"I have always believed there were commonalities between our countries. With the meetings I had, I realized that it is a reality," she said.
As part of a Latin American tour that includes Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his wife Jamileh Alamolhoda were in Caracas on Tuesday. Below is an interview granted by the Iranian First Lady to teleSUR.
- A few months ago, you had a meeting with women leaders from many parts of our Latin America. How was that meeting, which you have announced here in Venezuela as a second meeting?
Well, thank you very much. Greetings to all the viewers of this program. I will provide a brief report on the Congress we held, in which many women from around the world participated.
The program was primarily dedicated to direct interaction with women, without any intermediaries, especially without the involvement of the media. What we wanted was to have a kind of dialogue with women from all over the world and highlight the ideas or common concepts that unite us.
One of the first individuals who contacted us and participated was the wife of President Nicolas Maduro. She was one of the people who encouraged me to organize such meeting. She said it was a very interesting idea, and we were fortunate to be able to establish an international institution for efficient women in the world.
In the constitution of this institution, each sentence was consulted with all these women. Sometimes, even each word was chosen through consultation with women, and in the end, 80 of these women signed this document.
There were also three visits by some of these women. The first visit was to the mausoleum of Fatima al-Masuma in the city of Qom. Fatima al-Masuma, who is buried in Qom, was a 25-year-old woman who died in Iran approximately a thousand years ago. She is one of the granddaughters of the Prophet. We believe in Iran that everything we have belongs to her. The religious Islamic seminary in Iran is primarily located in the city of Qom, where she is buried.
The second visit was to an exhibition of women scientists. These were individuals who managed to sell their own scientific discoveries. Approximately a thousand women participated in this exhibition.
In Tehran, we were able to gather 80 women, and this exhibition had a significant impact on our guests. Many of them could not believe that Iranian women had made such advancements. One of the women had a considerable influence as she created 64 different types of remedies.
This is an example of why we need atomic science. It is often said that we need atomic science to create atomic bombs. However, she demonstrated that she could invent 64 remedies through atomic science. That made them realize that atomic science can serve such scientific development.
- Let me ask you a question about that. You have told us a lot about academic and scientific development, where women play a prominent role in Iran. All these achievements of Iranian women in the scientific field hardly reach this side of the world. This is also due to the U.S. blockade, which has been going on for many decades, as is the case with Venezuela. Today, you have also met with academic women, with the Venezuelan First Lady Cilia Flores, and with women in politics and journalism. So, what similarities do you find between the Iranian women and the Venezuelan women?
Well, clearly, I have always believed that there were commonalities between our two countries, but today, with the meetings I had, I realized that it is a reality. I was very happy to learn that Venezuelan women are intellectual women. They have their scientific weight, and at the same time, they place a lot of importance on family.
I think one very important common point between us is precisely that point of being intellectual and family-oriented at the same time because, unfortunately, the currents of thought supporting women's rights do not support the family issue as much or give it as much importance.
Generally, these institutions talk a lot about intra-family violence or female violence, while types of organized violence outside the family framework are much more significant and much larger.
I believe that without the support of the family, governments often take advantage of women. Whereas women, perhaps quantitatively, are twice as many as men and therefore benefit societies twice as much. Unfortunately, governments, in the name of the freedom of those who take advantage of women, have two types of benefits: one takes advantage of women as a workforce, and the other takes advantage of them sexually.
Do not think I am defending men with bad behavior. Not at all. The bad behavior of a man in his family is just as bad as the bad behavior of a woman in her family, and it is considered a negative value and is not acceptable.
I know that Venezuelans and Iranians are in search of justice. We are against oppression, while we want women to continue being women. Why should we as men have to be like men? Why should we have to study, work, or live like men? That is violence.
- What happened on September 16, 2022, when a 22-year-old woman died in Iran? From this side of the world, there was a lot of information against this event. The hegemonic narrative was that the State was aggressing women. We saw this for several months continuously.
I appreciate you for bringing up this point because it precisely repeats what we were talking about regarding organized violence through the media. You know that the source of all this media bombardment is the United States. It is also worth remembering that the United States itself supported a dictatorship for many years in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Similarly, after supporting this dictatorship, they continue to support their family and son.
There is an Iranian popular saying that when the tail of the rooster is seen, it means someone stole a rooster, they put it under their clothes, and the rooster's feathers stick out to reveal who stole it.
The same story repeats itself: those who protected and defended that dictatorship, they do the same now, through this media dictatorship, to defend this woman. All that media uproar was fabricated.
During a ceremony to welcome Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi to Nicaragua, President Daniel Ortega paid tribute to Iran’s top anti-terror commander, Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani.— Press TV (@PressTV) June 14, 2023
General Soleimani was assassinated by the US in Iraq in 2020. pic.twitter.com/hs7V92794y
- We are talking about a media blockade by Western corporate hegemonic media.
A kind of media empire. Dictatorships have various models, and this is one of them. There is a political dictatorship, an economic dictatorship, a scientific dictatorship, and a media dictatorship. Like you, we are victims of all these types of dictatorships, and we are seeing the harm caused by all these types of dictatorship.
- How have you resisted?
I will tell you with an example. In a police institution a woman died with a kind of heart attack. A medical team went there to investigate what happened. As happens in any place in our country, a medical commission was formed to investigate the cause of an unknown death. However, the media took advantage of this case and used it against our people, country, system, leaders, and revolution.
To resist the media dictatorship, we follow a basic principle: stand up against selfishness and egocentrism. Individualism is based on subjectivism. Following our leader Imam Khomeini, we do not accept that, which means that we do not accept individualism. Subjectivism is combated with a philosophy based on family, solidarity, society and collaboration.
In this book that I wrote, I investigate precisely the theory of Imam Khomeini on dualism and subjectivism.
- Its name is "Pedagogical Philosophy of the Imam Khomeini Movement."
Actually, it is the philosophy through which Imam Khomeini educated us. There is a famous phrase by Imam Khomeini that says, "Through the lap of women, man rises", which means that no matter how high a man rises, he does so through the lap of a woman.
Iranian women have understood this Imam Khomeini’s principle, and that is why they emphasize the need to take on the educational responsibility for our children.
In the domination system we have been talking about, those who control it realized that there are men without resources who participate in wars and defend their lands. They realized that these soldiers are sons who were educated in their mothers' laps. Since then, they started trying to destroy the role of the family in Iran.
Iran has tried to help in the liberation of countries like Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, where everything returns to the family. The importance of the family.
That is why, for the last 30 years, the enemies have made a great effort to destroy the family. That is why the biggest victims of the current cultural invasion are our girls.
They are being invaded and attacked in their conscience, knowledge, faith and loyalty. The media dictatorship is trying to destroy the family all over the world, especially in Iran.
You know we have a 15,000-year-old civilization, while the United States isn't even as old as the trees at my university. That is why we Iranians laugh at the futile efforts of the Americans.
We know very well that the family can protect a culture. Throughout its history, due to its unique geographical position, our country has always faced invasions, wars, and attacks from many enemies, including the Mongols and Arabs.
But even so, they could not change our history, language, culture or customs. That is the result of the resistance of Iranian women and families, especially.
Therefore, they gave so much importance to Mahsa Amini and unfortunately, they used a fictitious victory to disrespect our spiritual father and revolutionary leader by calling him a dictator. He has shown kindness, love and affection to everyone and people have noticed it. Truly, he is like the embodiment of a true father. Yet the media calls him a dictator.
This is no longer just a media blockade. This is a media hoax because, during those same events, 20 of the nation's most beautiful young men became martyrs. The last of them became a martyr last week. Several criminals harassed a girl who was getting married the next day. That young man came to the aid of the girl and the criminals stabbed him to death.
Several million Iranians mourned the death of this young man and held a huge funeral procession, attended by millions of people.
In this part of the world, those events were not news. Through you, we have learned a bit more about the detailed role of women in Iran and the message it sends to the world. We want to thank you for your time. Good evening and thank you very much.
Thank you so much.