AFP AUDIO INTERVIEW
How are the Iran sanctions affecting your average Iranian?
Award-winning Iranian journalist, media correspondent and peace activist Kourosh Ziabari explains how the Zionist-directed sanctions are imposing a collective punishment on the entire civilian population in this eye-opening interview (43:37).
Zionist-Directed Sanctions Imposing Collective Punishment on Entire Civilian Population
• Price of consumer goods increasing two- and-threefold every day
By Dave Gahary
Zionist-directed sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran, ostensibly meant to cripple the country’s fledgling nuclear power ambitions, are exacting a heavy toll on ordinary Iranians, who would most likely have a hard time explaining the process of nuclear fission, let alone understanding why it is they who are targeted by the countries that make up the New World Order.
Last year, the United States toughened sanctions and coerced the European Union, Asia and Africa to stop buying oil from Iran. Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea and Switzerland soon followed, and the rial, Iran’s currency, continued its precipitous decline, and is “currently the world’s least valued currency unit.” Along with this came blistering hyperinflation, resulting in “the price of consumer goods increasing twofold and threefold every single day.”
In order to get a fuller understanding of how the sanctions are impacting the Iranian people and who is responsible for this relentless attack on this sovereign nation, AMERICAN FREE PRESS conducted an exclusive interview with award-winning Iranian journalist, media correspondent and peace activist Kourosh Ziabari. Mr. Ziabari resides in the city of Rasht, a major trade and tourist center on the Caspian Sea coast whose residents have adopted a “culture of consumerism,” and has been a journalist since the age of 12 and is widely published around the world.
Mr. Ziabari stated that his main goal is to “acquaint the global public with the hidden and concealed realities of Iran, as the country which I believe is the most misrepresented and most misunderstood country on the face of the world map.” “Iran has a culture and civilization of more than 7,000 years,” he said, “with matchless and unrivaled contributions world peace, world science, and world culture.”
AFP asked Mr. Ziabari why Iran has gotten such a bad rap.
“Today, Iran is targeted by the mass media around the world, even in the Arab countries. They are running a massive propaganda campaign against Iran, portraying Iran as a country which is ruled by extremist fundamentalists, with people who are very aggressive and violent, and uncultured and uncivilized.”
“The mass media in the West, the mainstream media don’t allow the people in the West to be aware of the realities of Iran,” and are heavily influenced by the Zionist Lobby,” he said.
AFP asked how big of a role is Israel playing in the misery that is now a part of Iran’s everyday life.
“I think Israel is directly responsible for the pressures being imposed and being unleashed on Iranian people for many years,” he said. “For at least one decade the Israeli regime was pressuring the Unites States to launch a military strike against Iran.”
AFP asked Mr. Ziabari to explain who or what is responsible for the sanctions.
“We are sure that Israel, on a daily basis, is pressuring the Unites States to first of all define a redline for Iran…and the United States, because it’s being influenced by the Zionist Lobby, by AIPAC, ADL and other Zionist alliances, is trying to impose sanctions to appease Israel instead of going into war with Iran,” he explained.
He continued, “I think because the United States is incapable of adopting an independent foreign policy, [it] is imposing these brutal sanctions against Iran in order to satisfy Israel, because Washington’s leaders know that going into war with Iran will be very costly for the United States, and it may be followed by retaliation by Iran on U.S. bases in the Persian Gulf and also on Israel. So, in order to prevent a calamity from happening, it imposes sanctions and renews them, and this is just made to appease Israel.”
AFP asked Mr. Ziabari to elaborate on how Israel controls U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.
“The world knows that Israel is a terrorist regime [and] it controls 95% of U.S. media, the majority of U.S. economic corporations, and even if they don’t have a very popular or positive public image, they can exert influence because of their dominance over the media, over the economy of the United States, over Wall Street. And this is why they can easily change the course of U.S. foreign policy [and] the U.S. portrayal of Iran in the media.”
Mr. Ziabari also detailed the many instances of hypocrisy that infest the West’s targeting of Iran.
“Despite the fact that Iran is portrayed as a state sponsor of terrorism, in the past two centuries, Iran has never invaded nor attacked any of its neighboring countries. And while the state of Israel has attacked at least five or six countries surrounding it, and is continuing to occupy the Palestinian territories, to occupy Golan Heights of Syria, of continuing to issue war threats against Iran, and the international community keeps silent about these aggressive and belligerent war threats which are contravening the UN Charter and the sense and the spirit of the UN Charter. But no single condemnation has been issued by the Security Council in response to these threats.”
“The United States has recently ordered Intelsat to take Press TV and other Iranian TV channels off-air and it imposed a set of sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, IRIB, and also other satellite providers in Europe and Asia have taken Iranian channels off-air. This is a war on free speech; this is another manifestation of U.S. hypocrisy. If the United States really cares for freedom of speech, then so why should it launch such a funny war on free speech, and why should it bring disgrace to itself and blemish its reputation, its already tarnished reputation, with such sanctions against Iranian media? If you are at odds with the Iranian government, then you should at least allow Iranians to have their voice in the international community. Last year, Ofcom, Britain’s broadcasting regulator, ordered that Press TV’s activities should be suspended in Britain. I read somewhere that managers of Intelsat and Ofcom are connected with Israeli agents, [and] the British royal family is somehow influenced by the Zionist Lobby, and it was under their pressure that they’re imposing such restrictions on Iranian media. So, I think that Israel has played a significant role in what Washington is doing to the innocent Iranian citizens.”
Mr. Ziabari believes the West’s stance toward Iran is due to its desire to remain independent.
“Iran is [one of] a handful of countries which are adopting an independent and non-aligned policy towards the United States and the West.”
“If Iran is supporting groups such as Hezbollah or Hamas, which I don’t believe are terrorist organizations, the Israeli regime is doing the same. Not through supporting terrorist organizations, but through being a terrorist state itself. By relentlessly killing innocent children, women, civilians on a daily basis and by refusing to adhere to its international obligations; by refusing to adhere to the Security Council resolutions, which culminate to bring its nuclear facilities under the IAEA safeguards; to retreat from the Occupied Territories; to refrain from displacing the Palestinian refugees and not allowing them to return to their country. So, if Iran is a state-sponsor of terrorism, Israel is as well. But, no voice is raised to protest Israel because you will be accused of anti-Semitism.”
Mr. Ziabari touched on last year’s Iranian assassinations.
“In recent years, five nuclear scientists have been murdered by agents connected to the United States and Israel. Interestingly, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the United Nations Security Council issued a statement and the resolution lists the names of Iran’s nuclear scientists and only four months later, these scientists will be killed. Isn’t this state sponsorship of terrorism?”
AFP asked about the sanctions’ effectiveness.
“The sanctions are hitting people in every single city in Iran, because they are denying Iranian people access to foodstuffs, medicine, [and] many other humanitarian goods.”
Mr. Ziabari also issued a warning to those who would meddle in Iranian affairs.
“The United States should learn that Iranians are a people which do not tolerate pressure and blackmailing.”
Dave Gahary, a former submariner in the U.S. Navy, is the host of AFP’s ‘Underground Interview’ series.