Following is a link to, and summary of,
Peter Tatchell's latest TV programme, which urges
both opposition to US intervention in Iran and support for the Iranian
peoples' struggle for democracy and human rights - including a brief mention
about the rights of national minorities, such as the Baluch.
Mr Tatchell will be interviewing Nasser Baloch on the plight
of the Baluch in Iran in late
Hands off the people of Iran
Neither Washington nor Tehran. A war against Iran would
be another disastrous neo-imperial adventure, which would
strengthen the Tehran dictatorship. The overthrow of the
clerical regime by the Iranian people - not US military intervention
- is the best way to resolve the nuclear crisis and prevent
a needless, unjustified war.
Peter Tatchell interviews Mark Fischer of Hands Off the
People of Iran and Yassamine Mather of Workers Left Unity
Iran, 21 September 2007.
Peter Tatchell writes:
The Iranian regime is a neo-fascist state. It is notorious
for unfair trials, detention without charge, torture, executions,
media censorship, gender apartheid, bans on non-Islamist
political parties, the violent suppression of peaceful protests
and strikes, and the persecution of left-wingers, trade unionists,
students, feminists, gay people and religious and ethnic
The case for regime change is overwhelming, but it must
come from within – by and for the Iranian people themselves
- not as a result of US neo-imperial diktat. Many Iranians
are hoping for a non-violent Czech-style 'people power' democratic
revolution, involving mass protests by socialists, liberals,
secularists, democrats, women, students, trade unionists,
religious dissenters and minority nationalities.
A democratic, progressive Iran would pose no threat to anyone.
President Bush would therefore find it much harder to persuade
the American public and military to go to war. He would lose
the main argument he uses to incite public opinion in favour
of military action – namely, that Iran is a dangerous, terroristic,
fundamentalist, anti-Semitic dictatorship, which is striving
to develop nuclear weapons and which poses a serious threat
to international peace and security.
If Iran was no longer a fanatical religious tyranny, the
case for war would evaporate. Bush would lose the battle
for hearts and minds. Public opinion would desert him. US
politicians and grassroots opponents of war would be empowered
In contrast, US military intervention would strengthen the
position of the hardliners in Tehran; allowing President
Ahmadinejad to play the nationalist card and portray himself
as a heroic war leader. It would also give him an excuse
to further crack down on dissent, using the pretext of safeguarding
national security and defending the country against US imperialism.
This would setback the struggle for democracy and human rights.
Moreover, a US attack on Muslim Iran would increase the
sense of grievance felt by Muslims worldwide; radicalising
Muslim youth, fanning the flames of fundamentalism, increasing
support for Islamist parties and resulting in thousands of
new recruits to the ranks of Jihadis and suicide bombers.
Tragically, the leadership of the UK and US anti-war movements
are sleeping walking into making the same mistakes over Iran
as they made over Iraq . They are silent about the regime's
despotism and oppression. Mirroring Bush and Brown's indifference
to human rights in Iran , they refuse to show solidarity
with the Iranian peoples' struggle for secularism, democracy,
social justice, human rights and self-determination for national
minorities like the Baluch, Ahwazi Arabs and Kurds.
The new campaign group, Hands Off the People of Iran , argues
that both US war and Iranian tyranny should be opposed in
equal measure. Neither Washington nor Tehran!
To view the programme, click on this link:
Talking With Tatchell is broadcast every Friday night at
8.30pm on the internet TV channel, www.18doughtystreet.com
Previous programmes are permanently archived. Type "Tatchell" into
the Search facility to access all past editions of Talking