Friendly American Encounter with Revolutionary Guards

(source: CASMII)
Tuesday, August 21, 2007

CASMII Press Release

21 August 2007

Friendly American Encounter with Revolutionary Guards:
US Peace Delegation Debunks Bush's Terrorist Label on Iran's Armed Forces

An American peace delegation which visited Iran recently has described a striking friendly encounter with some three hundred members of the Revolutionary Guards. In a statement, the head of the delegation has strongly debunked the US administration's decision to label these soldiers as terrorist and has called on Americans to oppose a new war of aggression.

The Bush Administration's plan to label Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, the country's 125,000-strong elite military branch, as a "specially designated global terrorist" group, is intended to disrupt the organization's economic and financial ties. In Time magazine and elsewhere, prominent international commentators have recognized this move by the White House as a prelude to an attack on Iran.

The Revolutionary Guards were consolidated as a military force during the Iran-Iraq war as they played a leading role in defending Iran against the war of aggression waged by Saddam Hossein with active support of Western governments.

The unprecedented move by the American government to designate a military body of an independent and sovereign state as a "terrorist organization" can completely destroy the prospect of any meaningful and effective negotiations between the US and Iran to bring stability to Iraq. It can also provide the White House lawyers with a legal pretext, based on the September 2001 and October 2002 Congressional authorizations regarding "war on terror", for a direct US military attack on Iran without seeking further authorization from the Congress.

Phil Wilayto, head of the People's Peace Delegation from the US state of Virginia to Iran, who recently returned from the country today described their fascinating encounter with the Revolutionary Guards and the remarkable impression they acquired in their visit:

"During our recent 11-day journey through Iran, the five-member People's Peace Delegation to Iran had a chance encounter with some 300 members of the Revolutionary Guards. This happened while both the delegation members and the Guards were visiting one of the famous "wind towers" in the ancient desert oasis city of Yazd. One of the guards asked us where we were from. When we said "USA," the whole crowd broke into smiles, waved their hands and began saying "Welcome!" and "friends!" This was the same reaction we received from virtually everyone we met in Iran - from school children to business people, college students, clerics, veterans and government officials. It was obvious to us that there is no campaign, official or otherwise, to encourage the Iranian people to hate Americans."

He concluded with the following call to the American people:

"On the other hand, the administration of President George W. Bush is escalating its campaign to demonize Iran, its government and now its soldiers. This campaign must be seen for exactly what it is: a hypocritical attempt to whip up a war fury against Bush's next intended target. It's in the interest of all Americans to oppose any new squandering of our blood, our tax dollars and what remains of our national integrity in a new war of aggression, one that would be fought not for freedom and democracy, but solely in the interest of seizing control of Iran's oil resources and eliminating any obstacle to the total U.S. domination of the Middle East."

For a full account of the People's Peace Delegation to Iran please see:

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Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII)