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June 1, 2007 Forum
Britannia Community Center
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"Hands Off Iran!" Panelists and Forum MC Lindsay Clarke
Iranian Journalist & Writer Safaar Saeedf speaking at the forum
Many people came out to participate in questions and discussion about US attacks on Iran
Political Editor of Fire This Time Newspaper, Ali Yerevani
Vancouver, BC – 45 people participated in the second forum and discussion on the topic of “Hands Off Iran!” co-organized by the Iranian Committee Against War (ICAW) and Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO). The forum, held at the Britannia Community Centre in Vancouver was organized in response to the increased threats towards Iran by the US and UN. Recent threats towards and attacks on Iran’s sovereignty include UN sanctions and the massive build-up of more than 50 warships, including two aircraft carriers, and 17,000 US troops in the Persian Gulf. MAWO and ICAW have begun organizing a series of educational forums to discuss the current threats against Iran’s self-determination and how the anti-war movement needs to respond.
Presenting at the forum were Ali Yerevani and Saffaar Saaed, both organizers with the Iranian Committee Against War. Saffaar is an Iranian journalist and writer, participant in the 1979 Iranian Revolution, and a long-time social justice activist in Iran as well as in Vancouver and in Canada. Ali was also a participant in the 1979 Iranian revolution, and has been active in social justice struggles in Iran, Europe, the US, and Canada. He is currently the political editor of the Fire This Time social justice newspaper.
Saffaar presented on the current US threats towards Iran, noting that the US’ killing of hundreds of thousands of innocent people in Iraq and around the world has not bettered the lives of people anywhere, and will not in Iran either. He also explained that the US is spending millions of dollars in their war drive against Iran through funding for subversive activities including provocations, terrorist activities, financing of pro-imperialist organizations, and helping political campaigns against the government of Iran – all in all directed toward destabilizing the Iranian government in preparation for a direct military attack and with the goal of destroying the most important Iranian technological and industrial complexes.
Ali explained the important history of anti-imperialist resistance in Iran since 1891 in the struggle for self-determination of Iranian people today. He also explained the threats against Iran in the context of the growing era of war and occupation, which has spread from Afghanistan, to Iraq, to Somalia, and is threatening Iran as well. “Whatever happens in the Middle East, the United States has to deal with Iran either in terms of peaceful negotiation or all kinds of aggression, including military aggression. Iran, from the point of view of its strategic location, diversity of nationalities, and political influence, has become the mirror of the Middle East. This could be understood even better within the context of how the Iranian Revolution of 1979 changed substantially the relationship of forces in favour of the oppressed people of the Middle East,” Ali commented.
REMINDER: Iranian Committee Against War – Vancouver Emergency Action Plan: In the case that the US starts bombing and marching in Iran, come to the US Consulate (1075 W Pender @ Thurlow St) on the day of attack at 4pm, and for the next week at the same time, and daily protests for the first week. This action plan is also endorsed and supported by MAWO.