Sheikh Abdullah Makwinja Correspondent
Yesterday, the Islamic Republic of Iran marked the 38th year of its founding after passing through various crises and hurdles over all these years. The Islamic revolution had to sweat and bleed at every turn during the past 38 painstaking years.
Despite all difficulties, today Iran is a recognised regional and international power.
As evident from the world history, Iran has been the cradle of the most ancient world civilisation.
Here the first monarchial rule was established 4 000 years ago in 330BC after migration of the Aryans to Iran.
Due to its geographical position and strong cultural foundations, Iran has always played a positive, useful and decisive role in political, economic and cultural developments as well as peace and stability of the region and the world.
In the history of Iran which is full of ups and downs, February 11 1979 carries great importance.
This day the Iranian nation which has always been on the forefront in forming civilisations and cultures achieved what will be remembered in the Iranian and world history forever.
This day they dethroned the biggest despotic ruler of the region and established the Islamic republic system in the country under the leadership of the late Imam Khomeini.
Running the national affairs on the principles of freedom, sovereignty, self-determination, equity and justice and religious teachings in an exemplary way is one of the important characteristics of the Islamic revolution.
Social structure was founded on the glorious teachings of Islam.
As a blessing of the Islamic revolution, Islamic unity and dialogue and tolerance of faiths become slogan of the Islamic republic, thereby reviving religiosity across the world.
Iran’s revolution also set off a series of events that triggered several conflicts in the region, starting with Iraq’s attack on Iran.
Parallel to these unprovoked hostile policies emanating from the West, the Islamic republic embarked on a no-nonsense programme acquiring peaceful nuclear technology. The deep seated fear of global arrogance was unjustifiably stoked again.
It started with Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Iran in 1980.
Iraq’s attack on Iran not only rallied the population around Imam Khomeini, but also served to galvanise a network of those who opposed the Islamic Republic.
And the Arab world’s support of Saddam all the way through, and Saddam’s attack, and the spread of that war through the Persian Gulf, and the oil lines in particular, gradually drew the United States into the Middle East, signalled the start of major hostilities between the US, its allies, and Iran, resulting in, among other things, decades of sanctions.
Military explosions failed to bring the Islamic republic to its knees.
Economic detonations failed to bring the Islamic republic to capitulation. And guess what? The Islamic state with its Islamic leadership and devotees have survived all this turmoil.
As a result of sanctions Islamic Iran also managed to focus on the development of its manufacturing sector, unlike its neighbours who solely depend on imports.
While under severe sanctions in 2012, total sales of the top 100 Iranian companies amounted to $215 billion, which was 30 percent higher than 2011.
Even the World Bank in 2014 said the Iranian economy expanded by 3 percent.
The Brookings Institute, a US thinktank, declared in 2011 that as a result of sanctions, Islamic Iran had become more assertive.
With the lifting of the illegal sanctions through the Joint Comprehension Plan of Action, Iran is about to reap a windfall with $100 billion frozen Iranian money being released by the West.
It is said Iran will get about $30 billion of this money in the coming weeks and the country has already made plans to use the money to revive the economy.
Probably this was why President Rouhani described the lifting of the sanctions recently as a golden page in Iran’s history.
Iran had little to lose by complying with the IAEA conditions.
Over the years, it has mastered nuclear technology, and developed short-, medium- and long-range missiles in addition to anti-tank missiles and drones.
With the lifting of sanctions there is jubilation in Iran, emotional disturbances in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, a sense of relief in Europe, depression in occupied Palestine, and mental muddiness in the USA.
While nuclear related sanctions inflicted economic damage on Iran, they also provided some tangible economic benefits.
For instance, Iran reduced its oil dependency from 70 percent to 20 percent and significantly improved its tax collection system. In 2015 Iran’s non-oil exports rose by 14.1 percent.
As reported in international scientific circles, the rate of scientific progress in Iran is 11 times higher than the average global scientific growth.
Literacy rate in Iran is 82.3 percent.
Iran has now changed into a scientific pole in West Asia and in the area of Nano, it ranks 12th in the world.
Iran’s position in the human development index has improved by 10 ranks as compared to 2005, and it is now one of the top seven countries in the world in terms of human development.
Before the Islamic revolution, Iran was able to meet the domestic needs for food for 30 days, but today, despite the population being two-and-half times higher, it is able to meet its food needs for more than 300 days and even export some food items.
Children mortality rate has dropped from 111 to 26 per thousand while life expectancy has gone up from 58 to 72 years. Number of electricity subscribers in Iran in 1979 was 3 399 000, but it rose to 30 million by the end of the last year. We are now exporters of electricity to our neighbouring countries.
Iran has the second largest natural gas reserves in the world at 3.27 trillion cubic meters. In 1979 only 51000 Iranian families enjoyed the blessing of gas but now more than 14 million Iranian households have gas connections. From 1912 to1957, Iran had 4 565 kilometers of railway lines but now we have10 000 km of this network. On average, laying of railroads in Iran each year has witnessed a growth from 80 km to 168 km. Till 1979, we produced 25 percent of medicines needed by the country, but now we produce 96 percent of these medicines within the country and have become a medicine exporter. Our telephone landline connections have surged from 800 850 to 30 million. Presently,there are more than 45 million mobile phone users in Iran, and with the development of optic fiber in this country, 30 million Iranians are using internet.
The number of universities in Iran is 2 500, while the number of university students in this country has surged from 75 000 to 4.5 million.
Besides progress in the scientific field the Iranian nation has also succeeded in giving stability to the biggest democracyin the region, where the people are enjoying freedom and sovereignty. Iran may have some sanctions relief but the hostility of the imperialistic powers has not waned. It will continue to manifest itself in different ways. The leadership of the Islamic republic of Iran cannot afford to lower their guard vis-à-vis these predatory powers.
So undoubtedly Iran has gained influence and strength, and as a nation with an ideology independent of East and West, has to now be considered in any Middle Eastern issues. A heart and mind free of prejudice and malice has no choice but to salute this Islamic success story. No matter what one’s opinion of the Islamic Iran, the fact that it stood by its vision and principles and gained its reward of course not without sacrifices.