Transcript of Rahaizan TV - Mino Hemati’s interview with Soraya Shahabi which broadcasts via channel One Farsi satellite TV towards Iran, MiddleEast, Europe and North America. Mr. Khamenei, the Islamic Republic's leader, has given a brilliant speech!! Among patriarchal women, this once again, confirmed anti-woman approach of the regime. RahaiZan (Emancipation of Women) TV Program: In this program we will consider this speech, why it was done at this time and its consequences. We talk to Soraya Shahabi, women and children activist.
Rahaizan: Dear Soraya Shahabi welcome to Women's Emancipation Program. First of all let's listen to some parts of Mr. Khamenei’s speech, and then we will start our conversation. Soraya Shahabi, as you heard, the Islamic regime's leader is talking about women crisis in the world. Since leaders of other regimes have not talked about such a crisis in their countries, we can conclude that this crisis has hit the Islamic Republic. What's your opinion about this? Soray Shahabi: Doubtlessly this crisis has hit the Islamic Republic. Not only it has hit the Islamic Republic today, but also it was born with it since the first day. look, you are facing a society that for more than thirty years, since the beginning of the Islamic Republic, has made the women jobless, has kicked them out of working environment by acid-attacking, guiding to the better!, lashing, execution and prison, forced them to wear veil( hijab), deprived them of contraceptives, marginalized them and dismissed them from social mechanism as a citizen equal to men by several ways of wild suppression and Islamic ideological nonsense and established a deep bi-gender apartheid against women in the family and the society. These bi-gender apartheids have always been challenged. The root of the crisis which Khomeini points out is bi-gender apartheid. A basic and deep discrimination against women that the regime has been struggling with for 35 years. But why is he today confessing to it as a crisis not as a profession? So far it was achievement and improvement of the so called Islamic Revolution and now they are calling it "crisis", it's because the conditions are different today. Nowadays, with all their assaults and supposedly successes and achievements in so called Islamizing the society and despite their efforts to shut down all ways and means on a generation not to have access to science, knowledge and joy of men and women equality, and bring up a so called Islamic generation in which women is second-class citizen, doesn't have rights and her duty is housekeeping and reproduction, they have faced a generation that has disregarded all these. They were kicked out of the working places. Today 60% of the graduated students are women, and also they outnumber men in applying for and entering university. I don't think you can see such a sexual composition in educational centers anywhere else in the world, because they were dismissed from working places and closed several university studying fields on them. But anyway, the society refused. The society refused this misogyny, this regressive culture and these laws and this ideological Islamic assault against women. Take a look at women's ready-to-work force, single women and mothers who are family's breadwinner and prevalent pre-marriage relationships. This society has rejected sexual apartheid, and the crisis that Khomeini is pointing at, today he calls it crisis and yesterday it was the achievements of the Revolution in which women were silenced and oppressed, a great majority of them became jobless and the population increased, because women were sent back home to assume reproduction and house service responsibilities. He confesses to crisis because they cannot control it anymore. It has been crisis for them for a long time. Since the time that the generation they brainwashed with Islamic nonsense reached an age that rejected the Islamic culture in all aspects, from obligatory veil to sexual separation at school, university and work place, and to its claim for job and education. This has split. Sexual apartheid in Iran has greatly cracked, and this is the "crisis" that Khamenei is talking about. Now we should discuss about "why Khamenei has mentioned it?". We can discuss "why Khamenei has engaged himself to talk about this crisis and is giving a so called solution, from their own benefit's point of view?". But this split in sexual apartheid in Iran doesn't have the slightest similarity with the utopia for which Khomeini, Rafsanjani, Khamenei, Karrobi and Moosavi carried out that genocide in Iran and killed hundreds of thousands of people during 30 years. Rahaizan: Having confessed to the regime's defeat in subjugating women in the anti-woman Islamic culture framework, the Islamic Republic leader prescribes a kind of "forward retreat". What do you think the freedom-seeking men and women, especially young generation's answer would be to this issue? Soray Shahabi: look, one aspect of this, as you called it "forward retreat", and Khamenei's insane remarks and threats, his and Judiciary Force Chairman's statements that "conditions are getting loose" is that the honeymoon of moderation era is over. Their quarrels are getting higher. Western imperialism project is getting longer. Sanctions are removed. There still is unemployment, poverty, unpaid fees, workers imprisonment, executions, and wild raid on prison wards. All these happen in Iran. On the other side, not only the promised economical flourish has not happened, but also they want to reduce the fuel ration now. This keeps the society in inflammation and political groups' outburst is more likely. While Mr. Rohani's honeymoon, who was supposed to keep all sides (wings) together, is gradually coming to its end. These conditions have always made the split wider in regime and Vali Faghih (leader) steps forward and attacks and they want to lay out new rules to apparently resist against the danger that is coming up due to public dissatisfaction. Even about the raid on Evin prisoners, Judiciary Force Chairman has said that they want to lay out some rules which according to them having contact with foreigner and opposition media is a crime and will be punished by prison and other threats. What should be done? Naturally, one step retreat makes them attack more, and (we must have) solidarity and unity on women's issue in working places.... working class is carrying out its fight by resisting against this attack. I don't think their hand is open. We heard the news of attacking prisoners, now they are trying to do a kind of snow job (avoid answering) and blame the prison authorities. The threat here is that the dissidents and courtiers and those who had hope in Mr. Rohani and do nothing other than deception and serving a wing (party) of the government, are in the front. Otherwise the Vali Faghih can't do anything, ideologically he doesn't have executive authority among people. They live by taking poor people's bread (income) and subsistence, prison and Judiciary Force. But the problem here is that the opposition opportunist dissidents, who one day resort to Rafsanjani and one day to Rohani, will certainly come in front (of the others) and say "be silent", and will tell people, youth, women, students and working class: if you protest extremists will come, Ahmadinejad will come. They make you afraid of their close comrade, their own party brother. They get ready and lead these governmental, legal intellectuals and courtiers, who do nothing other than fooling people and deception and always try to purify a party and prevent people's protests. My advice here is that the honeymoon of the moderation government is being finished and we should prevent people like the Tudeh (members) and Negahdar and other kinds of legal dissidents, who try to keep everything inside the framework of the constitution, and want to, under the so called legal activity, open a way for the government and purify Rohani's system and ask everyone to be quiet otherwise the extremists will come. And when they want to present their party (for their own benefits), they blame you for everything and say that because of your protests these extremists got the power. This is the mechanism that they have been practicing so far and it's for their benefits. It was Ahmadinejad who was saying that boys and girls can be friends and hold each other's hands. And said that some freedoms should not be assaulted, only because of his presidential campaign. Now they are using Ahmadinejad for suppressing protests of the poor, women, working class, etc, under the reason of preventing his, or extremists', return. This is what everyone should stand against it, i.e. the deception and opportunism of a part of the opposition, who are really in common benefits with Moosavi, Karroobi and Rohani and want to eventually establish an environment for investing and they benefit from it. But in the case of politics, they tell people not to be extremist and show people the so called "good ways" and not to have violence, which means not to protest and let the government do whatever he wants. This is the cruelest ruling system, this very last time we all saw how they invaded the prisoners and beat them. they do not call that "violence" and claim that resistance and protest from below (society) is violence. With any protest in the society, they start these debates. Rahaizan: The important point is that Mr. Rafsanjani, one week after his leader, states in an interview: today we see that women's right is not fully achieved and we must try to end discriminations in the country. Do you think leader's "stick" policy and Rafsanjani's "carrot" policy can prevent the fire of women's crisis to reach the body of the Islamic Regime? Soray Shahabi: look, neither Rafsanjani nor Moosavi and Karroobi have not influence, credibility and authority among the majority of the poor and working class, that make up millions of people, free men and women and the youth, who are seeking a humanistic life. There is a connecting medium that is presenting Islamic Republic's poison as sweet syrup! and it is a range of dissidents and opportunists, the Tudes and different reformist oppositions, who are selling Rafsanjani's words to the poor section of the society. Rafsanjani is their leader. Rafsanjani is not even a reformist. Rohani, even in the framework of the Islamic Republic's reformists, is not a reformist. But right these people can sell the most influential person in the system, as the leader of the Reformism, to the ruling party and into the power exchange market between wings. Rafsanjani is not so important but these people made an opposition out of him. Rafsanjani knows that more attacks on women's rights and these nonsense remarks of Khamenei will be reflected, so he just expresses some incomplete and meaningless statements, for those so called social activists to get busy with these statements and exaggerate its possible importance for women. Women's movement, women's radical socialist movement in the heart of Iranian society doesn't care for these words, but exactly as you said Rafsanjani is just completing Khamenei's words. Khamenei carries out his attack and Rafsanjani guides the route of the protests toward those who are supposed to make a way by these meaningless words and launch campaigns and say: have hope in Mr. Rafsanjani and change must come from top to down and through these claims (of Rafsanjani)!! instead of bottom-up changes from the side of society. This is how these two wings have been able to rule for 30 years. They have presented a person from their authorities as a reformist whenever they felt the need for it. They do want some changes among themselves but neither of these two "wings" can rule all alone and they complete each other. Rafsanjani completes Khamenei. When Khamenei acts radically, Rafsanjani tries to draw people toward himself by movements and legal intellectuals around him. This is what they are master in it. Rahaizan: Following the leader's order to increase population, the regime has set out a 150 thousand people force to go to people's doors and declare child production order. How has been people's answer to the leader's presence in their bed!? Soray Shahabi: Look, as long as we can see in official news and newspapers, this has had a negative reaction. Apparently since the time they started talking about population increase; population growth has become more negative. These shows how credible this leader is and how people accept his words. But I would like to consider the issue from another angle, this question that why Khamenei has stuck to such a stupid issue, an issue that has become a joke for the people. What has he got to do with people's beds and people's child bearing? They have deployed thousand people to go to the society and guide them and say that the more children you have the happier life would be? And force women to stay home and raise children by increasing the price of pregnancy tools and keeping them out of access? Why they need it now? It is a real fact that whenever they have political problems, they ideologically attack women, but why now population increase has become their priority? And has gotten to this point that the leader personally has stepped forward and talks about the advantages of having child and says that the women stay home and raise children. What is the reason? There are some basic truths behind these ridiculous statements and that is the imperialist society of Iran needs more young work force. If the issue is to have more investments, even though the unemployment rate is high, but it must be kept high so that the imperialism can buy the work force cheaper. So, the point is that why population increase is needed? And the need is so serious that the Vali Faghih comes forward and interferes in people's reproduction issue and resorts to the Quran and Hadith (religious accounts) to emphasize its importance. What is the matter? The matter is that the young working population must increase by millions. And this is what the imperialism needs it for more profits. Human is one of the most important sources for more investments, growth and so called more flourishing. Iran is a rich country not only because of gas and oil resources, but also because of young working and educated force, which is ready to work and can produce value and profit, this force must be increased. Population increase policy comes out of this need of imperialism for growth and prosperity. And doesn't care how much there is poverty and calamity. Nor does he care about how many hungry children has the working class and cannot provide food for them, and also millions of jobless people. There must be this jobless force so that they can use it as a threat for workers in order to take advantage of them in the cheapest way. This policy has also been supported by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). IMF has recently declared that he is content with the policies that Iran is following. One of the policies that IMF had already advised Ukraine to do, is to increase the price of fuel. In Iran they want to raise gasoline price and on the other side they want a new, young and widespread work force that can supply the out-of-work force and at the same time is a force which is ready and healthy; in order to be able to launch the industries that are supposed to start and the investment that is supposed to be flourished. Imperialism needs work force. And population increase policy is due to the work force it needs. This importance is the reason why Vali Faghih has stepped forward. There is a need behind these stupid Islamic nonsense and this interfering in people's private lives. Look, religion has always been a means of fooling and is an abusing tool for the governments and the bourgeoisie. Religion, in its most moderate form, which is Orthodox Christianity, and in its wildest and the most outdated form, which is the Islam in Iran, has been at the service of the governments. And the Islamic Republic has the chance of having it in his hands and is ruling by these actions. While there are more indirect mechanisms in the western countries. The church talks about the importance of the family and spreads ideas about women's role in raising children. When they need women's work, they talk about equality and when they aren't needed, they discover that there are things in mother milk that cannot be found anywhere else!! But this issue that they directly come and deprive people of pregnancy tools and put price on them, and spread propaganda that difficult and night jobs shouldn't be given to women( difficult and night jibs shouldn't be given to any one, neither women nor men. A man with a small figure shouldn't do hard jobs, and difficult works must be mitigated by technology, working hours must be reduced, many women are working in night shifts in the hospitals), these are all build-ups to throw the women out of working places to do reproduction, and since working society needs work force woman's duty is to go home, reproduce and raise that work force, because "investment" is needed now. I want to say that if in other countries religion is an indirect tool for the governments and in some other secret mechanisms, in Iran the Vali Faghih gets directly involved in what happens in people's bedrooms! Having or not having a child is a personal decision of the people and no one should interfere in it. You see that Judiciary system, Vali Faghih and guidance agent, they all set out to provide conditions that the IMF wants, and at the same time guarantee that Iranian working force is so cheap, so healthy and so ready to work that investment can work and grow. I wanted to say that behind all these attacks, lies the need that if Iran wants to go back to western imperialism, and if he wants the investors to come and invest and also for Iran's own investments to work and profit in a better security, the young unharmed population must be rebuilt. Now they want to send women home to do so. What will they (the authorities) face? Doubtlessly they will face resistance. They cannot rewind the wheel of history. In those days that Khomeini had power and could keep women indoors by the ideological deception, i.e. Islam, and they did it! and they managed to increase the population significantly at the cost of destruction of many women and impoverishing of a vast majority of the poor, so that Iran's economy could go on and its investments did some discoveries. Today is not like that anymore. The conditions are so different now. Today, that population that the Vali Faghih wants to force them to stay home and reproduce, in order to keep the young working force high, as a guarantee for cheap use, is that working class that considers itself ready to work, wants unemployment insurance and is the family's bread winner. Even marriage age has increased, and it's because woman sees herself as a part of the working class, a part of the working force, a vast majority of the society's workers and those who claim jobs, people who do not consider themselves as a person's sister, wife or dependent, but consider themselves as responsible to supply their lives, and have imposed themselves as an equal citizen on vast dimensions of the society. This cannot be undone and cannot be treated like 30 years ago. Rahaizan: Soraya Shahabi, thank you very much indeed for sharing your views with our viewers.