Peace Delegation to Iran

Aloha! I have established this Go Fund Me page because I hope to raise $3,000 that would enable me to participate in a peace delegation traveling to Iran in October.

YOU WANT TO GO WHERE?
The Islamic Republic of Iran.

WHY DO YOU WANT TO GO THERE?
I would be going as a member of a delegation of (mostly) U.S. citizens as part of a people-to-people exchange. This is a rare chance for Americans and Iranians to interact directly and exchange ideas and experiences. In addition to visiting well-known cultural and historical sites, this trip will include visits to the Peace Museum of Tehran, the Educational Center for Child Labor, and a synagogue in Isfahan. You can see a description for yourself here on CODE PINK’s website.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF GOING TO IRAN?
This is a trip arranged by CODE PINK, a prominent women-led grassroots organization involved in anti-war/pro-peace actions around the world (read more here). My purpose for going to Iran is to speak with Iranians directly in their own country and learn about life in Iran firsthand. As an independent journalist, I regularly speak with people from all walks of life from many different cultures and backgrounds. I have interviewed everyone from fishermen to shaman and imams to ambassadors, scientists, farmers, teachers, activists, artists, politicians, and members of the military. If I am fortunate enough to participate, I will be going with an open mind to listen, learn, and share what I take away.

WHERE DOES THIS MONEY GO, ANYWAY?
My goal is to raise $3,000. That money will cover:
$1,000 fee to participate in the CODE PINK peace delegation on a nine-day visit to Iran with $2,000 to cover the cost of round-trip airfare from Kauai to Iran as well as cost of visa ($120).

It may be possible to get from Hawaii to Iran and back for less than $2,000. If I can, I will and I won't accept support that is not necessary.

WHY SHOULD I HELP YOU GO TO IRAN?
Simply put, to promote peace and greater understanding. If you have read any of my reporting , you know that I focus on issues of war and peace. Much of my reporting examines the impacts of U.S. militarism and military bases in places far from the continental United States such as Hawaii, Guam, the Marshall Islands, South Korea, and Japan. Although these places may seem unrelated to Iran, events in each are strongly influenced by four decades of hostile relations between the U.S. and Iran. 

Much of what happens in the places I report on occurs, in part, in reaction to what the U.S. government characterizes as an Iranian threat to the U.S. and its allies. By going to Iran, I will be able to see the places and meet the people who are being impacted by U.S. sanctions and would be most affected any type of direct conflict with the U.S. or its allies. Joining this delegation to Iran will allow me to better report on issues of war and peace around the world.

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WHAT DO I GET OUT OF IT?
Good question. For one thing, you will be supporting efforts to bring experienced, fact-based reporting to readers like yourself and your friends all over the world. As a freelance, independent journalist, I have tirelessly reported stories of people and places that I believe are unreported or under-reported. Since 2015 I have gone on self-funded reporting trips to Okinawa, South Korea (including Jeju Island), Guam, the Marshall Islands, and around Hawaii.

I plan to continue doing this type of reporting, as well as expanding coverage of nuclear weapons-related issues, but I simply cannot afford to do this all on my own. If you are able to pitch in, even a small amount, you will be supporting principled, deeply-researched, first-hand independent journalism. This type of reporting, I believe, is needed now, more than ever.

If you are feeling extra supportive of the type of reporting I do and are able to donate $100 or more, I will also bring back a souvenir from Iran and send it to you as a token of my appreciation. No matter how much you chip in, I will be deeply grateful.

I will prepare a series of dispatches and photos from Iran that I will share exclusively with all who support this endeavor.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER YOU GET BACK?
Naturally, I will be writing about this. Not only what happened during the trip, but later this experience will inform future reporting on subjects related to Iran and subjects that may seem wholly unrelated — including wildlife conservation, climate change, issues of gender, race, and religion, and the impact of militarism on people and the environment all around the world.

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In addition to writing, I would be happy to speak about this trip in a public forum. This could include addressing to school groups, civics groups, private citizens, or anyone else looking for a first-hand account of Iran through the eyes of an American citizen in 2019.

I'M STILL NOT CONVINCED.
Well, you've read this far so hopefully you're considering it. By participating in this peace delegation to Iran, I will be a better informed journalist with a greater understanding of a country frequently cited as one of the main reasons the U.S. produces and exports expensive weapons systems, maintains and modernizes its nuclear stockpile, and has hundreds of U.S. military bases around the world. Going to Iran will inform my reporting and lead to new stories that are important to share. If you enjoy my story telling and independent global reporting, I would greatly appreciate any level of support. 

Thank you for considering it!

Jon

Donations (0)

  • Ritu J 
    • $50 
    • 3 mos
  • Rhea MOSS-CHRISTIAN 
    • $50 
    • 3 mos
  • Venkata Kanumuri 
    • $300 
    • 3 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
    • 3 mos
  • Matthew Johnston 
    • $50 
    • 3 mos

Organizer 

Jon Letman 
Organizer
Lihue, HI
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