Why should I care whether Iran has nukes? It most likely doesn’t, but even if it does, it would be fine with me. Iran never attacked anyone, never overthrew any foreign government, and never experimented on human beings. It did not commit genocide and never dreamed about conquering the world.
In brief – it is doing exactly the opposite of what the West has been doing for centuries.
I departed from Teheran only few days ago. What I remember; what remained in my mind is kindness and warmth of Iranian people, as well as glimpses of their enormous culture.
Do I want this culture to disappear, to be destroyed, or replaced by aggressive Western consumerism, arrogance and lack of compassion? I certainly don’t! I want it to survive, I want it to to thrive, as I want the great Chinese, Arab, Russian and Latin American cultures to survive and thrive.
But Iran is under attack. For decades it has been demonized by Western propaganda. It has been struck directly, by all available means. In the most cynical and Machiavellian way, the West is supporting MKO and other terrorist groups that already took at least 17.000 Iranian lives.
On August 31 and September 1, 2015 I participated at the “2nd International Congress on 17.000 Iranian Martyrs”, honoring the people murdered by several terrorist groups, most of them supported by the West and Israel. I was allowed to speak right after the President of Iran; Mr. Hassan Rouhani gave his powerful discourse:
Mr. Rouhani spoke about terrorism in the region: “Maybe for many people it is something new, but not for us… Today there are powers in Europe and the United States – they are silent about some terrorist groups, while supporting others. Can we really win against terrorism like this?”
“You are being targeted because you are taking care of your people”, I said. “It is the same in Latin America, where Western imperialism tries to destroy virtually all revolutionary, socialist countries. But the world is changing and you are not alone. As Latin America is not alone.”
17.000 victims; 17.000 human lives lost. And almost no one in the West seems to know! How convenient.
Common people have been dying and the government officials were killed. Iranian prominent figures, including the scientists, had been slaughtered.
I saw mothers and wives holding photos of their loved ones. I saw men without legs. I saw historic photos depicting aftermaths of many horrifying explosions.
It was nothing new, but shocking nevertheless. The Empire has been murdering thousands, even millions of those who have been reluctant to succumb to its dictate – in the Middle East, in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
But here, in Iran, the West has been behaving with absolute, extreme ludicrousness. While torturing the country, it was insisting that the world should fear it. While murdering people, it was demanding that Teheran proves its “innocence”.
When I spoke, my voice was shaking, addressed Iranian government and academia: “We are all brothers”, I said, imagining Chavez and Ahmadinejad embracing; then picturing the US-sponsored coups in Venezuela, and those thousands of innocent, slaughtered Iranian people.
I spoke about resistance to imperialism, about new powerful media outlets in Latin America, Russia, China and Iran.
I told them about my 1.000-page book “Exposing Lies of the Empire”, depicting virtually all corners of the globe that have been ravished by the West, as well as those fascist, fundamentalist doctrines behind such attacks. I told them what I saw, how shattered I am, but how determined to resist! And I concluded:
“Why is Iran a target of terrorists supported by the West? It is obviously because it is doing many things right!”
Iran, one of the most criticized and scrutinized nations, is in reality one of the most peaceful and long-suffering countries on earth.
The West has been tormenting Iranian people continuously and relentlessly.
Since the ancient Greek Empire, Iran (Persia) was continuously invaded and partitioned, although never fully colonized.
In 1953 the US and Britain intelligence services overthrew a democratically elected government of Mohammad Mosaddegh, a socialist leader dedicated to social changes. During his government, Iranian people were enjoying subsidized housing, good education and medical care. Mosaddegh also launched comprehensive land reform. In order to improve life of Iranian people, he nationalized Iran’s oil industry. The Brits and the North Americans, of course, considered such behavior as unacceptable. Mosaddegh was ousted, and a tyrant monarch, Shah, put on the throne. Cheap oil began to flow to the West, while thousands of Iranian people were savagely tortured and killed. The Empire later committed the same crimes in Indonesia (1965) and in Chile (1973), to name at least two countries.
After Shah was forced to leave, the West armed and encouraged Iraq to invade its neighbor, Iran. In 1980, a terrible war erupted. As a result, around one million people, Iranians and Iraqis, soldiers and civilians, lost their lives.
When Iran decided to develop its peaceful nuclear program, brutal sanctions were imposed, shattering lives of millions, including women and children.
Then the extremist terrorist groups were “put to work” by both the West and Israel. Their goal was to spread fear and devastation, and to murder Iran’s prominent figures, including the scientists.
Attempts to destabilize Iran are constant but futile. Shaken, injured but determined, Iran is facing those vicious attacks calmly and with dignity. But more self-respect it radiates, more vicious is the propaganda and loud barking, coming from the West. The threats are becoming increasingly chilling.
Position of Washington, Paris and London is obvious, and it has been for centuries: non-Western countries have no right to defend themselves. They only exist in order to supply North America and Europe with cheap raw materials and labor. They cannot decide their fate.
But Iran has been insisting on choosing its fate. As has been Russia, and China and most of Latin American countries. And now several African and Asian countries are also joining those who are refusing to kneel, those who are determined to live their own lives, in accordance with their own culture and the interests of their people.
At the Holy Defense Museum in Teheran, I saw images, footage and replicas of horrors that Iran was put through, during long decades.
I saw monument to assassinated Iranian nuclear scientists, covered by flowers.
I spoke to dozens of Iranian and foreign delegates, to great intellectuals from all corners of the Globe, who came to Teheran in order to express support for the struggle of this great nation.
There was talk on Wahabbism supported by the West, and used against socialist Islam, against Turkey, the Arab countries, Soviet Union, China and now against Iran. Ahmadinejad called Wahhabism a cancer that made the entire Middle East sick.
During the Conference, one of the speakers, Professor Azizi, declared:
“Americans intend to establish their own religion, their own version of Islam… They created DASH (ISIL) in order to support such version of new religion… They do it this way, because they would not dare to fight Islam openly, fearing great backlash.”
And I was told, repeatedly, that one hidden “secret” in the West is that both Ahmadinejad and Chavez were building two respective socialist countries, two countries with different history and cultures, but socialist nevertheless.
I saw great city – Teheran – with its old bazaars and mosques, palaces and mountains.
In Teheran, I witnessed a breathtaking struggle for much better world. Sanctions or not, Teheran is impressive, with its modern public transportation system, huge public parks, wide sidewalks, vast cultural institutions, free medical facilities and schools.
I did not see slums. I did not see people begging. I did not witness rage. Instead I felt kindness at every corner.
There were people singing at public spaces, even at the session of our Conference. There were always many of those willing to tell their stories, and to listen to the stories told by others.
At one point, I was driven to the studious of Press TV and asked to comment on the diplomatic conflict between the USA and Russia. There was absolute trust. Few minutes later, IRINN TV interviewed me on the West–Iran relationship. Radio stations were lining up, microphones ready. Some interviews were live. No one was asking those ‘BBC screening question’: “What are you going to say, Mr. Vltchek?”
What I said in Teheran, I have been saying again and again in Caracas, Quito, Beijing and Pretoria: “If we are united, we will never be defeated! Venezuela may appear far on the world map, but in reality it is standing right here, shoulder to shoulder with you.”
That is why Iran is now under attack. That is why fascist gangsters are hitting Venezuela. That is why Western propaganda is demonizing all proud and noble countries all over the world.
17.000 victims of terrorism sponsored by the West. More than one million victims since the West overthrew the progressive government in 1953.
How much is too much? How many people have to die, before the patience of the world runs out?
And how much is the world really allowed to know?
I intermingled with the Iranian people. They do not frighten me. Their peaceful nuclear program does not scare me. And it does not scare people of the Western and Central Asia. As I mentioned: even if they would have nukes, one day, it would not frighten me. Iranian culture is peaceful, tolerant, thousands of years old.
But I am truly terrified by the West. It is armed to teeth, relentlessly continuing its centuries-long colonialist onslaughts. And more I see, more terrified I am.