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Vol. 71/No. 37      October 8, 2007

U.S. hands off Iran! No sanctions!
In response to the frenzy whipped up during Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s trip to New York, all opponents of Washington’s “war on terror” should demand, “Hands off Iran!”

The U.S. rulers used the visit to demonize Iran. Ahmadinejad was denied the freedom to travel within the city given to other heads of state. Police commissioner Raymond Kelley rejected his request to visit the World Trade Center site, charging that the president wanted to “scout the next attack.” A chorus of liberal, conservative, and reactionary voices denounced the invitation extended to Ahmadinejad to speak at Columbia University. The media hammered away at the theme that he was a new “Hitler” and a “madman.”

In the face of this pressure, few responded to the need for counterprotests defending Iran’s right to self-determination. This default only emboldens the imperialists in their drive to soften up working people for more sanctions against Iran and further military threats, as well as to legitimize wider restrictions on freedom of speech, assembly, and travel in this country.

Washington has deftly played up reactionary policies of the Ahmadinejad regime to confuse working people. Opponents of the U.S. war drive need to expose the rulers’ false claim to be for democracy in Iran. Sanctions and military intervention by Washington are the last thing the Iranian toilers need. In 1953, the CIA and British intelligence engineered a coup against the elected government there and placed back in power the hated Pahlevi dynasty. The royal family then proceeded to smash the trade unions and ban opposition political parties and newspapers. Many were arrested, jailed, and executed. In 1979, a popular insurrection of millions overthrew the Pahlevi dynasty. Washington has been trying to recoup what it lost ever since.

We must speak out against Washington’s efforts to place Iran in a pariah status and to deny its government the same rights accorded other governments. We must oppose the campaign by Washington, Paris, Berlin, and London to deny Iran the right to develop nuclear power. We need to say loud and clear, “Hands off Iran!” “No to sanctions!” “No to military threats!”
Related articles:
U.S. uses UN visit to whip up prowar rallies against Iran
U.S. gov’t prepares more sanctions on Iran  
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