I've done my compulsory military service (conscription) in the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy, acronymed NEDAJA. In an internationally-recognised military force, you learn certain values, including how to respect the commander, and how to follow his advice word by word, which occasionally turn out to be crude and uncompromising, but at the same time in your best interests.
In the recent days, I've been asked many questions by many people, including some Tehran-based "journalist"s, on what I think about the imprisonment of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian national who was detained in Iran in April 2016. In September 2016, she was sentenced by Iran's judiciary to five years imprisonment for plotting to overthrow the Iranian government.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson traveled to Tehran last week to negotiate with the Iranian authorities a viable solution for the freedom of Ms Ratcliffe.
There's a line to thread between "nationalism", "jingoism", "chauvinism" and "credulity".
As an Iranian journalist, who is honored to have received first-hand training and education from some of the most prominent names of Britain's journalism at the University of Kent's Centre for Journalism since September 2016, I felt the urge to make a brief statement at this critical juncture.
- · An individual, whether a war criminal i.e. Saddam Hussein, a journalist or a "spy" cannot overthrow a government in the 21st century
- · I'm neither the spokesman of Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson nor that of Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.
- · I've traveled to and lived in 14 countries and have been unfortunately asked similar questions under similar conditions, sometimes because I appeared to be influential and sometimes I appeared to be the most handy target
- Imprisoning the mother of a toddler doesn't meet the national security interests of any country!