Friday, February 23, 2007

Stop bullying Iran

The Islamic Republic is worth defending. Even at its worst, it is way better than anything the US or anyone else can bring to Iran.

February 23, 2007 12:30 PM

Hossein Derakhshan

It's the ultimate hypocrisy of the west to punish Iran for a law Iran has not broken.

When no one has found the tiniest evidence of Iran producing nuclear weapons - which is the whole purpose of the non-proliferation treaty that it has signed - what kind of international law justifies the UN security council's sanctions on Iran?

Since when has international law become able to measure the intentions of countries and react to them, if they say Iran intends to produce nuclear weapons? And how come the same UN security council turns a blind eye to Israel, India, and Pakistan - who everyone knew had long the same intention? They have neven signed the non-proliferation treaty, yet their defiance has been and is still rewarded.

Make no mistake, when the powerful UK, which has lived safely among its peaceful neighbours still feels the need for its nuclear arsenal, any sovereign state like Iran, which has constantly been under the US threat for since its popular revolution against an American-aligned, corrupted and incompetent monarchy. Especially when suddenly it finds two of its neighbouring countries invaded.

That's why I would definitely support Iran if one day it decided to start making the weapons. But has it actually started? Everyone says that even if Iran plans to, it will take up to 10 years before it manages to do so. So what is all this bullying really about?

The more the clash between the west and Iran escalates, the more convinced I become that the west's real problem with the Islamic Republic of Iran is not its nuclear activities, its level of democracy, its human rights record, or its support for "terrorist" groups. Pakistan, followed closely by Saudi Arabia, easily beats Iran on all these fronts.

The real problem is that the Islamic Republic has decided to be independent in a region saturated with fossil energy resources, and at the same time run by American puppets. Iran has posed the biggest continuous challenge to the American hegemony in the whole world, and so it has to pay a price.

Increasingly, a lot of secular Iranians, like myself, are figuring that even if Iran is turned into the most democratic, secular, fair and peaceful state on earth, there is no guarantee the US won't find another excuse to try to overtrow its goverment. It will start bullying Iran for its "devastating role" in climate change, or animal rights, or - who knows? - for obesity.

The interests of the Islamic Republic, with all its internal struggles, challenges and flaws, have never overlapped more closely the interests of Persia as a historic nation. And here lies the surprising support of most Iranians, despite their serious dissatisfaction and frustration, for the Islamic Republic and its resistence towards the US, symbolised by its nuclear programme.

I'm not saying this as a fervent religious man with sexy Ahmadinejad's posters on my wall. In fact, I am an athiest and this can easily get me into serious trouble in any Islamic country. I did not vote for Ahmadinejad and I would do anything to democratically bring him down.

I have also risked my life and future in Iran by becoming the first Iranian after the revolution who has publicly visited Israel. Why? To counter both countries' nasty and demonising propaganda against each other and to save my grandmother, postman or university professor from being compared to Nazi soldiers who must be nuked tomorrow.

A a matter of fact, I am even a victim of the paranoid state of Iran that censors criticism and punishes dissent for fear of foreign-backed revolt. (Remember the CIA had commissioned newspaper articles and cartoons to discredit prime minister Mossadeq before bringing his democratically elected government down by a coup in 1953.) My own blog is blocked in Iran and I was detained and forced to sign an apology for my writing before being allowed to leave Iran in 2005.

And of course I do have the dream of an open, free, fair and secular Iran, run by competent and representative officials, and in peace with the whole world, obviously including Israel.

However, I believe the Islamic Republic is a valuable cause, worth defending and, at its worst, is way better than anything that the United States or anyone else can bring to Iran.

If the US waged a war against Iran, I would absolutely go back and defend Iran.

Fortunately, I'm not alone.

* * *

Hossein "Hoder" Derakhshan ( is an Iranian-born blogger, journalist, and internet activist. His step-by-step guide to creating a Persian weblog should take much of the credit for inspiring thousands of Iranians to start their own blogs.


Hoderwatch said...

Indeed, all Iranian activists and researchers are vulnerable these days to being dragged out of their normal activities.. "Derakhshan's argument for why Jahanbegloo indirectly was helping the Bush administration in its plans for regime change.(link) So it won't be unfair to see the economic side of Drakhshan's activities. During the past two years all his projects was rejected by various organizations here I Europe. According to himself, he has been homeless and jobless and had to rely on his friends to get free accommodation.
While Iran's regime desperately tries to verify its atomic program and has no limits on investing on groups or influential people, or to remove some restrictions for them in order to get more support, he has been creative:
"A creative way for Iranian women to get the permission to go to the stadium to watch football games is by suggesting Ali Larijani that if they were allowed in, they'd loudly and massivly support Iran's nuclear program. Now that they need public support, we can demand some changes".
We have many Iranians who support or oppose Iran�s nuclear programms, but we have only a few who has such a opportunistic and simplistic view on such an important issue.
While seeking financial support for example from open democracy, Iran's regime was a undemocratic, threatening regime that makes any technology dangerous, let alone nuclear ones." or: "Many of Iranian anti-war activists, for whatever reason, forget one side of the story and only attack the Bush administration. As if the other side, Khamanei, runs the most democratic, transparent and accountable country in the world."
.Now he says:" That's why I would definitely support Iran if one day it decided to start making the weapons." But before he emphasised that: "It's really a shame that people have been kept uninformed about the dangers of achieving nukes by this regime and now a few dozen are deciding for the future of millions of ordinary Iranians."
As an Iranian, I understand why Dreakhshan is against any military attacks. In fact a majority of outspoken Iranians, like Akbar Ganji and Nabavi, has been a voice to many Iranians who can't be silent when Iran is threatened by Bush administration. But the point is that these people has been under attack by Mr. Derakhshan for a long time.
It's not surprising that Derakhshan is the least respected blogger among his Iranian colleagues. Please go and find how many bloggers published his two articles, one the accusations against Rooz and now his declration that he wants to go back and fight. this exactly shows whta he is looking for.
Again when he was seeking financial support from west, his website was a place to reveal how Iranian authorities violate human rights and the freedom of speech. This site was one the projects that was indented to gain money (, but again when he could not find any supporter, the site was shout down and a new broader definition of censorship was born, in where Iran�s regime had legitimate concerns toward human right activists. (Can someone here can translate Nabavi's writings about Derakhshan?Personally I would like to see if Derakhshan has anything to say to Nabavi's last piece.
It's Derakhshan�s and anybody's else right to defend Iran's regime or its nuclear programs. But as Derakhshan himself puts finger on it, sometimes there are economic sides for what some activists do. Derakhshan's story is a sad one: a young, brilliant and smart guy who was dreaming to have a kind of job that, according to himself, allowed him to sleep as long as he wanted, now has to wake up early in the morning wondering if his host will allow him to stay one more night. I understand Derakhshan when he says he is tired of this situation and feels himself lonely.

Anonymous said...

Who are these stalkers who folow ths guy everywhere there is something about him? I suspect they might be on someone's payroll, atually.

Hoderwatch said...

Hi Anonymous, I am paid by both Dick Cheney and Ahamadi-nejad. Depending on who pays more, I wrote for or against Hoder!
Good luck.