US encouraging protest inside Iran but not accepting it inside own land

IRNA – The US peace activist Medea Benjamin said it is ‘quite hypocritical’ that Washington encourages protests inside Iran but does not accept it inside its own land.

The co-founder of the Code Pink Institute made the remarks while commenting on the “aggressive” way she was treated after she protested to remarks made by the US special envoy for Iran Brian Hook at the end of his speech at the Hudson Institute on Wednesday.

At the end of the first part of Hook’s speech, Benjamin stepped on the stage suddenly and protested to US anti-Iran policy by shouting “No more war. Peace with Iran”.

She was immediately removed from the stage by the security guards who were “very aggressive about pulling me out,” she told the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) in an exclusive interview.

“US encourage protests inside Iran” but do not tolerate any protest inside their own venues, she said.

Noting that none of the US media has covered the Hudson Institute incident, Benjamin said she is “glad I did it. I couldn’t stand listening to him without getting up and saying something.”

Benjamin protested when Hook, also an advisor to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, discussed the need to stop what he claimed to be the Iranian nuclear proliferation.

‘You are making a case for a war with Iran. How did the war with Iraq turn out? You’re doing exactly the same thing as we did in the case of Iraq,’ Benjamin shouted while she was pulled out by security forces.

Commenting on Hook’s remarks about Iran being not a “normal country”, the US activist told IRNA, “It is part of their policy of painting Iran as a terrorist country that is a threat to the United States that Americans should be scared of and this is the same way they’ve got the US ready to invade Iraq which is by planting ideas to people’s heads and making them ready for any kind of potential military intervention which is such a horrible and dangerous thing to even think about.

“They want to plant the seeds by making Iran seen like a demon.”

Benjamin was on stage about one minute before being carried out by the security guards who “banned me from ever coming into the building again and hurt me in the process.”

She said she got “bruises on my leg and my shoulders” due to the aggressive way they had treated her.

As for the significance of what she did, she added, “It is important that Iranians know that there are many Americans who oppose our policy” and that what she did was “what gives us the possibility of reaching Iranians with that message.”

Benjamin said that she received lots of messages from Iranians who said “thank you for your courage and for speaking up for Iranians and for opposing US militarism.”

On May 8, 2018, US President Donald Trump announced the US withdrawal from the deal amid protests from most of its allies, mainly the European Union, who supported the landmark agreement and urged President Trump to keep the JCPOA.

“The Germans. The French. The British. They want to keep in this deal. The world community wants to keep the deal”, Benjamin shouted while protesting to Hook’s remarks.

Referring to Hook’s remarks about expecting Iran to act as a “normal country,” Benjamin ironically said, ‘Let’s talk about Saudi Arabia. Is that who our allies are? They are the biggest threat to the world community… It is the Saudi bombing that is killing most people in Yemen.’

Criticizing Hook’s remarks and the points about Iran sanctions, Benjamin who was being cornered by security forces said, ‘I wanna ask: do you think these sanctions are hurting the regime, or are they hurting the Iranian people?’

“We don’t want another war in the Middle East,” she said.