At the opening of the 2nd International Congress on 17,000 Iranian Martyrs, (held in Teheran on August 31 – September 1, 2015) I was allowed to speak after the president of Iran, Mr. Hassan Rouhani.
President Rouhani gave a powerful speech 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 supportive of others. Can we really win against the terrorism like this?”
“You are being targeted because you are taking care of your people,” I said after him, in my talk. “Iran suffers similar attacks as Latin America. Western imperialism tries to destroy virtually every revolutionary, socialist country. But the world is changing and you are not alone. As Latin America is not alone.”
Over 17,000 Iranian victims; 17,000 human lives lost. And almost no one in the West seems to know! How convenient.
The West supports Wahhabi extremists from the Gulf. It had been arming ISIL and destroying every socially oriented nation, from Yemen to Syria. Independent-minded and proud, Iran is, of course, on the hit list.
Common people have been dying and government officials were killed. Iranian prominent figures, including scientists, have been slaughtered.
I saw mothers and wives holding photos of their murdered loved ones. I saw men without legs. I saw archive photos depicting the aftermaths of countless horrifying explosions.
To me, all this was not 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 shamelessly insisting that entire world should actually fear it. While murdering people, it was demanding Teheran prove its “innocence”.
When I spoke, my voice was shaking. I addressed Iranian government and the academia: “We are all brothers”, I said, old images of Chavez and Ahmadinejad embracing, appearing in my mind. Then I recalled the U.S.-sponsored coups in Venezuela, and few moments later, those thousands of innocent, slaughtered Iranian civilians.
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 have been, but also how determined to resist! And I concluded: “Why is Iran one of the main targets of the terrorism maintained by the West? It is obviously because it is doing many right things, for its own people and for the world!”
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 relentlessly.
Since the ancient Greek Empire, Iran (Persia) was continuously invaded and partitioned, although never fully colonized.
In 1953, the U.S. and Britain intelligence services overthrew the democratically elected government of Mohammad Mosaddegh, a socialist leader dedicated to social change. 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 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 destruction, and to murder Iran’s prominent figures, including scientists.
At the conference, several speakers described how the West has supported the extreme, ultra-conservative Islamic teaching – Wahabbism – and used it against the socialist Islam, against Turkey, against the Arab countries, Soviet Union, China and now against Iran. Ahmadinejad called Wahhabism a cancer that made the entire Middle East sick.
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, such ‘new religion’... They do it this way, covertly, because they would not dare to fight Islam openly, fearing great backlash.”
I was told, repeatedly, that one hidden “secret” the Western media has been keeping, is that both Ahmadinejad and Chavez were actually building two respective socialist countries, two states with different history and cultures, but with very similar, socialist principles.
I report that I saw a great socialist city – Teheran – standing tall, proudly and determinately.
Teheran with its old bazaars and mosques, palaces and mountains, but above all with thousands of projects designed to provide welfare for its people.
In Teheran, like in Caracas, I witnessed a breathtaking struggle for a 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 frustration or rage. Instead, I felt kindness at each and every corner, and I also felt great confidence of the nation with tremendous culture and 5,000 years of recorded history.
At one point, I was driven to the studios of Press TV and asked to comment on the diplomatic conflict between the U.S. 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?’”
It was like interacting with other progressive channels – with teleSUR or RT.
Iran was not scared of me, as I was not scared of Iran.
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.”
The West is horrified by the specter of a united, internationalist, anti-imperialist block. That is why Iran is now under attack. That is why fascist gangsters are hitting Venezuela. That is why the imperialists are encircling Russia and China. That is why Western propaganda is demonizing all proud and noble countries all over the world.
Over 17.000 Iranian victims of terrorism sponsored by the West. More than 1 million victims since the West overthrew the progressive government in 1953. What a tremendous toll! But freedom is priceless.
I report that Iran is standing! And it will not succumb to vicious and senseless attacks. It will never kneel, because giving up would lead it directly to slavery.