Friday, August 17, 2007

Virginia Anti-War Activists Visit Iran

By Caleb T. Maupin
Published Aug 16, 2007 9:00 AM
The Virginia Anti-War Network (VAWN), decided, in light of the current threats against Iran by the forces of Washington and Wall Street, to take a 12-day trip to this sovereign country in the Middle East led by an anti-imperialist government.

According to their Web site,, they organized this “People’s Peace Delegation to Iran” in order “to take a stand.”

“We want to meet with the Iranian people on their own soil, in their own cities and towns and rural areas. We want to express to them our desire for peace and friendship, and come back better prepared to explain what we have seen and heard.”

Members of VAWN saw things from a perspective often unheard in the Western world. They heard things from the perspective of the Iranian people.

The delegates remarked that the streets of Iran’s capital, Tehran, reminded them of New York, as they saw people dressed in a wide variety of different clothes.

They attended religious services at mosques and heard the sermons of the Imams. They also met with Iranians who believe in Zoroastrianism, a pre-Islamic religion. Zoroastrians told the U.S. delegation that they are free to practice their beliefs, with no harm from the Iranian government.

In one of the reports on the VAWN website they spoke of the how the Iranian children “have been universally not just friendly, but fascinated, joyful, delightful and warm. I can’t believe that anyone, government leader, teacher or parent, is teaching these kids to hate people from the U.S. It just ain’t happening.”

They met with veterans of the Iraq-Iran war, during which the U.S. supplied weapons to both sides, hoping to weaken both the then Baathist Party leadership in Iraq and the newly formed anti-imperialist government led by the Ayatollah Khomeini.

For a short period of time, a group of North Americans, including a few military veterans, saw things from a perspective other than that of the corporate media and the government.

They were able to hear a voice which many are unable to hear, especially in the U.S: the voice of the Iranian people, who want peace, but refuse to surrender to the U.S. government and empire that continues to threaten them with military aggression.

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