شناسه مطلب صحیفه
نمایش نسخه چاپی

Interview [Different issues in Iran and the world]

Different issues in Iran and the world
جلد ۱۰ صحیفه امام خمینی (ره)، از صفحه ۶۶ تا صفحه ۷۵
Interviewer: Oriana Falachi
Q: Primarily, I would like to offer my condolences over Mr. Taleqani's death.
A: I wish her success and thank for her expression of condolence.
Q: I hope that the Imam would answer to the questions I pose with ease considering the patience I see in him although some of the questions may sound ridiculous and some others bothersome.
A: Please tell her if the questions are long, I do not have time. I do not object if she limits the number of questions to a few ones. Select among the important questions lest it should not take a long time.
Q: Your Eminence, Imam Khomeini! Iran is in your hand and your words are fully accepted and become law in this country, taking an executive form. In the country, there are some people who think there is no freedom in this country. What is your Eminence's comment?
A: Tell him that Iran is not in my hands; it is in the hands of the nation. The nation may freely turn to anyone who serves them and who works for their interests. You noticed that on Mr. Taleqani's death there was no bayonet to force the people to surge into the streets. People took to the street freely, making the entire Iran tempestuous. This does not mean there should be unbridled freedom. This is not freedom. Nevertheless, it is freedom that drives people to turn to some personalities whom they know are divinely oriented and whom they love and admire on some divinely standards. This is liberality.
Q: As you had pointed out in a speech in Qum a long time ago, you aptly described a modern man as one who thinks freely, who decides freely and who chooses freely. How is it that the Communists and other minorities, whether political, religious and national, cannot express their thought freely in the country?
A:Tell her that you first presuppose a matter and then ask the reason. There is freedom of thought in our country. There is freedom of the pen and freedom of expression, but there is no freedom of conspiracy and corruption. If you expect us to let plots being hatched against us and lead our country to anarchy and corruption and if this is what they mean by freedom, nowhere in the world can you find such freedom. If you mean freedom of thought and freedom of expression, Mr. Bani Sadr invited the Communists and others of different views to voice their opinions. They were absolutely free for a period of five months or more. Nevertheless, we recently came to realize that, inspired from aliens and those aiming to destroy the country, they were engaged in conspiracies, sabotages and setting fire to crops and ballot boxes, displaying those treatments by applying guns. They were behind the troubles around Kurdistan. If we neglect, they will proceed. If by freedom, you mean freedom of speech and expression and thought, it already exists. That which has been banned is what was absolutely denied in post-revolution period in countries where revolution broke out and whose leaders claimed to provide complete freedom, but absolutely banned those engaged in brewing plots. We gave them respite for five or more months until it was demonstrated for the people and the world that it is not the question of freedom of expression, but freedom to conspire. This freedom to hatch plot cannot be provided by anyone in any part of the world.
Q: You already know that correspondents usually ask these questions. Why then dissident newspapers, particularly Ayandegan, were for example banned?
A: Daily Ayandegan was the one that had connections with our enemies. The daily was involved in conspiracy and had relationship with the Zionists. It was inspired from them and wrote against the interests of the country. All the newspapers conspiring to return the former regime were banned. After the investigations if they were proved to be irrelevant to the plots, they will be free. The prosecutors general had understood that all these newspapers were conspirator and corrupt being inspired from the shah and the Zionist machinery, thus issuing order to ban them temporarily to launch a probe. It is not against freedom; it prevents plots; it is a measure taken everywhere in the world to ban such plots.
Q: His Eminence Imam Khomeini! Those who are now voicing opposition are predominantly from among people who struggled against the former regime and suffered tortures. How is it possible to deny leftists the right to express themselves, while they have struggled so much and suffered pains?
A: This is impossible. Not a single one of them has fought or been tortured. All of them have taken advantage of the government and the nation's sufferings and writing against our people.
Q: I mean the political groups like Toudeh Party, Fada'iyan and Mujahidin.
A: The same holds true of parties. If they do not conspire in the context of their freedom and have not acted in contrast to freedom, they are exempt. As for your view that they have suffered and have been active in fighting the Shah, this means that you are not much informed of our situation. The masses of people have suffered. A number of these party members were abroad and now they have returned to take benefit without having suffered any pain. Another group lived here in havens or team houses. After people sustained those sufferings, offered blood and did all the works, they came and are benefiting. Nevertheless, no one has stopped them; they are free.
Q: I persistently mean the leftists who served imprisonment terms or suffered torture by the Shah.
A:They had no role in our revolution. In fact, they were all opposed. The few groups that are now active against us followed a specific ideology and insist on their ideology. Our revolution was Islamic to which the leftists were opposed. They are more opposed to us than to the Shah. They are conspirators as well and work to revert to the previous situation. I am of the opinion that they are feigned leftists, not real ones, who have been contrived by the US. Therefore, it is not like what you think that leftists are a group that played a role in our revolution. They had no role in our revolution. Of course, they have taken some measures for their own ideas that are irrelevant to our revolution. Our revolution has no connection with the leftists. And the leftists rendered no service to our revolution. They have only been engaged in stonewalling. The leftists weave all the present plots. These leftists are feigned, not real leftists.
Q: Your Eminence Imam Khomeini! Would you please tell us whether this nation fought for freedom or Islam?
A: Definitely for Islam. Within Islam is contained all the concepts the world assumes to be democracy. Islam contains all these notions. Our people have fought for these realities on the top of which stand Islam. Within Islam is contained all these notions.
Q: Could you give us a simple definition of freedom?
A: Freedom is not something to be defined. People are free to think. No one obliges them to hold this or that opinion. No one obliges you to to this way. No one pushes you to choose this one. No one impels you to live in certain place or choose certain jobs. Freedom is something transparent.
Q: Are people free enough to choose their government system? Is this freedom available for the nation too?
A: In the way prevailing in the world, people of Iran can also elect their representative. The representatives can approve or reject the government based on what the people have entrusted them. People elect the president. People accomplish all these; people can do it freely.
Q: His Eminence Imam Khomeini! Why did you cross one word from the outset; that is, democratic and observed that" Islamic Republic" not a single word more or one less? You crossed the term that is so dear. It is so dear to us and you eliminated it. This subject is still under discussion in the country.
A: Yes, it has a story of its own. One question is that this misgiving generates the idea in one's mind that Islam is empty of democracy. Therefore, there is need to be associated with an epithet. It depresses us to argue that we want Islam but associated with democracy, while within Islam is contained all the ingredients of democracy. Islam has everything. It is like saying that we want Islam provided that we can believe in God. This is very saddening to us for one to have such an idea in mind. First and foremost, the term democracy that is so dear to you has not a clear-cut definition. Aristotle defines it one way; the Soviets have a different definition; capitalists define it differently. We cannot incorporate in our constitution an ambiguous concept defines differently by different groups. In its place, we put Islam that clarifies the middle way. This is not conflicting with anything. However, there are people who have not understood Islam. Foreigners have nothing to do with Islam. Those inside the country do not know what form of regime Islam provides. Therefore, they take one thing for granted. Let me give you an example from freedom and democracy. History has something to say about Imam `Ali (`a) when he was the Caliph whose realm of authority extended from Hijaz to Egypt, most of Asia and parts of Europe. The Imam who was leader of such a vast territory, commanded such a power and assigned the judge, when a dispute erupted between him and a Jew, the judge invited him to answer to some questions. He sat in the presence of the judge. The judge was due to do him honor. The Imam rejected and said a judge should not respect anyone; we are all equal before law. When the judge issued a verdict against him, he admitted. I would like you who are informed of all governments and everywhere give me an example of such a treatment. As you may know, in all the governments in the world from beginning to the present day show an instance of such a sample standing above the example quoted above.
Q: No, I have no example at present to give you. Instead, you have accomplished a revolution, but still there are rich and poor people in your country. Do you authorize several parties that are objectively democratic to replace other group if it fails to win as is the case in Britain where sometimes the Labor Party and at other times the Conservative Party comes to power? Do you give permission for economic justice?
A: We have now a six-month-old child. In the past fifty or so years, with the condition and complications in which Iran was embroiled, what expectation you have of a six months old child that has been kept backward for the past fifty or so years in our time and 2500 years in history? Now, we are at the beginning of the path; we are encountering with all the ruinations inherited from the former regime. No destruction has come about in our time. In our time, all are attempting to improve the people's conditions and the situation of the farmers, factories and the like. Do you expect us to improve the conditions in a few months or years to the extent that all our people live in comfort, with all the complications being removed? Can all the confusions imposed upon us be corrected in so short a time? We want those whom you call communist and democrat, etc. to give us respite to attend to the problems of the people and administer the country the way they want. Our economy is now bankrupt; we should lay the foundation for a healthy one. We are now stripped of opportunity; we are in a confused situation; these very people whom you call democrat and communist, etc have caused all the complications. These people are all the troubles we have. If these problems are removed, parties are free. We never bar freedom. Islam does not also deny freedom. As is the case in all parts of the world, we do not act more than staving off plots.
Q: As I look at your face, there is assurance and peace in your mien. However, the world has portrayed a stern, harsh and grim image of you. Is the image portrayed of you not painful? You are described as new dictator of Iran. Are you not piqued by this experience?
A: It is obviously irritating one from aspect: how far our enemies go to act contrary to humanity. We regret these people behaving against humanity and going beyond fairness. It is annoying from this aspect. According to teachings of Islam, we should deplore the defects in human beings. From another aspect, it is not at all important to us, because we are traversing a rightful path, a path that is against super powers and the interests of countries that want to swallow the wealth of weaker nations. I cannot expect them to sit and watch, while we block their attempts. Of course, it is not unprecedented and new. We were wise to such acts. Often when a weaker nation stands against a big power, these accusations are leveled against the former. We should not expect those who have been hired by the Shah and by big powers not to take severe measures against us. Well, we see outside of our country there are elements engaged in triggering disturbance in our country. We see exactly that they are intriguing. We know that in their newspapers, they incriminate us in whatevery way they wish. Perhaps you read in newspapers writing that women's breasts have been cut at the order of Khomeini, doing so and so with women. Obviously, it is enemy, but I am sorry that the enemies act so unfairly and against humanity.
Q: Those who do not fear you and I saw in front of your house and also in Tehran crying" Khomeini, Khomeini," generates some feeling in one emanating from some sort of fanaticism. Do you not see this threatening to progress of man and growth of human being?
A- It is not fanaticism. It is freedom to express friendship. This is, borrowing your words, democracy in friendship. They have felt that I act according to their interests, that we do not want to oppress them and that we do not want to force them to do something. They favor Islam and feel that I am obeying Islam and acting according to Islamic laws. These two feelings prevail in people. One is that they know that Islam is a regime within which is contained justice. They also know me as one who is obedient to a regime that seeks justice that we want to administer. For this reason, they display their sentiments. It is not a rigid fanaticism without any logic and foundation. I will not feel any threat in this.
Q: Do you see the threat of fascism in Iran today?
A: Not at all! There is not such a threat. As long as the nation has regard for Islam and obeys the faith and we want to establish Islamic government, there is no fear. There will be no dictatorship. There is no threat of this notion finding foothold in our country. We would be threatening when communism overpowers us, in which case trouble and dictatorship would begin to emerge or when a regime like that of the Shah catapaults into power. This is also menacing. As for the regime we seek, it is what the nation seeks. Dictatorship in it is a cardinal sin. Fascism is a capital sin in the sight of our nation. Never we would pose such a threat.
Q: In this fascism, the popular aspect is strong. In Italy, where we have lived, and in Germany, Mosilini and Hitler relied on such thoughts. There is always threat of some sort of dictatorial government being created by masses of people in graduate. Such a regime is entirely leaning on public opinion. However, it acts exactly like despots.
A: Our people are Muslim. Islamic teachings have been taught to people by our clerics as they themselves have learnt. All these Islamic ordinances are grounded on justice; freedom, people's latitude and sublime concepts. All these notions exist in Islam and people also abide by them. It is indeed rationally possible for the country to reverse from Islam and turn to communism. If such a thing happens, all the people have backed down from Islam and became communist. Then, this threat looms on Islam. However, as long as our people are Muslim, no such a threat can be posed. For a people not believing in Islam or following communism or other schools, this threat is there. However, our country is not at all exposed to such a threat.
Q: Another question that has caused uproar in the West deals with the executions. It is noised about that some five hundred people have so far been executed in Iran and that without lawyer and appeal. Do you still favor the procedure?
A: Either the West has not known these individuals or deliberately feigned ignorance. Firstly, the number is not five hundred, but much less. They were individuals most of whom openly killed people in the street in cold blood or ordered the killings. This has not been something ambiguous for our people feeling doubtful as to whether they were innocent or not. Perhaps they have something to defend themselves. But one who attacks a population with tank and hits and overruns the youths under the tank and then one death sentence is issued in lieu of killing thousand people, can one be given respite to defend one? Obviously, the pen is in the hand of the enemy to write whatever he wishes. However, this is not reality. Neither the number of those executed here are so great nor have they been tried against standards. Each of them have killed many people and caused corruption. They have burnt women, saw the legs of prisoners in prisons, roasted the prisoners and connected them to electricity. Obviously, these people were executed; they were given the right to defend themselves. It is bandied about that they were denied lawyer. What can we do when the pen is in the hand of the enemy who wants to depict such a picture of us?
Q: What is your opinion about the Shah? Have you issued an order to assassinate him abroad? And do you think it is possible?
A: No. I did not issue any order. I would like him to be extradited and tried in Iran. If I could, I would keep and transfer him to Iran and openly tried him for the fifty-odd years of tyranny he has committed, compensating for his treasons. If he were killed, the assets he has stolen and taken abroad would be lost. However, if we keep him and transfer him to Iran, the assets might be retrieved.
Q: Are you interested in detaining and transferring him to Iran in the same way that Ashman was nabbed and taken to Israel?
A: I would like him to be transferred and tried in Iran.
[To the translator:] Tell him that the late Mudarris who was the staunch enemy of the Shah, once the Shah was on a visit to foreign country. When the Shah had returned home, the late Mudarris had told him" I prayed for you so much." He had taken great pleasure in that his enemy had prayed for him. Mudarris had said the point is that if you had died, the properties you have pillaged and handed over to foreigners would all be lost. I prayed for your health to return to Iran so that we can regain the assets. The same holds true for the son who has transferred our assets abroad more than his father's.
Q: If the Shah redeems the assets, will you let go of him?
A: With respect to his treasons, there would be no word with him proportion to the amount he redeems. However, he has committed treasons to our nationality that cannot be compensated and passed by. He has committed treasons against Islam. We cannot compensate this as well. The crimes he committed in killing people in groups in 15 Khurdad are not redeemable. As we were notified, the mass slaughter of Khordad 15 was at his direct order. His crimes are unforgivable. If he can resurrect the victims of Khordad 15, there would be no more objections.
Q: Only the Shah or all his family members?
A: Anyone of them committing treason. Along with the royal family members, the Shah's crown prince can come and live in Iran like other citizens. He has done nothing against us. No one will do any harm to him. However, the like of Ashraf, the Shah's twin sister, is among the criminals and will be punished based on her crimes. It does not have anything to do with the other members of his family. There is nothing to do with the ones who have committed no treason.
Q: Has his son done anything wrong?
A: The court will decide. There are allegations, but we do not know.
Q: You are hopeful of his return to Iran be tried. Are you sure this will happen?
A: This is almost a wish.
Q: Rest assured that you will lose nothing. I will frustrate all the propaganda against you.
A: Do not think much of yourself!
Q: It is said that those executed were not all political dissidents and SAVAK( members of the Shah's notorious secret police ); they had committed buggery and adultery. I explained that it is not the case. They were businessmen who kidnapped children and you were given false reports.
A: The heart of the point is that if a finger of a body is decayed, what should be done to recover the body? Should the rotten finger be allowed to be there to disintegrate the entire body? This finger is unhealthy and must be cut off. Once, it is said that people are free as postulated by certain groups. Women are free so that these people would enjoy. Well, so much the better! Once, this is what they mean by freedom. However, we cannot approve of this. are dead set against it. The other time, it is meant that maintaining the order in the society is maintaining health in the society. Islamic policies are implemented to purge the society. The farm harmful weeds must be picked and thrown away. We cannot tolerate those who are leading the society to astray and debauch our boys and girls. We cannot let them do, as they will. The appropriate strategy must be adopted, whether hard for you or not, to correct the society. It is the need of a society that you seize a thief and put him behind the bars. Why did you take his freedom? Alternatively, you detain, imprison and retaliate on a murderer. Why do not you let him do as he wishes? Why? The reason is that it may lead the society to astray and corruption. Preventing some of them, the society will be rectified. We request this correction, which requires the proper policies.
[To the translator]
As regards what has happened here, as you said, tell him these events were like such issues.
Q: [Occasionally, for example, some people may commit buggery. One is ill. Suppose similar problem. Why are they executed?
A: This triggers corruption. Corruption must be removed to correct others. This is among the side issues.
Q: It is said that an eighteen-year-old pregnant woman has been executed for committing adultery.
A: This is a lie. It is impossible in Islam. This is among the accusations leveled against us.
Q: Newspapers wrote about it.
A: I am not in the know. How should we know what has happened. The case has been taken to court, which has issued the verdict.
Q: Is it all right to conceal women under Chadors (long grown covering women from head to too)? The women participated in the revolution, sacrificed their life, were imprisoned and struggled. Wearing Chador is an old-fashioned custom. Now, the world has undergone change. Is it right to conceal them under Chador?]
A: Firstly, it is optional for them. They have chosen it. What right do you have to strip them of this option? We communicate to women to turn out with chador or Islamic dress. Out of the 35 million populations, 33 will come out wearing Islamic mode of dress. What right do you have to bar them? What sort of dictatorship are you applying to women? Secondly, we do not press for any specific covering. For women of your age, there is there is no strict regulation. We are checking the young women wearing strong make-up and trailing behind them a throng of people. You need not feel pity for them.
I am going to get up. You need not feel pity for them.
[To the translator:]
Translate these for her.
«۱»- In Sahifeh-ye Nour, the date is written as Shahrivar ۲۱,۱۳۵۸ AHS but Mehr ۲,۱۳۵۸ AHS is right.

امام خمینی (ره)؛ 02 مهر 1358

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