No War on Iran
This is the text of the speech of LINKE MP Niema Movassat at the demonstration against war on Iran outside the US Embassy on 4 January 2020
Yesterday, US senator and presidential candidate for the Democrats, Bernie Sanders, said: “Trump promised to end endless wars, but this action puts us on the path to another one.”
Bernie Sanders is completely right. The killing of the Iranian general Ghassam Soleimani by a US drone can spark a new major war in the Middle East. Let me address some points here:
The demonstrations and the other criticism of the assassination of Soleimani are not about being sad because of his death. Soleimani was a criminal who – with his Revolutionary Guards - brutally put down peaceful protests in Iran, who – with his alliance with the Syrian dictator Assad – is jointly responsible for the flight and the death of hundreds of thousands of Syrians.
Nevertheless human rights exist. They also apply to criminals like Soleimani. The UN Human Rights Covenent forbids arbitrary extrajudicial killings. This is exactly what the USA has done. Not just to Soleimani, by the way. The USA kill people with their drones worldwide. Criminals also have a right to a fair trial. We do not live in the Middle Ages with the rule “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”.
Neither are we here today because we are in solidarity with the Iranian regime. The Iranian regime suppresses its population and abuses human rights. We are in solidarity with the people in Iran, who recently protested in the streets against the dictatorship and who were bloodily suppressed by the Revolutionary Guards. Change in Iran can only come from within, from the citizens, not via military strikes and sanctions!
Today, the danger of a war against Iran brings us onto the street. Soleimani was not just anyone. He was the most important general in Iran. His death has turned him into some sort of super martyr. The threatened revenge will escalate the spiral of violence and can end in a major war. If the country with the densest population in the Middle East is attacked by the USA, there will be more endless bloodshed in the Middle East, with millions of refugees and hundreds of thousands dead. No one who has a few brain cells left can want that.
Donald Trump does not have a strategy. Sometimes he wants to negotiate with Iran, time he bombs their most important general to death. He is bringing the world towards disaster. Maybe he is doing all this just to secure his presidency. As a belligerent US-president he may be trying to unite the voters in the USA behind him under the flag of patriotism. This would mean – once more – that the people in the Middle East are just thee chess pieces of Washington, which get moved back and forth and sacrificed. The Democrats in the USA have understood that maneuver and collectively condemned Trump’s action. That is a good thing.
Today, we stand by the side of all those who do not want a war with Iran. We demand here and now that the USA does not wage war against Iran, but finally goes to the negotiation table to directly negotiate with Tehran in order to end the spiral of violence.
But we also stand here today in Berlin because we have demands on the German government.
It must not give the USA air space for their war against Iran. US fighter jets must not take off from Germany or fly over Germany. The German federal government must make this clear.
The German government must finally close the US airbase in Ramstein. The US Drone war is led from here, including the drone which killed Soleimani. The German government knows this, so if it lets the USA continue to operate from Ramstein, it makes itself guilty of aiding and abetting the Drone war. Stop this. Close Ramstein!
The German government must condemn the actions of the USA. The US ambassador must be recalled. Germany must propose the convening of a meeting of the UN Security council and must clearly condemn the actions of the USA there.
No war in the Middle East! No war against Iran!
Trabnslation by Ilona Addis. The German original of Niema's speech can be found on his hompage.