In an interview with the Tasnim News Agency at Iran’s 22nd Press Exhibition in Tehran,link , Giulietto Chiesa, who formerly held important positions either in Italy or the European Parliament, said the US has lost its status as a superpower in the world.
He also expressed views on different issues including US elections, Operation Eagle Claw in April 1980 ordered by then US president Jimmy Carter to release Americans taken into custody at the US Embassy in Tehran, and relations between Washington and Moscow. Following is the text of the interview.
Tasnim: May I ask you about the Press Exhibition here? Have you had a similar experience elsewhere?
Giulietto Chiesa: Sure. There are many places in Italy and Europe where this kind of initiatives are done, but not this way like I see here: All the press of a country reunited in one place. Not the same. There are different initiatives in the West of the media, but not like this.
Tasnim: What is your assessment of the exhibition?
Giulietto Chiesa: Well, I believe it is a good idea for exchanging information, and for exchanging also the knowledge of the profession.
Tasnim: May I ask you about the ongoing developments in the world, for example the US election, its outcome, and its possible repercussions in the world?
Giulietto Chiesa: Yes, today I spoke here inside – I had a conference here- and I told that my idea is that the press, the mainstream media in the West, is very much critical. The press in the west is becoming every day more a propaganda system and the quantity of truth that our newspapers and televisions are telling people is diminishing every day. For that reason, there is a crisis of the mainstream media and they are losing for instance newspaper, everywhere are losing copies. In Italy it’s a very clear phenomena that people read less than before. While somebody says that the people read newspapers and watch television less because there is internet, I don’t believe it is right. Certainly internet influences – for instance in internet, we are not to pay. This way internet can be attractive, but it is not the reason why the people use less the normal television channel and the mainstream media. They have lost confidence. Many many people have lost confidence in the mainstream media, because they understand that they are not sincere, that they are following the interests of the power, and in many cases they are interconnected with the power. If the press is the same as the power, they cannot be sincere.
Tasnim: What about the outcome of the US election?
Giulietto Chiesa: The power in the United States depends on big corporations. The big corporations, now the big banks decide the politics of the United States. If the president will accept that, it’s OK for the president. If he does not agree with them, he’s very bad for the president.
Tasnim: I know you have written a book about US attack on Tabas, Iran, thirty years ago. Would you tell us about your book?
Giulietto Chiesa: I have written a book about the attempt of the United States to attack the American Embassy. It was the first year of my profession. I (had) just begun my work in journalism. I was't in Iran and I watched from distant. I had never been in Tehran before, but I had the impression that the story which was (being) told by the Western media was not right. I have this kind of perception. And I decided to keep together all the information that was in big newspapers. And I took all Reuters, the Associated Press (reported), all the articles, newspapers, all the reconstruction and also the Iranian sources – there were not so many Iranian sources. Well, I gathered all the Western information, including the Russian information. And I saw that the description of Iran was not right. And they tried to reconstruct it and to give a new version. The book is very amusing to read, because there is a one part of what happened in Tehran.
The question is that the United States was preparing a coup. They did not want to liberate, to free, the hostages. They wanted to use the hostages to make a complete change of regime and they were prepared to attack from the desert. I quoted all the behavior of the presidents and so on, and then gave my interpretation. After that- well, the book was a little book. I was not very famous at the time and after three years, it was in Moscow (where) I met an Italian professor, knowing very well the Farsi Language; and he told me: “oh, I have been in Tehran and I’ve seen your book.” I told (him): “How it’s possible? My book in Tehran! They are reading it in Italian? No! I read your book translated to Farsi. (Laughs). It was a big complement for me, because I did not… well, what I have done is a product of my mind. I remember very well that when I was studying the information I bought a map of the city, showing the roads and so on. I studied very attentively all the roads they could use for that, but it was some kind of exercise of intelligence, no more.
Tasnim: Do you believe the US is now conspiring a new coup or a new attempt to overthrow the Iranian government?
Giulietto Chiesa: No. Not now. Today, I explain(ed) my idea, the idea of stopping with the sanctions and the embargo is very good, very positive – positive from the side of Iran, positive from the side of the West. I applaud, I am very glad it’s positive; but I don’t believe this is the will of the United States. This is the will of President Obama and his surrounding people.
I see the position of the Iranian government is very positive. You are doing all what is necessary to improve the relations. I have no reproach to make to Iran. But the question is if the president of the United States – the next president- will say that the 21st century will be the American century, this is a very bad, a very dangerous, position.
On Russia, I know that Russia would like to have a better relationship with United States, but in the US there are people who don’t want to have a better relations with the rest of the world. They want to dominate. The question for me is unchanged. They want to dominate and they cannot dominate. It is unrealistic. The United States is not able to dominate the world, not more, not anymore.
Tasnim: You mean the US cannot continue to act unilaterally?
Giulietto Chiesa: Yes, but simply my idea is a very realistic consideration. That is: How can the United States decide for China? It’s impossible. China is too big. Twenty years ago, china was nothing. Now China is a power. And the United States cannot decide alone. They are not anymore the empire. That means it is not realistic. I don’t speak of ideological reasons. For me it’s not a question of ideology. But well if you say that the 21st century could be American you are ignoring the fact that there is China, there is India, and there is Russia. It’s impossible to govern 7 billion people the way they did in the last century. It’s impossible. That means there’s a very big danger of war. If they don’t understand that the world has changed, they would produce some very bad results.
Tasnim: Do you believe the US move from Middle East to East Asia is part of that understanding?
Giulietto Chiesa: Yes, certainly. It’s evident that they know that China is the next (power). Now, they are fixing their attention on Russia. But, Russia is not their sole problem. Their big problem is ahead. The big problem is China, and if they want to dominate China, it will be a clash, inevitably.
Tasnim: And the next clash would be in the Far East?
Giulietto Chiesa: No the next clash unfortunately will be in Europe. I believe that there are three points – it will be in Europe or Middle East. There is Middle East area, there is Ukraine – there is ongoing war in Ukraine, it is not finished, and third, there is the Baltic States where NATO has built a huge arm(s) concentration. There can be a simple provocation. It depends from many possibilities, but the danger is very high. And the danger is before going to East, they are going to Europe.