IN DEFENSE OF IRAN: Notes from a U.S. Peace Delegation’s Journey through the Islamic Republic

Released December 2008!

1st book release from Defenders Publications:



     Notes from a U.S. Peace Delegation’s

     Journey through the Islamic Republic”


by Virginia Defender Editor Phil Wilayto


200 pp, Defenders Publications, Inc., $14.95

Perfectbound, fully indexed, 180 endnotes, 16 pages of photos

Cover design by Ana Edwards

ISBN 978-0-615-25123-3

First Edition: December 2008


In Defense of Iran: Notes from a U.S. Peace Delegation’s Journey through the Islamic Republic” tells the story of the People’s Peace Delegation to Iran, a journey organized by Virginia Defender Editor Phil Wilayto and co-sponsored by The Virginia Defender and the Virginia Anti-War Network.


In describing the delegation’s travels, Wilayto attempts to address the many charges being leveled against Iran: that it is developing nuclear weapons, supports terrorism, is “meddling” in Iraq, wants to attack Israel, that its government represses Iranian women, etc. Read the Table of Contents.


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“Honest, intelligent, and daring! At last, an American journey beyond fear and political rhetoric to reach out to ordinary Iranians…. In its unpretentious and accessible stye, In Defense of Iran answers a whole range of questions left unanswered in many a specialized study of that country. This is an eye-opener, a must read for every American curious to learn about Iran.”   FATEMEH KESHAVARZ, author, Jasmine and Stars: Reading More Than Lolita in Tehran.

“This book covers a lot of ground about the history, culture and political will of the Iranian people and their right of self-determination. It helps to debunk some racist myths and stereotypes created by U.S. imperialism about Iranian society. It is an important contribution to the U.S. and international anti-war movement.”  SALADIN MUHAMMAD, founding member, Black Workers for Justice

“‘In Defense of Iran is an excellent book on the history of Iran and U.S. relations. Phil Wilayto’s description of a trip he and former U.S. military took to Iran, with history and culture woven into the story line, provides fascinating glimpses into Iranian society. I wish it had been published before my trip to Iran so I could have benefited from the wealth of information it contains.”  ANN WRIGHT, retired U.S. Army colonel, former U.S. State Department official & anti-war activist 

“Entertaining and well-researched … Besides being a must-have for anyone who wants to learn about the history of Iran, U.S. involvement, and recent political changes, this book is full of fascinating insights and contradictions of this culturally rich, diverse and evolving country.”  MARGARET SARFEHJOOYA, Women Against Military Madness (WAMM)

In Defense of Iran is a blueprint and road map for citizen activists and practitioners of all stripes. Phil Wilayto principally highlights the root economic causes of Imperialist war, reminding his readers that it has always been people, not politicians, who have made humanity better. The Civil Rights Movement taught us the power of ordinary people, such as Fannie Lou Hamer, radically changing society. It is in this tradition I recommend In Defense of Iran to all those yearning to make peace.” JONATHAN HUTTO SR., Co-Founder Appeal for Redress and author of Anti War Soldier

“This is a unique contribution to the growing body of book-length writing on U.S.-Iran tensions. Phil Wilayto is a veteran organizer whose activism has spanned the full range, from entrenched racism in the United States to Washington’s adventurism abroad. His insistence on the self-determination right of Iranians is a shining corrective to the fog of propaganda that has even a segment of the progressive community in its grip.”  ROSTAM POURZAL, Washington, D.C.-based political commentator & former president, U.S. Chapter of the Campaign Against Sanctions & Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII)

“The best defense Iran could have would be awareness in the minds of Americans of who the Iranian people are, a people with great love and affection for the American people, great generosity toward others, and great commitment to peace. The best way I know that this defense could be created would be for Americans to give every other American they can a copy of Phil Wilayto’s new book “In Defense of Iran: Notes from a U.S. Peace Delegation’s Journey Through the Islamic Republic.” … Wilayto does not air brush Iran’s flaws or exaggerate its achievements, but he does set them in proper context and provide illuminating comparisons with other countries, especially our own. His tale mixes travel records with history and political argument to provide the best window I’ve found through which to peer halfway around the globe and into a complex and conventionally caricatured culture.”  DAVID SWANSON,


  • Margaret Sarfehjooya, Women Against Military Madness, June 2009
  • David Swanson,, December 2008
  • Chris Dovi, (Richmond) Style Weekly, January 2009
  • D.D. Delaney, The Treehouse Magazine (online), February 2009