I firmly believe that military force should be the last option in dealing with Iran. But I also believe that, whether we talk with the Iranians, enact embargoes against the Iranians, threaten the Iranians, or whatever else the heck we decide to do vis a vis the Iranians (including an Osirak or Syria approach), we ought to understand that we’re dealing with 7th Century people who are on the verge of possessing 21st Century WMDs:
Homosexuals deserve to be executed or tortured and possibly both, an Iranian leader told British MPs during a private meeting at a peace conference, The Times has learned.
Mohsen Yahyavi is the highest-ranked politician to admit that Iran believes in the death penalty for homosexuality after a spate of reports that gay youths were being hanged.
The latest row involves a woman hanged this June in the town of Gorgan after becoming pregnant by her brother. He was absolved after expressing his remorse. Britain said that this demonstrated the unequal treatment of men and women in law and breached Iran’s pledge to restrict the death penalty to the most serious crimes.
A series of reported executions of gays, including two underage boys whose public hanging was posted on the internet, has alarmed human rights campaigners.
Under the Freedom of Information Act, the FCO released papers to The Times about the death penalty being used in Iran for homosexuality, adultery and sex outside marriage.
Minutes taken by an official describe a meeting between British and Iranian MPs at the Inter-Parliamentary Union, a peace body, in May. When the Britons raised the hangings of Asqari and Marhouni, the leader of the Iranian delegation, Mr Yahyavi, a member of his parliament’s energy committee, was unflinching. He “explained that according to Islam gays and lesbianism were not permitted,” the record states. “He said that if homosexual activity is in private there is no problem, but those in overt activity should be executed [he initially said tortured but changed it to executed]. He argued that homosexuality is against human nature and that humans are here to reproduce. Homosexuals do not reproduce.”
Iran, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen and Nigeria apply the death penalty for homosexuality, according to the International Lesbian and Gay Association.
The same article concludes with a helpful list of some of the victim so Sharia law, a law that, when originally enacted, was probably consistent with the law in Western countries as well, during the 7th through 16th Centuries. The problem is that we in the West have moved on, while those in Iran and other Islamist nations, have not:
— Homosexuals Farbod Mostaar and Ahmad Chooka sentenced to death. Iran said Chooka had kidnapped, knifed and raped a student
— A woman called Soghra was sentenced to stoning for adultery and being an accomplice to her husband’s murder
— Two men executed in public after being found guilty of a homosexual relationship. A newspaper said they were convicted of sodomy, rape and kidnapping
— Zhila Izadi, 13, sentenced to stoning after becoming pregnant with her brother’s child
— Malek Ghorbany sentenced to stoning for adultery
— Leila Qomi sentenced to stoning for adultery and assisting a man who killed her husband. He received 100 lashes
— Jafar Kiana stoned for adultery. His female lover Mokarrameh Ebrahimi sentenced to the same fate.
While I have absolutely no doubt that there are thousands, nay, tens of thousands or even millions of good, decent, humane Iranians, it is patently clear that the country as a whole has embraced a leadership that has no conception of human rights as we understand them in the West. Iran’s morality and belief systems are entirely different from ours, and we make a terrible mistake if we assume that they use the same decision-making algorithms we in the West do, whether we’re talking about women, gays, WMDs, or the destruction of nations.