My father was taken to the combat zone twice during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war. At that time, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had waged a full-fledged war against Iran with the help of the US, Europe, and their Arab allies.
As an Iranian medic, my father witnessed Saddam’s horrendous crimes, including chemical and cluster bomb attacks on civilian areas in both Iran and Iraq. He returned home after the ceasefire, and was diagnosed with what is now known as post-traumatic stress disorder. Since then my father has never been the man he used to be before he left us for the warfront.
Decades of medication made my father weaker and weaker. He became diabetic after a few years and lost an eye. And, once again, he saw himself in the battlefield, but of a different kind. He had to struggle to obtain the medicine he badly needed but they were nowhere to be found due to US sanctions. Washington and its Western allies say the so-called crippling punitive measures are meant to kill Iran’s nuclear energy program. But, in reality, they’re killing my father. And guess what, he is no atomic fusion expert. He’s just a retired medic.
There are thousands and thousands of people like my father in Iran. These are the people the United States and the European Union are proudly targeting; ordinary civilians, retired people, as well as cancer, hepatitis and diabetes patients, who cannot readily obtain their medication. It’s not a war against the Iranian government, but a war of attrition against the Iranian nation. The West appears to have decided to wear down a population rather than an Army to try and destroy the country from within. That shows the extent to which they have become frustrated at dealing with a nation that once ruled much of the civilized world.
Over the past hundred years, the US, Europe, and Israel have been baring their fangs at the rest of the world. Israel has been slaughtering Palestinian people, while the Americans and the Europeans engaged in two world wars that claimed 70 million lives -- the largest death toll ever in human history. They killed the innocent in Japan, Palestine, Korea, Vietnam, Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, and numerous other countries. They developed nuclear weapons and used them against other nations, both in the form of atomic bombs and depleted uranium.
While it’s true that the West and Israel are more than ready to kill, it’s equally true that Iran is neither an easy target, nor empty-handed. Iranians are one of the world’s smartest people with a glorious tradition. During the time that modern-day America wasn’t even born, Europeans still lived in caves, and Arabs buried their daughters alive, Iranians reached for the stars, developed medicine, and contributed to man’s understanding of mathematics and philosophy. They created the world’s first system of governance and the first charter of human rights. Iranians are no ordinary people; they’re more than capable of defending themselves and will do whatever it takes to be done. The West needs to understand that. They also need to know that Iranians’ patience has its limits.
Iran is the only country in the world’s contemporary history that faces repeated threats of military action in peacetime and those making the threats are getting away with it. While the International Atomic Energy Agency has found no evidence to support Israel’s claims that Iran is developing a nuclear weapons program, Washington and Tel Aviv have tried their best to portray Iran as a threat to world peace and security.
Israel has even gone so far as to threaten a military attack on Iran as the United Nations remains shamefully silent. The US does not seem to be in favor of a military confrontation at this point in time as it knows such adventurism could spell the end of Israel.
However, Washington has increased the pressure on Tehran by triggering a war inside Syria, which is Iran’s top regional ally, and imposing tough sanctions against Tehran. It has restricted Iran’s international financial transactions, affecting the country’s imports of medical equipment, essential medicine, and agricultural products. They are now torturing the people as they’ve realized their sanctions have not isolated Iran, nor have they crippled its economy.
My father has spent the past three decades fighting his wartime-afflicted diseases. He knows he will never fully recover as he’s become older and more vulnerable. But that’s not all he is worried about. He says he’s more concerned about his granddaughter’s future, should the sanctions intensify or the West and Israel decide to attack Iran.
My father knows from his wartime experience that Iranians will come out of any possible war victorious regardless of the cost. What he doesn’t understand is why the West just doesn’t leave his country alone and why he’s had to pay such a high price for such a long time.