Iraq War veteran and Party for Socialism and Liberation candidate for US House from Florida’s 22nd District Michael Prysner gave a speech discussing the United States’ policy towards Iran over the course of the last half century. Speaking as a representative of the ANSWER Coalition, of which the PSL is part, Prysner remarked:
The ANSWER Coalition believes the following: It was the colonial policy of the major capitalist powers, which led to a global struggle for the division and redivision of markets and spheres of influence. This led to both the First and Second World Wars. It is our contention that what is driving U.S. policy in the Middle East today is an attempted imperialist redivision of control of the oil-rich Gulf region. The current attempt at redivision follows a classic pattern of inter-imperialist rivalry, but this time with a twist. The United States and Britain felt that the market domination of the Middle East that they had lost or had been curtailed because of the anti-colonial upheavals of the 1950s and 1960s could be reversed. The new political equation, following the collapse of the USSR and the other socialist bloc governments whetted their appetite to return the “good ole days.” Any nationalist regime sitting atop massive natural resourcesâ€”or pursuing a policy independent of imperialismâ€”was targeted for destruction.
The candidate continues by providing his own view of the correct line on Iran, and what he sees as a greater threat:
Our anti-war movement identifies a solution as the elimination of the system of imperialism itself. We want to achieve real peace. First and foremost, we most say loudly and clearly that Iran has the right to develop its nuclear industry. When the Shah sat on the throne, the U.S. encouraged him to develop nuclear installations for the purpose of civilian energy production. But moreover, Iran has the right to defend itself militarily in the face of threats. The U.S. has 10,000 nuclear weapons and an operational doctrine of first-use. Israel has 200 nuclear weapons and routinely threatens Iran. It is the United States government that is in non-compliance with the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, which requires nuclear military powers to begin the systematic elimination of their own nuclear arsenals. Instead, the U.S. is building a new generation of tactical nuclear weapons and it intends to deploy and use them.
We must affirm in the short term that the Iranian people are not our enemies; they are our sisters and brothers. They have a right to control their own natural resources, they have an absolute right to live and they have a right to determineâ€”free from outside interferenceâ€”the political nature of their own government. If our goal, if our solution, is to eliminate imperialism, working people in the United States must be the force that carries out this radical transformation. That big solution requires a smaller solution in our movement. That is to tell the truth so that people learn that their real enemies are not in Tehran, but in the boardrooms on Wall Street, the war rooms in the Pentagon.