty it was mentioned that they could join this railway track to anywhere they wanted such as India or world railway track which ends in Europe. This contract stipulated that the right of excavation of any mines such as oil wells, copper, coal, gas, and other valuable mines would belong to them. It also stipulated that Iran's forests would exclusively belong to their company, so that it could cut and use wood from any place it wanted, build any dam it wanted, change The course of any river it liked, dig any deep wells in the specified areas.
It also stipulated that the company would hold in its power the stone pavement of the streets, making roads, and undertaking construction and development works in the route of this railway track. They called these comprehensive rights, facilities and materials granted to it as worthless. When they gave the contract list of items to Nasiruddin Shah to read and sign, he said: "Then what is left for the people of Iran to do?" This contract was to be in force for seventy years. The company was supposed to give for some items 15 per cent and for some other items 20 per cent of its net profit to Iran, and the balance was for itself. The contract also specified that its French version - and not its Persian version - was valid: This was because if a discrepancy occurred, they could say that the French version said such and such a fact, and thus they could cheat Iran. It also specified that they could remit abroad any amount of their income that they wanted. It also stipulated that all their imports and exports were exempt from all taxes and duties.
Nasiruddin Shah asked for some time saying that the contract was quite burdensome and that he should study it. They immediately gave his advisers 200,000 pounds as bribe. Then these told the king that if he signs the treaty, he will, with the stroke of a pen, render such a service to this country that no other king has done during the period of 2500 years of monarchy in Iran. They argued that in return for the worthless materials to be given to the British, Iran will, in a few years, benefit from the railway tracks, and have its mines excavated and the like of these. This was the spirit dominating the government of Iran which we said was the independent country at that time. Now see how they have treated other poor countries of the world. This privilege was so important that when the news about it was published in European newspapers, it was judged that Iran has gone totally under the British dominion.
The Iranians had great power at that time, and had a respect in the region. The Russians had disputes with the British over Afghanistan, so as to separate the latter from Iran, so that the Russians could not reach the border of India. The British were ready to cancel this contract provided that the Russians would forever close their eyes to Afghanistan, and would not have military force in Central Asia so as to get nearer the Indian border. Thus they made a deal and annulled the contract. See what they - the white race which called itself civilized and which today too, is the so-called advocate of human rights, did to the people.
Competition for Getting Privileges
After this event, there emerged a peculiar competition for getting privileges inside our country between the Russians (the Czars) and the British. I am going to give you some instances in this regard so that you will see how the privileges were exchanged. Two years after the above-mentioned treaty, about ninety six years ago, the British got hold of the privilege of shipping in the Caspian Sea coasts. They exerted pressure and once again got hold of the privilege of the routes in the south. The Russians exerted pressure and got the privilege of the routes in the north. These events recurred for two years. They exerted more pressure and got the `privilege of tobacco' which culminated in the famous event of the untiring combat of the late Ayatullah Shirazi, the event which you have heard of. The Russians came and exerted pressure for getting privilege of olive trees and the forests of the north and secured a 25 year privilege. The British secured a political privilege in South Iran and in Sistan province. The Russians came and got the privilege to organize the Cossack brigade. They made a brigade and thus constituted a military force in Iran which was commanded by the Russians. Rida Khan Pahlawi was an officer of this very brigade. This is the same brigade which bombarded the National Consultative Assembly after the Constitutional Movement.
The British took hold of the privilege of the Royal Bank in Iran. The Russians too, took hold of the privilege of the Mortgage Bank for fifty years. By giving loans to the heads of the country, the dignitaries, and the Qajars, they brought the country under the domination of their loan. This was the policy of the Russians and the British in regard to the independent Iran of that time. This became the fate of Iran which always used to jostle the powerful world countries. Now you can realize what they would have done in India, China, Africa, and elsewhere. Only Allah (SWT) knows the truth.
The Policy of Arrogant Powers in the Execution of Development Projects for the Oppressed Nations
These events took a new shape, and right now America is the leader of this movement. I am going to mention a few instances so that you could see what those people did who came in the name of the development. Suppose they gave a proposal for a power plant. At present, a power plant is not something which all nations should not have. The design of the plant, the machinery, technical devices, and the plant engineers are all theirs, and they are not willing to share the secrets of the matter with the people. They do something that if the plant is built, and if one day there are no foreign experts, then the power would be cut off, and the entire life of people who use electricity would be paralyzed.
A country like Iran, which they claimed to have industrial progress and great civilization, suffered such a misfortune. After the victory of the Revolution, the Americans, British, French, and others thought that if they do not come to Iran for a year, Iran will fall on its knees and beg them for help, and then they would return here with a coquetry and magic.
For instance, they had given the atomic industry to make the country atomic. Now, even after five years, the Germans who claim to be our friends are still making mischief. They took people's money and invested a large amount of a country's capital in an industry. Then they remained there. If we do not submit to their terms and conditions, they will not come.
They sign the contract in such a way that, if it became necessary to go to international courts, they could condemn the oppressed country. Those wretched human beings who have been enslaved by them all around the world, and who cannot get out of this "well" are held right with such bondages. They have enslaved the governments and nations with such tricks which you see.
You have either heard of or seen the like of the story of `a bone in the wound'. In any case, the tale is worth recounting. Once a butcher who had cut and wounded his hand went to a doctor. The doctor conducted a surgery on his hand but when he wanted to bandage it, he left a bone inside the wound. The poor patient would leave, but after two or three days would return and give the doctor more money as the bone did not allow the wound to heal. For instance, if the butcher gave him fillet or a good meat, the doctor would bandage his wound well, but again leave the bone inside the wound. The poor fellow went there for two or three months, paid money for the bandage, but the wound did not heal. One day when he went to the doctor, it so happened that the doctor's son, who at times bandaged the patients' wounds, was there. He opened the bandage and saw a bone in the wound. He took out the bone and bandaged the wound. The butcher left and the wound on his hand healed up. When the doctor noticed that the butcher no longer came to his clinic, he asked the son as to why he didn't come any longer. The son said: "I took out the bone which was inside his wound." The doctor said: "You foolish person! You prevented me from earning my bread."
The Methods Adopted by the Arrogant Countries
Leaving a `small bone in the wound' is what the Europeans are truly doing to the people today. Whatever industry they bring and whatever they do for the people is done in such a way that the latter remain always, like the injured butcher, in need of them and at their doorsteps. To get spare parts, advisers, engineers, and other services, the people are always under their enslavement, for example, in the military equipment. Now we are under the condition of war and cannot express certain things.
In the Air Force, they brought complex laser system, advanced F-14 fighters, Hog missile system, and other advanced systems which were really advanced in the world at that time. They brought these to Iran in such a way that if one day the Americans left the country, our army would not be able even to shoot a single bullet, but could only use small anti-aircraft guns or set to work our small aircraft. They had such hopes. But fortunately with the Islamic spirit, the people of Iran, though were kept away from developments, learned things and new developments took place in these matters.
In the initial days when we went to our military units, we saw airmen and technical unit personnel, who felt proud to be given the permission to go close to the aircraft, open its nuts and bolts, and touch such complicated mechanisms. They used to say: "This is a victory for us, because in the past an American sergeant would not allow an Iranian colonel to get close to this aircraft." They did not want to teach the people anything. They felt that when they would leave, all the frigates, war-ship carriers, anti-aircraft guns, aircraft, ammunition factories and everything else in the country would cease operating.
They really believed so. The Japanese, who have experienced colonization, and still suffer due to U.S. presence in Okinawa, adopted the same policy in the case of Iranian petrochemical project. The Germans are doing the same in our atomic industry. The Russians, who claim to save humanity and fight against Western imperialism, did the same in our power plants from the time our relations became strained, and we arrested the Tudeh party members. This is how arrogant countries treat the poor, deprived, and industrially backward people of the world so as to set up ties and take hold of the issues without giving the clues and secrets behind the matters, thus putting the people in great trouble. As a consequence, the assembly industries, vital projects, complicated affairs, making dams and the like in developing countries are typically run by them, in addition to advance of loans, purchase of raw material, and other matters. As I have already pointed out, these contracts are, apparently, very good. The country too, becomes thankful that, for instance, the U.S. has shown so much kindness to undertake the task. In this manner, the oppressed nation should be grateful to the `master' who has come and performed the task. This is how the nation becomes enslaved, has its hands and feet tied down, and suffers such afflictions.
Greatest Hostility towards the Islamic Republic of Iran
The existence of the Islamic Republic of Iran is extremely bitter for them. The reason why they have so much aversion and hostility towards the Islamic Revolution, is because they saw a people becoming victorious in a revolution, standing on their own feet, and succeeding in resolving the complex problems with which the Shah had tied their hands and feet. Although many Iranian experts had fled, and many hirelings had left their own country to serve the West, our youth, our members of Hizbullah (The Party of Allah), and our expert and committed forces succeeded in getting into operation almost all these complex systems. Many of these systems are working even much better than in the past, and many other projects are on the way of being improved. These achievements are bitter for them. They regard this experience perilous and resist tooth and nail so as to bar Iran from being a model in the world lest the world would see that this way is open for them also. Of course, Iran, to a great extent, is in need of experts and committed and intelligent people. If some of these do not have religious sentiments, they should at least have national pride and sentiments, something which most of them have. This path has been made and with a model such as Iran, the path can be adopted by others.
At any rate, as I have mentioned at the beginning of the discussion, the main factor behind this movement is the lack of taqwa of the inauspicious systems ruling over the world. In our country, we will, Allah (SWT) willing, achieve success on the basis of taqwa and Islamic criteria, as well as the guidelines of our beloved leader and the support of our honourable people. We will succeed in becoming a free and progressing country in this vital area of the world, and in enduring the problems they impose on us by serving as the model for breaking the bonds and making the oppressors helpless. Allah (SWT) willing, the day when we will get rid of Saddam in the region, we will help our neighbouring countries stand in the path of progress.