In the path of the Imam (117)
If you remember, we discussed Imam Khomeini’s guidelines on the way of political activities of armed forces and said that he was strongly against involvement of the armed forces in political parties. Thus, he would warn the Iranian Armed Forces against supporting or opposing any specific political group or establishment. In this episode, we are going to present you other parts of the Imam’s guidelines on the issue.
Imam Khomeini (God’s mercy upon him) insistently warned the Armed Forces against political rivalries due to the fact that it would cause disruption in the structure of the Armed Forces and would seriously undermine unity of these forces. He writes in his testament, “The very entering a party for the Army, the IRGC, the military and police is not permitted. It would lead them to corruption…” The Founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran believed that any involvement of the Armed Forces in parties or factions would eclipse national interests. He writes, “The [Islamic Revolution] Guards Corps and other Armed Forces should not enter political affairs so that solidarity is fulfilled. If you enter, you would finally trouble yourselves and would finally stand against one another; and would trouble the system and would weaken Islam.”
Imam Khomeini stressed that every component of the Islamic system should fulfill their own duties without interfering in the affairs of other parts. He writes in another part of his testament, “The duty of every military and garrison is to avoid meddling in the political affairs of the state; because if a soldier enters political affairs, he will lose his duty as a soldier. Thus, [the enemies] want to cause problems in the core of the Army. One of the big problems is to bring political affairs in the Army so that they start speaking political words. I order the Army commanders that political issues should not be raised in the Army.”
Imam Khomeini, as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran, emphatically told the Parliament and the Supreme Defence Council that they are religiously obligated to prevent the involvement of the military in political affairs. He writes, “Since the Revolution belongs to the whole nation and it is everyone’s duty to safeguard it, the religious and national duty of the government, the nation, the Defence Council and the Assembly of Islamic Council (parliament) is to oppose from the very first step, if the Armed Forces, whether the commanders or the higher and lower ranks, want to do anything against the interests of Islam and the country or enter in parties which would undoubtedly destroy them. And it is incumbent upon the Leader and the Leadership Council to prevent this issue decisively so that the country is immune from damage.”
Imam Khomeini was so sensitive toward the involvement of Armed Forces in political affairs that some paragraphs were inserted in the law of punishment of the Armed Forces. In a part of the law it has been made clear that the membership of the military personnel in any party or political organization and group will lead to 6 months- 3 years of imprisonment. Moreover, in the law for presidential election, it reads that the law enforcement forces should do their duties on ballot boxes to keep order; but they should seriously refrain from taking stances for or against any specific candidate. Furthermore, articles 47 and 48 of the bylaw of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps stress that the IRGC is completely independent from any political party or group and should never find a partisan identity to act as a political party or organization. It stresses that: “The members of the IRGC have no right to be a member of any political party, group or organization and this continuation of membership will cause them to be expelled from the IRGC.”