Iranian “spiritual leader” leader Ayatollah Khamenei said on Monday that the Iranian judiciary should “express its firm support or opposition” on international matters, such as the plight of the Muslims of Myanmar and Kashmir. The statement, made before the country’s judicial officials for Iran’s “Judiciary Week”, is mired in hypocrisy as Khamenei continues to fully support the most notorious tyrant of our times, Bashar Al Assad.
This is the second time in as many weeks that Khamenei has voiced his support “for the oppressed”, stating on the occasion of Eid ul Fitr that “[the] Muslim world should openly support [the] people of Bahrain, Kashmir, Yemen etc and repudiate oppressors.” It is the first time in seven years that he has publicly called for support for Kashmir.
Since the Iranian revolution Iran has, in its rhetoric and in its support for groups like Hezbollah, presented itself as a resistance to American colonial agendas and foreign policy. Such rhetoric has won Iran support in the past from around the Muslim world, even from Sunnis, in spite of the obviously aggressive sectarian posture of this supposed “Islamic state”.
Among a slate of other recent quotes, these statements may have held some weight if not for the fact that the Iranian leader is a loyal ally of the butcher of Syria, Bashar al Assad.
The Iranian relationship with Syria actually goes back a long time, but while his father Hafez al Assad visited Iran only once in his life, Iran has been Bashar’s most visited country, and the strength of this alliance is evident in the continued support for Bashar throughout the destructive oppression he has wreaked.
As well as general political support, the Iranian revolutionary guard has been directly involved in Syria, and many Iranian backed Shia militias (some worse than ISIS, which is positioned as a demonic force by Iran as well as the west) have caused havoc in Iraq and Syria.
Even Hezbollah, an Iranian backed shia group that had even gained support among Muslims due to its supposed resistance against Israel, has indisputably exposed itself in this war. The Iranian leader has long pushed for Bashar al Assad to remain in power.
As well as Assad, Khamenei has disgracefully backed his allies, Russia, and their intervention in Syria. Putin himself has visited Iran for talks with Khamenei about the situation in Syria, and were he was praised by him. He said Putin was adopting “very good and creative” policies, with Putin responding by calling Iran a “reliable Ally”.
Russian history of invasion of Muslim lands and the general oppression during the Soviet era, the current heavy handed treatment of Muslims within Russia, its continued support of tyrants in former Soviet lands, and its violence in Syria with its indiscriminate airstrikes is well known. What use is Anti- American rhetoric if praise is to be heaped up on the Russians?
Iran has long claimed that it is fighting against US foreign policy, but recent times have exposed what some have stated all along – that such statements are lies. Now we see relations between Iran and the US normalising, despite Iranian anti-American rhetoric and American Anti-Iranian rhetoric, and greater cooperation between them in Syria as they target Muslims, and work to preserve Bashar’s seat.
Muslims ought not to be fooled from these and similar statements from leaders of such states. They should not in any way move the hearts of Muslims, especially when there is a clear contradiction between their statements and (at times clear lack of) action/s.