Admiral Ali Shamkhani’s view on current issues of Iran

The Secretary of the Iran's Supreme National Security Council

PEJOURNAL – The Secretary of the Iran’s Supreme National Security Council believes that US officials have not yet reached a definite will and decision to fulfill their obligations, and in the field of foreign policy we are witnessing a decline in their political and economic power in the West Asian region.

In an interview with Iranian Students News Agency, Ali Shamkhani said: “We are in a special situation today and our economic indicators are not suitable and worthy of the Iranian people, but these indicators can be changed.”

“The main issue in the elections is not who the political groups are nominating to run in order to have a good vote,” he said. Have country development indicators.

He also clarified about the nomination of military personnel: Successful management in the defense sector alone cannot guarantee the ability of individuals to run for the presidency, but intimidating people from the military under the pretext of limiting persecution.

ISNA’s interview with Admiral Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, is as follows:

Are there any solutions to Iran’s problems?

Definitely, There are solutions for solving the country’s problems. With abundant resources, very good infrastructure in various fields, geographical location, exemplary security, young educated forces, political stability and regional power, there are all grounds for solving the current problems.

Of course, in addition to the positive points that have been mentioned, the issue of oppressive sanctions is one of the important limitations that make the progress of the country difficult, of course, with the management methods that we have had in the last twenty years.

Naturally, in certain situations, appropriate and special management methods should replace the classical methods. We have a problem in this area. The point that I made about the efficiency of oil governments, can be seen  more in the face of sanctions and external pressure.

That is, when governments adjust their plans based on the production and sale of oil and the revenue from it, they are practically in trouble by being subject to sanctions and restrictions on the sale of oil. Accordingly, I believe that the way in which political groups are now pursuing the nomination and nomination of 1400 presidential candidates is incomplete and inaccurate.

In my opinion, this is not the main issue of the elections. Everyone should think about who, after being elected, given the current and future conditions of the country, which should also presuppose the continuation of sanctions, the ability to run the country and solve existing problems, especially economic and livelihood failures, which are the main The priority today is the people.

If political groups are looking for a real answer to this question, our options will definitely be very limited.

Unfortunately, the lack of attention to the important requirement that I mentioned has caused the slogans that are raised by the candidates and naturally have to be loyal to it during the 4 years of his presidency, to be forgotten after a short time, and the presidents or The reason for the inability or by facing the realities that they had not thought about before, they do not take steps to fulfill the promises given to the people.

We are in a special situation today, and our economic indicators are not suitable for the Iranian people; but these indicators can be changed.

One must expose oneself to the choice of the people who have the ability to improve the development indicators and be able to gather a motivated, energetic, expert, committed team, coordinated within themselves and capable of interacting with other forces and parts of the country. To lead the country towards favorable conditions in a step-by-step and prioritized manner.

Based on the experiences of previous governments, I believe that political groups should select and nominate candidates by providing measurable indicators.

What indicators do you think the president and the efficient government have?

In my opinion, efficiency can be measured by measuring important indicators such as maintaining and improving security in all its dimensions, increasing national unity and the ability to put the country on the path of comprehensive and sustainable development.

In the next stage, the ability to solve everyday living and economic problems and improve the bio-social and cultural development of people must be considered. Today, our people do not have significant concerns in this area because they live in a good situation in terms of security, and their main concern and problem is livelihood and economic issues.

Among the presidential candidates, there are also people with military background. Is having a successful military record a guarantee of success in the executive branch?

Naturally, successful management in the defense sector alone cannot guarantee the ability of individuals to run for president.

Of course, according to the existing structures in our country and how some military institutions were formed after the victory of the Islamic Revolution, there are significant differences between militarism and military personnel in Iran and other countries.

I myself never thought that one day I would serve my country in the guise of a soldier. I was a student before the revolution and we were fighting against the Shah’s regime with a group of other revolutionary youth.

After the revolution, in order to maintain the security of the country and deal with insecurities and separatist groups and to counter foreign aggression, we had to take up arms and accept military responsibilities. In fact, our militarization has been more a product of the necessities of the revolution than a choice.

Soldiers of this type are definitely different from soldiers who have chosen this profession by choice. Of course, I and all people like me who have succeeded in wearing this holy dress to sacrifice their lives in defense of the ideals and values ​​of the Islamic Revolution and the Islamic Republic of Iran are thankful to God Almighty, but I found it necessary to explain this in an inappropriate atmosphere that some I would like to say that they have consciously and unknowingly created a group against the military candidates

Of course, the final choice will be made by people who certainly have the maturity to identify the characteristics of the candidates, both military and civilian, but I believe that the statements about the effects of the presence of candidates with theoretical background in the election are mostly unfounded.

In a country where the legal framework defines the powers of the chief executive and other powers and the rights of citizens are precisely defined and explained, how can a person with a military background create restrictions and create political, social and cultural contraction?

At the same time, the president is not the highest official in our country, and despite the presence of the Supreme Leader, the possibility of the formation of tyranny and contraction, etc., is basically ruled out.

Of course, the presence of military personnel in the presidential election is common in many countries, and incidentally, having a military record means presence in high-risk arenas and war is a privilege for individuals, but unfortunately, in our country, some individuals and groups try. Remove people who were in military uniform in the war and sacrificed their lives to defend the country with labels such as violent and believe in the thinking of the garrison and the tyrant, and so on.

Aren’t you worried that electing a president with a military record will limit political, civil and social freedoms?

Has a president with a military background ever ruled the country to reach such a conclusion? What does restricting civil liberties mean? Can anyone in the country restrict political freedoms? We do not have an emergency law in Iran.

All countries have this law. France imposed a state of emergency in recent protests.

We do not have a law of emergency, which means that no one can impose martial law in Iran, and it is impossible for a person with a military record to restrict social freedoms.

This is a false accusation. Of course, I mentioned earlier that there is no guarantee that any military that has a successful military record will be successful in running the country, but intimidating people from the military under the pretext of creating restrictions is cruel. In general, I believe that both the military and the civilian option should answer the questions I asked, such as the type of program, the team and the schedule for solving the country’s problems.

How do you see the landscape of Iran in 1400?

I consider the arrival of 1400 to be the beginning of a new phase for the comprehensive development of the country. We are in a situation where Trump’s policy of maximum pressure has failed and new production and export infrastructures have been created in accordance with the needs of the country, which is definitely a new opportunity for us.

Despite all the restrictions we had, we managed the Covid19 well as the main concern of the people today, and with the finalization of the production of Iranian vaccines by the end of the summer of 1400, all target people will be vaccinated, and we will gradually get out of the restrictions due to Corona.

As the days of the presidential election approach, political vitality in the country will naturally increase, which is considered a positive event, regardless of the final result of the election. The formation of a new government will definitely increase the work and effort environment in the country. Fortunately, according to opinion polls, the turnout in the presidential election is increasing compared to the 11th parliamentary elections.

In the field of foreign policy, we are witnessing the decline of American political and economic power because of its influence in the logic of West Asia. The evil countries of the region are in a state of inactivity with the trans-regional changes that have taken place. These are all opportunities for the country.

Although the illegal sanctions initially created problems in the sale of Iranian oil, but with the efforts of different parts of the country around the clock, both the amount of oil sales is good and the access to our financial resources is good.

I believe that if the future government focuses on strengthening national unity and internal cohesion and avoiding the margins, and puts on the agenda the three issues of efficiency, gaining public trust and coordination and interaction with other elements of the system, valuable opportunities for It will make a leap in the development of the country.

The government’s initial opposition to the parliamentary law, entitled “Strategic Action to Lift Sanctions and Protect the Interests of the Iranian Nation,” had side effects, including the issuance of a statement by the Secretariat, which some interpreted as an action against the government. Do you agree with that?

I do not intend to go back and talk about the issues that occurred during the formation and adoption of the law. Everything that can be said at the moment is described in the statement, and you can refer to it. But I need to mention three general issues in this regard which of course, are also relevant to your question.

The first point is that, unfortunately, some in our country are accustomed to seeing and evaluating all issues through political and factional lenses. This group does not exclude even national security issues, which should naturally be included and commented on in the framework of national interests and not the interests of gangs and factions.

Certainly, looking at national security issues from a narrow factional and political perspective cannot provide us with a correct and comprehensive judgment. In addition, commenting on national security issues and actions taken by the National Security Agency is not within the competence of individuals unrelated to this area.

I think the main drawbacks start from this point. Due to inappropriate comments made by some people not related to the field of national security in the various forces, there are margins that are definitely not in the interest of the country and national interests. Of course, it is possible to talk specifically about the example that you mentioned.

Today, shortly after the passage and promulgation of the parliamentary law, it is quite clear that the secretariat’s view on the effectiveness of the law was quite expert. It is now clear that the content of this law and the time of its adoption and promulgation have played a decisive role in activating the Western parties to find a solution to the existing problems.

Although none of the proposals and actions presented by the Western side so far meet our wishes and the lost interests of the nation, but before the law was passed, this minimal movement did not exist.

The second point that I need to explain is that we in the National Security Institution consider the issue of national unity and internal cohesion as one of the unchangeable principles in increasing the national security coefficient and we have always tried to increase dialogue and Communication with a set of political, media, cultural and economic institutions, institutions and personalities, to hear and use different opinions and views in the country, as well as questions and ambiguities for sympathizers of the system and the country, regardless of their political views, they are ready to answer.

In order to achieve this goal, while holding several meetings continuously with the presence of experts in the secretariat, we also implemented a detailed program in the form of study chairs with the focus on prominent professors and experts on various topics so that we can make the most of the expert views of the elites in the country.

However, the program of study chairs could not be implemented in line with our expectations due to severe budget constraints.

The third point I want to make is the position and powers of the National Security Agency. Many in our country even think that some officials should have more complete information than ordinary people because the president is also the chairman of the Supreme National Security Council, so the national security institution is part of the government and of course everyone The principles that govern the working methods and frameworks of ministries and government agencies should also be current in the national security institution.

This view is by no means correct. The institution of national security, according to the law, is a multifaceted structure and government with the powers provided for it in the constitution.
According to the law, all resolutions of the Supreme National Security Council can be implemented after approval by the Supreme Leader.

The main activities of the Secretariat of the Supreme Council are based on following up and monitoring the implementation of resolutions.

After the signing of the JCPOA, there was hope that Iran’s nuclear case would be closed with the agreements reached. Trump’s actions failed all equations and agreements. Now, after the change in the US government, do you think there is any hope for a change in the situation and the return of the two sides to JCPOA?

The fact is that the US and Europe’s indebtedness and refusal to comply with the UN Security Council and impose sanctions on Iran from the beginning, and this process is not limited to Trump’s presidency, but during Trump’s stay in the White House and the US withdrawal from JCPOA, the return of sanctions put more pressure on Iran.

Despite the withdrawal of the United States from JCPOA, Iran did not take any steps to reduce its commitments until May 1998, at the request of Europe, in order to show its goodwill. When JCPOA began, the Western parties realized that it was not possible to continue delayed games without paying.

The passage of the Strategic Action Plan for the lifting of sanctions by the parliament also accelerated the movement. We have always stated that Iran’s set of measures to reduce JCPOA’s commitments can be reversed if the United States returns to its commitments and lifts sanctions.

We have never left JCPOA to which we need to return, and we have reduced the fulfillment of our obligations only in the implementation of JCPOA and under paragraphs 26 and 36 of this agreement. Now the Biden government, which has chosen the slogan “resumption of diplomacy” in the field of foreign relations, can provide the ground for stopping Iran’s retaliatory measures by lifting sanctions.

The position stated by Iran is completely transparent, legal and reasoned, and if the opposing parties seek to correct past wrongdoings and have the will to act in a committed manner, they can move the ball that is now on their ground and break the deadlock.

The Islamic Republic of Iran entered the nuclear negotiations honestly and responsibly, and according to numerous reports, the IAEA fulfilled all its obligations, but Western negligence and lawlessness caused great damage to Iran. Now it is their turn to fully and comprehensively lift the sanctions by compensating for the damage they have done to us in the first step and to show goodwill, in order to provide the conditions for the implementation of JCPOA.

Of course, my impression is that the United States has not yet made a final decision to change the course of the past and fulfill its legal obligations. The statements of various US officials show their confusion in their decision-making and uncertainty of their will to change the status quo.

Our preference is for the cruel and illegal sanctions to be lifted as soon as possible, but we are pursuing the country’s plans regardless of the type of decisions they make, and, fortunately, we have been able to reduce the harmful effects of the sanctions.

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