Hamid Reza Asefi:

The message to Gorbachev was a sign of Imam’s power

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 The message to Gorbachev was a sign of Imam’s power

This letter has different dimensions which we could speak about it; philosophical, religious and cultural dimensions which are all notable, but about the political dimension of the message; we should consider that in the situation which the message was sent no one could have thought or predicted about the collapse of the Soviet Union, but Imam had done it, and this shows that if any one wants to view the situation with out considering the developments of time he has too have a inspirational point of view.

Hamid Reza Asefi, eight years as the speaker of the Foreign Ministry and its parliament deputy resigned from his position in 2006. Previous to that Asefi was Iran's ambassador to France. He who is the son of Ayatollah Asefi and was born in Najaf, he has studied Chemistry Engineering but spending a life time in Iran's foreign politics administration has made a great diplomat out of him. He has also been the general manager of IRIB's provinces department and also Iran's ambassador to East Germany. Before his resignation in 2008 he had been  Iran's ambassador to the UAE. Asefi, as an ambassador in an Eastern Bloc country at the time of Imam Khomeini's message to Gorbachev, is completely familiar to the relations of Iran in this region.

Asefi told us about Imam's message to Gorbachev: "Analyzing some issues at the time they accuse is difficult, so we need to let time pass, Imam's letter to Gorbachev is from this sort of issues. At the time this message was delivered I was Iran's ambassador in East Germany, the message was a bit ambiguous for us, but because we had fait to Imam we didn't have any ambiguity in our actions, but we couldn't understand the reason of this message our selves."

He remarked that: "At the time of this message the Soviet Union was a  great superpower and wasn't even near to its collapse. At that time no one thought that such a change is going to happen in the Soviet Union. In those times in one of our meetings with Ayatollah Khamenei- who was the president then- and the ambassadors were talking and analyzing  issues about the Soviet Union and no one even reached to a collapse theory. I think what Imam did was unique and also it was from a mind beyond mankind; we don't wanna talk about Imam some how that no one could believe us, but at that time, international relation experts and professionals couldn't understand what he had said. Even at then I talked with our ambassador to the Soviet Union, and they didn't understand this message. I mean my colleagues in the Iranian embassy in the Soviet Union and my self which I was in a Eastern Bloc country then and we lived in Soviet regions, but we couldn't have such an analyze about the situation."

The former foreign ministry spoke man added: "This letter has different dimensions which we could speak about it; philosophical, religious and cultural dimensions which are all notable, but about the political dimension of the message; we should consider that in the situation which the message was sent no one could have thought or predicted about the collapse of the Soviet Union, but Imam had done it, and this shows that if any one wants to view the situation with out considering the developments of time he has to have a inspirational point of view."

Assefi mentioned the philosophical contents of the message and continued: "Imam wanted to open a new window for Gorbachev by this message, but he didn't understand this matter, and in the message which he sent by Shevardnadze to Imam, it was completely obvious that he hand't understand it. He had looked at it materially  and so he hadn't discovered its depth."

By mentioning the message's political dimension, Assefi added: "Imam's letter is a persistent document for the international relation's history, not only for I.R. Iran but for the entire world. At that time when we spoke with feign diplomats, we recognized that they haven't understood the depth of Imam's message, but after the developments caused the collapse of the Soviet Union, they understood Imam had done something that no normal man can do. Imam had his unique specifications, for example at that time when Erich Honecker, then the leader of the East Germany, sent greetings for different celebrations to Imam, Imam replied him by his own hand writing, despite being the leader he saw every thing simple and he also acted the same, which all these shows how great he was."

He remarked: "The political side of this document is one of our most important documents in our relations history. At that time even a superpower like the United States didn't dare to write such a letter to the Soviet Union, and this shows Imam's self-confidence."

In his analyze about the Soviet's reaction towards the Islamic revolution, Asefi said: "The Russian as most of the countries like the United States couldn't predict the Islamic revolution, as you know Jimmy Carter in his visit to Iran in 1979 told the Shah that iran is an island of stability. The russians were confused the same way and didn't have any analysis."

He continued: "We have a huge difference with the rest of the countries, which mostly the others aren't able of understanding it, and that is our criteria for assessments, which is a divine and spiritual criteria. It has been more than thirty years that we are under propaganda, political and economic pressures, with any material criteria this state shouldn't have resisted, and with that same material criteria the Islamic revolution shouldn't have happened, but we know that they have been mistaking. Marx had predicted that the first country which'll have a communist revolution would be England, because they have been industrialized and have reached to the capitalism stage, but Russia hadn't even passed the agricultural stage, though some say what happened in Russia wasn't a revolution and it was more a coup d'etat, but any way no revolutions happened in England. What I wanna say is that material criteria would lead us to mistakes. At the time of the victory of the Islamic revolution, I was in England. Two days before the Islamic revolution, I mean Feb 9th, BBC had a program about Iran's developments. David Owen, leader of a British party and a notable political figure, had attended in that program. He and the BBC presenter predicted that the street riots in Iran won't reach to a revolution; they only needed to delay the program for 48 hours to see Iran's revolution."

He continued with mentioning the confusion of the world in analyzing the Islamic revolution and added: "This confusion had two reasons, first for not having the divine and spiritual criteria, and secondly because of unpredictable moves of Imam Khomeini. The Russians were no different to the rest of the world, they were confused the same way. After the Revolution the communist state couldn't bare the Islamic Republic completely. I remember when Russia had occupied Afghanistan, they tried so hard for preventing us from condemning their occupation of Afghanistan instead of some bonuses, and we were in a war, we needed weapons and a lot of help, but we didn't accept it, though in that situation Iraq saw both Arab and western countries at his back and France had given Mirage aircrafts on a rent to Iraq. We didn't have any thing but our God and people, we were alone, but we didn't accept it. If any rational mind would have seen these issues with a material point of view,  maybe it would have said we should deal with the Russians, but our system and at its top our Imam didn't accept it. The Soviets had some ambiguity with us in these sort of issues, but they had some contradictions with the US and they new Iran as the US's enemy, and so this was a great point for them. I mean our relations with the Soviets wasn't a one way clear path, but it was dual and had two faces, and the Soviets acted by their benefits."

The former Iranian ambassador to East Germany, considers Iran's relations with the Russian Federation good after the collapse of the Soviet Union and continues: "I think the relations were improved. Any way Russia wasn't a superpower any more, and its land was smaller, 17 republics were separated from the Soviet Union and the borders between Iran and Russia were disappeared. When a country becomes smaller in its lands, its obvious that their desires and goals will become smaller too, though Russia is moving towards being a superpower again. Naturally when we saw this change in Russia, though it's slow, but the type and quality of our relations with Russia have improved."