In his letter, “Iran is a nation that exports terrorism” dated February 19, 2017, Mr. Kristiaan Helsen posits: “The US government should ban visas to Iran citing “attacks sponsored [by Iran] in Argentina and Germany”.

Mr. Helsen however does not mention the recently declassified role of a 1953 coup orchestrated by the CIA that imposed the Shah over the Iranians for 26 years, leaving a generational scar while impoverishing the country nor does he mention Iran’s 1979 revolution, which saw the overthrow of the Shah, widely despised for his corruption by the masses.

As a result of the people’s uprising against political repression and the Western blowback that came with it, the country was slapped with economic sanctions, affecting millions of ordinary Iranians.

During the Iran-Iraq war, the Americans not only tolerated but also aided Saddam Hussein’s repeated large-scale chemical attacks on Iranian forces using sarin and mustard gas.

Admittedly, Iran too, since the eighties has made a number of glaring mistakes on its part and has played a role in exporting regional terrorism (UPDATED JULY 2020: including by supporting Syria’s Bashar Al-Assad who is responsible for the deaths of 380,000 Syrians after a 9-year war.)

It is however unfair to claim Iran “brainwashes its citizens with hatred toward the West”, especially when the West has hardly been a beacon of love and affection when it comes to Iran.

Since 1980, the U.S. has bombed, invaded or occupied at least 14 Islamic countries. The American government is also the first to use the atomic bomb as well as deploy chemical weapons in its direct and proxy wars. America is also responsible for launching illegal wars under the pretense of bringing freedom to a country or under the disguise of WMDs and War on Terror.

January 4, 2020 in BOSTON, Massachusetts. (Staff Photo By Chris Christo/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

To be fair therefore, Iran’s so-called brainwashing is not that different from the “alternative facts” (read “white lies”) promulgated by Trump and his inner circle about Muslims, refugees, immigrants and asylum seekers almost daily.

Given such, we ordinary citizens of the world should not allow this drumroll leading up to war to begin.

In the end, we ought to know there is no evil country as such. Just deluded egomaniacs like Kim Jong Un, Saddam Hussein, Bashar al-Assad, Benjamin Netanyahu and regrettably countless others, who have in them an evil to commit crimes of humanity.

The only solution is to stop giving into fear and mistrust of each other.