Sanction and the Sound of the War -Future Relation Between Iran and USA

June 21, 2019 by  

From Editorial’s Desk – Shahrokh Ahkami – Persian Heritage, #94, Summer 2019

Once again, I am writing this editorial under pressure; pressure of the deadline to go to print and pressure from my diligent staff. I delayed my writing for as long as possible because I was anxiously waiting for the news from Iran. Iran is, as we know, a country in turmoil and on the brink of a possible war with the superpowers of the world. We have been publishing Persian Heritage for twenty-four years. Most of my editorials have addressed my deepest concerns for Iran and Iranians due to the rhetoric coming from Iran’s present regime. It is the same worrisome war mongering rhetoric we have heard for the past forty years, post the Iranian revolution.

 I understand my comments on the editorial pages are repetitive. I also understand that to some of my dear readers, my words are boring and discouraging. But, because of the continuous disheartening events encircling Iran and its people, I am compelled to share my deepest feelings, emotions and thoughts with you, my dear readers.

In my editorials, I admit I criticize individuals, just as I am criticized in other publications and or “Letters to the Editor.” This is called Freedom of Speech, a right and privilege we have by living in the United States. My writings are my opinions. It is unfortunate that some readers who disagree with MY OPINION AND CRITICISM, rename my words as HATE SPEECH. They have tried to make me a public enemy and have negatively labeled me. While these unjustified interpretations by some emotionally hurt me, they will not change or weaken my opinions when it comes to addressing the devastation and turmoil the people of Iran are encountering.

Having said that I do not want to lose perspective on the current important issue, which is that we are living in a very dangerous time and the possibility of war between Iran and the United States is imminent.

 For many years, I have been an avid reader and continue to educate myself on the foreign policies of the world superpowers and the implementation of their policies against Iran and other countries. The current state of affair between the United States and Iran reminds me of Saddam Hossein who, because of his own ego, engaged in an eight-year war with Iran; a war that resulted in the death or severe injury of over one million Iranians, five hundred thousand Iraqis, the destruction of the province of Khouzestan, the cities of Abadan and Khorramshahr, the devastation of farm and industrial industries and the ruin of economic and human livelihood. But Saddam did not learn his lesson. Right after the statement of Ayatollah Khomeini agreeing to a cease fire to end the eight-year war, ‘’Taking this decision was more deadly than taking poison. I submitted myself to God’s will and drank this poison for his satisfaction,’’ Saddam went on another journey of war with Kuwait. He wanted to show the United States the power of his military and leadership. Using inaccurate statistics, the then United State Secretary of State Colin Powell was able to convince the United Nations that an invasion of Iraq was justified. There were many counter arguments heard from Iraq’s Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz. The result was the invasion and the complete devastation of Iraq. The invasion was led by General Schwarzkopf of the United States, who ironically had spent his adolescents growing up in Iran. Saddam ended up in a hole, only to be found and dragged out months later. To the present day, the damage and the destruction endured by the Iraqis at the hands of the invaders remains visible. The outcome resulted in Iraq’s division into three parts, under one flag!!!??? 

 Today the Ayatollahs in Iran are using similar rhetoric in defying the world superpowers. The problem facing these Ayatollahs is that their rhetoric is not supported by the Iranian people or the rest of the world. The hope of success for the Ayatollahs was the backing of Russia and China. However, it was not too long ago that Mr. Putin stated that he will not act like a fire department to extinguish the fire that will burn Iran down. This language was unsettling for the Iranian leaders. They finally understood that this “so called” friendship was no “friendship” at all. It was a one-sided relationship that abused Iranians by spending billions of Iranian currency on building nuclear power plants for energy, sales of the Missiles S-300 that were never delivered and the use of Iranian military bases. Finally, they realized that their “so called allies” were not and are not going to back Iran in the event of a war with the United States. Perhaps the Ayatollahs have forgotten how these same allies were a friend to the enemy of Iran, Saddam Hussein. After 40 years, these Iranian leaders continue not to understand the true meaning of leadership. They know only how to rob Iran of its valuable assets, transfer them to personal accounts to international banks outside of Iran, when these assets could be used to ease the suffering of its citizens. 

In the US and other developed countries there is a drive to make something out of yourself. Becoming successful is encouraged. Many Diaspora Iranians have worked hard, sacrificed and have made names for themselves in many professions. They have earned their financial success in an honest manner not through embezzlement and stealing assets from the people of Iran. They have not profited from the sanctions placed on Iran; they have not profited the grievances endured by the people of Iran. The sanctions placed on Iran by the United States and other countries have only helped aid the corrupt system in Iran. They have assisted the regime leaders and their children (Agha Zadeh) in buying luxury cars and buildings. They have assisted in making the poor poorer and the Iranian middle-class disappear.

How many times must it be said before we all understand the level of poverty plaguing Iran? According to the latest statistics more than 50% of the Iranian people are living below the poverty line. How does this happen to one of the richest countries of the world? How does this happen to a country once adored and respected by the world? How does this happen to a country whose history displays the most significant accomplishments in the Middle East? New statistics would with certainty show that the number of poor continues to increase. One news source stated that Iranians are more worried about inflation and poverty than war. Keeping the people under such circumstances and having them suffer in such a manner is a despicable act of this leadership. 

The forty- year fight of the brave Iranian women to be allowed basic freedoms, including freedom of expression (not to be forced to cover their heads and bodies) has changed. Fighting for basic freedoms has been replaced with the fight to survive. They are fighting for the basic needs of their families. They are fighting to figure out how to afford housing and the high price of meat, potatoes, onion etc. These are the new and additional burdens on the people of Iran. Men and women, fathers and mothers are struggling to provide for their children. The factory worker has lost his job because the sanctions have forced factories to close due to a lack of imports for parts and other resources. The farmer has lost his livelihood due to the drought and the recent floods. Please tell me how these poor souls can find any strength to stand up against powers who have treated them so poorly and exploited every opportunity for growth. 

Many in Iran are hoping for an uprising within the country. They are hoping for peace. They do not want a war with the United States or any other country. Just maybe this time the sitting mice will consider giving up the rule in order to avoid any conflict with the big elephant in the room, the United States. Perhaps before any mishaps occur the current Iranian regime will come to their senses and shift power back to a more deserving leadership; to a leadership that will have the ability to open doors for Iran and Iranians; to a leadership that allows them to rejoin the world; and to a leadership who will reach out a hand in peace and friendship to the global world. Iranians have always been a people with morals and values. They have unfairly and unjustifiably been labeled as terrorists, when Iranians have never been involved in a terrorist act, in any part of the world. I pray that the world understands that the actions of a government does not always reflect the desires of its citizens. 

War is not the answer. Even a retired American general who spent a long time on assignment, despite his obvious pro-Arab position (referring to the Persian Gulf as the Arabian Gulf) stated that the Hawkish members of the present United States administration are using too strong a rhetoric against the Iranian people and not directing it at the Iranian government, this is dangerous. This rhetoric is turning American opinion against the people of Iran and not at the ruling Ayatollahs. 

Iranians are double victims. They have been victimized by an abusive government and victimized by a world who are not educated on Iran, Iranians and its history. 

I certainly pray that the Iranian people will not have to endure another experience of war. Iranians living in Diaspora should be cautioned. While the Diaspora sit enjoying the fruits of their financial comfort, PLEASE don’t encourage war. This war will be a battle that will destroy a nation and a people who have suffered so much. This war will be a battle for the destruction of the nation of Iran, it will be torn into pieces. Have a look at Yugoslavia! Every part of it has been divided into separate territories. Have a look at Syria and Libya! Better yet have a look at Iraq! 

I pray that the current leaders of Iran come to their senses, have pride for their country and its rich history and find the courage to step down. I pray that they go and settle in places where they have accumulated their wealth. After forty years of hardship, I pray they will let the Iranian people have a legitimate election to decide their own new leaders. 

I pray for this, I pray for this, I pray for this! 



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