“Inflamatory Remarks”


You know, it is a peculiar thing to wake up to various people demanding the expulsion of an Iranian diplomat for remarks he made at a private gathering about the state of Israel.

I mean, correct me if I’m wrong about this … but it was not Iran which boldly threatened a state of war with our country only a few months ago, now, was it.

I have not viewed Secretary Ghahremani’s speech in its entirity, and am running off the quotes which have been extracted therefrom to bedeck the sensationalist Sunday newspapers all breathlessly seeking to cover this story.

But going off these, I can only ask where, exactly, it was that he erred?

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Was it with the contention that Israel has been ‘fuelling terrorism’ in order to advance its geopolitical objectives? Surely not. After all, the Israelis themselves admitted to actively assisting Al-Nusra [better known as the local franchisee of Al-Qaeda operating in Syria]. Perhaps it was his comment that the state in question frequently attempts to “deceive the world” with the ever-widening gulf between its rhetoric of enthusiasm for peace and diplomacy … and a litany of transgressions even in recent times I hardly need to list for their familiarity.

Maybe there is objection to the Israeli state’s policy and impetus being designated “anti-human” … and yet it seems pretty plainly apparent that on everything from the [now thankfully officially discontinued] involuntary sterilization of its black citizenry through to the ongoing illegal blockades, incursions, detentions, airstrikes, etc. etc. etc. that it is rather avowedly anti *some* humans at the very least.

It is true that Secretary Ghahremani’s remarks may, in their now public disclosure, be regarded as “inflammatory”. But unless there is something significantly salacious in the rest of his speech that has as-yet gone unreported, I am not entirely sure I would suggest that anything he has said is manifestly counter-factual.

And we do enter into a rather .. odd situation if historical truths and contemporary realities are unable to be voiced because they may potentially be deemed “inflammatory”.

I mean, the pathway that takes us down, I might find myself subject to censure & vilification for simply pointing out that the pattern of Israeli-Kiwi relations over the past two decades has been characterized by an ever-escalating series of incidences more befitting outright foes than nominal ‘friends’.

Or is it “inflammatory” to mention such things as the Israeli passport-harvesting for overseas espionage at the expense of people such as a profoundly disabled tetraplegic New Zealander; the alleged activities of similar personnel in Christchurch in 2011 with the target of our national policing computer-system; or even the not-quite-Declaration-of-War from the Netanyahu Government late last year.

In any case, I do not seek to support nor exculpate the remarks uttered by some of the other speakers Secretary Ghahrameni shared a stage with back in June. Those can be considered on their own relative merits [or lack thereof].

But it is not the accountant from Mt Albert, nor the visiting Cleric whom I am seeing the loudest calls for expulsion from our country in reference to.

Instead, these are being foisted in the direction of a diplomat clearly articulating the long-held position of his Government, on the occasion of a solemn commemoration and solidarity-extension to an oppressed and marginalized people.

With that in mind, I can only wonder whether the opprobium presently being heaped in Secretary Ghahremani’s direction has less to do with what he said .. and more to do with some people being profoundly uneasy with the progressive normalization of both our relations with Iran – as well as the escalatingly positive role that the Iranians have found themselves playing with regard to the broader security situation in the Middle East these past few years.

Who knows. “Haters”, as they say, “gonna hate”.

Although it would be a pretty unctuous & unfortunate situation if this man WERE to be banished from our country for speaking in support of a people we have previously pledged to help, his only ‘crime’ that’s thus far been made out in any detail, the remarks of some of those who happened to be in the room with him at the time.

Some might even call such a move … “inflammatory”….


  1. Funny how the apologists for Israel excuse their views as “free speech”, but apparently don’t feel inclined to extend that right to others holding differing views.

    If it’s a choice between Israel and Iran, I’ll go with the one that doesn’t oppress its weaker neighbour.

    • And if you were a gay man which country would execute you by hanging? If you were a Christian woman which country would have no respect for your freedom of religion and your equal rights? Yes, that’s right Iran.

      Israel is the only true democracy in the middle east and the only one where gay people and women have equal rights and where there is freedom of religion.

      The NZ cleric called for genocide and they all denied that the holocaust happened. If that is ok with you then your moral compass is very differnt from my own.

      • “which country would execute you by hanging?” That has to be more humane than Chechnya – and America, for that matter. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Shepard

        “If you were a Christian woman which country would have no respect for your freedom of religion and your equal rights? ” Now – if we change Christian for Muslim and Iran for the land of the ‘free’ – there’s not much difference in theocracies/hypocracies is there? And you completely missed Saudi Arabia – but that’s no surprise. And ultra-orthodox Jews. They’re recorded on camera spitting on little Jewish girls who go to school in knee-length dresses.

        ‘ the only true democracy’ – now THAT depends very much on your version of democracy coinciding with mine as to whether I could agree with you. When you have ultra-orthodox religious picking on and excluding moderates or different – somehow I don’t think there’ll be much ‘democracy’ around.

        Personally, I do agree that ‘the Holocaust happened.’ And if people want to disagree with that – provided they do not extend their beliefs into any sort of evil action – they’re entitled to. Regardless of your, or my, moral compass.

        You may be offended, hurt, baffled – of course. And that’s where it stops because you have no right whatsoever to propose any sort of retribution on those people who believe otherwise. Do you.

        By the way – are you disturbed on behalf of ALL the people who suffered in the purges?

        • Andrea – there is a plethora of solid evidence from independent international agencies that would support your contentions.

  2. There are suggestions that the Iranian Secretary made a statement of Holocaust denial.If that is correct , I have little sympathy for that view.There is ample historical evidence that the Jewish Holocaust occured [ and also to Gypsies and Homosexuals] . Also the Armenian Holocaust, perpertrated by Turkey, and the Palestinian Holocaust perpertrated by Zionist Israel.
    There is a suggestion of a call for the surgical removal of Israel by the Secretary. While I have not seen the transcript , in the past Iran has called for the surgical removal of Zionist Israel, and U.S. Empire actors/ Israeli lobbies have deliberately misconstrued this to mean the destruction of Israel. It does not mean that.Instead it means the destruction of the parties who are perpetrating colonisation and ethnic cleansing on the Palestinian People ,which to me is an admirable idea.

    Juliet Moses, spokeswomen for the Jewish Council of N.Z. suggests “expulsion might be an option”.What the Iranian Secretary said is just words.To be consistent ,Juliet should be absolutely outraged by the vile, murderous behaviour of Israel towards the Palestinians. But no, she is perfectly alright with Israeli ethnic cleansing!

    And then there is Israel Institute of N.Z. director Professor Paul Moon of Auckland University.He states,”We cannot allow such unbridled hatred and lies to go unchallenged-Iran is considered the foremost state sponsor of terrorism in the world.” What a ridiculous statement ! Iran supports Hezbollah , the Shia faction from Lebanon that is the only group to defeat the Israeli Army after its illegal invasion of Lebanon . So of course Israel hates and fears Hezbollah. And The U.S., the great protector of its Middle East colony Israel, declared Hezbollah a terrorist group. Surprise, surprise! And the most amusing aspect of all this is that the U.S Empire is the foremost state sponsor of terrorism in the world!
    Thus we have a balance of natural justice: A group of words spoken by an Iranian Embassy spokesperson , versus actual war criminal behaviour by Israel that has produced a mountain of Palestinian corpses ,men ,women, and children . And the cries of faux outrage by Israels’ supporters! Someones Embassy needs to be evicted from New Zealand , so the stench of their war crimes is removed . I vote for the Israeli Embassy. And it would be excellent if their N.Z. apologists went with them!!!

  3. Well said!
    Good to read a piece that puts into perspective the well funded, highly orchestrated pro-israel bias of our media.

  4. Israel should be given, at the least, the treatment it so richly deserves.
    Boycott them.
    Divest from them,
    Sanction them

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