I often see people attributing the following statement to the late Christopher Hitchens on the topic of Iran:
“As for that benighted country, I wouldn’t shed a tear if it was wiped off the face of this earth.”
This occurs across social media, in comment threads and in news articles.
Now, It would be untrue to claim that Christopher Hitchens never engaged in hawkish rhetoric from time to time, but given that Hitchens had also visited Iran, spoke fondly of it and voiced his solidarity with the Iranian people – I remained unconvinced with the authenticity of this particular quote.
Every attempt to identify a primary source led me back to a book called ‘Unhitched’ by Richard Seymour. This book is what one typically refers to as a ‘Hatchet Job’. Here is the quote as it appears in Seymour’s book (p92):