A view from the other side of the Iran story

By Satish Sharma

The demonisation of the other to create an enemy you can then fight is a reality few can deny. Over the years I have watched the demonisation of Iran by the free press of the free West, with utter disbelief.
I was in Tehran when the most repeated propaganda ?about the Iranian threat to “wipe Israel off the map” started. I knew the New York Times reporter ?whose “mistranslation’ (to ?put it politely) of a speech began the?demonistaion/?propanganda push. That lie, which is what it really is, is still repeated by lying leaders and media who should, and actually do, know better.
I was in Iran when the move to invade Iraq began. I watched the War ?and learnt ?about how it was just the beginning of a new great game. ?”The real men” -among the diplomats and soldiers- I was often told, ? ” were waiting to go to Iran” ?They are still waiting. Iran is still the ?Big Prize. ?The Big Plunder waiting to happen.

In a concerted and mischievous attempt, the world?s mainstream media have started to pull out all the stops in order to portray Iran a dangerous, abnormal, weird and horrible country which is seeking to develop nuclear weapons in order to annihilate Israel. Iranians are brazenly depicted as fanatics, terrorists and uncivilized people and the whole Iran is shown as an out-of-the-way desert in which no trace of civilization, urban life and modernity can be found.
Demonizing and isolating Iran can be seen as part of a comprehensive and multifaceted campaign of ostracizing and vilifying the Muslim world which has been intensified since the 9/11 attacks which were blamed on the Muslims and set in motion the Global War on Terror.
Before coming to Iran, every foreign tourist fears that he might be killed, or at least arrested as a spy. They perceive Iran in terms of the stereotypes and clich?s which the mainstream media present to them, and many of them are even unaware of the fact that Iranians are the same Persians who lived in the Ancient Persia for more than 7,500 years.
There are some famous myths about Iran which many people across the world have come to believe, and I would like to rebuff them here as best as I can:

??I: Nonintervention In Iranian Affairs 1. The United States pledges that it is and from now on will be the policy of the United States not to intervene, directly or indirectly, politically or militarily, in Iran ‘s internal affairs.?
Since its very inception, the United States has violated this bilateral agreement.? It has continued its relentless propaganda into Iran through the Voice of America, Radio Farda, and other State-funded media outlets such as?BBC Persian which receives significant funding from the US government?.?? Launched in early 2009, the BBC Persian as well as Voice of America played a significant role in instigating violence post 2009 Iranian Presidential elections.
It is abundantly clear that America is not a ?Good Samaritan’ State, and its policies are not driven by compassion.?? Ironically, with?drones spying on Americans?,??network neutrality undermined?, and?internet censorship?abound at home, the Obama administration demands that Iran open itself to further sabotage and subversion guised as compassion. ??In other words, embrace the implementation of?Donald Rumsfeld’s Information Operations Roadmap?? namely, computer network attacks, psychological operations, “maximum control of the entire electromagnetic spectrum”, and US ability to ?”disrupt or destroy the full spectrum of globally emerging communications systems, sensors, and weapons systems dependent on the electromagnetic spectrum”. ??
One would be hard-pressed to believe that the newly imposed sanctions on Iran are a reflection of care and concern for the Iranian people, but rather, they are punishment for resisting the net war. ?Edmund Burke was quite right to say that ?As People crushed by laws, have no hope but to evade power. If the laws are their enemies, they will be enemies to the law; and those who have must to hope and nothing to lose will always be dangerous.?
Satish Sharma is a photographer writer and blogger based in Nepal. He was one of the early tutors of Pathshala.

Author: Shahidul Alam

Time Magazine Person of the Year 2018. A photographer, writer, curator and activist, Shahidul Alam obtained a PhD in chemistry before switching to photography. His seminal work “The Struggle for Democracy” contributed to the removal of General Ershad. Former president of the Bangladesh Photographic Society, Alam set up the Drik agency, Chobi Mela festival and Pathshala, South Asian Media Institute, considered one of the finest schools of photography in the world. Shown in MOMA New York, Centre Georges Pompidou, Royal Albert Hall and Tate Modern, Alam has been guest curator of Whitechapel Gallery, Winterthur Gallery and Musee de Quai Branly. His awards include Mother Jones, Shilpakala Award and Lifetime Achievement Award at the Dali International Festival of Photography. Speaker at Harvard, Stanford, UCLA, Oxford and Cambridge universities, TEDx, POPTech and National Geographic, Alam chaired the international jury of the prestigious World Press Photo contest. Honorary Fellow of Royal Photographic Society, Alam is visiting professor of Sunderland University in UK and advisory board member of National Geographic Society. John Morris, the former picture editor of Life Magazine describes his book “My journey as a witness”, (listed in “Best Photo Books of 2011” by American Photo), as “The most important book ever written by a photographer.”

Leave a Reply