After a week’s travel in Iran, I am able to provide a fresh, different, and unbiased perspective on the country. This is an account entirely at odds with Donald J. Trump’s worldview. It is a story diametrically opposed to the Zionist narrative that has so captivated the American government and media.
Following a surprise invitation to attend an all-expenses paid trip to the 6th International New Horizon Conference (about al-Quds, i.e. Jerusalem), I arrived in Mashhad, Iran on May 11, 2018. Knowing little of Iran, I expected another version of Saudi Arabia, an arch-conservative society, with no mixing of the sexes, rigidly-controlled politics, and little interest in the outside world.
Enlightening Ignorant Me
I found just the opposite. Iran and Iranians, despite the unforgivable and deadly U.S. sanctions, are genuinely warm and welcoming. They possess an economy that, despite American efforts to wreck it, still functions. There are airports, motorways (with toll booths!), and double-decker commuter trains. And the most god-awful traffic outside of Washington, D.C. and Moscow, even if gasoline is the equivalent of US$0.25/liter (quart) and the average salary is only US$309/week.
During the conference, at nearly every moment I wasn’t in my chair, I was being interviewed by Iranian journalists and others. There were no softball questions, they were hard and to the point. Some meetings were pre-arranged, others were “ambush” interviews , catching me as I went to change money or finished an earlier conversation with another journalist. I wasn’t alone in this. Other participants, such as Rabbi David Wise from New York City, Philip Giraldi, ex-CIA, Peter Van Buren, former American diplomat like myself, and Greta Berlin, a member of several supply voyages to Palestine NOT attacked by Israel, all noted the same thing.
Contrary to the reportage in the United States, Iranian women, while covered to a greater or lesser extent in public, mix freely with men, walk the streets without escort, and work openly as photographers and reporters. I saw women and men playing pool and bowling together.
But there is a dark side to things in Iran, a land with more than 80 million people and a history and culture stretching back 5,000 years. Like the now-destroyed Iraq and Syria, it is a target country. America and Israel want the nation eliminated. It does not toe the Zionist-American line, it espouses a disfavored religion (although Christians and Jews have lived there for millenia). It is a unified state with strong armed forces.
Some Iranians vigorously expressed their negative views of the United States, “the West”, and Israel. As well as the likely consequences of any unprovoked attack on the country.
Do They Dare?
In what I believe was more than a chance encounter in the town of Qazvin, the one-time capital of Iran, a group of us met with a well-connected local attorney. At a guest house there, roughly 150 km (90 miles from Teheran), our contact lined out Iran’s options in the event of a strike on the country:
- Initially, a measured response, i.e., “tit for tat”
- Iran had 120,000 missiles available with which to defend itself
- Iran had the key to Israel’s “Iron Dome” defense
- Iran had many American hostages, e.g., al-Udeid airbase in Qatar or 5th Fleet HQ in Bahrain
- In the event of massive military action against Iran, the country would sink enemy ships in the Strait of Hormuz and the Bab al-Mandeb. It would only take three (3) ships to block Hormuz, sending oil prices sky-high in Europe and North America.
- In the event of an overwhelming attack on Iran, Israeli cities with the largest concentration of Zionists would be hit
- In the event of a nuclear attack on Iran, the country would strike the Israeli atomic weapons sites, including the Dimona center
It is that latter point, the existence of Israel’s weapons of mass destruction which “The Donald” and his Zionist advisors are concealing. Israel is not a signatory to the non-proliferation agreement on nuclear weapons. Iran is. In 2013, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists estimated that Israel held 80 atomic bombs (and had enough fissile material to build another 115). Alexander and Leslie Cockburn, in their 1991 book Dangerous Liaison, suggested that the “Jewish state” held hydrogen bombs.
When asked if Washington and Tel Aviv knew of Iran’s intentions and capabilities, our interlocutor replied “yes”, adding that their irrationality and hatred of Iran precluded any common sense resolution to the matter. He further asserted that Iran’s nuclear weapons are really in Israel, entirely in Bibi Netanyahu’s mind. Additionally, our contact said that he, like many others, was a patriot. He emphasized that Iran was their country and they would sooner see it destroyed rather than submit to foreign control.
Are his words just bluster? Are they, as a British-Algerian journalist remarked to me, more talk than walk? But, as she said, “Here’s hoping common sense prevails. In these worrying times that’s not asking much but it would make a ‘world’ of difference.”
Can we afford to learn otherwise?
J. Michael Springmann is an attorney, author, and political commentator. He has written Visas for Al Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked The World and a second book Goodbye, Europe? Hello, Chaos? Merkel’s Migrant Bomb.