The reason the U.S. and other Western countries seek to punish Iran is not directly connected to its nuclear program, top Iranian clerics say; it's because they fear the rise of Islam, and are doing their utmost to fight it. Nevertheless, they will fail; Islam will emerge victorious.
Speaking at a press conference Wednesday, Iranian Parliament speaker Ali Larijani said that the charges by the U.S. that Iran was involved in terrorism, and allegations about its human rights record, were just a smokescreen for its fear of Islam. “The reason for their fear will be found in another place, which is the Islamic awakening of the regional people. It should be known that the West is upset because of the Islamic awakening of the regional nations,” Larijani said.
Larijani pointed to the catalog of uprisings in the Islamic world in recent months, including the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen, all of which overthrew dictators associated with the West. In each of those countries – as well as in Morocco – Islamists have, or are expected, to take key roles in leadership. Meanwhile, in countries that have not yet experienced revolutions, Larijani said – including Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia – leaders were taking a heavy hand against groups seeking a greater role in running their countries. Leading the groups in those countries as well, said Larijani, were Islamists.
Larijani was elaborating on comments made Sunday by Iranian supreme leader Ali Khameini. “With the nations' consecutive awakenings, the puppet regimes affiliated to the world arrogance will leave the scene one after another, and the might and magnificence of Islam will increase day by day. The Islamic changes in these nations will no doubt make progress and remain,” Khameini said.
This fear, said a top Iranian cleric over the weekend, led the U.S. and Europe to use every weapon in its aresenal to fight Islam. Ahmad-Hossein Sharifi, deputy chairman and research director at the Imam Khomeini Education and Research Institutem said that the West was targeting Iran in particular – because it leads the nations of “true” Shi'ite Islam, as posed to Sunni countries like Saudi Arabia, which did not represent “true Islam,” the Middle East Media Research Center (MEMRI) said in a report.
As a result, Sharifi said, the West has gone to great lengths to corrupt Iran. “The military experts acknowledge that in order to conquer Iran, there is a need for at least two million troops, including land, marine, and aerial forces... [In contrast], the 'soft war,' which is being waged on the level of the society, aspires to change [our] people's world view, monotheism, and religious principles, to destroy the values of [our] culture, politics, and society, and to change [our] way of life, including [our] architecture, music, leisure activity, dress, and cuisine,” he said.
"In the wake of the West's negative propaganda on the Internet, on satellite, and in the media, there has been a proliferation of grave problems in [Iranian] society, such as keeping dogs as pets (considered a great sin in Shi'ite Islam) and attraction to corrupt, content-free music,” he added. “On the political level, the main elements of the 'cold war' are weakening the status of the rule of Islamic law, sowing division among the officials of the authorities [in the Iranian regime], creating a rift between the people and [regime] officials, and using beautiful, attractive slogans. On the public level, this soft war is being waged by means of the Internet, films, [political] cartoons, and the print media.”
Meanwhile, Sharifi said, Islam was growing in the West. “Today, everyone acknowledges that the Islamic spirituality, and particularly Shi'ism, is spreading rapidly in the world – to the point where Islam has become an unrivaled religion in the world. If the Islamic trend continues at the present pace, the U.S. is predicted to become an Islamic country by 2070. According to these statistics, it is expected that by 2045 Germany will be completely Islamic; the Netherlands will also be completely Islamic by 2025, and by 2050 more than 70% of the French will be Muslims,” he said. And while “Western Islam” may not be as “Islamic” as the Iranian brand, “but in general an Islamic spirituality will prevail in them, and they will gradually march towards the ideal spirituality,” he added.