Remarks by Prince Turki Al Faisal at the Free Iran Rally in Paris July 1, 2017
NCRI - On Saturday, July 1st, The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) held their annual “Free Iran” rally, which was attended by some 100,000 people, including hundreds of high ranking political supporters from the US, the EU, and dignitaries from around the world.
One of the speakers at the event was Honorable Prince Turki Al Faisal, former Saudi ambassador in the United States and United Kingdom. And the current chairman of King Faisal Foundation's Center for Research and Islamic Studies in Saudi Arabia.
His speech was as follows:
In the name of Allah the Merciful
And peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and disciples
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi
President Ahmed Al-Ghozali
Ladies and gentlemen,
Peace, mercy and blessings of God be upon you.
I am honored and thankful once more for inviting me to participate in your annual meeting. It is the forum where the sons of Iran, who have left Iran due to the injustice of the Velayat al-Faqih rule, meet with representatives from many countries of the world who have suffered the terrorism of this government, the largest sponsor of terrorism. This meeting is to remind the world of the crimes of this regime against its citizens, its neighbors and of its threat to regional and global security and stability.
Dear brothers and sisters,
During last year’s gathering, I chronicled what brings us together, which is not only geography, but also the bonds of humanity. There were Arab tribes who settled in Persia and created family bonds with you as well as Persian masses who came for the Haj pilgrimage and established familial ties with us. We are also gathered behind the statement "There is no God but God, and Muhammad is the Messenger of God." We share a historical legacy that contributed to the advancement of human civilization.
Countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in the Arab and Persian Gulf and their neighbor Iran lived in a state of coexistence until the Khomeini revolution of 1979. The conditions, then, changed from co-existence to confrontation. Khomeini and his followers sought to replace the logic of co-existence with confrontation, which became known as the policy exporting the revolution. The language of relations among countries was infused with the logic of so-called revolution, which hid an expansionist and aggressive agenda. The logic of revolution and coup made it difficult or rather impossible to come to an understanding. It replaces politics, diplomacy and policies of non-interference in the internal affairs of others. Moreover, the outward strategy of the Guardianship of the Jurist (Velayat-e Faqih) swapped the attitude of stability with a mindset of coup and turmoil.
Khomeini lived in exile between 1963 and 1979 due to his political conditions and his partisan spirit, and in this way he did not differ from the other groups of political Islam holding the spirit of coup and the desire to secede from the state. In Najaf, he lived to broadcast his pro-coup teachings, centered around the idea of Guardianship of the Jurist (Velayat-e Faqih) on the nation. He compiled these ideas in a book entitled "Islamic government."
Dear sisters and brothers,
The highest-ranking Shiite jurists have rejected this idea and have shown that Khomeini’s ideas contradict the fixtures of religious jurisprudence of the imams, whether in the city of Qom in Iran or in Najaf in Iraq, or everywhere else that Ja’fari clerics reside. Among the stories quoted about Khomeini when he started to take up residence in Najaf was that he shared a room with another student. A mosquito entered the room and his colleague suggested using insecticides to kill it. But in a Sufi atmosphere and while pretending to fear God in the pre-revolutionary days, Khomeini is said to have objected to this suggestion, saying that the mosquito must not be killed as it is a creature of God. Instead, he proceeded to use his robe to force the mosquito to exit the room.
When Khomeini came to power, and after carrying out the executions of opposition activists in prisons, the very people who played a role in the revolution, the same colleague reminded him of the mosquito story and Khomeini’s fear of killing insects while he is now killing human beings after the revolution. Khomeini’s response was that these people are the enemies of Islam. This means that whoever opposed or stood up to Khomeini was an enemy of Islam, a traitor and death would be their fate.
Khomeini was not widely welcomed by Shiite jurists in Najaf before the revolution. It is famous that in debates with jurist Mohsen Al Hakim, Hakim encouraged Khomeini to promote the principles of Imam Hussein, but Khomeini responded, “why not promote Imam Hassan’s views who championed peace and did not call for war?”
This is evidence of the differences between Shia jurists on the issues of the absolute powers of the Velayat-e Faqih and the revolution. There is also evidence that after Khomeini ascended to power, his followers began picking followers for him at the expense of senior religious leaders in order to combine Velayat-e Faqih and religious jurisprudence all in his hands. Accordingly, he started placing restrictions on clerics, particularly, Muhammad Kazem Shariatmadari, who had earlier rescued Khomeini from execution during Shah’s rule as he awarded him the rank of “Ayatollah”, the holder of which could not be executed under Iranian law at that time. Shariatmadari refrained from giving the republic the adjective “Islamic.” In Iraq, cleric Abu Al qasem Kho’ei, who did not endorse mixing religion and politics, was not a supporter of the idea of Velayat-e Faqih. Later, Khomeini insulted Shariatmadari, shut down his seminary and library and put him under house arrest until Shariatmadari’s death in 1985. Shariatmadari’s son-in law was prevented from praying at his grave, and Shariatmadari’s grave remains unmarked.
More details about the suffering endured by this great jurist, his imprisonment and the insults against him were reported by his student Reza Sadr in his book, “In the Prison of Velayat-e Faqih.” Things did not end there. Supporters of Khomeini elevated insults against jurists Shariatmadari and Kho’ei, putting their pictures on donkeys’ heads and walking them around town. This extraordinary insult was just part of the strategy adopted by Khomeini and his supporters, and no one was immune from it. Khomeini also withdrew titles given to other clerics. He wore the robe of “Imam,” but even Imam was not immune from his wrath, as he also conferred other titles on himself like the “Leader” and the “Guide.” As soon as Khomeini arrived in Tehran, he turned against all his Iranian allies who accomplished the revolution. They were suppressed, imprisoned, assassinated or killed. You were the first to be stabbed in the back by Khomeini. Additionally, he picked Khalkhali as chief justice of the courts. Calling himself a revolutionary, Khalkhali continued the same path as Khomeini in executing dissidents based on suspicions. In justifying the killings of innocent people, Khalkhali famously said, “If (the executed) was a criminal, then they have received their punishment and if they were innocent then they would go to Heaven.”
Khomeini promised the Iranians democracy and the regime today brags about holding elections. What is the meaning of these elections whose candidates cannot enter the race unless they go through the filter of the Vali-e Faqih? These elections are not considered a certificate of good conduct. All totalitarian regimes such as fascism and communism hold elections and we have learned that the murderous figures of the last century, Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin all praised their election. The behavior of the regime in Tehran does not make it a democratic system, but a murderous dictatorship. The executions carried out by the butcher regime and the deaths of thousands of Iranian prisoners in 1988 still resonates and will bring an eternal curse on this regime and its leaders. These executions prove that war criminals must be brought to justice by the International Criminal Court.
The first victims of Khomeini and his followers are the Iranian people, who have suffered horrors and are still forced to endure the sick ideas of the system of Velayat-e Faqih which is in need of continuous crises in order to survive. Consequently, Khomeini's successor has been keen to establish paramilitary forces and militias in order to use them as armies in capitals dominated by the Revolutionary Guard forces. These include the Houthis in Yemen, Hezbollah in Lebanon and militias in Syria and Iraq. They want to make these militias as subservient as the Revolutionary Guards in order to create tools in the hands of the Vali-e Faqih, to whom the Iranian constitution has granted absolute powers as the successor to Khomeini.
Dear brothers and sisters,
Your efforts to confront this regime are legitimate, and your struggle to rescue all sectors of the Iranian society, including Arabs, Kurds, Baluchis, Azeris, and Persians from the oppression of the Velayat-e Faqih rule, as was said by Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, is legitimate and an imperative. Therefore, advance with God’s blessings.
May God bless you! Greetings to the martyrs, the victims of Khomeini and his successor, not only in Iraq, Syria and the Arabian peninsula, but wherever they have been slain; and first and last, greetings to the martyrs of the great nation of Iran.
Thank you, thank you.