The opening ceremony for the 2nd International Congress on 17000 Iranian Terror Victims featuring the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and a number of high administrative officials was held on August 31, 2015.
Attended by 400 families of Iranian victims of terror, 300 professors, researchers and students from universities around the country, 27 foreign experts on terrorism, and 17 ambassadors of foreign countries in Tehran, the conference started with recitation of verses of Holy Quran and then the Iran’s national anthem was played.
Seyed Mohammad-Javad Hasheminejad began to address the audience calling on the government and the judicial system to bring justice to the families of terror martyrs. “Terrorism is inherently deceptive and in need of justifying violence with fraudulent slogans. The important factor is that the mainstream media devalues the obscenity of terrorism to the level of a political rivalry.” “17000 people from different ethnicities and religions have fallen victim to the acts of terrorism in Iran.”
Unveiling the book “Timeline of Terrorist Incidents in Iran” by President Rouhani
The “Timeline of Terrorist Incidents in Iran” was unveiled by President Rouhani, Hojjat al-Islam Shahidi, vice president and head of Martyrs and Veterans Affairs Foundation, and Seyed Mohammad-Javad Hasheminejad. The book features all the terrorist incidents occurred from the victory of Islamic Revolution on February 11, 1979, up to the March 19, 1980. The multi-volume book is the first book in Iran which compiled the terrorist attacks since Islamic Revolution.
President Hassan then proceeded to address the audience on terrorism, saying that supporters of terrorism will be affected by the same phenomenon one day. He underlined that terrorism will remain as long as there is no universal determination and will to fight against the issue. Pointing to the ugly face of terror, Rouhani said the issue is unfortunately happening in people’s lives since past and has taken a new form in the modern world and politics.
Andre Vltchek, the Russian-born philosopher, filmmaker and investigative journalist, was the next speaker who delivered his speech on the Western-backed terrorism, saying European countries and the US are spreading terrorism all over the world because of their interest and imperialist essence. After the revolution Iran was suffering from sanctions, from blockades and finally from the sponsored terrorisms. Terrorism sponsored by the west, in which as was mentioned by your honorable president 17000 people vanished. The west is constantly talking about terrorism. It is defending its actions against independent countries all over the world based on its fear of terrorism. But in fact it is spreading terrorism all over the world because of its interest and its imperialist essence.
Hamed Zamani, Iranian pop singer, then performed his new bilingual single titled “Iran victim of terror.” The poem written by Ali-Mohammad Mo’addab was the second pop song of the popular singer. He performed his last single on terrorism titled “Able’s blood” in the first National Congress on 17000 Iranian Terror Victims.
The Owj Cultural Organization’s choral group sang a bilingual poem written by Ali Golbaharan. The English translation of the poem is as follows:
In my country, in this land of honor, / Seventeen thousand dead fallen.
Seventeen thousand victims of terror! / The whole world silent to such an error!
You keep silent to their deaths why? / Where is that world you claimed to revive?
Say something! Where’s your safe world gone? / Your dreamed home, how about that one?
Here’s a helpless innocent child / Lips with a frozen smile
In the burst of the missile / Never foe to none / With a tensed mom.
Here, a teacher on way to school / Bulleted by firing squad
There, a winged dove in blood red / Flies no more, sings never
Seventeen thousand innocent bodies / All at once snipped
Seventeen thousand with no weapon / Victims of terror, dead fallen
Sheikh Ali Halawi, Lebanese prominent cleric, was the next speaker who addressed the audience at the opening ceremony of the 2nd International Congress on 17000 Iranian Terror Victims. Referring to more than 3 decades of Israelis efforts to deal with Iran, Halawi said, the Islamic Republic of Iran is the first victim of terrorism in the world. He added that the Israeli regime is arming and training and providing material support for all the anti-Iran terrorist groups.
Ali-Akbar Ghelich performed another bilingual song titled “a piece of truth.” It was the third song being performed on the first day of the conference on the issue of terrorism and terror victims.
Deputy speaker of Parliament Mohammad Hassan Aboutorabi-Fard was the last speaker of the opening ceremony of the 2nd International Congress on 17000 Iranian Terror Victims. He said the Islamic Republic of Iran is opposed to any kinds of violence and terror throughout the world and Iran has always called for global security and fight against any forms of terrorism in the international arena. Increased violence in the region is because of providing support for the Zionist cancerous tumor.
Families of Terror Victims Appreciated
The opening ceremony of the conference proceeded with the appreciation of some families of Iranian victims of terrorism. The appreciation ceremony was done with the presence of Hojjat al-Islam Aboutorabi Fard, first vice speaker of Iran’s Parliament, Rahim Ahmadi-Roshan, father of the last assassinated nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan, Mansoureh Karami, widow of martyr Masoud Ali-Mohammadi, and Seyed Mohammad-Javad Hasheminejad. Families of martyrs Jamshid Danayi-Far, Abbas Goudarzi, Zeinab Kamayi, Mahmoud and Alireza Abiz, Fereshteh Bakhishi and veterans Tariq Dahimavi, Seyed Nour Khoda Mousavi, Nozhat Shaban Azad, Alireza Bonyani and Beit Salem were honored and appreciated in this part.
The 2nd International Congress on 17,000 Victims of Terrorism concluded its mission by issuing a closing statement. The statement read by Shorheh Pirani, widow of martyr Darioush Rezaeinejad, reads in part:
In these turbulent times when the wheels of violence and terrorism are kept moving by the treacherous demons of colonialism and imperialism on the one hand and irrational extremists on the other hand, the security of the region is compromised and people’s life is put in danger; the innocent souls are slaughtered and holy places are set ablaze with the face of this part of the world being covered with blood. Fighting terrorism and revealing the true face of those behind the scene who orchestrate the terrorist forces is in fact paying tribute to the human life, peace and a world free of violence and terrorism. From this perspective, the Second International Congress of 17000 Victims of Terrorism has been organized to help obtain these lofty objectives.
The wound inflicted by the terrorism on Iranians is still fresh and open. Terrorism continues to claim its victims from Iran, while the judiciary bodies pretending to be the arbiter of international community have turned a deaf ear to the plights of these people, unable to pursue a lawsuit against them.
The fact that none of the terrorist groups should receive special treatment or labeled as good or bad for the sake of transient political interests necessitates that the authorities in charge of international organizations such as the Red Cross and UNHCR disassociate themselves from this group, thereby refusing to approve such deviant trends with these relationships.
The families of terrorism martyrs proclaim that their persistence on investigating this case does not stem from a sense of revenge, but rather their responsibility as human beings to help construct a world in which no father is martyred in front of his children’s eyes, no child is slaughtered in the arms of his/her mother and no human is victimized innocently and indiscriminately.
First Scientific Session
With the start of the scientific panels of the conference at 14:30 on August 31, professor Simbar, the scientific secretary of the Congress, introduced the activities of the Scientific Committee and invited the speakers to join the panel.
The first speaker in this session was Dr. Arsalan Ghorbani, President of Iranian International Studies Association, who presented his paper, “The evolution of terrorism in international relations with a focus on Iran.” He initially considered terrorism as a new concept in the international relations which has been defined and redefined and gained global attention over time. He added that some countries use terrorism to achieve their purposes and accordingly the concept of terrorism faced a transition in the era of globalization.
Sayed Khatab, professor of Politics and International Relations at the University of Monash, was the next speaker presenting his paper, “Terrorism and its Impact on Society”. He believed that the root causes of terrorism are the unsolved problems in the Middle East. “Islam is not a violent religion and does not condone violence because it tries to hinder young people to go to kill themselves,” he said. “For instance, Islam forbids anyone to go to Jihad without the approval of his parents, even if the Jihad is a just war.”
Director of the Geopolitics and International Relations Department of Manipal University Professor Madhav Nalapat was the third speaker who talked about Wahhabi terrorism. “Some countries believe that terrorism is something that can be used and can be useful to them and they forget that terrorism is something that it may be useful in the short run, but in the medium and long run it will kill them as well.” “Daesh is using bullets, ammunition in the hundreds of millions of dollars. All these are coming from somewhere. Where is the money coming from? Where are the bullets coming from? Where are the heavy weapons coming from? None of them are made by Daesh. They are being used by Daesh,” Nalapat said, adding that it is very important for every country that says it is fighting a war on terrorism to identify whose money is funding money, whose weapons are giving power to Daesh, because those who are doing this are committing sin against humanity. He went on to accentuate the role Iran played in the fight against ISIS, and said, “the people of Iran have been fighting Daesh in a brave way. As a scholar who studies these things, I am very convinced that if Iran had not been helping in Syria by now Daesh would have been in Damascus and could have been possibly in Baghdad but for the fact that Iran and the brave Iranian people have given very strong support to Syria and Iraq against this grave danger of Daesh.” “Iran is an indispensible partner in the war against global Wahhabism in the war against Wahhabi terror,” he continued. “Iran is indispensible now as Russia was indispensible in the 20th Century.” “So again I repeat, I’ve come here because you are an indispensible partner in this terrible conflict we are fighting with a terrible enemy, the cancer of Wahhabi terrorism.”
The fourth speaker was Jahanshah Shokri, who presented his paper, “Investigating the causes of UN Human Rights Council’s ineffectiveness in defending Iranian terror victims.” Co-authored by Hossein Shokri and Mojtaba Abbasi, his paper was awarded third place winner of the best papers. “The right of veto of the permanent members of the UN Security Council discredits the reports of the UNSC.” “Choosing the rapporteurs is another problem which is most cases happens with political purposes.”
The fifth and the last speaker of the first scientific session was Dr. Mohsen Saghira who said, our legal inaction and indifference to terrorist activities inside our borders make our international reaction to these activities ineffective. Initially, we should demand justice and file lawsuit against the terrorist groups who reside in other countries.
The event concluded with a half-an-hour question-and-answer session and the speakers answered the audience’s questions regarding their presentations.
Second Scientific Session
The second scientific session began at 5 in the evening and lasted for 2 hours.
Hossein Jahan-tigh was the first speaker who presented his paper on the terrorism in Sistan and Baluchistan province. Referring to the history of terrorism in the Sistan and Baluchistan province, he said Jihadi terrorism has a deep root in the south-eastern province.
Research Fellow at the New Delhi-based Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses (IDSA) Dr. Meena Singh Roy then presented her speech on the ISIS and its growing menace. She added that both Iran and India are facing the threat of Daesh, though the dimensions are different. “When we look at Iran, I think because Iran’s border with Afghanistan and Iraq, the challenges are much more serious.”
Sheikh Zuhair Osman, Lebanese cleric and a member of the Lebanese Islamic Action Front, was the third speaker where he threw light on the Israeli violations of human rights against the people of Lebanon saying, “the US has been providing the Zionist regime with the most modern fighter planes and they are taking off from the regional countries’ airports.” “Since the victory of Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini said the Islamic Revolution belongs to all the oppressed people in the world and supports right (haqq) against wrong (batil) and which batil is greater than the Zionist regime.
The fourth speaker of the session was Dr. Syed Hussain Shaheed Soherwordi, Associate Professor at the University of Peshawar. He said the Americans have made mistakes against Iran, including terrorism and putting sanctions on the country. Starting his presentation with two “very big mistakes” of the US in the region, he said, “The first mistake was overthrow of Mossadegh’s democratic regime in 1953. And the second one was non-acceptance of Iran’s Islamic Revolution.” He continued, “For the last so many years, Middle East has not been pacified. Americans have failed to keep Middle East peaceful, because they have selected wrong friends like Saudi Arabia.”
The second scientific session drew to a close with a question-and-answer session and the speakers answered the questions raised by the audience.
The scientific sessions of the Congress dragged on for the second day at the Shahid Beheshti University International Conference Center. The opening ceremony of the scientific sessions featuring Deputy Majlis Speaker for International Affairs Dr. Hossein Sheikholeslam held early in the morning on September 1, 2015.
Sheikholeslam said that terror, oppression and crimes have never made good in annihilating the Islamic Revolution and Palestine. He added that the oppressed nations’ resistance made the Muslim nations resist against terror. Terrorism has been a barbaric tool throughout history that the oppressed parties have always used to threaten the oppressed.
Dr. Hassan Hossein-Zadeh was the next speaker who talked about the possibility of the extradition of MKO members to Iran according to the extradition in international law. “Iran has the right to demand members of MKO from other countries and international organizations as they have committed crimes in Iran.” MKO’s extradition to Iran is an inevitable task and the group’s betrayals and crimes are to such a level that Iran must take all necessary measures to deal with the group.
Dr. Hossein-Zadeh’s speech was followed by three more presentations by Soraya Sepahpour Ulrich, Dr. Franklin Lamb, and Dr. Shahbaz Mohseni.
Presenting her paper “Sanctions: Unidentified Terrorism,” Iranian-born American independent researcher and political commentator Soraya Sepahpour Ulrich said the United Nations Security Council sponsored terrorism against Iran by putting sanctions on the country. “In 2004 a very high level UN panel which defined terrorism as ‘any action intended to kill or seriously harm civilians or non-combatants, with the purpose of intimidating a population or compelling action by a government or international organization.’” “Despite of this finding, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution and sponsored terrorism against Iran, which were the sanctions,” she pointed out. She added that why is it that the propaganda has been so successful regarding sanction terrorism that even the victims failed to realize that they are victims of terror? “Well two things: one is ownership of language, the narrative and the other is the media.”
Dr. Franklin Lamb, Beirut-based American International lawyer, proceeded to deliver his speech at the scientific session, saying that the terrorist MKO group is working with the Zionists and the Republicans and others doing Public Relations. He emphasized that the terrorist MKO group wants to influence congressional vote for Iran’s nuclear deal. “They will fail with that and the nuclear file is going to be closed, although they are going to be main stream in America and France.” “We have a war on terrorism, we’re against terrorism but we support terrorism,” he added. “That’s true we do have a war on terrorism. We’ve got 122 definitions of terrorism just in the American Justice Department. We have 27 terrorist lists.” Author of Syria’s Endangered Heritage An International Responsibility to Protect and Preserve went on to mention the threat that Daesh is posing against Iran’s national security, adding that Daesh is now fomenting a Sacrum Bellum in the region between Sunnis and Shiites.
The opening of the scientific sessions closed with a presentation by Dr. Shahbaz Mohseni, Dean of the Saqqez branch of the Islamic Azad University. He said that the differences between religions have been the root cause of the ongoing schism. “Though strengthening the unity is not a tactic but a strategy, there are some weaknesses in this aspect which should be identified and then manage the challenges.”
Summarizing the presentations of the session, the scientific secretary of the Congress announced the end of the session and emphasized that the sessions will be continued in four separate conference halls after a 20-minute break.
After the break time the participants were divided into four scientific sessions from 11:00 and extended until 1:00 pm.
The first session titled “Islamic Revolutionary Discourse and Creation of Terrorism against it at National, Regional and International levels” was co-chaired by Dr. Gholamali Pashazadeh, Dr. Abbas Panahi, and Dr. Bahman Zeinali.
At the first session, 7 presentations were made by the following panelists:
1. Francoise Philippe, president of the Non-Governmental Organization PEACE,
2. Ali Azizi, student of fifth grade seminary,
3. Finian Cunningham, Irish journalist and writer,
4. Ghorbanali Saboktakin Rizi, professor of Sociology at Kharazmi University,
5. Mohamed al-Rousan, Jordanian politician,
6. Kianoush Nazari,
7. Hojjat al-Islam Hussain al-Khashen, Lebanese writer and scholar.
Co-chaired by Dr. Eisa Kiani and Dr. Shahbaz Mohseni, the second scientific panel was titled “State-sponsored Terrorism against Islamic Republic of Iran,” where the following 7 panelists presented their speeches:
1. Tony Gosling, British Investigative Journalist,
2. Dr. Seyed Hadi Zarqani, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad board of trustees’ member,
3. Dr. Talal Atrissi, Dean of the Lebanese University’s School of Literature, Humanities & Social Sciences,
4. Dr. Gholamreza Karimi, Associate Professor of International Relations at the University of Kharazmi,
5. Dr. Bilveer Singh, Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science, National University of Singapore,
6. Dr. Abdoreza Bye, board member of Islamic Azad University,
7. Dr. Behrouz Abdolvand, associate fellow at the German Council on Foreign Relations and lecturer at the Freie Universität Berlin.
The third scientific panel, co-chaired by Dr. Gholam-ali Zavar-zadeh and Dr. Jahanshah Shokri, was titled “International regimes and dealing with anti-Islamic Republic of Iran terrorism,” where the following 4 panelists delivered their speeches:
1. Seyed Nasser Badisar, PhD student in Public Law,
2. Dr. Hamid Olhouie Nazari, PhD in Public Law,
3. Dr. Hossei Fakhr, member of Tabriz University board of trustees,
4. Dr. Samad Zahiri, Payam Nour University board of trustees’ member.
The fourth and the final panel was titled, “Islamic Republic of Iran within the context of Takfiri terrorism in the region.” Dr. Gholamhosein Jahan-Tigh, Dr. Ibrahim Abbasi, and Dr. Mohammad Taghavi were the co-chairs of the panel, where the following 7 Iranian and foreign researches delivered their speeches:
1. Dr. Mohammad-Ali Bakhshi, Malek Ashtar University board of trustees’ member,
2. Dr. Haytham Mouzahem, Director of Beirut Center for Middle East Studies,
3. Dr. Hossein-Ali Sa’adi, Associate Professor of theology and law at Imam Sadiq University,
4. Eric Denécé, Director and founder of the French Centre for Intelligence Studies,
5. Abdolkarim Saleki, Masters of Political Science,
6. Sheikh Maher Mez’her, fellow member at the Muslim Scholars’ Gathering in Lebanon,
7. Dr. Mohammad-Sadiq Jamshidi-Rad, Associate Professor at Payame Nour University,
Following the scientific panel discussing on terrorism issues, the closing ceremony of the scientific sessions of the 2nd International Congress 17000 Iranian Terror Victims was held.
Expressing his gratitude to all the researchers and academics who contributed to this scientific forum, Seyed Mohammad-Javad Hasheminejad said the scourge of terrorism will not be contained without scientific analysis. He added that the purpose behind holding this scientific session was to link the academics to the executive body of the country. We hope to have been of assistance in creating this auspicious link.
Mahdieh Shadmani, author of the first place paper, presented her paper, “Terrorism in Western, North-Western Iran; case study: terrorist acts of PKK and PJAK in Iran,” co-authored by Professor Ali Adami, Professor of International Relations at the Allameh Tabatab’a’i University.
Former member of Iraq’s State of Law Coalition Seyed Mahmoud al-Mayali then took the podium and talked about Imam Khomeini’s viewpoint on the Islamic unity. “Imam Khomeini’s strategy for promotion of unity among Muslims was based on some factors the most important of which is identifying the root causes of schism,” he added that there are two causes for schism in the Muslim Ummah: 1. External, which is the global arrogance and its allies who are trying to disrupt the Muslims’ unity. 2. Internal, which the Muslims are promoting schism.
Best Papers Awards
The scientific sessions of 2nd International Congress on 17000 Iranian Terror Victims drew to a close with giving prizes for best papers and featured papers in terms of innovation.
The top 10 papers of Iranian authors were as follows:
1. Terrorism in Western, North-Western Iran; Case Study: Terrorist Acts of PKK and PJAK in Iran by Professor Ali Adami and Mahdieh Shadmani,
2. Condemnation of Political Figures in Iranian and International Regulations by Amin Kiani,
3. Investigating the Causes of UN Human Rights Council’s Ineffectiveness in Defending Iranian Terror Victims by Hossein Shokri and Mojtaba Abbasi,
4. Analysis of Terrorism in Sistan and Baluchistan by Dr. Hossein Jahan-Tigh, Akbar Khajeh and Zahra Jahan-Tigh,
5. Preventing the Birth of Social Terrorism in Iran by Ali Azizi,
6. Analyzing the Compliance of ISIS Activities with Terrorism Indicators with an Emphasis on Iran’s National Security by Abdolkarim Saleki and Mahsa Ghanbarian,
7. Cyber-Terrorism and the Difficulty of Finding its Roots by Hadi Imani, Alireza Rahimi and Mohammad Mehraban,
8. Investigating the Possibility of MKO Members’ Extradition to Iran by Dr. Hassan Hossein-Zadeh,
9. Reviewing the Possibility of International Law in the Fight against Cyber-Terrorism by Seyed Mohsen Tolou and Seyed Mohsen Masoudi,
10. Reasons behind Formation and Continuation of Terrorism after Revolution with an Emphasis on the Identifying Factors of Islamic Revolution by Mohammad Taghi Amrollahi,
Five papers were also awarded as the featured papers in terms of innovation on the subject:
1. Jurisprudential Analysis of Similarities and Difference between Terrorist Activities and Suicide Operations by Dr. Hossein-Ali Sa’di and Mohammadi-Javad Agha-Bagheri
2. The Importance of Oral History in Documenting the Terrorism in Iran vby Dr. Abolfazl Hassan-Abadi
3. Studying the Hollywood’s Cultural Terrorism against Islamic republic by Kianoush Nazari
4. Studying the Role of Hamoun Provincial Channel in the Creation, Maintenance and Development of Security in Zahedan by Gholamreza Ebrahimi
5. Reviewing the New Bioterrorism Methods Based on Genetic Weapons by Sajad Najafi
Three papers presented by foreign authors were also awarded as the best foreign papers:
1. Iran’s Challenges in the Fight against Terrorism in Middle East by Dr. Hossein Ahmad Dakhil,
2. Zionist Terrorism against Iran with an Emphasis on Nuclear Program by Dr. Jasim al-Torfi,
3. The US and the Threat of Terrorism in Southeast Asia – Lessons for Iran’s National Security Policy by Dr. Bilveer Singh.