Photo exhibit challenges Zionism’s most popular myth | +972 Magazine

Photo exhibit challenges Zionism’s most popular myth

Using haunting aerial photographs of the Negev Desert, American artist Fazal Sheikh challenges the notion that the desert was an unpopulated land before Zionism made it bloom.  

By Tom Pessah

In “Caravan Song,” the late Arik Einstein sings of a caravan of Zionist immigration and settlement that began in the 19th century and continues to this day. Most of the song is in his own voice, apart from one line in which he lovingly imitates David Ben-Gurion promising that the Negev will bloom.

It is less acceptable today to talk of a people without a land populating a land without a people, but that is not the case for the Negev, still seen as an empty desert waiting for Jews to finally make it flourish.》》》》》》》》》


Violent clashes rock al-Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem –

Clashes have broken out between masked Palestinian youths and Israeli forces at Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound on Sunday, the last day of the Muslim Eidul Azha holiday.

A statement from the Israeli police claimed young Palestinians “threw stones and fireworks at police and border police forces,” who responded with “riot dispersal means”.

Calm returned to the compound later in the morning and most police had withdrawn but Israeli Arab activists remained inside, news agency AFP reported.

No serious injuries reported in the latest clashes at the al-Aqsa mosque compound.

The violence follows weeks of tension and a number of confrontations at the Al-Aqsa mosque, one of the holiest Islamic sites in the world. Al-Aqsa is also venerated by Jews as the Temple Mount and is considered the most sacred place in Judaism.

Muslims have been alarmed by an increase in visits by Jews and fear rules governing the compound will be changed. Jews are allowed to visit but not to pray to avoid provoking tensions.

Visits by Jews were stopped on Sunday and age restrictions on Muslim men entering the compound lifted for the Muslim Eidul Azha holiday.

Israel seized east Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, in the Six Day War of 1967 and later annexed it in a move never recognised by the international community.

Peace-Forum: US at war with an imaginary Islam: Lies, propaganda and the real story of America and the Muslim world

American propaganda exaggerates the power and moral depravity of the Islamic enemy, in the service of our empire

Excerpted from “One Islam, Many Muslim Worlds: Spirituality, Identity and Resistance Across Islamic Lands”

The United States is at war with a very different, mythic Islam of its own making that has nothing at all to do with this Islam of the Qur’an. To make sense of that conjured threat, scholarly studies of Islam or Islamic movements are of no help at all. Even the examination of the real-world history and practice of empire has limited value, unless the perceived Islamic dimension is considered. The American imperial project cannot be brought into clear view without assessment of the distinctive rationale that the Islamist Imaginary provides. The task is not an easy one. The Islamist Imaginary has no simple and unitary existence. Rather, it is a complex amalgam that shapes both the delusions of empire and a conjured threat to imperial power into a co-evolving composite. It is a “difficult whole,” in the helpful language of complexity theory. The Islamist Imaginary, unlike Islam itself and political movements of Islamic inspiration, does not exist outside of the imperial interests that shape it. It has no independent cultural or historical reality, outside its role as predatory threat to Western global interests. The American empire, in turn, requires a hostile and threatening enemy, which today takes the form of Islam of its imagination, to realize and rationalize its expansionist project that must remain unacknowledged and unspoken. The two elements of the imaginary and empire co-evolve. The needs of a threatened empire as vulnerable victim change over time. The Islamist Imaginary transforms itself to meet those needs. Imaginary and empire circle one another in a dance of predator and prey. Their roles are interchangeable, a clear sign that they are not entirely real. The predator is prey; the prey is predator. They develop in tandem in a complex process of mutual adaptation. Boundaries give way between the real and the imagined. In the end it is the imagined that haunts our imaginations and drives our policies. 》》》》》

Who Commits Terrorism? | Consortiumnews

Nordic/Christian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik admitted killing 77 people last summer but claimed “self-defense,” protecting Christian culture from Muslims and “multiculturalists.” His writings show he was inspired by anti-Muslim bigotry spread by U.S. “experts,” Robert Parry explained in 2011. By Robert Parry (Originally published on July 27, 2011) If the Fox News promoters of racial profiling had been in charge of investigating the terror attacks in Norway on July 22, 2011, they might well have encountered blond, blue-eyed Anders Behring Breivik and his two smoking-hot guns only long enough to ask if he’d seen any suspicious-looking Muslims around. After all, it has been a touchstone of the American Right, as well as right-wing Israelis, that Muslims are the source of virtually all terrorism and thus it makes little sense to focus attention on non-Muslims. A clean-cut Nordic sort like Breivik, who fancies himself part of a modern-day Knights Templar, is someone who would get a pass. Passport photo of Anders Behring Breivik, the admitted killer of 77 people in Norway, including young people at a summer camp affiliated with a liberal political party. Or, as Israel’s UN Ambassador Dan Gillerman told a conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in 2006, “While it may be true – and probably is – that not all Muslims are terrorists, it also happens to be true that nearly all terrorists are Muslim.” [Washington Post, March 7, 2006] So, if you were tuned in to Fox News after the Norway attack, you would have seen smug-looking Fox talking heads recounting how this attack was surely an act of Islamic terrorism and even one exchange about the value of racial profiling to avoid wasting time on non-Muslims. Yet, while the biases of Gillerman and Fox News represent a large chunk of the conventional wisdom, the reality is that terrorism is far from some special plague associated with Muslims. In fact, terrorism, including state terrorism, has been practiced far more extensively by non-Muslims and especially by Christian-dominated nations, both historically and in more modern times. Terror tactics have long been in the tool kit of predominantly Christian armies and paramilitaries, including Breivik’s beloved Crusaders who slaughtered Muslims and Jews alike when Jerusalem was conquered in 1099. Terror, such as torture and burning “heretics” alive, was a big part of the Roman Catholic Inquisition and the intra-Christian bloodletting in Europe in the middle of the last millennium. Terror played a big role, too, in genocides committed by Christian explorers against the indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere and other unfortunate targets of colonialism. More Crusading ‘Knights’ During the Jim Crow era in the American South, white Christians organized Ku Klux Klan chapters, which, like Breivik’s Templars, considered themselves Christian “knights” harkening back to the Crusades. The KKK inflicted terror on blacks, including lynching and bombings, to defend white supremacy. In the 20th Century, there were countless examples of “red” and “white” terror, as Communists challenged the Capitalist power structure in Russia and other countries. Those violent clashes led to the rise of German Nazism which empowered “Aryans” to inflict terrifying slaughters to “defend” their racial purity from Jews, Gypsies, Slavs and other “inferior” races. To prevail in World War II, the Allies resorted to their own terror tactics, destroying entire cities from the air, such as Dresden in Germany and Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. After World War II, the United States created the CIA to conduct what amounted to a war of terror and counter-terror against revolutionary movements around the world. This “low-intensity conflict” sometimes spilled into massive slaughters, such as U.S. terror bombings that killed estimated millions across Vietnam and Southeast Asia. The CIA also recruited, deployed and supported proxy terrorists throughout Latin America. A generation of South and Central American military officers was schooled in how to intimidate and repress political movements seeking social change. A fierce slaughter occurred in Guatemala after the CIA ousted an elected government in 1954 through the use of violent propaganda that terrified the nation. The CIA’s coup was followed by military dictatorships that used state terror as a routine means of controlling the impoverished population. The consequences of the U.S. strategy were described in a March 29, 1968, report written by the U.S. embassy’s deputy chief of mission, Viron Vaky.

Keep reading >>>> Source: Who Commits Terrorism? | Consortiumnews

Onward-Marching Christian Soldiers | Consortiumnews

Rick Santorum declared, “Satan has his sights on the United States of America.” Though sounding odd to many, Santorum’s Satan talk is common among right-wing Christians who have intervened in U.S. politics before, like President Clinton’s impeachment, as Frederick Clarkson noted in this 1998 article. By Frederick Clarkson (Originally published in 1998) Most attorneys who ascend into the rarefied atmosphere of media celebrity-hood are either dashing courtroom warriors, like O.J. Simpson’s Johnnie Cochran, or inside-the-Beltway power types, like Bill Clinton’s Robert Bennett.  The Monica Lewinsky case broke that mold with the unlikely emergence of the family’s Los Angeles-based lawyer, the garrulous William Ginsburg, as a five-talk-shows-per-Sunday phenomenon. But perhaps even more unusual — and less examined — is the entrance of Paula Jones’s lawyer, John Whitehead, into the exclusive “Burden of Proof” club of TV-courtroom stardom. As the Paula Jones case merged with the Monica Lewinsky case in 1998, the rumpled Whitehead became a fixture as a talking head on Nightline, CNN and other network news shows. Two priests during the Inquisition use torture to get a “heretic” to repent. Yet, there has been only superficial attention to who Whitehead is and what he stands for — despite a lengthy public record of controversial remarks. During his legal-religious career, for instance, Whitehead has asserted that democracy is “heresy”; that the defining aspect of history is the “race war” between Christians and non-Christians; and that the harsh Calvinism of the “Puritan Fathers” is the standard to which temporal law should strive. But, even as the TV networks ran up millions of dollars in expenses covering Monica and Paula, there was next to no attention to Whitehead’s religious-political goals. Those motives might normally have been expected to draw some interest, especially as the possibility grew that the Jones-Lewinsky controversy could lead to some form of impeachment proceedings against President Clinton (which it did later in 1998). Still, more often than not, the Washington news media served only as a conveyor belt for P.R. boiler-plate. In a typical description, The New York Times called Whitehead’s Rutherford Institute “a kind of evangelical Christian civil liberties union” — which is how Rutherford describes itself in its publicity material. The P.R. handouts just leave out “kind of.” Are Whitehead’s beliefs too white-hot to handle? Or are reporters of a kinder and gentler generation merely being considerate of people whose religious beliefs are deeply held? Or is that sensitivity a cover for reporters and editors too timid to investigate and fully report potentially controversial beliefs for fear of being labeled religious bigots?

>>>> Read full story @Source: Onward-Marching Christian Soldiers | Consortiumnews

The Islamophobia Industry

Islamophobia is a real problem that needs to be considered in the same light as racism, homophobia and anti-Semitism, says Nathan Lean, the author of ‘The Islamophobia Industry: How the Right Manufactures Fear of Muslims’

What is Islamophobia? Who is promoting it? And, how is it a poisonous force in the world today? Nathan Lean answers these questions in his excellent new book, The Islamophobia Industry: How the Right Manufactures Fear of Muslims (Pluto Books/Macmillan, 2012).

Nathan Lean is Editor-in-Chief of Aslan Media, one of the best American sources for news, commentary, and analysis of issues in the Middle East. He is the co-author of Iran, Israel, and the United States: Regime Security vs Political Legitimacy (Praeger, 2011). Lean earned his Master’s degree in International Studies at East Carolina University in Greenville, in the US state of North Carolina. He is currently in graduate school at Georgetown University’s Center for Arab American Studies in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service in Washington DC.

In The Islamophobia Industry, Lean illuminates the shadowy underworld inhabited by bigots united against Muslims and Islam. It is a meticulous investigation of the disturbing global phenomenon of ‘Islamophobia’. His book will shape our understanding of this subject for a long time to come. Lean discusses his new book in this exclusive interview.

What was the inspiration for your new book?

I was interested in the way in which the controversy over the Park51 Islamic Community Center, dubbed by ‘Islamophobes’ as the ‘Ground Zero Mosque’, mushroomed into a national hysteria almost overnight.

It occurred to me that the people heralding the opposition to Park51 were the same people behind the push for anti-sharia laws, the scare over the Muslim Brotherhood, and the virulent and nasty protests over the construction of mosques from California to Tennessee. I saw that there were dots that needed to be connected, and that this tight-knit, well-funded network needed to be exposed.

Who are the captains of the Islamophobia industry?

There are several. But two in particular have had more influence than other, at least as of late: Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer. These are two American bloggers who prey on Muslims and who use the power of the Internet to drum up hate.

Spencer and Geller were not only the leaders of the Park51 protest, but their lawyer authored the blueprint legislation for the anti-Sharia bills circulated throughout American legislatures. Recently, their metro ads in New York and California were met with backlash, and now we know that they are both connected to the filmmaker and producer of the anti-Muslim flick Innocence of Muslims that set off protests in the Middle East. Both Spencer and Geller were listed as inspirations by

Anders Breivik, the Norway killer who, in July of 2010, murdered 77 youth that he blamed for the ‘Islamisation’ of Europe.

How profitable is their industry?

The Islamophobia industry is very profitable. We know, thanks to the Center for American Progress, that over the past decade, seven different organisations have funnelled US$42mn to groups that support the work of these Islamophobes. But that’s not all.

Millions of dollars have also come from other sources, individuals who donate substantially to these projects, wealthy Israelis connected to or living in the Occupied Territories, and sadly, much money has come via political donations that are made to candidates who take up a particular anti-Muslim platform.

Beyond just donations, though, the key players in this industry have created careers peddling this type of hate – careers that bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars in salaries each year. They sell books, have provided training for law enforcement officials, and charge astronomical fees for speaking engagements.

How deep is Islamophobia in America?

Islamophobia in America is a real problem. Polls show that today, nearly half of all Americans report that Muslims make them feel ‘uncomfortable’. Mosque burnings, assaults, Congressional witch-hunts and hearings, racial and ethnic profiling, illegal surveillance programmes – all of these things are evidence of a social cancer that is festering within our society.

Violence carried out by Muslims inside the US is at extremely low levels. Between 2001 and 2010, 33 terrorist attacks were successfully carried out. Certainly that’s 33 too many, but compare that to the 150,000 murders that took place in the same period of time and a clearer picture emerges about where – and who – the real threat is.

How has Islamophobia infected Europe?

Islamophobia has affected Europe so greatly because it has been institutionalised. In essence, what you have is a cadre of state governments that officially adopt policies discriminatory to Muslims. In Belgium, citizens were paid money to go around town and capture women wearing burqas – which were banned – and report them to the police.

It sounds too absurd to be true.

There is also a growing and dangerous right-wing nationalism in Europe that, in addition to being neo-Nazis and supporting only the advancement of the white race, have zeroed in on Muslims. The English Defence League (EDL) is a classic example of one such football hooligan group.

They storm the streets of various cities, beat up Muslims, break into restaurants and, with their fists pumped and their jugular veins popping from their necks, proclaim that Europe won’t tolerate the infiltration of ‘outsiders’. That is what’s happening in Europe.

What is the antidote to Islamophobia?

First, relationships. Then, more speech. Getting to know Muslims – neighbours, co-workers, etc – and developing friendships with them is a positive step in this direction. That doesn’t mean that we work to change their ideas, nor does it mean that they change ours. We have to move the Overton window to a place that excludes the rhetoric of the Islamophobes in our society and emphasises our common humanity.

What that means is agreeing, as a society, that Islamophobia is first a real problem that needs to be considered in the same light as racism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, etc. We can accomplish that by constantly dragging the people who spout anti-Muslim sentiment out into the light and exposing their hate.

We must also reject that hate, not just in private but vocally – in op-eds, in articles, in the media, in church pulpits, in schools and universities, in workplaces. It’s not an easy task. But I am certain that one day, the Islamophobes will be swept under the rug of history along with the other racists in our society whose rhetoric was at one time acceptable, but now is considered disgusting and taboo.

How can all of us challenge Islamophobia in our own communities?

By not being afraid to speak out every time we witness an injustice. By getting involved in interfaith groups. By learning about Islam and getting to know our Muslim neighbours. An important part of this is using the word ‘Islamophobia’. If it doesn’t have a name, it doesn’t exist.

And when we reach a point in our society where we begin to describe this illness with consistent terminology, we will reach a real tipping point. Think about it – we have ‘anti-Semites’ and ‘racists’ and  no one wants to be labelled as one of those. Everyone knows that these are bad things. The same must be true about Islamophobia and the Islamophobes that seek to fracture our society.

[Joseph Richard Preville is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Tabuk, Saudi Arabia]

Bias against Islam is deeply rooted in Western minds: Yusuf Fernandez

c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_edim_15_Islamophobia2.jpgAfter many years of a negative portrayal, bias Against Islam and Muslims is deeply rooted in Western minds and it will be very difficult to eliminate it, Spanish journalist Yusuf Fernandez says.

Fernandez, who is the secretary of the Muslim Federation of Spain and an editor of Al Manar Spanish website, made the remarks last week in an interview with the Tehran Times.
He stated that the neo-fascism and far-right bigotry are increasing throughout Europe as much as fascism and Nazism did in the 1930s and this is one of the reasons why Islamophobia is now rapidly spreading in Europe and has become a major concern for the Muslim minorities in the European countries.
Following are excerpts of the interview:
Q: Muslims are subject to prejudice and discrimination in the Western societies, even though they have always contributed to the progress and growth of these societies. As a spokesman of an Islamic organization in a European country, what are your views regarding the rise of Islamophobia in the U.S. and Europe? And how is it possible to confront and eliminate it?
A: The Islamophobia is a real problem in the Western societies, not only for Muslims but for the whole society because it is a hatred phenomenon, which is harmful for all people. Today, many politicians attack Islam and Muslims just to gain votes and in some countries girls are banned to wear headscarves at high schools or work places. Opening a mosque is also becoming more and more difficult in some countries.
Muslims need to work seriously against Islamophobia through media work and in courts although sometimes it is difficult because many Muslim communities lack the resources to do so.
In order to fight against Islamophobia, Muslims should look for allies, especially human right organizations, which are supporting Muslim victims with information campaigns and legal procedures.
Q: What’s your assessment of the Western media’s portrayal of the Muslims? Is it possible to present a realistic image of Islam and the Muslims to the Western citizens and acquaint them with the hidden realities of Islam?
A: Generally speaking, the image of Muslims in Western media is very negative and poor. When Western journalists speak about any issue, they are supposed to know the issue they are writing about. But this rule is broken when they write about Islam. They can then make claims that have nothing to do with the reality of Islam and Muslims. Muslims are presented as fanatics, terrorists or backwards people. Muslim women are presented as ignorant or submissive. These so-called “experts” ignore that Islam gave many rights to the women much before the Western societies did.
I think that the Muslims should invest in media and try to give a correct vision of Islam and Muslims through meetings and conferences but I think that the results of this work will not be immediate. After many years of a negative portrayal, some bias and stereotypes are deeply rooted in Western minds and it will be very difficult to eliminate them. The media work must also be very professional and have high quality. Sometimes, you find Muslim magazines with poor design and even mistakes and this is counterproductive because instead of fighting against the stereotypes, it strengthens them.
Q: Many attempts have been made to create differences between the followers of different Islamic sects. What do you think is the motive behind this propaganda?
A: Today, we can see a bid to create a deep sectarian conflict within the Muslim world. Most media speak about the clashes between Sunnis and Shias in Iraq, Allawites and Sunnis in Syria and so on. This is clearly a strategy to weaken and control the Muslim world. The worst thing is that lots of Muslims, including renowned scholars, are falling into this trap. Many Arab media and personalities that supported the Tunisian or Egyptian revolutions are also backing Al Khalifa’s oppressive regime in Bahrain and blame Shias or Iran for the situation there. Don’t the Bahraini people deserve the same rights as Egyptians or Tunisians to be free?
I think this strategy seeks to isolate Iran or the Lebanese resistance from Sunni Muslims and make Muslims forget that their enemy is not the adherents to other schools of the Muslim thought, but Western neo-colonialism, the Zionist regime and those governments in the Muslim world that favor the U.S. and Zionist interests.
I want to add that the main engine of this strategy to divide the Muslim world is extremist Wahhabi groups, which are being sponsored by the Saudi regime to spread hatred against Shia Muslims. In this sense, the Saudi regime is doing the West’s dirty work.
Q: There are extremists in Europe who are staunchly opposed to multiculturalism in the continent and are not afraid of physically removing whoever they deem threatening their ideology for a consolidated Europe free of immigrants and Muslims. The most prominent example was Anders Breivik who massacred 77 people simply because they had voiced support for the people of Palestine in a demonstration. What was your reaction to the Norway 2011 attacks when you first heard about it? Is such an ideology spreading throughout Europe?
A: The neo-fascism and far-right bigotry is spreading throughout Europe as much as Fascism and Nazism did in the 1930s. There are several reasons explaining this phenomenon. Firstly, Europe is going through a very serious economic and social crisis. Instead of analyzing the causes of this crisis, these parties use demagogy to blame immigrants or minorities. It is easier than to blame the real culprits: an unfair economic system that is not working anymore and the heads of banks and corporations whose greed and ineptitude have led Europe to its worst crisis in many decades.
Some people in Europe, who are suffering from this crisis, are receptive to this kind of messages and they become a “granary of votes” for the extremist parties.
The second reason is Islamophobia. These parties are promoting anti-Muslim hatred in order to gain electoral support. Some circles in Europe are using the debate about the European identity to try to present Islam as a foreign religion and denigrate multiculturalism.
However, these parties also have a limited appeal because many people in Europe still remember the awful consequences of the Nazi ideology. When these extremists see that their message is ignored then they can resort to violence as Breivik did in Norway. Actually, Breivik’s massacre served to remind people the threat of this far-right ideology and I think their action meant a severe blow to the adherents to this ideology.
Q: Does Zionism pose a serious threat to the whole Islamic world or is it simply an obstacle to the realization of Palestinian nation’s self-determination and statehood? Why don’t the Arab states in the Middle East take serious steps to tackle the issue of Palestine and put an end to the Israeli occupation and aggression? Why are the Arab leaders so nonchalant and indifferent?
A: Many people forget that the Israeli flag has two blue lines representing the Nile and Eufrates. The original Zionist goal was to control all the land between Iraq and Egypt. It is noteworthy to point out that Zionism was a colonialist project. However, the colonization of Palestine started at a time when the Western colonialism was in decline, so due to this fact and the Arab and Palestinian resistance, Zionists were not able to control the Middle East as they wanted. Now, Israel has a serious problem that they will not able to solve: the Palestinian population both in whole Palestine and in the 1967-occupied territories is growing faster than the Jewish population. Therefore, it will become increasingly difficult for Israel to keep the control over these territories. Although pro-Israeli lobbies in the U.S. and other Western countries control a large part of the political elites and media, they cannot hide the apartheid system that the Zionist regime has developed in the occupied territories and Israel will probably become more isolated in the world.
Most Arab regimes have not been interested in Palestine before and now. Their support for the Palestinian cause is merely rhetorical. This has led to many Arabs to think that their governments should focus on developing their own countries because they are too weak to tackle the issue of Palestine nowadays.
However, I think that both things are compatible. Arab countries can focus on their own challenges but at the same time they can offer their support for Palestinians and the best way to do so is let the Western countries supporting Israel know that they will pay a high political and economic price if they stick to this policy.
Q: What’s your analysis of the role of Iran in unifying the Islamic nations? It seems that Iran is the only Muslim country which has not dissociated from the Islamic values and has always been after solidifying and strengthening the bonds between Muslim countries. What’s your take on that?
A: Iran can help unify the Muslim world. There is no doubt about that. Iran can develop its ties with the countries where pro-Western dictatorships have been recently overthrown. At the same time, Iran needs to look for means to overcome the anti-Shia and anti-Iran propaganda campaign that Saudi Arabia, Israel and the U.S. are carrying out in order to undermine Iran’s links with the Muslim world.
Q: What will the future of Israeli-Palestinian conflict look like? Will Israel move toward annihilation and self-destruction or will it succeed in surviving as a political entity? Will the international community come to the help of Palestinian people or it will get away with their suffering with complicity and connivance?
A: I think that the so-called peace process is dead now. Israel, however, is in an increasingly bad situation. As I said before, the demography is playing against Israel. Palestinians have more children than Israelis and this is an important factor.
Israelis have three choices. The first is unlikely: to let the Palestinians create a state in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. However, this would reduce the amount of land that they control and the demographic problem would still exist because in the 1948-occupied territories, a 20 percent of the population is Arab. The second choice is the status quo: a permanent occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. However, this is becoming more and more unsustainable due to international rejection and condemnation.
The third choice is to annex the West Bank and East Jerusalem but, apart from the international rejection to such a measure, Israel would become a bi-national state where Palestinians would become a majority soon. Probably, they would like the third solution but creating some isolated Bantustans, formally autonomous or independent, to concentrate the Palestinian population within them but Palestinians would never accept that.
I think that Palestinians do not expect the support of the international community because they know that the latter is greatly influenced by the United States where a large part of the political class is under the control of the pro-Israeli lobby. Palestinians receive support from many organizations and people from all over the world but I think the success of their cause will be a result of their own fight.
Q: And finally, what’s your prediction for the prospect of Iran’s position in the region? Will the United States and its allies, spearheaded by Israel, finally bring Iran to its knees with their sanctions and media propaganda or Iran can affirm its role as a regional superpower in the Middle East regardless of the political and economic pressures of the West?
A: I think that Iran will have to suffer economic problems because of the Israel-sponsored sanctions. Some will be more painful. Others will be less. However, Iran has some advantages. Firstly, Iran has huge oil and gas resources and the world needs more energy. Therefore, any energy embargo is doomed to failure.
Secondly, Iran has a prominent strategic position. Thirdly, Russia and China will not reduce their economic relations with Iran because they know that they are the following ones in Washington’s list. In fact, the sanctions against Iran and the cover war against Syria also seek to weaken Russia and China’s role in the Middle East. China needs resources-rich countries on which it can rely and which will not cut off their supplies to China if the U.S. ask them to do so. Iran is one of the few ones so Beijing should be interested in supporting Iran and its economy.
Moreover, Iranian people love their country and its independence. They are used to sanctions and know to circumvent them.
At the same time, Iran should expand its political and cultural presence in the world in order to counteract hostile actions and propaganda.
However, Iran should avoid taking a rigid position in the nuclear issue. It should coordinate its position with China and Russia and work with them to reach an agreement, which would bring important benefits for everyone, including Iran itself. This agreement would also help Iran obtain more easily a widely-recognized status of regional superpower.