[Mohammad Nourizad, Iranian dissident and former journalist, is defending his writing a letter to Saudi Arabia’s King, while blaming the Iranian regime for radical Islamic groups.]
INTERVIEWER asks about Nourizad’s letter: Let me give you another example. You wrote a letter (if you allow me, I will read from it) to Saudi Arabia’s King. Right? (Let’s forget about relationship with mullahs and the Revolutionary Guards.) In the letter that you wrote to Saudi Arabia’s King, you recommended tolerance against unreasonable, unwise rulers of Iran. Don’t you think that it is like your other positions? Don’t you see killing children, murder, and invading the neighboring countries by Saudi rulers when you put this person in such a high position and call him “your highness,” asking him to tolerate Iranian officials’ provocations? Isn’t this your new Mr. Mesbah? We set this aside. OK. We realized that they were thieves. How about Saudi Arabia’s King?
MOHAMMAD NOURIZAD responds: I consider Saudi Arabia’s King a thousand times wiser, more understanding, more intelligent, and more popular than our own leaders and elders.
INTERVIEWER continues: And its result will be…. Will you let me read it to you?
MOHAMMAD NOURIZAD says: What is the use of it?
INTERVIEWER reads parts of the open letter: I think it is important for those who haven’t read the letter. You have written: “Greeting to your highness. In this letter, I don’t want to remove the burden of wounds inflicted on people of this region from the shoulders of religious missionaries ruling Iran, and put the same burden on your shoulders. I have written many times that religious upheavals of these unwise year are all (I have something to say about this absolute word that you have used in your letter) the main outcome of expanding Shiism by these missionaries ruling Iran. Otherwise, before the emergence of Islamic Republic of Iran, how come we did not have anything called Taliban, or Al-Qaeda, or Jaish ul-Adl, or Jaish ul-Mukhtar, or Boko Haram, or Hezbollah, or Al-Nusra, or ISIL?” Mr. Nourizad, honestly, what similarity do you see between Hezbollah movement that is saving its own country and defending its own honor with Boko Haram, Taliban, Al-Qaeda, Jaish ul-Adl, or Jaish ul-Mukhtar? And then you ask for help from Saudi Arabia’s king? Or you tell the Saudi Arabia’s King “still be patient and tolerant. Do not pay attention to zealous religious missionaries ruling over Iran and what they are yelling.” Should we seek refuge from scorpion (let’s say our rulers are scorpions) to snake? The letter was written in July 2016.
MOHAMMAD NOURIZAD explains why he wrote the letter: Well, my dear friend, I wrote this letter at the time when Saudi Arabia was attacking Yemen. And they were talks about not allowing our Hajjis [to enter Saudi Arabia], and there were talks about the possibility of war in the region between Saudi Arabia, on the one hand, and Iran, on the other hand. And this possibility was getting stronger.
INTERVIEWER asks: As for what you just said… in your opinion, wasn’t it necessary to tell the King (if he was ever going to read your letter) that why he is killing Yemenis?
MOHAMMAD NOURIZAD blames Iran for radical Islamic groups: Taliban, Al-Qaeda, ISIL are all outcomes of Iranian rulers’ Shiism.
INTERVIEWER says: This is too general. Isn’t its evidence like that of that airplane?
MOHAMMAD NOURIZAD compares Shia-Sunni relationship in the region before and after Iran’s revolution: No. Allow me my dear friend. I need time to prove this to you. Before the revolution, I was young and you were probably a child or a teenager. In the region, there was absolutely no Shia-Sunni war. Not at all. And if there were any…. I remember that you and I once went on a trip to Pakistan. Do you remember what the leader of Islamic Society told us about Sunnis attacking Shia’s mosque and burning it? And then the elders had gathered together, reconciled them and paid their compensations. There were such incidents. But there were no such things as rise of a group called Taliban, that would take weapons and drive Shias away. Or a group called ISIL, Al-Qaeda, Jaish ul-Adl— a group that is now in our own country. All these are the outcomes of these people’s Shiism, who know absolutely nothing about how to rule the country. You say that I use absolute words. We are victims of these absolute words. I say….
INTERVIEWER says: Well, I say, what are your evidences? OK. Say absolutely. But please show me how ISIL and Boko Haram were created by the Islamic Republic.
MOHAMMAD NOURIZAD asserts: You show me one place in the region in which agents of the Islamic Republic have not interfered. Hezbollah. Well, you are so much in love with Hezbollah.
INTERVIEWER confirms: Yes, I am very much in love with Hezbollah.
MOHAMMAD NOURIZAD blames Hezbollah for social problems in Iran: Any girl, any woman who becomes a prostitute in Iran is because of the money that is sent to Hezbollah.
INTERVIEWER: How so?
MOHAMMAD NOURIZAD: It is related.
MOHAMMAD NOURIZAD explains why Hezbollah is strategically important for Iran: It is because there is an enemy called Israel. And they need to have borders with it. They cannot have borders with Israel. But every now and then they can provoke Hezbollah, and arm them. And then that murderer, Seyyed Hassan Nasrullah, says, ‘we have money for as long as Iran gives us money, and Iran provides all the money that we need. And Iran provides all our weapons.’ And then they go to Syria for killing people. My friend, I, as an ayatollah—even a fly is an ayatollah, and Mohammad Nourizad is an ayatollah too—think that it is completely ‘haram.’ I consider this as absolutely ‘haram’.
INTERVIEWER says: Can I interrupt you at the end of your words? Then its result will be the same claim that you made for Saudi Arabia’s King: that we created Al-Qaeda, Jaish ul-Adl, Jaish ul-Mukhtar, Boko Haram.
MOHAMMAD NOURIZAD stresses: Yes, each and every one of them….
INTERVIEWER asks again: You just prove one of them, and I will accept it.
MOHAMMAD NOURIZAD gives an example of Iran interfering in Saudi Arabia: None of them existed before. None of them existed before the Islamic Republic. We interfered in Afghanistan. We interfered in Saudi Arabia. Let me give you an example. In one of the letters that I wrote to Mr. Khamenei, I said it. It is official. In 1981, or 1982, or 1983, I don’t know which one. My mistake. Mr. Karroubi was the head of Hajj affair. Revolutionary Guards took all the Hajjis’ suitcases. They asked them to bring suitcases a couple of days before [their trips]. They hid explosive, weapons and colts and such things in all the suitcases. And then they sent the suitcases to Saudi Arabia. In Saudi Arabia, Saudis confiscated some of them, and some of them went into the country. Or they confiscated all. In the name of Hajjis, who did they send these weapons for?