Iran: Meaning of “revolutionary”


by Diba

Bahman Aghai Diba

Revolutionary is a respected term in the Islamic Republic of Iran, but in reality after many years of the “revolution” whoever is revolutionary is in fact corrupt and a crook. In the early years of any revolution, the officials of the new regime, try to control the affairs through “revolutionary” methods and by “revolutionary persons” because they want to do many things in a short period of time and they feel that if they observe all the legal or even customary standards and go through the logical process, they may lose the main game. Therefore, “revolutionary” acts are a kind of temporary and limited actions taken by the new regime until the affairs return to their normal conditions and then they go back to observe logic, standards, due processes, laws and so on. It is not acceptable for a regime like the Islamic Republic of Iran, after a quarter century of dominance over the country, to still speak of revolutionary persons, institutions, practices and so on. Therefore, the expression of “revolutionary” in Iran is a reference to violation of laws and standards and due process.

The Islamic revolutionary courts that were established in the early years of the so-called Islamic revolution were aimed at rapid trial of the persons that the new regime considered as enemies. These courts condemned thousands of people to death without observing any laws. They have claimed on various occasions that they enforced the Islamic codes.

However, in reality they have only enforced the views of the ruling circles disguised as Islamic codes. It is notable that starting from the first Islamic revolutionary courts up to now, no prominent Islamic clergy has accepted to be a judge or a high-ranking official in the Islamic revolutionary courts. These courts are full of young and ambitious clergies who owe their positions and promotions only to the obedience to the ruling circles.

These courts claim to be “revolutionary” in the sense that they do not have the time and patience of observing the existing laws and legal procedures. They make their decisions based on strange sources such as: the “personal view of the Islamic Judge”, the religious rulings of important sources of Taqleed (imitation) in the Shiite-Islamic society, and especially the Resaleh (book of the Islamic rulings) of Ayatollah Khomeini. This means that a judge may condemn a person to death, or a lesser punishment with reference to a certain page of the Resaleh of Ayatollah Khomeini.

Although this practice was unacceptable even in the early years of the “revolution” (due to contradiction to the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights, the International Convention on the Civil and Political Rights, and the International Convention on the Social and Economic Rights, that all of them are ratified by Iran and even without ratification, they are part of the laws in force for all states in the world), After many years of the so-called revolution, what is the need for such courts?

The “revolutionary” courts are per se in violation of due processes, implementation and enforcement of the laws and they are a symbol of “lawlessness” and double standard. How is it possible to have two legal systems in one country? This legal chaos has not only violated the rights of Iranian citizens, they have been the reason the foreign sources are reluctant to tackle (or invest) in Iran.

The foreign companies that are active in Iran have in fact concluded agreements with the government that takes the possible conflicts of the two sides out of the jurisdiction of the Iranian courts and makes them dependent on international arbitration and other forms of international litigation. This is what “revolutionary” court means in Iran. In order to reform the system, the revolutionary courts must be eliminated and many of the cases that they have tried must be retried according to internationally acceptable laws and legal procedures.

The institutions, such the Bonyade Mostazafan (the Foundation for the Deprived), Bonyade 15th of Khordad, the Charity Foundation of Imam Khomeini, and countless other institutions that are collectively called “revolutionary institutions” are in fact centers for the activity of the ruling circles in the Islamic Republic of Iran, without observing the laws of the land or as a matter of fact any law; for example, these institutions give loans to the herd-like followers of the regime, pay huge amounts of money to the clergies, send money for terrorist organizations in various countries, organize and operate their own systems of accounting (they do not pay taxes), have their own ports of importation and exportation without paying due taxes to customs officials, do not get inspected by the legal authorities, recruit thousands of people without observing national laws, send students to universities without students having to pass the difficult university entrance examination, buy, sell, and produce whatever they wish without observing any regulations, getting permits and licenses and so on. In short, the “revolutionary” institutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran are the centers for corruption and complexes of the official organized criminal activities.

“Revolutionary” persons are considered as qualified persons for all positions in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Whenever there is a discussion in the Majles, media, government and so on, they are “looking for revolutionary persons for the jobs”. However, revolutionary persons at the moment are the most unqualified persons for any post. The “revolutionary persons” do not observe laws, do not consult with others, impose their own views as if they are the single most important reference point on any issue (ironically they usually are least qualified), and do not care about criticisms (even if the criticism is justified) are the worst choice for any job. In fact, most of the “revolutionary” managers of the Islamic Republic of Iran must stand trial for their illegal actions.

All those who speak about returning to the earlier years of the Islamic revolution (including and especially the new “revolutionary” president of Iran), mean they do not want to observe even what they have set as laws. They want to be free to take any action that they desire under the pretext of being revolutionary. In a nutshell, any person who calls himself “revolutionary” in the present regime of Iran is in fact “counter-revolutionary” even by the standards of the current regime.

This is a piece from my recent book (Bahman Aghai Diba, Problems of the Islamic Republic of Iran: How not to govern a country, published in the USA by CreateSpace, June 2011, page 11)


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