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Iran's First President Bani-Sadr: Tehran Is Involved in Eight Wars

Iran's First President Bani-Sadr: Tehran Is Involved in Eight Wars

Thursday, 7 February, 2019 - 11:45
Former Iranian President Abolhassan Bani-Sadr in Versailles, near Paris, France, January 31, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
Paris- Michel Abu Najm
Former Iranian President Abulhassan Bani-Sadr said that the regime in Tehran has become more corrupt and dictatorial than the Shah’s regime, accusing it of using religion to legitimize itself.

In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat in his residence in the town of Versailles, France, Bani-Sadr noted that Iran was currently involved in eight wars: an economic war, direct military war in Syria, indirect war in other countries, a war through terrorism, a religious war, a diplomatic war, a war of propaganda, and the war of the US-Israeli threats.

The former Iranian president called on the regime to stop its interventions in the region and to give more attention to the Iranian people.

“The current regime is looking for means to justify its survival in power. It is looking for these means abroad. The supreme purpose is to legitimize the regime by saying that Iran dominates the region,” he stated.

Asked about the situation in Iran and his opinion on the regime, Bani-Sadr said: “I see that the current regime has taken us back to the dictatorship of the Shah. But what I see is that this system is more corrupt than the Shah’s regime. The difference between them is that the Shah could not use religion for political purposes, whereas this system hides behind religion to justify injustice, corruption, and repression.”

He went on to say: “Today, the Iranian people should be aware that there are alternatives other than returning to the Shah’s regime. There are alternatives such as freedom, independence and the establishment of a system that represents the people… The Iranian people are afraid of the post-regime phase. Therefore, if external pressures, especially American ones, decline and if Iranian people find themselves in a state of security, they will start moving.”

Bani-Sadr revealed that he was currently communicating with many figures inside Iran within a movement that prepares for a regime change.

“We will publish a constitutional law and prepare a program and draft-law for the transitional period from the moment of the departure of the regime to the establishment of a democratic system, and we do everything necessary for the Iranian people to say that we have all the means to achieve change without violence,” he affirmed.

The former president continued: “We are pushing the people to move as they did with the Shah’s regime and in order to hold their fate with their own hands. If the people did so, the regime would not have the means to prevent such movements. Moreover, who can guarantee that the protectors of the regime, the Revolutionary Guards, will remain loyal to it?”

Bani-Sadr disclosed information about tension within the ranks of the Revolutionary Guards.

“Based on my information, that there are strong tensions today within the ranks of the Revolutionary Guards; there are three conflicting directions over Iran’s foreign policy. The first warns of current internal and regional policies and call for reform from within the system. The second is pushing for more control over the government’s decision making and is working to establish a state within the state. The third questions the position of the Revolutionary Guards within the system in the long term,” he remarked.

According to the former president, change can come in two ways: from the top, like what happened with the Shah and with Khomeini, or through the people.

“We have the results of an opinion poll conducted by an American institution, which shows that 85 percent of Iranians declare their knowledge of human rights, and they want to enjoy these rights. Moreover, 80 percent of Iranians want democracy, and we have been working for 40 years - including 25 years outside Iran – for this purpose,” he affirmed.

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