Imam Khomeini's Slammed Shah Regime’s Capitulation Bill

Imam Khomeini the great leader of the Islamic world strongly condemned the certain bill which intended to give immunity and immunity to foreigners especially the US authorities inside Iran.

Under the bill, Iranian judiciary was unable to prosecute those US officials or citizens who committed crimes inside the Iranian soil.   

On 26 October1964, the series of so-called "reform" measures which were promulgated by the Shah on January 26, 1963 in compliance with the orders of the Americans (in the framework of Kennedy’s "Alliance for Progress" plan) and were collectively designated the "White Revolution," were not only ineffective, but also in many ways destroyed the economic basis of the country. At the same time, the movement which began under the leadership of Imam Khomeini (upon whom be peace) alarmed America who realized that this movement would lead to continuous, bloody revolution against the United States and its protégé, the regime in Iran.

These two facts prompted the US administration’s decision to revive the Capitulation Bill and establish "consular judicial rights" in Iran so that US personnel could, with peace of mind, directly protect the Shah’s throne and their interests in this part of the world. The proposal was first submitted by the Americans in March 1962 before the Shah’s reform program was implemented. However, for some reasons it was not seriously followed up until after the bloody uprising of June 5, 1963. The culmination of Imam Khomeini’s movement and reports from American analysts, showing that the Shah’s regime was unable to suppress the movement and attract the support of the masses, motivated the renewed proposal of this plan and placed the regime under immense pressure to accept it.

On October 5, 1963, the bill granting capitulatory rights to US military advisers and other US citizens in Iran was passed by the cabinet of Amir Asadollah Alam. In August 1964, it went to the Iranian Senate where it likewise received the sanction of the Senators there. Hasan Ali Mansuor, who became Prime Minister after Alam, took the above-mentioned bill on October 13, 1964 to the Parliament where representatives agreed to the measure. The text of the bill was as follows:

A single article - According to government bill numbers 18-2291-2157-25-11-1342 and their appendixes which were presented to the Senate on February 10, 1964 , permission has been given to the government to grant immunities and privileges to the head and personnel of the US military advisory bodies and civil servants who in accordance with related agreements are currently employed by the Imperial government. This, in compliance with paragraph 6 of the first article of the Vienna Convention which was signed on April 18, 1961.

The approval of the Capitulation Bill by the Senate and the Parliament was never really made public. The media, under government censorship, refrained from divulging it. A short time later, an internal parliamentary publication containing the full text of speeches and discussions by members of Parliament and the Prime Minister on this matter reached Imam Khomeini, disturbing and upsetting him. The news of Imam’s distress gradually spread. Many people went to Qom to discover the reason for his concern.

In order to divulge the treachery committed by the Shah and his lackeys against Iran and the Islamic society, Imam Khomeini decided that through a vehement discourse and a trenchant declaration he would call the people to protest against the bill and oppose the machinations of the Shah and the United States. Imam’s overt struggle against Mohammad Reza Shah regime began in 1960 (1341) with his opposition to the Provincial and District Councils Bill which essentially sought the eradication of Islam. With its approval by the government of the time, the Islamic stipulations concerning voters and candidates were dropped and the pledge of allegiance was changed from swearing on “the Holy Quran" to swearing on “the Holy Book”. In 1941 (1322), in what is considered to be Imam Khomeini’s first public political statement, Imam wrote and published a book titled Kashf al-Asrar in which he revealed the crimes of the 20-year monarchy of Reza Shah. The book is essentially a detailed, systematic critique of an anti-religious tract, and in defending Islam and spirituality, Imam refutes the deviatory sophisms employed by the author. It is in this book that the idea of an Islamic government, and the need for an uprising to establish this, is propounded. Imam rose up in opposition to the bill and invited the other maraje"(religious authorities), the theological schools and the people to rise up with him.  Initially, Imam sent messengers to cities near and far to inform the clergymen of the plot and he himself spoke with the clerics of Qom and deliberated on the consequences of the tragedy with them. When suitable grounds for the speech were prepared, October 26 was chosen as the day for its delivery.

The Shah’s regime knew that resorting to force would not only be inexpedient but it would also make Imam more determined to deliver his speech. So they sought another way. They sent one of their men, who apparently had nothing to do with the regime and appeared to be a nationalist, to Qom to see the head of the movement in an attempt to prevent Imam from attacking American imperialism and creating anti-American sentiments in the religious environment of Iran. Although earnest in his efforts, this man could only succeed in meeting with Imam’s son, America by Imam Khomeini "would be more dangerous than attacking the first person of the country" and he recommended that "in these times, if Ayatollah Khomeini wishes to deliver a speech, he should be very careful not to cross swords with the American government, for to do so would be very dangerous and would effect a very sharp and strong reaction from them; whatever else he says - even if he attacks the Shah himself - is of no importance!"

The Shah's sensitivity was not without reason given his dependence on the White House. At the time, America was embroiled in the Vietnam crisis and presidential elections on November 3, 1964 for determining the late Kennedy’s successor were near. In his impassioned speech, Imam Khomeini, aware of this weakness of the regime, was to direct his attack fully at America and denounce and criticize the US in the strongest tone.

 Imam Khomeini's Passionate Speech

October 26, 1964 , the birthday of the anniversary of Lady Fatima’s and the birthday of Imam Khomeini himself arrived. A deluge of people swept into Qom from all over the country to listen to Imam's speech. Imam's residence (situated in the Yakhchal Qazi district of Qom), the alleyways around it and the pomegranate orchard which was adjacent to Imam's house were full of people.

Numerous loudspeakers had been installed in the area. At 8.30 am Imam Khomeini appeared. A man of attractive and well-groomed appearance, his frowning face was ablaze with anger and his eyes red from tiredness and sleeplessness. He began his speech in the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful and with the holy verse from the Quran:"We are from God and to Him is our return." Each sentence of Imam's alone had the quality of an epic. The crowd became emotional; the air thrilled with their shouts and tears, and each tear shed nurtured the seeds of revolution which took root and fourteen years later blossomed into victory.

As he spoke his voice rose:

"Gentlemen, I warn you of danger!

Iranian army, I warn you of danger!

Iranian politicians, I warn you of danger!

Iranian merchants, I warn you of danger!

Ulama of Iran, maraji (religious authorites) of Islam, I warn you of danger!

Scholars, religious students! Centers of religious learning, Najaf, Qom, Mashhad, Tehran, Shiraz! I warn you of danger!.....

If our country is under American occupation then tell us....

All our troubles today are caused by this America.

All our troubles today are caused by this Israel. Israel itself derives from America."

At the end of his epic speech, Imam Khomeini deprecated the approval of the bill by the representatives in the two houses of the Parliament: "The representatives in the Senate are traitors; all those in the lower house of the Parliament who voted in favor of this bill have betrayed this country. They are not our representatives. The whole world must know that they are not the representatives of Iran! Or, suppose they are, now I dismiss them. They are dismissed from their posts as representatives." the great Imam said.

The latter years proved very tough for Imam and his followers. The western-backed dictatorial regime of Shah launched a wide crackdown to curb the Islamic movement and sent Imam to exile. However, the Islamic revolution emerged victorious in 1979 due to untiring efforts and wise leadership of Imam Khomeini.





Send To Friend