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Jakarta Post

Iran, 42 years of resistance and progress

  • Mehdi Rounagh

Jakarta   /   Sat, February 13, 2021   /   01:03 am
Iran, 42 years of resistance and progress In this file photo taken on Sept. 22, 2018 members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) march during the annual military parade marking the anniversary of the outbreak of the devastating 1980-1988 war with Saddam Hussein's Iraq, in the capital Tehran. (AFP/-)

Forty-two years ago, subsequent to one of the most popular contemporary revolts globally, the Islamic Revolution of Iran triumphed on Feb. 11, 1979, under the leadership of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and Iranian bravery.

The three foremost demands of the Iranian nation that arose from the sayings of the people during the Islamic Revolution were independence, freedom and the Islamic Republic, which over the past four decades, the government and the Iranian nation have made great sacrifices to attain them.

Denial of domination, liberation from subjugation, oppression and tyranny of the monarchy, the establishment of a democratic system grounded on the teachings and lofty religious principles, as well as the high rudiments of Iranian culture have been the most imperatively fundamental philosophies of the Iranian revolution. In this respect, the Islamic Republic of Iran was established with the presence of the vast majority of people carrying a decisive vote of 98.2 percent, which subsequently caused fundamental changes in domestic, regional and global conditions.

The Islamic Republic of Iran, in terms of foreign policy, was the birthplace of major changes in the political, economic, social, cultural and scientific fields of the country. One of the most influential manifestations of the Islamic Revolution has been the changes happened in the foreign policy of Iran, which has led to the formation of an independent, active and innovative foreign policy founded on the three doctrines of dignity, wisdom and expediency. Meanwhile, two strong and inviolable pillars of interference refrainment in others’ affairs and not allowing others to interfere in the internal affairs are the indispensable elements of the foreign policy.

In line with continuing its peaceful foreign policy, the Islamic Republic of Iran has always sought to create greater mutual trust with the neighboring countries of the region and the world, and to develop national security and safety in its surroundings. In addition to constructive interactions with the world, thwarting violence, as well as fighting against terrorism and extremism globally, is another pillar of the Iranian government's foreign policy and strategy, as the initiative of the World Against Violence and Extremism (WAVE) proposed by Iran to the United Nations was approved by the General Assembly.

Nowadays, key accomplishments have been achieved in the fields of science, industry and military, among other areas. During this period, despite being imposed maximum pressure and sanctions from the United States and its European allies in almost all fields, Iran has made unlimited strides in the fields of science and the localization of hi-tech industries.

Today, Iran is one of the world's leading countries in aerospace, nuclear, nanotechnology and biotechnology, defense, quantum, cloning and genetics, medicine, organ transplantation and stem cell production, as well as the production of diagnostic kits for COVID-19 and its vaccine.  

With the government's widespread support for increasing the country's defense industry and the increased self-confidence of Iranian experts and scientists, Iran was able to further enhance its defense capabilities, and today, Iran provides more than 90 percent of the requirements of its armed forces at home.

Currently, Iran's military industry is able to produce state-of-art equipment and weapons in 770 military groups. Prior to the revolution, only 30 groups at a very limited level were able to produce such equipment. These achievements come at a time when Iran has been completely under Western military sanctions for 42 years.

Yet, the 42-year path of the Islamic Republic of Iran has always been confronted with obstacles and glitches by its enemies after the victory of the revolution to hinder the progress of Iran and the welfare of the people.

Aiming to overthrow the government and cause the disintegration of the country, Iran’s enemies not only equipped and led terrorist groups to kill ordinary people and scientific, political and religious figures — such as the cowardly assassination of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, a national hero who fought terrorism, and the assassination of Prof. Mehdi Fakhrizadeh, a senior scientist in the Islamic Republic of Iran — but also exerted maximum pressure and sanctions on Iran, practically putting the assassination of the Iranian nation on their own agenda.

Today, a year after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Iranian people are facing this vicious virus in a situation where not only has the country's revenue sources been significantly reduced due to unfair sanctions, but their access to the global resources and financial aid is also being banned, which has hindered Iran from importing medical equipment and medication; Iran's assets are even blocked in other countries.

This hostile, illegal and inhumane approach is taking place against the Iranian people in a situation where the Islamic Republic of Iran aims to build trust and contribute to the development of world peace and security, and to clarify its peaceful nuclear activities, entered into negotiations and eventually, in a win-win approach, signed the Iran nuclear deal with the P5 + 1 (permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany).

The agreement was later ratified by UN Security Council Resolution 2231. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was signed to limit the Islamic Republic of Iran's nuclear program, lift international and unilateral sanctions against Iran and normalize economic relations between Iran and the world. However, despite Iran's adherence to all obligations under this international agreement (approved 13 times by the International Atomic Energy Agency), the US under Donald Trump's presidency, unfortunately, withdrew from it in 2018  and violated all its obligations and even resorted to economic terrorism, while declaring economic war against the Iranian nation to terminate the JCPOA and Security Council Resolution 2231.

Nonetheless, in the path of the glorious 42 years of its life, the Islamic Republic of Iran, relying on the people's power and leadership of the country, continues to make progress and as an influential middle power country in the region, is taking strides in the undulant Middle East while affecting global developments.

Today, the world is experiencing dissimilar conditions in 2021 as a result of fluctuations in the global strategic sphere and the outbreak of COVID-19, which has accelerated the process of world change, and in the decline of major powers, the role of middle powers has further been accentuated.

In this light, the development of cooperation and synergy between the Islamic Republic of Iran as a middle power in the Middle East and the Republic of Indonesia as another middle power in the strategic region of Southeast Asia, shall ensure the interests of the two countries in creating a novel international system with a multilateral approach away from coercion, sanction and unilateralism.

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The writer is deputy head of mission, Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Jakarta.