We have reproduced below a message from Caleb Maupin, journalist and comrade from Fight Imperialism Stand Together who is currently onboard the Iran Shahed, delivering aid to Yemen in the wake of Saudi brutality:
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which is mercilessly slaughtering people in Yemen, has absolutely no right to inspect this vessel. Neither does the United States of America or Israel. The Iranian government has made that absolutely clear, and all of us in the delegation of peace activists from Germany, France, and the United States absolutely agree
with this decision.
An inspection from the United Nations or the International Red
Cross/Red Crescent Society would absolutely be permitted and welcomed.
These are international bodies delegated for such tasks.
However, allowing an inspection of this ship from the Kingdom of Saudi
Arabia would recognize that somehow the people of Yemen are the
property of the Saudis, which they are not. Yemenis are fighting and
dying to assert this fact each day.
The Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in agreement
with Yemen, is shipping 2,500 tons of medical supplies on this cargo
vessel. Both Iran and Yemen are sovereign countries. They have the
right to interact peacefully with each other, without interference.
Saudi Arabia has no say in the matter.
The only purpose a Saudi inspection could serve would be to humiliate
the Islamic Republic of Iran, or worse, to create some kind of
provocation or incident. The Saudis could use the inspection of this
vessel to start a scuffle with those onboard, or to plant weapons, or
to issue false reports in the media about what they found onboard.
The Saudi regime, which beheads and tortures people routinely, and is
currently burning the skin of Yemeni children with the chemical weapon
called White Phosphorous, has no business entering this ship.
A Purely Humanitarian Mission
There is no question in my mind about the absolutely humanitarian
nature of this mission. I have personally looked inside the cargo
areas of this ship and seen nothing but humanitarian items like
band-aids, disinfectant, food, and bottled water.
All Iranian cargo ships that pass through the Gulf of Aden have two
machine guns mounted on the bridge, as a mechanism for self-defense
from pirates or terrorists which frequent this dangerous area.
However, because this is a special humanitarian mission these machine
guns, which are on every Iranian cargo ship, were removed.
The emblem of the Red Crescent Society is prominently displayed
throughout the ship, as are the Iranian and Yemeni flags.
I have spoken at length with the Red Crescent volunteers (we have
plenty of time to socialize). They have told me about their previous
international operations with the Red Crescent Society, traveling
across the world to help those in need.
The Iranian Red Crescent Society, like all organizations which are
affiliated to the International Red Cross/Red Crescent Society in
Geneva, follows seven guiding principles of work. Among them are
non-involvement in military operations, non-partisan delivery of aid,
The Iranians would welcome the United Nations or the International Red
Cross/Red Cresent to inspect this ship. But the criminal Saudi regime,
and its US and Israeli allies are simply not welcome aboard.
If we have no interference, we will reach Hodiedah on Thursday, and
deliver our 2,500 tons of supplies to the Yemeni people. We have
recently been informed that the Saudis have already bombed the port of
Hodiedah in anticipation of our arrival.
Let The Hungry Children of Yemen Live!
This Illegal, Immoral Blockade Must End!
Don’t Block The Rescue Boat!”
The only way to make sure such aid missions aren’t necessary in future, to free the people of Yemen and countless other nations from the constant threat of imperialist aggression, is to strike at the root of the problem, capitalism itself. It can be hard to envision such a task from within an imperialist nation, but it is a task we owe to the millions that are suffering around the world today, including ourselves.
HANDS OFF YEMEN!
VICTORY TO THE RESISTANCE!