By Ivan Kesic
Recently, two tragedies took place, one large in Turkey and another smaller environmental one in Iran. Contrasting international reactions to these two events and other similar tragedies laid bare huge civilizational differences around the world.
Turkey, along with neighboring Syria, was hit by a devastating earthquake that caused widespread damage and tens of thousands of fatalities, affecting an estimated 25 million people in the two countries.
As soon as the news of the quake broke out, the Iranian government laid serious emphasis on delivering aid and relief services to the quake-stricken people in the two brotherly nations.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian traveled to Turkey to express solidarity with the Turkish government and people, with his Turkish counterpart thanking Iran for the swift delivery of relief services and aid supplies to the affected people in the early hours of the natural disaster.
Despite certain political disagreements over Syria and the Caucasus, not a single Iranian politician, journalist, or average person on the street thought of politicizing the tragedy, seeking benefits, or blaming the Turkish government for a once-in-a-century catastrophe.
That's how people behave in the civilized world, where humanity is above politics, and where tragedy of any kind can only be an opportunity to express sympathy, solidarity and help.
Outside of such a world, where the civilizational process still lags by several thousand years, natural hazards and human tragedies are seen very differently — as an opportunity for economic profit, political benefit, or even as a source of material joy and bliss.
History has proven many times that large-scale disasters often lead to economic, social, and state collapse, or can incite or accelerate mass popular discontent, with the very same results.
Therefore, it is no wonder that certain hegemonic regimes see the catastrophes in Iran, Syria and other independent countries as an opportunity to advance their nefarious political agendas.
Their modus operandi is not only to avoid helping but to make the situation worse, often accompanied by the blame game.
The case of COVID-19 pandemic
At the beginning of 2020, Iran was among the first countries in West Asia to be hit by the Covid-19 crisis, so the government asked for international medical assistance, the lifting of sanctions and a loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
It received none. The American regime in fact responded by announcing a new round of economic sanctions, openly trying to make the situation worse.
The US Treasury falsely claimed its sanctions do not prohibit the sale of medicine and medical devices, while in fact, the secondary sanctions on financial institutions and businesses did prevent it.
Even Google was obligated to remove the official coronavirus app for Iranians.
In addition to preventing international aid from reaching Iran, we also saw crocodile tears and false mercy from the then-US administration, allegedly offering their coronavirus aid "if Iranians ask for it." In fact, it was a call for capitulation. And he got none.
Western mass media, anti-Iran terrorist groups and their online troll farms engaged in deliberate lying that Iran is hiding numbers of deaths, which was refuted by the World Health Organization (WHO).
They were joined by Israeli regime leader Benjamin Netanyahu, who shared a video clip from a TV mini-series as "evidence" of Iranian trying to hide the true number of fatalities.
One particularly crude article titled "Iran cannot handle the coronavirus" or "Coronavirus could break Iranian society" was posted by Graeme Wood for The Atlantic, led by Israeli-American editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg.
This manifestation of Iranophobia insulted the religion of Iranians and the holy city of Qom, calling Iranian officials "notoriously cruel," and the country "the unhygienic place where incompetence and evil become indistinguishable."
It declared Iran's battle against the global pandemic as already lost. He further showed a video of a coughing Iranian health official who had contracted the coronavirus, describing it as "incredible" and "comic."
For this writer, the idea that the pandemic may kill millions and ravage Iranian society was not only likely and desirable but even pleasurable and comic.
To reiterate, this was published in the US in the year 2020. Yet, there were no repercussions, controversy or criticism. It was part of their daily public discourse.
Another gruesome example was that of the American regime's employees, self-branded as "human rights activists," who used heartbreaking footage of personal tragedies from Iranian hospitals to point the finger of accusation at the Iranian government.
Without any doubt, this followed the official US policy of making bizarre accusations against the Iranian authorities, like they're "lying" about the coronavirus outbreak and "stealing" funds intended for the fight against the pandemic.
The propaganda was so toxic that any naive person could assume that if there was no Iranian government, there would be no pandemic in the country.
This widespread anti-Iran campaign stopped only after coronavirus knocked at the US doors a few weeks later, causing fatalities at a bigger scale, much larger social chaos, as well as ten-fold job losses.
Iran not only survived the pandemic but outperformed the United States in tackling it, with a 50 percent fewer death rate. Iran also outperformed the major European countries, as well as the whole European Union.
These are undeniable facts confirmed by the WHO. It was achieved despite the paucity of time, inadequate resources, and toughest sanctions ever in history.
Enemy's plan to see the state collapse ended in vain. All their lies and manipulations were exposed. All accusations of incompetence and mismanagement were proven to be false and contradictory.
The case of floods
Virtually identical reactions were experienced in the early spring of 2019 when floods hit the southwest and north of Iran, causing at least 70 deaths and widespread damage.
American regime responded to the human tragedy by introducing new sanctions, with misleading statements that they were directed only against the government and not the Iranian people.
As the head of the Iranian Red Crescent Society explained at the time, dismissing the US claim: "We expected the Red Crescent, which is an aid organization that provides humanitarian services, to be exempted from the sanctions, but this is not the case."
Highest-ranking US officials, Western mass media and social media trolls have literally competed in accusing the Iranian government, in yet another desperate attempt to create a rift among people and officials.
Listening to all that, one could conclude that such a scenario can happen only in Iran and nowhere else.
Two years later, devastating floods struck Germany, a highly developed country, resulting in three-fold more deaths and five-fold costlier material damage than Iran.
Unlike in Iran's case, no fingers were pointed at the German chancellor, and there were no stories about mismanagement. It was simply a once-in-a-century disaster caused by climate change.
As a result of Iran's floods, dams in the southwest of the country were running 95 percent full, effectively stopping billions of cubic meters of water that would have literally devastated downstream cities, as HD happened many times before.
Ironically, for years, these same dams were the subject of accusations of mismanagement too, with propagandist claims that they were useless, unnecessary and a waste of money.
As a matter of fact, Iran built hundreds of dams after the 1979 Islamic Revolution and there was not a single dam collapse, while in the United States, there have been dozens of such cases over the years.
As with the pandemic and floods, other examples in this context relate to riots, poisonings, droughts, earthquakes, and building collapses, which show that Western mainstream media propaganda uses the same matrix in its reporting on Iran.
A story states that a group of people gathered because of a specific issue, and then claims that "it quickly turned into a protest against the central government and the entire system."
Firstly, that is not true. Secondly and more importantly, it is insulting the intelligence of the Iranian people, showing them as a mob that believes few leading politicians are responsible for every imaginable kind of disaster.
The case of cheetah cub
Just when you think the Iranophobic propaganda machinery can't stoop any lower in its politicization and simple-minded accusations, they surprise you.
A month ago, an endangered Asiatic cheetah cub called Pirouz died of acute kidney failure (more about this topic here), yet not even the poor little animal was spared from being used for dirty politics by the West.
In simple terms: who is responsible for the Asiatic cheetah's extinction in all 30 countries except Iran? For the fact that Pirouz's mother did not breastfeed him? For general genetic problems among cheetah subspecies? For cub's kidney failure?
By the astonishing "logical-scientific reasoning" of anti-Iranian propagandists, the answer is again - the Iranian government, with the repeated cliched story of alleged massive popular anger.
Especially bizarre is from which people, channels and countries these brainless accusations emanate.
The first one is a Washington-based propaganda channel, designated as a "terrorist group" by the Iranian government and sponsored by one neighboring country where cheetahs are extinct, existing only in zoos or as pets of the local nouveau-riches.
The second one is a London-based propaganda channel that is promoting Iran's ousted monarchy and can be easily designated as a circus.
They adore both dictatorship and democracy, both imperial titles and serving British masters, both a regime with a quarter of literate women and women's rights.
Therefore, it does not come as a surprise that they adore both royal fur fashion and animal rights at the same time.
Speaking honestly, the responsibility for the extinction of big cats rests with Iran's pre-revolutionary rulers. For the country’s former ruling dynasties, it was very fashionable to pose with a trophy of a killed lion or to place a tiger skin in the uptown Sa'dabad Palace.
Not to mention that in Pahlavi women's wardrobe, during the 1970s, you could find more rare fur and leather than in the entire Khar Turan National Park.
Precisely for this reason, Iranian lions and tigers became extinct in the middle of the 20th century, while cheetahs survived only because they were too fast for the royal cavalry hunters and fur collectors.
All of the historic "fashionable" posing with animal trophies, placing skin furniture in living rooms, and fur clothing, was mostly learned from the British, who are themselves responsible for the extinction of dozens of rare animal species around the world.
Even if someone outside of Iran is willing to financially assist Iran's cheetah conservation programs, they are unable to do so for the usual reasons — because of the American regime's sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
No morality, no intellect
In one of his recent articles for Press TV, writer Xavier Villar said we should be aware of the "civilization vs. barbarism" rhetoric. I believe we can apply it quite easily.
First, the politicization of any natural disaster with mass human casualties, whether it is a pandemic in Iran, a flood in Germany, a tsunami in Japan, or a hurricane in the US, is monstrously inhumane.
In one word, uncivilized, and no euphemism can replace it. The above-mentioned American regime's reactions to the human tragedies in Iran belong to such a category and are comparable to the behavior of hyenas around a wounded buffalo.
We must remember that the behavior in the other direction was opposite following the 9/11 attacks or Hurricane Katrina in the US when Iran extended support and sympathy to the American side.
If someone here proposes a cheering pamphlet about the possibility of a meteor strike in the US with millions of deaths, he would be declared mentally ill. The one who wrote a such cheering piece about the pandemic in Iran is called a "journalist" there.
Secondly, human casualties aside, pointing the finger at the central government for all the above-mentioned disasters also shows the level of ignorance.
Blaming Biden for the Champlain Towers South collapse and thereby implying that he or his cabinet is somehow responsible for its construction or supervision makes one a charlatan for civil engineering and management.
Yet the same baseless accusations for the identical Iranian cases are treated in the Western media as fully rational criticism, human rights activism, and even music art.
To be clear, even in a highly educated society like Iran, as in other similar societies, you can find a small minority of people who do believe the government is responsible for tectonic plate movements, climate change, structural failures and animal genetics.
You can also find deceived people who do believe their crisis management is "bad" simply because Anglo-American propaganda channels say so, or that Washington truly cares about the Iranian people.
It comes even though Iran outperforms the sole superpower in pandemic management, dam safety, and many other fields, and despite the superpower's well-documented economic terrorism indiscriminately targeting the entire Iranian population.
None of these above-mentioned attacks are directed against the Iranian government, but against the Iranian nation - its scientists, engineers, doctors, veterinarians and all other hardworking people.
This tells us about the enemy's evil plot against Iran and its proud people, which will never come true.
Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses: