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Analysis

Iran Policy Not Changed 29 Years after Imam Khomeini’s Historic Letter to Gorbachev

Monday 2 January 2017
Iran Policy Not Changed 29 Years after Imam Khomeini’s Historic Letter to Gorbachev

Alwaght-In January 1988, founder of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Imam Khomeini sent a historic letter to USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev predicting the fall of Communism.

In the letter which was sent a year before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Imam Khomeini also urged Gorbachev to study and research Islam and warned him against falling into the arms of Western capitalism. In his historical letter he wrote: "It is clear to everyone that Communism should henceforth be sought in world museums of political history."

In the letter that was delivered to the Soviet Leader by a delegation led by Ayatollah Javadi Amoli, Iran Late leader elaborated on the virtues of Islam and drew the attention of Gorbachev to the facts, saying: “Let me call you to study Islam earnestly, not because Islam and Muslims may need you, but because Islam has exalted universal values which can bring comfort and salvation to all nations and remove the basic problems of mankind… We treat Muslims of the world as Muslims of our own country and will ever share in their destiny.” In other parts of the letter Imam Khomeini referred to Gorbachev’s granting some religious freedom to Muslims in the Soviet Union, noting that “By granting certain liberties to some of your Republics in matters pertaining to religious practices, you have shown that you no longer consider religion as the opium of the people. Indeed, how can Islam be the opium of the people, the religion that has made Iranians as firm as a mountain against superpowers?"

In concluding his letter to President Gorbachev, which was his only written message to a foreign leader, Imam Khomeini said: “I declare outright that the Islamic Republic of Iran as the greatest and most powerful base of the Islamic World can easily fill the vacuum of religious faith in your society. In any case, our country, as in the past, honors good neighborliness and bilateral relations.”

Gorbachev Regrets Ignoring Imam’s Letter

Ten years later, in 1999, Gorbachev regretted his ignorance to Imam’s warnings three years before the collapse of the Soviet Union and said: “I think Imam Khomeini’s message was addressed to all the ages through the history.” He also added: “When I received this message, I felt the person who has written this letter was thoughtful and caring for the world’s destination. By studying that message I understood that he is a person who is worried for the world and is willing for me to understand the Islamic revolution more.”

“Neither East, nor West - Islamic Republic!"

When Imam Khomeini wrote his historic letter to Gorbachev, the world was still in the divisive cold war period of the two opposing camps of the East lead by USSR and the West led by the US. Imam Khomeini disregarded the prevalent bipolar system of capitalism and communism and therefore Iran pursued a truly independent policy of “Neither East, nor West - Islamic Republic!"

In view of this policy, Ayatollah Khomeini’s letter to Gorbachev was straightforward. At the time of this message the Soviet Union was a great superpower and no world leader, would dare write such a letter to Gorbachev, therefore, the letter was a sign of his immense piety and disdain for worldly powers.   In his letter, apart from predicting the collapse of communism, Imam Khomeini had also predicted the downfall of capitalism which is now facing dire situation with growing anti-capitalism protests rocking major Western capitals.

Following in Imam Khomeini’s Footsteps

In diligently following the footsteps of the Islamic revolution's late founder, his predecessor, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has taken similar stances on regional and international development and has preferred interest of the Islamic world above those of Iranian nation.

Iran continues to pursue its independent policies and has refused to bow down to pressure from global powers on several issues. Iran remains the only country in the world which has resolutely backed Palestinians in their struggle to liberate their lands from Israeli occupation. While reactionary Arab regime are falling over each other trying to establish ties with the Israeli regime and abandoning Palestine under US pressure, Iran stands fast in the face of world powers. In Syria too, Iran has stood by Syrians in their long war against foreign-backed terrorists while many regional Arab states are on the opposing side of the conflict. Iran has sacrificed immensely due to its policies but continues to remain steadfast and  the latest events in the region have vindicated Islamic Republic’s stance.

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Imam Khomeini Mikhail Gorbachev USSR letter Communism

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