Separating the people from the president

24 January 2006

In today's Guardian George Monbiot explores the west's demostrated hypocrisy in relation to Iran's nuclear programme, quoting Paul Rogers's openDemocracy column. Monbiot states:

"Israel, citing the threat from Iran, insists on retaining its nuclear missiles. Threatened by them (and prompted, among other reasons, by his anti-semitism), the Iranian president says he wants to wipe Israel off the map, and appears to be developing a means to do so. Israel sees his response as vindicating its nuclear programme. It threatens an air strike, which grants retrospective validity to Ahmadinejad's designs. And so it goes on. Everyone turns out to be right in the end."

The comparison made on nuclear weaponry is relevant and timely but I scanned it for a consideration which, over the last few weeks, has become conspicuous to me in its absence. The element missing from Iran reportage is the domestic population and its reaction to Ahmadinejad's most controversial comments. This tends to give the impression that Iranians as a whole agree with, and support their president's stance.

This ommission is most troubling as it creates a negative impression of Iranians, necessary for western publics' endorsement of hostile action.

In fact a substantial body of opinion have been opposed to verbiage about wiping Israel off the map, and denying the holocaust. This in a country where free speech is censored and the Internet is filtered.

Iranian Federal Congress statement condemning Ahmadinejad's remarks

Iranian bloggers speak in code against Ahmadinejad

Review of 'We Are Iran' describing blogging against the regime



 "The character is praying: "Dear God, please silence Ahmadinejhad for a while"

From Another Irani Online

One last thing... I found this dissection of the anti-Zionist/holocaust denial combination by Oren Ben-Dor to be particularly clear-minded given the proliferation of emotions associated with that inappropriate juxtaposition. here


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