Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, the world had turned against Iran.
This was the punishment for the Iranian people to be independent and to choose an Islamic future by establishing a modern Islamic Republic.
Having failed to carry out a military coup in order to nip the revolution in the bud, an eight year long war was imposed on the nascent nation spearheaded apparently by the Baathist regime of Saddam Hussain but in reality with the connivance of world powers and financed by the authoritarian regimes in the Middle East.
With great sacrifice of its human and financial resources, Iran managed to come out of the debilitating war keeping its territorial integrity intact and has maintained its independence, democratic aspirations and Islamic credentials through its modern history of 37 years.
However Iran was never left in peace. During and after the war, as a result of terrorist attacks on its parliament and other institutions, it lost the cream of its revolutionary leadership.
The Middle Eastern dictators, kings, sheikhs and amirs perceived the threat of Islamic revolution spilling over into their own countries sweeping away their authoritarian regimes and therefore played the divisive cards of Arabs against Persians and Sunnis against Shias in order to contain the Islamic and democratic message reaching their own populations.
It was a similar situation like that of Egypt where the democratically elected Morsi Muslim Brotherhood government was swiftly deposed since it posed an indirect threat to other authoritarian regimes in the Middle East.
While a number of Muslim states in general and Arab regimes in particular have been maintaining overt and covert relationship with the state of Israel, Iran has maintained its principled and uncompromising stand against the Zionist state in support of the rights of the Palestinian People.
Indeed it has been the Iranian support that has enabled the resistance fighters of Hezbollah, the only force out of all Arab armed forces that has shattered the invincibility of the mighty Israeli war machine during the last two wars with Lebanon.
However in doing so Iran has been heavily targeted by Israel and its powerful Zionist supporters in the West, maligning it, isolating it and warmongering against it.
While Israel has stockpiled nuclear weapons since the 1960’s, it has developed a coalition, not only to deny the acquiring of nuclear weapons by Iran, but also not allow it to carry out research in order to use nuclear technology for medicinal purposes, power generation etc.
The sanctions imposed on Iran for years, had positive as well as negative effects. Iran has been successful in developing indigenous technologies thereby becoming self sufficient in many ways.
On the other hand Iran has been financially cut off from the rest of the world and as a result of the shortage of raw materials, many of its factories are not able to function properly. This has resulted in high inflation, substantial unemployment specially amongst the younger population.
Lifting of sanctions and embracing of Iran by the international community and support from all sections of the Muslim Ummah is highly desirable at this stage in order to make Iran a success story.
With regards to its foreign policy, Iran needs friends and not enemies. It needs to foster working relationship with all nations in general and its neighbours in particular. Its support for the Syrian Baathist regime has been criticized not only outside, but also within Iran.
It’s time Iran took a principled approach in this area rather than simply safeguarding its national interest with a narrow vision. Iran has a great responsibility to be a catalyst for Islamic Unity and peace in the Middle East.
Z I Ahmad