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12:04 | 2012-09-15

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Joshua Blakeney: Harper's Foreign Policy Contributes to Human Rights Violation

TEHRAN (FNA)- Canada-based British journalist and media correspondent Joshua Blakeney believes that the recent hawkish statements made by the Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird against Iran are "fanciful."

"I think Mr. Baird would be wise to recognize the sophistication of Persian culture, history and civilization. It also behooves him to read the history of imperialist intervention in Iran which might make him understand the significance of the Iranian Revolution," said Blakeney.

"Canada has historically been ruled largely by political actors from Montreal and Toronto. But things have changed; the Harper government has its base of support in the oil-patch city of Calgary, Alberta. There has been a tectonic shift in Canadian politics with the rise of the Harper regime. Their support for Israeli foreign policy is highly immoral, genocidal and unjustified but it is also economically rational if you look at it from the perspective of increasing the sale of Canadian resources," he added.

Joshua Blakeney took part in an exclusive interview with Fars News Agency to discuss the unilateral suspension of diplomatic ties between Iran and Canada by the Canadian government, the role of Israeli lobby in Canada's foreign policy, the reasons why the Israeli officials are happy at the severance of diplomatic relations between Iran and Canada and the future of Iran-West relations in the light of mainstream media's massive propaganda against Iran. What follows is the text of our interview with the British journalist Joshua Blakeney.

Q: Dear Joshua; the Canadian government suspended all its diplomatic ties with Iran and its foreign minister called Iran "the most significant threat to global peace and security in the world today." Aside from the repercussions this move may have for regional peace and stability, don't you consider the remarks made by the Canadian FM an insult to the Iranian nation, their history, culture and civilization? How can Iran, which has not ever invaded or attacked a country, represent the most significant threat to global peace and security?

A: I consider Mr. Baird's proposition that Iran is "the most significant threat to global peace and security in the world today" as fanciful. This piece of political rhetoric is not supported by any facts.

However, if you swap the words "Canada" or "the world" in Mr. Baird's utterances with "Israel" then his statements make more sense. Those who are partisan to Israel in North America have been working tirelessly for the past couple of decades to portray the real and imagined threats posed to Israel by anti-imperialist currents in the Middle East as being threats to other members of the so called "West." The mainly Euro-American Jewish population who opted to colonize Palestine are faced with a challenge by the Hezbollah and by the Iranian government. It is highly fathomable why the people of historic Persia and the people of the south of Lebanon would want to actively oppose the transformation of Palestine into a militant, expansionist, mono-cultural Zionist state. Thus, whilst the colonizers of Palestine do face challenges to their hegemony from the proponents of decolonization in the Middle East, Canadians, Australians, Americans and other members of the so called "West", sadly for Israel, do not face the same threats. At this juncture it must be observed that 9/11 appears to have had little to do with Islamist terrorists (let alone Iran); the alleged 9/11 hijackers were seen eating pork, going to bordellos, drinking alcohol, taking drugs and engaging in thoroughly un-Islamic activities. Journalist Wayne Madsen released British intelligence documents stating that the alleged hijacker cells were infiltrated by the Mossad. There is an abundance of evidence demonstrating that 9/11 was a false-flag operation involving Israel and Zionist neo-conservatives in Washington. Thus, 9/11 ought not to be accepted as a legitimate pretext for Canadian belligerence towards Iran and the broader Islamic world.



In 1986 Benjamin Netanyahu published a book entitled "Terrorism: How the West Can Win" in which he called for Western governments to engage in a war on something called "international terrorism." I call this book "Netanyahu's Mein Kampf". One could argue that Israel has a problem with "localized" "terrorism" - which I would call blowback for Zionist colonization - but that such "terrorism" was, or is, a threat to the rest of the world is not borne out by the facts. The so called "Islamic terrorist threat" is largely an Israeli-sponsored illusion.

However, pro-Israel forces in North America take the view that if you repeat the lie that terrorism is a threat to westerners enough, if you make Hollywood movies depicting terrorism as a threat, if you foster suspicion about Muslims, and so on, among Western populations, then they will begin to perceive a threat from Israel's enemies, even though one doesn't actually exist. My friend and colleague Dr. Kevin Barrett demonstrates in his incisive text "Questioning the War on Terror" that, based on U.S. statistics, you're more likely to die in the bath tub or from lightening than from terrorism. Thus, if Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism, as claimed by the Canadian government, then it is a state sponsor of a form of terrorism that poses a less egregious threat to the North Americans than bath tubs do.

Hence, stunts like the one pulled by John Baird last week are symptomatic of the inconvenient truth that Iran and its regional allies pose no threat to Canadians. Hence, Baird and his ilk have to go to great lengths to sustain their mythology.

During the Cold War the Soviet Union was resoundingly demonized and declared a global enemy but the Canadian government always retained a Soviet embassy in Ottawa. They did not need to engage in such political theatre because the Soviet Union was, to some extent, an actual tangible enemy of the Canadian capitalist system rather than an invented enemy as is the case with Iran. The status of Iran today is similar to that of the African National Congress in South Africa during the period of apartheid. Westerners were encouraged to view the ANC and its leader Nelson Mandela as illegitimate terrorists; now they're remembered as freedom fighters who courageously opposed racism and injustice.

I think Mr. Baird would be wise to recognize the sophistication of Persian culture, history and civilization. It also behooves him to read the history of imperialist intervention in Iran which might make him understand the significance of the Iranian Revolution.

Q: For closing its embassy in Tehran and expelling Iranian diplomats from Ottawa, the Canadian government cited reasons such as the 2011 attacks on British Embassy in Tehran or Iran's supporting of the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Do you see any logical or reasonable grounds in these justifications and claims? The attack on the British embassy took place one year ago, and the support Iran offers to President Assad is not something which can rationalize the suspension of diplomatic ties. What's your take on that?

A: One ploy of those who are seeking to de-legitimize the government of Iran is to attribute each and every problematic occurrence in Iranian society to the government. Yesterday, I was listening to CBC radio and I heard a story about aboriginals being handcuffed and left on the ground for hours in a sports stadium in a very rural part of Canada. If I was a propagandist I could say "PM Stephen Harper" handcuffed those aboriginals to the ground and inflicted torturous conditions on them. However, in reality these were the actions of local policemen and inhumane people in that rural region of Canada. My point is that every shortcoming in Iranian and Canadian society cannot be deemed to have been state-sanctioned or a top-down imposition.

So in Iran, a group of angry activists seek retribution against the British who have inflicted so much misery upon the Iranian people throughout history, and to this day with the sanctions. Must we assume those actions were conducted with the active connivance of President Ahmadinejad and the Iranian state? Is there any evidence that the Iranian state consciously deployed those who attacked the British embassy? Have any Iranian statesmen condoned these actions?

As for Syria, it seems John Baird is just spouting the Likudnik line without a consideration of what Syrian-Canadians think. Baird claims Canada's foreign policy is motivated by Human Rights concerns and considerations of what is in the Canadian national interest. But in practice his foreign policy contributes to the violation of Human Rights and jeopardizes Canadian national interests. There is much testimony emerging from cities such as Homs demonstrating that protests broke out in late 2011 in Syria where the people were protesting the government for not sending in the military to extirpate the black-clad snipers who were shooting at men, women and children from rooftops. These black-clad snipers are not human rights activists. These assassins are probably members of the Israeli Defense Force or else they are delusional patsies operating at the behest of those very same forces. President Assad had every right to send in the Syrian military to assert Syrian sovereignty. The Canadian media needless to say have embarrassed themselves in their reportage on Syria.

Just as with the terrorism myth, the Canadian government and their lickspittles in the mainstream media surmise that if you repeat the lie that "Syrians are having a revolution against their government" enough times then people will believe it. Unfortunately for John Baird, there is a very active and educated (thanks to Syria's free education) Syrian ex-pat community here in Canada many of whom adore President Assad and nearly all of whom oppose the Western backed armed gangs that are destabilizing Syria. They refuse to allow the authentic Arab Spring to be co-opted by imperialists. Mubarak in Egypt had less than 10% support from the people of Egypt whereas President Assad enjoys support from more than 50% of the Syrian population. Syrians I have interviewed here in Calgary claim 80% of Syrians support President Assad's war on Zionist-backed terrorism.

It is hard to see how Canada siding with the armed gangs in Syria is in the Canadian national interest. It is importing the Middle East's sectarian and ideological contestations into Canada.

One of the biggest insults the Syrian community here in Calgary claimed to have received was a visit from Canadian intelligence agents who asked them "not to bring the Middle East's problems into Canada". Would CSIS make the same visit to the many Zionist public intellectuals who day after day pump out Islamophobic, anti-Iranian, anti-Syrian propaganda? Would the many de facto agents of Israel in the Canadian media, professoriate and political class ever receive a visit from CSIS agents asking them to refrain from bringing the Middle East's problems into Canadian society?

Having said this, I know of many ordinary Canadians who have an awareness of the excesses of Zionism in Canada, who felt pleased when CSIS director Richard Fadden came on CBC television in June 2010 and drew attention to the problem of foreign interference in Canadian politics. Many inferred that he was referring to Israeli influence over the Harper government.



The Canadian government could, for example, take no position on Syria or on Iran. They could leave the Middle East's problems for the people of the Middle East to solve, respecting the self-determination and sovereignty of all the people of the region. However the intellectual climate in Canada is such that it is expedient for politicians to jump on the Israelocentric bandwagon and align Canadian foreign policy with Israeli foreign policy.

Q: Many political commentators and journalists such as Eric Walberg have noted that the Canadian government is deeply influenced by the Zionist lobby and also takes orders from the Israeli regime. Immediately after the unilateral suspension of diplomatic ties between the two countries by Canada, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the decision, saying "I deeply appreciate the position and conviction that was taken by Prime Minister Harper and the government of Canada." Can we conclude that it was the pressure and influence of the Zionist lobby and Israel that led to this move by the Canadian government?

A: When I was an undergraduate student studying Sociology at the University of Lethbridge, the scholarship of Prof. James Petras was required reading. He has written on many subjects in his distinguished career including on Zionism. In his book "The Power of Israel in the United States," Petras refers to "Jewish-Canadian billionaires with assets worth over 30 percent of the Canadian Stock Market". I have friends and acquaintances in Toronto's vibrant Jewish community most of whom are exceedingly well-heeled. If Petras's statistics are accurate then that would help to explain why Canada's Conservative Party - otherwise known as 'the Party of the Rich' - is taking such a subservient role in its relations with Israel. Needless to say, there is no comparable influence being exerted by supporters of Syria and Iran in Canada contrary to the claims of supporters of Israel in Canada.

I also have a thesis, which is an original thesis, that Canada's oil sales will increase if Israel's Middle East strategy is fully implemented. If you read what Israeli analysts such as Oded Yinon, have written, it is clear that the Likudnik faction are intent upon destabilizing the Middle East so as to weaken all Middle Eastern states which would remove any challenges to Israeli hegemony in the region.

Israel is especially keen to see the US shift from purchasing oil from Middle East governments, which often send a portion of their petro dollars to the Palestinians and which fund anti-Zionist resistance in the Middle East, to purchasing oil from sources outside the region. Enter Canada; Canada has potentially more oil than Saudi Arabia, most of which is very dirty tar sands oil produced in Northern Alberta. Officially Canada has the third largest oil deposits in the world.

Canada has historically been ruled largely by political actors from Montreal and Toronto. But things have changed; the Harper government has its base of support in the oil-patch city of Calgary, Alberta. There has been a tectonic shift in Canadian politics with the rise of the Harper regime. Their support for Israeli foreign policy is highly immoral, genocidal and unjustified but it is also economically rational if you look at it from the perspective of increasing the sale of Canadian resources.

One of Canada's most vulgar journalistic supporters of Israel is an individual named Ezra Levant. He recently penned a book entitled "Ethical Oil" in which he advanced the thesis that the US should purchase its oil from Canada which has so called "ethical oil" which Levant juxtaposed with Iran and Venezuela's so called "unethical oil" or "conflict oil". His book is indicative of an Israelocentric impulse to promote the US shifting from dependence on Middle Eastern oil to dependence on Canadian oil. The Harper government is also trying to get China to consume Canadian oil instead of, for example, Iranian oil.

Incidentally, US Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who is a long-time friend of Benjamin Netanyahu, just announced his plans to make the US dependent solely on resources from North America by the year 2020. This will benefit Canadian oil profiteers significantly. I am not sure if the native peoples who are being disrupted in Northern Alberta are as sanguine about Canada's conflict oil as Ezra Levant and company are. Those Natives who are being displaced by Canada's controversial tar sands oil developments are perhaps best viewed as Canada's Palestinians; i.e. victims of greedy, arrogant imperialists.


I therefore believe that Canada is going along with Israel's genocidal plan to balkanize the Middle East for callous economic reasons. In the language of the Harper neo-cons this is "human rights" promotion, of course.

Q: Abraham H. Foxman, the National Director of the Zionist Anti-Defamation League highly praised the move by the Canadian government, saying that "Canada's principled stand against the belligerent Iranian regime has set a new example of leadership, integrity and principle for the international community to emulate." Why are the Zionists so happy with this frantically-made decision of the Canadian government? Do they see it as a part of Western campaign aimed at isolating Iran?

A: As I mentioned, there is an attempt by Israel to assert hegemony in the Middle East. Iran since 1979 has forged its own path, an independent path. It has refused to make a pact with the devil and commit treachery against the Palestinians.

Iranian challenges to Israeli hegemony put a spanner in the works. It prevents "God's chosen people" from fulfilling their "manifest destiny." The Zionists are thus reliant upon their supporters in North America to conscript governments into going along with the immoral Zionist policy of subjugating the majority people of the Middle East. Zionist zealots like Abraham H. Foxman, have exerted much effort to normalize and legitimate Israel's radical, genocidal policies. Billions of dollars have been invested by supporters of Israel to hoodwink governments and citizens into prescribing to Zionist mythology. When governments toe the line as the Harper government is doing, that obviously pleases those who have for decades been lobbying for governments such as Canada's to take a less accommodating posture towards the beleaguered and captive Palestinian people.

One professor who I am close friend with was at a wedding last week with a prominent member of the Canadian parliament who told him that after the leader of the Liberal Party, Michael Ignatieff made critical statements about Israel, Zionists in Canada turned against him, thus effectively destroying the Liberal Party of Canada. If this is the case, it is indicative of the reality that there are profound negative consequences for politicians who oppose the iniquitous agenda of Israel's influential supporters in North America. My friend, US ex-Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, experienced such professional assassination when she opted to allow morality, i.e. siding with the Palestinians, to trump political expediency, kowtowing to the Zionist power configuration.

Q: From now on, what will happen to thousands of Iranians living in Canada, including numerous students who have come to the country with the hope of excelling in academic studies in an apolitical and scientific environment? Their traveling back and forth to Iran, receiving payment from their families living in Iran and their other consular rights will be violated in a shocking way. What do you think in this regard?

A: It seems inevitable to me that if you side with an inherently racist state which is predicated on an inherently racist and illiberal set of assumptions then you'll end up enshrining racist policies and pieces of legislation to impede that state's real and imagined enemies. The Canadian government purports to be opposed to the Iranian government and to be siding with the Iranian people. However in practice they are stigmatizing and inconveniencing all Iranian people in a cruel and unusual manner. Recently Canada's second largest bank, TD Bank, decided that it would exclude many Iranian ex-pats from its clientele so as to conform with Canada's immoral sanctions. Imagine if TD Bank had announced that Jews were not allowed to have bank accounts at their establishment any more. There would have been an outrage and comparisons with the Nazis would have been made. Yet Iran has been so successfully demonized in the eyes of the Canadian people, by Israel's reactionary supporters in the Canadian media, that such a discriminatory policy was more or less accepted as Kosher.

Israel's myth makers in the Canadian media are also - without a hint of irony - claiming that Iran is taking over Canadian academia and media by sponsoring cultural events and other initiatives which cast a favorable light on Iran and Persian culture. If anything, the opposite is true. The presence of Israel's supporters in Canadian media and academia is far more noticeable than that of Iran. There is much blood money provided for academics willing to demonize Iran in their "scholarship" and pedagogy.

Of course, it would be of great benefit to Canada and Canadians if Iran increased its presence in Canada in order to have "both sides of the argument," as it were, expressed. Currently there is a disequilibrium in Canadian discourse, with the pro-Israel, anti-Iran perspective being fully propagated with little or no philo-Iranian response being voiced in Canadian academic fora. Cutting diplomatic ties will only compound this crippled epistemology on Canadian campuses.

The fake-dichotomy that is offered to North Americans by the Zionist influenced media is the following: either you support a genocidal war against the people of Iran or, if you are a "progressive liberal," you support elaborate and comprehensive sanctions which inflict cruel and unusual punishment upon the people of Iran. This cruel and unusual punishment is evidenced in an article recently published by Iranian journalist Hamid Reza Emadi in which he vividly describes the impact of the immoral sanctions upon his ailing father, a veteran of the Iran-Iraq war.


My hope would be that the "leave Iran alone" camp would begin to find more advocates in this country so the false-dichotomy I stated would be recognized for what it is; a ruse to enforce support for weakening one of the main threats to Zionist hegemony in the Middle East. I am of the view that the people of Canada have no interest being implicated in this vendetta against Iran, a country that does not pose a threat to the inhabitants of North America.

Q: Some news sources in Iran have suggested that the closure of Canadian Embassy in Tehran was mainly due to financial problems which the country is facing. Over the past few years, the Canadian government closed the visa section of many of its embassies in such countries as Japan, Ireland, Bangladesh, Germany and Malaysia. Could this decision have been a result of the economic crisis Canada is facing? Can we say that the proclaimed reasons such as the Iranian students' storming of the British Embassy or Iran's supporting of President Assad were merely excuses to cover up Canada's inability to maintain its diplomatic mission in Tehran?

A: This is an interesting theory. However if anything, Canada is spending too much tax payer money on Iran and Syria. For example the Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird has pledged more than a million dollars of tax payer money to the enemies of the Syrian government. At a time when Canada has many grave societal problems such as rising homelessness and poverty for the government to be incessantly dwelling upon, the alleged shortcomings of Iranian and Syrian society is a disappointment to many. This is one reason I think Press TV is so important. Press TV draws attention to the problems in Western nations, demonstrating that the governments that are overzealously nitpicking when it comes to Iran are themselves presiding over nations with widespread social problems.

As I recently stated during a Press TV interview, many of the accusations leveled against Iran by the Canadian government are actually not applicable to Iran but are applicable to Canada.


For example, there is scant evidence that the 2009 election in Iran was a stolen election. Polls cited by ABC News and the Guardian predicted the announced outcome of the election in Iran. I gather President Ahmadinejad has curried favor with the Azerbaijani community in Iran and has a strong command of their language and thus can rely on their vote come election time. I have interviewed the University of Tehran's Prof. Seyed Mohammad Marandi, who didn't vote for President Ahmadinejad, but who nonetheless was skeptical of those who claimed it was a stolen election. Conversely, in Canada, it has been alleged that election fraud was committed in more than 200 of Canada's 308 electoral ridings in the 2011 Federal Election. Constituents who usually vote for parties other than Stephen Harper's ruling Conservative Party received deceptive phone calls from companies which seem to have ties to the Harper government that attained a majority of parliamentary seats from the seemingly fraudulent election. These deceptive phone calls, also known as 'robocalls', instructed voters to go to fictional polling stations. Hence, voters were disenfranchised and were unable to cast their ballots. In a similar vein Canada accuses Iran of being a state sponsor of terrorism when Canada is aiding and abetting the terroristic armed gangs that are destroying Syria. In addition, it ought to be noted that Israel is the Middle East's biggest terrorist. After the Israeli attack on Gaza in 2008 the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict concluded that Israel intended to "punish, humiliate and terrorize" the Palestinian civilian population. How many Israelis are killed by its adversaries every year? How many of Israel's adversaries are killed by Israel every year? When you do the arithmetic it's not hard to figure out who the main terrorists of the Middle East actually are.

Millions have viewed the images of Israel dropping white phosphorous gas on hospitals and mosques in Gaza. Yet, Canada is in bed with Israel whilst concurrently accusing Iran, a country which hasn't invaded a country for more than 300 years and which opposes Israel, of supporting terrorism.

Adding insult to injury, Canada has been one of the leading protagonists of the war against the people of Afghanistan. According to Gideon Polya of the Australian National University roughly 4.5 million extra Afghans would be alive today had the unlawful invasion and occupation of Afghanistan not taken place. Furthermore, the Canadian government has aided and abetted the torture of Canadian citizens in the Guantanamo Bay penal colony and elsewhere.

In summary, Iran's 2009 election result seems to have more legitimacy than Canada's 2011 election. Iran's Middle East alliances seem to be more morally justifiable than Canada's. Iran's foreign policy seems to be more humane and less murderous than Canada's, which often leads to the torture of Canadian citizens.

I am of the view that Iranian democracy ought to be perfected by Iranians and Canadian democracy should be the priority of Canadians and their political representatives. I feel confident in stating that Iran is comparatively more democratic than other states in the Middle East such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Canada is denouncing Iran's peaceful nuclear aspirations whilst it is building nuclear reactors in the highly undemocratic United Arab Emirates at the moment. Canada is of course also supporting Israel which has hundreds of nuclear weapons and is not a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. It is a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Q: The successful arrangement and hosting of the 16th Non-Aligned Movement summit in Tehran was a categorical response to those who claimed that Iran has become politically isolated. 120 countries attended the summit and threw weight behind Iran's peaceful nuclear program. Could Canada's hasty decision in suspending diplomatic ties with Iran be interpreted as their angry response to the NAM summit in Tehran and the diplomatic victory which the summit brought to Iran?

A: I have studied the genesis and evolution of the Non-Aligned Movement extensively. It emerged out of a meeting in Bandung in 1955 where great titans of the decolonization movement such as Ghana's Kwame Nkrumah, Indonesia's Sukarno and Egypt's Nasser expressed their wishes not to have to choose between one or the other of the two camps of the Cold War; either US-style capitalism or Soviet-style communism. Many aboriginals in Canada to this day look to the Non-Aligned Movement for inspiration and guidance.

In fact, a native philosopher from the Shuswap tribe of British Columbia named George Manuel coined a phrase the "Fourth World" to describe such anti-colonial forces who, in the context of the Cold War, wanted neither to be part of the so called "first world" of US-style capitalism nor the "second world" of Soviet style communism. Nor did they wish to be deemed backward and underdeveloped by being categorized as "third world." I see Iran as being the most courageous and important leader of what Manuel termed the "Fourth World" at the moment. The Non-Aligned Movement is far more democratic and representative of a plurality of humanity than other global institutions. Its raison d'être is non-interventionism which makes Iran the best country to be leading the institution during our tumultuous epoch.

One the main goals of Israel, going back to Netanyahu's 1986 book revealingly entitled "Terrorism: How the West Can Win," has been to extirpate all things Islamic from what we call "the West," narrowing its parameters, puritanically, so the West is only conceived of as being "Judeo-Christian." The "war on terror" and the fraudulent events of 9/11 were primarily crafted to facilitate the demonization of Muslims and to manufacture a clash of civilizations between the so-called Judeo-Christian "West" and Islam.

I am skeptical of this narrow definition of the West as merely Judeo-Christian because much of what we call "Western heritage" has been gleaned from Islamic culture and in particular Persian civilization. Many people look to the society of Andaluc?a in Islamic Spain circa 711-1492 AD as a prototype for a religiously plural society. Both in Islamic Spain and in contemporary Iran, Jews, Christians and Muslims found a way of co-existing in relative harmony.

Unfortunately Zionists and their collaborators have successfully managed to promote a paradigm where the Judeo-Christian "West" exists to oppose the "aberrant other" which is the Islamic world. The Non-Aligned Movement demonstrates that Iran and the Islamic world are integral to the human family. Far from being isolated, Iran is embraced and celebrated by a vast swath of humanity, including indigenous peoples in Canada. This of course, is a bitter pill to swallow for those imperialists who seek to ostracize Iran.

Canada is currently aligned with the imperialist nations. However, Canada, like Iran, has found its resources being coveted by powerful hegemonic nations. Do Canadian students, for example, profit from the wealth generated by the abundance of oil, gas, diamonds, water, uranium and other resources in this country? If I look around Calgary, with all its oil company logos, it seems like a colonial outpost for oil companies emanating from Houston and Dallas and if I look at Canada's foreign policy it looks utterly Zionized. Thus, I would like to see Canadians begin to view themselves as a colonized nation and to begin to look more to Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia and other such anti-imperialist nations for insights, as opposed to looking to the imperial metropolises of Tel Aviv and Washington. Only about 20% of oil producing nations do not have a state owned oil company. Canada needs to nationalize its resources and attempt economic self-determination. Canada is giving away its resources to the imperialist oil companies. We could learn a great deal from Iran and Venezuela in that regard. I would like to see Canada unshackle itself from its colonial bondage and to link arms with the majority of humanity at the Non-Aligned Movement who oppose the immoral imperial policies of the American Empire and the emerging Israeli Empire.

Q: How do you see the future of Iran-West relations? Will the Western governments which have now taken a hostile stance against Iran under the pressure from the Israeli regime finally take up reconciliation and rapprochement with Iran and put an end to their animosities toward Iran, including the biting economic sanctions?

A: The people of Western nations will need to work hard to educate themselves on the realities of Middle East politics so as to enable themselves to refute the arguments of Israel's apologists. Unfortunately, those who are partisan to Israel have been so effective in foisting their Israelocentric worldview on the people of Canada, US, Australia, France, Britain and other states that governments feel no pressure to take a more balanced position towards Iran. A big difficulty we encounter is that people have been encouraged to feel they are being anti-Semitic if they criticize the folly and excessive propaganda of Zionist hegemons in Western countries. People have, rightly in my view, been encouraged to distain racism and embrace multiculturalism. However multi-ethnic and multicultural societies must find ways of being egalitarian. Being a minority is not a sufficient condition for special treatment. One must be an oppressed minority to warrant special treatment and that special treatment should end once that minority ceases to be an oppressed minority. For example, in South Africa from 1948-1994 Afrikaner's were an ethnic minority. However, they were not an oppressed minority; they were an oppressing minority. Likewise, we have all heard of the corrosive impact of Italian ethnic mafias attaining excessive influence in certain US jurisdictions. For a multiethnic society to be successful there cannot be oppressing minorities or ethnic exceptionalists with disproportionate power and influence seeking to exploit and oppress the rest of society. In their seminal text "The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy," professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt of the University of Chicago and Harvard respectively, draw attention to the undue influence and power of supporters of Israel in North America. If western governments are to take more nuanced and moral stances on Middle East politics it will be integral for there to be an anti-Zionist lobby which can wield commensurate influence and power to that of the pro-Israel lobby.

I do not believe in censorship. I believe Zionists should be free to spew their venom. In fact, I mentioned earlier one propagandist, named Ezra Levant. I discover so much about where the world is heading and what is irritating the opponents of Islam and Iran by watching his shows. I am pleased to live in a society where such Zionist propaganda is not censored because it makes my life easier as someone seeking to figure out the realities of power in our society. For example, Levant's book on Canada's so called "ethical oil" was exceedingly revealing about the priorities of those who are partisan to Israel. This said, we cannot allow Zionist propaganda to go unchallenged. We must continue to induce a paradigm shift. I think the noble efforts of Press TV and other such media venues are contributing to the de-demonization of Iran. Iranian media outlets are doing an excellent job of illuminating the grave problems afflicting Western societies, which western media outlets are invariably unwilling or unable to report on.

I'm certain people will look back and laugh at the propaganda against Iran disseminated in our epoch just as many look back at the black and white anti-Communist propaganda movies of the 1950s as having been ludicrous.

However, for those of us living in this epoch the attempts to dehumanize and de-legitimize Iran are highly problematic. Unfortunately, both the "liberal" media and the right wing reactionaries in Canada share the same assumptions about Zionism and Iran. It is this iron clad consensus that must be broken if both Canada and Iran are to reestablish rapprochement in the future.

Based in Calgary, Canada, Joshua Blakeney is a senior British journalist and media correspondent. Joshua was the Media Coordinator of Globalization Studies at the University of Lethbridge from September 2009 to October 2010. Joshua earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Lethbridge graduating with distinction in April 2010. He is currently studying for a Master of Arts degree at the University of Lethbridge.

Interview by Kourosh Ziabari