Imam Khomeini described himself a servant of nation

Imam Khomeini described himself a servant of nation

Imam Khomeini, the late founder of the Islamic Republic, on several occasion described himself as a servant of the Iranian nation.

Imam made remarks in a historic interview with a reporter of the Italian national TV during his stay in exile in the Paris suburbs of Neauphle-le-Chateau.

Imam also said that people from all walks of life had formed a united front to overthrow the Shah regime and would not be deceived anymore by his promises.

The leader of contemporary Muslim world went onto say that the main objective of the Islamic movement is to eliminate the monarchy from the country.

Imams also said that an Islamic-democratic system would preserve the country’s independence, safeguard the people's freedom, and would campaign against corruption.

The interview was conducting just months before the victory of the Islamic revolution. The following is the full text of the historic interview.


Date: December 2, 1978

Place: Neauphle-le-Chateau, Paris, France

Subject: The destiny of Iran; Iran-US future relations

Interviewer: A reporter of the Italian national TV

Question: You have already become the hub of unity of all the forces. Why has it happened? And why isn't the Shah able to control this situation

Answer: What matters in Iran is only the force of the classes and strata of the people who have more than ever got united toward overthrowing the Shah. And they consider me their servant. Over the past few years the people have properly recognized the nature of the Shah and will not be anymore deceived by his promises and measures. Therefore, the nation has risen up in unity against the Shah and the Shah is no more able to control the situation.

Q: Where will the present situation lead to? What outlet do you propose? What is the Islamic Republic?

A: The prime objective of the Islamic movement is to eliminate the monarchy and there is not any other way for tranquility in Iran and stability of the region. Naturally, there should be an alternative to this regime for the country's future and there should be a system agreed and liked by the entire society. And this is the Islamic Republic. The bases of an Islamic Republic are: preservation of the country's independence, safeguarding the people's freedom, campaign against corruption and licentiousness, and legislation and enactment of the laws in order to launch reforms in economic, political, social and cultural fields on the basis of the Islamic values. These reforms will be carried out with the participation of the entire nation. The main objectives of the reforms are primarily eradication of poverty and improvement of the condition of life of the majority of the people who have been oppressed in various manners.

Q: Have the military forces expressed any support for you? Do you think that the army has become more neutral? Is there any possibility of any change in its direction? Do you think that there is a threat of a military coup to replace the Islamic Republic?

A: In the final analysis, the army is of the very same people. Some problems have already emerged from within the army. We hope that the militarypersonnel themselves join the people. However, the engineering of a military coup will not change anything. The people's struggle will continue until an Islamic Republic has been established.

Q: Do you think that a civil war will break out in Iran? Is the bloodshed in the people's interests?

A: It is the monarchy that sheds the blood of the innocent people and all the governments of the world have extended their supports to it. Now, the people have risen up and it is their established right to struggle against the regime by any possible means in order to prevent futile bloodshed in the future. Basically, civil war breaks out when the people are divided into two groups. The Iranian people are unanimously united against the Shah and support the establishment of the Islamic Republic; therefore, there is no possibility of the outbreak of a civil war in Iran.

Q: Do you think that the resignation of the Shah is necessary? Is there any possibility of a compromise? Have you rejected to meet his envoys?

A: The elimination of the monarchy is necessary and there is no possibility of any compromise with the present regime. Thus far no one has contacted us as the envoy of the present regime, and if they contact, they will not be admitted.

Q:] Do you think that the Shah's attempts for turning Iran into a modern industrial society will continue, or they should be moderated? How should Iran mobilize its resources? Do you think that Iran should stop the sale of its gas to the Soviet Union and its oil to the West?

A: What has happened during the Pahlavi reign, particularly during the rule of the present Shah, has been nothing except the destruction of the economy, industry and agriculture. Their attempts have been termed as modernization and transformation of Iran to an industrial society. What we intend to do is a real modernization based on the fundamental needs of the absolute majority and the poor people of Iran. Our resources will be utilized on the basis of the requirements of the society and in relation to other nations of the world. What we intend to do in the economic field is prevention of the looting of the resources of this nation, not severance of economic relations with other countries of the world. Exactly, within the framework of a just deal, our oil and gas will be supplied to the customers. More significantly, the foreign revenues should be earmarked for economic development and for thispurpose we will definitely have full relations with the industrialized world. But we will preserve the right to decide about the direction of our economy.

Q:] What will be the future relations of Iran with the United States? Has President Carter realized the effect of the current movement in Iran? Do you think that Iran-US relations should undergo change? If so, in which direction?

A: Our relations with the United States and other countries of the world will be based on mutual respect. We will not allow the US to decide about our right to self-determination. What the past US governments have done and what Mr. Carter is doing right now, indicate that they resort to any means to protect this monarchy in order to preserve their interests, and this is why they have still a hostile attitude toward the Islamic movement. So long as the situation is as such, our attitude toward the US policy will remain negative. Of course we make a distinction between the American government and the American nation and call on the American nation to support the Islamic movement of Iran. The current relationship between the United States and Iran is that of a master and servant that must be definitely changed into a healthy relationship.

Q: Do you think that the years of your exile are going to end?

A: Place is not important for me, rather, whether I am inside or outside of Iran, my objective is the liberation of Iran from the clutches and bondage of colonialism and despotism.

Sahifeh, vol5, Page: 154-156

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