A Statement By a Group of Activists Within Iran
I found this letter on Countercurrents.org, a widely read political blog that looks at international issues, but I think it is very important for those of us whose primary focus is to advocate for peace to see this message, and for it to be spread far and wide. The US based attack on Iran’s nuclear program, and Iranian sovereignty through calls for ‘regime change’, often cites human rights and support for progressive social movements within the country as a justification for an attack on Iran. Despite the fact that it is difficult to imagine how social isolation, subterfuge and sabotage within Iran, and threats of annihalation can support a progressive social agenda, and secure human rights for the targeted population, these oft repeated assertions are incessantly repeated by the western mainstream press, enshrined in the law by our political leadership, and therefore embraced by a large part of the U.S. population. Members of the press and the government frequently cite remarks by a small group of disgruntled expatriate Iranians living in the west and refer to a broad (not clearly identified) movement of angry disenfranchised dissidents and progressive activists in Iran to support their claim that ‘regime change’ in Iran, by any means, is necessary, and that the poeple of Iran are benefiting from the hostile agenda of the western powerbrokers.
The letter that I have transcribed below clearly refutes these specious and misleading claims.
A Statement By a Group of Activists Within Iran:
”Peace is a clear admission of the truth
What have you done to all the dead.”
1. Wars have been the most terrifying phenomena people have confronted since the istant past. In our society, millions of Iranians have been living under the ominous shadow of the eight-year war with Iraq.
The reminiscences of air raid sirens, damp shelters, overnight power cuts, nameless bodies, severed limbs, mothers who lost their children, children who lost their fathers, famine and hunger, homeless refugees and dozens of other frightening pictures at the back or forefront of our minds, vividly or vaguely, whether like a nightmare or a constant fear, is weighing down on everyone of us.
2. In the last years, the mainstream media have tried to downgrade wars to computer games and their visual expressions. A red point starts to blink on the radar screen of NATO modern fighter jets, then there is an apparently small explosion; this is the picture inculcated into the audience by these media. But the reality is more repulsive and bloody; certainly, the story is not the explosion of one red point on the radar screen of a fighter jet; it is about a family sitting at the dinner table in Tripoli, or the tired soldiers who are forced to be in an army center in Baghdad, or a school in Yugoslavia where children are studying , or a local market, lively and crowded, in a Kabul neighborhood, … or every other thing in which life was going on until last moments and now has turned into ashes. We have to put this ugly reality before their very eyes more clearly than before, to reveal the obnoxiousness of war.
3. Wars, with any kind of excuses behind them, are blameworthy. Neither did democracy come out of the cannons of “the allied forces against Iraq”, nor did human rights fly over Tripoli on the NATO fighter planes, nor was freedom achieved for Afghans through American long distance missiles. Under these circumstances and with regards to the past experiences, we will not accept any war, under no name and on no condition, while a radical and widespread movement is developing throughout the world including the region and Iran. Military intervention is an excuse in the hands of undemocratic states to take advantage of these conditions; by calling the situations critical, they suppress the popular movements and their requests and demands more severely. A simple comparison between Iraq and Afghanistan experiences with those of Tunisia and Egypt will reveal the reality to us.
4. The essential nature of the movement of the Iranian people in the past few years have been based on this basic principle that the people inside Iran want to determine their own destiny on the objective scene of their struggle; they do not want any power from outside or inside to be their guardian and decide for them. Therefore, any kind of foreign interference, and in particular military intervention, stands against this principle. All, with any name and in any position, who clap for NATO or American fighters, will not have a place among the people of Iran and they must be frankly told that their policy has gotten separated from the Iraians’ interests. Air raid sirens are started up by those who know will have no place in the future; the future which will be made by the ability and power of the Iranian people after their struggle process. Yes only those who lose hope of people ‘s power to change their own fate and seek their life in “creating crisis” will hail the war.
5. Nevertheless, the Iranian people welcome the support and help from peace activists, freedom fighters, and progressives all around the world, from Wall Street
and European Streets to the Arab countries. The Iranians see themselves along with all the other people who fight for freedom and equality and struggle to make “another world”.
6. Those who have signed this statement believe that starting a war on the part of the World Capitalist System, led by the U.S and its internal allies, only hurt the genuine social movement of the Iranian people. War and the critical situation resulted from it not only do not undermine the bases of the dictatorships and are the best excuses for suppressing the social movements and their activists, but also pave the way for gaining power by dependent and undemocratic forces who seek their political life in war, crisis, and suppression.
Younes Absalan (Author & Director), Reza Asadabadi (Journalist), Amirabbas Azarmvand (Political Activist), Kamal Athari (Economist), Mehrnous Etemadi (Civil rights Activist), Amir Amirgholi (Human rights Activist), Maryam Amiri (Translator), Maryam Amiri (Women rights Activist), Mohammad Amini (Political Activist), Shahla Entesari (Social Activist), Elnaz Ansari (Journalist), Ayda Orang (Journalist), Soulmaz Ikdar (Journalist), Mphammad javad Bastanikia (Economist), Khosrow Bagheri (Translator), Emad Borgheiee (Social Activist), Manouchehr Basir (Author), Cimin Behbahani (Poet), Sahand Banikamali (Researcher), Nasim Banikamali (Civil rights Acrivist), Bababk Pakzad (Translator), Hadi Pakzad (Journalist), Mohsen Parizad (Social Activist), Yashar Pourkhameneh (Social Activist), Hayedeh Tabesh (Civil rights Activist), Alireza Jabbari (Author), Hamid Jafari (Poet), Esmaeel Jalilvand (Social Activist), Peymane Jamshidi (Author), Nozhat Hadefi Semnani (Social Activist), Aydin Halalzadeh (Social Activist), Nahid Kheirabi (Journalist), Minou Habibi (Children rights Activist), Saeed Hasan zade (Political Activist), Okhtay Hosseini (Civil rights Activist), Vahid Halaj (Social Activist), Mojgan Hamzelou (Civil rights Activist), Mahin Khadivi (Publisher), Mazdak Daneshvar (Journalist), Rouzbeh Dorneshan (Social Activist), Taraneh Rad (Social Activist), Parvaneh Rad (Social Activist), Fariborz Raeesdana (Economist), Kaveh Rezaeeshiraz (Civil rights Activist), Sadegh Rezaeegiglou (Social Activist), Zohreh Rouhi (Researcher), Golnaz Rouhi (Cultural Activism), Mohammadali Radjaee (Author), Ardeshir Zareie ghanavati (Journalist), Nasser Zarafshan (Lawyer), Maryam Zandi (Civil rights Activist), Kaveh Sarmast (Economist), Hesam Salamat (Translator), Saeed Soltani (Poet), Mirjavad Seyyedhosseini (Translator), Rouhi Shafiee (Author), Sadegh Shakib (Social Activist), Fouad Shams (Journalist), Parvaneh Shemirani (Social Activist), Saeed Shirzad (Social Activist), Khosrow Sadeghi Boroujeni (Researcher), Seyed ali Salehi (Poet), Mazir Salehi (Social Activist), Vahid Sabaghi (Civil rights Activist), Parviz Sedaghat (Researcher), Seyed Mohammad Sardorgharavi (Researcher), Ciamak Taheri (Journalist), Kazem Taheri (Social Activist), Morteza Taheri (Economist), Mostafa Taheri (Cultural Activist), Pouyesh Azizedin (Civil rights Activist), Afshin Azizi (Photographer), Yasser Azizi (Social Activist), Ali Atapour (Economist), Mohammad ali Amouyi (Political Activist), Mohammad Ghaznavian (Social Activist), Kazem Farajollahi (Labour Activist), Azadeh Forghani (Social Activist), Milad Fadaie Asl (Reporter), Niusha Fadaie (Teacher), Sadegh Faghirzadeh (Political Activist), Noushin Keshavarznia (Women Rights Activist), Kimya Kouros (Children Rights Activist), Rouzbeh Gorji Bayani (Social Activist), Mohammad Maljou (Economist), Maryam Mahbub (Editor), Mehdi Mahmoudi (Political Activist), Saeed Madani (Social Researcher), Samira Moradi (Journalist), Farshid Moghadam Salimi (Social Activist), Monije Monajem Araghi (Author), Pejman Mousavi (Journalist), Vahide Molavi (Women rights Activist), Mohtaram Mirabdollahyani (Publisher), Nahid Mirhaj (Women rights Activist), Shiva Nazarahari (Civil Activist), Arshia Nouri (Social Activist), Amir Nima (Social Activist), Lobat Vala (Poet), Elham Houminfar (Civil rights Activist), Amir Yaghoubali (Civil rights Activist), Ahmad Yousefpour (Social Activist), Enayat Yousefpour (Social Activist), Monavar Yousefpour (Social Activist).